As the holidays approach, friends begin to share pictures of their young children with Santa. These pictures are often touching and humorous, all at the same time. Their faces. Some scared, some excited, some curious. Children are curious. They ask a lot of questions like, “how does Santa fly around the world delivering all those presents with just a sleigh pulled by 8 reindeer?”
“Questions ‘ignite curiosity” (see my last post). And this article echoes that point.
When our curiosity is triggered, we are less likely to fall prey to confirmation bias (looking for information that supports our beliefs rather than for evidence suggesting we are wrong) and to stereotyping people.
The research maintains that if you start your day asking yourself, what is one topic I am curious about today vs. what is one thing I’ll complete today…you will be more innovative. So go ahead, be curious. Challenge YOUR status quo and invite your team to do the same.
Leslie Phillips, ESQ
Makes Approx. 24, 2″ biscuits
2 c AP flour
1 t sugar
1 T baking powder
8 T cold butter, cubed
3/4 c milk
1/3 c pimentos, drained, diced
1 1/2 C sharp cheddar, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder & salt.
3. Cut in butter until pea size.
4. Add pimentos & cheese.
5. Make a well, slowly add milk.
6. Knead dough with fingers, add more milk if needed.
7. Roll & cut desired size.
8. Bake 8-12 minutes, until golden.
9. Brush with melted butter, serve warm.
8 oz oreos
2 T rum
1 3/4 c Confectioners sugar, sifted
1/2 c orange juice
6 oz chocolate chips, melted
1 c pecans, finely chopped
1 c confectioners sugar
2 T rum, more or less
1. Crush cookies into fine crumbs
2. Blend sugar, liquids, melted chocolate
3. Stir in cookie crumbs & pecans
4. Chill dough until stiff, about 1 hr
5. Form into 1″ balls & chill
6. Dip into glaze or sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa
We are taught at a very young age that having the right answers is really, really important. Since 1984, Alex Trebek (of Jeopardy!) has entertained millions of viewers who love hearing him ask questions for which there is a right answer. But life and work? Not so much. Both are full of….gray. Possible solutions, different approaches, and very little pure right or wrong.
So then, how do we let loose of having to have the answers? We ask questions.
Questions “ignite curiosity, which comes before solutions…The rehashing of old ideas produces stability at first and stagnation in the end.”
Use questions to share ideas and values. Questions like: what makes this important to you, what would you like to do about that, how can I help you?
Yes, leaders help solve problems. But more importantly, leaders explore possibilities.
Leslie Phillips, ESQ
According to the latest editorials in lay papers, the puzzle of weight loss is one step closer to being solved. A new, complex research study has lead to promising headlines such as “A low carbohydrate diets leads to greater weight loss.”
Before you clear your pantry of carbohydrates, you may want to rethink your strategy. First, this was a study about body metabolism, not weight loss. Second, study participants dietary intake was carefully controlled & monitored, certainly not an accurate depiction of our westernized lifestyle.
Bottom line, more research still needs to be done to truly determine if we metabolize calories differently from fat, carbohydrates or protein. And as Dr. Katz so bluntly puts it “If you are a seeker of dietary magic, you aren’t going to like the answer: the people most successful at maintaining weight loss for the long haul eat sensible, balanced, carefully portion-controlled diets, and exercise routinely. “
Some food for thought editorial:
Last month’s blog discussed how Intuitive Eating has completely changed the way I approach nutrition education with clients. Intuitive eating features 10 principles. I was reminded of Principle # 4 (Challenge the Food Police) when I came across this article titled “Guilt Free Foods are a Lie”. It’s no secret that food advertisers manipulate our emotions when selling their products: ‘”eat this, not that” “guilt free indulgence” the list is exhaustive. Advertisers have taught us to believe that food is a moral choice and sadly we have fallen for it. Many of my client session’s focus on the intense guilt felt when a “bad” food choice is made & how they want “do better next time.” We should nourish our bodies with good food because it makes us feel good, guilt should never be a motivator for healthy eating (and exercise). Food is essential for life; lets make peace it & enjoy every bite.
* Intuitive Eating Principle # 4 Challenge the Food Police. Scream a loud “NO” to thoughts in your head that declare you’re “good” for eating minimal calories or “bad” because you ate a piece of chocolate cake. The Food Police monitor the unreasonable rules that dieting has created. The police station is housed deep in your psyche, and its loud speaker shouts negative barbs, hopeless phrases, and guilt-provoking indictments. Chasing the Food Police away is a critical step in returning to Intuitive Eating.
3 T canola oil
1 c unpopped popcorn
1 c dry roasted cashews
1 c sugar
1 1/3 c maple syrup
1/4 c butter
1 t cayenne pepper
1. Pop corn in canola oil, stir in cashews
2. Combine remaining ingredients, bring to boil
3. Cook 1 min, stir constantly, remove from heat
4. Pour hot mixture over popcorn & cashews, toss to coat
5. Immediately spread mixture in jelly roll pan lined with parchment paper
6. Cool & serve
In the past, it was thought that people with higher IQ would outperform people with lower IQ…(but), research showed that people with higher IQ outperformed people with lower IQ only about 20% of the time, while people with lower IQ outperformed people with higher IQ 70% of the time…Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize one’s emotions and the emotions of others and to manage those emotions to achieve more effective results. You could simply ask yourself, “In a moment of high or negative emotion, do I have my feelings or do they have me?”
Over the years, I have had the privilege of working with many different types of clients as they journeyed toward weight loss & wellness. I was self-motivated to eat well & exercise, so I made the naïve assumption that empowering people with knowledge would naturally lead to better choices and hence weight loss. Sadly, this assumption has been proven wrong time and time again in my personal experience. The great majority of clients actually possess quite a bit of nutrition knowledge, however, knowledge does not always translate into action. A person struggling with obesity does not want to be told how to count calories when they have been doing it unsuccessfully for years. There are actually many examples of this “preaching to the choir” type nutritional education, but at some point in my career, I assumed that perhaps I just wasn’t teaching them right & nevertheless, I persisted.
My epiphany came when I attended an eating disorders conference and learned about Intuitive Eating. Intuitive Eating is an evidenced-based, mind-body health approach, comprised of 10 Principles and created by two dietitians, one of whom lead the conference session. I walked away from this conference feeling completely inspired and ready to change the way I approach nutrition education. The transition to an intuitive eating approach has not been easy; changing your relationship with food and your body is certainly scary. And despite my best attempts I still get many requests for “strict meal plans” and “tell me what to eat since I don’t trust myself.”
To date, my most successful outcome was with an overweight client who learned to love herself. While she may not have lost many pounds on the scale, she learned how to embrace her genetic blueprint & focus on the strength of not only her body but also her mind. “Healthy” eating & exercise” came as a natural consequence to the more internal changes she made in her life.
Lastly, I wanted to share these points made by an RD who embraces the philosophy of Intuitive Eating.
Enjoy food..all food
- Tap into your intuition and listening to what you need. If that means that meal prep stresses you out or you have to choose to take a nap over going to the gym, that’s ok!
- Believe that people of all shapes and sizes can be healthy and that you don’t need to lose weight in order to improve your health
- Believe that you can feel calm and confident around food without counting calories, weighing or measuring anything
- Believe that in order to truly heal your relationship with food, you have to completely leave nutrition out of it (at least to start with)
- Believe that any kind of external factor including diets, meal plans or calorie restriction of any sort will result in diet backlash including guilt, shame, stress, overeating and binging.
- Don’t believe in labeling food as “good”, “bad” or “forbidden”
- Don’t believe that it is your lack of willpower that has caused you to “fail” at dieting or losing weight (hint: it’s the diets fault)
- Don’t believe that there is any good diet
- Don’t believe in shaming people into making changes to their eating
Makes 6 1/2 cup portions
1 1/2 c red apple, 1/2″ dice
1/3 c small carrot, thinly sliced half moons
1 green onion, thinly sliced on bias
3/4 c canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed
1/2 c shelled edamame, thawed
1/3 c packed fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 c favorite vinaigrette (recommend lemon)
1. Combine apple, carrot, onion, chickpeas, edamame & parsley
2. Add vinaigrette, toss well to coat