Here are the questions for this week’s Friendly Fill-Ins. 🙂

1. Meetings __________________.
2. Rules __________________.
3. The best time to                        is                         .

4. I have learned                                     .


Here are my answers.

  1. Meetings…I don’t think I’ve ever been to a meeting while I was working. The only kind of meetings I’ve been to are when we meet someone for lunch, or a birthday party. This would be for family only. Those kinds of meetings are fun.
  2. Rules…I follow some, I guess. Most of the driving rules I follow, you know, rules of the road. Rules of a board game, we sometimes follow…

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The one aspect of life you can count on is change. People are not fond of change, but it happens all the time. Most people (if they’re lucky) will get older. Many will have kids. The kids will grow up and go to college and then branch off on their own. Parents get older to the point where kids may have to take care of them. This goes on and on. The following are helpful ways to deal with life transitions

Accept Change
People can’t do anything about the changes that happen. Therefore, it’s best to accept them. That’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. But, once you learn to do this, you will find it much easier when those changes occur. Of course, some changes are going to be easier than others, and there’s no way around that.

Don’t Live with Regrets

You can’t change the past, at least not yet. Until someone discovers a way to do that, don’t worry about what you’ve done in the past. Don’t live with regrets. It’s a huge waste of energy. Besides, if you let that get you down, you risk alienating others because you’ll always be in a foul mood.

You Are Not Alone

Whatever stage of life you are in, there are plenty of people who have already experienced it or are doing so right alongside you. Seek out these people and learn from them. You’ll meet new friends in the process, and you’ll discover that the world is not as lonely as you thought.

Have Some Alone Time

Although you shouldn’t go it alone, you should have some time for yourself. This is the time that you spend to help clear your head, or you can go get your aggressions out in the gym. Whatever you want to do, it is for you to decide.

Enjoy Life No Matter What

Everyone deals with tragedy at some point in their lives. You will grieve the loss of loved ones, and you may even have adverse situations that you’ll have to deal with. As much as possible, try to enjoy your life no matter what type of situation you find yourself in. If people truly get one life, you want to live that to its fullest.

Understand Your Purpose

You were put on this earth for a reason. You do things differently than everyone else. Even though you think you do something similar to others, you have a unique angle or spin. Try to determine what it is you are meant to do and do it. If you are stuck on something that doesn’t fit for you, your life is going to be miserable.



Get Help When Overwhelmed
There are going to be situations where it seems unbearable and tough to deal with. If you ever get to this point, seek out help. You can start with friends but for more serious situations, consider professional help.



Why Strength Training is Important as You Age


As you get older, it’s more important than ever to take care of your health and stay active for as long as possible. The great news is that you can maintain and even improve your physical condition with strength training. There are many reasons as to why strength training is so important to keep up with as you get older.


Daily Activities


If you keep up with strength training as you age you will be able to keep up with doing things like daily chores, getting the groceries and even something as simple as taking a shower. These are all things that can mean a lot to people who worry about losing their independence.


Build Muscle


People lose five to seven pounds of muscle every decade after they turn twenty. It is important to develop a proper strength training routine so you can avoid muscle loss and build it instead. And this is possible, even if you are quite a few years past twenty and are only just getting started!


Get Rid of High Blood Pressure


If you develop and keep up with a proper strength training routine you have a good chance of reducing your blood pressure, as strength training makes the heart stronger and forces it to pump blood more efficiently. Blood pressure has a knock-on effect on many other areas of health, too.


More Calories Bunt


Strength training will help you to be able to effectively burn more calories. This means that you will have much more success with shedding unwanted weight in the long term.


Some Tips for Starting a Strength Training Program:


  • Always, always get advice from your doctor before you start.


  • You should start with training two days a week with a day of rest in between. Then you should add a third day to challenge yourself.


  • You need to pay close attention to proper form when doing exercises. This way you will help to prevent injury by doing an exercise incorrectly.


  • Always keep in mind that when you are strength training it should never cause you pain. If you experience any pain stop right away.


No matter what age you happen to be, it’s never too late to incorporate strength training into your fitness routine – you just need to be willing to adapt it according to your specific circumstances, and get the OK from your doctor. By helping to make sure that your body stays strong you will be helping to maintain your independence for many years to come.

How Does Exercise Boost Your Self-Confidence?


Many people start fitness training for all kinds of reasons that range from losing weight, to building muscle, to avoiding health hazards of a sedentary lifestyle. One of the overlooked rewards of regular physical activity is its ability to boost self-confidence.

If you feel like lack of self-esteem is holding you back from pursuing your dreams or accomplishing more, you can get out of this rut by being more physically active. And, the best part is that regular exercise can help you become more successful even if your goals are not fitness related.

So, how does exercise boost your self-confidence? Well, being more physically active can improve self-esteem in a variety of ways. In this post, you can learn about the top four confidence boosting effects of regular exercise.

Exercise Improves Your Appearance

When we are not happy about our looks, we develop an inferiority complex about our image. Whether you are unhappy about being overweight or scrawny, having body image issues often sparks off negative emotions. You may begin to have negative self-talk about what you don’t like with your physical appearance. As a result, negativity permeates your thoughts, leading to shyness, fear and a general sense of low self-esteem.

Exercise helps to improve body physique by getting rid of excess unwanted fat and improving muscle definition. Achieving these kinds of results can make you feel more attractive and better about the way you look, ultimately bolstering your self-confidence.

Strength Increases with Regular Exercise

Every day you hit the gym, go for a run or participate in your preferred type of exercise, the body grows stronger. When you feel physically strong, the same will also reflect in your mental state. This manifests mostly when you start to reap the rewards of regular exercise. In a sense, working out lets you discover what you are capable off when you put effort. And, once you build your strength to be able to lift heavier weights, run longer miles or achieve harder exercises, you start to get a feeling that you can do anything!

Working Out Reduces Stress

Stress can be mentally and physically draining. If you are in that state on mind, it is hard to remain calm and focused on what you need to do to accomplish goals and solve problems.

The good news is that you can beat stress through exercise. Studies have shown that physical activity helps regulate stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline while at the same time releasing feel-good chemicals in the brain like endorphins and dopamine. All of these effects leave you feeling confident knowing that are not overwhelmed with stress and anxiety. Instead, you feel in charge of situations, your feelings, and actions.

Regular Exercise Improves Cognitive Function

Scientific evidence has shown that exercise boost brainpower. By committing to regular fitness training, you are able to concentrate more, think with clarity and become more productive. When you are at your best, you feel confident in your ability to get things done.


If you are in need of a confidence boost, make sure to get enough physical activity by committing to a regular fitness routine. Just remember to set realistic and attainable goals to avoid giving up on your fitness goals and end up not reaping the confidence boosting effects of exercise.


How to Support Your Health When You Quit Smoking


When you quit smoking, your body undergoes quite a change. You have to detoxify, and various body tissues need to heal. It’s a good idea to support your health as you go through the transition. In fact, good nutrition and healthy habits may make quitting easier. Here are some ideas and tips.

1. Rest

Try to give your body lots of rest during this time. Without the “rush” of nicotine from cigarettes, you may feel washed out, nauseated, or otherwise generally yucky. Resting helps your body to build new tissue and heal. Resting does not mean you don’t move around; just try to take a break from all the running around and stress for a while.

2. Exercise

Exercise is said to help the body detoxify by increasing circulation and other ways. Few would argue that exercise is a boost to your health, whether you smoke or not. Incorporating regular exercise may help you quit if you use it as a distraction tool – maybe you could take a brisk walk or bike ride when you feel a craving for nicotine. Just don’t walk or bike to the store to buy more cigarettes!

3. Nutrition

Your body will need lots of nutrients to support it during this transition. Vitamin C is said to be very important for soon-to-be-ex-smokers, and it is an important antioxidant vitamin. Magnesium is important for muscle relaxation and nerve function. Fruit and vegetable juices can help deliver lots of nutrients and could make a healthy addition to your diet. Berries may help, too, as their antioxidant activity is well known.

Foods with a lot of Vitamin C include bell peppers, citrus fruits, mangoes, and broccoli. Magnesium-rich foods include black beans, most nuts, spinach, and whole wheat bread.

B-complex vitamins are also something to consider – they are reputed to boost the immune system. Try snacking on raw celery sticks to get some B vitamins. Cauliflower, bell peppers, tuna and greens (like kale) are also good sources of these important vitamins.

4. Supplements

Herbal and nutritional supplements may be helpful. A good multi-vitamin is probably a good place to start. You might consider some herbal supplements or teas that can help boost your system while you quit smoking. There are actually herbal and nutritional supplements that are blended specifically to help smokers who are quitting.

Some soothing herbal teas that might help include chamomile, lemon balm, and/or catnip tea (yes, the same catnip cats go crazy for!). Herbal blends that contain oat straw and dandelion may also help – oat straw has magnesium, and dandelion is purported to help prevent and treat water retention.


Baked Cod, Potatoes, and Tomatoes (Merluzzo, Patate e Pomodori al Forno)

Stefan's Gourmet Blog

If it’s too hot right now to turn on the oven where you are, save this recipe for later, because it is easy and delicious. Cod, potatoes, and tomatoes are all cooked together in the oven with garlic and herbs (the tomatoes with basil, the cod and potatoes with rosemary). The only difficult part to get right is the timing, because the potatoes should be golden when the fish is just cooked through. Cod is even more susceptible to overcooking than other types of fish, and will become bland and dry if you are not careful. And so the potatoes and tomatoes go in the oven 10 minutes before the fish. To take the guesswork out of getting the fish right, it is advisable to use a thermometer with a probe.

If you pull the fish at a core temperature of 45C/113F (taking into account it will continue to cook…

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