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.