Jun
30

One of my goals as a nutritionist is to move people away from diet mentality, to have them stop chasing diets, counting calories and thinking about food only as a means to lose weight. When it comes to weight loss it is important to trust the wisdom of the body and use the natural rhythms of the seasons to our advantage.

Spring was all about taking in the bitter, astringent and pungent foods to help detox, stimulate metabolic fire and flush excess water from the body. We begin the fat burning cycle in spring and we really turn it on in summer. As summer begins, so too does our metabolic burn. In terms of weight loss, nature is powerfully on our side in the summer. Everything melts and changes form with heat. So, too, do our bodies. Our metabolic energy increases with heat. Our ability to burn fat, eliminate toxins, increase muscle mass and burn calories is highest in warmer weather.

In the summer our appetite lessens and we naturally eat less food. Food creates heat in the body, so we need to eat more in the colder months. But as the temperature heats up outside, our desire to eat big and heavy meals naturally wanes. The key is to tune into this, be conscious of this so you can naturally regulate your appetite.

It is also wise to eat your largest meal at the hottest time of the day. Between 12-1:30 the sun is highest and our digestive fire is the strongest. We have the ability to burn more calories at mid-day than we do in the evening.

The warmth of the summer also reinvigorates us, inspires us to play, have fun and be outdoors. We naturally recharge and renew in the summer. When we let go, play, lighten up and relax we are in the optimum state to burn body fat. When we’re stressed, worked up, intense and stagnant, the body can’t burn efficiently, in fact, the body stores more body fat. So summer is really an excellent opportunity to reshape the body naturally.

Summer is an excellent opportunity to do some emotional shedding as well. What do you want to let go of? Where can you lighten up? These are some questions to explore because our inner shifts affect our outer shifts.

Mother nature also gives us the perfect cooling foods to prevent us from overheating so that we maintain balance. Enjoy all the amazing summer fruits (apricots, cherries, nectarines, peaches, plums, berries). Eat tons of salads and asparagus, celery, peas and cucumber. Lighter and leaner proteins like chicken and turkey breast and white fish are preferred and keep cool with aloe vera juice and coconut water. And of course ice cream must always be taken in during the summer months, so for a great treat try So Delicious coconut ice cream (available at health food stores and Superstore). They couldn’t have chosen a better name!

So this summer, let nature do its work. Relax and surrender to the weight loss process and trust your body’s wisdom to shed the unserving pounds naturally.

Jun
14

A few months ago a few of my new co-workers and I ventured off to Chinook Mall to see if the good old bricks-and-mortar stores had anything to teach us about how to do online merchandising. I’ll be honest, I had never thought about merchandising in an online context before. I’ve thought about marketing or promoting products on a website. I’ve worked with UX people who know how to create the right user experiences for customers. I’ve thought about branding on a site and conveying personality and creating emotionally engaging experiences. But I’d never considered merchandising on a site. But … it totally makes sense!

Here’s what we discovered:

  1. Human faces can be tricky: Sometimes they draw you in and sometimes you focus too much on them that you lose sight of the product that’s being sold. Let’s take Old Navy and The Gap as examples. Old Navy uses mannequins with goofy faces from TV campaigns to tie in their offline brand campaign. These faces distract me from the clothes (the product). The Gap, on the other hand, uses headless mannequins which put more emphasis on the product instead of the brand.
    Old Navy mannequins with goofy faces that tie into television campaigns

    Old Navy mannequins with goofy faces that tie into television campaigns

    Headless mannequins at The Gap

    Headless mannequins at The Gap

    Lessons for online merchandisers: be careful about the images you choose for your site. Ask yourself if the human faces draw site visitors in and then lead them to the primary call-to-action/message or whether they just draw your visitors in then leave them hanging in eye contact. Often times, we’ll spend time looking at faces and judging them. They look old, they look young, they don’t look like they’d use this product. You know what I mean.

  2. Place your products based on where the customer is entering the storefront: With stores that have both mall entrances and outdoor entrances, this lesson becomes really obvious. You’ll notice that stores like Chapters place totally different products at the mall entrance versus the outdoor entrance. The storefront entrance is geared for the person who is more task-oriented and shows depth of the product. What you’ll see at Chapters, for example, is that the outdoor entrance is filled with books and topics/categories that show depth. The mall entrance is more for browsers and gives shoppers a look at the breadth of products. At Chapters, they do an amazing job with three tables with different types of merchandise that are seasonally based: Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Vampires, books, iPods, chocolate, local books, magazines, etc.). The three tables have three different offers/sales to draw customers in and the mall entrance displays at least 10-15 different products whereas the outdoor entrance has just books.
    Chapters entrance from outdoors; books everywhere showing depth of product

    Chapters entrance from outdoors; books everywhere showing depth of product

    Mall entrance to Chapters showing breadth of product and attracting shopping mall browsers with all sorts of products

    Mall entrance to Chapters showing breadth of product and attracting shopping mall browsers with all sorts of products

    Mall entrance to Chapters displaying breadth of products; notice how much larger it is than the entrance from outdoors

    Mall entrance to Chapters displaying breadth of products; notice how much larger it is than the entrance from outdoors

    Lessons for online merchandisers: ensure you tailor landing pages (virtual storefronts) based on where the customer is coming from. For example, use a different landing page for “new” customers (someone who has only made between one and five visits) and offer them a brand description, a search bar and product categories to familiarize themselves with the breadth of your product offer and core value props. Or, if your customers are coming from a partner, display both of your logos to strengthen the trust that the customer has in your brand based on the trust that they have for the referring partner brand.

  3. Demonstrate use and inspire your customers with ways to use your product: Apparel stores are really good at this. The Gap, especially. The Gap shows mannequins wearing separates/combinations in lifestyle poses throughout the store and at the back of the store there are these beautifully lit-up boards that show people wearing the clothes in photos. These lit-up boards draw you into the back of the store. So if you are standing out front, you might walk right in to the back of the store. The Gap also conveys their classic/simple brand by keeping the palette relatively neutral with the only pop of colour being the big blue nameplate. This really emphasizes their product – the clothes. Old Navy, on the other hand, just has shelves and tables full of stuff that you put together yourself with mannequins only at the front of the store and in the middle aisle. They are less about lifestyle and more about the volume of choices and coordinates that you can put together yourself. It’s the DIY of fashion.
    The Gap's inspiration boards - lit up images of models wearing their clothes draw you into the store

    The Gap's inspiration boards - lit up images of models wearing their clothes draw you into the store

    The only pop of colour is the signature Gap blue

    The only pop of colour is the signature Gap blue

    Lessons for online merchandisers: consider showing how your product can be used or showing it in use. Showing customers with your product with testimonials is a great way of conveying use.  A few great sites include “Ideas” sections where you can test drive products or get ideas on what an outfit or car would look like. This is a great way of introducing new customers to your product and having them “engage” with the product online where they can’t smell, touch or feel it like they could if they were in a store or a showroom.

  4. Grab your cart, then shop: This is a fascinating lesson. Think about your local grocery store. What’s the first thing you do? Grab your cart, right? And after you grab your cart, you shop like hell, fill up your cart and then head to the till and only then do you find out how much your groceries cost. The great thing about this is that there are no barriers to browsing and adding items to your cart. You don’t have to have a Safeway membership before you grab a cart. You don’t need to open a Bay account before you browse around.

    Lessons for online merchandisers: so many online sites force you to have an account before you can put stuff in a cart. Consider making a cart available to all browsers and allowing visitors to put stuff into the cart. Show them the tally somewhere so they know how much they are spending and only at the point of purchase ask them to create an account. Make it part of the same process. What’s even better is that you now know what interests new customers and you can make recommendations on other products before they checkout or provide them with incentives to buy more (like Amazon’s Super Saver Shipping).
  5. Are you all about breadth? Or are you all about depth? Some places show you the breadth of the product offering and some show depth, depending on where you enter. Grocery stores show you breadth by using signage at higher heights; these help you know where you need to go. But at eye-level, now that’s where you will see sale tags and promotional offers. That’s because they are now trying to demonstrate depth to you. Choose this brand and save, or choose another.

    Lessons for online merchandisers: think about whether you offer lots of kinds of products or just one product with lots of variations. If it’s depth you are going for, help customers find that right product for themselves. If it’s breadth, then help customers find the category they are looking for first, then focus on the specific brand they need
    .
  6. Help customers find their way with clear paths: Old Navy and grocery stores does this really well. At Old Navy, it’s clear that the men should go to the left and the women to the right (and children’s clothing was with women’s because women often shop with and for children). At Co-op, they almost force you into the produce section as soon as you enter so that you don’t get lost in all of the tills.
    At Old Navy, the path is clear: ladies & children to the right, men to the left

    At Old Navy, the path is clear: ladies & children to the right, men to the left

    Lessons for online merchandisers: help customers decide where they want to go and provide “doors” to those areas that are more visual. Think about what they need as soon as they land on your page and provide doors that help them easily get to parts of the site where they can search or learn more about what is offered in that area.

  7. Place low-margin/high-volume products in high-traffic areas: With some products, you gotta sell lots to make a little. Smart retailers like The Bay place cosmetics at the centre of the store near the mall entrance where people will browse and may just end up purchasing a discretionary item or two. The reality is that you need to sell a lot of these products, so you gotta put them in high traffic areas like mall entrances.
    The mall entrance to The Bay is all about cosmetics, a low-margin item that requires high traffic

    The mall entrance to The Bay is all about cosmetics, a low-margin item that requires high traffic

    Lessons for online merchandisers: if you have some little add-ons that you need to sell a lot of, think about where you get the most traffic and visibility and put them there. Perhaps if they are low-priced items, you promote them right at checkout (just like donation boxes at grocery tills). Or if they aren’t necessarily low-priced, maybe you should have a dedicated place for them on your homepage or your highest traffic entry page.

  8. Take every opportunity to cross-sell your shoppers to similar products: At The Bay, they put cosmetics, perfume and handbags near each other. And handbags flow into shoes, because every woman knows that bags and shoes need to work together. At Chapters, you’ll find science-y type games near the sci-fi and kids sections. Have you noticed that discount books and magazines are always located near the Starbucks in a Chapters? Maybe they are suggesting you enjoy a cheap read while you are drinking coffee.
    Cross-selling recipe books along with cookbooks at Chapters

    Cross-selling recipe books along with cookbooks at Chapters

    Lessons for online merchandisers: think about offering “recommendations” or similar products on search results pages. Don’t clutter what the customer was looking for, but offer them up in a sidebar that says “similar” or “you might also like …” And if you can do this based on their past behaviour or the behaviour of their segment, even better!

  9. Place similar items near each other and use category labeling: Again, Chapters does a good job here. You’ll find the categories/sections are placed very strategically so you can just float from one section to another and it’s likely you could end up in a single section of the store for a few hours. You’ll wander from sci-fi to mystery to thriller without even noticing. Also, categories are often labeled in ways that would pique a customer’s desire to linger like “Hot & New” or “Editor’s picks.”
    Fantasy and Sci-Fi hang out together at the bookstore as "adjacent" categories

    Fantasy and Sci-Fi hang out together at the bookstore as "adjacent" categories

    Lessons for online merchandisers: Similar to the last lesson, think about putting adjacent categories or navigation items next to each other. Don’t categorize drop-down items or lists alphabetically, but do them thematically. People might expect to see things like Spring, Easter and Religious Holidays all together in a category list.

  10. Some don’ts: The two stores that are great examples of what not to do are Jacob and HMV. Jacob has stupidly large posters in the front windows that show head/shoulder shots of women laughing and sharing drinks; the product isn’t shown or highlighted, and if I didn’t know the store, I wouldn’t be sure if they were selling the pill or clothing. Even worse, the posters block your view of products and entrances so they don’t pull prospective customers in.
    Massive posters block your view into the Jacob store; no product, no interest

    Massive posters block your view into the Jacob store; no product, no interest

    Lessons for online merchandisers: be careful about the imagery you choose and make sure that it emphasizes your product or its use and that it doesn’t detract from it. And when naming product lines or writing about them on your site, try to stay away from jargon and internal terminology. Instead of putting the name of your premium line on your website, just say something like “premium products” and introduce them to the name of the premium product line on the landing page. Be descriptive for new customers.

I have to admit, I was surprised at how much offline merchandising could inform online merchandising. It’s a really interesting way to think about a site as a store. Do you have any lessons you’ve learned and applied? I’m all ears!

Jun
11

I’ve been spending a lot of time combing through resumes over the last few months. Like, hundreds. And I’ve had the fortune of sitting beside A-class recruiters while they are looking at resumes and hearing their feedback in real-time. Wow, it’s super enlightening to hear what they look for. I thought I’d share a few tips on what catches a hiring manager and recruiter’s eye and what makes us shake our heads.

  1. Don’t apply for jobs that you aren’t actually interested in or qualified for. It’s a waste of time for you and a waste of time for us. You will be spending at least eight hours a day at this place. Pick a place and a job you actually want to do. Even better, pick something you are good at and would love to do. Instead of spamming the world with a generic resume, hold off, wait for the job that calls you and go in with a sharp and single strike. Your chances of getting an interview will be so much higher and, even better, you won’t have to contend with a bunch of unnecessary rejection which will just bring you down when you actually need to be at your most confident and comfortable.
  2. Use the job ad description to focus your cover letter and resume. If there’s one thing I hate, it’s a generic resume. Show me you actually took time to understand the role, the company and what we might be looking for. Your resume is the first conversation you will have with your potential manager, so talk to them. If I asked for someone who lives and breathes online, someone who has experience with online campaigns and someone who has international experience, show it to me. And show it to me in the first paragraph of your cover letter or first bullet list on your resume. I can’t believe how many applications I get that highlight qualifications that have nothing to do with the job. For example, I was reading a recent application for a marketing manager job. The applicant talked about their ISO certifications and project management skills. WTF? That’s not what I asked for.
  3. Make your letter/resume scannable and do something different (if it fits with the company culture). I can’t tell you how many long and meandering paragraphs I just gloss right over. I don’t have time to read an epic novel about you. Use the same principles of web writing: bullets, bold and font size. Help the reader pick out the most important information. And feel free to take a chance. I recently saw a one-page resume with a creative timeline attached to the back that showed the development of the applicant’s career peppered with personal facts. It was memorable. It was creative. And it was visual and easy to consume. And he got an interview.
  4. If you’ve been asked to provide your salary expectation, provide it and don’t beat around the bush. We are asking so we can judge whether you are in range and to understand whether you have a true sense of your value. You don’t have to put a single number. Put a range. And say whether you are flexible based on benefits.
  5. Keep your LinkedIn profile up to date and feel free to use it as your resume. That’s one of the beauties of LinkedIn. I’m shocked at how many people apply for jobs at online companies and don’t have spiffy LinkedIn profiles. If you are applying for a few jobs at the same time and they aren’t necessarily in the same field, then keep your LinkedIn profile more generic and consider creating custom resumes for each role. But if you have a specialty or specific skills and are applying for the same role across a bunch of companies (like if you are a developer or designer or something), feel free just to create a kick-ass LinkedIn profile that’s descriptive enough of what you did at each job and just PDF it and attach it to your cover letter. I’m not sure how other hiring managers feel about this, but I see this as smart, efficient and savvy. If you don’t know how to create a great LinkedIn profile, this article by John Heaney on The Job Shopper is awesome.
  6. Speak the company’s language. Scan their website, see how formal or informal they are. Try to speak to them with the same level of formality their brand conveys. I work at a very casual and creative place. I can’t believe how many uber-formal resumes I’ve received. None of them make it to my shortlist because it tells me they haven’t understood that fit is just as important as skill.

Bottom line: make sure you know the job, you know the company brand and you know yourself. And then show it.

Below you’ll find an example of a cover letter I put together to demonstrate what the above looks like in practice. Don’t rip it off. It might not get you the job you want or need. Get to know yourself and create something that’s true to you.

Jun
01

Today is the first day of June. Friday is my birthday.

To mark my 34th year, I’ve decided to join my mother (Ruby Bedi) and my husband (Bruce) on a 30-day inner journey. The intent is to peel back the layers of inauthenticity, uncover and overcome deeply entrenched patterns, discover our individual purposes, and become totally present in our bodies. To be entirely honest, I’m not sure what to expect, but so far it’s started with a letter of intention and two nights of meditation.

If I’m brave enough I may share my letter of intention (written in the form of a “Dear God” letter) and other realizations and experiences along the way. But for now, I felt like it was worth saying to the world, “Hey guess what! I’m gonna commit to an inner experiment for the next 30 days.” I’m not good at commitment, so this is already the beginning of some kind of change.

Here we go … Wish me luck!

May
11

Carmen Jubinville, Professional Certified CoachSona: I’ve never met Carmen, but we recently started connecting online when we discovered each others’ blogs. In the short time I’ve known Carmen, I’ve learned she’s an incredibly genuine, smart, expressive and honest woman. And she’s gorgeous. But recently, I also learned she’s very funny. I read this blog Carmen posted on her site a while ago and killed myself laughing at just how honest and funny she really is. Trust me, I could relate to this post and I’m sure a lot of you can too. If you like what you read here, be sure to visit her coaching site or “Like” Carmen Jubinville on Facebook.

I was sure I had stooped to an all-time low the day I ate my daughter’s left over chicken nugget off the dirty floor of my mini van.  Here’s how things went down. I was having a day from hell, one of those days where I spent the entire morning yelling at my kids to get their clothes on, their shoes, their sweaters… “Hurry up, we’re gonna be late!” Next it was the car seat challenge, I don’t know about your kids, but mine insist on getting into their seats all by themselves. In theory, this is nice, it displays independence as well as exercises motor skills, but when mommy is in a rush because she hit the snooze button one too many times… Well you get my point. I’m not expecting any “mother of the year” awards, that’s for sure.

Anyway, my chaotic morning turned into my day and things unfolded accordingly. My forehead was wrinkled all day and I doubt I even broke a smile. Nonetheless, I completed my errands and it was time for the drive home. All I wanted was a little peace and quiet, so I set up the DVD player and stopped by the McDonald’s drive-thru. By this time, the kids were starving and so was I… It was combos all around. Now, I have nothing against fast food, I’m a firm believer that balance is the key to life. But what I do know is that after eating a combo all to myself, there is not a bit of room for more. For those of you who know my story however, it’s no big secret that when my life gets uncomfortable, I find myself standing in front of the fridge. In this case, eye-balling my kid’s Happy Meals. This is my “ignore your life in this moment” tactic. And then it happened…

I saw my daughter drop her chicken nugget on the carpeted floor of my mini van as we were driving home from the city. I had my eye on the nugget as if it were a piece gold and secretly thought to myself, “if she doesn’t whine about it in one minute or less, that nugget is mine!” On that particular day, sixty seconds seemed to last forever. My mouth was watering and I was certain the half-eaten chicken nugget was a sealed deal. Time was up and she hadn’t made a peep. And so, I risked our lives and reached for the nugget and popped it into my mouth. I ate it so fast I’m not sure I can claim chewing it, but  nonetheless, I consumed the nugget and life was good… for a moment or two.

Suddenly, as if slapped in the face, I realized what had just happened. I quickly found myself in a familiar state of mind. And like a big bully, I started judging myself and putting myself down. Just as quickly though, some Body Love brainwashing kicked in. I remembered that beating myself up had no benefit and if I continued doing it, I would just end up at home heading straight for the fridge. I knew myself all to well these days and that was a good thing. And so like a psycho-therapist, I asked myself, “Carmen, what is the nugget trying to tell you?” And can you believe it? Here’s what one half-eaten, dirty chicken nugget had to say.

Carmen, our lives collided today for you to learn these simple lessons:

  • The snooze button is not your friend.
  • Be pro-active in your life, prepare ahead of time and organize yourself so that you control your day instead of your day controlling you. Only you can do this for yourself.
  • Instead of feeling like a terrible mother for yelling at your kids and allowing it to ruin your day, try apologizing to them instead and then let it go.
  • Take time in your day to stop and laugh. Motherhood can sometimes feel like one step away from the insane asylum but take comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Millions of women can validate your feelings so pick up the phone and giggle about it.
  • Quit wrinkling your forehead, it doesn’t look good on you.
  • And last but not least… Never, ever feel bad about eating. You know it’s your hitching post and so instead of being mean to yourself, do what you did today… it’s amazing how us foods can be enlightening and life changing.

Maybe we’ll run into you again sometime. Who knows.

And there you have it… wisdom from a chicken nugget.

May
07

Hi everyone!

I just thought I’d take a few minutes to thank y’all for allowing me to share my thoughts, ideas and rants with you over the last year and a half. And thanks to my very smart (and beautiful) community bloggers for sharing your wisdom, perspectives and advice.

I also wanted to welcome all of my new subscribers. There’s been a few of you who have sneakily joined over the last month or so. It’s great to have you here! In case you are looking for some older posts that might be worth reading, here are the ones I’d recommend checking out:

Sona at the dump with dust mask and bandana

  • The Parenting Experience by Rachna Joshi – As one of the most read and shared articles on this blog, it is sure to make parents relish the moments they have with their children.
  • The Message Your Weight Holds by Amy Bondar – An insightful post about why we hold onto weight despite our best efforts to shed it.
  • A Date at the Dump – A post I wrote about a year ago now sharing a romantic date my husband planned for us to go to the dump together (sexy photos included).
  • How the World Economy will unfold by Anil Khosla – This post is unlike anything else on the blog. It’s about the economy and sadly, some of the predictions my dad made are coming true. Check it out.
  • Spanish Lessons – A piece I wrote about a recent trip to Argentina and learning to communicate and connect without language.
  • Commitment – One of my most popular blogs on the issue most of us have.
  • Mistakes – My very first post way back in February 2010 on something we all do–make mistakes. Ironically, I published this post just a day before one of my former colleagues called me up saying she had made a mistake and wanted to come back and work with the team she had left only a few months earlier. Timing is crazy, isn’t it?

If you are ever inspired to share your own thoughts and perspectives on this blog, drop a comment on the blog. Or, if there’s ever a topic you’d love to see addressed, let me know. I’m all ears!

May
04

I’ve been unsure about whether to write about the results of Canada’s 41st election. But today, when my co-worker and I had an exchange over email about the election, I just had to share it. So here’s how two Canadians consoled themselves after a Conservative majority win on Monday, May 2. I’ve removed my co-workers name because he explicitly said he should not be attributed to his own public statements. He’s funny.

Email #1

From: Co-worker
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2011 7:20 AM
To: Team
Subject: Home Sick

Hello,

My cold has gotten worse, so I’ll be taking today to try and recuperate.  I’ll be checking email throughout the day if you need to reach me.

Thanks,
Co-worker

Email #2

From: Sona Khosla
Sent: Tuesday, May 03, 2011 9:07 AM
To: Co-worker
Subject: RE: Home Sick

Was it the election results? I feel kinda sick too.

Email #3

From: Co-worker
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 7:35 AM
To: Sona Khosla
Subject: RE: Home Sick

Lol, that definitely didn’t help.  I wasn’t feeling great Monday (cold type symptoms) at work and then went to an election party when I just should have stayed home to rest (…and watch 39% of my country make a horrible decision jk).

I feel much better today (physically, not politically jk).

Email #4

From: Sona Khosla
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:14 AM
To: Co-worker
Subject: RE: Home Sick

Lol. I feel the same frickin’ way. I’ve been hunting for the silver lining. Should I start sending you silver lining messages?

Email #5

From: Co-worker
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:17 AM
To: Sona Khosla
Subject: RE: Home Sick

Lol, I have a few:

  • The Bloq has been destroyed
  • The Liberals will have to do a thorough self-evaluation and not just a leader swap
  • Harper will stop harming democratic institutions (question period, committees etc) because he has a majority and won’t have to

The more silver linings the better! Please send along!

Email #6

From: Sona Khosla
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:19 AM
To: Co-worker
Subject: RE: Home Sick

Oooooh those are good.

  • Shit might actually get done with a majority government
  • He’s got power so he won’t be trying to do stupid shit to prove he’s powerful
  • Strong left and strong right in the house could help to bring more divergent opinions in the house and more opinions will be represented
  • Elizabeth May got elected and is going to Ottawa for the very first time
  • My riding had the lowest conservative votes in Calgary

Email #7

From: Co-worker
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:24 AM
To: Sona Khosla
Subject: RE: Home Sick

Yeah, good points – see below:

Oooooh those are good.

  • Shit might actually get done with a majority government
    Yeah, they can now be held more accountable for their actions and cannot blame other parties (will make the next election more clear in terms of options)
  • He’s got power so he won’t be trying to do stupid shit to prove he’s powerful
  • Strong left and strong right in the house could help to bring more divergent opinions in the house and more opinions will be represented
    Yeah, let’s hope for a merger (the libs and the ndp agree on 70% of things anyways)
  • Elizabeth May got elected and is going to Ottawa for the very first time
    Definitely a plus, I think that they would serve as a valuable and critical ‘third voice’ in the event of a united right and united left (libs/ndp)
  • My riding had the lowest conservative votes in Calgary
    Awesome.

Email #8

From: Sona Khosla
Sent: Wednesday, May 04, 2011 9:27 AM
To: Co-worker
Subject: RE: Home Sick

Love it. One more thought wrt your first bullet response (which is SO TRUE!):

  • Harper’s real economic policies will be visible and he won’t be able to take credit for a good economy based on HIS decisions because his agenda will be clearer (so if he pushes deregulation and our economy tanks, it will be clear who did it).

One more “silver lining” bullet:

  • Better political jokes can be made by American and Canadian comedians with Harper as PM

Any others we missed?
If you have any other silver linings you want to share, please do so. God knows many of us need it!

May
02

Late night eating is arguably one of the greatest reasons people feel they sabotage their nutrition goals and struggle with weight. There are very specific reasons for late night eating. The key is to understand which one is your trigger and work towards resolving it. It is never about the food. It is what triggers the eating response that needs to be worked on so that you can come to a state of balance and create a healthy and relaxed relationship with your food.

Eat regularly
Eating 3 main meals a day with a small mid-morning and mid-afternoon snack is the greatest way to achieve balance in the body. It keeps energy levels stable and seems to be the best way to prevent overeating at night. Skipping meals, especially, breakfast sets this balance up for failure. What you don’t do at the start of your day, you will inevitably make up for that the end of your day.

Eat rhythmically
Eating at the same time every day is another important practice. It sets a rhythm and a flow for your body. The body naturally wants to wake between 6 and 8 AM. One of the most detrimental things I see in clients is those who wake up late morning and don’t start eating until lunch-time or mid-afternoon. These are usually the people who will be eating well into the night and storing more body fat. Metabolically the body’s ability to burn calories slows down in the early evening, so it is wise to consume most of your calories at the beginning of your day and at mid-day.

Resolve your emotions
Whatever you suppress during the day will be expressed at night. If you suppress your stress, anger, frustration and worry during the day, you may find yourself eating–even binging–at night. If you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night and going to the kitchen to eat when nobody is watching, there is likely a great deal of emotional suppression from your day. Balancing emotions and resolving stress is essential to your nutritional success. This is where I use The Demartini Method® to assist my clients. The Method is a series of scientifically proven questions that help you neutralize your stress and emotions, bringing you to greater states of  balance and gratitude.

Don’t restrict calories
Restricting calories (eating under 1500 calories) in the day, or constantly being on a low-calorie diet, will make you feel hungry at night. No matter how hard you try to avoid eating, your body’s wisdom will take over because it is literally starving. The same is true if you restrict the occasional dessert or treat. If you don’t indulge and enjoy the simple pleasures every once in a while, you’ll find yourself binging on it or eating a lot of other things to control the craving. Giving yourself permission to enjoy a treat will create a relaxation response, put you into greater control and leave you feeling satisfied. If you restrict treats or calories in general, you create a stress response, you lose control, you obsess and you will likely overeat the things that will leave you feeling unsatisfied.

Live your ideal day
If you are not fulfilled in your day, if you do not do what you love to do and if you hate your job, then you will be sure to use food for fulfillment at the end of your day. Food fills the void for whatever you are missing in your life. If you love what you do every day and wake up inspired, then your food is used to fuel you. But if food is your only source of fulfillment, you will find yourself constantly struggling with weight. It won’t matter how many different diets you try, you’ll always end up sabotaging until you get to the root of what is fueling the late night eating. This is one of the areas where I am most inspired to work with people. Many of my sessions with clients are all about defining mission, purpose and love in their lives. Once my clients fill their days with what they love and are inspired by, food no longer consumes and controls them. Instead, they are in control and simply consume food.

If you are somebody that struggles with late night eating and continuously sabotages your good nutritional intentions, I welcome and encourage you to come and work with me on your triggers and voids so that you can once and for all shift your relationship with your food, your self and your body.

Apr
30

We often talk about “the company.” Especially when we are looking for someone to blame.

The company doesn’t know what it’s doing.
The company doesn’t get it.
The company doesn’t care.
The company needs to make a decision.

Have you ever asked yourself who the company is? Here’s an obvious realization: It’s the leaders in the business. It’s your manager, your manager’s manager, the directors, the board, the shareholders, the executive, the management team, the senior managers, the people making decisions. It’s people. It’s people with power and influence.

Next time you are tempted to blame the company, ask yourself who you are really talking about.

Background on the “Obvious realization” series: This is a series of posts dedicated to my friend Angela who thinks it’s cute that every now and then I have an “obvious realization” that totally changes my life. Here’s the other posts in this series.

Apr
25

Sona: My sister’s wisdom has proven to be pretty popular on this blog, so I asked her to share some more of her gems on Feng Shui with all of you. Given it’s spring, a lot of us are thinking about getting healthier after our winter hibernation (yes, I think winter in Calgary is finally over!). So here’s a little ditty on using Feng Shui to create better health. Oh! And for the next little while, Rachna is offering an exclusive gift to sonakhosla.com blog readers: a complimentary Feng Shui Swarovski crystal with each booked appointment. There’s something to make your health area sparkle!

Rachna Joshi in Australia. Red Ribbon Feng Shui professional, interior decorator and homestaging in Calgary

Feng Shui, literally translated as “Wind and Water,” is the ancient Chinese study of how energy moves. It’s used by people all over the world to support their goals in life, whether it’s health, relationships, family, career or wealth.

Assessing your health and your space
Let’s start by considering the quality of your space. Hard to know sometimes, isn’t it? Try the following and see what happens. With health as your intention, start looking around your home as if you were a visitor. Ask yourself the following types of questions and remember to be honest!

  • What kind of lighting do I have? Is it too dark or too bright?
  • Is it easy to walk around or am I bumping into things?
  • How do I feel in this part of the home? Do I have low energy or am I restless?

Thinking beyond your environment, ask yourself other questions that may help you understand how your environment is impacting your health, such as:

  • Do I need caffeine or sugar to give me energy?
  • Do I have trouble sleeping?
  • Do I have trouble breathing or am I coughing a lot?

If any of your responses make you question if you really do have a home that supports your health, Feng Shui may be able to help you! It can foster an abundance of energy to flow easily in and around your home, which you can in turn use to replenish and sustain yourself.

Three ways to create health at home
Let’s use the proven principles of Feng Shui to support your health. Remember the key is balance, so use your wisdom to find your perfect combination.

  1. De-clutter your home to keep the energy flowing consistently throughout. Clear out any items from under your bed and anything broken or unloved from your family room. Too many things slow down energy which can create lethargy or tiredness.
  2. Use earth tones as these colours are associated with health. These include warm browns, lush greens and deep yellows. These colours are very effective in the middle of the home, which is the health area. Bring them in with paint, furniture, decorations or even wear them! Lethargic or depressed? Wearing bright colours can increase your personal energy. If you want to tone down hyperactivity or restlessness, wear warmer deeper hues or go for cooler colours like khakis and greys.
  3. Check your lighting, as it is a major contributor to the energy of a room. Very bright or fluorescent lighting can result in anxiety, stress or hyperactivity. If the wattage is too low or there are burnt-out lights, you may find depression and lethargy. Outdoor lights count too!

These are just a few quick ways you can use Feng Shui in your home to support your health. Of course, there are many more techniques depending on your goals and your home layout. Try just one of these suggestions and let us know how you feel!

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Welcome

Sona Khosla

Hello! My name is Sona Khosla and I hope this blog brings you new perspectives, insights and ideas for your life—whether they are written by me or someone from my community.

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