Raising a Person

Credit: Ekaterina Bolovtsova

An alarming number of today’s kids leave home without certain basic life skills. Will yours be one of them?

Some do not know how to do their own laundry, use a debit card, or even address an envelope. We can only blame ourselves. On this episode of the podcast I speak with Catherine Newman, author of How to be a Person: 65 Hugely Useful, Super-Important Skills to Learn Before You’re Grown Up. It’s a humorous graphic oriented book full of tips, tricks, and skills designed to show kids how easy it is to free themselves from parental nagging and become more valued members of the grown-up world.

Improve Your Memory

Memory and cognitive functioning become increasingly important to us as we age. Taking appropriate steps to sharpen your memory might also reduce your risk for Alzheimer’s. That’s according to Harvard and Yale trained Neuropsychologist, Dr. Michelle Braun.

Dr Braun’s book, High Octane Brain – 5 Science-Based Steps to Sharpen Your Memory & Reduce Your Risk of Alzheimer’s, helps us navigate the maze of conflicting media advice on supplements, brain games, nutrition, and exercise. In our conversation on the Life in HD podcast, Dr Braun highlights 5 science-based activities including proper nutrition, appropriates sleep and proper exercise. So if you’ve been experiencing difficulties finding words, constantly misplace objects, or often forget why you walked into a room, then this conversation is for you.

Click here for more information on High Octane Brain.

Pandemic Self-care

Four months into the Covid-19 social distancing, self-isolation lifestyle and we are definitely feeling the impact. The isolation, employment struggles, unknowns about schools and travel are exacting there toll in the form of stress and anxiety. A society esurient for normalcy, we attempt to gain control by developing new habits and adapting to new routines, not all of them good for us.

On this episode of the show, we visit again with health and weight loss coach Elizabeth Sherman to talk about ways to change our troubling behavior for the good and manage the stress and anxiety we are all experiencing.

The Power of Ritual

The symbolic behaviors we perform before, during, and after meaningful events are common across culture and time. Rituals are performed in an array of shapes and forms. At times performed in communal or religious settings; at times involving fixed, repeated sequences of actions, and at other times not.

We use rituals for a variety of reasons, like after experiencing losses or before public speaking, because we believe it increases our confidence and reduces our anxieties.

In the new book The Power of Ritual: Turning Everyday Activities Into Soulful Practices, author Casper Ter Kuile explores how we can nourish our souls by transforming common, everyday practices into rituals that can heal what he calls is an “increasing crisis of isolation” and help us feel more connected.

Take a listen to our conversation. If you like the podcast, please consider making a small donation to support the production efforts.







Fathers Day Reflection

My girls Hadiya and Imani

My wife and I have long had a running joke as parents. That is that our main job was to keep our children off of the therapist couch. And if they did find themselves there, it wouldn’t be because of us.

In all seriousness, being a father has been a great joy. There have been up and downs, lessons learned, and hard truths. And despite what the greeting cards say, there are no perfect dads. What’s important is that we recognize the growth opportunities as parents and embrace those opportunities to become better mothers and fathers to our children.

On this episode of the Life in HD podcast, I take the opportunity to have a chat with my daughters about their dad and their experiences being my daughters. I also speak with my own father about his experiences with his father and his retrospective view of having children.

It’s an honest and, sometimes, cringe-worthy exploration of my relationships as a father and son.







Core Pursuit #1 – Wine

Hey friends! I am experimenting with adding a video element to the blog and podcast. A few episodes ago I explored the question Can Money Buy Happiness? During that conversation, author and money manager Wes Moss revealed some of the commonalities he discovered during his extensive research on the happiest retirees. One of the things the happiest retirees have in common is what Wes calls core pursuits. These are activities that bring you great joy in life. For some it’s golf, for others it could be yoga. Whatever your varied interest are, you need 3-4 core pursuits to have a rewarding retirement.

In this first video, I introduce you to one of my core pursuits – drinking, exploring, and collecting wine. Here’s a look at my small but growing wine cellar and whiskey room. I hope you enjoy it. Drop me a line and let me know what some of your core pursuits are.

Cheers!

How to Stay Fit While Social Distancing

Health Coach and Personal Trainer Elizabeth Sherman

Shelter in Place…self isolation…stay at home orders…self-quarantine. No matter what you call it, the reality is that we are homebound for the foreseeable future.

Being confined to home has its advantages – we can isolate ourselves from the dangerous novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19; we are discovering new methods of work productivity; and it’s creating new opportunities to strengthen relationships with friends and family.

But on the down side, being confined to home can lead to a sedentary life-style.  Our movements are restricted, we aren’t burning the calories that we would under normal circumstances, and we have access to food all day long.

So how can we stay fit when we are forced to practice social distancing?   I thought this episode of Life in HD (part 3 of the COVID-19 series) would focus on your physical health during the global pandemic.

For help, I turn to life and weight loss coach, Elizabeth Sherman, owner of Total Health by Elizabeth.  She is an ACE certified health coach and personal trainer and a Precision Nutrition L1 & L2 certified nutritionist.

Elizabeth tells us that you don’t have to give into the circumstances that keep us confined at home.  She advises that you take control of the situation by building a workout routine that you can perform in your own home. She says to lean into a physical routine and healthier eating habits slowly to avoid common pitfalls.

There’s a lot of good advice in this conversation and I hope that you’ll listen and enjoy it. You can find out more about Elizabeth Sherman and her services at Total Health by Elizabeth. While there, check out the awesome exercise library that she mentioned on the show.

Managing Stress and Anxiety During COVID-19

Credit: Shutterstock

It’s human to feel stress, especially when our day-to-day lives don’t look or feel the same as they used to. Sometimes stress can lead us to respond in unhelpful ways, like turning to food or alcohol for comfort.

And with Covid-19, stress and anxiety go hand-in-hand. So how do we manage it all? For starters, everyone needs to look after one’s own basic needs to stay mentally healthy in a stressful time.

While the anxiety many people are feeling about Covid-19 can be magnified in those who are most vulnerable to it (adults over 60 and those with underlying conditions) we are all feeling the impact that policies like shelter-in-place are having on our psyche.

On this episode of the podcast, I speak with Licensed Professional Counselor, author, and life coach Katherine Jansen-Byrkit. Katherine received her Masters in Public Health from the University of Washington in 1992 and spend over a decade in public health managing violence prevention and teen health programs.

Katherine published her first book, River to Ocean: Living in the Flow of Wakefulness last year. It reflects the human voyage of finding your way to an awakened self. Press play on the media player to listen to the conversation.

Date night included hard shell crabs and Manhattans.

Tips for Self-Care

  1. Eat healthy foods – make sure that you have food options that don’t weigh you down or cause you to gain weight during a period of inactivity.
  2. Stay physically active – build a daily exercise routine. You don’t need a well equipped home gym. Find some routines on the internet.
  3. Get regular sleep. Keep to your regular sleep routine and avoid over sleeping or not getting enough sleep.
  4. Create a sense of structure and routine in daily life while self-quarantining.
  5. Connect socially with friends and family while maintaining physical distance. Create special moments (like date night) to break up the monotony. Or cocktails with friends via video conferencing.

For more information on Katherine and her work, visit Innergy Counseling.

Corona-Conscious Eating

Sea Bass, salad, and soup

You’ve been ordered to shelter in place.  But for how long?  Days?  Weeks?  Months? 

So you’ve followed the herd, bum-rushed the grocery story, gobbled up all the toilet paper, food and snacks that you could get your hands on in preparation for the long haul.  My guess is, you didn’t have time to thoughtfully plan out your meals, right?  Not that the other shoppers in the store left you many options.

The memes and jokes all over social media show American’s concerns with being sedentary for the immediate future, over-eating and mindless munching to help pass the time of day.  So we’re going to offer some tips on how to survive the COVID19 shelter in place dilemma and come out on the other side healthy, happy, and ready to resume your normal life when things finally get back to normal.

On this episode, it’s all about making food choices that are good for you.

My guest today is Sophie Egan,  the Director of Health and Sustainability Leadership for the Strategic Initiatives Group at the Culinary Institute of America…  And author of the book How to be a Conscious Eater: Making Food Choices That Are Good for You, Others, and the Planet.

We had a great conversation on making healthy and conscious choices for building a proper pantry, choosing good processed foods and healthy proteins. We also talk about how our food choices impact the planet and other people around the globe. Take a listen to the conversation by hitting the “play” button on the audio player.

How To Be A Conscious Eater is a great resource for living a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.  It cuts through the noise and conflicting information and offers an easy to remember, holistic guide for making smart decisions about food consumption.    No diets, no fads, or hard-fast rules.  Just a straightforward way of eating for you, and good for others and the planet. 

As Sophie reminds us in How To Be A Conscious Eater, keep your eyes on the prize: your general health.  Rather than fixating on specific nutrients or trying out strict diets over the short term, the best bet for a lifetime of healthy eating is to enjoy the flavorful and diverse options included in a dietary pattern with lots of evidence behind its long-term health benefits, such as flexitarian eating.  Remember as a rule of thumb, most of the healthiest foods don’t have food labels.  Keeps this in mind during your next run on the grocery store to stock up on COVID19 survival supplies.

To view Sophie Egan’s town hall presentation, see the YouTube video here.

Weird Love

Royalty-free stock photo ID: 1489155659

Ever been in a relationship that hit a dry patch? Perhaps you are in one now. One that feels routine and mundane. No matter how much you love your partner or how wonderful you think your relationship is, things can often get a little boring. Healthy, happy relationships exist when partners work to bring out the best in each other. Relationships that are based on mutual respect and admiration. And let’s not forget about fun.

On today’s show, guest Boaz Frankel says sometimes you just have to get a little weird…together. The filmmaker, writer, and talk show host, along with his wife Brooke Barker, author of New York Times bestseller Sad Animal Facts, talks about embracing the eccentricities and weirdness of their personalities and relationship in their co-authored book Let’s Be Weird Together.

Let’s Be Weird Together is a fun book with quirky illustrations. It’s a rare relationship book that captures the rituals and micro universes that couples create together, in a sweet, fun package filled with humor and endearing quirkiness. They discovered that not only do they bring out the best in each other, they also bring out the weirdness too. Click the play button on the player to hear more about Let’s Get Weird Together and my conversation with Boaz Frankel. Be sure to follow the podcast on Apple Podcast, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you get your audio content.