In the 1980’s, Kaiser Permanente commissioned a study to investigate the treatment of obesity. A researcher, Dr. Vincent Felitti was asked to consider all possible approaches. Obesity is associated with many serious chronic health problems. If Dr. Felitti could find a solution to this health problem, a great deal of suffering could be avoided. He decided to try a simple approach--fasting under medical supervision. Not surprisingly, many adults lost vast amounts of weight quickly. But something happened that didn't make sense to him. Many of these patients, having shed, in some cases,... Read More
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Family Talk Blog
I recently saw a delightful movie, “One Chance”, about a Brit, Paul Potts, who won a talent show in the early 2000’s. It’s a feel-good movie about a real person who loved to sing as a child. Growing up in Wales, he was constantly bullied and harassed by the other kids, but it didn’t deter him from singing. He struggled with misfortune and disappointment. But at the end of the day, he took a big risk and won the big prize. It’s a story about an “everyman” who doesn’t let go of his dream. Watch the movie and see the YouTube videos about him. It’s a heartwarming story.
What struck me... Read More
I’m just returning from a lovely European vacation—lots of sun, new experiences, awesome landscapes, wonderful food, and exposure to different cultures. It takes some time to decompress from work, day-to-day life, and the hurried pace of family life. But after a week or so, most of those cobwebs have cleared away. What’s left is a sense of peace and tranquility. It’s not hard to relax after a couple of weeks away from the daily treadmill. After all, the big decisions on a vacation—what to eat and where to go. No wonder I feel so good!
Fortunately, Diane and I get along very well on... Read More
School is out, and our beautiful Northwest summer is coming into focus!
For kids, school can be exciting, stimulating, but also stressful. This is especially true in grades that are big bump up’s in demand—3rd grade, 7th grade, 9th grade, 11th grade, and freshman year in college. It’s a relief when these school years come to an end, but there are always new challenges ahead.
Summer vacation is a welcome relief to these stresses and strains and an opportunity for kids to relax. Parents take a break from their school year job of being the “homework police”. Today, school is... Read More
With the recent suicides of two celebrities, Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, both of whom were at the peak of their fame, once again we find ourselves trying to understand one of the most mysterious causes of death—suicide. Just last month, the Center for Disease Control issued their report on the dramatic increase in suicide, particularly in middle aged white males and in females.
It’s difficult to make sense of two disparate statistics—the significant increased use of anti-depressants among teens and adults and a rising rate of suicide. According to the American Psychiatric... Read More
Recently, I came across a collection of stories about a friend of mine, who passed away in his early adulthood, including one that I wrote about our teenage years. It made me sad to think about his untimely death. He had an alcohol problem and died while drunk behind the wheel of a car. It made me reflect on my coming of age in the late 1960’s. And it made me think about young people who are coming of age today.
The 1960’s were both an exciting and a scary time. I remember watching, on our black and white TV, the new rock n roll sensation from England, perform on the Ed Sullivan... Read More
According to Sigmund Freud, may he rest in peace, the two most important elements in life are love and work. That covers a lot of territory!
Full-time work comprises 40 hours (or more) of our waking weekly hours. Indeed, a Gallup poll noted that full-time employees are working closer to 47 hours per week. In addition, many of us spend years in school preparing for our chosen vocation. We work for most of our adult lives, forty years or more. It’s an integral part of the adult landscape.
In recent years, work has been challenging. We experienced a major recession in 2008 that... Read More
Meet the Smiths, a typical American family. Just married, John and Mary have four children! Sally 14, and Joe, 12, are John’s. David, 10, and Bill, 4, are Mary’s.
The new American family is a blend of mine, yours, and ours—brought to you by a divorce rate of about 41% of first marriages and a remarriage rate of 52-64% of divorced couples.
The natural life history of divorce and remarriage brings about new facts of family life. From the rubble of marital dissolution rises the single-parent family, usually headed by Mom. Dad has the kids every other... Read More
Spring sports are in high gear. Parents are lining soccer and baseball fields watching their kids practice and play competitive sports. It’s fun for everyone, except when you’re watching your kids play soccer in the pouring rain! It’s great to see kids running up and down the field, instead of sitting in front of an electronic screen playing video games. Team sports can teach children a wide range of skills and abilities that are very useful in adult life.
But parents sometimes wonder which behaviors should they praise--effort, participation, performance, attitude, or team spirit... Read More