Friday, March 20, 2020

How to stay sane if your boss is a micromanager

The worst thing an organization can do is to reward pathological behaviour

By Dana Wilson
Freelance writer
Troy Media 
One of my bosses, Janet, was clever, hardworking and had an amazing eye for detail. She had high standards: if you e-mailed with a question at 10 p.m., she replied by 10.05. She worked hard, delivered on time, hated mistakes and expected the same from her team.

She was driving us mad. We had been working on the project for weeks and every Tuesday morning we would sit for hours as she ground through endless detail. For every insight from her years of experience, there were a dozen trivialities. On a presentation she would change the fonts on the bullets and complain if the angle of the staple was wrong – (top right, horizontal, equal distance from both margins). Janet knew best: at two hours you felt patronised and inadequate, after three your life force had drained away never to return. You’ve guessed it; she was a bona fide, micromanaging, control freak.

Don’t be surprised that control freaks, such as micromanagers, get promoted. At first sight a workaholic, detail obsessive can look like a high performer. Rewarding pathological behaviour is always a bad decision. They will sacrifice themselves and their health through excessive hours and stress as they rush from issue to issue, creating bottlenecks for their department. The worst thing an organisation can do is to appoint them to a leadership position where they will suck dry team morale and destroy productivity.

A compulsive need to control is usually a way of binding anxiety and of coping with a deep inner fear of falling apart. There is often a chaotic childhood and they will seek to achieve increasingly senior positions and higher levels of control to counter their feelings of inadequacy. Some will fanatically count carbs, be clean freaks or seem obsessed with details, rules and lists. Micromanaging as a leader never works beyond the very short term. Control of complex environments is an illusion and stifling others ends in conflict and the chaos they dread. Divorce, breakdown and a drinking problem often appear in the final act.

If you work for one try these approaches to hold on to your sanity and self-respect.

·                    You can’t control a controller. Battling with them will not work and you will not change deeply ingrained behaviours through confrontation. You are likely to increase their level of anxiety and need for control.
·                    Don’t be defined by their judgement of you. Their view that no one has their standards or can do a job as well as them is clearly delusional.
·                    Help manage their anxiety. Identify the triggers to their high levels of anxiety. It might be missing deadlines, not knowing what is going on or disappointing their boss. Adopt approaches which give them confidence that you will help support them, make them look good and have the detail they crave.
·                    Never be a victim. Being passive will only encourage the behaviour and reinforce their view that they know best. Be adult and assertive in your approach with a confident ‘don’t worry I will make it happen!’
·                    Coach them. Work at winning their trust through being the person who understands them and gets things done. Discuss with them about how they like to be managed. You can guarantee that they hate to be controlled and an understanding that you feel the same can help to take the relationship forward.
·                    Is it just you? Be sure that they are really a controller. If they are only doing it with you they are not a micromanager. They may perceive your performance as poor and you need to ask them to give you honest feedback.
Dana Wilson is a freelance writer based in Edmonton, Alberta.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Banana Oatmeal Walnut Cookies

Snacking is a big deal, especially in a household with active youngsters who are hungry and on-the-go. Instead of handing your kids a prepackaged snack made with artificial sweeteners and chemical additives, bake healthy, nutritious snacks they love. This recipe for Banana Oatmeal Walnut Cookies is surprisingly simple. Rich in potassium and pectin (a soluble fiber), simple mix mashed bananas, quick oats and chopped walnuts to form tablespoon-sized cookies and bake. That’s it! Three ingredients and you’ve got three-ingredient cookies—a nutritious snack your kids are sure to love.

More on Healthy Snacks from Mother Earth Living

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Tuesday, March 10, 2020


Cabbage juice is very healing for the digestive system. If you don’t like to juice green cabbage, try juicing the red/purple cabbage instead. They do what green cabbage can do and more. ‪#‎RedCabbage‬ ‪#‎PurpleCabbage‬
* 3-4 leaves of red/purple cabbage
* 2 oranges
Live. Love. Juice with Sara Ding! heart emoticon
Share the Joy of Juicing!

Monday, March 9, 2020

The diet shell game

The diet shell game
Stick to the evidence when reporting on - and endorsing - food studies. We need real solutions to obesity and Type 2 diabetes, not book sales

By Dylan MacKay
Expert Adviser
Dylan MacKay
Click image to download
wo of the best-known American food journalists have been
telling readers lately that the DASH and Mediterranean diets aren't best for our health.
But the evidence tells a different story.
The journalists are Gary Taubes, the author of The Case Against Sugar, and Nina Teicholz, the author of the bestselling The Big Fat Surprise. In their recent Los Angeles Times op-ed, they accuse the U.S. News & World Report of presenting the failed nutritional status quo in their January cover story on "best diets," where the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and the Mediterranean diets are tied as best diets overall.
The DASH and Mediterranean diets promote the consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, and recommend lower intakes of red meat and saturated fat. In the realm of human nutritional sciences, these are two of the most well-respected diets. That's why they ended up on the top of U.S. News & World Report list, based on clear criteria.
Yet, ironically, one of the first claims from Teicholz and Taubes is that both diets don't have enough evidence showing they reduce overall mortality, and they dismiss supporting studies of these diets as flawed. They also assert that dietary guidelines around the world, which largely have promoted dietary patterns similar to DASH or Mediterranean diets, are responsible for our epidemic of obesity and its comorbidity, Type 2 diabetes.
Instead, Teicholz and Taubes propose a diet lower in carbohydrates (including sugar) and higher in fat, like Atkins, paleo, ketogenic or South Beach diets - all of which were ranked low on the U.S. News list. They explain how these low-carb, high-fat (LCHF) diets are well researched and the answer to the worldwide obesity crisis.
It seems a nice tidy story - except it isn't. They're saying the emperor has no clothes when they're also naked.
Good evidence for reduced total mortality on LCHF diets doesn't exist (it doesn't exist for DASH or Mediterranean diets either). But DASH and Mediterranean diets do at least have larger randomized controlled trials, something LCHF diets do not.
In terms of weight loss, sticking to a diet that leads to a negative energy balance (eat less than what you burn) is what works, regardless of the diet style. Markers of health, including blood sugar and blood lipids, tend to improve during weight loss irrespective of diet - and as long as the weight loss and diet lasts.
In fact, the whole concept of ranking weight loss diets is a distraction. Any lifestyle pattern that excludes smoking, includes physical activity and leads to weight loss in someone who has obesity (or prevents weight gain in non-obese people) will significantly decrease chronic disease risk, even for those with a genetic predisposition.
Teicholz and Taubes also proclaim LCHF as the way to reverse Type 2 diabetes, citing an ongoing study as their evidence. While LCHF diets may reverse Type 2 diabetes, it's possibly a product of weight loss. This is supported by the Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial (DiRECT), which recently demonstrated remission of Type 2 diabetes without the need of LCHF diets.
Our dietary patterns, in the macronutrient sense (carbohydrates, protein and fat intake), are more likely the passengers than the drivers of the obesity crisis.
Teicholz and Taubes list the cause of our obesity problem but misidentify it. They say people have been following dietary guidelines (in fact, they have not). Yes, Americans have been "notably increasing their consumption of grains, vegetables and fruits and eating less whole milk, butter, meat and eggs," as Teicholz and Taubes claim. But what they didn't note is that Americans have been increasing their overall energy consumption.
People consume more energy than they did in the 1970s. Factors like urbanization, decreased physical activity at work and at home, and lower food costs (especially for calorie-dense, nutrient poor foods) have all worked to increase the availability of food energy and decrease its expenditure. These are the real drivers of the obesity crisis, not simply carbohydrate (or indeed, sugar) intake.
In this post-fact world, narrative and belief seem to be the only true currencies. In human nutritional sciences, there seems to be a narrative for every diet and for each diet, an army of believers.
Teicholz and Taubes want you to believe that the LCHF diets weren't ranked highly because the U.S. News expert panel may have been "entrenched in their opinions, supported by the industries that benefit from these diets, motivated by non-nutrition agendas such as animal-rights activism." This a strong assertion to level at a panel of 25 diverse and well-established scientists. The accusations of personal bias also seem hypocritical when the authors make some of their living promoting low-carbohydrate diets.
In the midst of a worldwide obesity and diabetes crisis, we don't need more input from industries or from people selling books. We need more large-scale, public health interventions that address root causes of the obesity epidemic. It's time to let evidence dominate the diet discussion.
Dylan MacKay, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences and a clinical trialist at the George and Fay Yee Centre for Healthcare Innovation at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, and an expert adviser with

Friday, March 6, 2020

Tina Turner sings a Sanskrit mantra for calmness, harmony, and peace for all beings.

Tina Turner sings a Sanskrit mantra for calmness, harmony, and peace for all beings.:

If world events have you feeling anxious, take a few moments to regroup with Tina Turner's beautiful rendition of Sarvesham, a Sanskrit mantra sung for calmness, harmony, and peace for all beings.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Four Cheese Mashed Potato Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms make a fast and filling vegetarian main course hot off the grill or turn this recipe into an appetizer by using cremini mushrooms.

Serves: 4
Tip: Use cremini mushrooms and serve as appetizers.
  • 1 4-oz package Idahoan® Four Cheese Flavored Mashed Potatoes
  • 2-4 large portobello mushrooms
  • Oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ cup cheddar, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp bell pepper, diced and lightly sautéed
  • 2 Tbsp scallions, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F or grill to 400°F.
  2. Clean the mushrooms and rub with oil.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place on a foil lined baking tray.
  4. Bake for 5 minutes until tender. Or if grilling, turn mushrooms once or twice while cooking on the grill until tender.
  5. While mushrooms are cooking, prepare Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes according to package instructions.
  6. Fold in the cheddar cheese and the peppers.
  7. When mushrooms are cooked, sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper and stuff with the mashed potatoes.
  8. Top with the scallions and serve hot.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

The Harpy Eagle, A Bird So Big, Some People Think It’s A Person In A Costume

The Harpy Eagle, A Bird So Big, Some People Think It’s A Person In A Costume: Nature is rich and unsurpassed, versatile, impressive, and wondrous. Its rare creations can surprise and impress even the most devoted nature lovers and the most experienced naturalists. This is the case with the Harpy Eagle, a creature of admirable size. The majestic bird has a crown of raised grey feathers, stunning eyes, expressive face, and […]

Thursday, January 30, 2020

The Coronavirus - 1918 all over again?

We are no better prepared than we were for the great influenza pandemic of 1918
By Jane Orient
Doctors for Disaster Preparedness
Clusters of a dozen or so deaths may get nonstop “if-it-bleeds-it-leads” press coverage. But the lack of preparedness for the really, really big threats may be met with virtual radio silence – until panic breaks out.

The worst, possibly existential, threat is the stealthy, invisible one that multiplies exponentially – in the accurate sense of the term: 400 cases today, 800 tomorrow, then 1,600, 3,200, 6,400, 128,000, 256,000, 512,000, and 1.024 million after only eight doubling times. Biological threats proliferate – until they run out of susceptible victims.

In 1918, the great influenza pandemic killed as many people in 11 months as the medieval Black Death did in four years. Ultimately, at least 50 million may have perished. Young healthy people, especially young American soldiers headed off to the front in the First World War, succumbed quickly. To avoid interfering with the war effort, the U.S. government denied and covered up the threat, preventing the implementation of public health measures.

Since then, the world has gotten smaller. A virus that jumps the species barrier from animals to humans in a meat market in China can cross the Pacific in hours. And despite the expenditure of US$80 billion on a National Biologic Defense, the U.S. is arguably no better prepared than it was in 1918, state Steven Hatfill, M.D., and coauthors in their new book Three Seconds until Midnight.

As in 1918, we lack a vaccine or wonder drugs, but must rely on non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPI), and on public health authorities to track and try to contain the spread of infection.

Accurate information is critical. Can we trust governmental authorities to tell the truth? Travel restrictions, quarantine, closing businesses, and cancelling public events have a huge economic and potential political cost.

There can also be incentives to exaggerate the threat, in order to sell poorly tested vaccines or drugs. The 1976 swine flu epidemic was almost a non-event; more people were probably injured or even died from adverse effects of the heavily promoted vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has so far declined to declare the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency, although cases have been reported in more than a dozen or so countries. China reported only hundreds of “confirmed” cases – while countless additional cases were not tested because of lack of diagnostic test kits.

The New England Journal of Medicine writes, “Another Decade, Another Coronavirus.” This 2019-nCoV virus is the third zoonotic (animal) coronavirus to infect humans in two decades. The SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) and MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) were contained. Other coronaviruses cause mild cold-like syndromes.

This virus has occasioned the quarantine of entire cities, for the first time since medieval times. This could not be done other than in authoritarian China, states virologist Steven Hatfill, but even that is unlikely to be effective – especially if five million people had left before the order was implemented.

The People’s Liberation Army has sent 450 medical personnel to Wuhan to help out at local hospitals, which are crammed with patients lying in packed corridors. Construction workers are reportedly trying to build a 1,000-bed hospital in Wuhan in five days. The U.S. and other nations are evacuating their citizens from Wuhan.

A report of 41 hospitalized patients in Wuhan, published in The Lancet, showed that patients were relatively young (median age 49) and fewer than half had an underlying illness. Only 66 per cent had been exposed to the Huanan seafood market, the apparent source of the infection. One patient (two per cent) had no fever; all had pneumonia; 29 per cent had severe respiratory distress syndrome; and 12 per cent had acute cardiac injury. Most cases may be very mild, facilitating more rapid spread.

The coronavirus is transmitted by droplets coming into contact with mucous membranes, including the eye. It can persist on surfaces for days. People without fever or symptoms can transmit the illness during the incubation period, which might be as long as two weeks. At present, definitive diagnostic testing is available only from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

In a severe outbreak, people whose job is not critical may need to stay home. Those who do not have a supply of food, essential medications, or other needed supplies would likely end up in a frantic crowd. Personal protective gear, for people who need to be in contact with the public or care for a sick family member, is already out of stock in medical supply houses. This includes gloves, wrap-around eye protection, and N-95 protective masks: regular surgical masks are probably of little help.

Panic is never helpful; staying calm is always good advice. But failure to heed previous warnings of the need for robust disaster planning, and complacency about medical technology and governmental resources, has set the stage for potential unprecedented disaster.

Individuals need to recognize that they themselves, and not 911 or the emergency room or government emergency authorities, may hold the key to their family’s and their community’s survival. Local authorities need to know that they may be on their own.

For now, stock up on supplies; cover those coughs and sneezes; wash hands frequently for at least 20 seconds; avoid crowds; and stay aware, as the situation could change rapidly.

Dr. Jane Orient has been in solo private practice since 1981 and has served as Executive Director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) since 1989. She is currently president of Doctors for Disaster Preparedness. She is the author of YOUR Doctor Is Not In: Healthy Skepticism about National Healthcare.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Eat less sugar

This infographic breaks down how many sugar cubes might be in the foods you eat.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Why Does Hair Turn Gray?

By Sarah B. Weir

Shine from Yahoo! Canada  
There is one thing most presidents have in common at the end of their first terms: more gray hairs. The graying of the Commander-in-Chief is symbolic of the stress associated with being top dog in the world's most powerful nation. However, research shows that psychological stress does not, in fact, impact the color of one's locks.

Read more:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Buttermilk Banana Bread
1 HR
1 HR 10 MINS
The perfect banana bread contains one special ingredient… buttermilk!
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/4 cup mashed bananas, 3-4 bananas
  • 1/2 cup (113g or 1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup (300g) granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  1. Prepare 9x5 loaf pan. (I used two smaller loaf pans.)
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. (Do not skip this step!)
  3. Mash bananas and set aside.
  4. In a stand mixer on medium-high, cream butter and sugar together for about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time with mixer on low speed. Add in buttermilk and vanilla until the batter is just combined.
  5. Slowly pour in the flour mixture. Mix until JUST combined.
  6. Remove bowl from mixer and fold in mashed banana's.
  7. Divide batter into greased and floured bread pans and bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.