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7/19/14 11:52 A

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BROWN IS THE NEW RED?

Saturday, 19 July 2014


Come here. Let me get a good look at your lips. Oh, nice darling. So pretty! But today, for you ladies out there, I wanna talk about how to make your lips look even more sensual and sexy during these warm summer months.

When my mother, Shirley, worked at the cosmetics counter of Maison Blanche department store in downtown New Orleans, she had her own following of loyal customers. They just loved her! (I miss you, Shirley.) I mean, not only did she give the ladies great advice on their makeup when they came into the store but...she looked the part, too! Wearing one of her petite little designer numbers, you'd think she was a movie star standing behind the makeup counter at MB. (That's what we called Maison Blanche for short when I was growing up. Oh, how I miss them, too!) When Shirley put on that sparkling red lipstick of hers, she looked like a million bucks. Ahhh, red lipstick!


But, when it comes to lipstick, how can brown be "the new red?" (You may be wondering.) Well, back in the 1950s, the classically beautiful Marilyn Monroe made those beautiful ruby-red lips of hers a trademark for herself. And even to this day, celebrities from Madonna to Lady Gaga have tried to pull it off. But come on, nobody did it better than Marilyn, right? Okay, luscious red lipstick can indeed make those lips of yours look very sexy and kissable. But hey, this summer, when it comes to lipstick, let's hear it for the color brown, too!


Now don't think brown and just stop there. There are several lovely shades of brown to consider. You've just got to choose the one that best compliments your face and what you're wearing. Brown lipsticks are more user-friendly than "naked" or "nude" lipsticks. Brown is more subtle during the daylight hours or can look more sultry for a casual evening or even a romantic night out on the town. When choosing a brown shade of lipstick, choose one that's a shade or two darker than your natural lip color. According to one beauty expert, the effect will be to really warm up your complexion. Or you may simply opt for a sheer brown gloss, which will allow your natural lip color to shine through.

Depending on your skin tone, here are some basic rules to follow when choosing a brown lipstick. For OLIVE SKIN, try a caramel tone of brown. Are you more FAIR-SKINNED? Then you should consider a pink beige. Are you FAIR-SKINNED with WARM UNDERTONES? Then try a rosy brown. For MEDIUM SKIN, try a brackish red. (That sounds interesting.) If you have LIGHT BROWN skin, a berry-tinged brown would be a good option for you. And finally, if you have that beautiful DARK BROWN SKIN, try a chocolaty plum. (You're gonna look fabulous, baby!)


So, you see? Who said lipstick just always had to be red? Sure, red is a fun color for your lips but, this summer, try a little brown lipstick every now and then, too. It'll give you a warm, easy-going look and I'm betting you'll end up getting lots of compliments! Hey, just like Marilyn, you may even start your own trend!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/16/14 9:54 P

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FRANKEN-FOOD!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

As if chemical additives and those horrible trans-fats weren't bad enough, along comes another layer of worry about what goes into the foods we eat. You all know the letters HMO when it comes to healthcare, right? Well, today I want to introduce you to the letters...GMO. Any idea what they mean? For most of you, probably not. So let me tell you about them. GMO stands for genetically modified organisms or, for the sake of today's argument, genetically modified...FOODS. What? That doesn't even sound right, does it?


GMO foods are created from the genes of unrelated plants and animals being spliced together in the laboratory. (Honestly, do they have some of Dr. Frankenstein's relatives working for them?!) And the scary part is, this gene splicing produces foods that could never be created in nature. They're actually feeding this stuff to us! And here's the part I really don't like. In the United States., GMO foods are not required to be tested by the Food & Drug Administration to make sure they're safe for us to eat. (Some other countries do.)



So, let me see if I have this right. The government is allowing food manufacturers to make these kinds of changes to the foods they sell us and, at this point in time, we still don't know how safe they are for our health? (Now to me, that is scary!) Okay, so we need more research. But, in the meantime, wouldn't you agree that we have the right to know if the foods we buy and serve our families have been genetically altered? Oh, you bet we do! In fact, one survey found that 80-95% of people want their foods labeled to let them know if they've been genetically modified. Hey, it's only fair!



But wouldn't you know? There's fierce opposition to labeling our foods from the companies that produce these GMO seeds. In fact, when my fellow Californians were given the opportunity to vote on having GMO foods labeled as such in our state, some of those companies spent $70,000,000 to defeat the initiative on the ballot and...they won! Uh, excuse me, but you'd think they had something to hide!


I suppose these food producers are looking for ways to feed more people? But, if life is any lesson, I'm sure their motives are as much about their profits are they are about our good health. The good Lord knew what He was doing when He put all of those healthy foods growing here on Earth for us. What we don't need are some mad scientists "playing doctor" with our foods, messing with Mother Nature and trying to sell us foods that may very well make us sick, if not grow extra ears on our heads! (Hey, like I said, they still don't know what affect these foods have on us. So, why take chances?)


As consumers, I say we have the right to know what's IN our foods and about the processes used to make them. It's almost like these companies are playing Russian roulette with our good health. If, like me, you're in favor of GMO-labeling on the foods you buy, please write your Congressmen and let them know.



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/15/14 8:47 P

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DID YOU HEAR THE ONE ABOUT...

Tuesday, 15 July 2014


That's usually an opening line for a joke or funny story. I just hope the tale that follows is one that's really gonna make me LAUGH-OUT-LOUD! (How many times a day do I use "LOL" here in my daily messages, my Facebook posts or in the daily E-mails I send? What, you too? LOL!) Well, anyway, I hope that, like me, you're not only typing those three letters a lot, but that you really are laughing out loud...a lot, too! Hey, there's nothing like a good heart-felt belly laugh and for good reason!

You may not have thought about it but did you know that a good, strong laugh is actually more like a full-body exercise? (Seriously, who knew?) Consider what that laughter is doing for you. It burns calories, (what?), increases your heart rate, (important for a strong heart) and even works a variety of your body's muscles. I'm talking about everything from the muscles in your face to the ones in your abs. Not only that, laughter also encourages the release of feel-good chemicals in your brain, like dopamine. In fact, according to a research scientist at the University of Maryland, the same pleasure centers in the brain that're activated when we eat, say, chocolate become active when we hear something funny that makes us laugh! Well, how about that, huh? Wanna hear some more benefits of laughter? So glad you want to know because I've got some for you!


Laughter benefits your body's immune system. There's actually a boost in immune function 30 minutes to an hour after you finish laughing. (I love that.) People who're going through a tough illness may actually heal better if they can maintain a good sense of humor and yes, even laugh as they battle their illness.


That goes for people suffering some forms of physical pain, too. One study found that laughing seems to stimulate the release of endorphins, chemicals that interact with receptors in the brain that can actually help reduce the perception of pain. How cool is that?


Recent studies have also found a connection between laughter-released endorphins and good heart health. Those endorphins and their by-products bind to the lining of your body's blood vessels helping to lower blood pressure, prevent clot formation and reduces inflammation, all of which are heart-protective benefits for your body.


Laughter may even help improve your memory. That's gotta be good for people affected by Alzheimer's disease or dementia. Laughter helps reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to damage neurons in the brain that affect memory. So laughter indirectly enhances a person's ability to remember as they get older.


So, heard any good jokes, lately? Seen any good ones online recently? Got a favorite TV comedy or movie that really tickles your funny bone? Well, good! Then please, go ahead, enjoy and...LOL! Because when you do, you're doing your body and your soul a whole lotta good!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/14/14 10:26 P

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TESTING, TESTING...

Monday, 14 July 2014

Have you had your annual physical exam this year? You haven't!? Hey, what are you waiting for? How many times have I told you how important those physicals are, huh? I know, some people get a little apprehensive about them sometimes, afraid the doctor will find something "wrong" with them. But why worry yourself like that? If by chance you do have some medical problem that needs to be addressed, you're better off knowing about it than NOT knowing, allowing what could have begun as a minor problem to turn into a major one. Remember, with most medical problems, the earlier they're detected, the better you'll be able to fight it. To find out if you're okay, that's where the medical tests come in. And that's where a lot of people really get nervous. Don't! The purpose of that test is to HELP...not hurt you!

Some people are totally afraid of needles. Close your eyes, you're only gonna feel a little prick from that shot and it really isn't that bad. I used to be afraid of needles myself but they don't bother me so much anymore. You should also be aware that all medical tests performed today use methods that have been scrutinized and approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. The federal government certifies and inspects medical labs regularly to make sure they're adhering to standards set by law. Do you have a medical test coming up or feel you may need one for a problem that has been bothering you? Well, to make sure you understand what the test is for and what to expect, there are some rules you should follow.

First, before you go in for the test, ask you doctor, WHY am I having this test? You want to be sure and understand why you're being tested and what the doctor is looking for. You'll also want to ask your doctor how reliable the test is in diagnosing or even ruling out that you may have a particular disease or medical problem. Ask the doctor what happens and what to expect if the test is positive or negative for what she's looking for. Before taking the test, be sure to ask if there are specific instructions about food, drink, medication or even exercise in advance. And finally, ask your doctor how soon the results of the test will be available and how do you get them.

Blood tests are an indispensable tool of medicine. They're used to screen for, diagnose, confirm and monitor diseases. There are literally hundreds of blood tests and if your doctor suggests you need one for a particular medical problem, by all means, have the test! Don't be afraid of the needle and certainly don't drive yourself crazy being nervous about the results. I'll remind you, those tests are done to get you back to 100% and feeling better.

Let the doctor and the medical labs do their jobs. But, in the meantime, long before there's even a need for you to have a particular medical test, I want you to do your job, too. And that is by living a healthy lifestyle which, of course, includes a healthy food plan, sticking to a regular exercise routine and getting those annual physicals. You've heard that old saying a thousand times, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Well, get in plenty of prevention by taking good care of yourself now and everyday and you won't have to be nearly as nervous the next time the doctor suggests you need any kind of medical test.

I want you to...be your own doctor FIRST!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/13/14 11:10 P

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JUICY FRUIT!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Hey, let's face it, besides their delightful tastes, it's one of the things fruit is best known for...its juice! Mmmm! I mean, come one, who doesn't love the flavor and juiciness of a summertime watermelon or peach? And to get that peak, juicy flavor from your fruits, you've got to know how to store and when's the best time to eat them. A mature fruit, that is when it's fully grown, and the ripeness of a fruit are not quite the same thing. Ripeness determines a fruit's deliciousness. See, ripeness is the final phase of a fruit's development when it becomes especially juicy, aromatic and tasty. Growers pick some fruits early, before they're fully ripe, to ensure they do well during shipping. (The soft flesh on perfectly ripe fruit bruises very easily.) So how can you be sure when it's the perfect time to bite into some of our more popular fruits? Well, there are some guidelines to follow and here're a few tips.


EAT THESE FRUTS RIGHT AWAY: Berries, cherries, watermelon, citrus fruits, pineapple and grapes. These fruits are typically picked and sold when they're fully ripe. In general, they should smell sweet before you buy them and you should pass on those that don't. (They won't ripen at home.) You should refrigerate or eat these fruits as soon as possible.


WAIT ON THESE FRUITS: Nectarines, peaches, plums, cantaloupes, figs, avocados and tomatoes. (They will ripen better at home but will not sweeten.) Ripen these fruits at room temperature until they become fragrant. You can also store them in a paper bag to help speed the ripening process. Refrigerate these fruits only if they are on the verge of spoiling. (Don't waste the money you've spent!) And by the way, you should never chill tomatoes.


WAIT ON THESE FRUITS, TOO. (Unlike the ones in the previous category, they will ripen AND sweeten at home.) In this group, you'll find: bananas, pears, mangoes, papayas, and kiwi fruit. Store them at room temperature for them to ripen and get sweeter. By the way, that little trick with the paper bag works on them, too. You should refrigerate the fruits in this category only if they become vey soft and may be on the verge of spoiling.

I talked about the salads of summer a couple of weeks ago but the fruits of summer are something I always look forward to this time of year. Follow my tips to keep them fresh, tasty and at their flavor peak for as long as possible once you bring them home. Fresh fruits are packed with vitamins, minerals and some of them are loaded with those powerful antioxidants our bodies love and need. Hey, all that and...they taste so good, too!


So whatta you having for a snack today? Well, I hope your snack plans include a selection or two from Mother Nature's healthy bounty of sweet and JUICY FRUITS!


Have a slice of watermelon for me today!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/9/14 8:48 P

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FALLEN?

Wednesday, 09 July 2014


And you can't get up? Oh, I know you've all seen those ads on TV for one of those medical-alert systems that can help people who really may be in that terrible situation. It's become a bit of a catchphrase and that company even trademarked the phrase. But, if you're a person who lives alone, getting up in the years or may face any number of medical issues, is one of those medical-alert systems right for you or a loved one? The makers of these systems, and there are a number of them, promise that their products will come to the rescue, whether you've fallen and can't get up or even if you're experiencing symptoms of a seizure, heart atack or stroke. Lots of people are heeding the call. The proof is that sales for medical-alert devices are growing fast.

These systems were introduced back in the 70s as simple push-button devices worn around the neck. When the wearer faced a medical emergency, she could summon help by pushing a button on the device which signaled a based station, connected to the caller's home phone line. That process would alert a call-center operator whose job was to call for emergency help. Admittedly, it sounds like a great idea for those people who might need this kind of assistance. So, who needs one of these devices?


Most buyers purchase them for an aging parent who lives alone so they can summon medical help on their own, when needed. That parent or loved one might be at a heightened risk for falls as a result of poor vision or even memory changes. The system may also be useful in situations where a person may not need emergency help, (like for an ambulance to be called), but does need someone to come to their aid. Maybe there's someone in your family who needs a medical alert device? Well, if you're thinking about one, there are some things for you to consider before buying one.


First, be sure the device you choose is appropriate for the user. For example, a stroke survivor may need one that can be activated using only one hand. Decide which is more appropriate, one worn around the neck or on the wrist? Also, think about one that can be wall-mounted near the floor in a number of rooms in the house. (That's in case the person falls and may not be wearing the device when they do.) It should offer multiple choices of who to contact when the wearer has an emergency. (The people on that list can include relatives or a trusted friend.) The system should also have a back-up battery, in case of a power failure in the home. The company you purchase from should have its own monitoring system instead of contracting the service out to someone else. And by the way, their monitoring center should be certified by UL, Underwriter's Laboratory. You've seen their big UL initials on a number of electrical products around your house. (Very important for an electronic device that has such a vital job to do.)


Hopefully, you won't find yourself in a situation anytime soon where you need a medical-alert device. But maybe you have a loved one who does. In any event, follow these guidelines to make sure you're getting the best, most reliable device possible. Because I sure don't want to see you or someone you love falling at home, alone...and not able to get up. Be safe, not sorry!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/8/14 9:01 P

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WALLET-AID

Tuesday, 08 July 2014

Or Purse-Aid! Okay, I'm talking about AID for that ATM account of yours when you visit your favorite local pharmacy! We Americans spend billions of dollars every year at the drugstore. And saving money there should be as much a priority for you as saving money when you go to the supermarket. Of course, much of the money spent at pharmacies is for prescription drugs you can't buy off the shelf, like you would a gallon of milk. Americans who take doctor-prescribed medications shell out, on average, $733 annually for prescription drugs. Hey, that's a big chunk of anyone's budget. And that's not even considering the money we spend each year on over-the-counter drugs. But let me give you a few ideas on how to cut your losses when you visit your local CVS or Walgreen's.

For one thing, if you're taking a prescription medicine, opt for the generic brand, when possible, They're just as good as their brand-name counterparts you see advertised on TV so often. A long list of big-name drugs will see their patents expire soon. When that happens, the U.S, Food & Drug Administration allows those same medications to be sold by other drug companies and usually for a lot less money! Switching to the generic version of a drug can save you up to half-off the retail price and even more, the further away it is from the other drug company's patent expiration date. Ask your doctor if any drug you're taking is available in generic form. If it is, ask her to write your prescription for the generic drug.

If you're headed to the drugstore to pick up, say, an over-the-counter pain, cold, flu or any medication available without a prescription, take a little detour and head for one of the big-box stores like Walmart, Kirkland's, Target or Costco. Their prices are almost always considerably lower. By the way, even at the big drugstore chains, you can find deals if you keep an eye out for sales, store coupons in your local newspaper or, if the store has one, by joining their shopper "loyalty" program.

And, where ever you shop, try to buy the store brand of other healthcare products. Store brands of many personal-care products, like bandages, lotions and even dental floss are usually as good as the nationally advertised brands that cost a lot more money. Those store brand products got high marks, according to a shopper's survey conducted by Consumer Reports magazine. And the best news is, besides their quality, you're saving money buying them, too! I'm talking as much as a 25% savings and I'd say that's a nice little chunk of money to keep in your pocket! One other thing, you may notice more independently owned pharmacies showing up where you live. They often make a special effort to offer lower prices than the big chains. If there's one near you, check 'em out!


So, I've given you a little, uh RIGHT-aid on how to save money when you need to make a drugstore run. I do hope those visits are few and far between because that would mean you're feeling pretty good these days. It's just one more reason to eat the right foods, in the right-size portions and to make exercise a daily part of your life. Hey, you'll need a lot less help from the drugstore if you work hard everyday giving that body of yours the right-AID it needs...by taking good care of yourself!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/7/14 10:27 P

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THE ARTIST

Monday, 07 July 2014

How many of you know, when I was in school at Florida State University, that I was an art major? In fact, one of the most rewarding years in my life was spent in Florence, Italy were I also studied art. Okay, so I may have ended up taking a slightly different route than say, Da Vinci or Michelangelo. But hey, there's still an artist inside me. Of course, my new mission involves inspiring you to take better care of the work of art God created when he made all of us. That began with myself, over 40 years ago, losing more than 100 pounds, then helping others achieve the goal of making their lives healthier by losing weight. I thank God for laying that mission on my heart...for so many reasons. But do you know what the greatest reward has been for me in this mission of mine? Easy. It's the literally thousands of people I've met and who've become my friends over all of these years. And one of those dear friends just happened to be...an artist. His name is Frank Cummings.

One of the ways I've gotten to make new friends over the years is through my many travels. Years ago, one of my trips took me to the woodsy and hilly city of Birmingham, Alabama. I was there for a personal appearance at their convention center and my road-trips always involved going in a day early to do local media, inviting people out to come join me at my big aerobics show. At one radio station stop, I met a young man who worked at an office in the same building as the station. He and I struck up a conversation after the show and I asked what he did for a living. Turns out, Frank was an artist and even had a local humor magazine there in Birmingham called JAB magazine. He gave me a few copies to take with me.

On the drive to our next stop, I thumbed through the pages of JAB and, I must admit, Frank had what can best be described as a wild sense of humor. Think of JAB as Mad magazine...on steroids! LOL. But what impressed me most about the magazine was the quality of its artwork...all done by Frank. Oh, this guy's work was amazing and it was the beginning of a great friendship. As soon as I got back to Los Angeles, I pulled Frank's business card from my wallet and gave him a call. "Frank," I said to him, "your work is incredible and I'm wondering if you'd be willing to work on a couple of projects for me?" Frank was flattered, said yes to my offer and I was so excited to add his kind of talent to my team.


Frank was the illustrator for my newsletter back in the 1990s, Richard Simmons & Friends. He also did the illustrations for the "textbook" binders we used on my Cruises To Lose. And, in fact, many of the illustrations you see of me right here on my web site? They're all done by my dear friend, Frank Cummings. Several years ago, someone else recognized Frank's talent and I know you're familiar with them. It's a company called King Features and they're the people who bring us the iconic daily comic-strip, Blondie. (It was one of my mother's favorites!) Frank's new job? Well, every time you read a Blondie comic strip in your daily newspaper, you're looking at Frank's work. He became the strip's daily illustrator. (See, I told you my friend was talented!)

Earlier this year, I got the very sad and distressing news that Frank had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer and last week, my dear friend lost his battle with this horrible disease. That news has been very upsetting for all of the wonderful people who know Frank as a son, a husband, a brother and, like me, as a friend. I'm telling you, if you had Frank Cummings as a friend then you were truly blessed because...you had a friend, indeed. I don't think I've ever met a more easy-going, laid-back, loyal and devoted friend, not to mention a guy who loved to laugh, as much as Frank. This sometimes mean-old world of ours lost one of the genuinely good guys when we lost him.

Today, Frank has joined my parents and his own dad who are already in Heaven. (I'm betting they'll have some stories to share about both of us! LOL.) My mother never got to meet him but I know she'll walk right up to him and say, "Frank, baby," (Shirley liked to call you "baby"), "thank you so much for that beautiful portrait you painted of me!" You see, Frank did a painting of Shirley and presented it to me as a Christmas present years ago. Shirley never got to see it while she was here on earth but I know she can see it from Heaven, hanging in my home to this very day. And now, everyday I look at that painting of her, not only will I think of my mother, but I'll think of the incredible artist who made it possible, my dear friend, Frank Cummings.


We miss you so much, Frank. Immediately.


Love,


RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/5/14 1:42 P

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THANK YOU FOR NOT SMOKING

Saturday, 05 July 2014


I'm not talking about those signs in public places that are kindly letting you know that smoking is not allowed in their establishments. (Although I'm happy to see more of them going up in just about any public place you visit these days.) The good news is that lots of cities are making smoking illegal in many public places. So, when they "thank you" for not smoking, they mean it! And if you were to do it anyway, in some cities, you'd be breaking the law. Oh my! But today, I'm not talking about the businesses that thank you for not smoking. When you don't smoke, you're getting another kind of thank you. That thank you would be coming from your heart and it wants you to stop smoking...period!


With all of the bad news about what smoking does to your health, it's amazing to me that so many millions Americans continue to smoke. WHY? Don't they know that smoking more than doubles their risk for heart disease and stroke? See, the nicotine in cigarettes forces your heart to work harder, in part by speeding up your heart rate and raising your blood pressure. Smoking also damages your body's circulatory system, leading to hardened arteries and blood clots, which then increases the risk for heart attacks and strokes. If you smoke or know someone who does, it is possible to kick the habit. And you don't need one of those new-fangled E-cigarettes to do it, either. (All the tests aren't in on how safe they are, by the way.) Now, here are some steps that may help you beat the smoking habit.



First, choose a date to stop smoking. Before that date, try cutting back on the number of cigarettes you light up each day. Smoke only half the cigarette then put the rest of it out. Tell your family and friends that you're giving up smoking, too and ask for their support. (That team effort will help you.) Once the quit-date you set for yourself arrives, toss out all of your remaining cigarettes and, while you're at it, throw away those ashtrays and cigarette lighters, too. (It's a way of remind yourself that you're serious!)



Find substitutes for the smoking habit and vary your daily routine. Talk to a friend or go for a walk when you have the urge to smoke. Take your mind off those cigarettes! Some smokers say that lighting up a cigarette helps them beat stress. (I wouldn't know how true that is, since I've never smoked.) But you should find others ways to reduce the stress in your life. For instance, try a little meditation, take a hot shower or bath or there's that one stress-buster I love...exercise! (It's a proven stress-reliever.) I'd even rather see you pop a piece of sugar-free gum into your mouth if it means not putting another one of those harmful cigarettes between your lips!


And oh, yes, be prepared for slip-ups. Most, but not all smokers light up again within three months of quitting. Remind yourself that many people try several times to quit smoking before they're finally able to quit for good. (Hmmm, sounds like another challenge we're all familiar with, right? Losing weight!) But, just like with weight-loss, successfully kicking the smoking habit requires determination and consistency on your part. Just like you can't let those slip-ups with your weight-loss efforts force you into giving up the fight, the same goes for kicking the smoking habit. You've just got to keep the fight going and never give up.



When you do give up the smoking habit, you're going to breath better, feel better, be healthier and the next time you see a sign that says, Thank You For Not Smoking, you'll know that your heart is thanking you, too!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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7/2/14 4:55 P

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WHAT A CROCK!

Wednesday, 02 July 2014


Why does everything have to be done so FAST these days? I mean, it's like we want it and we want it...NOW! But ya' know, there's something to be said for getting some things done...slow! As in SLOW-COOKING. Which brings me to a kitchen appliance that became all the rage back in the early 70s, the CROCK POT. (Do you have one?) Oh, I know, every kitchen has a microwave oven these days. The microwave used to be more of a kitchen luxury item but today, it's more like a necessity, isn't it? In fact, foods prepared in the microwave have helped develop a whole new line of products in the supermarket, many of them, (I'm sorry to say), are highly-processed and not so good for you. But in the meantime, we've all but forgotten what a wonderful tool that old Crock-Pot can be. Only today, they're more commonly know as slow-cookers.


They started out as pretty basic little kitchen appliances. Foods were placed inside the Crock-Pot's shell or "crock," (that's where it got its name) and cooked v-e-r-r-r-y slowly! The secret was how long it took those foods to cook and get hot. But that really was the appeal of using this new appliance. You could put your meats, vegetables and seasonings into the Crock-Pot, set it and leave the house for hours while the food slowly cooked, knowing your meal wouldn't burn while you were away. (Such a handy little device.) But the best part is what that slow-cooking process did for the food's flavors. That long time at very low heat gave the flavors time to "marry" and by the time you got home from work or any place else you may have been all day, you'd have a hot scrumptious, hot meal waiting for you. Oh, the ease!


Today, the slow cooking Crock-Pot, like everything else these days, has gone all high-tech on us. They now include handy little features like self-stirrers, digital timers, smart-cooking functions and other sophisticated settings. (They make those original Crock-Pots look downright ancient.) I hear they're even working on a version that can be operated wirelessly with a smart phone or other wireless device. Oh, my...sounds like something you'd find in Jane Jetson's kitchen! LOL.


Those new technological gimmicks sound great but the basic concept of how the Crock-Pot works remains basically the same. It cooks your foods slowly, all day, even while you're out of the house for work or play. It does wonders for the taste of your foods and because the cooking process is so slow, it's also allowing them to keep many of their vitamins and minerals. If you don't have a slow-cooker in your kitchen, I'd suggest you get one. They're a great way to free yourself from spending all day in the kitchen. And if your goal is to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, you can cook up some delicious low-calorie, flavorful meals, even when you're not in the kitchen. (Hey, you can use that extra time to get your workouts in!)

Don't have one? Well, the next time you're at Target, Walmart, Kohl's or any other department store, maybe it's time you rediscovered the Crock-Pot. They're not very expensive and I think they're a kitchen appliance that'll add a lot of JOY to your cooking. Okay, so you can't throw a pack of microwave popcorn into one but if you want a delicious, healthy meal for you and your family, the Crock-Pot is just what your kitchen needs. And that's no crock!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/30/14 10:45 P

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IT'S WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW...

Monday, 30 June 2014


That can hurt you! And I'm sure you've all heard that expression before. But a story I saw on the evening news a few weeks ago really brought the point home for me and...it was kinda scary. (Maybe I should stop watching the news so much!) But here's the thing. The report was all about the growing occurrence of diabetes in America's population. And I've gotta tell you, the numbers were a little staggering.


According to the news story, today, an estimated 29,000,000 Americans are diabetec. That's roughly 10% of the U.S. population. But the really scary part is this: out of that huge number of people with diabetes, a full quarter of them are not even aware they have it! Think about it. That means of the nearly 30 million people with diabetes, about 8 million of them don't know they have the disease. That's the scary part I was talking about.


Included in the report was a story about a middle-aged lady, concerned about why she was having to use the bathroom so often. She also found herself much thirstier than usual, plus she was always tired. She finally decided to visit her doctor and that's when she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. You see, frequent visits to the bathroom, excessive thirst and general fatigue are all common symptons of diabetes. If any of them have become issues for you lately, then I'd highly suggest you see your doctor as soon as possible.


In one of my recent daily messages, I discussed the complications diabetes can cause, including heart disease. But the list of problems associated with having type 2 diabetes also include vision problems, amputations and even death. So, as you can see, if you have diabetes and aren't aware of it, that can be very dangerous for your health. Obesity, of course, is a major risk factor for getting diabetes and that risk increases even more if you're overweight or obese and diabetes runs in your family.

I've told you before, lifestyle changes are so important for reducing your risk of getting diabetes. And, if you already have it, those same lifestyle changes can help you control your diabetes, too. Those changes include making sure you're eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise everyday. But for now, I don't want you to be among those millions of Americans living with diabetes who aren't aware they have it. Hey, it's the living part I'm worried about. Because, if you want to live a longer life, you've got to take good care of yourself. And, like I said, if you're unaware that you have diabetes, it's one surefire situation where what you don't know...can hurt you!


Don't be in the dark about diabetes. If you have any of the warning signs I mentioned, please...schedule an appointment to see your doctor!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/28/14 10:47 A

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BARBECUE...SAFELY!

Saturday, 28 June 2014


Ahhh, it's one of the tastiest traditions of summer, the good old-fashioned barbecue! And, next Friday is, (I've got to believe), the biggest barbecue day of the year: July 4th! So, are you ready for some barbecue, America?

I have a fabulous gas grill out back. (No, not the steakhouse chain. LOL). And, mmmm, I like nothing better than some barbecue chicken drumettes or fire-roasted corn-on-the-cob prepared on the grill...yum, yum! Next Friday, I'm betting you'll be getting plenty of whiffs of barbecue smoke from your neighbor's yards and from yours. And the good news is, it's not fried, either! Yep, it'll be time to fire up those grills! BUT...I want you to do it safely!


Who has the barbecue duties at your home? Is it your husband? Or hey, maybe some of you ladies can grill up a good burger all by herself. (Take that, you guys! LOL.) But, whoever has the grill duties this year, I want you to be safe with the meats you cook out there in the back yard. Here are some tips for you to follow.


For one, choose the right meat. The Culinary Institute of America, (boy, don't they sound important, LOL), recommends lean and tender cuts of meat. They are easiest to heat evenly, (that's important), and includes cuts like filet mignon, strip steaks, chicken, pork tenderloin and fish like salmon or scallops. (Sounds like something for every budget!)


Before you begin cooking, prep the grill. Use a stainless-steel stiff-wire brush to clean both sides of the grates while they're hot. By the way, you shouldn't use chemical solutions to clean your grills. They may leave behind residue that can cause smoke and even affect the taste of your meats. Next, use tongs to drag a paper towel moistened with salted water over the grates to remove any old char that may be stuck on them from your last barbecue.


Once you begin cooking, be sure to control the flame. A slightly charred piece of meat may actually be kinda tasty but you've got to be careful not to overdo it. Heavily charred meats can expose you to potentially cancer-causing compounds which are made much worse by high heat. Trimming visible fat and coating your meats with a marinade before cooking them can help. By the way, the risk is low of getting those compounds onto your meats but I say why take chances? Do avoid those flare-ups on your grill because they can be a fire hazard, too.


Before serving your meats, be sure to check for doneness. Use a meat thermometer to make sure your meats have reached a sufficient internal temperature so as to kill any harmful bacteria. That's a least 145 degrees for steaks, roasts, chops and fish. An internal temp of 160 degrees is best for ground beef and pork. For poultry, aim for 165 degrees.


After your meats are done, dish them up promptly. Serve hot foods right away and keep your cold dishes, those pasta, potato or mixed greens salads in the fridge until you're ready to serve them. Do not leave them outside on the table while your meats are cooking. You're just asking for trouble when you do. (What, are you inviting the flies over for your barbecue, too? LOL.) Keep in mind, salads can begin to spoil in as little as an hour when they're left out in the sun, whether they're covered or not.


Clean up time! Never reuse a marinade that held raw meat as a sauce. It may sound like a good idea but can invite bacteria. And please don't place cooked foods on a plate that was used before to hold raw meats, another invitation for harmful bacteria to grow. Our mothers always told us to wash our hands before dinner. Well, the same is true as you're cooking dinner or preparing that barbecue feast. Wash your hands often and wash them any time after you've touched raw meat.


I want you to have a good time at those family barbecues next Friday but I want you to have a safe time outdoors, too. So, get those grills fired up and be sure to barbecue safely!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/27/14 12:06 P

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MEEP, MEEP!

Friday, 27 June 2014


Okay, who's old enough to remember that little sound, huh? Oh, come on...you know what it is! It's that sound the Roadrunner would make every time he took off and escaped from his constant pursuer, Wild E. Coyote! LOL. I'm sure most of you remember that pair from the cartoons we used to watch every Saturday morning when we were kids We may have laughed out loud at the weekly chases those two got into but there was one thing you could count on every Saturday morning, that dart-like Roadrunner was gonna get away...every time! (Now, admit it, didn't we want poor-old Wild E. to catch the Roadrunner, at least once! LOL.)

I was thinking about those old Roadrunner cartoons this morning as I was reading my E-mails. See, it seems like some of the people who write me have turned their own weight-loss dreams into "the Roadrunner." And that makes their efforts to reach those dreams turn into Wild E. Coyote. And hey, there's nothing funny about that! They try and try to reach their goals of losing weight but it seems, with every effort, their dreams, (played by the Roadrunner), find a way to give them the slip. Has it happened to you? Well, WHY?


I first have to ask, is the food smarter than you? Does it play tricks on you? Hey, it's definitely not "smarter" but food does have its long list of tricks. Like making you feel "hungry" when you're really not. (It's called eating out of habit.) Or when you sit down to watch a little TV but you've got to have a family-sized bag of potato chips and a can of Dr. Pepper on the coffee table when you do. (Habit again.) Or how's about when you're at the supermarket and find yourself tempted to try those new watermelon-flavored Oreo Cookies you've been hearing so much about. Gotta try 'em, huh? (Oh, oh. Sounds like that Roadrunner is about to escape you again!)


Hey, you gotta give it to our little fine-feathered friend. Maybe he's so fast because he keeps that body of his...moving! And how about your body? When you're chasing your weight-loss goal, (your Roadrunner), how much are you doing to get that body of yours moving? To be as quick as the Roadrunner and to outsmart that food, you've got to make exercise an important part of your daily weight-loss plan! Exercise not only burns those calories but it helps keep your mind sharp. focused and ready to outwit the temptations that food puts in your face, almost everyday. Hey, nothing keeps you more motivated than seeing those nmbers on your scale going down. And you've got to be QUICK to outwit those foods and the calories that come with them! Think of those workouts as the ACME ammunition that's gonna help you reach your goal! (Remember? Those Roadrunner cartoons just loved the Acme brand! LOL.)

So, are you ready? Aren't you tired of seeing your own Roadrunner escape? Aren't you tired of starting and stopping your weight-loss efforts, over-and-over again? Well, this is NOT a cartoon! This is your good health we're talking about here. And if you're gonna finally catch that Roadrunner, if you're going to finally make your weight-loss dream come true, then you've got some "running" of your own to do! Yes, you can reach your goal.


The Roadrunner may have gotten away every Saturday morning but don't let that happen anymore for you when it comes to making your weight-loss dream come true! LOOK! There he goes! Ready, set...GO! Get after your "Roadrunner" and, this time...CATCH HIM!


MEEP. MEEP!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/26/14 10:20 P

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BUG...OFF!

Thursday, 26 June 2014


Yesterday, I talked about those nasty little accidents that are more common in the summer months. But now that summer is here, looks like you can forget all about winter's flu or cold "bugs" that like to latch on to many of us during those cold months. Of course, there are summer colds or flu to contend with, too. But this time of year, the kind of bugs you have to worry about most are those that bite...SMACK! (Did you get 'em? LOL.)


Those summer time bugs, like mosquitos, can do more than ruin our afternoons spent outside. More dangerously, they can also transmit the West Nile virus. Then there are those pesky-old ticks that get so busy this time of year latching on to your pets. But ticks can also carry the risk of Lyme disease, for you. Either of those diseases can cause nasty aches & pains and in rare cases, for more sensitive people, even death. So, besides insect repellant, how else can you protect yourself this summer? I've got some suggestions for those of you who enjoy being outside this time of year but who don't like those bugs.


For one, avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes. Hey, I know some of you want to show off those slimmer bodies you've worked so hard to get since last summer. (Hooray for you!) But mosquitoes like to see you in those tighter, more form-fitting outfits, too. It's because their little stingers can penetrate that skin-close clothing more easily. Avoid dark clothes this summer season, too because ticks can more easily hide in and on them, without your noticing the little critters. Also, tone down the more potent fragrances you may wear this time of year. Insects like those sweet fragrances, too and you're just inviting them to visit and bite!


Stay inside as often as you can during the peak hours mosquitoes are most active. Those times are sunrise, sunset and early evening. And when you're sitting outside during those hours, keep a fan plugged in, blowing in your direction to blow those mosquitoes away. (Thankfully, they're lightweights! LOL.)


When you're headed out for a walk or hike in a woody grassy area, tuck your pants into your socks, wear boots, (if possible), and tuck your hair into a hat. As soon as you get home, take the time to examine your skin for ticks that may have come home with you and on you. Then take a shower and toss your clothes into the dryer where the heat can kill any bugs that may have sneaked onto and stayed on your clothing.


If you need an insect repellant, try a plant-based brand. Repel Lemon Eucalyptus is an excellent choice. OFF Family-Care Smooth & Dry spray is another good choice. Apply repellants when you're outdoors and use them only on clothing or exposed skin. (Do not apply them underneath your clothes.) And by the way, be sure to wash those clothes you've worn that may have insect repellant on them before wearing them again.


Okay, ready to enjoy the hot, humid days of summer? (If you'd grown up in New Orleans, like me, you'd know exactly what I'm talking about. LOL.) Just don't let the bugs of summer BUG YOU during these hot months. Use my precautions and you'll be able to tell those nasty-old pests of summer to...BUG OFF!


Love,


RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/25/14 9:51 P

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CAREFUL OUT THERE!

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Now that we're into full-swing with summer, that means you and your family members are probably spending more time outdoors. And hopefully being more active, too! But what else do you get when you combine all of that time outdoors with those sunny skies and more free time? Lot of FUN, sure but...at the same time, many of us are probably more likely to suffer some of the little physical mishaps that come along with all of that summertime fun. That's why I want you to be extra careful out there and be prepared for the little accidents that are so common this time of year.

How well is your medicine cabinet stocked for the summer? Do you have a summertime first-aid kit on hand with a fresh supply of bandages, insect repellant, alcohol and iodine? You never know when you, a member of your family or a friend will suffer one of those little accidents and needs some at-home treatment right away.

Mosquitos are a big problem this time of year. The last thing you want to do is constantly scratch any bug bite. When you do, you run the risk of breaking the skin allowing bacteria from the environment or even your fingernail to lead to an infection. Keep the bite clean by washing it twice a day with soap and water and resist that temptation to scratch it. (By the way, I'll have more about bug bites in tomorrow's message.)

Get a little knife cut slicing that watermelon? (Ouch!) Resist the instinct to rinse the cut under running water right away. Washing any cut that may still be bleeding runs the risk of flushing away natural and important clotting agents in the blood and that can actually make the bleeding worse. Instead, reach for a gauze pad or clean towel and apply pressure to the gash for about ten minutes. This will help stop the bleeding stop and you can then apply a clean bandage.

Should you let that cut "air out?" (Lots of people believe it to be true.) But wounds usually heal best in a clean, moist environment. Open, uncovered wounds are at risk for infection and scarring when compared to clean, covered wounds. Just be sure to change that bandage everyday until your cut heals. The time for a wound to heal varies but five days time is about average.

Touched that grill when it was too hot and got yourself a nasty burn? (Don't you just hate that?) Well, don't run for the ice cubes! Burned skin is fragile and the extreme cold of that ice can actually make the injury worse. Run cool water over the cut for about 10-15 minutes to stop the burning process. (That may seem like a long time but cool water will help keep the burn from reaching deeper tissue in your skin.) It'll help reduce pain and swelling while reducing the risk of your skin scarring, too.


Hey, I sure want you to have fun this summer. But be ready for those little accidents that can plaque us this time of year. Have yourself a good time during these summer months but, like I said, please...be careful out there!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/24/14 8:30 P

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Sorry I missed a day or two, got busy with life.


THAT QUESTION YOU LOVE TO HEAR!

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

HAVE YOU LOST WEIGHT? So, was I right? Oh, go on and admit it's true, that is a question you just love to hear, isn't it? That is, if you've been working hard to lose weight! I mean, just think about it. For a couple of months, you've been staying true to your FoodMover program or whichever nutritionally balanced food program you may be on. Seven days a week, you've been devoting an hour to getting your workouts in. You've been feeling good about your efforts and that hard work is even showing off in your attitude. But the real moment of truth comes when you weigh yourself and, right there on your scale, you can see the results of your hard work. Yep, you are losing weight!

You stand in front of the mirror admiring the front view of yourself. (Pretty cute, huh?) Then you turn to get the side view and, lo-and-behold. you really are looking slimmer! Ready to start your day, you put on that favorite pair of jeans and aren't you thrilled to notice they're getting a little big and lose on you!? A smile sweeps across your face as you finish getting dressed then head for work, school or just out to run some errands. While you're out getting things done, you run into your friend, Evelyn, who you haven't seen in weeks. The two of you start a little conversation and you notice how she keeps giving you this slightly puzzled look. She finally has to ask, "Have you lost weight?"

Now you've got another reason to smile! Because not only have you noticed the changes in your body but now, you've got confirmation from a "second party." The people you know are noticing, too! Oh, what a feeling! I have to say, when I've lost weight in the past and people notice, there's no question I like to hear better. And I'm betting you're on the same page with me on how good it feels to be asked if you've lost weight. I have to add, for instance when I teach class at Slimmons and I can see that one of my students is successfully dropping those pounds, I love "popping the question" to them, LOL! That smile I get from them makes me feel good, too as I encourage them to keep fighting, to keep up the good work and to never give up until they reach their goals.

Are you working faithfully on reaching for your own weight-loss goal? Even on those days where you may get a little discouraged or if your rate of weight-loss slows down because you've reached a plateau, you must not give up the fight. Successful weight-loss is a fight that means you've got to work at it everyday. Sometimes your body is making adjustments as you work to lose the weight and you may be losing inches instead of pounds. But if you stay on program and if you don't cheat yourself, those numbers on your scales will start moving down again. Slow and steady wins this race but you've got to be consistent at it...everyday.

Yes you can lose all of the weight you want and need to lose. But remember, this is a 24/7 job. Remember, you're doing something for your body that's nothing short of miraculous! And, if you keep that attitude of yours locked in I can do it and keep the fight going, then that day will come when someone pops the question to you.


HAVE YOU LOST WEIGHT? (Don't you just love it?) And, by the way...



I LOVE YOU!


RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/23/14 10:17 A

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Thanks for bringing us Richards message!

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6/21/14 12:23 P

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FORK

Saturday, 21 June 2014



Well, it has to have a history, right? I mean, have you ever wondered where the whole idea of the fork came from? Did The Flintstones have them already? Hmmm, I wonder if Wilma Flintstone made forks out of old fish bones or something? Hey, she and Fred were pretty creative, ya know! LOL. But okay, I'm getting off the subject here, aren't I?


I saw an interesting article in National Geographic magazine about the fork. (Thanks to my brother, Lenny, for getting me that subscription for Christmas years ago. I just love it!) Well, according to National Geographic, the earliest fork may have been when the ancient Romans used metal spikes to dig out snails! (Eewww, I'll bet they'd never carry those at Tiffany's! LOL.) But the more traditional fork, as we know it today, didn't begin appearing until about the 17th century. After that, things took off and forks began to get really fancy.


In the gilded, aristocratic age of the late 19th century, flatware sets might include up to 30 types of forks! My goodness, how would you know which ones to use? LOL. They had separate, dedicated forks for shrimp, sardines, lobster, scallops and even oysters. (Hey, they must have been eating a lot of New Orleans-style seafood back then. LOL.) Americans got really fork crazy back in the old days. In fact, years ago, a person's collection of forks was almost like a status symbol. I guess it meant you served an amazing array of foods at home because your family had so much money. (Well!)


How many types of forks can you name? There're a lot of them! Lemme see if I can rattle off a few...the cocktail fork, the shrimp fork, the old oyster fork, (specially designed for plucking oysters from their shells), the serving fork and did you know there's even a fish fork? It can also be used for salads. (Who knew?)

Seems when it comes to forks, we've come a long way, baby. Those cave men may have had to use only their hands as "forks" when they sat down for dinner but we're much more civilized now, thank you. Now I can't imagine anybody's home having over 30 types of forks in the kitchen these days but, whatever your fork collection looks like, there's one important thing to remember. Every time that fork goes from a plate filled with food to your mouth, here comes the calories, too! I wonder how many calories the average person can fit onto one fork-full of food? (I'm sure I must have broken a record when I was still overweight!)


But really, that's not the problem. The problem is how many times that fork goes from the plate to your mouth! Think about that the next time you sit down for a meal. Put your fork down between bites. Take the time to chew and enjoy your meals. Hey, eating is a pleasure and I say don't rush it! You're not in a race with anyone to see how much food you can put into your mouth at one time!


When it comes to how much you eat and how much you weigh and if your goal is to lose weight, before that next fork-full of some casserole reaches your mouth, I want you to remind yourself...the fork stops here!



Love,
RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/19/14 6:56 P

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DON'T BE A FRY-BABY!

Thursday, 19 June 2014


And yes, that means you! Oh, we Americans just love to fry our foods, don't we? I mean, who can resist a plate of southern-fried chicken? (My friends back home in Louisiana know what I'm talking about. LOL.) Or a plate filled with golden French fries? Or, (as was the case when I was growing up in New Orleans), I'd wrestle you to the ground for that last battered, deep- fried shrimp! LOL. But I don't have to tell you about the downside of eating a lot of fried foods, do I? And that is, if you eat too much of the fried stuff, you're sure not going to be seeing those numbers going down...on your scales. But hey, who didn't know that, right? The extra pounds I gained eating all of those deep-fried shrimp and oysters back home is proof of that!

If your goal is to lose weight, then you can't be a Fry-Baby. (Didn't there used to be a small kitchen appliance with that name, along with its "father," the Fry-Daddy?) Cute names, but there's nothing cute about what all of those fried foods are doing to your body and your health! Still, Americans fry too many of their foods at home and, to make it worse, fast food restaurants have built a whole industry out of fried foods with all of their other fattening fare. Who needs all that? Well, you don't!

Frying immediately adds lots of fat and calories to any of the foods you cook. But along with all that fat, frying is also increasing the amount of bad LDL cholesterol in your body and can lead to high blood pressure, a stroke or heart problems. Honestly, I can't tolerate fried foods like I could when I was a kid, thank goodness! But I've also learned that my foods can be every bit as flavorful, if not more so, if I ditch that frying pan and try cooking in a number of healthier ways.

I've talked about them before and I hope some of you have tried baking, roasting, stir-frying or steaming your foods. And when you find yourself eating out at a restaurant, skip the fried items on the menu. Instead of fried fish or chicken, try them grilled or baked. (I love meats that have been cooked on the grill.) If the dish you want to order is usually served with French fries, tell your server that you'd prefer rice, steamed vegetables or a baked potato. Just be sure not to load that potato down with butter and/or sour cream! (Kinda defeats the purpose, doesn't it?)

I've told you before but can't stress enough how important a low-fat diet is to your good health. For one thing, it can greatly reduce your risk of getting heart disease and is also a guaranteed way to keep your daily calorie consumption down, helping you to lose weight. Remember, there are other ways to prepare your foods other than dropping them into a skillet full of hot grease. (By the way, I've learned to stop fighting people over that plate of fried shrimp! LOL.) Get on board with me and try healthier ways of preparing your meats and vegetables. Because I really don't want you to be a Fry-Baby. OR...a Fry-Daddy or a Fry-Mamma or a...

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/18/14 8:33 P

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I WANNA PUT ON...

Wednesday, 18 June 2014


My, my, my, my boogie shoes! Or my aerobic shoes, or my walking shoes or, whatever kind of shoes they are, I just want them to be...comfortable! A recent study from the Institute for Preventive Foot Health found that 78% of adults have experienced foot problems at one time or another. And, know what else? More often than not, the source of the problem is...ill-fitting shoes. Ouch!

The biggest shoe mistake most often turns out to be shoes that are too tight, too high-heeled or even too floppy for us. (Does that sound like any of the shoes that may be in your closet right now?) If so, then you have a problem that should be fairly easy to fix. See, the most common problem is choosing the wrong size shoe when you buy a new pair. In fact, one study that actually measured people's feet found that fully one-third of them were wearing shoes that were either a half-size too small or too large. At first, especially in the case of shoes that were too small, I thought vanity might be an issue. There's no way I wear a size 10, I've always worn a 9 1/2. But hold it!

Your shoe size can actually change as you age. As we get older, the soles of our feet lose padding. Plus, ligaments and tendons may lose elasticity and begin to lengthen. Weight gain or pregnancy can also cause your feet to widen, pushing you up a whole size or more. Experts have estimated that people over the age of 40 can actually gain half a shoe size every ten years or so. (Oh, my! I'd better check mine! LOL.) But even if the shoes fit, they can still hurt you. That's because certain styles of shoes are more problematic than others. For instance...

Shoes with small or pointy toe boxes. They force your big toe inward, not leaving enough room for your other toes. (Sounds kinda rude of that big toe, huh? LOL.) This problem can also lead to painful hammer toes. Then there're those high heels...oh, my! They may be perfect for an elegant night out on the town but can cause the Achilles tendon to contract and shorten leading to painful spots on the ball of the foot. Shoes that are too thin are another problem. Ballet flats and other shoes with very little padding can also lead to painful balls on your feet.

To make sure yours are well, HAPPY FEET, there are some basic rules for you to follow when buying new shoes. Beware of shoes with narrow toe boxes, all of your toes need that room. Be especially careful when buying shoes online, too. The problem there is you can't try the shoes on until the UPS guy brings them to your house. (If they're not comfortable, return them and buy them in another size.) Go low with those heels, too! I mean be careful with the sexy Marilyn Monroe look. Stick to heels that are 2 1/2 inches or lower. And if you've just got to be the movie star one night in really high heels, wear your slippers on the way there. Bring those sexy high-heels in a bag, put them on to wear for the event only, then take them off just as soon as you get back into the car!


So, go ahead, put on your boogie shoes. Just make sure those pumps, high-heels, sneakers, loafers or even those summer sandals make your feet...HAPPY!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/17/14 10:42 P

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MISS MANNERS

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

My mother, Shirley, made teaching proper manners in public very important to me and my brother, Lenny. No elbows on the table at dinner! Always remember to say "Thank You" when someone does something nice for you. Don't be rude to people. ("Yes, mother!" LOL.) And, I'm proud to say, my mother's lessons about manners have followed me throughout my life. That's especially important because, these days, some people can be just so rude. And I'm telling you, nothing can spoil a good time more than a rude person. (I know you're not one of them, right?)


In this high-tech information age of ours for instance, the old-school courtesy of sending a thank you note has become like a lost art. (I know that doesn't make the Hallmark people very happy. LOL.) But seriously, if someone does something especially nice for you, don't just send an e-mail thank you. Sure, that's nice enough but how's about being extra thoughtful and surprising them with a handwritten thank you note that arrives in the mail? (Or you can even hand it to them personally.) I'm just afraid the fine art of writing, (period), may slowly be becoming a victim of the texting and e-mail age. For me, there's nothing nicer than going to my mailbox and receiving a handwritten note from one of my friends, like you!


At the dinner table, one of my mother's no-no's was reaching across the table to grab a roll or that second helping of fried chicken. (That would have been me, LOL.) If you can reach the item you want, (and it had better be something healthy), without fully extending your arm in front of someone, then go ahead. Otherwise, be courteous and ask someone to pass the item to you.


When you meet someone new, make it count. Make direct eye contact with them, smile and extend your hand for a firm handshake. Nothing is more irritating than those limp handshakes that make a person think you think they have cooties crawling on their hands or something. LOL. Shake a person's hand like you mean it. That firm handshake says a lot about who you are.


Cell phones have become like the "mini-me's" for many of us in today's modern world. But if you're out with friends, they didn't come to watch you gabbing on the phone or texting to someone else the entire evening. To me, that is rude and I'm always shocked to see people doing it when I'm out in public. Put your cell phone on silent and put it away during an evening out with friends. If you're expecting an important call or you just want to be safe because you left the kids with a babysitter, put it on vibrate and let your guests know you may be receiving a call. They'll appreciate your thoughtfulness.


Finally, two of the simplest words in the English language are "excuse me." If you make a little social error in public, pleasantly say excuse me to the person you may have erred with. You'll be surprised at how much difference it makes in the way they feel and the way you feel about yourself, too!


Those are just a few examples of proper manners. Can you think of more ways to be courteous? In this hurry-up, gotta-get-it-done now world of ours, we may sometimes forget the feelings of others. Hey, it doesn't feel good when someone is thoughtless or disrespectful to you, does it? Well, courtesy and kindness works both ways. Be mindful of the feelings of others everyday. They'll appreciate your thoughtfulness and you'll both end up having a better day. Taking a lesson from my mother, (and probably yours), I say we should all get better at...minding our manners!



Love,
RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/16/14 10:07 P

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READ ANY GOOD BOOKS LATELY?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Oh, I know, my daily messages focus a lot on MOVING that body of yours, as in a daily one-hour dose of exercise. Your workouts burn those calories, make your heart stronger and even makes your mind stronger by boosting the feel-good endorphins in your brain. But there's another way to strengthen that mind and imagination of yours. How? By reading a good book. Oh, I love to read and have quite the library here in my home. I like nothing better than having a good book to enjoy when I'm taking one of those long coast-to-coast flights across country. And what about you, have you read any good books lately? Well, the lazy days of summer are perfect for sitting out on the patio and losing yourself in a good read.

Reading is a refuge for your mind. It gives you a break from getting all of the things done, you have to get done on a typical day. That's right, you deserve a break from all of that multi-tasking we all try to pull off these days. I say put your other concerns, well, "on the shelf" for a while and reach for the bookshelf. Read and allow yourself to get absorbed in an adventure, a good mystery or a sweet romance novel. According to one research study, reading an engrossing book for as little as six minutes can reduce your stress level by up to 60%. So imagine what reading for a whole hour each day can do for you!



Here's something else to consider about the benefits of reading. It can actually have a positive impact on the way you relate to other people. It turns out that deep reading may strengthen your sense of empathy and compassion for what others are going through in life. (I like the sound of that.) Here's how it works. The parts of your brain that go to work helping you understand the feelings of the characters you're reading about in a book are the same ones that work for you when you're dealing with the people you come in contact with each day. That's right, reading can actually help make you a better and more understanding friend. In fact, I'm willing to bet that some of your best friends are probably regular book readers. And now you know one of the reasons why.

And oh yeah, for you parents reading today's message, you should encourage your children to read more often, too. Kids who read for pleasure end up excelling academically. And what parent doesn't want to see that? But you may be surprised to know that children who read not only do better in the language arts, where the ability to read and comprehend are highest. But research has shown them to perform better in math, too. As it turns out, the good habit of reading just makes your children smarter! So if you have a child who likes to read, you've probably got one bright kid on your hands.



I'm not just talking about your simply reading a magazine or the daily newspaper. (Although those are both good for you, too.) I'm talking about getting yourself fully immersed in the plot and the characters of a good book. The experience of reading and "hearing" the words as you read, then carrying those words with you, (even after you've put the book down), offer benefits beyond just being fun. The words from that book play in your mind and can even help form your own creative thoughts and ideas. Hey, think of reading as sort of like "exercise" for your brain.


So, this summer, besides the vacations, the cookouts, the pool parties and all the other fun summer has to offer, give your brain a little vacation this summer. Take a holiday by losing yourself...in a good book!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/15/14 11:46 A

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BRINGING UP FATHER!

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Oh, I thought I was, anyway! LOL. My father, Leonard and I had a very complicated relationship. The love was alwyas there but, with me, (and you shouldn't be surprised to hear this), so were my almost daily antics! LOL. Just like with my mother, I was the also the prankster at home with my dad and I'm sure I must have driven them both crazy from time-to-time! (Sorry, Mom & Dad! LOL.)

Both my parents had show business backgrounds. My mother was quite the looker and performed in a number of Vaudeville shows when she lived in New York City. After she met her future husband and my folks moved to New Orleans, my father often hosted a number of shows at some of the nightclubs there in the French Quarter. Oh, he was quite the emcee with his movie star good looks and charm. He was perfect for the role as emcee and loved being on stage. But my father was in another starring role in our cozy little shotgun house on St. Louis Street in the Quarter.

You see, my father was the original "Mr. Mom." I've told you before that his culinary skills were amazing! I used to love watching him at work in the kitchen, preparing a pot roast, a bowl of savory mashed potatoes or making his own famous bread pudding, (a classic New Orleans dessert). I'd be standing there in the kitchen asking all sorts of questions about what he was doing and probably getting in his hair a bit. LOL. But I'd also help out whenever I could...and slip a little taste of something he was making on occasion, too! LOL. I learned a lot about cooking from watching my father. In fact, some of my own cooking skills to this day, I got from my father. At Mardi Gras and Halloween, Leonard would even handmake costumes for me and my brother, Lenny. The two of us always had the most creative costumes in our neighborhood for those big holidays.


After I was all grown up and moved to Los Angeles, my dad got to visit me in my new "hometown." I was so proud the day he joined me on the set of The Richard Simmons Show. And he was so proud of how his little boy, (who was not so "little" growing up), had lost all of the weight and built his own life helping others.

I'm proud to say that my father was all about helping other people. (I'm sure that's where I got it from.) When I was a kid, on the big holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, my father would prepare his greatest feasts ever. (Boy, talk about a big production!) Turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potatoes...the works! But remember, there were only four members in my family. So, if you're wondering why my father prepared such a huge feast, it was because every year, he'd invite people who lived in our neighborhood but had no one to enjoy a holiday dinner with. But there was always room for holiday dinner guests at the Simmons house. And the bonus was it would mean a second or even a third helping for you know who! LOL.



Oh, Leonard, I miss you and Shirley so much! I may have driven you both a little crazy trying to run things "my way" around the house but, hey, looking back, I can see how truly blessed I was to have parents like you!



And what about you reading today's message? Is your father still with you? Then, let's talk about being truly blessed. I hope you've had or you're still having a good relationship with your fathers. I know, moms are special but daddies are very special, too! Hey, keep in mind, it took both of them to get us here! LOL. On this special day set aside to honor our fathers, please give your dad a big hug from me. And, if your father is in Heaven now with my father, Leonard, today, I'll just bet he's cooking up a father's day feast for all of the dad's up there.



HAPPY FATHER'S DAY!





HAPPY FATHER'S DAY to all of you wonderful dads out there. We want to thank you for bringing all of US up!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/13/14 9:44 P

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IT'S YOUR LUCKY DAY!

Friday, 13 June 2014


No, seriously...it is! I mean go ahead and take a luck at your calendar and you'll see...today, is Friday, June 13th, 2014! Hooray, it's your lucky day! But wait, hold it! Let me look at that date again, oh-oh... it's Friday the 13th! (GULP!) So if the old belief is true, there's nothing lucky about this day for you, is there? As a matter of fact, everybody knows that Friday the 13th can mean only one thing...bad luck, right! Oh, my! So, I guess we'd better all stay inside all day. No work. No school. No play. No nothing! We'd better just stay indoors and keep that bad luck from finding its way to us. Oh, please, I don't think so!


Are you superstitious about things? I'm not. And what exactly is "luck," anyway? Well, the dictionary definition is: good fortune or prosperity; the chance happening of fortunate events. Hmmm. Does that definition mean that luck, good or bad, is out of your control? I mean, after all, the word "chance" is part of the definition. But when it comes to good fortune, chance is not the only thing to look for. What you need to do to make that good fortune come your way is to work for it. That's right, you've got to earn it!



Remember back in school when one of your classmates was always making good grades? You thought he or she was "lucky" to be so smart and get those good marks. But really, how much of those good grades were because that student was smart and how much of it was because that classmate of yours hit the books, studied hard and faithfully did their homework every night instead of watching TV, talking on the phone or playing video games?

Of course, we've all looked at that person who's lost a lot of weight and thought how "lucky" they were. But there again, how much of it was luck? The better question to ask is how much of it was because that person rolled up their sleeves, took control of their eating habits and made exercise a part of their lives everyday? Sounds to me like that weight-loss success had a lot more to do with their hard work than it did with their so-called "good luck." But okay, call it what you want. But the bottom line is, it's their dedication, their commitment and yes, their hard work that made them so, well..."lucky."



How about you? Are you hard at work reaching for your own weight-loss goal? Are you committed to making your weight-loss dream a reality? Have you rolled up your sleeves and made the lifestyle changes it's going to take to drop those unwanted pounds? Are you doing or are you ready to do the work?



You see, everyday you get out of bed is a brand new day and a new opportunity to keep on working hard to reach your goal. And that's true whether it's Friday the 13th, the 12th, the 11th or any day of the week. See, you're already lucky, just to be alive and have this fresh opportunity to make your life healthier and to live longer by getting your body in the best shape possible. Hey, luck just doesn't happen "by chance." Good fortune and good things happen for those people who maintain a positive attitude and who work hard to achieve their goals. And that includes you! So, on this Friday the 13th, I have only one question left to ask you and that is, are you...FEELING LUCKY?

Happy Friday the 13th, everybody! And for the simple reason that you've been blessed with a new day and a fresh start, I'd say Friday the 13th is already your LUCKY DAY!


Love,


RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/12/14 8:19 P

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GIVE PEAS A CHANCE!

Thursday, 12 June 2014


Hey, if you do, I can promise they're gonna give right back to you, in the form of...better health! Ahhh, peas, please! (LOL.) But oh, I'm sure none of us were that fond of them when we were kids. Were you? I know I wasn't. Although I will admit, I used to love green peas mixed with my father's delicious, butter-loaded mashed potatoes. Hey, what didn't taste better with a quarter stick of butter mixed in, right? LOL. But today, I'm not here to talk about the butter. Like I say in the title of today's message, I want you to give peas a chance! Why? Well, when you get a load of the benefits they have to offer your good health, I'm sure you'll see why!

First of all, peas are low in calories, rich in nutrients and a good source of the all- important fiber your body needs everyday. They're also good for your heart, your bones and can help reduce the level of bad cholesterol in your body. (I talked about good & bad of cholesterol in yesterday's message.) Let me continue with how good peas are for you. They can even help prevent colon cancer. Peas have powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that lower your chances of getting colon cancer later in life. In particular, a polyphenol in peas has, by itself, been associated with a reduced risk of stomach cancer. But wait, the news gets even better.


For those of you past age-60, (like me), here's something else you should know about those little green wonders. Peas can actually help prevent signs of ageing! (Hey, I'll bet that news will send you to the farmer's market this weekend, right? LOL.) But seriously, here's how it works. Peas slow down the appearance of ageing because they help reduce free radical damage in your body. And why is that important? Well, just like metal rusts after exposure to air, our bodies can also suffer from a similar kind of free radical damage to our skin. Eating plenty of peas slows down this process, helping to prevent the common signs of ageing to our skin. (English peas, anyone?)


There are so many types of peas to choose from so take your pick, LOL. I love snow peas. They're those flattish little shells with tiny peas inside and you can eat them pods and all. They're an excellent addition to your salads and what stir-fry dish is complete without those crispy, crunchy snow peas? My southern friends know all about snap peas. Sugary and plump, they're truly yummy in a big pot of soup or, tossed with a little salt & pepper and I Can't Believe It's Not Butter, make an excellent side-dish all by themselves. I say get down to your local supermarket's produce section and see what other kinds of peas you might want to try.

When shopping for peas, select pods that are bright, glossy and plump. (A ripe pod looks like it's about ready to burst.) Skip pods that seem to have shrunk because it means they're past their prime. It's best to eat peas the day you buy them since their natural sugars begin turning to starch as soon as they're picked. If you have to store your peas, place them in an open plastic food bag in the refrigerator for up to three days. Shell them right before adding them to your recipe or salad.


So there you have it, my little primer on peas. They're sweet, they're tasty, they're oh-so-good for your body and if you've been taking those little green gems for granted, stop it! Instead, peas. uh, I mean please take my advice and...give peas a chance!


Love,


RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/11/14 10:22 P

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SALAD DAYS OF SUMMER

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


The salad days of one's life refers to the days of youth and fun...or when a person is at their peak in life. As for myself, even though I'm in my 60s, I like to think of these days as being my salad days. Hey, I'm still at my peak in many ways. And how about you? Maintaining a healthy weight, good eating habits and daily exercise are all excellent ways to keep your body in its salad days. And to help your body reach that goal, especially when it comes to what you eat, may I suggest, well...more salads, this summer? Yum, yum!


I'm a big salad fan from way back and that's never gonna change. Do you get excited about enjoying a healthy salad? I mean, come on, you can build an entire meal around all of those wonderful salad ingredients. It all begins with your choice of salad greens and today, I wanted to talk about a few of them you may not have considered in the past. Ready?



ESCAROLE. This delicious salad green is related to both chicory and endive. Escarole is slightly bitter and extremely rich in iron, phosphorus, cooper and vitamin A, the essential vitamin your body needs for better vision, healthy cell growth and even a stronger immune system.


WATERCRESS. I did a whole message about it a while back, only because it's so often overlooked as a great salad addition. Just two cups of raw, chopped watercress supplies one-third of your body's daily requirements for vitamin C. This vitamin promotes good heart health and is great for you expectant mothers and your babies on the way.

MUSTARD GREENS. A favorite side-dish on their own in my native South. But they're also excellent in salads. Mustards are a member of the cabbage family, they're high in folic acid, calcium and vitamin E. Sticking with my vitamins theme, vitamin E promotes good skin care and is a great source for those powerful cancer-fighting antioxidants.


ARUGULA. (I see this one used a lot on the Food Network and it's also one of my favorites.) Arugula has small, flat leaves on long stems and its trademark is its distinct peppery flavor. It adds a nice hint of bite to any salad. Plus, it's high in the minerals magnesium and potassium. Arugula is also packed with those super antioxidants.



So, this summer I want you to enjoy your salad days. Experiment with different greens to start your salads then pile on the tomatoes, the cucumbers, the celery, the green onions, the...oh, you get the idea! And the good news is that you can add just about as many veggies as you like without adding lots of calories when you do! Ahhhh, those salads! This season, I want you to enjoy your own Salad Days of Summer. Your body and your scale will thank you for it!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/10/14 10:44 P

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IT'S A THIN LINE...

Tuesday, 10 June 2014


Between love and hate. I'll bet you've all heard that saying before but the subject of today's lesson is probably not about what you think. I'm not talking about relationships. I'm talking about cholesterol. So, where does the love-hate relationship of cholesterol come in? Well, it all has to do with the effects cholesterol has on your body. See, your body actually needs some cholesterol to produce important hormones, to create cell membranes, even to build new brain and nerve tissue. See why it's so important? To move that cholesterol through your body so it can do its job, your body turns it into high-density lipoproteins. Don't panic over that word, (I did at first, LOL). But a simpler way to remember it is HDL. (See how much easier?)


Now, you've heard me refer to HDL cholesterol a lot here in my daily messages. It's the GOOD cholesterol your body needs. The other type is low-density lipoproteins, ready? That's LDL or the BAD cholesterol your body doesn't need. Now here's where that thin line comes in. HDL, the "good-guy" cholesterol actually helps your body get rid of that "bad-guy" LDL cholesterol. I told you the good things that HDL cholesterol does to help your body so you need to know what the LDL variety can do to hurt your body.


Consuming too much LDL cholesterol promotes fatty buildup in your arteries. That accumalation clogs your arteries and, in time, can lead to heart disease. Enough said, right? But I have to continue, telling you how to make sure your body is getting enough of that life-extending good cholesterol.


First of all, watch the sources of the cholesterol you consume. It matters where you get them from. You should strive for about 300 milligrams a day but, remember, the source is important, too. A typical fried fish sandwich comes in at about 68 mg of cholesterol. But if you opt for 3 ounces of canned tuna, (packed in water), instead, you'll come in at only 26 mg of cholesterol. Big difference, huh? (My friends at Bumblebee Tuna will appreciate that! LOL.)


The American Heart Association recommends we get enough FIBER, a great way to build your body's HDL cholesterol defenses. Make an effort to consume at least 25 grams of fiber per day and you should know the best sources for getting more fiber by now. Do it by trying to have those 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables I told you about a few days ago. Consuming more fiber includes eating plenty of whole-grain foods products in place of white breads and other highly processed foods too many of us eat each day.


Watch those saturated fats, too! They're the ones found in nature that come from animal products. You know, like beef, bacon, high-fat dairy products or butter. A little of them, (on occasion), may not hurt you but too many of us get carried away with eating those saturated fats. A friend of mine once said, "fat taste good." Well, most of the time it does. But those saturated fats sure aren't doing your health any good! Less than 7% of your daily caloric intake should come from saturated fats. So, eat them sparingly!



Last of all, and they really should be last on your things to eat list, trans-fats, the nasty-old type of fat found in most processed foods is one of the main culprits for raising the level of bad LDL cholesterol in your body. They should equal less than 1% of your daily caloric total. And, as far as I'm concerned, I'd rather see you try and eliminate them altogether. They do your body virtually no good...at all!


I'll say it again, your body needs cholesterol, only the good kind! To make sure you're consuming more good than bad cholesterol, it all comes down to the foods you choose to eat. So when it comes to your food choices and the kinds of cholesterol you consume, please keep that line very thin by saying yes to more good HDL cholesterol and NO to that bad LDL cholesterol. That way, your body will end up thinner and healthier, too!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/9/14 10:05 P

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MY KIDS WON'T EAT THAT!

Monday, 09 June 2014


Oh, yes they will! Have you tried? I must admit, there were lots of foods I'd never eat when I was a kid but I absolutely love them now. (Care to share an artichoke with me, anyone? LOL.) In fact, just because you didn't like certain fruits and vegetables when you were a child doesn't mean you won't like them now. As we age, our taste buds "mature" and our tastes for certain foods also change. But for you parents out there concerned about your children's weight and the way they eat, there are things you can do in the kitchen now to encourage your children to eat healthier foods.


For instance, experiment with different types of fruits and veggies like a broccoli slaw salad mix. Try to vary the texture of the vegetables you serve, too. Kids tend to like raw, crunchy fruits and vegetables, served with a low-fat dip. (You don't have to tell them it's low-fat, either. LOL.) Try shredding some veggies and top your kids sandwiches with them. They'll love the taste and crunch while, at the same time, be eating more of the vegetables they need everyday.



To get even more vegetables into you children's tummies, how's about a vegetarian meal every once in a while? It can be something as simple as a soup and salad or your own stir-fry creation. Make it colorful and more appealing to your children's eyes and they'll be more likely to eat it. By the way, try grilling some of the fruits and vegetables you serve at dinner. It'll make them sweeter and even more delicious.



There are some other ways to get your kids to eat their vegetables, and they won't feel like they're being "punished" either. LOL. Chop, dice or shred vegetables and add them to muffins, stews or casseroles. Those added vegetables can compliment and enhance each other's taste, including the taste of the meat you may have included in one of your recipes. You can also use pureed vegetables to thicken soups and gravies. To help reduce the fat in your children's diets, go easy on the buttery or cream-filled sauces. Instead, flavor your vegetables and side dishes with fresh or dried herbs and a little lemon juice or balsamic vinegar.


Get creative and bring out the Julia Child in yourself. Decorate your family's plates with edible fruit & vegetable garnishes like cute little cucumber twists, red pepper strips or thin cantaloupe slices. Your kids and even your spouse will think you're turning into a gourmet chef! Also try to keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter where everyone can see it, (including yourself). If you or your children are gonna snack, let it be a treat that's actually good for all of you and get rid of the habit of reaching for that bag of chips.



At breakfast time, top waffles with fresh fruits that have made their own syrup by dicing, then storing them in the fridge overnight. Sprinkle fresh berries over cereal or mix them it with a cup of plain or vanilla-flavored yogurt. Instead of one of those fast-food milk shakes, introduce your children to homemade smoothies made with real fruit and non-fat yogurt. It's a quick and nourishing snack or almost a full meal all by itself!



And see? You thought your kids "wouldn't eat that!" You've just got to put your imagination to work in the kitchen. Come up with some healthy, low-fat, good-for-you treats that're gonna help keep your kids and YOURSELF in the best of health! Hey, they'll eat that!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/8/14 7:51 P

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DIABETES & YOUR HEART

Sunday, 08 June 2014


Diabetes, I'm sad to say, is on the increase in our country. And, I'm even sadder to report, the disease is showing up earlier in the lives of American children. You may not be surprised to know that our country's increasing problem with obesity is one of the main reasons. If you or someone in your family has diabetes, then you may also be aware of the more common complications associated with the disease. They include blindness, kidney disease or even the loss of a limb. So you can see why it's so important to take good care of yourself if you happen to have it. But did you know that having diabetes also increases the risk for heart disease?

In fact, heart disease, stroke and their complications are among the leading causes of illness and even death for people with diabetes. Heart disease affects people with diabetes twice as often as those without it, and often at an earlier age. That's because high blood sugar may spur the development of artery-clogging plaque in your body. If you're diabetic, the purpose of today's message is not to scare you. Instead, I want to give you a few ideas on what you can do to help protect your heart.


First, if you have diabetes, it's very important to test your blood sugar every day to make sure it stays within the targeted range recommended by your doctor. But there are some other things you can do to protect your heart, too such as...



Maintaining a healthy weight. In fact, obesity, (besides your family genetics), is one of the factors that can lead to your getting diabetes in the first place. So it just makes plain-old good sense to work even harder to shed those extra pounds. In fact, some diabetics who lose weight, (to their pleasant surprise), often discover they can reduce their need for daily insulin shots or even eliminate the need for taking them altogether! Now isn't that great news?!


Talk to your doctor about diet recommendations. Most likely, he or she will recommend for you a daily food plan that's low in salt, fat and sugar. (Hey, that's the way I've been recommending all of you eat for over 40 years now.) You should also be sure to consume high-fiber foods like beans, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.



And of course, be sure to get that daily exercise in. Walking, bike-riding, swimming and those good-old aerobic dance workouts are all good for your heart. They also help your body do a more efficient job of lowering your blood sugar. I can't stress enough that exercise is actually very much like medicine for your body and I hope that by now, you can see why!

The good news is that you can live a good life, even if you do have diabetes. But it's especially important that you give your body and your heart a helping hand by eating the right foods, controlling your weight and getting in that daily hour of exercise. Do those things and, you'll see, you can live a healthier life and have a stronger heart even if you're living with diabetes. And oh yeah, for those of you who're not diabetic, these same lifestyle changes can keep you in better shape and may very likely help keep you from becoming diabetic in the future.



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/7/14 3:52 P

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THE SEDUCER

Saturday, 07 June 2014


Sounds like the title for one of those reality TV shows doesn't it? LOL. Oh, I can see it now, sorta like a hotter version of the Housewives of Orange County! LOL. Hey, no offense! (I know a lot of fantastic housewives from The O/C, as we call Orange County here in LA!) No, I'm not talking about that seducer targeting his or her next love interest. I'm talking about the seducer who often comes after YOU. And no, it's not a person, either. The seducer I'm talking about is...food!


Oh, you know how it is. Do you have trouble controlling yourself around that half-gallon container of chocolate ice cream? Is that last hunk of cheese Danish left in the kitchen seductively whispering your name? Do your hands tremble when you see the dessert selection on that menu you're holding? Oh, it's not just a problem with your willpower though. Danger, my friends...you're being seduced! And when you are, how difficult is it for you to say NO when some rich, fattening food is trying its best to get you to give in? How likely are you to end up overeating because you said YES to temptation when you know you should have said NO? Oh, the power of seduction!


When it comes to food and our temptation to overeat, new research suggests that giving in to temptation and overeating may actually be an addictive behavior. In fact, the act of overeating stimulates the same pleasure and reward centers of the brain that are responsible for substance abuse. And hey, let's face it, the habit of overeating can be just as dangerous for your health as being addicted to any drug. How do you beat the seduction of food? Well, the good news is that you can actually retrain your brain when some food you don't need tries to pull its little seduction act on you.

Exercise is one way to do it. In fact, a recent study found that when people rode an exercise bike for an hour, their brains actually had a weaker response to food cues after their bike ride. Or the next time you're tempted by that slice of Danish, I want you to think about the drawbacks of actually eating it. Think about how you're going to feel after you've given in to the seduction and how you'll feel after you've had the last bite of that Danish. One lady even told me once that when she's tempted by a certain food, she imagines a bug has crawled or is crawling across it. LOL. Hey, a little unorthodox but if it works for her? Then I say it's a good idea!


Another study found that any of these simple techniques really can work when you're faced with seduction, the temptation to overeat. (I especially like the one about exercising the temptation away.) All of the methods I mentioned have been shown to increase activity in parts of the brain that can help you resist and say NO to temptation. I want you to try one of them the next time you find yourself being tempted by...the seducer!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/6/14 10:12 P

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ABOUT THAT SWEET TOOTH OF YOURS...

Friday, 06 June 2014

And who doesn't have one, huh? It's a biological fact, we humans have our own built-in "hard drive" that tends to drive us toward sweets! And okay, go ahead and count me among them, LOL. I mean, come, on, who can resist enjoying a sweet treat every now and then, huh? Well, every now and then is one thing and might be fine for most of us. But the big problem is, too many of us just can't say no to that sweet tooth of ours, often enough. Are you one of them? Well, you should remember that all of those sweets you eat are doing nothing "sweet" for your body.

In fact, citing rising obesity rates worldwide, the World Health Organization recommends that we keep our intake of most sugars to less that 5% of our daily caloric consumption. How do you calculate that number? Well, it works out to about 25 grams or roughly six teaspoons of sugar per day. That number is based on a person consuming about 2,000 calories per day. If your daily caloric consumption is closer to roughly 1,000 calories a day, (like when you're working to lose weight), that means your daily sugar consumption should be closer to three teaspoons or about 12 grams of sugar daily. Again, we're talking just 5% of your daily total.


Now the rule applies not just to added sugar, like that teaspoon you might drop into your morning coffee. But you've got to consider those other sugars you consume, too. Oh, you know, like the sugar in those cookies, candies, baked goods, ice cream and soft drinks. (Those are the easy ones to look out for.) But the bad news is that sugar is found in so many of the foods we eat everyday and you've got to be aware of them. (Another reason it's so important to read the nutrition and ingredients labels on the foods you buy.) One of the biggest culprits is any of those highly processed, pre-packaged foods I'm always warning you to steer clear of.


Oh, by the way, a lot of people might think they're doing themselves a big favor by opting for the natural sugars found in honey, syrups and even some fruit juices. But you've got to be careful there, too. The one group you don't have to worry about? Well, I'm so happy to tell you that the "cut-the-sugar" rule doesn't apply to the sugar found in whole fruit, vegetables or unsweetened dairy products. Oh boy, looks like we've got to chalk up another one for those fresh fruits and vegetables! Hooray!

So, about that sweet tooth of yours, please don't give in to something sweet every time you're tempted. It won't be good for your teeth, not to mention how it can hinder reaching your weight-loss goals. Instead of a candy bar or that big scoop of chocolate-chip ice cream, reach for an apple or a tasty piece of citrus fruit. That way, you'll satisfy your sweet tooth without adding more sugar and calories your body doesn't need!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/5/14 8:38 P

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LOOK INTO THE MIRROR AND...

Thursday, 05 June 2014


What do you see? A person you love and you want to be as healthy as he or she can be? Would that little bit of prose describe how you feel about you? Well, it should! But, I'm sorry to say, a lot of people aren't able to look into the mirror and come away with positive thoughts about the person they see looking back at them. That's right, they're so dissatisfied with the person they see, all they can do is find more reasons to criticize themselves and their bodies. Hey, no wonder some people turn away from the mirror. But I don't want you to be one of them!

Most of us begin forming our self-perception back during our school days. Way back then, we'd already begun comparing ourselves to our classmates, neighborhood friends or even our siblings. Am I as pretty as Gracie? Do the girls think I'm as good-looking as Brad? Am I the fattest kid in school? (You know I had to throw that one in.) The way we see ourselves is based as much on how we think others see us as it on how we see ourselves. And what kind of self-image do you have?


For the sake of today's argument, I have to point out that our self-image often begins with what we weigh, especially when we were in school. Oh, I can remember how the other boys made fun of me at school because of my weight. (Did you have the same problem?) If you did, then you know, the way others felt and talked about your size helped cement those negative body images you may have about yourself, even to this day. And, on top of that, how we feel about the way we look physically when we're young can have an affect on the people we grow into becoming emotionally. And to me, the emotional side of who you are is just as important and, (in some ways), I'd say even more important than the way you feel about the physical side of yourself.


But when you look into that mirror, don't just stop with the physical person you see. Have a little talk with yourself. Acknowledge your spiritual assets. Are you caring? Are you non-judgmental of others? Do you know how to show love? Are you forgiving? I probably missed a lot of things but my point is this: Besides your physical qualities, there are so many things about you emotionally that make you a special person, a good person and, most likely, a good friend to have around. So, what qualities of yours can you work on the make yourself an even better person?

Once you acknowledge the unique and special person you are on the inside, now ask yourself, what can I do to make myself feel better about the person I see on the outside, the physical me? If that includes losing weight, I don't want you thinking you've got to lose the weight to improve how others feel about you. I want you to lose the weight so you can keep that special person you are here on this earth for a long, long time. Don't worry about improving how others see you because, remember, you'll be doing this for yourself. And the good news is...the rest will follow!


When you look into the mirror, what do you see? A good person and a special person. Someone who is going to get healthier, more confident and become an even better person...for the whole world to see!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/4/14 10:34 P

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GIMME MORE!

Wednesday, 04 June 2014


Really? You want more? Well, when it comes to what you're eating, I guess it depends on the "more" of what you're talking about. If you're already overweight, adding more pounds to your body is definitely not better. And on the same page, eating more food sure ain't better for you then, either. But hold on a minute. I did say it depends on more of what you're talking about eating, didn't I? And when it comes to the foods you eat, your weight and your good health, more of certain foods are better for you. Now, before you get all excited, don't go thinking I'm about to suggest you eat more cheesecake! (But you knew better than that, right? LOL.) Nope. The more I'm talking about is more of those fruits and vegetables!

You're probably all familiar with the recommendation to work at least five servings of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet, right? Well, forget that. The Centers for Disease Control has launched a new national campaign with the message...Fruits & Vegetables--More Matters! This new message replaces the old slogan that has been around for decades. And the message then was to aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But under the latest government guidelines, a mere five servings daily from these two major food groups are not enough. They're now saying that adults need anywhere from 7-13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. And why? Well, because those fruits and veggies have a long list of health benefits for your body, including everything from helping to fight obesity to preventing heart disease, diabetes and, oh...the list just goes on!


So how are you doing reaching those new nutritional guidelines set by the Feds? For some of us, it may have been a bit of a challenge to meet that old number of five daily servings of fruits and vegetables, So how in the world are you going to get up to 13 servings a day? Well, truth is, it really isn't as difficult as it sounds. In fact, here are some tips to help you get there.


First, for peak flavor and good value, buy fresh produce in season. But do keep in mind that frozen or canned vegetables, (without the added salt or heavy syrup), can be just as good for you as fresh produce. (Fresh just tastes better to me!)


Try to keep a stash of frozen vegetables on hand to toss into your soups, salads and stews or even to microwave or steam them to use as a quick and easy side dish. (Remember the message I shared with you a few days ago about turning your fridge into your very own convenience store? It's kind of the same idea here.)


You've all seen those pre-washed, pre-cut fruits and veggies in your local supermarkets. Yes, they may be a little more expensive. But when you consider how much produce is wasted in the average American home each week, it may work out for your pocketbook to keep some of those packaged fruits & veggies on hand. It may even make it more likely that you and your family will end up eating more of them because they're so convenient. (There's that word again, LOL.) How's about popping some into a plastic bag to enjoy at work, too? That way, when you want a healthy snack while at work, it's another way to reach those magic numbers of 7-13 servings per day.


So, you see? You can get more of those fruits and vegetables into your daily food program. They're filling, they're good for you, they'll help you reach your weight-loss goal and it's one case where MORE for your body really is...BETTER!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/3/14 9:16 P

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CATS!

Tuesday, 03 June 2014

It's more than just the longest running musical in Broadway history. And, to millions of Americans, CATS has nothing to do with Broadway, anyway. To them, cats are more like members of the family! In fact, how many of you out there have those fabulous felines as members of your own families? If Facebook is any indication, cats are the number one pet in America. Or is it dogs? Hey, I have to be careful, I wouldn't want to offend the dog people out there, the group I'm in! Oh, I miss my Dalmatian, Hattie, everyday of my life. Most of you know, I lost my sweetheart earlier this year. I haven't gotten myself a new spotted baby yet but that'll be a discussion for another day. But in the meantime, today's message is devoted to that other segment of the American population, The Cat People! LOL. (Anybody remember the movie by the same name?)

Just like with dogs, people who have cats as pets are generally happier emotionally and those more pleasant emotions often translate into longer lives for all pet owners. Remember, a happier state of mind is part of your overall physical good health. There's just something about the unconditional love we get from our pets that can't be denied. And yes, whether you're a dog-lover or cats are your best friends, the positive results for your emotional state and good health are the same. Now I want to share a little news with you about the cat population in our country.


The estimated number of kittens born each year, according to the American Humane Association, (AHA), is about 12.5 million! That's a lot of kittens! The largest percentage of kittens are born in the spring which means many of them are entering the world right about now. Unfortunately, of those millions of kittens born each year, not all of them find loving homes. And of those that end up in shelters, only about 1/4 of them are eventually adopted. I hate to think about what happens to those sweet and innocent kittens that don't end up finding families to care for them.

Well, guess what? JUNE is Adopt-A-Cat Month! Maybe you're a cat-lover and have thought about bringing a cat into your family's life? Well, this might be a good month to make it happen! Are you not sure which type of kitty would fit best in your home? According to the AHA, cats with long hair and round heads generally tend to be the more mellow type. (We're talking those lap kitties that like noting better than snuggling in your lap while you're watching your favorite TV show.) Cats with short hair and narrow heads are usually more energetic and like to spend more of their time being active and playing. (That sounds like the kind of cat that would be best suited for me! LOL.)

In any event, remember, bringing a new pet into your home is a big responsibility. So before adopting, be sure to talk it over with the rest of the family, especially your children since they're probably gonna have a role to play in bringing up the new baby. One of my best friends is a professional cat-sitter and knows cats better than just about anybody. (Hi, Rita!) I'm sure she'd thank me for putting in a goos word about those adorable kittens and the loving cats they grow up to be. Hey, Andrew Lloyd Weber may have produced the longest running musical in Broadway history but maybe it's time for you to begin your own production of...CATS! I'm betting you'd be great as one of...THE CAT PEOPLE!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/2/14 9:33 A

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CALM DOWN!

Monday, 02 June 2014


Why dontcha?! And, for good reason! I saw a report on the nightly news the other evening about how living a stress-free life can be beneficial to you in so many ways. I'm talking about everything from lowering your blood pressure, to reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems to even living a longer life, period. I know, you may be thinking that being calm all of the time is easier said than done. But think about it. How many episodes of conflict could you end up not having to deal with if you simply knew how to escape them so you can calm down? Well, I've got a few suggestions on ways you can do just that. First of all, when it's possible...

WALK AWAY! Recognize which subjects trigger your anger. If you can see that the subject of any conversation is going to get you all upset and confrontational, don't just stand there engaging in it until you get all worked up and upset. Make a reason to excuse yourself and, like I said, walk away from that situation.


Go some place to be alone, CLOSE YOUR EYES and withdraw into your own world. By doing that, you'll be able to FIND SOME SOLITUDE. This may not be so easy to do if you're at work or any place where you constantly have to be with others. But especially when we find ourselves getting upset, we could all use some quiet, personal time to think things through and to give our nerves a chance to settle down. Be creative, make a space at work or at home where you can spend a little time all to yourself.

GO OUTSIDE. Getting out of the house or the office is good anyway. It helps break-up a routine or situation that may be getting on your nerves. Take a brief walk when you can. Think about what's bothering you. Remind yourself that bad situation won't last forever. Getting outdoors in the fresh air can actually help "air out" your mind and help you return to feeling more relaxed. You need that when a situation or person gets on your sensitive side.


TAKE A DEEP BREATH. Good breathing can help soothe even the most savage beasts among us. LOL. I know there's nothing savage about you but, let's face it, some situations can bring out that meaner side in any of us. Simply take some deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling for a few minutes. You'll be surprised at how well it works.

And oh, one other thing, LISTEN TO SOME GOOD, SOOTHING MUSIC. Your favorite songs from today or yesterday can do wonders for your mood. They can take your mind away to happier times and even to memories that can make you smile. And, who knows, if the beat is just right, that song may even inspire you to dance a little. By the way, EXERCISE is another great way to calm yourself down and get a good burst of positive energy going for yourself.


Hey, we all get upset about something from time to time. But you don't want those moments to end up spoiling how you feel all day and keeping you in a bad mood. Find ways to soothe yourself. Get outdoors, take some deep breaths, listen to a favorite song and you'll find it a lot easier to relax and to...calm down!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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6/1/14 9:17 A

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JUNE TUNE---UP!

Sunday, 01 June 2014


Yes mam, bring that body of yours right on in here! I remember seeing you back at the beginning of the year in January and that attitude of yours was in fine shape! Your batteries were all charged up and you had a made-up mind that you were going to lose at least five pounds a month this year. And I agreed with you back then, that was a great goal you'd set for yourself. Of course, that was five months ago today, so let's take a look at how ya' doin' now!

What's that, you're a little shy of having reached that five-pounds-a-month weight-loss goal? Hmmm, lemme take a look. Wait, I see the problem already, you've let your oil, uh...I mean your motivation run a little low. What happened to ya', huh? Oh, your hubby got you a big box of chocolates for Valentine's Day? That was nice of him. Wait, you said the whole box was gone in just a coupla days? Hey, your husband was sweet to think of you but I don't think he expected you to load up on all of those sweets in just a day or two. Next time, have a couple of chocolates, freeze the rest and allow yourself one as a little treat every now and then. You've just got to be sure to remember and count them on your FoodMover when you do, okay?


Have you been getting in your daily exercise during the past five months? I hope you don't mind my asking but if we're gonna get that engine of yours running properly, I need you to be honest. (Not as much with me as you are with yourself, though.) See, making excuses for not getting those workouts in can only lead to one thing. That car, I mean that body of yours was designed to move. And, if you're not moving it properly, getting those daily workouts in, you're gonna end up not getting the "mileage" you want. Hey, you may not want your car to be a gas-guzzler but I just know you want that body of yours to be a calorie-guzzler! And hey, there's no better way to do it than by getting that hour of sweatin' in everyday!

Have you been eating enough fruits and vegetables this year? Excuse me, but wasn't that one of the resolutions you made back in January? And I've reminded you plenty of times this year how important they are to your weight-loss. That body of yours needs 7-13 servings of fruits and/or vegetables everyday. I told you about that just a couple of weeks ago. They're not only the perfect fuel for your body but the fiber in those fruits and veggies are gonna keep you feeling full longer. That way, it's going to be easier for you to say no to those bad-for-your-body processed foods and you probably would have been less likely to polish off that whole box of Valentine's chocolates so fast!


Okay, let's take a look at your warranty. Hey, looks to me like you're still good to go. Today begins the sixth month of June so you've still got time to turn things around and get back to work 100% reaching your goal. Here, I want you to take this list with you. Control those portions. Say NO to junk foods. Say NO to processed foods. Say NO to all of those sweets and say YES to more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, low-fat dairy and whole grains. And oh yeah, you have GOT to put that body of yours on the road working out everyday for the rest of this year. No more excuses, alright? Get your motor running again with another good dose of that MOTOR-vation you had at the beginning of the year. And please don't let it run low again for the rest of the year! Okay, I'm all done, thanks for stopping by and there's no charge for this visit because your warranty is still good!

HAPPY FIRST DAY OF JUNE, everybody. Just wanted to give you this little JUNE TUNE-UP to help keep you on the freeway that's gonna take you all the way...to the brand NEW YOU! Drive safely, remember to keep your eyes on that goal and your minds off the food!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/30/14 11:41 P

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FIT AFTER 50!

Friday, 30 May 2014

Is it possible? Oh yes, you BET it is! Hey, I'm over 60 years-old myself and you can darn well bet I'm still fit as a fiddle, baby! LOL. But you wouldn't believe the number of e-mails I receive, (from women especially), wondering if it's possible for them to lose weight and still be fit, even after they pass the 50 year-old mark! Oh, come on ladies! You know how they say "50 is the new 40?" Well, I say 60 is the new 50! LOL. My point is, at any age, you can lose all of the weight you need to lose and, oh yes, be FIT, too!

Truth is, as we age, for men and women, our body's metabolism, that is the rate at which we burn calories does decrease. But not by as much as you might think. We're talking only about a 5% decline, or so. Hey, that's not enough to make you suddenly gain 50 pounds just because you're now 50 years-old! LOL. But that 5% slowdown in your metabolism does mean you need to be a little more careful with your eating habits and to make sure you're getting in that daily hour of exercise. (Like you should have been doing for years now, anyway!)

Just like when you were younger, even after age 50, you can still lose the weight by making changes in your lifestyle, including healthier eating habits, cutting back on the number of calories you consume each day and, of course, making exercise a regular part of your life. I can't even tell you how many women and men I've seen lose weight well into their 50s, their 60s, even their 70s! (My own mother lost over 30 pounds when she was well into her 60s by making the kind of lifestyle changes I'm talking about.) So how do you accomplish that goal? Hey, aren't you paying attention to what I'm saying? Okay, listen up!

Eat a healthy diet and make sure you're eating only because you're hungry or it's meal time. (If you've been guilty of eating out of habit in the past, it really is time to stop it!) Be sure to begin your days with a healthy breakfast. (It's always been your most important meal of the day, by the way.) A good breakfast should get you off to a nutritious start and keep you from getting hungry later in the day.

Women who tend not to gain weight as they get older have a habit that you shouldn't be surprised to hear about and that is...they're more active! They don't just sit around all day watching TV or reclining reading some book or magazine. (Which is okay for relaxing on occasion.) But every bit as important is to keep that body of yours moving as you age. That hour of exercise is important but women and men over 50 should also find activities they enjoy doing and that keep them busy during the day. You already know the formula and it's oh-so simple: the more you move your body, the more calories your body burns. And that means the more you'll be able to control your weight and even lose those "after-50" pounds you may have put on!

Look around ladies! How many women do you see on TV, on the Internet or in magazines who're into their 50s, who still look and feel good about themselves? Thousands, right? Well, if you're over 50, let one of them be YOU! Because I'm telling you, it's NOT too late for you to lose that weight, look fabulous and be...FIT AFTER 50! (And beyond!)



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/22/14 9:08 A

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I TALK TO MYSELF!

Thursday, 22 May 2014

So, is anybody listening? Well, if you're talking to yourself...you'd better be listening! LOL. Do you ever talk to yourself? If you do and you're like most people, chances are you're not going to admit it. That's because there's a stigma associated with people who talk to themselves that they may be just a little, well...off! But, as it turns out, that's simply not true. In fact, researchers say talking to yourself, out loud, is more common than many of us are willing to admit. Psychologists call it "self-talk" and they add that the way in which we do it, can make a big difference in both our moods and behavior.

Self-talk is when you make yourself the target of your own conversation. You may simply be giving yourself some of your own advice or reminding yourself of something important you're supposed to get done today. You really are having a little conversation with yourself when you talk to yourself. Sometimes it's automatic and we may self-talk without even realizing it. Other times, we do it deliberately. Either way, that talk you have with yourself is not "abnormal" and can actually be beneficial to you in some ways.

Especially if you're working to lose weight, I think it's smart to give yourself little self-talk pep-talks every now and then. Tell yourself out loud that you don't need this food or so much of another one. Remind yourself, out loud, why it's so important to get those workouts in today and everyday. Tell yourself, out loud, why losing this weight is so important to you and why you're never going to give up on working to reach your goal. And remind yourself that you're not only working to lose this weight so you can live a long, healthier life but....a happier one, too!


Motivate yourself each day with those little pep-talks. If you're feeling down, feeling blue or lacking motivation during the day, don't be afraid to go look at yourself in the mirror, eye-to-eye and say to yourself: Come on! I can do this! I am worth this! Or...I am going to WIN this fight! Be concise, be short, be direct with yourself and, above all, I want you to MEAN what you say. That's right, for once in your life, I want you to LISTEN...to yourself!

Now remember, it's perfectly okay to talk to yourself, That is, as long as your words are encouraging and you're not berating or putting yourself down! Hey, you don't need that from other people and you certainly don't need to hear negative comments from yourself. (And, I'm sorry to say, some of you have been guilty of doing just that. Cut it out!) I want you to think of yourself as your own best friend in this world because, if you think about it, you really are! That means being honest and direct with yourself and most important of all, being supportive of that person you see in the mirror. And that means being supportive...of YOU!


You are special. You can accomplish anything you set your mind to achieving. You're one of a kind and you've got so much to offer your family, your friends and...yourself! But hey, you don't need me to remind you of all those qualities that make you so special. I say go to the mirror, look at that person you see looking back at you and go ahead, talk to yourself! You've got to remind yourself of just how great a person you truly are!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/20/14 10:35 P

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AN ASPIRIN-A-DAY?

Tuesday, 20 May 2014


Do you? Take a low-dose aspirin tablet each day? These days, I know a lot of people do. You may have already heard the reason why. Research has shown that taking a regular low-dose aspirin tablet each day has been shown to reduce the risk of heart attacks or strokes for certain people. And on top of that, it may even help lower the risk of getting some forms of cancer. So you can see why lots of people have joined the aspirin-a-day bandwagon.

The only thing that worries me is that so many people, especially those of my baby-boomer generation, having heard this good news, have begun taking an aspirin-a-day to get those important health benefits. But a lot of them are also doing it without the advice and/or approval of their doctors. And for all the benefits taking a daily aspirin tablet may offer some people, it's certainly not a regimen you should begin without your doctor's OK.


You should take a daily aspirin tablet only if your doctor advises you to. Chances are, if you've already suffered a heart attack or stroke, your doctor will likely recommend you take a daily low-dose aspirin to help reduce the risk of your suffering another. Keep in mind, while taking an occasional aspirin is fine for most adults, say to get some relief from a nagging headache or other aches and pains, taking an aspirin tablet everyday can have serious side-effects for some, including internal bleeding. (See why you shouldn't start the daily aspirin regimen on your own?)


So, should YOU be taking a daily aspirin tablet? Here are some situations where the answer could end up being yes: If you've had a heart attack or stroke or if you're at high risk for either, as in having high blood pressure and heart attacks/strokes are part of your family's medical history. If you're a man with diabetes, over age 50. Or if you're a woman with diabetes, over age 60. These are groups where taking a low-dose aspirin tablet may be beneficial. But, (and I cannot stress this enough), DO NOT begin a daily aspirin routine on your own. You absolutely MUST get your doctors recommendation and OK before beginning taking that aspirin-a-day.

By the way, when I say low-dose, I mean an 81 mg dosage of aspirin. (That's usually the same size as a baby aspirin.) Go to any Walgreen's, CVS pharmacy or Walmart and you'll see them clearly marked as that dosage and part of a daily aspirin regimen. Hey, who ever knew a little aspirin tablet, that's been around for so long, could have such big health benefits for some of us? Just be sure before you begin to ask your doctor...


Should you be taking an aspirin-a-day?

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/19/14 8:39 P

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OVER 20,000,000 SERVED!

Monday, 19 May 2014


Remember that old slogan that used to sit just below a typical McDonald's sign? Over the years, we watched that number go up...5 million served, 10 million, 15 million served? I wonder where that number would be now if they still used it? And I always wondered, were they talking about the number of customers served or the number of burgers served! LOL. Either way, millions served is a lot! Which brings me to a commercial I saw on TV the other day for another one of those wacky weight-loss pills.

The announcer breathlessly declared how when they reached the one million sales mark, people began to take notice. Then when they sold 10 million units, everybody was talking about it. And now that they've reached 20,000,000 sold, everybody should try this amazing pill that's gonna help them lose weight. Okay, by now, I couldn't turn away and had to listen as the announcer went on to praise this miraculous new weight-loss pill. Oh, he declared that the people who tried it were asked not to make any lifestyle changes...at all! (Uh, huh. The red flags started going up in my head right away!)


They were told NOT to change their eating habits. They were told NOT to exercise. They were told to KEEP the lifestyles they already had and the only thing they had to do was take this pill. And oh boy, that's when the claims got even more outrageous. The people who used this pill, without making any lifestyle changes, were able to see almost miraculous changes in what they weighed. Then, out marched the testimonials. I lost 25 pounds! I lost 50 pounds! And, of course, they all did it just by taking that little pill...and nothing else! The announcer made sure we knew that it wasn't just water-weight these people were losing, either. According to him, their bodies were dropping pure fat! Yikes! And they've sold ONLY 20,000,000! LOL.

Now let me ask, would you fall for claims like that? For a lot of people who've been overweight or obese most of their lives, I can see where those kinds of claims could be tempting. That pill really does sound like the "magic bullet," doesn't it? Well, there's nothing magic about it! If you spend your money, thinking you're going to see any of the weight-loss benefits those people claimed to have experienced, I've got news for you. The only "fat" you're going to lose is that extra cash you had in your checking account!


A pill that let's you eat all you want. A pill that makes exercise obsolete. A pill that "burns fat"...all by itself. All that? Oh, spare me! They want you to believe that 20,000,000 sold means their pill is a huge success. Well, maybe for the people who sell it. But I'm willing to bet that the people who actually bought that pill, thinking it was going to help them lose weight, instead ended up with something else they didn't expect for their lost wages. And, trust me...it ain't lost pounds. They're probably still every bit as overweight!

Wanna know the truth? I can give you 20,000,000 reasons not to fall for any of these outlandish weight-loss claims!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/18/14 10:39 P

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HOT & SPICY!

Sunday, 18 May 2014


Doesn't sound like the proper subject for a Sunday morning, does it? But wait-a-minute! Did you think I was describing you? LOL. Well hey, you just might be right! (We'll let that be a topic for another message in the future, okay? LOL.) But today, I wanted to ask if you'd noticed how much "all things spicy" is becoming more of an option in many of the foods you see in the supermarket these days. Oh, yes! Seems everywhere you look, they're spicing up versions of foods we never thought were meant to be spicy in the first place. Maybe you hadn't noticed so let me give you a few examples.


Bumblebee Tuna, (who I did a great video for last year), now features an albacore tuna that contains olive oil and jalapenos. The olive oil is a nice addition because it's so good for you. But when I was a kid and my mother was trying to help me lose weight, the only kind of tuna I knew about was the water-packed variety. And there was nothing hot about that to me. (In so many ways! LOL.) But jalapenos in tuna? I'll have to give it a try.



Kraft has a new brand of cheese they call Hot Habanero. It's a blend of Monterey cheese with habanero and jalapeno peppers. Oh my! I'm about to break out in a sweat just thinking about that one! LOL. I haven't seen or tried it but, if you're tempted, be sure it's a whole cheese and not one of those processed cheese products filled with oil. Watch the fat content!



Those peppers and their spicy flavors are showing up in lots of other foods, too. I'm talking everything from hot dogs to cream cheese to macaroni and cheese. The only thing I'm concerned about is, again, those peppers and spices are showing up in so many processed foods, the ones you need to be steering clear of anyway.


Do you like it hot? Well, I say rather than buying one of these pricey, spicy-hot new processed foods, buy your own peppers, dice them up and spice up the flavor of some of the foods in your kitchen. That way, you'll be getting all the spice you want without the fat and unhealthy additives that come with a lot of the processed stuff. (To reduce the heat level in your dish, be sure to remove the seeds & ribs from the inside of your peppers before dicing and tossing them in.) And by the way, peppers are good for you, too! In fact, one university study found that some peppers can actually increase your metabolism, helping you burn calories faster. (And who doesn't like the sound of that?) Hot spices, like curry, have been shown to help reduce the risk of some forms of cancer. And then there's the fact that peppers actually help raise the level of endorphins in your brain, putting you in a better mood! All that from peppers and spices? Who knew? One last thing, there's a myth that peppers or spicy foods can lead to or worsen stomach ulcers. But medical evidence has shown that not to be true.


So, if you do like it hot, spice things up! Peppers are extremely low in calories, can bump up the flavor of your foods and provide a long list of health benefits, too. So, if you like your foods on the spicy side, go ahead and enjoy, you hot & spicy thing, you!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/17/14 3:35 P

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ARE YOU HUNGRY? ((REALLY?)

Saturday, 17 May 2014


Okay, I want to ask you something this morning. When you say to yourself, I'M HUNGRY, are you....really? Seriously, I want you to think about that. The desire to eat often starts, not so much with your actually being hungry but more like with an idea in your head...to simply eat something! There's a big difference, ya' know! Is your desire to eat because you really are hungry? In fact, any time you feel like you've just got to eat something, I want you to ponder a few things. For instance, when did you have your last meal? What's that, it's been barely a couple of hours since breakfast or lunch and...you're "hungry" again, already? Or is that desire to eat again, (so soon), more like a habit of yours? Or are you wanting to eat again because you're bored? Hey, it happens!

Understanding your own eating habits and learning to recognize true hunger is key to your successfully losing weight and keeping it off. Your decision to eat, even when you may not be hungry could be triggered by a number of factors, including things like sight, that is just seeing food. Or smell. Ever walk through the mall, pass a Cinnabon, get a whiff of those warm cinnamon rolls and, next thing you know, you're craving one? (That's not "hunger," my friends!) And let's not forget those social situations. You're at a party and the table is filled with appetizers. There, sight, smell, the social impact of being with others and watching them eat can make you more likely to reach for that plate of Buffalo wings!


We eat to satisfy our appetites but we also eat for other reasons that often have nothing to do with being hungry. Come on, you know how it is. We eat to satisfy our emotions. When we're happy, it can trigger our desire to eat because we're having a good time or want to celebrate. Then, ironically, when we're feeling sad or blue, we may want to eat then, too. Yeah, let's reach for that big slice of meatloaf and buttery mashed potatoes. That's gonna make us" feel better," right? Why else would they call it "comfort food?" And we do all of those things, I mean eat more, in lots of situations, not because we're hungry but...because it makes us "feel better."


But then ask yourself, when you eat even when you're not truly hungry, how "good" do you feel when the food is gone, huh? Oh, sure. With every fork or spoon filled with some rich fattening food, you're feeling good with each bite. But how long do those good feelings last? After you've consumed a quart of rocky road ice cream, a family-sized bag of potato chips or a bag of Pepperidge Farm Milano cookies, how do you feel afterwards? Comforted? Uh, I doubt it! All you're feeling is stuffed, guilty and now you have a whole new layer of something to be depressed about!

Learn to recognize the cues, the triggers that make you reach for food, even when you probably aren't hungry. Before you take that first bite, I want you to ask yourself, am I hungry...really? Or am I about to eat out of sadness, happiness, boredom or some other emotion?


Find something to take your mind off the food. Go for a walk, start or finish reading a good book, work on a hobby or project around the house or...go exercise! (I like that one.) The key is to take your mind off the food and, when you do, believe me, you're gonna have one great reason to be proud of yourself for saving those calories and...keeping your weight-loss efforts on the right track!


Love,


RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/16/14 12:16 P

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AND-A-ONE, AND-A-TWO...

Friday, 16 May 2014


Cha, cha, cha! Hey, dance lessons, anyone? No, seriously. But I'm talking about aerobic dancing, like the moves you see me and my dance partners making in one of my Sweatin' To The Oldies DVDs. Oh, you don't know how many e-mails I receive from people telling me how worried they are about getting those dance moves down perfectly in one of my DVDs. It's like their hips are moving left when everyone else's are going right. LOL. If you've ever taken a class with me at Slimmons or even attended an aerobics class right there in your town, then you probably know what I mean! LOL. But hey, don't get yourself all worked up over it. The important thing is that you're still getting that body of yours moving!

I've told you before, as with mastering all things in life, practice makes perfect. You've just got to keep it up and, in time, you'll find yourself doing those moves just as good as everyone else. Think you can't get those dance moves down right? Well, I believe you CAN. And today, I've got a few pointers to help build your confidence level getting you into the groove like the rest of us. So...listen up!

First, especially if it's your first time in an aerobics class or using one of my DVDs, ease your way into those smooth moves. Watch the DVD, watch the other dancers and try not to concentrate too much on getting every single move down perfectly. Pay attention to the beat of the music and let the rhythym move you. That's right, take time to...feel the beat!

Don't overthink your moves either. If you're there critiquing every single move you make, worrying about if you're getting them right, you're turning your workout into, well...work when it really should be about having fun! Remember, all of those moves you're making are still getting the job done. And, what job is that? To burn those calories, of course!

Do watch the DVD and learn. Think of those dancers in my DVDs and ME as your partners. Only thing is, you don't have to worry about bumping into one of us or stepping on our toes! LOL. The advantage there, especially if you're working out at home, is that you can also later focus more on your own moves. Don't try to do that so much at first but, as you continue, you'll be surprised at just how good you're getting! That's the time to work on perfecting your moves, even the ones that gave you trouble at first!

I also want you to remember that when we record one of my DVDs, we have to do many, many takes of each song. And everybody, at one time or another, makes a mistake. (Yeah, that's right...even ME! LOL.) And there you were thinking we stepped onto the set, ready to go and got every single move down right, the first time. Are you kidding? For one thing, we would have rehearsed those songs dozens of times long before we even stepped in front of the camera. And even then, once the cameras were rolling, you might and did still hear the word...CUT! That would be the DVD's director telling us to stop and start a song all over! ( What...again? LOL.)

So, you see? Don't worry, it's not like you have two left feet. You've just got to get out there, get those arms, legs, feet and hips of yours moving, and...a one-and-a-two! Hey...looks like you'll soon be ready for Dancing With the Stars. Now don't forget...HAVE FUN!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/15/14 10:21 P

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PERK THINGS UP!

Thursday, 15 May 2014

In your food plan, that is! Every time you turn around, there seems to be some new, exotic, hard-to-find "superfood" that promises to do wonders for your body. Granted, some of those superfood claims are not far off the mark. But how many people go out looking for acai berries, coconut-water or chia seeds? You may not be too familiar with any of them but, I'll admit, they're all good for you. Only thing is, they can often be tough to find and, when you do, they can be expensive, too. But hold it! Before you head off to one of those high-priced specialty supermarkets that can also bust your budget, let me tell you about a few foods, probably in your kitchen right now, that have a few perks of their own for your good health. (And for a lot less money, too.)

For instance, get your snack-time popping with some good-old pop-corn. It's a staple in my kitchen and air-popped popcorn is one of my favorites. Did you know popcorn is one of the most nutritious snacks around? Not only is it high in fiber, it's also a disease-preventing whole grain. The popcorn they sell at the movie theater is not what I'm talking about, though. For one thing, it's usually popped in oil, taking it from being a healthy treat to a fattening one. And that's even before it's drenched with that oily mixture they call "butter." (It's usually not really butter, you know.) For a healthy and tasty popcorn treat, air-pop your kernels and toss them with just a teaspoon of olive oil and antioxidant-rich dried spices like oregano and/or rosemary.

I love fresh parsley, don't you? I'm telling you, there's a big difference in taste between using fresh parsley and the dried variety. If you want true parsley taste, buy and use it fresh. This popular garnish not only adds a dose of flavor to your reccipes but it's also loaded with bone-building vitamin K. Sprinkle fresh parsley onto eggs, pasta or you can pair it with olive oil, freshly minced garlic, walnuts or pine nuts and Parmesan cheese to create your very own twist on pesto sauce. (I talked about that yummy pesto a few days ago.)

Now, this one may surprise you and, if memory serves me well, it's a food I've never talked about here in my daily messages, sauerkraut. (And don't get out the hot dogs, either! LOL.) To talk about the importance of sauerkraut, I have to mention yogurt. What's the relationship? Well, yogurt is an excellent source for healthy bacteria that will help keep your digestive system in balance. But pickled foods, like sauerkraut, are also rich in probiotics, the healthy bacteria that makes yogurt so good for you. Try to buy your sauerkraut refrigerated and that hasn't been pasteurized to get its full health benefits. On my FoodMover, a serving size of sauerkraut would be 1/2 cup and you'd close one Vegetable window.

So, you see? You don't have to go searching all over town for hard-to-find superfoods that'll perk up your food plan and give your good health a helping-hand. Perk things up in your diet with some foods that may be in your kitchen right now. And, if they're not, just make a quick drive down to your local neighborhood supermarket and you'll find plenty of them there.

That's right, perk things up in your kitchen and for your health with these foods you don't have to go on a tough shopping mission to find!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/14/14 9:03 P

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SEE? SALT!

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

When I was growing up in New Orleans, that blue box of Morton's salt was a staple in my family's kitchen. Anybody remember Morton's slogan? When it rains, it pours. (I never quite got that, LOL.) But oh, this much I do get---when it comes to salt, then and now, too many Americans really, well...pour it on! That's right, and I poured it on, too. I poured salt onto my father's delicious scrambled eggs, his outta-sight meatloaf and even onto some of my favorite fruits. (In the south, I knew a lot of people who'd never eat a hunk of watermelon without a salt shaker on the side!)

But today, we've moved away from regular old table salt. From the chefs on the Food Network to dozens of cooking magazines, today's modern recipes are calling more and more often for sea salt. But you may be wondering, is there a difference between the two and, if there is, what is it? Well, the most notable difference between sea salt and everyday table salt is in their taste, texture and processing.

Sea salt is produced through the evaporation of ocean water or that from saltwater lakes. This is usually done with very little processing. Depending on the water source, this process leaves behind certain trace minerals and elements. Those minerals add flavor and even a little color to sea salt, which also comes in a variety of coarseness levels. You can buy it in small little salt "nuggets" or it's also sold finely ground like the table salt most of us grew up on.

More old-fashioned table salt is usually mined from underground salt deposits. (How many of you friends of mine up in Detroit know that one of the world's largest salt mines lies right beneath your city?) Table salt is also more heavily processed to eliminate minerals and usually contains an additive to prevent clumping. Most table salt also contains added iodine, an essential nutrient that helps you maintain a healthy thyroid.

Now, I want you to know that sea salt and table salt have the same basic nutritional value, despite the fact that sea salt is often promoted as being "healthier." (By the way, it's also more expensive.) They both contain almost identical amounts of sodium by weight. Now remember, it's recommended that we limit our sodium consumption to less that 2,300 milligrams per day or 1,500 mg, (if you're over age 50). If you have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, you should be extra careful to limit the amount of salt you consume. Too much sodium can complicate those medical issues and make them worse, so be careful with those salt shakers. That goes for all of us!

Whether you prefer sea salt or table salt, don't pour too much of either of them onto the foods you eat. Because, SEE, no matter where it comes from, it's still...SALT!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/13/14 9:22 P

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WHO BELIEVES IN WHO?

Tuesday, 13 May 2014


An e-mail I received a few weeks ago really got me thinking about that question. See, this sweet young lady from northern California wrote telling me about the success she's had so far at losing weight. Hers was one of those kinds of e-mail I told you about a while back that just plain-old make me smile. I just had to share it with you so...keep reading.

Richard, I wanted to thank you for caring about people like me. I've lost 87 pounds so far by changing the way I eat and exercising with your videos. (Boogie Down The Pounds is my favorite.) I'm diabetic and have severe arthritis in one of my knees. Of course, both of those medical problems have been complicated by my weight. My highest weight was 334 pounds. I'm down to 247 now and my goal is to lose another 60 pounds.

When I was at my heaviest weight. I was very ashamed of who I was and "accepted" the fact that I was never going to be fit. But taking control of my eating habits and working out with you everyday has helped me gain confidence and, on top of that, has actually made me...more athletic! (I never thought I'd be typing those words about myself. LOL!) I've used your videos at home and, in the process, have gained enough confidence that I've even joined a gym because I want to get even stronger!

My boyfriend and I were recently in Los Angeles and we took a class at Slimmons. After class, we drove to Venice Beach, rented bicycles and went for a seven-mile rise along the shore! Oh, what fun we had! And I can't believe that me, yes me, the girl who once could barely walk around the block on her own was now able to complete a one hour class at Slimmons then take a seven-mile bike ride! All in the same day!

I owe you so much. Your kindness, your patience and your teaching has helped me more than you'll ever know. Well, I just wanted you to know how much it all means to me. Thank You again, Richard, for believing in people like me.

Not only was I smiling when I read that e-mail, I was also on the verge of tears...of happiness, that is! I'm sure you can see why! This young lady says she "owes" me so much. Well, I owe HER because it's these kinds of success stories that keep me going. Truth is, she owes herself for all of that hard work, newly found confidence and, let's not forget, the new level of fitness she has. And as long as she holds on to that great attitude and keeps on fighting, I have no doubt that she'll reach her final goal. Boy, talk about a great deal. And, if I may tell the truth, her success is not just because she believed in me. It's because she believed...in herself!

Who do you believe in?


Love,

RICHARD


"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/11/14 9:22 P

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I'LL ALWAYS LOVE MY MOMMA!

Sunday, 11 May 2014

She's my favorite girl! Oh, my dear sweet Shirley! She lives in Heaven now, with my father, Leonard but, you know what? She still lives here on earth...inside my heart! So, the present tense is right, Shirley is still my favorite girl. And, I have to say, I had the greatest mother in the world. (More on that subject later.) But for now, I want to share a few of my memories with you about my darling Shirley on this Mother's Day.

I was quite the cutup, growing up on St. Louis Street back home in New Orleans' French Quarter. (I wonder how many of you are surprised to hear that. LOL.) Oh yes, even back then, I played by my crazy antics, and sometimes on my mother. LOL. I must have driven Shirley a little nuts every now and then but more than anything, I loved making her laugh. Because when she did, her infectious laughter just filled the room and made everybody laugh! But Shirley had a serious side, too. She taught my brother, Leonard and me so many important life lessons. And one of her most important lessons was for us to always treat everyone we met with respect. (Thank you, Mother!)

Years later, after I was all grown up, I moved, settled down and began my life here in Los Angeles. (You all know how that turned out, right? LOL.) But even though I was 2,000 miles away from where I grew up, I was close as ever to my angel, my Shirley. Every few months, she'd go into her New Orleans kitchen and cook up a storm, preparing some of my favorite dishes. Oh, she'd make shrimp etouffe, jambalaya, shrimp creole...all of my New Orleans favorites. Wait, I almost forgot...the gumbo! (How could I do that?! LOL.) Shriely would freeze everything, Lenny would box it up for her with these little blue-ice packs and send them FedEx overnight to me here in Los Angeles. Oh, boy! Every delicious bite would be like a slice of home, made with my Shirley's own hands and filled with love.

The saddest day of my life was getting the news that my Shirley had gone to live in Heaven. But like I said before, she still lives inside me. Today, I will thumb through some of the beautiful family photo albums Lenny has put together for me over the years. As I flip each page looking through the photos, so many happy memories will flood my mind. I still have flowers delivered to my own house every Mother's Day and place them right next to the portrait of Shirley that hangs in my living room. Those flowers are a reminder that she's still with me.

Yes, I'll say it again. I have the greatest mother in the world. But, you know what? Whether your own mother is still with you here on earth or in Heaven with my Shirley, I'll understand if you stop me and say, "No, Richard, I have the greatest mother in the world!" See, we should all feel that way about our mothers. Oh, what special and one-of-a-kind ladies they are. That's right, we only get one. And I'll say it again, I'll always love my Momma, she IS my favorite girl. And I know your mother is your favorite girl to you, too!

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY to you wonderful mom's out there. You're the favorite girls in our lives and...I LOVE YOU ALL!



Richard


"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/10/14 1:07 P

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SAVE-A-LOT!

Saturday, 10 May 2014


Isn't there a grocery store chain by the same name? I don't think we have them out here in California but I know I've seen their stores as I travel around the country. Well today, I'm not here to drum up more profits for that chain, although I hope they really are saving their customers...a lot! LOL. But on this Saturday, just in case there's a weekly supermarket visit in your plans today, I want to tell you how to save plenty, at whichever grocery store chain is your favorite. Let me tell you how.

First of all, compare unit prices. Do you know what that means? When you're grocery shopping, look for the shelf-tag, located just beneath the item you're thinking about purchasing. They're the best way to determine which package size is the best deal. Now bigger is usually cheaper per unit price but...not always. The unit price will tell you what the item in that size costs you per quart, per ounce, even per sheet. Choose the size that has the lowest unit price and you'll get more bang for your buck when you do!


Don't be afraid to try store brands. Let's face it, we're often tempted and lured in by those sexy, gotta-have-it ads we see on TV for many of the national brands. But keep in mind, to bring you those fun commercials, the food companies have got to pay for those ads. And uh, who do you think actually pays for their commercials? Well, you do of course! That's right, the food companies pass the cost of their advertising budgets right on to you! But the surprising news is, according to Consumer Reports magazine, store brands are just as good and, sometimes, even better than their nationally advertised siblings. And, because the grocery store doesn't have a real advertising budget for most of their products, you almost always end up spending less by buying store brands.

Make use of those store coupons! A couple of weeks ago, I cautioned you to use store coupons only for items you purchase on a regular basis. (It makes no sense to buy something you rarely or may never use just to "save" money. You'll actually be throwing away money if you do.) In 2013, consumers saved 3.5 billion dollars using store coupons! But the majority of shoppers never use them. Well, you should! Just like with those high-priced TV commercials, manufacturers factor the price of coupon discounts into the cost of the products you buy. By not using them, you're putting your hard-earned cash right back into the company's pockets. (Now, why would you want to do that?)

One more thing, if your favorite supermarket has a customer-loyalty program then, by all means, join it! You'll end up getting discounts at the cash register for many of the items you buy and some chains now even offer a fuel-rewards component. With it, you can save cents-off per gallon at participating gas stations and save money on that drive to the supermarket, too. So if your favorite store has one of those programs, be sure to ask, where do I sign up?

I know some of you like those big membership chains like Costco and Sam's Club. But, if you live alone and shop only for yourself, buying huge packages of foods that'll probably reach their expiration date before you use them doesn't make a lot of sense either. But if you have a larger family, a membership store may work out very nicely for you.


So there you have it, Richard's money-saving tips for your next visit to the supermarket. And, in case you're headed to Ralph's, Albertson's or good old Save-A-Lot this afternoon, I really DO want YOU to...save-a-lot!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/9/14 1:22 P

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PRESTO, IT'S PESTO!

Friday, 09 May 2014

Pesto sauce, that is! And, oh yes, it's one of my favorites. I loved it when I was attending art school in Florence, Italy. It's especially tasty over there and I love pesto here in the U.S.A., too! Thank you, my Italian friends, for introducing us Americans to pesto! Oh yes, pesto sauce is yummy fine but, the question is, if you're maintaining a healthy food program or working to lose weight, can you make pesto sauce part of your food plan? Well, when it comes to how much and what you eat of any food, it always comes down to one word---moderation!

When it comes to pesto, who can resist that flavorful combination of basil leaves, olive oil, garlic, parmesan cheese and pine nuts? (Boy, my hands are trembling even as I write the words. LOL.) The combination of ingredients that makes pesto sauce taste oh-so-fine adds up to 270 calories for just a tiny 1/4 cup serving. That includes 23 grams of fat, by the way. But here's the thing, the fat found in pesto sauce is mostly unsaturated fat which can actually promote good heart health. In fact, if you use unsaturated fats in your diet, you may even experience a decrease in your LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Replace butter and fat-heavy cream sauces, (like Alfredo), with pesto, giving yourself a healthy alternative, without giving up any flavor.

Now let's talk some more about the calorie-count of pesto sauce. Like I said, just a quarter-cup contains 270 calories. The good news is that pesto is not only calorie-dense but it's flavor-dense, too. That means just a little goes a long way to kick up the flavor of some of your favorite dishes. How's about stirring a little pesto into a plain Greek yogurt to create an interesting dip for your freshly chopped vegetables to snack on? Or stir just a tad of pesto sauce into your bowl of soup to add a more delightful flavor. Instead of slathering butter onto your piece of crusty bread, use a little pesto to add some wonderful taste to that bread's crunch.

I saved the best for last and that is, of course, pasta! Oh, my...pasta and pesto, a marriage made in culinary heaven, right? LOL. They're a natural together! As you toss hot, freshly cooked pasta with that wonderful pesto sauce, the flavors literally do "marry." The heat brings out the fabulous flavors of the basil, the garlic, the pine nuts, the...oh, let me stop! I'm making myself hungry! LOL.


On my FoodMover, one tablespoon of pesto counts as a serving and you would close one FAT window. And, remember, it's a good-for-your-body unsaturated fat, too. The good news is that a teaspoon of pesto sauce can go a very long way to adding a lot of flavor to whatever you're having. So, getting back to my original question, YES, pesto can be a healthy addition to your meals and even your weight-loss plans. So much flavor for such a small amount of sauce? You betcha! Hey, what else can I say but...


PRESTO, IT'S PESTO!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/8/14 9:20 A

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WHAT'S YOUR TYPE?

Thursday, 08 May 2014

No, I'm not talking about the type of person you prefer in a mate. Today's message is more about...what type of person are you? Did you ever stop to think about it? There're a number of characteristics that define our personalities. They all determine what kind of friend we'll make, how we treat others and how well we do in a relationship. There are five personality traits I want to spotlight today. See which one of them best describes you.

CONSCIENTIOUS. People in this personality group are usually very organized, consistent and dependable. (I hope I fall into that group.) The qualities I just described often increase as they age because these people tend to become more involved in their careers and personal relationships.


AGREEABLE. These folks are polite, trusting and prefer cooperation over competition. (I like the sound of that.) Plus, they tend to feel more compassion for others. (I'm liking these guys more and more!) As they age, these qualities increase as they work to meet the expectations of their colleagues at work and their family members. (They sound like good friends to have in your life.)


OPENNESS. (I already like the sound of this group.) They're intellectually curious, are usually inventive, sensitive to art and beauty plus they're usually very imaginative. (Okay, I've got to fall in with these people, they sound like me!) Their positive traits may tend to diminish with age but some people work to develop and improve on them as they get older. (I know I will!)

EXTROVERTS. They're the type who're talkative, sociable, assertive and socially dominant. (I can see some of myself in that list, too.) Like with the open people I just talked about, their positive qualities may also diminish with age. But it may be because they're working so hard to maintain established relationships instead of making an effort to create new ones.


NEUROTICISM. (Oh, oh!) The men and women in this group worry a lot! They feel stressed out more often, are prone to feeling sad & anxious, and are often temperamental or moody. (Do you know any people like that?) I'm glad to report that their nervous qualities also tend to decrease as they age. And that's because many of them learn to control those negative emotions and distract themselves by avoiding the unpleasant situations in life that upset them. (I'd say that's pretty smart!)

So, I'll ask again, what's your type? Which group would best describe your personality? Some of them? All of them? Well, as you can see, there can be positive qualities in each. Explore your own personality and think of ways you can add more of the positive qualities in each group to your life. Hey, we've all got personality, some better than others. Work on improving yours and you'll be "the type" who adds more happiness to the lives of the people you know and, beginning with your own!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/7/14 9:22 A

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DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART!

Wednesday, 07 May 2014

And I just know you wouldn't, right? But I have to tell you, sometimes when I read my e-mails, I do end up getting a little broken-hearted. How and why? Well, it's when I receive an e-mail from someone, so distraught over their weight-loss efforts that they're just about ready to give up. Oh, they must have been on what seems like an endless number of fad diets and, with each one, their "success" was actually very little success at all. That is, they may have lost a few pounds in the beginning only to run out of motivation in a couple of weeks. The few pounds they lost slowly, (and sometimes quickly), come right back. They look in the mirror and question themselves: WHY, why can't I do this? I may as well give up on even trying! (Can you hear that cracking sound? That's my heart breaking...again!)


Could it be the reason you haven't had success at losing weight and keeping it off in the past is because you tried the wrong program? Was it one of those fad diets where you swear off entire food groups while concentrating on eating more from another? Or maybe you were tempted to try one of those new diet pills that promised to miraculously burn calories and fat from your body. Maybe you were even on a nutritionally sound weight-loss program but after a while, you just couldn't maintain the attitude and motivation to stick with it. Oh, the heartbreak!

Now listen up everybody, if I've told you once, I've told you a million times, losing weight is all about being consistent and staying on program. Those extra pounds you've gained, whether it's 25, 50, 100 pounds or more, did not "sneak" onto your body. The numbers on your scale slowly crept up because you were consistently eating the wrong foods and too much of them. Plus, you were consistently saying no to starting and sticking with a daily exercise program. You consistently placed those doubts in your head about losing weight and some of you even accepted the idea that you were just "meant to be" overweight. Boy, talk about a broken heart!

It's time to turn those doubts on their head. It's time to turn those things you consistently did wrong when it comes to your weight into things you consistently do right. That means not falling for the next "new & improved" diet plan that comes down the pike. You want new & improved? Well, when it comes to losing weight, the old-fashioned way is the only way to do it. That means eating the right mix of foods from all five of the major food groups. It means devoting an hour out of each day to get that body of yours sweatin' and working out. It means kicking those doubts out of your mind and, for once, believing in yourself and in what you CAN DO. Just remember, once you start, you've got to stay consistent at it, too...all the way to your goal. Hey, how simple is that!


So, what say you? Well, I SAY YOU need to stop the negative thoughts and stop the doubt. Get on the right track and show yourself what you can do. And oh, I know you can, too. Lately, I've been reading some pretty positive e-mails from ladies and gentlemen who're all doing just that. I want YOU to join the club! When you get started and you stay consistent, you will reach your weight-loss goal and meet the brand new you. And, oh yeah, when you do, at the same time, you'll be helping me out because that's how you can help MEND my broken heart. And, ever better...


Yours, too!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/6/14 8:41 P

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FORGET SOMETHING?

Tuesday, 06 May 2014

Well, who doesn't? I know I do, LOL! With all of the things I have to get done on a typical day, it's no wonder my mind slips and I forget or misplace something every now and then. What, you too? Well, welcome to the club! LOL. But seriously, as we get older, those little memory lapses may worry you more than they did when you were younger. Now that we're more aware of medical problems like Alzheimer's or dementia, it's understandable why we might get more concerned when we begin forgetting things more often. But you need to remember, being forgetful from time to time is simply a normal part of life. In case you're wondering the difference between what's normal and what isn't, I've got a few guidelines for you.

Occasionally forgetting the names of acquaintances, books or a movie you saw years ago is normal, and the names of those things popping into your head later is very normal. What's not normal is forgetting the names of close friends or family members you see on a regular basis. Or being unable to remember things you only recently learned. And worse is being unaware of your memory loss.

Normal is occasionally forgetting where you're going. What's not normal is getting lost in a place you should be very familiar with, like your own neighborhood or forgetting how you got somewhere at all.

It's normal to sometimes have trouble finding the right word to use in a particular situation. (It happens to the best of us!) What's not normal is frequently forgetting common words that you've probably used everyday.

It's normal to misplace things. (Who hasn't done that?) But what's not normal is to put common objects you use everyday in unusual places, like putting your car keys in the freezer then wondering how they got there.

Occasional bouts of moodiness are normal and common in just about everybody. But if you're experiencing sudden mood swimgs for no apparent reason, then you may very well have something more serious to be concerned about. Also in this category would include an unusual tendency to become suspicious, fearful or easily upset about things.

So, how ya' doing? By looking at this list of things of what's normal and what's not when it comes to your memory and mood, I hope you have a better idea about when and when not to be concerned about yourself. But if you have a loved one or family member who may be demonstrating more of these things to worry about than you think is good, you may want to look into having them checked out to make sure they're okay. Because if there's one thing that's especially precious to you and your family, it's making sure you all take good care of your bodies and your minds.

Don't forget!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/5/14 9:14 A

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HEY THERE, LONELY GIRL

Monday, 05 May 2014

Or lonely boy! Do you ever feel lonely? I mean, even if you're married and have a family, loneliness can rear its oh-so-sad head and dump the feeling of being all alone on you. But loneliness can do more than just make you feel sad. Researchers have discovered that people who feel consistently lonely have a 14% higher risk of premature death than those who don't. Oh, dear! Now there's a good reason, all by itself, to pull yourself out of those loneliness doldrums. In fact, the impact of constant loneliness is almost as strong as that of being poor which, by the way, increases the chances of premature death by as much as 9%.

Loneliness can lead to other problems, too. For instance, research has found that loneliness can cause you to have problems falling asleep. (And I've told you many times how important a good night's sleep is for your overall good health.) Loneliness can also raise your blood pressure which, on its own, can lead to a number of health problems. The other thing that loneliness can "raise" is the stress hormone cortisol in your body. That's not good because cortisol leads to an increase in depression and eventually reduces your feeling of leading a meaningful life. Now come on and admit, none of this stuff sounds very good, does it? But how do you combat those feelings of loneliness?


Well, first of all, if you often find yourself feeling lonely, try not to spend so much time being alone. Make more of an effort to stay in touch with former colleagues or friends from work or school. Maintain a healthy, interactive relationship with your immediate family, making more of an effort to spend quality time with them. Create a circle of friends in social media with Twitter or Facebook. But remember, don't "hide" behind your computers. Try to get together for some physical one-on-one time for face-to-face conversation and interaction with others. That personal contact will do wonders for your soul. And speaking of your soul, are you a church-goer? Church is the perfect place to meet and make new friends. Look for social functions in your town where you can get together with others and make new friends. Maybe there's a favorite hobby you can do with others, giving you an opportunity to be more social and not spend so much time all to yourself. By the way, little "alone time" is good for all of us but, remember, we humans are social animals and need the company of others sometimes.

Maintaining high-quality relationships with a few people is one of the keys to a happy life and living a long one, too. Don't let life's problems drag you down. The stresses life throws your way are tough enough to handle on their own. But if you have a few close "go-to" friends you can talk those problems and stresses out with, then you'll be better able to handle life's challenges.

Whatever you do, please don't become a hermit and end up isolating yourself when you're feeling blue. Staying locked-up and away from others will only make you feel even more alone, more depressed and, I'm very sorry to say, can even subtract years from your life. Don't let that happen.


Invite others to be a part of your life and, the good news is, those relationships you build will add years to your life and to your friend's lives, too. Make an effort to meet and make some new friends this month because I don't want you to be "the lonely guy"...or girl!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/4/14 9:31 A

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HERE COMES THE SUN!

Sunday, 04 May 2014


And boy, it took long enough this year, didn't it? I believe my friends in states like Minnesota, Michigan and Massachusetts are finally getting the cold-weather break they've long been waiting for. That's right, look...up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it the Man of Steel, himself? LOL. Oh no, it's something ever better to help save the day...it's the SUN! And, as it turns out, the sun really can be a "superhero" of sorts to us humans. Do I even have to tell you how much difference there is between a cold, gray, rainy day and a beautiful spring day filled with warm sunshine? Come on, you know how much better you feel when you're outside on a pretty, sunshiny afternoon, right? Well, turns out that the sun is not only doing wonders for your mood, it's doing good things for you physically, too.

You see, the sun's ultraviolet-A rays may actually help lower your blood pressure! (That was news to me.) We owe this discovery to our friends over in Great Britain. In a British study, they exposed 24 people with normal blood pressure to 20 minutes of the sun's UVA radiation. They found that solar exposure actually widened the blood vessels of those people participating in the study. That dose of sunshine also increased the level of nitrite in their blood leading to a significant reduction in their blood pressure readings. I really like the sound of that!


Remember, high blood pressure can lead to a number of medical issues. They include heart disease, an increased risk of stroke and even kidney problems later in life. You already know how important a healthy diet is to controlling your blood pressure. And of course, regular exercise is another guaranteed way to help keep your blood pressure in check. And now, you can add the warmth of the sun's rays to the list of ingredients that can help maintain your healthy blood pressure. This is not part of the study but I just wonder...could the better moods those days filled with sunshine put us in possibly have an effect on our blood pressure, too? (Just wondering.)

Ahhh, the sun! I'm so glad that big ball of energy in the sky is there to make us feel so much better here on earth. And now, we're finding out it may actually help lower our blood pressure, too. Not only that, we can finally get back to working on our tans this year! LOL. Now keep in mind, for all the good the sun does for you...don't overdo it! The British blood pressure study was done for short periods of UV exposure. So don't go sitting out in the sun all day long thinking you're gonna end up with a tan like George Hamilton's! (Some of you may be too young to remember who he is! LOL.) But in any event, if you're going to be in the sun for long periods of time, don't forget to protect your skin from overexposure by using a good sunscreen!


Okay, you sun worshipers out there, I know how excited you must be. We're into May already and you know what that means, our old friend in the sky is back. Here comes the sun!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/3/14 12:49 P

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POSSIBLE SIDE-EFFECTS MAY INCLUDE...

Saturday, 03 May 2014

That line, (or one very much like it), always accompanies one of those prescription drug ads that seem to have taken over the airwaves these days. When I was a kid, the only drug ads you'd see on TV were commercials for everyday over-counter-drugs like Bayer Aspirin or a bottle of Geritol! (Do they still sell Geritol?) But today, they can advertise just about any doctor-prescribed medication on TV. And, if they're all to be believed, most of us should never get sick! Oh, they've got a drug for everything from ridding a lady's skin of adult acne to helping men get back their long-lost testosterone. (Oh, my!)

But...buyer beware! Sure, throughout the day, you see plenty of commercials for things to cure what ails you. But, and I'm sure you've noticed, a big part of that commercial will always warn you about possible side-effects. I've seen them range from everything including elevated blood pressure to even death! (Gulp!) You should be aware, pharmaceutical companies spend something to the tune of three billion, (that's right), I said $3,000,000,000 a year on those ads. They claim their goal is to "educate" consumers. (Uh, huh.) But a 2013 review found that half of those ads were potentially misleading and, worse, about 10% of them were purely false! (Now that's something to be concerned about!) Let me give you a couple of examples.

I'm not gonna call any names here but one drug claims to lower cholesterol better than many other prescription drugs on the market. In the ad, a doctor describes the dangers of LDL or bad cholesterol. (Something I've told you about many times.) LDL cholesterol causes a buildup of plaque in your body's arteries and, sure enough, can lead to your suffering a stroke or heart attack. In the ad, the doctor goes on to say that the drug advertised will help those high-risk patients who have high LDL cholesterol. But evidence doesn't back up the doctor's claim. (He's probably not a real doctor anyway, just playing one on TV!) What he doesn't tell you is that some generic drugs will work just as well as the medication advertised in that commercial. And they'll probably be a lot easier on your pocketbook, too.

Another commercial features a lady who is bothered, even embarrassed by her psoriasis when having her hair done at the beauty salon. She asks her dermatologist about the situation and, after trying this medication he tells her about, oh look! On her next visit to the salon, her hair is shinier, healthier and she doesn't have to be ashamed at all. It's a miracle! But, hold it! The medication in that commercial is very expensive. How expensive? Well, one month's treatment runs anywhere from $2,500 to over $5,000! (Hey, they don't tell you that in the commercial!) But are you ready for this? The drug also interferes with your body's immune system so let's talk about its "rare but serious" side-effects. We're talking things like an increased risk of tuberculosis and even severe infections. Rare side-effects? Okay, sure. But who wants those kinds of risks, not to mention what the drug costs?

Look, I'm not out to beat up on the drug companies. After all, a lot of their medicines do us a lot of good. But I do worry that, as a society, we've become too dependent on pills to cure everything that ails us. One of the reasons I'm here everyday is to encourage you to take good care of that body of yours. By eating the right foods, maintaining a healthy weight and making exercise a daily part of your life, you can very well head off some of those medical problems that affect many of us. Follow your doctor's orders and do take your medications, of course. But, at the same time, try to head off the need for many of them by making the right lifestyle choices and living that healthy lifestyle...everyday!


Love,


RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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5/2/14 10:35 A

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APRIL SHOWERS BRING MAY'S...

Friday, 02 May 2014


(AHHH-CHOO!) Flowers! (Whew, sorry...and excuse me!) Oh yes, April showers bring May's flowers but that means they bring May's pollen, too! And if you're an allergy sufferer, then you know what I mean! So how are those allergies treating you as spring is bustin' out all over? Well, if spring's blossoming flowers, not to mention the season's green-again trees are giving your allergies fits, you're not alone. Roughly 20% of Americans suffer from hay fever and, wouldn't you know? It becomes much more prevalent this time of year, when your body's immune system overreacts to this season's pollen invasion. (Hey, kinda like Invasion of the Body Snatchers! LOL.)

But getting relief from hay fever and those allergies is possible and doesn't have to cost you a fortune, either. The best way to get relief depends on the severity of your allergies. If your symptoms are annoying but you can tolerate them, there are some simple things you can do that may help. Remember, pollen is everywhere these days and it collects in your hair, on your skin and on your clothes. When you return home from a long time outside, take off your shoes and change clothes so you don't give that pollen a chance to linger in the house and on you. Take a shower before bedtime to wash any lingering pollen from your body so you don't transfer it to your bedding.


If allergy symptoms interfere with your everyday activities, over-the-counter drugs can provide some relief. Just be sure to treat only the symptoms you have. For watery, itchy eyes, use antihistamine eyedrops. An over-the-counter oral antihistamine will also help eye problems as well as work on those sneezing spells. Just remember, some people respond differently to various brands so, if one doesn't work, try another brand. By the way, according to Consumer Reports, brand name and generic versions are equally effective so shop by price...not by brand. You'll save money while still getting the relief you need.

If you have daily symptoms and antihistamines don't seem to be getting the job done, a nasal steroid spray is probably your best option. It can relieve watery, itchy eyes and help keep at bay congestion-related headaches. There are over-the-counter versions of these sprays but some doctors are concerned that using them on your own could possibly increase the risk of side-effects. Those nclude nasal dryness & irritation, sore throat or headache. So be sure to get your doctor's okay before using them. There are also prescription nasal sprays and your doctor may prefer you use one he or she prescribes.



Finally, if nothing seems to help you, tell your doctor! Allergy shots available but they're usually the last resort. They may eliminate the need for other medications but also require a big commitment of time on your part. It's called immunotherapy and means getting regular injections at your doctor's office over a 3-5 year time period. (Let's hope it doesn't come to that.)

In the meantime, you can survive this allergy and hay fever season. Hey, I want you to be able to stop and smell the roses, the tulips and the azaleas...without having one of those sneezing fits.



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/30/14 6:23 P

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LET'S GET PHYSICAL!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Anybody remember that Olivia Newton John hit from the 80s? It's one of my old favorites and just perfect for one of my workouts at Slimmons! The song's music video featured Olivia in an exercise class, wearing the cutest blue aerobic outfit, complete with headband. (Oh, so 80s! LOL.) Olivia's song, with its great beat and catchy lyrics probably had more meaning than she even realized back then. In fact, the title of the song echoes what I've been preaching for over 40 years. And that is to "get physical" by getting that body of yours...moving! Oh sure, I'm talking about exercise but it's important to be as active as you can, period, all during your waking hours.

Turns out, getting physical, keeping yourself moving has its own special perks, as in physical benefits for your body. Research continues to show that the more time we spend sitting, watching TV or just simply lying around the house, the shorter our lifespans are likely to be...oh, my! Check this news out.

In an analysis of over 92,000 older women in the Women's Health Initiative study, it was discovered that among those women who spent more than eleven of their waking hours each day sitting and resting, there was a 12% increase in premature death among the group. That is, compared to those women who spent more time on their feet doing things, moving those bodies of theirs and yes...exercising! See why it's so important to get that body of yours moving as often as you can? I've told you a thousand times, your body was designed to MOVE. Now don't get me wrong, resting and leisure time are very important, too. But, hey, if you're not moving that body of yours, just what are you resting from?

Even when you're not working out, you should make a conscious effort to move that body of yours.

For those of you working to lose weight, you know how important it is to get physical, including your hour of daily exercise. But even when you're not working out, you should make a conscious effort to move. Working around the house, mowing the yard, planting flowers or even dancing to one of your favorite songs on the radio are a few ways for you to get more physical. And by the way, the added benefit is that the more you move around, the more it revs up your metabolism to get your body burning even more calories. And who doesn't want that bonus, right?


Oh, now that I've talked about it so much, I feel like getting up and moving a little right now. Whatta you say? Care to join me? I say let's all go a little retro with Olivia today. Let's don our leotards, our matching headbands on and oh yeah, baby...let's get physical. Like the song says, let me hear your body talk!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/29/14 8:26 P

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THE WEIGHT TO GO!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

And that's what you want, right? For those extra pounds you've been carrying all of these year to do just that...GO AWAY! Well, to make that happen, it's all about taking control of your eating habits and proving that what goes into your body is up to you! (It is, you know.) There's the exercise too. Of course, a successful weight-loss program has to include a dedicated, daily exercise program. But, oh what to do? When it comes to exercise, I hope you know my drill by now. Three days a week of cardio/aerobic workouts. That's when you get your heart rate up by getting that body of yours moving. Alternate those cardio workouts with three days of strength-training, also called resistance training, where you really work those muscles of yours. Then, on the seventh day, I recommend you take a good hour-long walk. But today, I want to focus on the free-weights part of resistance-training.

I know a lot of women get intimidated by the idea of using free-weights as part of their exercise program. They're afraid they'll end up looking like one of those muscle-bound body builders. Oh, perish the thought! In case you hadn't noticed, God designed a woman's body to look and work a "little bit" differently than a man's. (You have noticed that, right? LOL.) But seriously, a woman using free-weights is going to strengthen her muscles while tightening up those unique curves of hers, too. Today, I wanted to clue you in on a couple of the benefits of weight-lifting.

For one thing, muscle burns more calories than fat and that's a fact. One pound of muscle can burn 5-8 calories per day. A pound of fat? It burns only about two calories a day, WOW! A woman who lifts weights three days a week for six months may expect to gain two to four pounds of muscle in that time period. If you do the math, she'll only be burning a few more calories per day but, the better news is that she'll see her body firming up. And come on, ladies, who doesn't want that?

Getting strong has other health benefits for your body, too. Not only will weight-lifting help you lose weight because you're burning more calories but look at what else you'll get. Stronger muscles and bones, reduced blood pressure, even reduced numbers for your blood sugar and bad, (LDL), cholesterol numbers. Reducing all of those numbers is a good thing if you're at risk for heart problems, diabetes or stroke. But here's the bonus. Getting strong by lifting those free-weights is actually gonna lower your risk for getting any of those medical problems in the first place.

Now I've gotta say, exercise...period, offers your body some pretty amazing benefits. But if your goal is to get stronger and tighten up that figure of yours, I say it's time to roll up your sleeves and put those free-weights to work for you. Come on, what have you got to lose but, uh, those extra pounds. And, while you're at it, you're gonna be building a leaner, tighter and okay, (I might as well say it), sexier body for yourself, too.

Hey now, the way I see it, that really is...the WAY to go!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/27/14 10:25 P

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THREE FOR SPRING!

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Are you walking more now that the temperatures are getting warmer? Are you enjoying watching the spring's flowers bloom? And, are you enjoying the wider choice of fresh springtime vegetables? Ahhhh, now there's my hook for today's message! More walking and more colors to enjoy in the world around you are a couple of the many things we have to look forward to in this new season. But, oh boy, those springtime vegetables are another thing I look forward to this time of year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture, (USDA), and the American Diabetes Association, a couple of organizations looking out for our good health, recommend filling your plate with the veggies of spring. And I've got three suggestions for you, too! Beginning with...

Artichokes. Oh, they're one of my favorites. But wait 'til you hear just how good they are for your body. A 2004 study by the USDA found that, besides beans, artichokes contain higher levels of disease-fighting antioxidants than any other vegetable. They're at their peak this time of year, too. How's about picking some up the next time you're at the supermarket and steaming them for lunch or dinner?

Radishes. Oh, they're so cute. (My mother loved them.) They make an excellent little snack all their own and are so fun to eat. (You've just gotta love that crunch!) But that's not all they're good for. Radishes are high in glucosinolates. (And don't worry, I had to look up what that word meant, too. LOL.) Turns out they're sulfur-containing compounds that may help protect your body's cells from genetic mutations that could cause cancer. (I think that's a good enough reason right there to eat more radishes.) But wait, there's more! Radishes are loaded with vitamin C and just one cup of those little crimson wonders provide nearly one-fourth of an adult woman's daily requirements of that important vitamin. So load up, ladies, the next time you're at the salad bar and they're very low in calories, too! As a matter of fact, radishes are a Bonus vegetable on my FoodMover. So if you're using my FoodMover to help you drop those pounds, you don't even have to close any of your windows! (Hey, why do you think I call it a Bonus window? LOL.)

Fennel, anyone? I know lots of people have probably never used it but if you've never had 'em, you're missing out. Fennel has a licorice-like flavor and, in fact, is used in making that candy favorite. But fennel is a tasty vegetable all its own. It pairs nicely with fish, can be added to cole slaw and some people even use it as a flavor enhancer in their mashed potatoes. But speaking of bonuses, fennel has one, too. It has high levels of potassium and may help keep your blood pressure in check by counteracting the blood-pressure raising effects of sodium.

So there you have it, three wonderful veggies for spring! They're all good for your weight-loss efforts and good for your body, too! Hey, looks like you've got one more bonus for spring arriving no, wait...that's three of them. Make artichokes, radishes and fennel three of your vegetable choices...this spring!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/26/14 11:41 A

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STAY-AT-HOME MOMS

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Back when I was growing up, they were the "norm." In fact, on just about all of those black & white sitcoms of the 60s, the stay-at-home mom was called a "housewife." Oh, the title seemed innocent enough back then but, today, it almost sounds a little demeaning. "House-wife?" Hey, like those mothers were married to their houses? (See why I say it seems a little insulting in hindsight?) Back in the heyday of the Women's Rights movement, the phrase was often changed to "Domestic Engineer." And while that term may have been well-meaning and paid a little more respect, it still sounds kinda cold and impersonal to me about what a stay-at-home mom really does. Theirs is a very important job!

Oh sure, dad may be at work all day earning the money it takes to keep the house up and running. But if it weren't for those stay-at-home moms, his days at the office or the plant might be a lot tougher not to mention, coming home might not be such a joy either. Are you a stay-at-home mom? Then you know, even though you don't have to get dressed and head to "work," the job you have to get done everyday keeps you every bit as busy. Hey, it's not like you're able to sit around all day watching soap operas while dipping into a box of Godiva chocolates. (Hey, you'd better not be! LOL.)


And if you have kids who're not quite school-age and are with you all day, that can add a whole other level of responsibility to all of the things you have to get done each day. But, along with that added responsibility comes an opportunity. I know a lot of parents are into home-schooling their children these days. Instead of attending public school, their learning takes place right there at home with mom or dad as their teachers. But if you home-school your children, while you're teaching them the three "R's," now is also the time to teach them about the two "E's." That is about eating and exercise! There's the opportunity.


I mean, what a unique position you're in to help teach your children about the importance of eating right and maintaining a daily exercise program. As you know, for years, I've been working hard to make physical education part of the core curriculum in America's public schools. (Like it was in the old days of black & white TV.) What a perfect opportunity to teach your kids how important it is to take good care of their bodies. In fact, why not make exercise a part of your daily routine with the kids? I love when I read e-mails from adults who, when they were kids, worked out with their moms while watching The Richard Simmons Show. Or some of them were Sweatin' To The Oldies with their moms all those years ago. Talk about teaching the children well!

By the way, I don't want to forget you stay-at-home DADS out there. You're part of this modern new age we live in. My own father was slightly ahead of his time because he was the original "Mr. Mom." My mother worked all day at Maison Blanche department store while my father was in charge of the best home-cooked meals in New Orleans' French Quarter. (Thank You, Dad!)


Whether you're a stay-at-home mom OR dad, remember to teach your children well. And part of doing that is teaching yourself well by eating the right foods and exercising daily. Your kids will see the lifestyle you're living and may very well end up following your lead. Set the right example for your kids and do the right things for your own good health at the same time. That way, whether you're at the house, running errands or picking up the kids, you'll be the healthiest parents in the neighborhood while having some healthier children, too!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/24/14 8:19 P

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I APPRECIATE YOU!

Thursday, 24 April 2014


When I read my e-mail and Facebook posts everyday, I'm thankful to read so many comments from people saying how much they appreciate what I do to help others. Those kinds of thanks always bring a big smile to my face. But on many days, as people share with me some of the struggles they have in their lives, a lot of those problems have to do with the relationships with their spouses or partners. Now those kind of comments make me sad! But I wonder, if your own relationship needs improvement, are you doing all you can to make it better? There are things you can do, ya' know. For instance...

Make it a point everyday to do something a little special for your significant other. Surprise him or her some mornings by bringing their morning coffee to bed and have a nice talk together before beginning your days. And for when they come to the kitchen for breakfast, make an effort to keep a favorite snack on hand for them. (Choose a healthy one!) As you both head off to work, how's about sneaking a little love note into a brief case, a purse or leaving it on top of a dresser where it can be found later in the day?

Try to do a little something unexpected once a month for your partner. Have a special dinner waiting for when they come home from work. Or surprise him or her by offering to take them out for dinner and the treat, (of course), is on you. In this world of texting and e-mails, how's about surprising your partner every now and then with an actual handwritten card that arrives in the U.S. Mail. (The Post Office does still deliver mail, you know! LOL.)

Then there are those special occasions. If your partner has been working hard to lose weight and you can see the results, treat them to a special salad you made yourself and tell your partner how proud you are of them. (You'll be amazed at how much difference it can make in their continuing the work to lose weight.) If your partner has a significant accomplishment at work or has done something really special for you or someone else, show them how proud you are of them then, too. Brag about them to family or friends and make sure your partner is there to hear you singing their praises. (It'll make you a hero in their eyes.)

Don't just wait for the bad times to show your partner how much you love and care for them. Show how much you care and how much you appreciate them during the good times, too. In fact, research has shown that spouses who celebrate and appreciate each other during the good times have an easier time together working through the more challenging times of their lives.

By the way, have I told you how much lately I appreciate YOU? Hey, I'm only human myself and, like everybody else, I have those rough spots in my life, too. But I'm telling you, hearing how much you love and appreciate the things I do only makes me love and appreciate YOU even more. Wish I were there to do something special for you today!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/23/14 9:22 P

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WHY AM I SMILING?

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Easy. Because some days, I read an e-mail that simply makes me smile! It's usually from a person writing to thank me for helping them lose the weight. But, as good as their thanks make me feel, the real reason I smile is because they're sharing their success by telling me their stories! In fact, read the following example to see what I mean!


Hi Richard! I just wanted to say what an inspiration you are to me. I've struggled with being overweight all of my life. My mother was also overweight and had some success with Weight Watchers. Seeing her lose weight on their program inspired me to try it, too. But I found it just too hard for me. I lost a few pounds and eventually gave up. I still struggle with my weight to this day and have had my ups and downs. (Literally!) But I have to say, after researching you, trying your Sweatin' To The Oldies DVDs and just seeing you, Richard, has really gotten me on the right track!


You seem like such a genuinely happy person and I like that. You've helped me realize that it doesn't matter what I look like on the outside, but if the inside of me is pure and working hard to be a good person, that's what really matters. I've learned to keep a good sense of humor about things and even laugh at myself every now and then. Keeping that sense of humor and a positive attitude lets me know that I'm going to be okay. Over the past six months, I've lost about 20 pounds. I know that may not seem like a lot but I will say this. Every time I have to buy a new pair of jeans in a smaller size, I end up with a big smile on my face from ear-to-ear!


And okay, on a slightly more negative note, I still sometimes get disapproving or even jeering looks from some people because of what I weigh. Every now and then, they may even say unkind things about what I weigh. But in spite of their negative comments, I've learned to turn to them, smile and say..."Thank you for your opinion." Then I continue on my day and on my way, happy knowing that I am happy with the work I'm doing to make myself healthier.

I'm a true believer and a big fan of yours, Richard. I really just wanted to say THANK YOU for being such a great advocate for people like me and a wonderful inspiration for all of us. This world would be a helluva nicer place if there were more people like you here!

My goodness, talk about blushing! LOL. This dear, sweet young lady made me feel so good...but not so much about me. I was smiling and feeling good about seeing what a turnaround she'd made in how good she feels about...herself! And you wanna know something else? She' not any different from you. She's just learned to stay positive, to believe in herself and to love herself enough to keep on working hard to reach her weight loss goal. And, as long as she keeps that I can do it spirit, I have do doubt that she will reach her goal.



And how about you? I'm waiting for YOU to make me smile with some good news of your own. And if you'll just follow this young lady's example, I promise, YOU'LL be smiling first!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/22/14 3:18 P

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LAUGH IT UP!

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Okay, yesterday, I talked to you about why it's so important to have a little FUN in your life. I know I'm accused of being kind of silly sometimes but hey, I wouldn't have it any other way. With all of the serious things you have to deal with everyday, it's still very important for you to take some time, (as I called it yesterday), to PLAY. And with that "play" time often comes some LAUGH time! Laughter is so important not just for your state of mind but, turns out, laughter is important for your good health, too. Today, I promised to spell out some of the many health benefits of something as simple as laughter. Get a load of these.


Researchers at the University of Maryland studied the effects on their blood vessels when people were shown either comedies or dramas. I can appreciate a good one of either variety of those films but: after the screenings, the blood vessels of the group who watched the comedies behaved normally. That means their blood vessels expanded and contracted easily. But the blood vessels of the people who watched the more serious dramas tended to tense up more often. That's not good because tense blood vessels can restrict your body's blood flow and that's certainly not good. Turns out, laughing it up helps your body pump blood more easily and that's very good for your health!


Increased stress, brought on by the pressures of life is also associated with decreased immune system response. (We talked a couple of weeks ago about how important it is for your body to have a strong, disease-fighting immune system.) Some studies have shown that humor, including a little laughter in our everyday lives, may actually raise the level of our infection-fighting antibodies. And that means a boost in the level of our body's immune cells. In that message, I stressed that you can strengthen your immune system by getting plenty of exercise and eating the right foods. Well, as it turns out, you can add a dose of laughter to "feeding" your immune system, too.


And then there's this, a study of 19 people with diabetes looked at the effects of laughter on their blood sugar levels and here's what they found out. Engaging in laughter on a regular basis, whether from watching a good comedy or just having some fun laughing with your friends led to a drop in people's blood sugar levels!

And one last thing. Finding time to laugh during the day helps the body relax and leads to your having a better night's sleep. There's even evidence that people who suffer from chronic pain and who spend more time laughing can help alleviate that pain, especially at bedtime. So you see, you've got lots of reasons to get your laugh on everyday and...as often as you can.


Hey, so the next time someone calls me "silly" because I do things to make people laugh, I'm gonna count it as a very nice compliment. Because now I know that a good-old LOL or ROFL means those friends of mine are not just having fun laughing with me but we're all making our bodies stronger and healthier, too.


Hope you find a good reason to LOL today!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/21/14 11:03 P

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PLAYDAY

Monday, 21 April 2014

Think I mispelled the name of one of my favorite candy bars from when I was a kid? What, are you kidding? How could I forget something that important? LOL. Truth be told, the ZERO was actually my absolute favorite candy bar from when I was growing up. But today's message isn't really about candy at all. It's about playing...as in PLAY-day! When I go to my Facebook page, (and I do check in everyday), I notice how a lot of my friends there always talk about how much fun I seem to be having, like I'm always AT PLAY! Well, I am!

Oh sure, I know, life can be so very serious sometimes, can't it? I don't even have to tell you but seems the older we get, the more problems or challenges we seem to encounter, right? But even on life's darkest days, I think you should still let a little sun shine in by having some fun, by laughing...by PLAYING. Do you feel really rundown some days? Are you so depressed sometimes that you just can't seem to find a reason to smile? Oh, come on...please don't do that to yourselves! In spite of life's pitfalls and, in fact, because of some of them, you should still find reason to have fun! Let me give you a few reasons why.


Some studies have shown that simply having FUN, enjoying a hobby, spending some quality playtime with your kids or grandkids, LAUGHNG can have a very profound impact on your longevity! (Did you know that?) In fact, some researchers think that LAUGHTER may be the best medicine for us. (And see, all of this time, you thought it was just a saying.) There's a profession I found out about that really made me smile. I'm talking about people who are actually laugh therapists. How great a job must that be, huh? (I think I'd make a good one, LOL!)

When I read on Facebook where one of my playful photos made someone smile or brought a bright spot to their otherwise sad day, it makes ME smile and feel good. And I always remind people who say things like that to me that they cannot lose their sense of humor. They cannot lose their ability to PLAY and to have some FUN. It's just so good for you! Those laugh therapists aren't sure why the simple act of laughing makes people feel better. But I say don't look for a reason why. I just wanna encourage everybody to maintain a good sense of humor, a positive attitude, (very important), and to seek the support of family and friends. (I hope that includes visiting my Facebook page or coming here to read my daily messages.)

Because while I bring you some pretty serious daily messages during the year, I also try for us to have a little fun at the same time. Oh. I know, life can be serious business but you don't have to be...not all the time! So, chase those gray skies away. Learn to have a little fun, get those laughs in as often as you can and on this Monday and all week long, I want you to remember to have a little fun and make some time to...PLAY! And oh yeah, since playing and laughter kinda go hand-in-hand, tomorrow, I'm gonna give you a list of the real health benefits laughter has to offer you.

Come play with me tomorrow, okay?


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/20/14 9:29 P

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AN EASTER STORY

Sunday, 20 April 2014


Oh, to be a kid again. You know, just one more time! LOL. Growing up in New Orleans, all of the big holidays were fun, from Halloween to Christmas to New Year's. And hey, just to make sure we never ran out of holidays to celebrate, my hometown even has one of its very own. MARDI GRAS! But now it's time for Easter and, did you know? Mardi Gras and Easter are actually linked to each other. Just like Easter Sunday moves around each year, Fat Tuesday, the climax of Mardi Gras season, moves around on the calendar along with it. Well, Fat Tuesday was last month and now, New Orleans is celebrating again this entire Easter weekend.

The city's historic French Quarter, as usual is the focal point of its Easter Sunday. And yes, we really do have an Easter parade! Oh, you should see the colorfully decorated horse-drawn carriages in the parade as they slowly make their way though the cozy streets of the French Quarter. And the ladies riding in those carriages will be wearing some of the most glorious Easter bonnets you've ever seen. I used to love following the parade when I was a kid. (I wanted to wear one of those hats! LOL.) I'm telling you, the French Quarter had to be one of the most amazing neighborhoods in America to grow up in.


Of course, when I was a kid, my holiday would have begun with going through my basket to see what goodies the Easter bunny had brought me. Well, it was more like my Easter-father! (Thanks, Dad! LOL.) And what are you and your family doing on this Easter Sunday? Did you follow my tips from yesterday on how to give your children an Easter basket that was filled with fewer of those calorie and sugar-loaded treats? Are you, your neighbors or maybe your church putting on a big Easter egg hunt today. (They have a fabulous one in New Orleans' City Park for thousands of children every year.) And speaking of church, are you attending an Easter service today? I loved learning about the Easter story at. St. Louis Cathedral when I was a kid. And I have to say, no matter your religion, the Easter Story is a beautiful one. It's about Jesus returning to life, after being crucified and he did it for the good of all humankind. He was literally born again...so we could be, too.


And if you think about it, losing the weight you need to lose is kind of like being born again. In fact, just this week, I read an e-mail from a lady who was so excited because she had been able to go from 297 pounds down to 119 pounds! That's almost two-thirds of her body weight and boy, talk about being born again! This lady truly had created a brand NEW LIFE for herself. And since "new life" is really what Easter is all about, I guess you could say she has written her very own Easter story. And, may I ask, are you working on yours?


There's just something about the Easter season that puts you in the mood for the fresh and new. The pretty pastel colors decorating everything. That little girl proudly wearing her adorable new pink Easter dress to church. And let's not forget those beautiful Easter bonnets. (Are you wearing one today?) Yes, it's a beautiful season and a holiday that celebrates THE NEW. Have a blessed Easter Sunday with your family and friends. And okay, since today is Easter, you can have just a few of those jelly beans. Just remember to close one EXTRAS window on your FoodMover for every seven jelly beans. Because remember, tomorrow is Monday and you've got to keep on working hard, writing your Easter story. And, oh yes, when you do reach your goal, it'll be just like you've been..BORN AGAIN!


HAPPY EASTER, everybody!

Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/19/14 7:16 P

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HIPPITY-HOP!

Saturday, 19 April 2014

To the candy shop? Oh no, wait...make that to Walmart, Target, Costco or Walgreen's to...the candy aisle! (Oh, oh!) I know lots of you moms out there, (and you dads placed on "candy duty" this year), have been hitting your local stores stocking up on treats for the kids' Easter baskets. (Uh, maybe I should put another oh-oh, there! LOL.) That's because it means you're probably going to end up tempted by all of those sweet Easter treats yourself. I always had a weakness for those oh-so sweet Cadbury's chocolate eggs. (Anybody else in the club with me? LOL.) Or maybe your weakness is Reese's chocolate and peanut butter eggs. (I wonder how many of those babies are sold this time of year?) Wait, what's that I hear? Do you hear it, too...peep, peep! Oh no, its those marshmallow peeps! It just wouldn't be Easter without them, right?

What is it about we Americans, (you Canadians, too), holidays and...CANDY? Valentine's Day, Halloween, Christmas and yes, EASTER, those sweets have simply become an expected part of our holiday celebrations, haven't they? Oh sure, we say the candy is "for the kids." But I wonder how many extra calories are consumed by the average adult on these sugar-sweetened holidays? How many calories come loaded in the average Easter basket? Did you ever think about that? Well, I guess it depends on how BIG that basket is. My father used to make the Easter baskets for me and my brother, Lenny. In addition to the jelly beans, those little malted eggs and, of course, the Peeps, my dad would always top our Easter baskets off with a giant chocolate bunny! I'd save my bunny for last but only after I'd broken off just one of his ears. (Sorry, Peter Chocolate-tail, LOL.)

One expert says the average Easter basket contains anywhere from 1500-2,000 calories in candy...OH, MY! And, truth is, I'm betting he's not too far off the mark and may even be a little low! LOL. But if you're working hard to lose weight, there's nothing funny about what those Easter basket calories can do to your weight-loss efforts. And now that you're all grown up, it's your duty to provide Easter goodies for the kids. Hey, I'm not about to ask today's children to be punished. (I wasn't when I was a kid.) But please don't send your children into a state of sugar-shock this Easter weekend. Fill their Easter baskets with some of the classic treats but how's about including some non-food items this year, too? Visit the local dollar store and stock up on some cute little affordable toys for the children's baskets. You can fill them with little pieces of jewelry, a can of Play-Dough, action figures, stickers or crayons. Use your imagination and reduce the number of sugary sweets you toss into their baskets this Easter.

Don't you give in to those sweet temptations this Easter, either. All of that candy this weekend is going to be oh-so tempting but remember, you've got a job to do this year. And that is to get closer to your weight-loss goal. Have fun putting your children's Easter baskets together or planning those Easter egg hunts. But remember, it's not extra calories you should be hunting for this Easter. You're hunting for that new, healthier you. Have fun on this Saturday before Easter and, oh yeah, don't forget to get that cotton-tail of yours shakin' today with your exercise, too!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/18/14 12:56 P

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HAVE A GOOD DAY!

Friday, 18 April 2014

It's a greeting you get from people just about everyday, isn't it? And I can't think of a more perfect subject to write about on this GOOD FRIDAY! After a conversation with someone, a phone call or even from the clerk at a local department store, as they tell you goodbye or thank you, they may also tell you to "Have a good day!" Because we say or hear that expression so often, I think we really take it for granted. But then I wonder, how many of you really do...have a good day? Well, I hope you do, everyday.


But let's be honest, sometimes it doesn't take much to turn your otherwise good day into a lousy one. It could be anything from having an appliance problem in the morning before leaving for work to a few cross words between you and a friend or your mate the night before. Whatever it is, that bad experience could lead to your having a bad day. Don't let it happen.


On any given day, something unexpected may happen to really get you upset. But you know what? This is life and we can't always expect things to go just the way we'd like. You should expect the unexpected. Be prepared for that fact. But you should also be prepared to not let it rattle you. Are you overreacting to the situation? Are you worrying too much about it? Is it an issue you can deal with later and, in the meantime, not let it mess up your entire day? Just remind yourself, this is most probably a temporary glitch and a problem you can and will address later.

If you get irritated because of something someone said to you, don't let that drag down your entire day. Admit to yourself how you feel about it. Ask yourself why it bothered you. Did the words that upset you come from a friend or loved one? Don't be afraid to talk to them about it. But please, when you do, don't let them see how upset you are. Approach them with kindness and you can count on getting a much better and more understanding response from them. Don't carry a sour emotion or feeling with you all day because of something someone said or did to you. If you do, you really are setting yourself up to have a not-so-good day!

Face the issue! Train yourself to be tough by using those challenging situations to make you tougher. Learn to be resilient! Accept the things that you cannot change and get to work on the things that you can. Instead of getting all upset over a particular situation you can't do much about, like being stuck in traffic, put some soothing music on the radio, think about things in your life that make you smile and realize, this bad situation will pass. Try this technique in any situation that gets you riled up. Soothe the "beast" in yourself, calm down and with each passing stressful situation, you'll get better at handling them.


By the way, when you're feeling upset about something and you have the opportunity to do it...walk it off! I mean literally. You'll be surprised at how therapeutic a simple walk can be. And now that spring is here, it's the perfect time of year to practice this stress-buster. Walking, all by yourself, gives you a chance to think things through while at the same time, walking off some calories, too. Try it the next time you're upset about something and, you'll see, it works. Walking gives you the chance to clear your mind and come back ready for a fresh start.


So please, don't let life's challenges, big or small, ruin your days. Practice some of my solutions to put yourself in a better mood because, on this Good Friday and everyday, I really do want you to...have a good day!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/17/14 7:54 P

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DOOMED TO FAILURE?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Boy, I had trouble even typing the title of this message. It's just so defeatist, I don't even like seeing the words. (Hey, that's not US, right?) But let me explain why I decided to go with that title this morning. It's all about an e-mail I received this week that really got me a little upset. It's not so sweet but it is short so let me share it with you.

Dearest Richard. I just started your Project Hope program today. I was so excited when it arrived and couldn't wait to get started! Well, I tried to start this morning but ended up feeling like a beached walrus! I found it so hard to keep up with the exercises in your DVD. In fact, I was only able to make it through about six of the songs. I was so disappointed in myself. Does this mean I'm doomed to failure?



Okay, see why I was so upset? Here this lady way, all excited about starting my weight-loss program, including the workouts that go with it. But because she found herself unable to keep up with the exercises, she was ready to throw in the towel before she really even got started. On top of that, she's asking me if she's "doomed to failure." Oh please, perish the thought! In my book, when it comes to losing weight, there's really no such thing as failure. The only "failure" would be in giving up, in not trying anymore!

If you've not exercised regularly in a very long time, I would suspect that your first attempts at beginning an exercise program are gonna be kind of tough. Hey, your body has been sedentary for so long, you've probably gained more weight, so you're not as fit as you used to be. That combination means that when you do get that body of yours moving again working out, you're going to get winded easily and not able to do as much. But this lady who wrote me says she was able to make it through six of the songs. Hey, I say that ain't bad! And even if she didn't get every single move down right, it was no excuse to stop trying or to give up!

Whatever new exercise program you may be beginning, whether it's cardio, a walking or jogging program or strength-training, the important thing is that you've got to keep trying. Ever heard the old joke about the man who was in New York City and asked "How do I get to Carnegie Hall?" The answer was practice, practice, PRACTICE! Well, the same is true with your new exercise routine. The more you do, the stronger you'll get, the better you'll get at it and, in time...the more you will be able to do!

Doomed to failure at working out? HAH! I don't think so. In fact, I know you aren't! Get started, get that body of yours moving and, oh yes, practice, practice, practice. Hey, you may not make it to Carnegie Hall. But I guarantee you'll make it to seeing a slimmer, fitter body when you take a look in that mirror. That's right, you're not gonna be "doomed to failure." You're gonna be...


DESTINED FOR SUCCESS!


Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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4/15/14 9:28 A

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THE GOOD PATIENT

Tuesday, 15 April 2014


I receive thousands of e-mails every year from people who've recently had surgery or may be dealing with a lifelong medical issue such as diabetes, heart problems or even cancer. I'll add that those friends of mine who've just undergone surgery, (especially), have a very important role to play in their own recoveries. And it all boils down to a new term I read in a recent edition of The Wall Street Journal called patient activation. As in, how knowledgeable and involved are you in your own good health and getting better? Some people are much better at this than others. And it turns out there are four levels of how involved, how activated a patient you are.

Level 1 is the lowest level of involvement. People in this group tend to lack the confidence needed to play an active role in their own health and this is simply not good. It's sorta like they take the attitude, "My doctor is in charge of my health." Oh really? Well, I say YOU are the person you should put in charge of your health. Hey, it's not like your doctor is gonna be at your side 24/7 telling you what you should or should not be doing.


People in Level 2 are starting to get there. They're beginning to build more knowledge about their health and developing the confidence they need to manage it. But there may still be some gaps in how good they're doing at managing their health or dealing with an illness. They'll even admit to themselves, "I could be doing more."



Which brings us to Level 3. The people in this group are a cut above. They're action takers. That is, they take their good health very seriously, have boned up on the facts and are building the skills needed to take better care of themselves at home. They're goal-oriented people and realize a very important fact, "I'm an important part of my healthcare team." (Hey, now you're talking!)



That means they're just about there, near the head of the class and ready to join those people in Level 4. Those folks have learned to maintain new healthier lifestyles and are always conscious of pushing themselves just a little further. Patents in Level 4 have adopted new behaviors that will help manage their good health and keep them in the best shape possible. Living a healthy lifestyle has become their key focus in life and the line they use that singles them out best is..."I'm my own good health advocate!" Good for them!

So, which level best describes how much care you take in focusing on your own health? Being the good patient, the activated patient means you take your health very seriously, which is exactly what I want you to do. Taking an active role in your own good health is the most important thing that affects your health. That means making the right lifestyle choices, eating the right foods, exercising daily and sticking with all of those choices. By following doctor's orders and keeping the good lifestyle choices you've made, you can help ward off a number of medical problems and even manage more effectively any you may already have. It's all about playing an ACTIVE ROLE in your own good health!



Are you the active and GOOD PATIENT?



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


 current weight: 118.0 
 
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4/14/14 9:37 P

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IF IT'S THERE...

Monday, 14 April 2014

Will you eat it? What? Well, it depends on just about any food. It's sort of like that old joke, "I'm on the 'seafood' diet, when I SEE-FOOD, I eat it!" Oh, har-de-har-har, that's funny. The bad news is that it's also true for some people. But if that's the case, then it's certainly not good...for your health. A recent study in Appetite magazine found that the closer certain foods are placed to us say, at the dinner table, the more likely we are to eat them.

The study found that people consumed more healthy, low-calorie foods if those foods were placed in easy reach as they sat down to eat. Likewise, they ended up eating more fattening, unhealthy foods if those foods were in easier reach. I guess it kinda boils down to how convienient we make it to grab the foods we eat. Did you know that fewer than 25% of Americans meet federal guidelines for daily fruit and vegetable consumption? (I don't find that number very encouraging at all.)

In the experiment conducted by Appetite, 56 students, age 19, were invited to take part. Of that 56, twenty of them were a "normal" weight, twenty-one were overweight and fifteen of them were obese. In one experiment, with eight men and ten women participating, a bowl of sliced apples was placed within easy, arms reach of them while a bowl of buttered popcorn was placed on a counter over six feet away. In a second experiment, the popcorn bowl was on the table and the bowl of apples was placed farther away. And in a third experiment, both bowls were side-by-side on the table.

In all three situations, the students were told to help themselves to either the butter-drenched popcorn or the fresh, sliced apples placed on the table. When the popcorn was closer, the students tended to eat more of it. But when the apples were closer, the students ate more of them. Those students who reached for more popcorn ended up consuming over 250 calories. While those students who nibbled more of the apples, (obviously), ended up consuming a lot fewer calories. By the way, consumption of popcorn or apples wasn't significantly different when both foods were in easy reach. It's worth noting, the students, together, consumed 333 calories from the popcorn and only 15 calories from the apples.

I don't know if that little experiment has more to say about "laziness" or the appetites of those students. But I will say this. If we constantly put tempting, processed, sugar-sweetened and salty junk foods in our faces, then we're also increasing the likelihood that we're going to end up not only eating them but probably eating more than we need of them, too!



So, what's on your dinner table on a typical evening? How much junk food do you put in easy reach and make it convenient for yourself to eat? Well, I say from the dinner table, to the kitchen cabinets to your fridge, don't make it so easy to sabotage your weight-loss efforts by putting those foods in easy reach. Stock your kitchen with foods that are good for you and your body. Because if you're gonna be on the old "seafood" diet, I want you SEEING and EATING foods that are GOOD FOR YOU!



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


 current weight: 118.0 
 
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4/14/14 12:17 A

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DIET, RIGHT?

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Wrong! In fact, I saw some interesting information in the paper the other day. It seems that sales of diet sodas, one of the most popular beverages in America are actually on the decline. And hey, I say that's a good thing! I've told you many times that diet soft drinks simply are not all they're "popped' up to be when it comes to helping you lose weight. But my biggest concern is the ingredients they put into them. Sure, most diet soda are calorie-free and that's the appeal they have for people who're working hard to lose weight. But, honestly, are those diet sodas really doing all that much to help you shed those extra pounds?

Like I said, diet sodas are calorie-free but get a load of this. Artificial sweeteners may actually "confuse" the body and, in their own way, may end up confusing YOU when it comes to the other eating and drinking choices you make.


Researchers from the University of Texas found that over the course of about a decade, people who regularly drank diet sodas had a 70% increase in waist circumference compared to those people who didn't drink them at all. Oh, my! Any guesses why? Well, it's actually more psychological than anything. See, people who drink lots of diet sodas figure they're saving hundreds of calories by having that sugar-free soda. And, for that reason, they're able to "justify" having that giant cheeseburger or extra slice of pizza for lunch. Get it? Their calorie-savings is actually turning into a calorie-gain! And oh yeah, there's still some debate about how diet soft drinks may affect your metabolism, the rate at which your body burns calories. The jury is still out but I say why take chances?


And if all that weren't bad enough, what about the chemicals that go into most diet soft drinks anyway? Sure, by drinking a diet soda, you're saving calories. But aren't you also concerned about those ingredients that make it calorie-free? Maybe you should be. And Americans are getting more concerned. A growing number of people are worried about aspartame and the other artificial sweeteners that go into diet sodas and I'd say with good reason. Now in all fairness, the Food & Drug Administration, along with other government agencies have found diet sodas to be "safe." But honestly, I worry about any manmade chemicals that go into our food supply. I'm talking about everything from those oh-so-bad for your body trans-fats to yes, manmade artificial sweeteners.

Diet Coke, the number one diet soda in the country saw its sales plummet nearly 7% last year. Number 2, Diet Pepsi saw about the same drop in sales volume. Could it be that we Americans are wising up? If so, good! Look, if you want to have a can or bottle of diet soda, on occasion, it's probably not gonna hurt you. But just because it's calorie-free, you sure shouldn't be drinking the stuff as if it were water because...it's not! In fact, speaking of water, when you want to really quench your thirst in the healthiest way, do like me and have an ice-cold glass of water. It's the "soft drink" God put here on earth for us and I hope you're drinking at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of water every day! Your body needs that water and, oh yeah, it's calorie-free!



So, if you want the perfect "diet" drink, then the perfect choice for your diet is WATER---RIGHT?



Love,

RICHARD

"You're never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream..." C.S. Lewis


“Don't wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less than perfect conditions. So what. Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful.” ~Mark Victor Hansen

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwE8HLLue48


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