The Gift of Health

Years ago, Dr. William Sears, world-renowned pediatrician and father of eight, was talking with other parents about what they could do to help their children succeed in life.

“A good education” was mentioned, along with money, self-discipline, and other things parents desire for their children. When it was Dr. Sears’ turn, he told them one of the most important things is to “give them the gift of health,” and that “a healthy child is a privileged child who grows up with an emotional, physical, social, and intellectual advantage.”

As a parent and grandparent, I think his comment is profound. As a new health coach certified through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, I’m excited to share the wealth of information I’ve learned about family wellness.

According to Dr. Sears, the three biggest threats to the health of our children are being:

  • Overweight
  • Under fit and
  • Unhappy

Just a week before starting the course to become a health and wellness coach, I had read that info in one of Dr. Sears’ books.

The next day I went to a park with my grandchildren. An overweight boy, maybe ten years old, was there with his mother and little sister.

The mom and I were talking about what a beautiful day it was.

The boy came over and pointed at the mountain-shaped jungle gym made out of rope and complained, “I don’t think I can climb that.”

“Go on and try,” his mother said. “But you should have worn your tennis shoes.” He was wearing flip-flops.

He shook his head and kicked at pieces of bark on the ground. “I hate my life.”

How heartbreaking to hear a child talk that way. “Oh, don’t say that,” I told him.

Dr. Sears was spot on, I thought. I wanted to help that kid, but I wasn’t sure how at the time.

Now that I’m certified, I can offer advice that’s scientifically based and clinically proven.


To celebrate my certification, I’m offering a huge discount for the family wellness online workshop.

The L.E.A.N Start Online Family Wellness Workshop is a self-paced online course geared for individuals and families who are interested in learning the basic principles of good health, lifestyle, and nutrition.

Gift Certificates are available if you would like to give someone you love “the gift of health” this holiday season.

“Research confirms that to effectively impact the health of a child, change needs to begin at home with the parents or caregivers. Based on this fact, Dr. Sears developed the L.E.A.N. approach to wellness which focuses on empowering the adults to make educated Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition choices which can dramatically improve the health of the entire family.

Lifestyle – How we live

Exercise – How we move

Attitude – How we think

Nutrition – How we eat

Learn at your own pace in the comfort of your home. Participants will have 90 days to complete six interactive eLearning video segments (approximately 30 minutes each). 

Will it take 90 days to do this workshop? No, not at all. Parents are super busy, so I want to give you plenty of time to absorb all the valuable info you’ll learn. Some people like to review important lessons a few times. Or more.  I sure do. Feel free to view the segments as often as you’d like.


dreamstime_xl_930795_zps3bb99763 (1)


Each video segment comes with:

  • Corresponding worksheets
  • Snack recipes
  • Fun Family Challenge Activities




What you’ll learn:

  • Which ingredients in food can affect behavior, sleep, concentration, and energy level
  • What food manufacturers ARE NOT telling you and don’t want you to know
  • What might be making you and your child sick

Outcomes participants can expect:

  • Practical solutions for parents to help their child
  • Simple and time-saving ideas that make a parent’s life easier
  • Interactive and fun
  • Packed with innovative activities to keep kids moving


Did you know:

  • Many ingredients in the food our kids eat can actually damage brain cells?
  • A significant number of foods marketed as “healthy” have negative effects on your child?
  • Physical activity has a significant impact on children’s sleep and moods?

Start date: Continuous enrollment – start anytime.
(Sign up now by emailing me at

Online L.E.A.N. Start Workshop – Regular Price $60

Celebration Special – $35

This price will be honored through January 10, 2016

Optional: 80-page L.E.A.N. Start Guide Book for  $10
Optional: L.E.A.N. Start Children’s Activity Workbook for $5

Total for workshop, guide book, and children’s activity book – $50

To register yourself or to purchase a Gift Certificate,
email me at:


Coming Soon: Prime-Time Health Online
A Scientifically Proven Plan for Healthy Aging

Cheers to healthy living!

What do you desire for your children to help them succeed in life? I think most parents would agree the gift of health is awesome. What else would you add to that? If you’re not a parent, what would you want for children, in general?

Posted in family, Health and Wellness, Holidays, Kids | Tagged , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

How Sharp Are Your Senses?

My Monster Moon Mysteries series coauthor, Kathryn Sant (our pseudonym is BBH McChiller), wrote an interesting post on our Emblazon authors’ site yesterday. It’s all about the senses and quite fascinating. Check it out: It Makes Sense to Use All Your Senses.

As I read about all these new senses human beings have, it dawned on me that I’m lacking in a few.

For instance, take equilibrioception. As Kathy says, “This is balance, that sense that keeps us standing upright, coordinated by the vestibular region of inner ear with a little help from our eyes. You can use this sense in describing fast-moving sports, fights, or states of drunkenness.”


Here’s proof how bad I’m lacking in this sense. I tripped on a step and fell on both knees and left wrist. It happened on Halloween night. My left knee took the brunt of the fall. Such a freaky swollen knob on top of my already knobby knee. And the bruising, ain’t it a beaut? Looks like a gory Halloween makeup job, but it’s real.

The bruising is gone now, but the swelling remains. I’m wearing a sports knee pad when I compete in cage fighting babysit the grand darlings.  Every time the kids (ages 4 and 2) fight over my lap, the kneecap grows another knob.

I’m not looking for sympathy. Honest. I’m thankful I dodged a bullet. The knee is tender but doesn’t really hurt. I bet I can still do a cart-wheel. Not!

In September, I had another fall. I twisted my ankle because I was wearing two different high heels (props for my speech). I happened to be recording at the time because I was practicing a humorous speech for a Toastmasters contest.

My equilibrioception is pretty bad, but being double jointed has saved me multiple times. Whew!

Do you have good magnetoreception? In her blog post, Kathy says, “Some people have a natural sense of direction and/or navigation and always seem to know which way is north or how to get home. They, like homing pigeons, are employing a sense of magnetoreception. They’re ‘feeling’ the surrounding magnetic fields.”

Sounds like having a built-in compass. Can’t say this is one of my stronger senses. I’ve lived in my current city almost four years and still get lost driving just a couple blocks from home. Even with a GPS. I’ve learned I shouldn’t depend on Global Positioning Systems. I call it a Get Punked System. I think I’d be better off with a map and a compass.

I’m not the only one who’s been punked by a GPS. I wrote a blog post about it. You can read it here. Watch the video clips if you need a giggle.

The reporter also mentions these real life GPS mishaps:

  • A woman headed to a hotel in Washington state and ended up in a swamp
  • A 12-foot-high bus was lead into a nine-foot-high bridge
  • A UK man almost drove off a cliff from following his GPS directions
  • A wrecking crew in Georgia demolished a house at the wrong address, thanks to a GPS

Have you ever heard of proprioception? Kathy explains, “This is body awareness. If you close your eyes or go blind, you still have an idea where your hand is or if your legs are crossed.

“Try going downstairs in the dark or with your eyes shut. You have a sense of where your hand is as you reach for the banister. You know where your foot is and you know when you expect it to touch the next step. (What if that step wasn’t there?)”

All these new senses are great for writers to take into consideration. I wrote a short story titled “Invisible” for a soon-to-be-released anthology (Kissed by an Angel). Now that I know what proprioception is, I realize that my main character experienced that sense in the story. How cool!

What are your strongest senses? What are your weaker senses? Ever had a bad fall? Are you double jointed? 

Be sure to read Kathy’s post. In addition to new human senses, I think you’ll enjoy reading about the amazing senses animals have.




Posted in Funny, Humor, Toastmasters, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Laugh and Live Longer


Welcome to Health and Wellness Wednesday. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Laughter is the best medicine,” but do you know how important laughter actually is to your well-being?

My fourth Toastmasters speech is about laughter. Here’s the video, but for those of you who don’t have time to view it or can’t access it, the speech is typed out below.

You buy a week’s worth of groceries, load them in the trunk, hop into the passenger seat, and wait for your husband to get in and drive, only to realize you’re by yourself.

You’re working at your desk. The phone rings and you press it to your ear, but there’s no sound because you grabbed the stapler.

You pay to fill up your tank at the gas station, get a few miles down the freeway and notice you’re almost on empty. Ding-dong! You forgot to pump the gas after you paid for it.

It’s good to poke fun at ourselves.

Comedian Milton Berle said, “Laughter is an instant vacation.”

We all need a little giggle get-away, and everyday life is full of hilarious stuff.

My friend, Jennette Marie Powell, told me a lot of the guests at her wedding had a hard time not busting up when she and her husband knelt at the altar. It turned out the groomsmen had put tape on the bottoms of her husband’s shoes with HELP ME written on the tape!

Another friend, Jolene Navarro, shared some real-life stories: “My family has a dark sense of humor,” she said. “My father was only 49 when he was killed in a plane crash. Heavy sadness, lots of tears and grief, but also lots of laughter for a life lived without regret.”

Jolene’s mother was talking to the funeral director and couldn’t stop laughing when he offered her the more expensive urns. “Roger would die if I spent that much on a vase,” she said.

Jolene continued, “Ten years later, we followed our mother’s wishes and had her cremated. At her memorial we got notice that the urn would not be there on time. They asked if we wanted to wait.

“We cracked up. A few hundred people looked at us like we were crazy. My dad had always said Cindy would be late to her own funeral. Well, we went ahead and started without her.

I love how Jolene summed it all up: “Life has deep, dark moments of tears. You have to balance it with humor, even at inappropriate times. Maybe especially at inappropriate times.”

I found a cool quote by Michael Pritchard: “You don’t stop laughing because you grow old, you grow old because you stop laughing.”

Medical studies reveal how laughter promotes longevity. It boosts our immune systems, reduces stress, lowers high blood pressure, is good for our hearts, relaxes muscles, can lessen pain, helps bond relationships, and gives us strength to deal with rough times.

Children laugh an average of 300 times a day, but for adults, it’s only 15 times.

What can we grownups do about that?

My online research yielded some good guidelines. For instance, get a pet.

Join a laughing yoga class. Yes, there really is such a thing!

Writer Winsome Coutts says, “Laughter is a valuable part of your authentic happiness! Laughing each and every day is as good for you physically, emotionally and spiritually as taking your vitamins and getting exercise.”

Here are a few of his suggestions: “Play and be silly with small children.

“Look into laughing therapy. There are schools and therapists out there that will help you ‘learn’ to laugh.

“Play fun games that induce laughing. Games like charades and Pictionary™ are good examples.” (My personal favorite is Balderdash.)

“Watch funny movies or TV programs.”

Of course, humor is subjective. What’s funny to me might not be funny to you.

Are there certain things that always make you smile? There are some things that never fail to tickle my funny bone, like silly animal flicks, baby laughter, and when people imitate their pets.

The world is full of comedy. YouTube has tons of humorous clips.

Do any of you remember the episode on The Mary Tyler Moore Show about the funeral of Chuckles the Clown? Before the funeral began, Lou looked around. “I wonder which ones are the other clowns?”

Murray said, “We’ll know soon because they’re all going to jump out of a little hearse.”

Mary scolded them for being disrespectful when a man had just died.

Then the minister talked about the characters created by Chuckles, such as Peter Peanut, Billy Banana, Aunt Yoo-Hoo, and Mr. Fee Fi Fo, who had a little catch phrase whenever he got knocked down and would pick himself up and dust himself off. He’d say, “I hurt my foo-foo.”

Mary got the giggles and couldn’t hold them in. Then she tried to cover up when people looked at her. (Cough, cough – press lips together, gesture.) You have to watch it on YouTube to get the full impact. It’s seriously funny! I had tears streaming down my cheeks.

There’s another video clip that I bust up over. Maybe you’ve heard it? A woman called in to a radio station to complain about the placement of deer crossing signs.

She said, “I mean, why are we encouraging deers to cross at the interstate? I don’t get it. That’s such a high-traffic area.”

The DJ was speechless.

The woman continued: “It’s so irresponsible of us to allow these deer crossings to be in areas where they are likely to be struck by oncoming traffic. You’d think they’d put deer crossings in smaller towns, maybe like at a school crossing. It would be a safer place for them to cross.”

Finally, the DJ responded: “They aren’t telling deer to cross there. It’s just more of an alert for drivers so they know it’s a high deer population.”

The woman: “The government put the deer crossing there. They can direct the deer population anywhere they want to by moving that deer crossing sign.”

DJ: “You seem to be under the misunderstanding that the deer are attracted to the deer crossing sign.”

Woman: “Well, yeah, the deer crossing sign is there to let the deer know that’s where they need to cross.”

DJ: “Right. And all these accidents you had occurred after you saw a deer crossing sign?”

Woman: “Exactly.”

See what I mean?

And then there are the one-liners that always lift our spirits:

If at first you don’t succeed, then skydiving isn’t for you.

(Long pause.) I just got lost in thought. It was unfamiliar territory.

On the other hand, you have different fingers.

Remember what Dr. Seuss said: “From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.”

I wholeheartedly agree, folks, so be sure that each and every day you Get your giggle on!

That was a fun speech. I hope you enjoyed it.

For more info on the fascinating benefits of laughter, check out this super informative and interesting article on Health and Families. It’s worth taking a few moments to read.

My friend, Steve Attkisson, suggests reading this funny book: Anatomy of an Illness by Norman Cousins.

The best-selling, groundbreaking classic by Norman Cousins on combating life-threatening illness through humor and patient participation in care.

“Anatomy of an Illness was the first book by a patient that spoke to our current interest in taking charge of our own health. It started the revolution in patients working with their doctors and using humor to boost their bodies’ capacity for healing. When Norman Cousins was diagnosed with a crippling and irreversible disease, he forged an unusual collaboration with his physician, and together they were able to beat the odds. The doctor’s genius was in helping his patient to use his own powers: laughter, courage, and tenacity. The patient’s talent was in mobilizing his body’s own natural resources, proving what an effective healing tool the mind can be. This remarkable story of the triumph of the human spirit is truly inspirational reading.”

Sounds like a wonderful book to me!

Buy the Twentieth Anniversary Edition on Amazon
Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient (Twentieth Anniversary Edition)

Do you think laughter is healthy? Do you have a favorite one-liner you’d like to share? Has laughter helped you deal with difficult times? What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider subscribing to my blog. Fill in your email address in the window toward the top of the sidebar.


Posted in Funny, Health and Wellness, Humor, Jokes and Pranks, Toastmasters | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Free Paranormal Mystery Thriller eBook – The Decomposer: Fallow

If you’re a fan of paranormal mystery thrillers, you’re going to love C. Sonberg Larson’s debut novel, The Decomposer: Fallow, Part 1.

Free eBook download available from April 10th through the 14th
Save $9.99!

This one’s not for kids. Nope. This is an edgy page turner.

Jonathan Thornton Flynn owns a billion-dollar diamond corporation, has a strong marriage, and two children. He’s at the top of the proverbial ‘food chain’ of human society.

A backfired scheme costs Johnny the person he loves most, and he decides to end things once and for all. His plan goes off without a hitch… until Auster finds him.

Now Johnny has a new body, a new life, and a new purpose, whether he likes it or not.

Johnny struggles to discover who, or what, he is now, and why Auster brought him back.

The Decomposer: Fallow

Free eBook download – Friday, April 10th through Tuesday, April 14th
Also available in paperback

I gave this book five stars. A unique, well-written thriller, which is both plot and character driven. The Decomposer is compelling and fast-paced with multiple layers of intrigue, mystery, horror, paranormal, time travel, and more, all brilliantly interwoven into an original tale that left me wanting more, more, more. Larson’s debut novel is sure to garner a huge fan base that begs to get their hands on Book 2 ASAP.

Joanna Woods gives it five stars. “I’m not a horror junkie, but this book is more about relationships and the ramifications of one’s actions as stories are woven within Jonathan Flynn’s story. The creepy aspects are written so well that it felt like my skin was decomposing with the main character.”

About the Author: C. Sonberg Larson lives in Southern California and has been writing stories since the age of seven. Larson’s stories and poetry have received awards and recognition. Larson also wrote several chilling tales that were featured in the annual Ghost Walk in Riverside, California. Visit

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Spring Break Sale on Curse at Zala Manor – Monster Moon Mysteries Book 1

“This tale will rattle yer timbers, squiffie,
and chill ye to the bone!” ~Vlad

eBook – 99 cents
For kids ages 8 to 12

Spring Break Special

Curse at Zala Manor by BBH McChiller
 Curse at Zala Manor (Monster Moon Book 1)

(Also available in paperback)

Book 1 in the fun, spooky Monster Moon Mystery series for ages 8 – 12. It’s almost Halloween, and twelve-year-old AJ Zantony’s world is threatened by an ancient curse that releases wicked pirates who had been trapped for centuries in his Aunt Zsofia’s creepy mansion, Zala Manor.

The pirates–a vampire count, a pegleg skeleton, and a zombie–have three goals: to find a lost treasure, unleash the restless dead from their graves, and to settle a very old score by destroying the Zantony bloodline.

AJ has to stop them before midnight during Aunt Zsofia’s annual Halloween party. Except he has a big problem–monster phobia! He’s scared to death of monsters. But if he doesn’t act fast, the streets of Craggy Cove will be crawling with zombies.

Will AJ overcome his fear and stop the monsters or bail out? Will Craggy Cove become Zombie Central? Who will be alive when midnight tolls?

Get Books 2 and 3, too!

Secret of Haunted Bog, Monster Moon mysteries, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley Author, BBH McChiller

Secret of Haunted Bog (Monster Moon Book 2)

Legend of Monster Island, Monster Moon Mysteries, Book 3, BBH McChiller, Lynn Kelley Author, Mikey Brooks

Legend of Monster Island (Monster Moon Book 3)

Reviews of Curse at Zala Manor:

In the vein of The Goonies and There’s a Batwing in My Lunchbox comes Monster Moon: Curse at Zala Manor…. This book has it all: secret tunnels and talking animals, mad science and real monsters. This is the perfect…book for in-class reading in elementary schools and early middle schools. Equal parts scary, mysterious, gross and silly, it’s pure fun. It’s definitely recommended for all collections aimed at fostering a love of reading.         ~Monster Librarian

Fun, silly, creepy, gross kiddo read.
If I were a teacher, this is what I [would] read my class…. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
~Michele Lee, Booklove

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day – Photo Essay

kilt, Irish festival, L.A. County Fairgrounds, St. Patrick's Day, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley author

Me and a random leprechaun in a camouflage kilt.

This was two years ago at the Los Angeles County Irish Fair and Music Festival, L.A. County Fairgrounds in Pomona, California. It was a blast!

Irish Festival, Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, St. Patrick's Day, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley author,

A family affair at the Irish Festival with my husband, three of our four kids,
their spouses, and our two grandchildren

Entertainers and visitors alike wore kilts.

kilts, Irish dancers, bagpipes, argyle socks, Irish festival, Los Angeles County Fairgrounds, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley author, St. Patrick's Day,

Color this day green! 

In the fountains, in the beer, 

on shirts, baby strollers, and people’s hair!

Irish festival, L.A. County Fairgrounds, St. Patrick's Day, pony ride, green water in fountains, green beer, bagpipe, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley author,

This was our first Irish festival and it had everything we hoped for (lively music, dancers, good food) and then some: Carnival rides, ponies, elephants, a petting zoo,  sheep herding demonstrations, plus much more.

St. Patrick's Day, leprechaun, Irish saying, Irish festival, L.A. County Fairgrounds, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley author,

Flag of Ireland, Irish Festival, kilts, L.A. County Fairgrounds, St. Patrick's Day, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley author,

The Irish tunes worked their magic on some of us, so we danced a jig or two!

I added to my bucket list: Learn how to Riverdance.

St. Patrick's Day, Irish Festival, L.A. County Fairgrounds, elephants, petting zoo, dancing, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley author,

Do you know the history of Saint Patrick? If not, watch this cute video.

I was going to save this Riverdance flashmob video for next year,

but for those who enjoy Irish dancing as much as I do,

I hope this will lift ye spirits and bestow the luck o’ the Irish upon ye, too!

You’re not buying that accent, are you? 

I didn’t think so, but, hey, I tried. 

leprechaun, Irish festival, L.A. County Fairgrounds, Lynn Kelley, Lynn Kelley author,

Do you celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day? Cheers to good luck, good friends, and good health! 

Posted in Holidays, Photo Essay, Saint Patrick's Day | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

Reaching Goals Using Creative Visualization


This is a different kind of post on health and wellness. Dreaming, setting goals, and working toward those goals plays an important role in our overall well-being.

I have a lot of goals these days, and I’m applying creative visualization as I work to achieve them. Here’s a Toastmaster speech I gave a few months ago. If you can’t access the video, the text is below.

Have you ever dared to dream an impossible dream, or did your dream seem so far reaching that you buried it deep within your heart, where it left its mark in the form of a little crack, a reminder that it still claims a piece of who you are?

Did you try for that dream, but failed? Or are you one of the few who achieved their impossible dream? Why does one person fail yet another succeed? How do the successful ones do it?

Does the old saying “practice makes perfect” apply? Yes. But there are various ways to practice. Take Jim Thorpe, for example, a Native American who proved to be one of the greatest athletes of all time. In 1912, Jim and the other American athletes who qualified to compete in the summer Olympics headed to Stockholm on a voyage across the Atlantic.

While the other athletes trained on deck, Jim kicked back in a lounge chair, relaxing with his eyes closed. A reporter named Francis Albertani asked, “What are you doing, Jim? Thinking of your Uncle Sitting Bull?”


Jim Thorpe – 1912 Olympics Photo via Wikimedia Commons

“No,” Jim said. “I’m practicing the broad jump. I’ve just jumped 23 feet, eight inches. I think I can win it.” He did win, taking the gold in both the decathlon and pentathlon.

Jim Thorpe practiced creative visualization. I have no doubt it played a huge role in his success as an Olympian, a star NFL running back, and a major league baseball player. I don’t know if he was a pioneer in visualization for athletes, but nowadays, it’s a common technique athletes use to perfect their skills.

First, what is creative visualization? It’s similar to day dreaming. We use the power of the mind to achieve goals, become successful, be healed of an illness or disease, manage pain, grow spiritually, or pretty much accomplish anything we wish by envisioning the desired result in our mind’s eye.

Gérard Dicks Pellerin  a-1640xl pc065135

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

According to Rich Avery of Life Compass Blog, “It’s not just about seeing it clearly, but hearing it, smelling it, and tasting it, too.” He explains, “When you continuously focus on an idea or image in your mind, you program every cell in your body and mind to work toward achieving that idea or image. Once you impress it into the subconscious part of you, it eventually becomes ‘fixed’ and you automatically attract and move towards that which you desire.”

Some may consider this nonsense. Others think of it as mind over matter or the power of positive thinking. Still, others call it the law of attraction, but the law of attraction, in my opinion, takes matters to a higher level than mind over matter or the power of positive thinking.

Rhonda Byrne, Author of the book, The Secret explains, “Law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe.”

Buy The Secret on Amazon.

The law of attraction can have positive or negative effects, depending on what kind of thoughts people dwell on. If you’re around negative people, chances are you’ll adapt similar thinking.

Naysayers are dream stealers. Tune them out. Let them consider themselves practical thinkers, but let them apply those thoughts to their own lives, not yours. And certainly not mine.

Research reveals how powerful our minds are. Not only do our thoughts and beliefs affect our moods and behavior, but thoughts physiologically affect our bodies.


Dreamstime copyrighted photo

For instance, there have been studies done on people with multiple personality disorder, which I found to be fascinating. Various personalities in one patient exhibited distinct illnesses or conditions from the other personalities. So Patient A had a persona who had diabetes and his blood sugar levels were different from the blood sugar levels in the other personas of Patient A.

Patient B had a personality who wore eyeglasses, and that personality had different eye pressure readings than the other personalities in Patient B.

There are also instances of people who have discovered wounds or scars on their bodies after dreaming they suffered an injury, such as some people who dreamed they were caught in a fire and then discovered burn marks on their skin when they woke up.

Our thoughts hold power and can affect not only our own bodies. For example, some Tibetan Monks viewed an ultrasound of a cancerous tumor in a woman and then prayed it out of existence.

Does that blow your mind or what? There’s even a video of it on YouTube.

(The healing can be viewed about five minutes into this video. He explains it before that.)

Successful people from all walks of life practice creative visualization to achieve their goals. You might be surprised to learn many famous people throughout history have gained success by applying this same method.


“Albert Einstein 1947” by Photograph by Oren Jack Turner, Princeton, N.J. – The Library of Congress. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons

Albert Einstein visualized each stage on the way to his goals. He said, “Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

Shakespeare said, “Nothing is, unless our thinking makes it so.”

The concept of visualization can even be found in the Bible under Mark 11:24: “What things so ever you desire, when you pray, believe that you received them, and you shall have them.”

When I practice creative visualization, I like to make it a prayer because I believe it’s is a gift from God, just as life itself is a gift from God.

Dig up those dreams, those buried dreams, and breathe life back into them. You can use creative visualization to become the person you’re meant to be. So dare to dream the impossible dream, over and over and over…until it’s no longer a dream, but becomes your reality.

* * *

Do you have goals you’re working toward? How do you go about it? Have you ever tried creative visualization? Please share how you fulfill your dreams. We’d love to hear what you have to say!

If you enjoyed this post, I’d love it if you would sign up to receive future posts. Fill in your email address in the Subscribe window near the top of the right-hand sidebar.

Posted in Health and Wellness | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

The Skinny on Kale


Welcome to the second Health and Wellness Wednesday. Today, I’m honored to have Karen McFarland guest posting. She’s got lots of tips and great info to share with us about kale.

Take it away Karen.

Thanks, Lynn.

It seems that some of our friends have health concerns that have caused them to be very sick with headaches, food allergies, inflammation, acid reflux, and toxins—yeah, you got it—nasty stuff.

Are you having those issues, too?

I’m here to share the skinny on something that can help you feel better. It might not be on your list of favorites, but when I share with you some of its awesome benefits, you may just change your mind.

What am I talking about?


Home grown Kale, upper left corner. Photo via Jenny Hansen.

I’m talking about Kale.


Yes, kale.

Kale is the sexiest of all vegetables. Yeah, I said sexy. Why? Because it provides a rich earthy succulent flavor and packs more nutritional value with fewer calories than almost any other food on earth. And the cool thing is, it can be found in markets throughout the year with its season reaching a peak from the middle of winter through the beginning of spring when it has a sweeter taste, especially the Tuscan variety, and it’s more widely available.

Like its cousins the broccoli, cauliflower, and collards, kale is a descendent of the wild cabbage, a plant that is thought to have originated in Asia Minor and brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by a faction of crazy Celtics.


Photo by Jenny Hansen

Curly kale played an important role in early Europe, having been an important crop during ancient Rome and a popular vegetable eaten by peasants throughout the Middle Ages. It was English settlers who brought kale to North America in the 17th century.

So let’s take a look at the benefits of this sexy vegetable, shall we?

First of all, this bad boy Kale has some of the best cholesterol–lowering benefits of any vegetable around. It has recently been proven to lower the risk of certain types of malignancy such as cancer of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate.


Photo via Diana Beebe – WANA Commons

It is now recognized as promoting comprehensive support for our body’s detoxification system, even helping to regulate detox at a genetic level, whoa…while playing a major dietary role as respects to both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Okay, now that I’ve convinced you, how do I eat it, you say?


Photo via Jenny Hansen


Well, if you want to heat it up–I mean cook it, you will want to prepare it properly. To do this you want to ensure quick and even cooking by cutting the leaves into ½” slices and ¼” stems then let them sit for approximately 5 minutes to enhance its health promoting properties, then steam it for another 5. Voila, you’re done.

But one of the best ways to enjoy Kale is fresh in a salad. And the most desirable trick is to give it a massage. Yes, I mean you need to get in there and give that sexy green vegetable a deep tissue massage. You can feel it relax as the leaves darken and shrink to almost half its volume. The flavor changes as well. In fact the color and texture will change and soften with its pre-massaged bitterness replaced by a sweet green flavor.


Photo by Jenny Hansen

Your taste buds won’t lie, people. They will sing because it really is the king of the salad. And because you’ve massaged its leaves, *shivers*, it will have an amazing texture and just the right amount of sweet and bitter flavor so you don’t need much salad dressing. It’s suggested that all you need is a little extra virgin olive oil along with a pinch of salt and vinegar or lemon juice and you have a perfectly composed salad.


Photo by Lynn Kelley – WANA Commons

Now, if you really want to turn things up a notch, you can juice it! That’s right. Kale gets even sexier when it’s mixed in a juice with some beets and cucumber in a carrot base. Or perhaps you might prefer an apple base instead for an even sweeter experience.

Whatever the case, you can always bank on its delicious flavor along with its awesome fresh nutritional benefits. And don’t let not having a juicer stop you. Most health markets now have juice bars which makes drinking down that bad boy that much easier and affordable.

So what do you think? Have you been in a slump? Feeling a little funky and sluggish lately? Fighting a flu or cold? Or heaven forbid you have a more serious illness? Could you be using some of that sexy Kale?

(As a sidenote: Kale is rich in vitamin K, so if you’re one that’s prone to blood clots, please eat in moderation and eat lots of garlic because it’s a natural blood thinner.)

Lg-Twitter-ShotKaren McFarland resides along the Southern California coastline as an author of literary fiction whose previous background as an accomplished interior designer made it possible for her to have worked with clients from all over the world. She is married and has two sons. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, getting lost in a book, walks along the beach, great food and conversation, shopping, smooth jazz and rock ‘n roll, driving along PCH, top fuel drags and travel.

Vist her blog here.

Are you familiar with the Dirty Dozen list and the Clean Fifteen list? Kale is on the Dirty Dozen list.

“These lists were compiled using data from the United States Department of Agriculture on the amount of pesticide residue found in non-organic fruits and vegetables after they had been washed.” Here’s the 2015 Dirty Dozen list.



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Mystery Mayhem– Make Readers Crave More

Welcome, Lois D. Brown!

Lois is here to share valuable tips for writing a good mystery. Be sure to enter the rafflecopter for a vacation getaway!

Take it away, Lois.

Thank you, Lynn!

Robbed of Soul collageEvery story is a mystery in its own right. If there is no mystery, readers won’t invest the time. They want answers.

Will the girl fall for the right guy? Will the alien kill the human? Will the idiot teenager work through her pubescent angst? Will the protagonist find the murderer before she herself is killed?

I just released Robbed of Soul, an adult mystery that combines a modern-day murder with the 150-year-old legend of Montezuma’s treasure in Utah. While this is the fifth novel I’ve published, before writing it I boned up on some elements of writing an effective mystery.

Here are six of my favorites:

Point #1: A mystery is really a collection of smaller mysteries with one “biggie” that carries through the entire book. For example, there may be a murder investigation going on, but don’t forget about the unsigned note, the threatening phone call, an unidentified skeleton, a missing person, etc. 
Point #2: Once you know your plot, make a list of clues you can use in your story. And don’t forget the one “crucial clue” carefully hidden so readers will remember it only when the reveal is finally given.
Point #3: You have to have  red herrings—bits of information designed to mislead readers. If you don’t, your reader may figure out the mystery mid book. The is the kiss of death to any novel.
Point #4: Motive, motive, motive. For Robbed of Soul, I interviewed a veteran police investigator. He said in real life there are only a  handful of reasons people commit crime (besides mental illness). These are: revenge, jealousy, self-protection, personal gain, and love (or hate).
Point #5: Have the “right” number of suspects. Some say no more than six or seven serious suspects. Any more than that and you lose your reader.

Point #6: Unlike an “action” story, mysteries must contain promises to reveal more
information. These “promises” are what make your reader turn the page. Not the
car chase or the fist fight. Don’t forget that once you make a promise of information, you must deliver or incur the wrath of your reader and collect bad reviews.

Do you like books? Do you like Zions National Park? Join the ROBBED OF SOUL book launch giveaway and you may win 3 nights in a vacation townhome in Kanab, Utah.
(Thirty minutes from Zions.) A $450 value!
(Or a $100 Amazon gift card if preferred.) 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rescued but psychologically damaged from a failed mission, ex-CIA officer Maria Branson takes the job of police chief in the quiet town of Kanab, Utah. Rest and relaxation are the doctor’s orders. She gets neither. Instead, a missing mayor, the spirit of a dead Aztec warrior, and the over-confident-yet-attractive head of Search and Rescue await her in a town whose past has almost as many secrets as her own. As Maria investigates a modern-day murder, she disturbs a world of ancient legends and deadly curses. Yet most lethal of all is Maria’s fear someone will discover just how empty her soul really is. 

Available at Smashwords, Google Play,
and Amazon – Robbed of Soul: Legends of Treasure Book1



Thank you, Lois. Those are wonderful tips for writing a mystery novel. Congratulations on your new release. Sounds like a great mystery!


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Cheers for Chickpeas – Garbanzo Beans


Welcome to the first post in my new blog series, “Health and Wellness Wednesday.”

I’m on a wonderful adventure cruising down the road to optimal health and well-being. Wow, what a difference to actually feel good and have a normal, active life! Adios, brain fog and chronic fatigue.

I’m excited to share my journey and what I’m learning with you. My three-year-old grandson, Grasshopper, is chemically sensitive to foods and things in the environment.


Ninja Doll, Me, and Grasshopper

His mother has been playing detective, putting all the pieces of the puzzle together to eliminate and avoid things that compromise his health, and she’ll be writing some guest posts here.

As caregiver for Grasshopper and his little sister, I play an important role in working with his parents in a united effort to help him.

Many of these posts will highlight Grasshopper’s progression, plus my daughter and I will share about our own journeys to health and fitness with the hope that others can benefit from our experiences.

For this first post, let’s focus on a super healthy recipe.

I should let you know up front that I hate to cook, and if it isn’t simple, I won’t attempt it.

Homemade Hummus


Hummus is made from chickpeas, aka garbanzo beans. Whatever you call them, they’re an amazing food that can be eaten alone, in soups, salads, curries, and other dishes.

This is a fairly easy procedure, and considering how nutritious and healthy chickpeas are, it’s worth the effort. Here are some of their benefits:

  • Helps you feel fuller so you eat less in between meals
  • Helps regulate blood sugar
  • Great source of fiber that aids your digestive system
  • Supports the cardiovascular system and can help lower your LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides
  • A good antioxidant
  • Good source of protein

For more details, check out The World’s Healthiest Foods link,

Ingredients you will need:

DSC039831 teaspoon tahini
Juice from one lemon (or lime)
Two cups cooked chickpeas
¼ cup olive oil
Dash of sea salt
5 peperoncinis
¼ cup peperoncini juice (from the jar of    peperoncinis)
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup water

You can buy canned garbanzo beans (already cooked), but first you might want to read about possible health issues HERE and HERE.

I got my dry garbanzo beans (about three cups) from the bulk bin at Sprouts.

DSC03955First, rinse them. Next, presoak them for about eight hours. I soaked mine in the fridge overnight. For the quicker method, read about it below.

Presoaking helps reduce raffinose-type oligosaccharides. Say what? Basically, it will help minimize flatulence. Presoaking also cuts down on cooking time.



While soaking, the chickpeas will absorb water and expand.

Rinse, then place in a pot and fill with water about one to two inches above the chickpeas. Bring to a boil.


DSC03965If any film/foam bubbles up, skim it off.

DSC03968Turn the heat down, cover partially with lid, and simmer approximately an hour and a half or until the chickpeas are soft. If all the water is absorbed before they’re fully cooked, add another cup of water and continue cooking until they’re done.

Quicker method of soaking according to The World’s Healthiest Foods: Boil the beans for two minutes, take pan off the heat, cover and allow it to stand for two hours. They recommend soaking for at least four hours minimum, though.

You can also cook them in a slow cooker on high heat for 4 hours or low heat for 8 to 9 hours. Cook until they’re tender. Read about it here.

Or cook in a pressure cooker about 45 minutes. Read about it here.

Rinse. Pick out any loose hulls and throw them away.

In food processor, blender, or Nutribullet, add tahini and lemon juice and blend together.

Add the rest of the ingredients and blend well. If the mixture is too thick, add more water or other liquid (such as peperoncini juice). That’s it!

DSC03988Use for dipping chips or vegetables or as a spread.

My hummus turned out pretty good. Next time I’ll use jalapenos instead of peperoncinis.

It tasted better the next day, so setting in the fridge overnight helped bring out more flavor.


Because I like spicy foods, I added some of the remaining chickpeas to the jar of peperoncinis to marinate them in the juice.

Later, I added them to my salad, and they tasted great! Actually, fantastic!

A brilliant idea. Try it!




One cup of chickpeas is about 270 calories.

Chickpeas can be stored in the freezer for up to six months.


Other Recipes:

DSC03985For roasted chickpeas, go here.

If you roast them, keep an eye on ’em. I baked mine at 350 degrees for 35 minutes and some burned. Darn!

As you can see, I’m new at this and have a lot to learn. It’s going to be a fun journey. I hope you’ll be a part of it and share your thoughts.

Do you like chickpeas? Have you ever made hummus? Do you have a favorite chickpea recipe to share with us? Any tips? Favorite healthy seasonings?

If you enjoyed this post, I’d love it if you would sign up to receive future posts. Fill in your email address in the Subscribe window near the top of the right-hand sidebar.

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