November 29, 2013

The Best Diet

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If you’re trying to loose weight the list of diets to choose from can leave you searching for comfort food. So how do you know which is really the best. It turns out the answer is up to you.

 

Research shows most diets lead to the same amount of weight lost by six months as along you are burning more calories than you are taking in and sticking with the program. Consistency seems to be the most important.

 

A diet shouldn’t be a diet at all, but a long-term lifestyle change. But consistently making wise nutrition and activity choices, that’s where you really find more success in loosing and more importantly keeping off weight.

 

Lifestyle changes that are easy to follow get a thumbs up from your doctor and are ones you want to stick will be the best for you. Ultimately the key to cutting calories may just be commitment.

 

If you would like to see other blogs by Dr. Walt on this topic, click here and then click on today’s story.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

Bedtime Blues

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Dear Dr. Bill,

A few months ago our two-year-old went from being a great sleeper—to suddenly fighting bedtime with crying and tantruming.  We have always been on a schedule and that hasn’t changed—nap from noon to two and nighttime sleep from seven p.m. to six a.m.  He’s out of a crib and in a toddler bed for eight months now.  What should we do?

–Christine

Dear Christine,

You’ve got a major battle of the wills going on.  Your little guy has his own idea of what he wants to do in the evening, and obviously sleeping is at the bottom of the list!

Here are a couple of suggestions.  First, shorten his nap time.  At two years old, he may not need a two-hour nap each day

You also might try putting him down a bit later in the evening.  It may simply be that he’s not tired at seven, and that an eight or eight-thirty bedtime fits his body clock better.

If he started fighting the seven p.m. bedtime this past summer, it might be because until recently, it was still very light at seven in the evening. Very few kids want to go the bed when sunlight is streaming into their room and they can hear the neighborhood kids playing outside.

Establish a bedtime routine, and stick with it.  This could include a warm bath followed by some quiet reading and cuddling time on his bed.  In fact, for a while, you might even want to lie with him on his bed in the dark until he falls asleep.

But don’t make that a habit. You mentioned he was doing just fine falling asleep on his own until recently, so he’s obviously capable of it.

By the way, one of the best books on this topic is called Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth.

Thanks for writing, Christine.

 

If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

A Marriage Mentor

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The twelfth man—that is a phrase that every football fan understands.

 

When the audience generates this energy by cheering them on, they can make a team play better.

 

Players have said it makes such a difference in a stadium when you have those fans behind you. You know I think the same is true in any relationship, especially marriage.

 

The truth is as couples we don’t realize how much we can impact another couple by celebrating them in their marriage.

 

Maybe as a marriage mentor or a marriage coach, maybe just friends, but just to have someone on the sidelines cheering you on as a married couple. Friend, think about that in your own relationship. Get a marriage mentor.

 

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM relationship experts Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, visit the relationships experts page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

November 28, 2013

As you prepare your Thanksgiving feast and gather with family and friends, one of the things we KNOW you are thankful for is your freedom!  Today’s SACKed idea is to write a letter to a solider!  There are lots of ways to do this.  You can find a soldier through online programs like Forgotten Soldier, or you can send a letter or small gift to a veteran that you know!

 

Giving Thanks

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One recent Thanksgiving, my wife and I sat around the table with a small group of family and friends. One of them asked if we could practice a tradition that her family had done for years. Each person shared one thing they are thankful for and we continued going around the table again and again.

I’ve got to tell you, I didn’t expect much from this exercise, but it turned into the highlight of the day. Grandparents to grandkids spoke and it took over 45 minutes. Our entire group was filled with warmth and laughter, reminded of great memories and the gifts of life.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday. But most of all I hope you’ll take time to reflect on all you have to be thankful for. It’ll bring a smile to your face and joy to your heart. And both of these are good for your health.

If you would like to see other blogs by Dr. Walt on this topic, click here and then click on today’s story.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

Teaching Thankfulness

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On this Thanksgiving Day 2013, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to teach my kids to be more thankful—maybe you have as well.

In our materialistic, consumer-oriented culture, we face a real challenge in teaching our kids to be grateful.  Much of what they see in the media sends the message that they are entitled to everything they want—and now!  American kids have also come to believe they should always get the biggest and the best.

So how do we cultivate character traits such as thankfulness, generosity and self-sacrifice?  In 1 Thessalonians 5:18, the Bible tells us to “Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”

One of the most effective ways to combat the cultural mind-set is by modeling a grateful attitude ourselves. Verbally thank God on a regular basis, even for simple things like a roof over your head and food.

Also, do your best to model gratitude in your other relationships; with friends, relatives and co-workers—and not only when they do something special for you.

Let others know how much you appreciate them simply for who they are. Express that kind of unconditional gratitude to your spouse and children as well.

As we approach Christmas, help your kids learn to be generous by serving others who are less fortunate. Christmastime is ideal for service projects.

Your family might volunteer to serve Christmas dinner at a local rescue mission or visit residents at a nursing home, singing carols and delivering Christmas cookies.

For more ideas to cultivate gratitude in your kids, check out the book Growing Grateful Kids by my friend Susie Larson.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Shine.FM.

 

If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

Listen to today’s audio here. 

The Extra Mile

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I’ve probably said it a million times. The most revolutionary relationship principle I think ever taught was walking the extra mile.

 

Absolutely. That’s not just doing what is expected but doing something that goes beyond that.

 

You kind of walk the first mile because you’re a decent human being.

 

That’s right, most of us do.

 

The extra mile is something that catches people off guard.

 

In marriage it is amazing to experience when you spouse goes the extra mile for you.

 

You can walk the extra mile big ways, little ways. Taking out the trash is the first mile.

 

Then not saying anything about it, just doing it without being asked.

 

That’ s the extra mile.

 

If you have a comment or question for the New Shine.FM relationship experts Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, visit the relationships experts page at Shine.FM.

Listen to today’s audio here.

November 27, 2013

Today, send a small gift with a note to your child’s teacher.  This is a great way to include your kids in your Christmas kindness efforts.  Have them sneak it on the chair when she’s not looking!

Happy Thanksgiving

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This time of the year many of us fear the inevitable “watch what you eat during the holidays” speech, especially from doctors. Well I’m skipping that sermon to talk about your mind.

 

Many people see their emotional health slide during the holidays and that’s an important part of being healthy too. Even if you have the blues this Thanksgiving you can still develop an attitude of gratitude.

 

Gratitude allows you to count your blessings and a number of studies have shone that a positive attitude positively effects physical, emotional, spiritual, and relational health.

 

So here’s my prescription for you. Take a few minutes each day to write down the five things you’re thankful for. Don’t be a turkey just try it. This simple exercise quite simply will change your Thanksgiving and the rest of your life.

 

If you would like to see other blogs by Dr. Walt on this topic, click here and then click on today’s story.

Listen to today’s audio here.