Sunday morning at the airport

Today I am at the airport. It is 7:30am on a Sunday morning and the place is crowded! I can see excitement on people’s faces which I find surprising. On most days, faces in the airport are etched with fatigue or stress. I guess Sunday mornings are different. Sundays in the summer I should add.

It is June 30th and these people are kicking off summer right. They have  big plans, hopefully visiting new places and seeing new things. What are you doing this summer? What are your plans? If you don’t have any, I encourage you to make some. One of my keys to happiness is to always keep something on the calendar to look forward to.

Life is too short to be staring out the window watching the world turn. I prefer to help it turn. Staying active proves to me that I have a greater purpose in life. It helps me to feel better about myself. The fulfillment I get from exploring the world encourages me to do more for my fellow man. Please do us all a favor and find some self-fulfillment. You can help make this world shine.

Put on a big smile, call a friend and get something on the calendar. I don’t care if it is a picnic or a barbecue, just get out and enjoy life. Hopefully one day, you will walk by an author blogging from an airport cafe on a Sunday morning blissfully unaware of his presence. You’ll have big plans to help the world spin.

The donut king of Toronto

Toronto is a beautiful city made even more beatuiful by the fact that there is not a Starbucks or a Dunkin Donuts on every corner (like there is in New York). I am sure there are some entrepreneurs out there wanting to change this but for now Toronto’s beauty comes from its diversity. Every corner seems unique and worth exploring. No two streets are alike.

This is my first visist to the city as a tourist. There is no work to get in the way this time. The city and all its glory are at my beck and call but before my camera starts to whirl and my feet begin to ache from the exploring, there is one thing I need to do: visit a Tim Hortons.

“You’ve never had a coffee and a donut until you have had Tim Hortons” My friend had boldy claimed. Really? I thought. I did not know Canada was known for its coffee. “Forget Starbucks and forget any donut chain you have ever visited. Tim Hortons is the best.” I was caught off guard by his arrogance. “What, is it maple syrup flavored?” He delivered an angry smirk. “You’ve never had anything better .” He replied curtly.

The gauntlet had been thrown down. As someone who strvies to be vigilant when it comes to eating healthy I could not shy away from this challenge. An image of a warm, sticky, glazed donut hung like a cloud in my mind and of course I would be chasing this scrumptious cloud with a velvety, smooth coffee.There was no way I could enjoy Toronto until I erased this image from my mind. Uh oh! What’s this? A Tim Hortons next to my hotel?

First order of the day: One large coffee with cream and the run-of-the-mill glazed donut. Hmm… Probably 300 calories right here. Just looking at the donut made me feel fatter. It looked delicisous. I raised it to my mouth and the first bite took me back to the days of my childhood. It was mouthwatering. I quickly sipped the coffee. Not to hot, just right. Nice texture. Smooth, rich, and flavorful. The two went down my throat like Sonny and Cher singing a duet. “I got you to hold my hand…and I got you to understand. I got you Babe! I got you Babe!”

Suddenly an alarm started ringing. The hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. GET OUT OF HERE! I bolted for the door with coffee in hand. The donut had already been inhaled. I needed to escape the irrestible urge to order another. It was time to leave the building as fast as I could.

Bursting from the door I suddenly found myself at peace. The city stretched around me in all its glory. The sun was shining and the bustle of life was beginning. I smiled knowing I could now enjoy the day. The donut cloud had disappeared. Yes, Tim Hortons has the best coffee and donuts. Will my life ever be the same? Who knows, thank goodness there is none near me where I live!

The ten minute breakfast challenge

In our busy world who has time to cook a healthy breakfast? The simple answer is: we all do! The more pertinent question is: Who has the energy? Or, who has the motivation?

A healthy breakfast consisting of all natural foods like eggs, bacon, cheese, fruit and/or vegetables is what your body needs in the morning. It is much better than breakfast cereal and much better than skipping breakfast all together. The problem is many people have the mindset that there is too much effort involved. I want to change this.

I can cook a scrumptious egg burrito in less than 10 minutes. AND…within 20 minutes I have also slurped it down (slowly of course), drank a cup of coffee, and… cleaned all the dishes. When I am done the only evidence I leave behind are a few eggs missing from the carton. I challenge you to do the same. Can you cook a healthy breakfast in less that 10 minutes?

Here is how I do it:

  • Grab a pan, throw it on the burner and turn it to medium heat.
  • Get out all of the ingredients: eggs, butter, milk, cheese,salsa, sour cream, burrito wrap(s).
  • Drop a dollop of butter in the pan, put the butter away, reuse the spoon later.
  • Crack the eggs in a bowl, whisk, then blend in some milk.
  • Pour the mix into the pan. Place the bowl into the dishwasher.
  • Grab a plate put the burrito on it and either place it in the oven on low heat or get it ready to microwave.
  • Scramble the eggs, add the cheese. I prefer to add the salsa and sour cream at the last second – or you could rub some onto the wrap.
  • Add the egg mix to your burrito and enjoy.
  • Clean up the dishes.

Voila! What are your ideas for a speedy, healthy breakfast?

 

My pet buffalo helps me to sleep

I am so tired this morning. So much so it took me three attempts to type the first sentence. It went something like this: I am sor tride. Oops. I am so tried. Oops. I am so tried this norning. Great!. Got passed that one. Now on to blogging about something that males scense. Its gonna be a long ray…

So what are some ways to rebound from a night of fitful sleep? Yesterday I had one of those marathon, twenty hour work days. When my head finally landed on the pillow at night I was over tired. My mind was so weak it could not control itself. It was rehashing the same thoughts over and over again like a t-shirt tumbling in a clothes dryer.

When you find yourself like this, the first step is to try to break out from the spinning thoughts. Try to focus on a simple but obscure thought. Last night, I began imagining what it would be like to have a pet buffalo. It might be fun as a calf but what happens when it grows up? Could I  lead it around on a leash? Could I ride it like a horse? Would it let me ride it?  Next thing I know I am waking up to my alarm. If you cannot fall back asleep think about what it would be like to own a pet buffalo.

Important: the obscure thought you select must spur other obscure thoughts to prevent rumination. The ideas must link together in a never ending chain with each link being different.

Here are some other ideas:

  • What if I were born with four arms? Would I become the best juggler ever? What could I juggle?
  • If the Earth’s gravitational pull was cut by 75% what would life be like? Could I just hop to work? How would elevators work?
  • Would having an eye on the back of my head give me migraines? Would I use it?
  • If I had drill bits for hands what cool stuff could I do?

Welcome to my twisted world… Please share your ideas on what would be good pet buffalo thoughts.

When you do wake up you will need to implement anti-groggy measures. Naturally you will be sleepy and this can easily ruin your entire day. If you let it. Your first thought should be to WILL yourself beyond the grogginess. Tell yourself: “I am not going to be sleepy today.” Forget about the pet buffalo.

Believe it or not on a day like this, physical activity will be your friend. You need to spend as much time on your feet as you possible. Avoid the couch and avoid coffee or other caffeinated beverages. A nice brisk walk, a jog, anything to get the juices flowing will help. You want to use an elevated heart rate to keep energy flowing. Mental fatigue is the enemy. It prevents you from being productive and enjoying your day. Physical fatigue is different all together so use your fat stores, your muscles and eat healthy meals to stay ahead of a numb mind.

I hope this helps. I need to run, I have a pet buffalo to tend to. Blog to you later!

Energy = Happiness

From the book The Diet for a Busy Life:

Your new formula for life is this: Energy = Happiness. First ask yourself if you can handle being both tired and pleasant at the same time. This is not such an easy task is it?  Next, reflect on moments when you may have stayed up too late, or had a very demanding day in which you felt just peachy. Did you snap at your loved ones? Shy away from stress? Become reclusive? Is there such a thing as a happy, exhausted you? In rare moments perhaps, but in most cases when you are tired and have no energy you are not the most pleasant person are you? Now think about times when you had abundant energy. Just the opposite was true. Having energy means your happiness is generally greater. The lack of energy doesn’t necessarily mean unhappiness it just means the feeling of contentment can be that much harder to achieve. Energy = Happiness is especially true given the fact that having energy or not compounds how you feel whether it is good or bad. Happiness and energy are intertwined. The more content you are the more energy you generally have. I would argue though that the true source of happiness is your own personal energy level.

Let’s go a bit deeper as to why having energy is so important.

Energy = Strength = Happiness. When your body is well nourished and your muscles pumped with adrenaline you can achieve things like lifting heavy weights and running long distances. This ability brings with it a boost in self-confidence which is one of the key ingredients to happiness. Self-confidence helps drive you to reach your goals in life and so being fit and strong boosts your chances of happiness. Energy comes from being physically fit, eating well and as you will learn, from being mentally fit too.

Energy = Courage = Happiness. OK this is getting a bit more abstract but bear with me. Having courage applied in a non-reckless manner will increase your happiness. Any time your mind or body is put under duress you react instinctively and decide to fight or to retreat. Courage is nowhere to be found. Courage takes something special. It requires extra effort because it trumps instinct. Having the courage to ask for a promotion can bring you happiness. Just asking for it will be enough. Asking the attractive person you see everyday on a date is courageous. Sure rejection sucks but having the answer to that burning question alone will bring you relief. Running down the purse thief or stopping the mad man with a gun is not what I am talking about. I am talking about actually doing something about the every day problems you are faced with. A lack of energy makes you less courageous. Overcoming obstacles takes energy and the courage to take that first step. Without energy your chances of retreating from problems increase greatly and with that retreat goes a better quality of life. It takes courage to change your life. It takes courage to ask for that promotion. It takes courage to ask out that hottie on a date. Energy is the foundation of courage which lends a hand in happiness. Having energy will give you more courage to face down your obstacles and create a better you.

Energy = Success = Happiness. Simply put, if you are successful chances are you put in a lot of hard work to achieve this success. If you struggle to understand this then you need to ask yourself whether or not you live in the real world. Even those born with a silver spoon in their mouth cannot claim success without having taken some risk or callused their hands in some way. Success does not come to those who…? Fill in the blank. Wait? Sit on the couch? Leave it to others? Can anyone say with a straight face that they found any level of success without some burning desire inside them? This desire is fueled by the amount of energy that you have to tap into on any given day. Having no energy means being stuck on the couch while the world spins by. This is the opposite of happiness and achieving success at anything will surely bring you anything but misery.

Energy = Life = Happiness. The most important reason why you should do anything and everything to maximize your energy levels is because of the simple fact that while you exist here on Earth, living and breathing, you are a consumer. Be it of food, water, energy, love, companionship, friendship the mere fact that you are alive right now means you are taking something precious away from this world and you are using it for your own selfish needs. Unlike animals, the meat on your bones cannot be consumed, your excrement cannot be used to help grow crops and even your decayed flesh is of little use. In other words, your physical body is useless unless you do something with it. It gets worse. Your brain, the most powerful tool in the history of the Universe can clearly be put to waste. It actually takes effort to use this brain to give back to the planet and sadly there are many people who feel instead the world owes them something. When you die all I ask is one simple thing: When the score of your life is tallied there is a +1 in your column. I don’t mean having children and adding to the worlds population. What I mean is when we look back at the history of your life you did enough to go from a consumer to a producer. Somebody who produces is one whose love for their fellow man exceeds the love they have received. To achieve a +1 in life is simple: you carry in your mind every single day the notion you are still at −1. Now do you understand the ultimate importance of having energy? It takes effort to get a +1. It takes energy. Thinks of the regrets you would have if you died tomorrow. Would there be anything positive left from your existence beyond what you should do by default? Did you drag down the world or boost it upwards? Energy = Life = Eternal Happiness. Get to work on your personal energy level so that you can get the +1 you are responsible for.