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Are You Having FUN Yet? Pillar #2 (Empty Nest Empires, Episode 2)

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The next empire we build just screams to follow after Fitness because the two are connected – and that is FUN.

One of my best friends says you have to Plan to Play…. And oh boy, is she right! The worry and cares of life often overtake us, and I’ll just bet that weeks or even months can go by without you doing something fun. Am I right? Think back: WHEN was the last time you laughed so hard your face hurt? Or danced with a big smile on your face? Or took a drive to a place that makes you smile? If I’m honest, I have to say it’s been at least a few weeks for me (and that was because we were at a wedding.) 

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the have tos of life, that we forget to include the get tos. Think about it, we Have to work for money to survive, but we get to share a meal with friends we haven’t seen in awhile. The have tos are a given… but if we make a plan – plan to play, like my friend Staci says, we can pepper some get tos in between and make life richer. Do you have a friend with the gift of planning fun times? When we dive deep, I’m sure we’ll find those friends share the same Enneagram number or some such thing, but these times are vital to our very survival. It would be good for us all to take a cue from Staci and plan to play now and then.

I hope you enjoy this preview of what’s to come as we talk about building an empire of FUN.

Welcome to Empty Nest Empires!

Every day we are building empires – creating a legacy to leave behind. Whether we mean to or not, we build empires in faith, our relationships with family and friends, our level of fitness in body mind and spirit, even by having fun – and of course our finances. Most of the time we let the chips fall where they may, but what if we were more intentional about the empires we are building? Hosted by Tami Romani, an empty nest mom and grandma with a passion for leaving a legacy.

Welcome to the Empty Nest Empires podcast!

I ate a cookie and it did not kill me. Yet.

Yet.
This whole sugar is bad for my brain, sugar will make me dumb, and sugar will kill me knowledge is definitely a cross to bear sometimes. I mean, whatever happened to enjoying that sugar fix from time to time? Here’s what I tell myself every time I just want that cookie, dammit!

  • It’s just one. One won’t hurt.
  • I only eat sugar on the weekends or when I’m with friends.
  • I’m kinda stressed right now, I need it to take the edge off – it makes me feel so much better.
  • I don’t have a problem. I mean, I’m not that overweight.
  • It’s not that big a deal. I can quit whenever I want.

So, I was at a party and ate a glorious looking homemade chocolate chip cookie.

And it tasted terrible.

No, really. Not because it wasn’t baked with love. Because my taste buds have changed.

So the next time you hear me talking about sugar like I’m a typical drug addict, gently remind me of this post and my quest for better health. Because in the end, I want to be the 85 year old grandma playing with my great grandkids in the park, and not the one they visit every month in the old folks’ home.

Brain Healthy Chocolate Fix Smoothie

This is my go-to daily chocolate fix. No sugar, just wonderful chocolatey goodness!
You’ll notice I don’t include measurements. Mostly because I fly by the seat of my pants when I mix this together, adding whatever goodness is in the fridge and strikes my fancy. I like to make this in my little Bullet blender – it makes a perfect one serving size that way.

Layer into blender:

Optional:

  • handful of spinach leaves or other greens (you won’t even taste them, I promise!)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 frozen or fresh avocado (makes it lusciously thick and creamy)
  • scoop of egg white protein powder for added protein

Blend and ENJOY!

Variations & Update: Doggone it! My recent blood test shows high triglycerides and I therefore must be more careful about my fruit intake. Bananas (my daily favorite) are a no-go for awhile because of their high glycemic content. So, I substituted half an apple and this was almost as good as the original!

Scarcity or Abundance? It’s a Mindset

I knew I was going to make some changes. Just not YET, I thought.
Well, it’s time. It’s more than time. It’s downright urgent. I have a family history of women living to be 90 and above, and if I am going to do the same while living a full and vibrant life, I’d better get serious about changing up the things that will keep me from that life.

As I’ve said before, just thinking about making changes gets you nowhere. Not until I give a voice to those changes will things begin to happen. So I did. I announced to the world that I’d answered a challenge by Dr. Daniel Amen and his wife, Tana, to become a Brain Warrior. In doing so, I will be doing all I can to avoid Alzheimer’s, heart disease & diabetes – among so many other things.

The date was set. Wednesday, May 4, 2016.

And then what did I do? Knowing what was coming I proceeded to eat the sugar, the popcorn, the chips, the ___________ (anything and everything) so that by the time the 4th came, I’d gained 3 pounds and was feeling very sluggish. I wasn’t going to let that cute couple with the healthy brains take away my happy food!

Except it didn’t make me happy. The sugar gave me headaches and restless sleep. The popcorn and chips made me feel bloated, and the extra pounds made me frown every time I got dressed to leave the house. But darn it, I wasn’t deprived!

Or was I?

The sense that I would never, ever, ever eat anything “good” again sent me reeling into a cesspool of a scarcity mindset. It won’t matter if I eat this handful of chocolate chips, or these few Hershey’s Kisses left over from Easter, or a couple of chips with some salsa, or. Or. OR. Especially since I won’t ever eat anything good again.

Emotional eating is a curious thing. It creeps up on you when you thought you had your resolve conquered. I mean, I know the right things to eat. I’ve done the Whole 30 Plan before. Quite successfully, in fact. But man, do I get blindsided by the sight of a chocolate tidbit.

It turns out Mindset is the number one item on Daniel and Tana Amen’s mastery list. And it’s a biggie. Without the right mindset, I can’t make progress. That nasty boogie man called scarcity will rear his ugly head and take me down.

What I learned tonight from Tana Amen, is that this program is not about deprivation – it’s about abundance.

Fruit.

Abundance.

Oh.

Abundance?

I like that word. It makes me feel vibrant and alive. It gives me a handle on my business. It makes me a better wife, mom and grandma. It makes me a better me.

Leaving behind the scarcity mindset to walk in abundance is a choice I’m making. Starting now.

Let’s do this together – you can join the livestream by signing up here. Six months from now you’ll thank your healthier self.

Twenty years from now you’ll thank you even more.