When Opportunity Knocks…

Opportunity fishWhat exactly is opportunity? Is it lucky chance? It it the right set of circumstances at a given time? Should we not let it slip by and instead take advantage of it? Opportunity can inspire hope that our lives will be made better in the future. It is something that can happen at the most inappropriate time and therefore might be overlooked and avoided when it crosses our path. Thomas Edison wrote “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is Opportunity Plantdressed in overalls and looks like work”. How many times have we said no to a new adventure and in turn missed out on something great? We may not even have thought about doing something new until we were prompted with an opportunity. Maybe it is time to become more “Yes people”. I don’t mean saying yes to everything but trusting in our gut more. The fear of failing or being embarrassed can hold us Opportunity Arrowsall back. What if it turns out to be a mind-blowing and learning experience? Isn’t it better to know what would have happened then to wonder what might have been. By not seizing the opportunity by saying it is not the right time, you may in turn be reinforcing some hidden feeling that you don’t really deserve it. Life is filled with opportunities. At times they are dropped in our laps and sometimes they are a little hidden and may take a conscious effort to find.

A Lifetime of Giving Blood…

James Harrison needed surgery and a large amount of blood when he was 14 years of Opportunity donatingage. As an adult he wanted to repay the favor and so for the next 60 years he donated blood 1,173 times. Medical professionals discovered that his blood contained a rare antibody that when combined with a certain medication would go on to save more then 2 million babies from dying of a fatal disease. Anti-D was issued in approximately 3 million doses to mothers since 1967. The Red Cross in Australia said that there are only about 160 donors that have this rare plasma. Certain babies born with a rare blood type can develop hemolytic disease of the fetus which is fatal. At 81 “the man with the golden arm” as Mr. Harrison was known will have to stop giving blood. It is felt that he might now compromise his own health. Researchers are now working on “A James in the Jar version” in attempting to recreate his antibody synthetically. p.s. I should mention that James is terrified of needles.

Elephants can talk through their walk…

Not only do elephants have a powerful ability for communication via their trunk, but it seems that their footprints can produce sounds that can be heard even further. ScientistsOpportunity elephantshave tools to study the magnitude and effects of earthquakes. Recently they have been using these same tools to study the “Seismic Signatures” of elephant’s footprint vibrations which act as long distance communicators. They are somehow able to monitor vibrations through their bodies. The study was done by The Universities of Oxford and Bristol in which the scientists were able to determine what exactly the elephants were trying to communicate. Specifically, they will be able to detect if the animals are being pursued by poachers.

New York and City Parks…

The City Council of New York is considering banning plastic bottle sales on all beaches, parks and golf courses. New York will be the third municipality following San Francisco andOpportunity bottles Concord, Maine to do so. This would also include soda and juices sold in plastic. The ban will not prohibit people from bringing in plastic bottles but the goal is to make it inconvenient. It is an attempt to make consumers aware of the damage plastic is doing to our environment and to relieve some of the strain it is putting on our landfills. Hope is that people will start using refillable bottles. Many colleges, government agencies and businesses have already adopted this policy. This is also an attempt to ensure that tap water is fit for drinking and at the same time send a message to manufacturers that these bottles are unnecessary. San Francisco has even set up refillable water stations at all concert and sports venues. Hope is that this proposal will be more successful then the previous attempt to put a surcharge on plastic bags.

Bulgur Wheat Salad With Tomato and Eggplant

Opportunity bulgurIngredients
– 1 cup bulgur wheat
– 1 eggplant, thinly sliced
– 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
– 1 pound cherry tomatoes, cut in half
– 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
– kosher salt and pepper
– 1 cup basil leaves, torn

                                                                                                                              Directions
Step 1—Heat broiler
Step 2—Cook the bulgur according to the package directions
Step 3—Arrange the eggplant slices on 2 baking sheets. Brush both sides with a total of 3 tablespoons of the oil. Broil the eggplant,1 sheet pan at a time, until brown, 2 to 3 minutes per side
Step 4—Transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the tomatoes, vinegar, the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Fold in the basil.
Step 5—Transfer the bulgur to a large bowl and top with the eggplant and tomato mixture before serving.

Building a Healthy Heart…

Scientists have always believed that the human heart stops producing new cells after birth and that these cells do not multiply but only grow in size as we age. However, according toFeedback-Heart a new study published in the “Journal of Physiology” exercise at an early age can increase the number of these cells and that these cells will remain with us for life. Scientists divided rodents into three groups. They started them on an exercise routine at ages that were equivalent to what humans would classify as childhood, adolescence and adulthood. All the groups had bigger cardiac-muscle cells but the childhood group had as many as 20 million additional cardiomyocytes (the type of cells that contract). The group that began as adolescents had some but fewer. Although exercise will benefit a heart at any age, these extra cells make it more likely to survive a heart attack in later years. Time to get the kids out there away from the TV, computer and video games and have them start adding those extra heart cells.

Busy Brain/ Hungry Body…

Extreme mental focus such as preparing for an exam or just solving problems that require intense concentration can actually drain the brain. Since the brain has a limited capacity toPower Brain store fuel, the results can be similar to using stored energy from caloric expenditure through physical movement. This is the reason why college students not only eat poorly but also overeat. Scientists experimented with thirty eight college students. After 35 minutes of sitting quietly in a peaceful setting to establish a baseline for what they would normally consume, all were given as much pizza as they wished. After a few weeks they were called back and were all given intense college exams that required extreme mental focus. Afterwards, half were given pizza to consume and half were put on a treadmill. The group on the treadmill consumed less than they would normally consume while the other group consumed much more. The increased flow of fuel-rich blood to the brain brought on by intense exercise increased both the amount of blood sugar and lactate circulating in the blood. This in turn reduced the desire to overeat by feeding an exhausted brain.

Beets, Bosc pears and Cannellini Beans

Beets

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients
– 1 Package of ready made Beets (Beetology Brand)
– 1 can of Cannellini Beans (Brad’s Organic)
– 2 medium Bosc pears
– 2 tablespoons of Avocado oil ( olive oil works)
– White Balsamic Vinegar to taste
– Oregano
– Parsley

Directions:
Simply cut the beets in quarters and slice, cut the pears into 8 pieces and slice and place in a bowl. Next add the can of beans after rinsing and all the other ingredients.
A great lunch with a slice of whole grain bread…

Fine tuning the Immune System…

Feedback-fiberThere are many benefits to a fiber rich diet. Reduced risk of diabetes, hypertension etc. But why? Instead of feeding us directly what fiber does is feed our intestinal bacteria. For proper digestion, we need to call on enzymes for assistance to break down a nutrient into its smaller components. What we classify as the indigestible part of a plant called fiber is actually digested and used as nourishment for the microbiome (healthy gut bacteria) that line our intestinal track. To test this theory scientists at Georgia State University separated mice into two groups. One group was placed on a high fiber diet and the other on a low fiber, high fat diet. After examining the feces from the two groups they discovered that the low fiber, high fat group had a collapse in their microbiome population, their intestines started to narrow and their inflammation level increased. It seems that each plant and fruit provides a different fiber which in turn feeds a different population of bacteria in our gut. I guess there is truth to the saying “an apple a day……”

Feedback…

One of the most powerful tools we have for both learning and achieving is Feedback thumbsfeedback. Yes there is both positive and negative feedback, it depends on how it is given. When it is negative it is often looked upon as criticism and is often hard to accept. It may be the way it is sometimes delivered. Even negative feedback can help a person grow. Why do people fear a negative review at work and why do leaders make it such a dreadful experience? It could be the word negative itself. It can take skill, respect and patience to deliverfeedbach high five feedback. Delivering it in a manner that it is geared toward effective and constructive growth for the recipient is important. Feedback has to be timed. It is so much more effective if it is not delivered in the heat of the moment. I personally have a rule. It’s called “the 24 hour rule”. Give yourself that amount of time to digest, to calm down and react in a more positive way that in the long run can help both sides arrive at a fruitful position, without any defensive, and regretful comments. Feedback shoesRelating it to yourself “I always find that when I do this a certain way” for example can make it easier for a person to digest while making the person giving the feedback more relatable. It is also important to go slow. In other words if there is more than one situation you wish to comment on maybe it is better to stick to one in particular. A good rule of thumb is to give a slightly constructive criticism and then follow it with a highly positive one. What usually happens if feedback is grounded in negativity, a sense of failure will follow. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and see if you would be comfortable in the way you are delivering feedback.