Should You Eat a Live Frog or Cake for Breakfast?

Mark Twain offered some unusual advice – that you should start your day by eating a live frog, because after that, nothing else will seem as bad. Photo by David Clode on Unsplash A number of people have adopted this idea as a productivity tool. Not to literally eat a live frog, but to start out doing the hardest or most anxiety-producing item on their to-do list. The idea is that if you don’t, you’ll be dreading the task all day – and you may never get around to it at all. Maybe you’ve even done this. For instance, I think a lot of people follow this approach for exercise. But I recently read another article that suggests this is bad advice. Since your early morning mindset impacts the rest

Why It’s Important to Resist Being Completely Mindless

I know it’s tempting to be mindless. To just unhook your brain and not worry about things. And sure, we all need breaks now and again. It’s important to have times when you’re doing something that doesn’t require concentration or focused thought. Things like knitting… watching cute animal videos (or just cute animals)… taking a hot shower or bath… folding laundry… shelling peas… going for a walk… you get the idea. These are all things that can give you a mental break. But to me, this is different than being mindless. I think of mindlessness as not paying any attention to what you’re doing, with no consideration of whether this is what you want or need. And without thinking about possible con

Musings on Anthony Bourdain, Food, and Sadness

Photo by Mike Labrum on Unsplash I had another blog post planned for today. But after reading about Anthony Bourdain’s suicide on Friday, I decided to write this instead. Like many people, I thought Bourdain had everything. A career where he got to cook and eat amazing food. The respect of many. A loving girlfriend. A daughter he adored. Which is why I, like many, were so shocked by his death. Although when I think about it, it becomes a bit less shocking. Because I remember that all too often, our culture only wants to focus on the happy and good parts of life. We’re taught to keep the sad and difficult parts in the shadows. And we might use food us help us do this. Maybe not in the same wa

Why It’s Okay to Want Something Sweet – Consider the Unexpected Power of Cookies

People sometimes sound ashamed when they tell me they like to have something sweet during the day. Like they’re confessing to something terrible. But personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting something sweet now and again. It’s probably not great to only eat sweet things. But as part of your diet, it doesn’t seem like this should be a high concern. I understand that if you have diabetes, you might want to avoid refined sugar. And for some people, eating refined sugar can make them crave it more, at least sometimes. But Stevia and other sweeteners give you a lot of options these days. And I realize it may seem odd to encourage people to eat sweet things, but sometimes thos

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