Lauri Mackey

3 Foolproof Ways to Eating Healthy by Samantha Russell

Samantha Russell, Live The Whole

3 foolproof ways to make healthy eating really work for you

by: Samantha Russell with LiveTheWhole.com

 

Healthy eating is hard to stick to. Sometimes it feels like the whole world is against you, with birthday parties, food-centered holidays, and potluck parties every second weekend.

I recently did a bunch of interviews with hard-working and accomplished women who all struggle to eat in a way that feels good to them. The number 1 thing they identified as getting in their way the most was consistency.

They all have so much knowledge about health, nutrition, and the way the want to be eating – but feel like life just constantly throws them curve balls and encourages them to eat more cake, buy more ice cream, and make exceptions to their plan all the time.

So, how can you make healthy eating actually work for you in a consistent way? Here are 3 foolproof ways to make healthy food choices your automatic ‘go to’ every day.

 

Step 1: Set SMART goals

Goals are great – you probably have them for your career, and maybe even your relationship, but have you stopped to formulate some great food and eating goals as well?

 

Just like any other goals in your life, healthy eating goals need to be SMART, or

Specific

Measurable

Attainable

Resonates with you, and

Time-managed.

 

This means you have to think hard about exactly what you want to do, how you’ll measure your success, how to make the goal realistic for you and fit into your life, and when you’re going to pause and assess how things are going.

The problem with most healthy eating goals is that they go something like “I’m going to start eating better”, or “I’m going to cut down on carbs”, or even “I’m quitting sugar from now on”. There’s nothing wrong with trying any of these, but you’re going to need a better plan if you want to succeed.

For example, a SMART goal for “I’m quitting sugar” is:

“For the next 2 weeks (time managed), I am not going to eat or drink any sugar or added sweetener (specific + measurable). Instead, I’ll have a piece of fruit and drink green tea if I feel I need a little something extra (resonates + attainable).”

 

Step 2: Plan your meals the night before

Meal planning is the most helpful action step you can take to make healthy food choices easy – because you’ve already made them.

Simply sit down for 5 minutes before you go to bed and write down exactly what you’re going to eat the next day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and drinks.

Yes, even if it involves looking up the menu of a restaurant. By making food decisions when you’re relaxed, not hungry, and can give them your full attention, you’ll make way better decisions that are more in-line with your goals.

Now, with the food decisions already made, all you have to do is stick with them. If you feel like you’re going to struggle with that, this is where step 3 comes in.

 

Step 3: Have an emergency recovery plan

No matter how SMART your goals are, or how much planning you do, there are definitely going to be times when it’s still hard to make healthy choices. Consistency is really key when you’re habit building, so I like to use the superpowers of

  • The bigger picture,
  • Meditation, and
  • Switching gears

To help stay on track.

 

No matter how dedicated you are to changing your eating, stress, tiredness, and social pressure (to name just a couple of things!) can all make some really convincing sounding arguments as to why you should choose fast food tonight and “start eating healthy again in the morning”. Sometimes that’s ok, but when it’s happening multiple times a week, you’re not going to reach your goals.

So, when you can feel temptation or stress getting the better of you, take a moment to think about the bigger picture of why you want to eat healthier. Is it to be a good role model for you kids? Feel better in your body and be confident you trust yourself with food? Or to avoid carrying on the family history of type-2 diabetes and high blood pressure? Thinking about this bigger picture helps keep you motivated and on-track.

 

Some Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Podcast episodes that are great for this:

Interview with Katie Arms – take a moment out of your day to find out how Katie took a massive life-curveball and made it work for her on every level.

Interview with me – learn more about my struggle with change, eating, and consistency and how I personally made lasting change.

Interview with Makeda Pennycooke – learn how to transform you fear and make yourself feel safe.

 

The second secret weapon is meditation. You’re not going to want to do it – but trust me, put an app like headspace on your phone and when you feel yourself going off track in a way you don’t like, pop in your earphones and take a 5 minute timeout. Sometimes that’s all you need to refocus and get on with your day (and stick to the food plan you made the night before).

And finally, when you feel cravings creeping up on you, try mentally switching gears. Research shows that taking a break and doing something totally different with your brain reduces the intensity of cravings. In fact, the research was done using the game ‘Tetris’, which you can put on your phone right now. Fun, and helps you stay healthy.

The process of making healthy eating a habit is really all about practice, but it’s also about being prepared. Don’t expect (or even aim for) perfection, but you can definitely make healthy eating easy and automatic if you follow the 3 steps outlined above. Every great choice you make creates a positive cycle of self-trust, momentum, and motivation that can move your forward each day – towards a happier, healthier you.

 

About The Author:

Samantha runs Live the Whole and is certified by the Institute for the Psychology of Eating in the US, has a certificate in clinical and pastoral counseling from the University of Glasgow in the UK, and has a degree in psychology from Massey University in New Zealand.

Sam specializes in helping clients manage and heal their relationship with food, body, and self. She uses a blend of positive psychology and mind-body-nutrition connections, along with traditional coaching and counseling methodologies. She works together with clients to uncover the root causes of unwanted eating so they can feel happy, free, and in control.

 

We would love to hear your feedback so drop us a comment below – we read them ALL!

International Women’s Day Part 4 of 4!

International Women’s Day Part 4 of 4!
At Lauri’s Lemonade Stand we Celebrate Women Every Day!

It has been so much fun cruising down memory lane as we celebrate International Women’s Day all month here at the Lemonade Stand!  Beautiful women, a couple of men, more knowledge, wisdom, beauty, and humor than I ever could have predicted or imagined.  

Read the descriptions below and pick the best podcast that works for you as we celebrate episodes 31-40 on iTunes and Google Play! Thank you 100% for being such loyal followers, fans, friends, and family on this new endeavor that next month will be one year old!

Calee Reed – Upbeat, fun, adorable, and super talented would be the first words I use to describe Calee.  Followed ever so quickly by firmly grounded.  Through life experiences, she has found herself rooted to her faith and is now sharing that with others through her beautiful, inspirational music.  Don’t forget to check out her video, “She Put the Music in Me” about her amazing mother.

Kris Belcher – Start with a little humor, add a huge dose of struggles, add a lot more humor, then pour on the faith and that is the recipe to get a big-hearted woman like Kris Belcher.  Conquering cancer twice that left her blind for the last 13 years, Kris has found humor and faith in her journey.  It is not without anger and frustration along the way, but she is willing to help any woman in any way she can.  You are going to love this episode!

Dr. Julie Hanks – “Vibrant Solutions for an Ordinary Life”  Yep, that catch-phrase of Dr. Julie Hanks pretty much sums up her work in a nutshell.  Staying away from Burn-Out, Asserting yourself and speaking your mind without crushing the other person in the relationship or conversation is where Dr. Hanks excels.  Listen as I delicately give her a scenario from my own life that she puts into perspective and shines a light on to help all involved move forward.  This spunky therapist rocked my socks and if you let her, she will rock yours!

Kristina Kuzmic – Closet Skyping!  What do you do when your youngest takes a nap and you have a podcast interview?  Closet Skyping!  Just for the record, sound quality in a closet full of clothes is amazing!  This interview is touching, eye-opening and downright hilarious in parts.  You seriously want to get to know Kristina better.  Check her out on YouTube (she is a huge YouTube sensation and even had a season of her cooking show on the Oprah Winfrey Network) and her website kristinakuzmic.com.

Hilary Weeks – Music that has inspired me for twenty years, I could hardly wait to get Hilary Weeks on Lauri’s Lemonade Stand.  Seeing her live has always been a special treat and I own every single one of her albums.  Her songs have seen me through life’s moments and I can’t wait to share her love for music with you.  After 20 years she finally did a concert tour in 2016 and is planning another for spring 2017.  Check her out at hilaryweeks.com and I hope to see you at one of her events!

Erin Stutland – Feisty, fun, connected, and grounded…that’s how I would describe this incredibly talented and creative artist, Erin Stutland.  This interview not only embraces the need for her particular brand of workouts (combining powerful mantras with dance and kickboxing), but takes us on a time travel through her past, her delicious love story, and her new TV show out now called Altar’d on Z Living.  (Look for it on your local cable channels)  Enjoy this amazing interview!

Sarah Knight – Profane, but right on the money in showing you how to mentally declutter…I loved this interview with Sarah Knight.  I’ve put her advice to the test and it worked!  To-do lists, must-do lists, her 3-step plan to taking care of what you need to do so you can do what you want to do.  Her two best-selling books, The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*** and Get Your Sh** Together are must-haves in your self-help library.

Josi Kilpack – Romance novelist, Josi Kilpack is no stranger to the literary world.  After 25 novels (of which I’ve read 8 and now have a list of 4 more on my wishlist), Josi excels in her field and is simply a rockstar!  This interview explores her humble beginnings, her awards and accomplishments, and the brief heartache of a bad review and how it was turned into a learning experience.  She is fun, down-to-earth, and a joy to interview.  Fall in love with Josi and then fall in love with her books.  Recorded on Valentine’s Day, this interview promises romance in your future.  See what’s coming up next from Josi Kilpack!

Regan Walsh – Beautiful, ever-smiling, blog-master extraordinaire, committed to her family and her growing group of clients, Regan will teach you to Shed Your Shoulds, how to reclaim your life, and to say no when the occasion calls for it.  She is a masterful coach who loves the color red and the season of fall and has a beautiful love story of meeting her husband.  You’ll want to bring a notepad and pen to this upbeat interview and perhaps even hire her as your own coach to help you into the next chapter of your business or personal life.

Don’t forget to comment here below, leave a rating and review on iTunes and follow on Twitter @LauriMackey and Facebook at Lauri’s Lemonade Stand.  Thank you, Lemonaders!

International Women’s Day Part 3 of 4!

International Women’s Day Part 3 of 4!
At Lauri’s Lemonade Stand we Celebrate Women Every Day!

The last two weeks have been so fun and we are halfway there!  Celebrating the women of this first year of my podcast has been great for me.  It is like a trip down memory lane as I review each of them in turn.  Check out the little blurbs below, pick your poison and then enjoy the help that you will receive from these amazing women!  Sending love and support out to you all!

Kelly Long – No idea that Kelly Long would be so down to earth and full of energy and just plain fun until she agreed to be on this podcast.  Not only did she have my vote in the election for County Supervisor, but she had my vote on how action leads to change.  Learn more about this fun-loving, action-moving, full of persistence and grit personality and lay claim to some of it yourself by enjoying this episode!

Sharon McRae – Sharon McRae will steal your heart and then give it back to you significantly healthier!  She is available for coaching all across the United States and abroad.  She is fun, full of life and abounding in tips to change your diet that will have you leaving the top killers of disease in the dust.  Helpful hint?  Check out her recipes on her website:  eatwell-staywell.com!

Ashlee Birk – Ashlee Birk had every reason to lay over and play dead after learning her husband had been shot and killed.  Her world was shattered in a moment, but through these amazing trials she has learned to create new moments to stand for what she believes in.  Through much prompting she then decided that others need to hear her story so that she can help others to stand as well.  This is a true story of taking a seriously sucking lemons moment and finding the joy of how to make sweet lemonade.

Stephenie Zamora – Fun! Fun! Fun!  Yes, that is how I would describe my interview with Stephenie.  Not only were we kindred spirits and found ourselves speaking more with our hands and facial expressions (wish you could have seen that!), but we just had a blast recording this interview.  You will fall in love with Stephenie’s enthusiasm, but you will follow her through hell if she asked you to because like all of us, she has lived through some deep dark trauma that has shaken her to her core and had her building roots to stand the test of life.  Listen to it, learn about it, apply the lessons in your own life where necessary.

Whitney Johnson –  Disrupt Yourself!  Whitney is a wealth of information packed into a caring soul.  She is just on a mission to help others become their best selves.  You will definitely want to grab a pen and paper before sitting down to this episode as there are valuable nuggets throughout.  This episode will give you insights and tools you can use immediately to start disrupting your life and dreaming big!  For more of Whitney, check her out on Amazon, iTunes, and her website:  whitneyjohnson.com.  Happy disrupting!

Wally Amos – Famous Amos Cookies founder, Wally Amos turned 80 years old this year!  Why did I allow a guy on the show?  Cause it’s Wally Amos!  This awesome man is a positivity icon that I look up to with deep respect.  He’s got humor, he’s got a positive attitude and he believes that the only thing that can get in our way is ourselves.  He also believes that we are the only ones that get in the way of our own success.  Have a listen and enjoy this lovely episode!

Laurie Blackwell –  Journaling is not only a passion of Laurie’s, but after this interview I realized it was also a passion of mine!  (Maybe it’s something in the name Lauri…:)  Realizing that I already had more of a habit in journaling than I ever knew, Laurie makes it easy to make this a life-long habit or just do it for FUN by taking one of her online courses.  She offers 100 FREE journal prompts on her website and you won’t want to wait to visit with her because she is simply a pleasure and delight.  Enjoy this journaling journey with Laurie Blackwell!

Jill Hamilton – Petal Power!  Jill is a women’s advocate for cycling and has taken her passion within the industry to entrepreneurship in her company, Petal Power.  It is a plant-based, all natural Joy Ride System that was created for women by a woman.  I’ve tried it out, loved it, won’t use anything else on my hoo-hoo, girly-bits, cooch, petals, tweeny…you get the idea when riding my bicycle or running.  Get 10% off your first purchase with the code within the podcast.  Enjoy this amazing visionary!

Hilary Hendershott – Profit Boss Radio is my new go-to for financial wisdom specifically geared towards women.  This episode is chock full of amazing information, but it also has a “sucking lemons” moment (more like years) for Hilary that makes her not only human, but a kick ass financial planner for those of us that need to change our money mindset and get out of our own way when it comes to our finances.  Listen, be a sponge, take lots of notes, enjoy this episode!

Cindy Joseph – BOOM!  Cindy was most definitely a kindred spirit.  We had similar beliefs, goals and I am so pleased she has coined this change in the universe to be called The Pro-Age Movement.  To not just embrace our beautiful age, but to CELEBRATE it!  I am a huge fan of her BOOM! by Cindy Joseph products and once you hear her story you will be too.  Enjoy this feel-good episode!

Don’t forget to leave your comments below, rate & review the podcast, and let me know who you would like to see on future episodes of the podcast!

International Women’s Day Part 2 of 4

International Women’s Day!

At Lauri’s Lemonade Stand we Celebrate Women Every Day!

As I mentioned last week, I wanted to share with you the brave women who were guests this past year on my podcast.  Last week, we celebrated the first ten and this week we celebrate episodes 11-20!  There is a little blurb about each one below and the link to their individual podcast should you want to learn more.  Have fun as I did learning from these amazing, incredible women and then tune in next week for episodes 21-30.  Thank you for being a part of this movement to support and uplift other women!
 
Ed Mackey – Ok, so I said women and then episode #011 is actually a man!  My husband in fact.  If you go to my website and sign up for my email list you get what I have lovingly dubbed “Eddy’s 60 Days of Sunshine”  which is a download for you to use as a tool to help someone you know who is going through a hard time, mild depression, or general sadness.  It is a way to use a network of family and friends and peers to support someone in their time of need.  Listen to this episode to learn the why and how I came up with this idea in supporting my husband when I didn’t know what else to do.
 
Irene Thomas – This is just a fun and uplifting episode #012 that teaches us how to Geocache!  Have you tried geocaching yet?  It is something you can do by yourself or with friends…on a trip across the world or the country or even in your own backyard.  Try it, you’ll like it!
 
Lauri Mackey – This is your 3-Step Guide to accomplishing your next goal with incredible passion!  I share with you my journey to finishing high school after age 40 and the power that ignited in myself to do and be more…I felt like Wonder Woman and that I could do anything!  It is part of the reason I started this podcast to help women over 40 in accomplishing whatever their little hearts desire.  Listen, then use the tools to accomplish your next goal!
 
Rhonda Waidmann – The respect you’ll find for Rhonda Waidmann lies at the other end of this podcast interview.  Sometimes you think you know someone from the outside looking in, but then you delve deeper and find a hero.  Heroes are found in everyday life and in everyday circumstances.  Rhonda has endured much, but has also fought for much and is still fighting to help others to this day.  Enjoy this down to earth interview and get inspired to create positive change with a smile in your neck of the woods!
 
Rachel Call – Rachel Call cannot be shocked by anything she hears which means she is the least judgmental person I know.  She would never admit it, but she is truly a gift to the hearts and spirits of those she touches in their lives.  Embrace this powerful, passionate podcast and reach out to her if you would like to have her touch your life as she as touched mine.  Don’t forget to check out the two books she recommends in Fearless Living by Rhonda Britten and Happiness is a Choice by Barry Neil Kaufman.  
 
Linda Middlesworth – is a force to be reckoned with.  She will convince you to try a vegan diet with the utmost compassion and concern not only for the animals, but truly for you.  She has seen the worst of what the Standard American Diet (SAD) can do to you having personally experienced it.  She is 72 years old, voted Sexiest Vegan in the World by PETA in 2015, created V-Dog with her late husband, and teaches numerous fitness classes daily along with being a Food for Life Instructor through the PCRM.  Remember I told you she was a force to be reckoned with?  Check out this podcast and see what you can do to find your voice with purpose and passion!
 
Stephanie MacKenzie – Female Entrepreneurs!  You need to hear this interview!  Stephanie MacKenzie’s interview was done while I was vacationing in Oregon!  Love that I can take this business anywhere!  While there is definitely a few glitches, you do not want to miss this incredible interview about taking your ideas and passions and turning them into income for you and your family.  Stephanie is living proof that it can be done!  Take the leap and join the movement!
 
Brenda Davis, RD – went vegan when vegan wasn’t popular in society or in her field of practice.  There was fear involved in remaining a registered dietitian, but because she overcame her fear she is now looked up to in her field winning awards, speaking, publishing books and creating change in the Marshall Islands, you can’t help but be caught up to action in your part of the world.  Become part of the grass roots efforts to be kind to yourself, others, and animals in this inspiring episode!
 
Jane Birch – Her book Discovering The Word of Wisdom has been an inspiration for my Facebook page called VeganMormon.  More than that, and before that, she was simply an inspiration for me in following my journey of a Whole Food, Plant-Based nutrition lifestyle.  in this episode we get down and dirty about our food practice, religious practice and our belief in God.  Hold on tight as we, as two women, connect, consult, and embrace this way of life.  Jane’s journey is amazing and brave, enjoy this amazing episode!
 
Susan Pierce Thompson, PhD – Susan is a Warrior fighting for nothing short of world domination.  Following her tribe in the Bright Line Eating community promises you three things:  Happiness, Thinness, and Freedom.  You are going to LOVE what she has to offer by way of being Happy, Thin, and Free, but you’re also going to just LOVE Susan.  Nothing short of a miracle in surviving her own journey, she has lost 60 pounds (and kept it off for over 13 years!) and conquered drug addiction, and has a plan to share how she did it with the world.  Join this journey!  
 
See you next week for episodes 21-30!  Don’t forget to comment below and let me know your thoughts on the blog and who you would like to see on future podcast episodes!

International Women’s Day Part 1 of 4

International Women’s Day!
At Lauri’s Lemonade Stand we Celebrate Women Every Day!
 
I love days when we celebrate the women in our lives!  Today, I thought I would simply give a huge shout-out to all of the women who agreed to be on my podcast.  It’s been almost a year (next month) and those early birds truly were taking a chance on me in being among the first to come under the interview knife so to speak as I was learning to fly.  Thank you!
Over the next 4 weeks I will celebrate them in 10’s so as not to overwhelm you with too much information.  Here are the first 10 episodes of Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, a Positivity Podcast for Women…it just keeps getting better and better and I was fortunate to have this heavy hitters in my opening episodes.
Rebecca Rusch on episode #001 who’s career highlights include:
  • Author, Rusch To Glory , Dirt Rag Mag “Rusch Job”
  • Seven-time World Champion in multiple sports
  • Four-time Leadville 100 MTB Champion
  • Three-time Dirty Kanza 200 Gravel Race Champion
  • Course Record: Kokopelli Trail (Moab-Fruita) 13h 32m 46s
  • Raid Gauloises Adventure Racing World Champion Team
  • Red Bull Endurance Athlete
Joi Whaley who is the co-owner and founder of our local all-organic, all-vegan favorite restaurant, Joi Cafe’ in Westlake Village, episode #002.  She is a HUGE advocate for women’s rights!
Lindsey Richter – The founder of Ladies AllRide has a mission: Change women’s lives with two wheels and some dirt. Of all her wild life experiences (like being a Reality TV star on the CBS show: Survivor) it was mountain biking that taught Lindsey life is about CREATING yourself, not finding yourself. Now as a world-renowned leader in the women’s mountain bike movement, Lindsey spreads her passion for mountain biking across the globe through innovative and inspirational skills camps.  Listen to her episode #003 and share in the magic!
 
Jo Ellen Soesbee is the ToolBoxTomGirl!  Listen to her episode #004 on the guts it took to make it in a men’s world and how her woman’s touch was just what everyone was looking for by way of service. The award-winning Tool Girl will steal your heart and inspire you to make it no matter what your field of expertise or business.
 
Chef AJ has been devoted to a plant-based diet for almost 40 years. She is the host of the television series Healthy Living with CHEF AJ which airs on Foody TV. With her comedy background, she has made appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny CarsonThe Tonight Show with Jay LenoThe Late Show with David Letterman and more. A chef, culinary instructor and professional speaker, she is author of the popular book Unprocessed: How to Achieve Vibrant Health and Your Ideal Weight, which chronicles her journey from a junk-food vegan faced with a diagnosis of pre-cancerous polyps, to learning how to create foods that nourish and heal the body.  Episode #005 on iTunes!
 

Kristi Ling‘s new book will give you insights on how to be happy anytime, anywhere by practicing! In Operation Happiness, happiness strategist and life coach Kristi Ling teaches you how to create immediate, positive shifts in your life by proving that happiness is a skill that can be cultivated, learned, and mastered-much like playing an instrument. Learn more about her life and book in Episode #006.

Merrilee Boyack is an author multiple times over with hits such as “Toss the Guilt and Catch the Joy: A Woman’s Guide to a Better Life”, Strangling Your Husband is NOT an Option: A Practical Guide to Dramatically Improving Your Marriage and “Standing Up in a Sit-Down World” along with multiple children’s books that I adore.  Not only is she a speaker and author, she just so happens to be my Trust Attorney.  Go figure!  Check her out on Episode #007 on iTunes or Google Play.
 
Danielle Omar, RD is an Integrative Dietitian, Nutrition Consultant and founder of FoodConfidence.com, where busy men and women find the path to confidently manage their health and how they eat. Her clients not only reach their weight and wellness goals, but also embrace a new way of looking at food and nutrition. Through her own lifestyle example and her inherent gift of teaching, Danielle guides her clients through a transformation from old eating patterns to a renewed way of life. After working with Danielle, clients are left with a deeper understanding of the obstacles that led to unhealthy nutrition habits, and how to remove those obstacles, rather than work around them temporarily.  Her amazing insights can be heard on Episode #008 on iTunes or Google Play.
 
Jenny Oaks Baker America’s Violinist, Jenny Oaks Baker is a Grammy Nominated, Billboard No. 1 performer and recording artist. She received her Master of Music degree from the renowned Juilliard School in New York City and her Bachelor’s Degree in violin performance from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. She has performed as a soloist at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Strathmore Hall, the Library of Congress and as a guest soloist with The National Symphony, Jerusalem Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, San Diego Symphony, Utah Symphony, and the internationally acclaimed Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Over the years Jenny has collaborated with such luminaries as Gladys Knight, Kurt Bestor, Marvin Hamlisch, and the former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
Jenny has released fifteen studio albums since 1998. They have sold over half a million copies and consistently chart on Billboard.  Jenny’s emotionally stirring music has also been featured on the soundtracks of many films, and her popular music videos can be viewed on her Youtube Channel.   Her interview can be heard on Episode #009 on iTunes or Google Play.
Elizabeth Johnston of Own Your Creativity has helped me in writing my memoirs and owning my creativity around my podcast as one of my accountability partners.  From manuscript feedback to helping businesses write their own stories to screenplay writing help, Elizabeth is a master in her field.  Listen to her Episode #010 and find out what your next step is in writing your memoir, screenplay or business story.  She rocks!

Being Assertive

Being Assertive
Take-aways from Dr. Julie Hanks latest book:
The Assertiveness Guide for Women

Dr. Julie Hanks has created a gold mine of information about being assertive. But let me warn you, this is a WORK BOOK!! If you aren’t ready to put in the work to learning more about yourself, don’t buy this book. However, if you are ready to take the steps necessary to learning this trade of being assertive I would highly recommend it.

Let’s just do a quick re-assess of what being assertive means, shall we? My initial impression was not the definition that Dr. Julie Hanks used. “Assertiveness is generally defined as a way of communicating that is clear, confident, and self-assured. It enables you to express your thoughts, feelings, needs, and wants without infringing on the rights of others. Assertiveness skills help you articulate your unique sense of self while maintaining your connection with others and allowing them to have an experience that is different from yours. At its core, assertiveness is about the courage to express difference.”

Now THAT is a great definition of being assertive and from the moment I read it, I wanted it. I generally consider myself a pretty assertive person, but there is one area where I get hung up and that is my emotional response during conflict. In her book, Dr. Hanks gives 5 Skills of Assertiveness; Self-Reflection, Self-Awareness, Self-Soothing, Self-Expression, and Self-Expansion. My biggest insight came from the self-soothing portion as it provided tools to pretty much calm myself down during any conflict.

“Assertiveness is an expression of difference.” In this book I found it re-assuring that we need each other and our relationships. “Splendid isolation is for planets, not people” (Johnson 2013). This book shows you how to make the most out of your relationships by nurturing certain ones and possibly severing others.

My blogpost today is not to give you the full enchilada, but to entice you to go out and buy this book if you find that it might help you in your life. It made a difference in mind and I will share just a few of my key take-aways here:

I feel _____________ when you _______________ because I think ______________.

This sentence alone can change your life.

Phrases to have up my sleeve or in my back pocket when I need to say no:

“I’m not able to commit to that right now.”

“I’m going to say no for now. I’ll let you know if something changes.”

“No, I can’t do that, but here’s what I can do…”

Phrases to help me ask for change:

“It would mean a lot to me if…”

“I would appreciate it if you would…”

I loved it when you did _______________.”

If you’re not yet sold on the book, start by listening to my interview with Dr. Julie Hanks on my positivity podcast for women, Lauri’s Lemonade Stand, by clicking here. Listen as she takes me through a real life scenario that happened to me with my family and shows me how I could have handled it differently…talk about putting yourself out there for the world to hear! She is funny, brilliant, and right on the money.

Don’t forget to leave your comments below…I read every one!

Do Small Things with Great Love



Do Small Things with Great Love



Small Things = Big Change



This wooden plaque sits on my desk and was given to me by my middle daughter, Dayle. It is a constant reminder that to do big things, it takes a hundred small steps to get there. Because Lauri’s Lemonade Stand is a new venture for me and I took a leave of absence to get it started, I was really worried about bringing in income in a timely manner. Really worried. It wasn’t until I was confronted with a business coach about it that I realized I needed to remember my “why” in starting this journey to begin with. My goal is to be of service to women, period.


My plan is to do that by using three main hubs: Speaking, Writing, and Podcasting.

My podcast is meant to be a hub of beautiful, talented, knowledgeable women whom I interview to bring about change in you or to just hear a romantic love story, or even a tragic one so that we realize we are not alone in our journey. Some of them are just plain fun like learning how to geocache from Irene Thomas. Most are inspirational and motivating to the hilt.

My speaking is geared towards women in which I tell a bit about my story and then give actionable tips to put into practice right now to get up, get moving, and be your own best friend in finding your “Happy Middle”.

My writing is simply creative joy and pleasure for me. I love to write about what I’m thinking or review someone else’s thinking for that matter.

All this said, I was worried about money. After my little confrontation and remembering my “why” (to serve you!), I decided that I would make 2017 my year of service. I would simply go out and serve. I would find the best of the best to interview on my podcast, do 10 FREE speeches this year, and continue to write my blog and work on my first book.

The moment (I mean the very moment down to the second) I made that decision, a burden was lifted and I felt free from the pressures of making money this first year and just be a volunteer of service doing what I do best – connecting with other women to help them into the next chapter of their lives.

And this is where it gets interesting…about 2 1/2 weeks after making that decision I’ve all of a sudden been approached by three different companies on joint venture programs. What?? You mean all I had to do was let go? By taking that first step of service towards others, and deciding to make this my year of service, all of a sudden windows and doors are opening that I had no idea would happen.

Small adjustments, small changes make the difference. Learning a new perspective, taking baby steps towards your goal. Letting go and doing small things with Great Love make all the difference.

The Airport Play Date

The Airport Play Date

Let me start by saying that if you are planning your #playdate at the airport, there is not a lot of help on the internet about what to do while you are there.  In the end I took a bit from everyone and made up most of it on my own.  I made it more of a treasure hunt to be documented with selfies to cement the deal.  Here’s my treasure hunt list:
1)  Find the ugliest/craziest hat in the gift shop, put it on and take a selfie.  I didn’t have time on my way in, but I found it and took a picture on my way back into town…yuck!

2)  Take a picture of the departures board and pick a place you want to travel to.  I didn’t end up with any exotic options, but I chose Portland, Oregon because the guy I was talking to, David, suggested it because the house from Goonies is there…I would totally go see that!

3)  Find the craziest souvenir in the gift shop.  I chose beer stein looking salt and pepper shakers from Pasadena.  Are there people who would really buy beer stein looking salt and pepper shakers that say Pasadena on them??  Maybe I missed the memo.
4)  Take 2 Selfies with a stranger.  I chose David from the departures board, and this lovely flight attendant which brings me to the 5th item that I couldn’t bring into fruition…read on.

5)  Try and acquire a set of wings from the captain.  Remember those?  They would give them out to kids when they traveled.  Well, guess what?  They don’t have them anymore and haven’t had them for years according to this lovely flight attendant.  I asked her to think of something and she did!  She came back with a plastic cup, a napkin, a cookie, and pretzels and said it was the best she could do.  She gets an “A” for effort!!
6)  Find an airport sign that is laughable.  I found one!  In the Burbank airport there is a long stretch of red carpet that runs the length of the path of gates.  If you are paying attention you notice that it isn’t just for decoration, there is a purpose and a sign.  It tells you that the red carpet is supposed to remain clear of people…no loitering basically because it is meant to be used in an emergency only.  Really?  For what emergency?  A shooting where we all run for our lives?  A gas leak that again, has us running for our lives?  I guarantee that no one is going to be looking at that sign or the color of the carpet when that happens.  The best part?  No one was reading it.  There was one person (who moved before I got a picture)  sitting against the wall, on the red carpet, directly under the sign.  No joke.
7)  Take a picture of 5 pieces of artwork at the airport.  Burbank has a hall of art with Amelia Earhart!  So cool!  And Phoenix has an entire exhibit of crazy art there.  Do all airports have art?  I think so…the ones in the Dallas airport…all of the sculptures are pretty incredible.
8) Take a photo with a member of the airline staff or a security guard.  You should get extra points for the security guard…they are super paranoid!
9)  This is a freebie.  I just wanted to be on the look-out for something strange or weird that wasn’t already on my list.  I found it!  Flying Cats!  I sat down and talked to this poor lady who had both of her cats in small carriers and the cats were meowing like mad.  She told me she had already given them Xanax and it was having zero effect.  I took a video, laughed a bit, felt sorry for those poor cats (and their human mama) and chalked this one up as done!
10)  Two plane photos.  You saw my first one at the top looking over Burbank as I took off.  The other one was the best I could do from within the airport, but it totally counted!
Moral of the story…if you have an airport date…here’s the short list to cut and paste and print out.  It really was a lot of fun and required me to use my social skills and to be brave in talking with complete strangers, videoing flying cats, taking pictures of myself in crazy hats and taking a picture of the beer stein Pasadena salt and pepper shakers without the employee looking at me like I might shoplift at any moment.  Be adventurous!  Tell me about your latest #playdate below.  
1.  Find the ugliest/craziest hat in the gift shop, put it on and take a selfie
2.  Take a picture of the departures board and pick a place you want to travel to.
3.  Take a picture of the craziest souvenir in the gift shop.  Or buy it and give it to someone as your next white elephant gift at Christmas this year.
4.  Take 2 Selfies with a stranger.
5.  Try and acquire a set of wings from the captain.  (Let me know which airline you get this from because American Airlines isn’t doing it anymore…so sad!)
6.  Take a picture of an airport sign that is laughable.
7.  Take a picture of 5 pieces of artwork at the airport.
8.  Take a photo with a member of the airline staff or a security guard.
9.  Freebie!  Find something weird/strange/out of the ordinary that isn’t on your list.
10.  2 Plane Photos – One from inside the plane/One from the outside.

Random Blog Day

     Random Blog Day 

     As I write this blog, I’ve realized how much I enjoy podcasting!  Every week I Skype my mentor buddies, Elizabeth and Laurence and we talk about our life struggles, where our podcasts are and where we want them to go and encourage each other to do and be more.  Each of us have different struggles on our journey which means that the solutions vary as much as the struggles themselves do.

     I completely enjoy writing, but something about listening and connecting to someone in person over a podcast is so much more moving.  I love the written word and can’t keep my nose out of a book, but I’ve decided to take my blog to random status.  It will no longer be a weekly blog (unlike my podcast that comes out every single Monday without fail!), but to a “so inspired have to write this to everyone” status of randomness.

     I am appreciating all of your responses and feedback to everything I’m trying to accomplish by bringing positivity into the lives of women!  Keep it coming!  You can catch me on iTunes every week by clicking here:  Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Positivity Podcast for Women or on Facebook by clicking here:  Lauri’s Lemonade Stand Facebook Positivity or simply visiting me on my website by clicking here:  https://laurislemonadestand.com/

Thank you for your love and dedication!  
Wishing you the best in positivity today and all the days ahead!

The Power of Negative Energy VS Positive Energy

Negativity Energy VS Positive Energy
Trip to Boise 3/3/16
It was the best of positive times and the worst of negative times…
After being in airports for over 14 hours yesterday I have come to the conclusion that they bring out the best in people and the worst in people. 

My husband and I own our own business and it was already going to be tight having me gone for a couple of days and my hubby started to not feel well.  The morning I’m flying out he woke up with 102 temp and flat on his back in bed.  Just touching my hand to him made me draw back sharply because of the intense heat.  He was my ride to the airport.  I drove my daughter to early morning seminary calling a shuttle on the way.  Luckily they could come and get me, but it was an hour earlier than I had anticipated so I rushed home, finished packing, made breakfast, walked and fed the dogs and smiled when my chauffeur came to the front door.  I was sweating as I very ladylike got into the van.   

On my way to the airport I am frantically texting to take care of things for the day.  Texting our employees (who handled it magnificently by the way) to hold down the shop that day and what would continue to the next, text a friend and neighbor to walk the dogs again after lunch, and call yet another friend to pick up my teenage daughter after school.  I then go through my bag only to realize that I have my very cool Freska mango knife with me.  The driver is grateful to acquire such a lovely trinket.  At least it didn’t get thrown in the trash when trying to go through security.

I get to the airport an hour and a half before my flight and after about 30 minutes of waiting my flight gets delayed and then delayed again.  I end up leaving almost three hours after the original time.  This is where you start to see the true characters of those around you.  While I am concerned and it’s a bummer, I decide to use this block of time to answer emails and polish my speech intro that I wasn’t totally happy with.  Trying to be productive in what for me is this rare opportunity of nothing else tugging at me for my time.  Unfortunate, yes, but not life-threatening.  The flight attendant assures me that my connector flight has also been delayed due to the weather in San Francisco.

One lady is deciding if she should get a rental car and drive to Vegas which is her ultimate destination.  I chat with her a minute about the price and time cost and she decides to wait it out.  One gentleman with his wife is making a joke at every turn and I dub him the “unfunny” comedian.  I listen to a young man on the phone with his mother in San Francisco and he is complaining loudly that he just wanted to watch a movie while on the flight but due to the crappy airport wifi that it will never happen as his computer tells him it will take 7 hours.  He is irritated and has nothing positive to say.

As I wait at the “electronic” plug-in bar so I can charge my laptop and phone I experience positive, caring, even trusting people.  Half a dozen people are trying to charge their devices.  Each of them make room for the others and exchange kind words.  One lady older than me asks if she can plug her phone in beside me.  I tell her I would be happy to watch it while it charges and she trusts me!  Her phone cover is leather and has a pocket on the outside holding cash and her driver’s license and she sits it by me and goes to read her novel two rows away.  I renew my faith in humanity as people care about people and she is so trusting of a perfect stranger.

And then there is the angry redheaded dude.  He was the one in line speaking to the attendant at the counter, visibly upset.  Everything about his demeanor suggested irritation, irritability and a terribly poor attitude.  His actions were jerky and full of negative energy.  I’m not sure what his rush is to San Francisco, but in his mind it must be urgent.  

And then we board plane and who is my aisle partner?  Yep…the red-headed angry dude.  He exuded the most powerful negative energy that I’ve had the opportunity to be so close to in a long time.  Every time the captain came on with an update he would jerk the headphones off his head to eagerly listen.  When the captain would then say there was another 15 minute delay or anything at all he would be slapping his hand on his leg or just into the air and uttering curse words under his breath.  I almost said something to him, but felt that it might make him even more angry.  It was an incredible reminder how negative energy can physically be felt when it is pouring out of someone in such abundance.

I get off the plane in San Francisco and literally run past everyone trying to go down the ramp off the plane and then up the ramp into the terminal only to find out that I had missed my connector flight and would then be in San Francisco for another 6 and a half hours.  Yes, I’m sweating again. 
After a couple of hours and finding vegan food to eat in the airport I glance up at the screen at my gate and it shows the next two flights out…neither of which was mine.  I calmly ask the gate attendant if my gate had changed and she said it had changed to gate 70 in another wing from gate 79 where I was currently standing.  I finish charging my phone and head across the airport.  I get there and it it doesn’t have my flight on that screen either!  That’s when I ate an entire bar of chocolate.  

All of the big screens showing all the flights still say my original gate so I gather up my things and head back.  That screen still doesn’t show my flight, but I feel like I’m in the right place.  Now I start thinking about Boise and how I’m going to get to my dad’s house in Caldwell.  My dad was originally going to pick me up, but that was earlier in the day and now I wouldn’t be arriving until 10:30 at night and after a nasty fall and hip surgery he just isn’t feeling up to it.  I call a shuttle, turns out it’s just a charter, but they are friendly and give me the local taxi service.  Called them, but WOW!  Huge price tag.  I considered getting a hotel for the night when my husband suggests uber.  I download the app, arrive in Boise, grab my bag and the driver arrives in 4 minutes.  I reach my dad at 11:30pm. 7 1/2 hours after I should have arrived.

Traveling by plane, shuttle, taxi, uber…ok, all traveling modes can bring out the worst negative you or the best positive you.  I hadn’t traveled by plane in over 2 years and this was a gentle reminder that people are always watching.

My conclusion?  There is simply no way to avoid bumps in the road.  They are a part of life.  Delays, setbacks, moments where you will be forced to wait when you really just want to take action, moments people send you on a wild goose chase that accomplishes nothing.  How you REACT to those bumps is a test of your true character.  What will people of observe of you when the next bump comes along?
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