American Dietary Report Card Shows Yogurt, Oil Consumption Way Up Since 2000

Green – The Huffington Post
American Dietary Report Card Shows Yogurt, Oil Consumption Way Up Since 2000
The American diet, as a whole, changes at a glacial pace. Most individuals eat more or less the same thing, week in, week out, adding new staples and retiring old favorites only on very rare occasions. And zooming out to a scale of hundreds of millions, these individual shifts mostly cancel each other out. (One family might stop buying sour cream because they want to cut back on calories the same day that another family starts buying sour cream after tasting Paula Deen’s recipe for spinach-artichoke dip.)

But of course, glaciers move — their pace may be slow, but it’s not stasis. Over the course of thousands of years, the movement of glaciers carved out the Great Lakes. And so it is with changes in the American diet. If you step back and look at progress over many years, you see real change.

That’s the basic message of the latest installment of “The Changing American Diet,” a series of reports by the Center for Science in the Public Interest which uses data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to grade the healthfulness of U.S. eaters. This latest report card doesn’t look so different from the recent ones issued by the CSPI. It’s equally dismal, with an (unweighted) GPA of just 2.42.

The report shows that we eat slightly less caloric sweetener, whole milk and beef than we did in 2000 — but also a fair bit more cheese and way more yogurt. We eat less shortening and a lot more oil. We eat more or less the same amount of calories, fruits, vegetables, fruit and seafood. All in all, then, we’re eating about as much, and about as healthily, as we were a decade ago.

If you take a broader view, though, things start to look different. There’s been real change in the composition of the American diet since 1970, the data point at which the CSPI graphs start — and much of it is bad. Using the USDA source data for the CSPI report, we put together this animated GIF illustrating the changes over the past four decades in the number of calories that Americans get from each of the seven major food groups tracked by the USDA:

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As you can see, the average American ate almost 500 more calories per day in 2010 than he or she did in 1970 — a 23 percent increase. Fruit, vegetables, lean dairy and the meat, egg and nut category have all been virtually flat in that time. So almost the entire increase is due to growth in the top three categories on that GIF: basically, sugars, fats and carbs.

Specifically, Bonnie Liebman, the author of the CSPI report, attributed the bulk of that increase to two things: cheese and flour.

“We see this steady rise in cheese since 1970 that shows no signs of slowing down,” she told The Huffington Post. “It’s no longer just the cheese sandwich — it’s cheese in soup, cheese in salads, cheese on pizza, cheese in pizza crusts…”

“The change that has gotten less attention is the increase in flour and grains,” she continued. “Since the 1970s, we have upped our consumption of flour — and I think many people aren’t aware of that. We’re not baking at home, but it’s the bread, the pasta, the burritos, the paninis, the muffins — all of those. We’re getting more flour in all of those foods. The numbers are shocking.”

Liebman admitted that the popularity of the Atkins and South Beach diets, plus lots of good press around whole grains, has curbed the rise of flour consumption in the new millennium, but it’s still much higher than it was as recently as 1980. Liebman thinks that’s mostly because restaurants have an economic incentive to serve large portions of cheap, carb-heavy foods. They always have, of course, but we dine out far more than we did in 1970 — which both gives us more chances to eat big plates of pasta and makes us think we should serve ourselves larger portions of pasta at home.

“Most people have no idea how small the recommended levels of grains are,” Liebman explained, “because what we see in restaurants is so gigantic.”

How My Green Dream Became a Reality
This is the second of three exclusive excerpts from Andreas Souvaliotis’ new memoir Misfit: Changemaker With an Edge, which chronicles his life as a gay Greek immigrant and rise as a successful green entrepreneur. The book will be officially launched at next week’s Social Enterprise World Forum in Calgary, Canada. You can read Part One here.

The spring of 2007 was, without a doubt, the peak of the “green frenzy.” Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” had succeeded in bringing conversations about climate change into the mainstream, and suddenly, all my fellow marketers across North America were scrambling to figure out how to paint their products, their companies, their jobs and their talks with as much green color as they could find.

The trend was explosive and the tricks to riding that big green wave simple and obvious — a bit too obvious and a bit too “vanilla,” I thought. It bothered me that everyone was doing the same thing, reacting the same way and simply relying on the intensity of their green color and the volume of their screaming in order to steal a tiny bit more of the spotlight from the next guy. At this rate, I thought, the whole green thing would become nothing more than another forgettable spike, another silly fad. Consumers would quickly tire of it.

In the meantime, however, from looking at some market research, I was noticing something else that intrigued my climate- obsessed mind: The biggest influencer of consumer behavior was not the change in the eco-packaging of their favorite detergent or soft drink but actually the freaky weather outside. Billions of consumers around the world were beginning to respond to symptoms of climate change much more than to cheesy TV ads about cleaner-burning gasoline for their giant SUVs. And, of course, my secret advantage was that I understood much better than almost all my fellow marketers that the symptoms of climate change we were seeing in 2007 were nothing compared to what we would be seeing, say, a half dozen years later in 2013. I was enough of a weather geek to figure out exactly what the trend lines looked like and to know that, in terms of our weather-weirding, we were still at the very start of an incredibly steep, hockey-stick-shaped curve. So if the worst (or most bizarre) was yet to come, then it was safe to conclude that we were actually at the very beginning of a brand-new marketing megatrend.

I started to think about how I could build a big, new idea, a new kind of business that would be designed to grow along with this emerging megatrend, instead of just trying to ride a short-term wave. I felt both fascinated by my little theoretical niche and grateful that my lifelong obsession with weather and climate had not been extinguished along the way.

Through my years in marketing and a consulting stint at Canada’s main frequent flyer rewards program, I had gotten to know the incentives and loyalty marketplace quite well. I understood why consumers were so responsive to smart incentives and particularly how popular and effective reward points were in a society like ours. So, in my scramble to invent the next big, long-term “green” thing, I came up with the idea of the world’s first “green points” program.

I did a quick scan and confirmed that nobody in any of the leading markets in the world had yet created any kind of an eco-rewards program, one that would reward consumers only when they made environmentally responsible purchasing choices. The idea was so simple and the void so obvious that I actually began to worry a bit: Was I missing something? Could it be that nobody had come up with this before because, somehow, the economics would never work or the impact on consumer behavior would be negligible? And then, after I dug even deeper and convinced myself that there were no simple or obvious showstoppers and that I just happened to be the first weird, climate-aware business guy to think of such an idea.

I began to worry about the length of my runway: With the market so obsessed with green, what if someone, somewhere else, was thinking of the same idea at the same time? What if they had more money and connections or much more of an existing platform to turn the idea into a real thing? What if I had just come so close to being an inventor of something, for the first and only time in my life, but wasn’t quite going to make it?

So the tempo and the excitement went up rapidly. I began to sketch out a program, to try to figure out the real money and the opportunity behind it, the mechanics of it, and, of course, the market. Canada seemed like both the best and the worst place to try to do this. Best, because no country in the world appeared to be more points-happy than mine; Canadians were known to drive across town for a double-points special at the grocery store, and the consumer loyalty industry in our country was worth many billions of dollars per year. Worst, because all this success had created amazing entrenchment and consolidation among the leading players in this industry in Canada, so the prospect of being a tiny niche entrant in a space of very strong and wealthy giants was intimidating in the extreme. Plus, truth be told, although I may have always played and behaved and thought like an entrepreneur, I had never imagined myself as one — in fact, I was terrified of the idea. Me, on my own, building on such a big fantasy of an idea, starting a company, chasing billion-dollar customers and fighting off billion-dollar competitors? I couldn’t fathom it.

But I certainly could imagine someone else doing something with my idea. The one thing I knew with total confidence was that my idea was hot, it was unique, it was perfectly current, and someone, somewhere needed to do something with it. I spoke with my husband Joe about approaching the president of my old marketing company (a friend); or the president of Aeroplan, the frequent flyer program where I had consulted (an acquaintance); or the president of AIR MILES, the biggest points program in my country (also an acquaintance); and somehow figuring out a way to sell them my idea and have them nurture it and build it on top of their powerful platforms. I also spoke with some of my venture capital friends.

No conclusive recommendations anywhere. Lots of fascination with the concept of a national eco-points program, lots of very smart questions, but no specific ideas on what to do with it next.

So, in the middle of a very casual lunch in the home of a business acquaintance, having interrogated him for quite a while about his work, suddenly it was my turn to talk. He knew that I had recently tried to buy my old company and failed, so his question had a bit more of a forward-leaning tone: “What are you working on?”

Five hours later I was still at the table with him. It had been quite an afternoon. We had gone deeper and deeper into my idea; he had tried, very creatively but unsuccessfully, to punch all sorts of holes into it from every possible angle; I had thoroughly enjoyed the grilling; our tones and temperatures had gone way up at times; and in the end, here we were, doing something I would never have imagined as I was cycling up to his house earlier that day: We were actually shaking hands and agreeing to chase a wild new business idea together! In some mysterious and very special way, I had found my weird match: another misfit, another passionate nonconformist, another hyper-energized and energizing dreamer.

He knew nothing about my world, my work, my successes and failures before, and I knew nothing about his — but, in a totally heretical way that would have made every conventional business leader’s skin crawl, we were shaking hands on a downright crazy and fun new partnership. We would do this on our own: We wouldn’t partner with the big boys, we wouldn’t look to sell the idea–we would simply go and build a brand-new points program for Canada, and we’d do it in the most disruptive way possible. In a space filled with money and very wealthy competitors, we would pick the loudest and most visible David- versus-Goliath fights, on purpose, in order to quickly draw attention to our very cool idea. So, on the 31st of May, 2007, magically and completely unexpectedly, Green Rewards was born.

Tomorrow: The birth is nearly a miscarriage…

World Bank Aids New Coal Project Abroad, Defying Policy, Environmental Group Says
World Bank Group units are aiding the development of a new coal-fired power plant in Indonesia, despite a new bank policy discouraging support for coal projects, according to a report from the environmental group Oil Change International released on Wednesday.

The World Bank issued an Energy Directions paper in July, saying that coal projects should only receive support in “rare cases” when there is “no feasible alternative.”

The International Finance Corp., the private sector arm of the World Bank, is serving as the transaction adviser for a 2,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant in Indonesia known as the Central Java Power Project. As the transaction adviser, the IFC described its role as “helping ensure that the bidding was conducted according to international best practices and that the project met international environmental and social standards.”

In addition, the World Bank in 2010 provided a $30 million loan to the Indonesia Infrastructure Guarantee Fund, created by the government of Indonesia to obtain financing for the power plant as well as railways to transport coal and transmission lines. The project is to be built and operated as a joint venture between Andaro Power of Indonesia and two Japanese companies.

Oil Change International said the IFC and the World Bank Group are enabling one of the largest coal-fired power plants in southeast Asia.

“If they’re going to take the energy directive seriously, they should tell Indonesian government that this fund shouldn’t apply to coal projects,” Heike Mainhardt, senior subsidies analyst with Oil Change International, told Huffington Post.

The financial agreements on the project are supposed to be finalized by Oct. 6. Oil Change International said it wants assurances that the energy directive covers all types of World Bank Group projects, including policy loans, advisory services, and support through intermediaries.

Josef Skoldeberg, an IFC spokesman, said the organization began involvement in the Indonesia project in 2008, and was not covered by the energy directive.

“The Energy Strategy Directions Paper is not a backward-looking document, but lays out direction for our future engagements in the sector,” said Skoldeberg. He said the energy directive “applies to World Bank Group investments and advisory services in the energy sector, as well as privatization support that would enable investments.”

There have been major protests against the plant in Indonesia. “Around 7,000 villagers who living around the proposed site of Central Java Coal Power Plant are strongly opposed to the huge coal power project,” Arif Fiyanto of Greenpeace South Asia-Indonesia, told The Huffington Post via email. “The local community insists that the coal power plant will harm their livelihood, like what happened in other areas with coal power plants.”

President Barack Obama in June called for an end to U.S. funding for fossil fuel projects abroad unless the projects use technology to capture emissions. Since that announcement, the U.S. has declined to finance a coal plant in Vietnam through the Export-Import Bank. Oil Change International argues that the policy shift should also apply to projects like the one in Indonesia.

“As the World Bank’s largest shareholder, the United States has a particular say in the World Bank’s operations,” Mainhardt said in a blog post accompanying the report. “The U.S. government needs to be clear that the President’s pledge is comprehensive and covers all forms of coal financing, including policy loans and financial intermediaries.”

Healthy Living – The Huffington Post
I Crushed a Fitness Goal This Weekend — Here’s How You Can, Too
This weekend, I checked a big item off my fitness bucket list.

I set the goal for myself two years ago, when I competed in New York City’s 5th Avenue Mile, a 20-block sprint along Central Park, and clocked a solid 6:32. Then and there, I vowed I would be back on that course, speeding my way to a sub-6:30 mile.

In case the title of this blog didn’t give it away, I did it — with room to spare. I charged along 5th Avenue on my way to running my fastest mile to date, officially timed by the New York Road Runners (NYRR) at 6:21 — a pleasant surprise, since I had timed myself at 6:22. Thank you, human error!

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Considering that the professional women who ran the race crossed the finish line in four minutes and change, I’m certainly not about to win any medals. But this was a big personal win, and one with lessons easily applicable to just about any fitness goal.

Change the way you train. It all started with a different fitness goal: Last spring, as I prepared for a beachy summer vacation, I swore to complete 20 push ups every day for a month. Somehow, I got abs instead (don’t let anyone tell you differently, push ups are definitely a whole-body move).

The unexpected results made me wonder what other changes I might discover with a more regular strength-training routine. I used to be the kind of runner who considered the occasional ab workout a strength day. Now, I have a set of abs, arms, back, leg and all-over bodyweight exercises I do around four times a week. I’m a runner, but also a spinner, a soccer player and an occasional kettlebell-swinger. Making time for these other activities sometimes means running less — but my running has improved because of it.

Blab about it. Along the way to my sub-6:30 mile, I put my intentions in writing. Announcing my current personal record to the world was nerve-wracking but made my attempt at breaking it that much more real. Sharing goals ups accountability: Even if not one single person read about my goal, I could at least pretend missing the mark would let others down.

Visualize. I’m a firm believer in the idea that thoughts become things. For the past couple of months I’ve been imagining what it would feel like to have already run the race. I’d see myself on the other side of that finish line, chest heaving, quads quivering, smiling from ear to ear. I even went as far as to think about what kind of humble-brag I’d post on Facebook (and now here we are!).

Dress for the occasion. Until relatively recently, I was not a stylish gym-goer. I figured why spend money on flattering and functional gear when I had years of old soccer tees and shorts to sweat in. But after a few key pieces landed in my possession, I started to see the appeal. I began accumulating running shorts in fun patterns and neon colors with convenient key pockets. I bought a few ultra-lightweight racer-back tanks for the hottest days. And I found myself feeling prouder and more confident in my workouts as a result.

As race day approached, I started thinking about how I wanted to look on the starting line, and how that translated to how I would feel. I put aside my outfit weeks before I laced up my shoes, so the right shorts wouldn’t end up in the laundry inadvertently.

Don’t go it alone. There’s zero chance I could have completed the training I did for this race without three of my dearest running buddies. We grimaced together through hill repeats, applauded ourselves as we flew around the track and sweat over many a shared chocolate milk. I would have wimped out long ago if it weren’t for these inspiring and supportive ladies, two of whom also set new personal records in this year’s race.

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Start all over. When the official race results were posted, my first thought was, “6:21?! I could have run two seconds faster!” You better believe I’ll be out there next year, gunning for my new goal.

Tree Houses That Offer A Moment Of Peace Above It All (PHOTOS)
The stress and strain of constantly being connected can sometimes take your life — and your well-being — off course. GPS For The Soul can help you find your way back to balance.

GPS Guides are our way of showing you what has relieved others’ stress in the hopes that you will be able to identify solutions that work for you. We all have de-stressing “secret weapons” that we pull out in times of tension or anxiety, whether they be photos that relax us or make us smile, songs that bring us back to our heart, quotes or poems that create a feeling of harmony, or meditative exercises that help us find a sense of silence and calm. We encourage you to look at the GPS Guide below, visit our other GPS Guides here, and share with us your own personal tips for finding peace, balance and tranquility.

Sometimes we just need to take a time out for ourselves — no excuses necessary. Even if your only moment to yourself is in a cubicle, you can still relax and recharge by visualizing a happy and quiet place for you to retreat to. Treehouses make awesome getaways and provide a safe space for you to think and connect with yourself and nature. So use these images to turn your desk into your own treehouse for a moment and let go of any tension.

For more GPS Guides, click here.

Steven Pressfield And Oprah Discuss How To Live In The Moment (VIDEO)
Author Steven Pressfield knows what it’s like to feel stuck. That’s exactly how he felt as he was struggling to write his first novel The Legend of Bagger Vance, but after breaking down his barriers, the book went on to become a bestseller and Hollywood feature film. In this clip from the upcoming episode on “Super Soul Sunday,” Oprah asks Pressfield to discuss how each of us can realize our purpose in the world by “being in the flow.”

“Everybody has a flow or a zone in their life. Joseph Campbell called it ‘following your bliss,'” Oprah says.

“And you say each of us needs to pursue our calling with gusto and to live in that zone as often as possible,” she says to Pressfield. “So that’s what we want to figure out how to do. How do we be in that zone as often as possible?”

“Well, I know that you’ve got to get out of your little head,” Pressfield says, pointing to his temple. “And into that larger identity, whatever that is.”

To do that, Pressfield says we need to lose ourselves. “Which is nothing, to me, more fancy than what any kid does when they’re playing. If kids were just playing here on this lawn, they forget time. They forget everything. And they’re just playing. They’re kind of in the moment,” he says.

“Present moment, yeah,” Oprah says.

To live in the moment, Pressfield says he has a simple tip.

“Now, what I found that works for me is just sitting down. Just sit down,” he says. “I have a thing where I say, ‘Put your ass where your heart wants to be.’ And by that I simply mean, if you want to paint, put your body in front of an easel. You know? If you want to write, sit in front of a keyboard. And then just plunge in.”

Oprah’s conversation with Pressfield on “Super Soul Sunday” airs Sunday, Sept. 29 at 11 a.m. ET on OWN.

15 Wildly Successful People Who Overcame Huge Obstacles To Get There
You’ve heard it before: “If at first you don’t succeed, try again.” Sometimes you may feel like that’s just a saying, but it is absolutely not. The 15 incredible stories below show how even horrible tragedies and setbacks can be help fuel a drive for success.

From Oprah Winfrey‘s scarred childhood to Bill Gates‘ failed business ventures, these people have been through the grinder, and come out even better than before. Their stories stress one of the most important lessons of all: Never ever give up. Scroll through the list for some serious inspiration.

Bill Gates’ first business failed.

Yes, the richest person in the whole world couldn’t make any money at first. Gates’ first company, Traf-O-Data (a device which could read traffic tapes and process the data), failed miserably. When Gates and his partner, Paul Allen, tried to sell it, the product wouldn’t even work. Gates and Allen didn’t let that stop them from trying again though. Here’s how Allen explained how the failure helped them: “Even though Traf-O-Data wasn’t a roaring success, it was seminal in preparing us to make Microsoft’s first product a couple of years later.”

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Albert Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old.

Einstein didn’t have the best childhood. In fact, many people thought he was just a dud. He never spoke for the first three years of his life, and throughout elementary school, many of his teachers thought he was lazy and wouldn’t make anything of himself. He always received good marks, but his head was in the clouds, conjuring up abstract questions people couldn’t understand. But he kept thinking and, well, he eventually developed the theory of relativity, which many of us still can’t wrap our heads around.

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Jim Carrey used to be homeless.

Carrey revealed to James Lipton on “Inside the Actor’s Studio” that when he was 15, he had to drop out of school to support his family. His father was an unemployed musician and as the family went from “lower middle class to poor,” they eventually had to start living in a van. Carrey didn’t let this stop him from achieving his dream of becoming a comedian: He went from having his dad drive him to comedy clubs in Toronto to starring in mega-blockbusters and being known as one of the best comedic actors of an era.

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Bethany Hamilton had her arm bitten off by a shark.

Hamilton started surfing when she was just a child. At age 13, an almost-deadly shark attack resulted in her losing her left arm. She was back on her surfboard one month later, and two years after that, she won first place in the Explorer Women’s Division of the NSSA National Championships. Talk about determination.

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Benjamin Franklin dropped out of school at age ten.

Franklin’s parents could only afford to keep him in school until his tenth birthday. That didn’t stop the great man from pursuing his education. He taught himself through voracious reading, and eventually went on to discover the lightning rod and bifocals. Oh, and he became one of America’s Founding Fathers.

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Richard Branson has dyslexia.

Branson was a pretty bad student — he didn’t get good marks and he did poorly on standardized tests. Instead of giving up, he used the power of his personality to drive him to success. Today, Branson, known for developing Virgin Records and many of its more technologically advanced spinoffs, is the fourth richest person in the UK.

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Stephen King’s first novel was rejected 30 times.

If it weren’t for King’s wife, “Carrie” may not have ever existed. After being consistently rejected by publishing houses, King gave up and threw his first book in the trash. His wife, Tabitha, retrieved the manuscript and urged King to finish it. Now, King’s books have sold over 350 million copies and have been made into countless major motion pictures.

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Oprah Winfrey gave birth at age 14 and lost her child.

She is one of the most successful and richest people in the world today, but Winfrey didn’t always have it so easy. She grew up in Milwaukee, Wis. and was repeatedly molested by her cousin, uncle and a family friend. She eventually ran away from home, and at age 14 gave birth to a baby boy who shortly died after.

But Winfrey’s tragic past didn’t stop her from becoming the force she is today. She excelled as an honors student in high school, and won an oratory contest which secured her a full scholarship to college. Now the entrepreneur and personality has the admiration of millions and a net worth of $2.9 billion.

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Thomas Edison failed 1,000 times before creating the lightbulb.

Although the exact number of tries has been debated, ranging from 1,000 to 10,000 attempts, it’s safe to say Edison tried and failed a whole lot before he successfully created his beacon of light. His response to his repeated failures? “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

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Kris Carr turned her cancer into a business of hope and healing.

In 2003, Karr was a 32-year-old New Yorker just enjoying life. But then, a regular checkup at her doctor’s office resulted in a diagnosis of a rare and incurable Stage IV cancer called epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, existing in her liver and lungs.

Instead of succumbing to the disease, Carr decided to challenge her diagnosis head on. She attacked her cancer with a brand new nutritional lifestyle, and turned her experience into a series of successful self-help books and documentaries. Eventually, she launched her own wellness website, which is followed by over 40,000 people. Today, Karr is celebrating a decade of “thriving with cancer,” and is now revered as one of the most prominent experts on healthy living.

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Jay-Z couldn’t get signed to any record labels.

No one can stop Jay-Z. He came from a rough Brooklyn neighborhood and had big dreams to make it big as a rapper. Unfortunately, the rest of the world didn’t agree with him at first. Not one record label would sign him. Yet that didn’t stop him from creating his own music powerhouse. His label would eventually turn into the insanely lucrative Roc-A-Fella Records. Here’s proof Jay-Z is on top: Forbes has estimated his net worth at $500 million, and TIME ranked him at one of their 2013 Most Influential People In The World. And he’s married to Beyoncé.

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Vincent Van Gogh only sold one painting in his lifetime.

Van Gogh is considered one of the greatest artists of all time, yet the poor guy only sold one painting the entire time he was alive: “The Red Vineyard at Arles (The Vigne Rouge),” which is now in the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts in Moscow. Even though he made no money, he still painted over 900 works of art. Though his persistence went unnoticed when he was alive, Van Gogh proves you don’t need external validation to be proud of the work you create.

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Franklin Roosevelt became partially paralyzed at 39.

After vacationing in Canada, Roosevelt developed polio, which eventually left him paralyzed from the waist down for the rest of his life. Even though he couldn’t walk, he went on to lead the country as one of the most respected and memorable presidents in history.

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Simon Cowell had a failed record company.

By his late twenties, Cowell had made a million dollars and lost a million dollars. Cowell told The Daily Mail in 2012, “‘I’ve had many failures. The biggest were at times when I believed my own hype. I’d had smaller failures, signing bands that didn’t work, but my record company going bust, that was the first big one.” Even after such a momentous loss, Cowell picked himself up and became one of the biggest forces in reality television, serving as a judge for “Pop Idol,” “The X Factor,” “Britain’s Got Talent” and “American Idol.” Forbes has estimated his net worth at $95 million.

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Charlize Theron witnessed her mother kill her father.

When Theron was 15, she witnessed her mother shoot her alcoholic father in an act of self-defense. Instead of letting the trauma immobilize her ambition, Theron channelled her energy into making a name for herself. She would eventually become one of the most respected and talented actresses, becoming the first South African actress to win an Academy Award.

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Steven Spielberg was rejected from USC, twice.

You read that right. One of the most prolific filmmakers of all time, the man who brought us “Shindler’s List,” “Jaws,” “E.T.” and “Jurassic Park” couldn’t get into the film school of his choice. Maybe, just sometimes, education can be a little overrated. In the end, Spielberg would get the last laugh, when USC awarded him an honorary degree in 1994. Two years later, he became a trustee of the university.

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GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Deepak Chopra’s Advice On Controlling Your Anger (VIDEO)
When someone tears you down, how do you react without anger? That’s the question Raheem, 22, has for spiritual teacher and author Deepak Chopra on “Help Desk,” a new special on OWN.

“I have an anger problem that I want to control before I reach the breaking point,” Raheem says in the video.

“Back in my neighborhood, when I do yoga, there’s a lot of people around there that make fun of it and think it’s not a ‘man’ thing to do,” he says.

“So I started to get angry and pissed off,” Raheem continues. “I want to just relax, and not get in trouble for it.”

Chopra has advice for him. “So this is very good that you’re changing, but people around you are stuck in the old ways of violence and false ideas of masculinity,” Chopra says. “And they are ridiculing you, and in a way they are challenging your integrity.”

“So the first thing you have to realize is that you are transforming, and when you transform, it’s uncomfortable for other people who can’t see where you are going,” Chopra tells Raheem.

He explains the challenge is to not react. “You don’t transform them by reacting, you transform them through your personal transformation,” Chopra says. “You want to be the change you see in them. But you have to be patient.”

“Will you try it?” Chopra asks.

“Yes,” Raheem says, nodding.

“And I’ll come there and I’ll help you with this,” Chopra says.

Two special half-hour encore episodes of “Help Desk” will air Sunday, September 29 at 12 p.m. ET following “Super Soul Sunday” on OWN.

The 7 Things You Must Do Today
The majority of us have learned to see life as a routine — we’ve stopped thinking about what we should do and instead only think about what we need to do. But living consciously is a choice and tiny deviations from our daily grind will help us make choices that we can be proud of. Several simple actions can shift our state of mind to cultivate a sense of tranquility about our life circumstances and an understanding about the world around us that goes beyond an everyday level.

Perform these seven deeds today to strengthen your energy, advance your wisdom and elevate your awareness:

Show patience. Our patience is tested in small ways each day. It may be morning traffic, a long line at checkout, or a particularly slow person walking in front of us. Pass your challenges of patience with a bit of compassion and a large calming breath. Remember that everything can wait but nothing is worth you taking a wrongful action that can never be taken back.

Thank yourself. We thank each other all the time — for holding doors, minor favors and common services. But when is the last time you thanked yourself? Stand in front of a mirror and smile at your reflection. Express self-gratitude in a few simple words. Thank yourself for your lifetime of hard work, your generous nature and your drive to succeed. You of all people deserve the recognition.

Tell three people you love them. How good does it feel to hear the words “I love you?” We simply don’t tell our dear ones that we love them often enough. Instead, we take our time with others for granted until we no longer have them in our lives. Call three people you care about today and tell them just how much you love them. Consider calling someone you don’t speak to on a daily basis, too, and expressing to them your heartfelt affection. Spreading love is contagious, and the more you share it the more you will receive it.

Take time for serenity. Our hectic schedules don’t allow for much “me” time. We run around taking care of business, chores and others so that we often forget to take care of ourselves. Take 30 minutes out of your day (today and every day) simply to bond with yourself in your favorite way. Bask in the beauty of your own company. Take a walk, write down your thoughts or meditate quietly. Do whatever helps you discover your deepest layers.

Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Rarely do we understand how others feel. Instead we are quick to judge, blame, and become angry in the heat of disagreement. We don’t realize how easily we would resolve our issues with others if we simply put ourselves in their shoes for just a moment. The next time you don’t see eye to eye with someone or a person irritates you, halt your emotions and ask yourself, “Do I know what this person has been through today?” Pleasantly surprise others by showing compassion instead of intolerance.

Detach from your past. Granted, detaching from negative experiences in our past is easier said than done. But it is something we must all learn to do in order to progress. The easiest way to detach is to forgive, both ourselves and others, for prior mistakes. When you find yourself thinking about a hurtful memory, remind yourself that it has passed and never needs to reoccur. Force the harmful thought out of your mind and imagine a positive opposite happening in the near future.

List your ambitions. Never underestimate the power of a list. Writing down a thought or intention is your first step towards bringing it to life; it has now become a tangible object on the paper. Creating a list of what you’d like to accomplish will not only spur momentum within you, it will prioritize your needs and desires within your mind. This will help you understand where you need to start, what you will need to do, and how to proceed towards your goal. Compile an agenda of the top ten things you’d like to achieve in the next year, being honest and realistic to your specific wishes. Fold your list and carry it with you wherever you go. When faced with a significant decision, glance over your list to ensure that your actions are in accordance with your ambitions.

Our choice of actions carries us through life day by day. But when we don’t expand our actions to include conscious decisions, we limit our capacity and well-being. The true power and purpose of our potential becomes evident when we interrupt our routine and introduce small reminders of grace into everyday life.

To doing only great things,

Dr. Carmen Harra

To connect with Dr. Carmen Harra on Facebook, click here.

For more by Dr. Carmen Harra, click here.

For more on emotional wellness, click here.

#alkalinity #alkalinitymovement #7.2 #sevenpointtwo

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