My Top Wellbeing Finds for 2013

Tis the season for year-end lists, so here are my top wellbeing finds (the type that impacted me) 2013.

  1. Facio. Facio is a cloud-based tool to help you stay on track with your happiness. It also has some corporate functionality too, if you are so inclined. The founder of the company has a pretty inspiring story too.
  2. Jot Script Stylus. Adonit has made one of the best stylus tools out there-at least for me. I’m a big user of Evernote and Penultimate. The Jot Script stylus works beautifully on my iPad and has helped my efficiency.
  3. Yoga. This one is perpetually on my year-end lists. The practice of yoga has made such a difference in my wellbeing.
  4. Daily calendar affirmations. I started the habit of using a calendar reminder relating to affirming my family. It truly is a pouring out of me into them dance.
  5. Pecans. A nut with so much to offer in the way of nutrition and overall health. Go organic, if you can here.
  6. 2010 L’Ecole No. 41 Syrah. You can do the research for yourself on the health benefits of red wine, and this bottle is downright magical.
  7. Charles Swindoll. This guy’s thinking and voice have been a constant for me, especially in 2013.
  8. Music from the soundtrack of Arbitrage. Cliff Martinez has scored quite a few movies. This one really struck me, for reflection and writing. I liked the movie too.

5 Questions with Rebecca Black of Pretty Little Celiac

rebecca black

I had the pleasure of interviewing Rebecca Black of Pretty Little Celiac this month and she has some great insights on health and wellbeing. Rebecca’s experience with Celiac Disease will encourage and enlighten you.


Celiac Disease has become more and more prevalent here in the U.S. Is it a trend that can be reversed naturally?

Celiac can’t be reversed but the symptoms are manageable with a strict gluten-free diet. Diagnosing celiac is such a huge problem for our country and after attending the International Celiac Disease Symposium in Chicago this year, I learned how much other countries are ahead of us in researching and treating the disease. Celiac disease has been around for a long time but no one can really pin point why it is becoming more prevalent. There are many theories and possibilities but there really isn’t a firm answer to the question. I am interested to see what medical and research advances come our way in the next 5 years. But, I can say the only way to truly manage celiac disease is to maintain a gluten free diet. If you are absolutely 100% positive you are maintaining a gluten free diet but still continue to struggle with other symptoms, it might be time to look into other issues that may be occurring. Unfortunately, other auto-immune diseases hang out together and it is likely that another could be causing you distress.

How are you helping people get control of their physical wellbeing?

One of the things I preach the most is being educated about your own condition and going into doctor’s appointments armed with information. Being able to clearly describe your symptoms and history, only helps the doctor accurately diagnose you. Being educated also helps when you have people trying to challenge your diagnosis or choice to live gluten-free. The people who say “Oh, a bite won’t kill you” are less likely to continue to badger you if you explain how the disease affects your body.

I keep a running document on my computer of my medical history. It includes dates of diagnoses, test results, inaccurate diagnoses, prescription and non prescription medication, dates of last appointments and tests along with all of the previous doctor’s information. We just moved out of state and I’m now in the process of finding all new doctors. This document is a time saver and a life saver in the doctor’s office because I can clearly and quickly give my medical history. This leaves more time to talk about my current issues, tests to be ordered and any other concerns that might be going on. Every single doctor appreciated the document and said it was extremely helpful to review prior to the appointment. I’m an advocate for self-advocacy!

I had a friend who told me she believed the obesity problem in the developed world is more mental than physical. Do you think our view (mental and emotional) of food is distorted? 

Oh man! What a hot topic! Obesity, weight loss, major diet changes/restrictions are all very mentally taxing. These are things people struggle with over a lifetime and it’s only a matter of time for it to take a toll on our mental health. But, when we forget about that component and focus only on the physical aspect, we are bound to fail. It takes a strong and determined person to say enough is enough and really try to make conscious changes to improve their life. I just wish more people understood how psychologically challenging it really can be.

I have so many experiences on this coming from a child welfare, fitness and gluten-free back ground. I could spend all day talking to you on my thoughts of obesity. I absolutely believe our relationship with food in this country is distorted, just like our relationship with our bodies. We’ve been brainwashed by marketing companies and the FDA to believe everything in the grocery store is safe and perfectly okay to eat. We see models on magazines and on social media posting about how awesome their lives because they use ‘xyz’ products. The cycle of processed and cheap junk food starts as a child and continues on into adulthood.

While there certainly are medical conditions that can cause weight gain and obesity, we have to sit down and really think about the fundamentals of our diet. We are so focused on quick and easy that we forget many of those ingredients aren’t meant for our body. Some of our bodies don’t process the artificial ingredients and “food like” substances as well as others. But, the companies make compelling arguments to make us believe their food is safe and not the cause of health problems. It really isn’t until people stop consuming those foods and start to feel better that it finally clicks. Not only does their body feel better, but their minds start to understand the changes.

Have any tasty recipes you’d like to share?

Speaking of fast food and food issues, I loved Chick Fil-A’s chicken nuggets prior to going gluten free so I decided top play around with a recipe and create my own. They didn’t taste exactly the same, but they were close!

Gluten-Free Chick-fil-a Style Chicken Nuggets


3 Free Range Chicken Breasts

3/4 cup of dill pickle juice

1 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 teaspoon of garlic salt

2 Eggs

1 cup of lactose free milk

1 cup of Gluten Free Flour

1/2 cup of Peanut oil

How to cook:

1.Clean chicken and cut chicken into small cubes.

2.Marinate:  combine pickle juice, milk and eggs.  Shake in some salt and pepper or substitute.

Place cubed chicken into marinate and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.

3. Add flour, salt and pepper, garlic salt into plastic bag.  Put cube chicken into bag.  Shake until chicken is covered.  If small bag, you can do this multiple times.

4. Heat peanut oil in frying pan, on medium to medium high.  Wait until oil is hot, and place layer a chicken in the pan.  Heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side.  The longer on each side the crisper the nuggets.

5. Place finished nuggets on paper towel to soak up excess oil.

6. Salt and pepper to taste.

 Change is a disruptor, what’s your advice on managing the process associated?

Change is inevitable in our lives but over time certain skills can help manage the process more effectively and successfully. When I was first diagnosed with celiac disease, the last few years finally started to make sense but I wasn’t willing to accept all of the changes I needed to make. It was overwhelming. Looking back on that experience, I believe everyone can benefit from 2 major things when it comes to change.

1. Take time to grieve the loss, especially if it is a major change. Even a positive change needs time to process. We can’t expect for everything to be okay over night. We recently moved out of state for a wonderful reason, but I still struggled with the major change. I needed to stop and spend some time being okay with the sadness. It’s a normal process!

2. Write out your journey. I started Pretty Little Celiac out of a mental health necessity after my diagnosis. I needed way to process my thoughts and this was the perfect outlet. I chose to throw myself into education and helping others along with journaling my experiences. I’m so happy I did! But, you don’t have to share your adventures with the world, a journal would be just as efficient but much more private. It’s also neat to go back and look at the space you were in and how far you’ve come (or not).

Of course everyone has their own individual way of coping with change and I think both of these suggestions can fit into any method you already use. The problem is usually taking your mind outside of the current experience and seeing it from a neutral perspective. That’s always the most challenge part of processing change and that’s why I think writing or journaling is the perfect way  to start that process.


Rebecca Black is one of the leading health and fitness experts in central Ohio and built a brand appealing to all demographics aspiring to lead a healthy lifestyle by using fun and customized approaches to health and fitness.  Every week she motivates the thousands of followers she gathered on her personal blog, Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites, as well as at her fitness studio, Bexa Body Fitness.  Bexa Body Fitness is a premier fitness studio located in Westerville, Ohio

5 Questions with Dan Schawbel, Author of Promote Yourself

I've known Dan Schawbel for quite a few years now and he is one of the best when it comes to the art of personal branding. His new book, Promote Yourself: The New Rules of Career Success, distills great advice to all who want move their careers forward.

I really appreciate Dan's answer to the first question. I try remember what makes me special and who the right audience is, daily. Enjoy!


You were one of the first thought leaders to talk about personal
branding. How has it changed over the last 5 years?

branding is the process by which we unearth what makes us special and then
communicate it to the right audience. You could also say it's what people say
when you're not in the room and how you position yourself in the marketplace.
The basics of personal branding haven't changed but the technology has and we
have to adapt to it in order to build and maintain our careers. The web, and
the media, is a lot more fragmented and competitive now which is the biggest
change from my perspective. Getting publicity is both easier and harder because
the web is more open, there are more channels but that means more competition.
The conversation has changed from five years ago. The conversation used to be
about how to build a brand using social networks five years ago because it was
so new. Today, it's all about standing out in the crowd.

Tell me a little about your partnership with American Express.

partnered with American Express to study two different things that are both
related. First, we wanted to know what managers look for when promoting in the
workplace. Second, we wanted to see if millennials and their managers were on
the same page when it came to career success. We surveyed 1,000 millennial
employees and 1,000 of their managers and uncovered some interesting findings.
We found that millennials have a positive view of their managers, while their
managers had a negative view of them. We also uncovered that managers are
looking for an employee with strong soft skills over one with hard skills when
promoting. Another interesting thing was that a lot of companies don't give any
feedback and some don't even have annual performance reviews. Social media
isn't embraced at all in most companies still and managers don't really care if
an employee has social media skills. This will all change in the future as
millennials become managers.

What’s one strategic way to promote yourself inside of a large

The best way to promote yourself inside of a large organize is
to go above and beyond your job description and expand your responsibilities.
This does a few things for you. First, it takes the load off of your manager so
that they can concentrate on taking on projects that will help them get ahead,
which will in effect get you ahead. Second, people will start perceiving you as
a future leader so you will advance faster than your peers. Third, it will give
you more experience and make you more valuable to your firm. If all you do is
what you did yesterday, it's impossible to get ahead at work.

In your book you detail how social media impacts personal
branding. Has social media made the traditional resume obsolete?

The traditional resume is evolving and will eventually be
displaced by your online presence. You could look at LinkedIn as being the
"new resume" but it's really just your online presence. What does the
internet say about you? The problem with the traditional resume is that
everyone ends up looking the same and it only shows what you've done in the
past. The web is all about what's happening now. Your online presence gives
employers an idea of what you're thinking today and in the future.

What advice would you give to the millennial worker who feels
stuck and overlooked in their current role?

you feel stuck there are a number of things you can do to get unstuck. First,
you need to go to your manager and ask for more responsibilities outside of
your current ones. If that doesn't work and you've been at your company for two
years, then try and apply to other positions at your current company. If that
doesn't work, then you have three more options. You could go to graduate
school, which is only a good idea if a degree is required or highly encouraged
in your field. You could quit and start a company but that only works if you've
already been working on it on nights and weekends and have enough money saved
up to pursue it. You can take a job at a different company if you find one or
if a recruiter emails you about one. It really depends on your career
aspirations, how much money you've saved and who is in your network to support

Dan Schawbel is a Gen Y career and workplace expert, the Founder of Millennial
Branding and the author of the new book,
Promote Yourself: The New Rules For Career Success (St. Martin's Press).



Don’t You Forget This


The above is a scene from one of my favorite films, Dead Poet's Society. The clip lasts for about 2 !/2 minutes and is well worth the watch on many levels.

There are two lines from this scene that are a part of me:

"Forget them" and "Don't forget this."

Each of those lines create a powerful dichotomy. We must forget some things and some people. And yet we must never forget some things and some people. Knowing the difference means everything.

Our media addicted culture thrives on forgetting what's important. Like the firefly driven and enslaved to the light. We just can't remember because we fail to choose what's worth our time. We fail to know and understand what's most valuable. By the way, our culture rarely supports this approach.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've pissed off more than a few people due to my indifference to what I believe to be not worth my attention. It was never via harsh words or actions, just a quiet stance for what I know is worthy.

Now, who's worthy of forgetting? The critics, the naysayers and the dead (those who still breathe and yet show no real life). People or things that always find a way to find what's wrong can be dangerous. Many have given up because of the voices who laugh and chide. Don't let them win.

Don't you forget this.

Underestimating the Power of Words

We are guilty of underestimating the power of our words.

As you may have read, Paula Dean, has probably sabotaged her business future. Hard to feel sorry for her. With social media and more in the mix, it shows our lack of self-control. And believe me, I know there's a heart problem too.

Paula Dean is just a micro of what we all do and struggle with. She just happened to do it with a stunning level of stupidity. I say that so strongly because you would think she'd have advisors to provide restraint. Maybe she did and just refused to listen. Alas, we live in a culture that often believes in "we don't need any advice."

I work on my words everyday and I fail. The cool part about the work side is it increases the chances that I won't screw things up.

Don't underestimate the power of your words.


5 Questions with Alan Corey, Author of The Subversive Job Search

Corey book cover

Great conversation with Alan Corey, author of the The Subversive Job Search: How to Overcome a Lousy Job, Sluggish Economy, and Useless Degree to Create a Six-Figure Career. His insights might surprise you.

Why do you think most
job-seekers trust the status quo approach to looking for new employment?

No one is
taught job hunting in school so many job hunters get their job searching advice
from a trusted family member or friend who they think has great job. They want
to know how he or she was able to do it so they can replicate the same steps.
Unfortunately, that advice is always outdated as they’ve probably have held
that job for five or more years and even worse, it may be the only job they
have ever had.

You want to
talk to someone how is constantly job hunting. Ask them how they are getting
noticed? What is working and what is not working? I’ve had 5 jobs in 24 months
and I learned a lot as I was constantly on the hunt. And I’m still learning
more.  But the big difference is that
employers are hiring differently than they have in the past.

A decade ago,
employers hired based on an employee’s potential. If you came from a good
school or had a college degree, then you’d be worth taking a chance on. But now
employers don’t have time or budget to train new employees, which means job
seekers need to come in with value on day one. 
It’s on the job seeker to pay to get their own training, have to find
their own way to build up their own skill set, and create their own working
experience. Showing you can come to work the first day with value is the
difference between getting noticed or not by a hiring manger in today’s

In your book you discuss your
struggles with depression. It seems like depression would go hand-in-hand with
a loss of a job, what advice would you give to someone in that spot?

Yes, I was unemployed for a
year and suffering depression and the number one thing is getting help. Depression
sucks the life out of you, and without help from family and therapy I may still
be there.  Talking about it helped a lot
and allowed me to look at my situation in a new light.

If you find yourself in this
situation reach out to family, friends, and professional help. My therapist
gave me the tools to get back on my feet. There shouldn’t be shame associated
with losing your job. It happens. It’s life. I realized I was one of millions
suffering from lack of employment and it gave me encouragement to try job
hunting in different ways.  I eventually
made job hunting my number one focus, stopped blaming others for my problems,
stopped blaming the economy for poor job prospects, and taught myself how to
job hunt subversively.

Is it important to know what’s
most important in your life when considering the next opportunity?

This is a
huge key to job hunting. I’ve job hunted for different reasons based on my and
my family’s needs. I’ve taken jobs just for the paycheck, I’ve taken jobs for
the experience, and I’ve even taken jobs for the abundance of vacation days it
provided.   Each served a different
purpose of my life at different times.

It’s crucial
to recognize where you stand in your career. If you are entry level, go for the
experience. Or better yet, go for what excites you or what you want to learn
about.  And realize that every job you
land may end quicker than you think it will, so always be building up your
skillset so you are instantly employable in case you get laid off. By taking
after-hour classes, networking outside your office, and reading your career’s
industry-focused magazines you’ll begin to learn what it is that you want from
your career and you’ll also know what it will take to get there. Working on
your career doesn’t just stop when you leave the office.

Where do you see the U.S. job
market heading in the next 3-5 years? Will people get more subversive in their
approach to finding employment?

I think the
job market will be improving and I see no other way to job hunt than to be a
bit subversive. You have to make yourself a big fish in this huge sea of job
applicants. This can be done by branding yourself correctly, working online or
for free to earn a reputation, or finding ways to be noticed within your career
niche.  If you are labeled as an expert
at something, even if it is just one tiny task or responsibility, this goes a
long way to get employed. Someone out there will have a need for this expertise
and is willing to pay top dollar for an employee to fill it.  If you recognize what these skill sets are
with your career, you’ll be no longer be a job hunter, but you’ll be head-hunted
instead by well-connected recruiters and hiring managers. The ideal situation
for anyone looking to further their career.

What advice would you give the
person, just out of college, trying to land their first job?

With hard work comes experience, with
experience comes opportunities, and with opportunities comes luck.  And with all of these four things working for
you, then comes wealth. To be a graduate shows you’ve got the ability to work
hard, but most graduates lack experience that makes them the in-demand hires
they want to be.

I’d recommend freelancing online via website like and to
earn real-world experience as quickly as possible and to prove you are a self-motivated
candidate. This is also a great way to learn what you like within your career,
learn what skills are in demand, and make a little money on while you job hunt.
Furthermore, they’ll have actually talking points to discuss in future
interviews that can help them make a great first impression.


Alan Corey is the personal
finance and career author of “A
Million Bucks by 30
” and “The
Subversive Job Search
.” You can learn more about him by visiting his
website at or by
following him on Twitter @alancorey. 



Still a Child

"Growing younger is the best way to find and keep happiness."

    -Author Unknown

As I sat next to my mom at a church service this past Sunday, I realized that I'm still a child. I found that boy whispering in my ear. I'm thankful I've stayed open to the wonder that is life.

In many ways I'm only an adult now by the things I know to be vital to the pursuit of destiny. Otherwise, I have no use for all of the other garbage adults often accumulate. 

I like the idea of growing younger, it suits me.

Humans Being Themselves-2013

A repost of sorts.


Does your organization (workplace, church, association) ask you to check your authentic self at the door? If you’re like many, the answer would be yes. Why do organizations value duplication and conformity? More than likely it’s because of insecurities gone wild. 


Think about it, if you encounter someone who is different thinking or different looking, what is your fist inclination?  Feel threatened? Humanly we feel better around those we think are like us. We look at it as a strange type of validation. Now look at the leaders of the corporations, churches and associations. More than likely these people suffer from the disease of insecurity…times ten. 


I was that way.


The “story” has already been told regarding the impact of poor leadership, but now we’re getting the harvest from decades of bad influence. That harvest is manifesting itself in the form of a counter-genuine lifeforce. You know them, there the people who wear masks and “position” themselves in every conversation. These people really don’t know who they are.  After years of working and living, it’s not surprising.   


Lost and not sure of what to do. 


Make your choice now, authenticity or a life of positioning. Remember, if you’re not authentic, you’re a fake. Long live the authentic.