Where are Your Ducks?

Or Find Your Zen Mode

Get Your Ducks In a Row

Your Ducks in a Row, they taught. They admonished. They berated.
It’s like saying to someone that if you can’t be perfect, don’t come home.

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan — I heard it repeatedly throughout my life. It was my Dad’s favorite cliche and he used to encourage his sales team, then came home and told us the same thing. Echoing in my mind, in became a core part of my life.

Yours too, I bet. Because we are taught forever that we must have a plan and we must work that plan.

Well — this article is about Ducks.  Are they really ever going to stay in that perfectly aligned row?  Read my article, and know the truth about the darned ducks.

Where Are Your Ducks

Mastering the Art of Persuasion

Mastering the Art of Persuasion

What I learned when selling Real Estate and Life Insurance taught plenty that I still find useful today.

To survive, one must learn to sell.  Most think of sales people as one of two things. Clerks who purely take your payment at the store — or manipulator who sell you whatever meets their commission quota.  Right?  You know them both. The clerk at the high-end fashion store, the clerk at the drug counter, or the insurance sales agent who really doesn’t have your best interests.  Or the car sales guy who flirts, banters, lets you drive your dream car, but never hears you talk about your budget. They are clones in a system that forces them into  role.

For many though — sales is an artful practice of communications and consulting. Years ago, a book called SPIN SELLING came out and supposedly taught about consultative selling. They made it too hard.  For me at least.  What I learned when I learned to sell with integrity met a lifetime success ticker – and allowed me to see right through the lines and manipulations of other sales folk.  It was a huge win for me.

The ART of Closing the Dealhandshake

It’s not about manipulation — not for me. The highlight of my sales career was winning by selling with integrity. When the company who trained me so well did an about face, changed their basic organization and stopped providing the same quality service that went along with a little alpha numeric pager, I could no longer close sales. For me — it was always about helping people solve problems.

Lessons of a Lifetime

Yesterday, I conversed with my attorney whom I worked with in a Life Insurance sales office. The memory caused us both to talk about what we learned from it. For Michael, it gave him the idea of being willing to go to his clients. By getting out of his office and going to his clients, it made his private practice stand out and grow.  For me, it was an essential lesson in understanding myself, being willing to do what was uncomfortable, and once again staying in integrity.

Today, some 25 years later, our personal lessons still guide us forward in current careers.Lessons are always there to be learned. We get to choose what we carry forward or toss out.  The art of persuasion transfers easily to the art of persuasion in copywriting. If people want to sell, the same 5 steps of selling hold true no matter what you are selling.

5 Steps of Selling

The bottom line is this:
The 5 steps of a sale hold true whether it’s a little device like a pager or a big ticket item. Doesn’t matter if it is written as a sales letter or delivered as an in person presentation. Good copy is good selling craft — not manipulation, but connecting, consulting, and delivering solutions… that’s why I was drawn to copy writing — or call it direct marketing if you like.

Life is good when you let it in. And if you are looking for help with sales letters, calling scripts, guided presentations, or marketing strategy for your wellness business, I offer writing services for web content, sales letters, email auto responders, white papers, case studies, and more… I’ve been writing for business sales to consumers and business to business for 25 years.  I love crafting your message to meet your markets needs.

© 2015 Nancy Lamb, Integrated Health Coach and Wellness Copywriter

7 In Home Quickie Ways to Ensure a Daily Workout

Squats while waiting for coffee
Lunges while Eating a carrot salad
Side Lunges while petting the cat
Pushups before you go up the stairs
Dips before you go down the stairs
Downward Dog into Upward Dog and back several times
Plank Walk Cycles

Oh – you want pictures? That video will come shortly. Promise. But for now:

Squats. You know what they are. Spread the legs to a comfortable hip width. Squat down keeping the knees always above the ankle and never beyond the toes.
Vary this by varying the width of the feet or the outward rotation of your toes. Always keep the butt out a bit and the arms out in front.

Lunges can be fun or frightening. Work to get your knee balance by keeping hands near a tabletop or chair at first. Step forward and drop down so that your thigh becomes almost parallel to the floor, keeping your knee above your ankle bone and never beyond your toes. (that’s critical if you have weird bad painful ankles or achilles, so be ware) Push up wiht that forward foot and return to center.

Or — add some zest to this dance by tapping the floor next to your foot, and then bringing same foot back so that you drop into a squat with the leg behind you, toes resting on the floor. The moving leg becomes a slow pendulum movement forward and back while the standing leg does all the work.

Side Lunges are killer for the inner leg or adductor muscles. You get a stretch and a strengthening. Instead of stepping forward step off to the side. For grins and giggles, walk across the street or the house side stepping as you would if you were skating. Yeah, baby — this one is fun. Get your arms into the swing too.

Pushups on the stairs? Just do it. You know how. Add some variety by putting a knee to chest movement in — or a little hop.

Dippity Dip Dip Dip…..same thing as you would on a bench. Dips are great for triceps strength because you can adjust your weight by the amount of weight on your feet. I prefer to make it hard.
Keep your elbows in and your arms no more than 90 degrees. Push up. Slowly let down.

Downward Dog to Upward Dog — traditionally in yoga, you do a sun salutation. Warming up to a sun salutation is the traditional Adho to Urdva Mukasvanasana — or as I said: Downward to Upward Dog and back to down dog.
Please consult your yoga instructor for now.
I’ll post my own later.

Get into your plank position. Place the forearm of your left arm onto the mat, then lower the otehr forearm. Put the palm of the left hand on the mat and push up to plank and bring the right hand back to plank. Cycle through
Images of plank and elbow plank are here: Plank cycles. You end up doing a lot of push ups to make this work.

Why do this even when you only have a few minutes?  WHY NOT? If you don’t use it you lose it. Plain and simple. “If you want to keep fit, you have to keep working it.”  Nancy

The Truth About Carbs

I got a little fired up the other day. Why? I’m not just a health food fanatic. I don’t get my information from reading fad magazines and listening to pop nutrition quasi know it alls.

When it comes to carbohydrates, I know a lot. I know how food burns in the body. I go with the most common simplest concept of moderation. Extremist eating almost always leads to backlash into extremism the other direction. If you deny your body what it needs, your body will eventually crave it.

Matt was arguing about what a carb is. He told me that all carbs are bad. WRONG! If I went by that, I would not get enough vitamins and nutrients – especially B vitamins from minimal whole grains. I would not get the phytonutrients nor the micronutrients from fruits and vegetables.  WE need carbs – but it’s about what kind of carbohydrate you are eating.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA Read More→

Activist in the Making – maybe

The questions… all the questions that arise from a simple thought. Maybe it’s time to pick up the talking stick and fight.
I think a lot about how others deal with things I deal with.

I never planned to leave the normal workforce. I intended to create a service business that focused on providing the same great skills but eliminated the contract agencies.  That would protect me since the agencies sure didn’t. Never expected to be tottering on the cliffs of caregiving madness.

I spent some time looking for something today. A thing called a job. I still want to help others get healthy, stay healthy — but I need to recreate the vision.  There is on every application the questions: Are you a Veteran? Are you a disabled Veteran? Are you Disabled?

Um noo…. but there is no question about are you a caregiving spouse of a disabled person who is also a veteran… I suppose if they asked that question, it would become an issue as hot as women’s rights was back in the day. Women didn’t get jobs because the assumption was they would get married and have kids. The excuse was they would have to take too much time off the job. Today, the same issue is there as an undercurrent.

There really should be new laws in place that deals with issues of caregiving.

In our “its all about me and my money” society, are families prepared to deal with this? Is anyone?

Our business society doesn’t take kindly to the caring souls who choose to honor the family ties. The gap creates an opportunity. People don’t just disappear from the workforce. Often, someone has to do what is not financially prudent – but someone has to do it. Not everyone can shove off family needs to a paid resource. Someone has to do it.

Why is our society so closed off to considering what happens to the one who cares enough to help? Why do employers ignore the realities of human life and expect superhuman rock star efforts that destroy lives and families? Aren’t we as a people better than that?

We need to figure this out before the boomers reach an all time high retirement rate. Is it time to rethink the commune idea? Create communities of helping people who pitch in together? The Golden Girls were ahead of their time!

My War with Chronic Pain

It was about 1994.5570_feet_sand_1_0

The term wasn’t popularized and I didn’t care what it was called. I only knew I could barely walk, could barely get through a day. I forget. I don’t even connect with people who have fibro or other immune issues. My pain was different. There was a tangible, obvious, root cause.

BEWARE the Popular Diagnosis?

I’d been in chronic pain for 3 or 4  years following a car accident that affected my entire left side. The pain would start Read More→


I was researching flu shots this morning as I once again ponder the dilemma. I’m healthy. I rarely get more than a cold. I’m not around kids. I don’t find a pull to get a flu shot except for the not so subtle badgering of the medical profiteers and fear mongers.

Why? Because I’m already healthy. I provide my body with the nutrition, exercise, and fresh air that triggers a healthy response to most illnesses, so my body does what it is supposed to do. (I don’t think I’ll regret stating that)

But there’s more to it. First of all there is a list of ingredients that the flu shots include. Two are known allergens to my body. Eggs and Thimerosol. Whoa — and another fun one you all know: Formaldehyde. Do you want that in your body?

This year, I was about to succumb to the politics and get the shot until I again read that it has the dreaded Thimerosal in it. Not going near that stuff ever again. And when I read more, I know more.

According to Mark Hyman, MD (a guru in our health coaching circles for his wealth of information):

There is a large grey area amidst the controversy about both the safety and the effectiveness of the flu vaccine. To learn more about this, go to The CDC’s “Flu View” for weekly updated surveillances on the flu: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/.

What’s In It? According to Hyman, a host of things I just don’t want. But the key for me is the Thimerosal. Here’s what Dr. Hyman put on his website:Oh my God!

Egg proteins: Including avian contaminant viruses
Formaldehyde: Known carcinogen
Thimerosal: Mercury-based preservative (only in multi-dose vials)
Other heavy metals such as aluminum: Known neurotoxin
Sugar: The essence of all inflammatory disease
Triton X100: A detergent
Other additives known to cause allergic reactions
The biggest controversy about the ingredients in the shot surrounds the use of the preservative thimerosal. Thimerosal contains mercury. Exposure to mercury leads to systemic health problems running the gamut from neurological dysfunction (memory loss, confusion, inability to concentrate) to depression, renal failure, skin troubles and gastrointestinal disturbances.

How Safe is the Flu Vaccine?
While the CDC reports that safety is always being monitored to ensure risk from the vaccine is negligible, certain serious complications have been reported:

Allergic reactions (anaphylactic)
Guillain-Barre Syndrome (can be fatal)
Neurological disorders

Knowing the difficulties of CFS/ME and how they are already impairing my family, I have no patience for added complications.
But that brings up a couple concerns. IF someone is part of the Class that is always recommended to get the vaccine, do they or not:

Ideal Candidates for the Vaccine:

Immuno-compromised patients
Heart disease patients
Morbidly obese

Someone the other day told me that he had asthma as a child, so the ADA recommends he get a flu shot today at 45 years old.
My parents always got their flu shots. Mom always got a flu and Dad never got sick for more than a day. But both always got their flu shot. The worst cold I’d ehealthy-life-concept-handwriting-words-teen-topics-34254289ver had was actually a flu that resulted in a life long battle with an asthmatic response to certain scents. Smells. I don’t’ have normal asthma. And I never had it the before I got that flu shot in 1993. So what to do today? Live a Healthy Life. Eliminate the odds of illness by doing what you already know is best for you.


I’ll take my chances. The point of the matter is we all need desperately to get some truthful information that doesn’t scream of medical harassment to follow a protocol that may not be critical.
I call it harassment because I feel like I am bombarded by fear mongering about getting the flu when in reality I still get to choose. Just yesterday I read about a woman who is branded at work by being forced to wear a mask that declares she chose to exercise her right of choice. That’s intimidation!


Long Past Time for Respite

Word of advice:
Don’t let your daughters grow up to be caregivers cuz it will no longer make a damned difference how smart, pretty, cute, competent, capable, skilled, educated or creative they might be. Teach your girls to be passionate, professional, and powerful. Make sure they understand the difference between caring, caregiving and caretaking. Don’t let them lose themselves as they care for others. It’s not heroic. It’s not good. This is 8 years now.

I can’t tell you how many people have told me I need a break.
I can’t tell you how many people have told me I need to take care of myself.
I can’t tell you how many people have suggested I find some outside help or support.

I can tell you that no one has offered to pitch in so I can take a day or two or ten off.
I can tell you that my back has never hurt so bad.
I can tell you that I’m in worse shape than ever and I’d devoted my life to being healthy, fit and capable.
I can tell you that just when I think I can get a break to nurture me, I end up taking more time to care for the patient. Or lately, something else comes up.

I know this: It’s my job to take care of me first. I didn’t get a lot of pleasure from stopping to get a little tea after another stupid fight in a parking lot. But it did calm me down. It did put things in perspective. Why? I heard him say: I can’t talk to you, after he rushed across the parking lot instead of helping me put his wheelchair together. He’d accidentally nearly fallen and it was evidently my fault he didn’t see the wheelchair frame. I apologized, but he was gone. Emotionally gone. So I sat down. He came back to put the thing together. As soon as he gets settled in his chair, he takes off. He called out “I’ll see you in the store” and took off leaving me to close up the car.

I walked around the grocery store looking for him. I stopped for a tea, and walked around again. Decided the hell with it. I paid for my tea and went back to the car, opened it up and waited. He comes back and tells me to go sit down. I offered to help, but he said nothing. I once again endured a deathly silence as he drove us home. I gave him plenty of time and space to say whatever he wanted. Silence. Get home, he goes to his office and shuts the door. Second time this week.

I didn’t cause this, I can’t control it, and I can’t cure it. I can’t win for losing either. I can’t win at this job. There is no end to it, no break, no sanity. It’s all about him. I didn’t want this for my life. My life? My passions? My interests?
Right! Somehow, no matter what I think I want to do, it always rolls right back to caregiving.

And he doesn’t need me all the time. Just when he does. He can handle most “activities of daily living” but he can’t handle actually doing anything for himself until he gets mad at me for not loving hefting heavy stuff at weird angles.

Yeah, Don’t Let Your Daughters Grow UP to Be Caregivers. Nursing would be better. But if they do that, maybe they should just be Doctor’s. There is such a thing as Helping Professions that are fulfilling on many levels. If your girls are of a caring nurturing nature, Please Please Please push them to find a valued profession that pays really well so they can hire someone else to do the daily caregiving of someone they love. Then the love stays in the home, the mutual caring and respect is intact, and the marriage remains a marriage.

Keeping it Simple: The Right Tool for the Job

Hey all,

It’s that time. My affiliates are all telling me about their great deals right now. But here’s the thing: Making YOUR life better is what this page is about. Helping you to be your best — and that’s in the kitchen too. There is one tool I can’t live without. I’ll gladly let go of the coffee maker. I’ll give away my Le Crueset cast iron cookery. But you can not take away my high powered blender. EVER! If you don’t have one now, you really should check out the lineup to BlendTec. They have a great lineup, but the best news: They are offering a great new refurbished plan and you get the same original warranty.

You know people keep touting the beauty of drinking green smoothies instead of a meal, but did you know the true value of a high powered blender like Blendtec?
The truth is, you can do much more than drink your greens. These powerful machines make your cooking and prep time that much more creative and interesting.

Here at the Bistro, we are always saying the Right Tool for the Job — meaning cooking is easiest when you have the right tools. We also say buy the best you can afford.

But when a big deal comes along, and it comes from a reliable source — I feel it important to share. Why not? Right?
So here’s the great deal of the season.

I mean, if you are like my neighbor, someone who really wants a great power blender, but hasn’t wanted to pop for the full retail price – well, this is for you.

Want some soup? You can make a wonderful bisque or puree with whole fresh foods almost faster than you can go to the store and buy a few cans. And the best thing is you can still buy those cans or boxes, and add all kinds of lovely freshness to amp it up a notch

If you are like me, you end up just not wanting to cook. And what better than to create something fun, easy, and fast in you BlendTec Power Blender. Like the spicy roasted red pepper & Fire Roasted Tomato Soup I tossed together yesterday.  I felt much gratitude for my trusty BlendTec. Why? I was already tired. I just didn’t want to cook. And I was hungry. A glance at the blender, and ideas flowed. Tomatoes? check. Coconut milk? Check. Onions? Yep? Red Peppers? Got them. Seasonings? Standard stock of canned Fire Roasted tomatoes? Absolutely!

In 10 easy minutes, the soup was simmering away. For a chunky soup, put half in the blender. Whizz it about and then pour it back into the pot. BAM! Need some more spice or seasoning? From your well stocked pantry, find the favorite Smoked Paprika. BAM! Lunch was done with little fuss, and it’s way better than anything I’ve ever found in a store bought package.

It’s that easy. Add a Grilled Cheese Sandwich, and oh boy that’s good too.

You find yourself getting mighty creative when you have the right tools. And with these blenders, you can do anything from standard smoothies and milkshakes to soups to nut butters.

Tomato soup boring? Not anymore.
Homemade Cream Of Mushroom have too much milk? When you make it at home, with the aid of your blender, you can make it with whatever milk alternative you like.
Someone posted a recipe the other day for a Potato and Celery Root Mash — I had purple potatoes, not white. Made it anyway, and oh is it yummy. And the purple adds a nice anti-oxidant colorful base to a plate. (more on the rainbow of colorful foods value later)

Here’s to a fun holiday season with creative and fast cooking and prep time. You are going to love it! I promise. You can do so much with these high speed blenders. And they last! This is not your Mom’s old Oster, now made in plastic with a cheapo motor. These have long life warranties for a reason. They last for years. And BlendTec stands behind their product with ongoing help, recipes, and an interesting blog post where you occasionally see yours truly. 🙂

Take a look and pick the one that works best for you. And please – share this with your friends too.

Fall Food brings out the creative in us

Hey everybody,

It’s fall. In fact, this coming weekend we Fall Back into the darkness of a new time zone. Instead of succumbing to the dark days of winter, why not amp up your spirits with some creative cookery?

Here at the Lamb Bistro we start making soups. It’s an art and a science. The combinations of smells waft through the house like there’s a party going on, but it’s just that little pot simmering on the stove.

Today — It’s Pea Soup. Pea Soup is something I didn’t just HATE when I was young. I had a physical revulsion to it. Now, some 40 years later, I can hear my Mom saying I told you so. See it was a favorite of hers. She loved it. It was one of the few soups she made from scratch – as we grew up with Cambpell’s and Progresso. (no wonder I never liked soup)
But making it in your own kitchen — oh is it good!

Pea Soup -- So Good So Easy

A beautiful pot of soup

Want the recipe? Send me a note:
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