Thursday, 24 July 2014

A Smile A Day - July 25th

What Not to Say to a Struggling Friend

I’m willing to bet that, over the years, you’ve told a sad friend or two to “cheer up” or “look at the postitives,” after a going through a bad breakup or missing out on a big promotion. Turns out, this is a terrible approach for lifting someone’s spirits.
According to new research in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, “positive reframing,” or attempting to get a depressed person to look on the bright side, will not work on a person’s mood if they have low self-esteem—which most people do after a difficult life event. And you might even start to feel bad about yourself when your helpful attempts to bring good cheer falls on deaf ears, because you might think you’re horrible at lending support. Crazy, right?
The actual, correct, scientifically-supported way to lend words of comfort to a depressed friend is to employ “negative validation.” Basically, you should deliver words that communicate an understanding of the person’s emotions, so they feel their reaction to the situation is normal, logical, and appropriate. This type of support resonates with people of low self-esteem, whereas “positive reframing” does not. Researchers suggest this is because, by telling a super-sad person to look at their unfortunate situation differently, you are in essence telling them the way they’re not handling their emotions correctly.
Interestingly, people with high self-esteem tend to respond well to either approach, whether it be positive reframing or negative validation. Still, it’s probably best to take the empathetic approach. Here are some examples in action:
Scenario #1: Your friend is upset when he doesn’t hit his weight goal this week.
  • Incorrect: “Well, on a positive note, that means you can expect a bigger drop next week.”
  • Correct: “Man, I’m sorry. I know how hard you worked this week.”
Scenario #2: A golf ball lands on the windshield of your brother’s brand new car, leaving a huge crack.
  • Incorrect: “Look on the brightside: at least it’s just a small crack in the upper corner—it could have been worse.”
  • Correct: “Ouch. It must suck to have to bring your car into the shop when you just started driving it.”
Scenario #3: Your best friend just broke up with her longtime boyfriend, and won’t stop watching DVR’d episodes of The Bachelorette while eating Ben & Jerry’s.
  • Incorrect: “Cheer up! There is someone so much better out there waiting for you.”
  • Correct: “It must really hurt to think about moving on—cry it out, have another spoonful of Chunky Monkey, and let’s meet for a power walk tomorrow.”

The Art of Making Healthy Chips & Fries (Yes, It’s Possible!)

With summer in full swing, certain foods are hard to avoid. French fries come with every hotdog at the ballpark, and chips are out at every backyard barbecue. While tasty, they are also highly caloric, and packed with sodium. And potatoes—no matter how delicious they may be—are not the most nutrient dense food. Unfortunately, salty and delicious are totally addictive, so even if you do manage to resist the temptation the cravings remain.
The solution? Veggie chips and fries! Whether you are trying to lose weight or simply want to make healthier choices, veggie versions are the perfect choice—and there are a lotof options.
Although some are best prepared with a little oil, my favorite veggie chips and fries are baked, not fried, and pack in more vitamins than standard potatoes. They take a little time to prepare (reaching for a bag of chips will always be easier), but it’s a snack you don’t have to feel guilty about indulging in.
Here are some of the best veggie chips and fries:
Kale Chips Kale chips pack a ton of crunch and can be seasoned with just about anything your heart desires. What are the benefits to using kale? It’s low in calories, high in fiber, and packed with iron and vitamin K!
Zucchini Chips Chances are your supermarket or garden is overflowing with zucchini right now. Like kale, zucchini is a blank canvas for flavor, and add will do well with your favorite seasonings, such as fresh black pepper and sea salt.
Beet Chips Think beets are just for roasting? Think again! With a little salt they become the ultimate sweet and savory treat. Beets are also incredibly good for you—they’re a great source of magnesium, fiber, iron, and vitamins A, B, and C. Wow!
Eggplant Fries With a slightly sweet flavor, eggplant stands up well to a little salt—in fact, letting eggplant spears sit with a bit of salt helps to remove moisture before roasting. And the summer favorite is a fantastic source of fiber and vitamin B.
Brussels Sprout Chips The little leaves crisp up quickly and perfectly in the oven, making a healthy and yummy snack. Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamins K, C, B, fiber, and magnesium.
A personal favorite in my home is the parsnip. I load up at the farmers market when I see them because they can become chips OR fries, depending on your mood or meal. When cut length wise (and a little thicker) into fries, parsnips stay slightly soft on the inside, just like a typical French fry. And when you slice them chip-thin, they get super crispy. Bonus: parsnips are rich in fiber, vitamins B and C, and folic acid. Here’s how I turn this healthy veggie into a tasty side dish or snack:

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Weston Dressler Embraces Special Teams In Bid To Make The Chiefs

Excerpt from The Kansas City Star

Weston Dressler isn’t your ordinary NFL newcomer. After spending the last six years with the Saskatchewan Roughriders as a star receiver, the 29-year-old understands what it takes to be a successful professional football player.
“I’ve been playing football for a long time, so I’ve been through a lot of camps now,” Dressler said. “Obviously (this is a) different camp, different league and rules and different things like that, but I’ve played a lot of football so I know what camp entails and what you have to do to try and make a team.”
In Dressler’s case, the answer might be special teams. The Chiefs currently have 13 receivers on the roster and will likely keep no more than five — six if you count fourth-round playmaker De’Anthony Thomas.
That means versatility is a must for those final spots, a concept Dressler — who will compete with Junior Hemingway, Frankie Hammond and Thomas for the starting slot receiver role — embraces.
“The more you can do,” Dressler said, “the better chances you have to make the team. Whatever they want to ask me to do, I’m going to go out there and try and do it for them.”
That’s just one of the reasons Dressler said he worked as a gunner on the punt team during the Chiefs’ first practice Monday. Dressler is just 5 feet 7 and 179 pounds, but the coaches were light on players and Dressler was willing to show he was serious about his “whatever it takes” talk.
“I played a little bit of gunner in college,” said Dressler, who added that he also has experience as a holder on field goals. “I’m just trying to figure things out as much as I can and find a way to get on the roster.”
Dressler was hampered a bit by a hamstring injury during organized team activities, but Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Dressler showed a “natural” feel as a slot receiver when he was healthy. He could also factor into the mix on punt returns, as he averaged 9.9 yards on 92 returns during his CFL career.
But no matter where he plays, Dressler, who averaged 73 catches, 1,088 yards and seven touchdowns in the CFL — is hoping to catch Reid’s eye again.
“I feel great, I’m ready to go,” Dressler said. “I’m prepared to go through this camp.”
To reach Terez A. Paylor, call 816-234-4489 or send email to Follow him on Twitter: @TerezPaylor.

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A Smile A Day - July 23rd