Execution (The Discipline of Getting Things Done) by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan and Charles Burck.

Yesterday, I asked Drew Peterson, C.E.O. of Veracity Networks LLC, what his business wishes were. He replied, emphatically:

“There are no business wishes. Only business goals and objectives. We make them happen through thoughtful and dedicated execution of the business plan.” 

He then brandished the company bible and secret weapon: the book Execution (The Discipline of Getting Things Done) by Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan and Charles Burck. 

In the few minutes I spent with Drew, I felt his strong sense of uncompromising accountability and leadership.

I see clearly why a sharp and alert CEO would want to use Execution as the company bible. It can provide unparalleled value on two levels at once:

1. The principles and processes Execution conveys, when woven into the company strategy, can power it to go from business plan to concrete results.

2. One can extract powerful and inspiring quotes from Execution to inspire the business passion of the executive team on a daily basis. Passion can supercharge productivity.

Drew Peterson certainly inspired me to want to read Execution and apply its principles and processes. Already, from the first chapter, I am moved by the power of the quotes below. More to come soon!

“No company can deliver on its commitments or adapt to change unless all leaders practice the discipline of execution at all levels. Execution has to be a part of a company’s strategy and its goals. It is the missing link between aspirations and results. As such, it is the major job of the business leader. If you don’t know how to execute, the whole of your effort as a leader will always be less than the sum of its parts.”

“To understand execution, you have to keep three key points in mind:

1. Execution is a discipline, and integral to strategy.

2. Execution is the major job of the business leader.

3. Execution must be a core element of an organization’s culture.”

“Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, questioning, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability. It includes making assumptions about the business environment, assessing the organization’s capabilities, linking strategy to operations and the people who are going to implement the strategy, synchronizing those people and their various disciplines, and linking rewards to outcomes. It also includes mechanisms for changing assumptions as the environment changes and upgrading the company’s capabilities to meet the challenges of an ambitious strategy.”

 

Brazilian flan (pudim de leite) recipe: so delicious, you will dream about it!

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Move over, French flan. Brazilian flan is delicious too! And much easier to make! My favorite aspect: the ease with which you can obtain a S-M-O-O-T-H texture!!! Oh, and did I mention that it only requires a fraction of the work of French flan??

Brazilian flan recipe (pudim de leite). Serves 4 (or 1, if you have my appetite). Can easily be doubled.

Flan Ingredients: 3 eggs, 1 can of sweetened condensed milk, plus whole milk to fill the empty condensed milk can, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional).

Caramel ingredients: 1/2 cup sugar.

To make the caramel: Melt the sugar in a saucepan, stirring occasionally. Take off heat when golden brown. Pour in buttered oven-proof dish. Let cool.

To make the flan: pour eggs, condensed milk, milk and vanilla in a blender. Blend until blended! Pour in the buttered dish, on top of caramel. Put dish in a roasting pan filled with water. Bake at 350° F for one hour! Remove from heat. Let cool at least 3 hours, or ideally, overnight.

LAZY OPTION: If you are lazy, you can actually make the flan without caramel. It’s still good! Caramel just adds an extra yumminess to the flan!

 

 

 

 

 

Flourless chocolate cake! Pure delight.

GÂTEAU AU CHOCOLAT

Serves 6 to 8 persons.

European

US conversion

Ingredient

250 g 8.8 oz Dark chocolate such as Nestle or Ghirardelli 60%, broken up
175 g Stick and half Butter, unsalted
5 5 Eggs
100 g + 2 Tbsp ½ cup + 2 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp + extra 2 Tbsp + extra Cocoa powder
2 tsp 2 tsp Vanilla extract
Optional Optional Chocolate shavings, for decoration
  1. Prepare your pans:  create a double boiler by inserting a smaller round pan (we’ll call it Smally) inside of a larger pan (call it Biggy). Smally will later sit inside in a hot water bath inside Biggy. First, lightly butter Smally, then line Smally’s bottom with a round of parchment paper. Next, butter the parchment paper and dust it lightly with sugar. Note: in the original recipe, Smally is a spring form pan, the exterior of which must be lined with foil, in a futile attempt to keep water from seeping into the batter. I don’t like futile efforts and prefer to use a silicon Smally, which is watertight and allows for perfect unmolding.
  2. Preheat oven to 340°.
  3. Melt the chocolate and the butter in a double boiler. (Make your own double boiler by putting a large bowl inside a pot 1/4 filled with hot water, simmering on stove.) Stir until smooth.
  4. Beat eggs with the ½ cup sugar until well blended.
  5. Mix cocoa powder and the 2 Tbsp sugar, and fold this mixture delicately with the eggs. Add the vanilla, melted chocolate and fold everything delicately together.
  6. Pour the resulting batter into Smally.
  7. Open oven door, slide out rack, and place Biggy on rack.
  8. Put Smally in Biggy. Pour boiling water into Biggy taking care not to splash water into the batter. The water level should be about one inch from the top of Smally.
  9. Gently slide the whole wobbly ensemble (rack with Biggy filled with hot water with Smally in the middle) into the oven. Close oven and bake at 340° for 45 to 50 minutes, until edges are firm but center is soft, yet knife comes out clean from center.
  10. Let cake cook completely.
  11. Unmold and sprinkle with powdered sugar or cocoa and chocolate shavings, if desired.

How to live in the moment: 8 rules.

A friend recently commented on my “ability to live in the moment almost continually” and asked for my perspective on how to achieve that, um, ability. I smile because being able to live in the moment can, while delightful, have certain side effects.

Example of ability to live in the moment: I love backpacking. I backpack. I enjoy it. It is the epitome of living in the moment. Every step of the boot in the dirt while feeling the weight of the backpack, every rustling of leaves, crackling of branches, nuance of fragrance in the air, ray of light, note from a birdsong, takes part in constructing a unique, living-in-the-moment experience!

Example of unintended side effect [warning: confession time]:  my backpacking gear is strewn about my bedroom. Living in the moment of putting it away does not interest me. Ha!

Nevermind that. Back to the fun part, living in the moment!

You asked. Here they are: “Rules for living in the moment”

1. Choose your moments well. Not all moments are propitious to living in the moment. But many are! Analyze and calculate, then let go!

2. Do what you love.

2. Love what you do.

3. Love what you do even if it is not what you wanted to do right then. Find something to love in it.

4. Appreciate unrestrainedly what can be appreciated. Appreciation is not to be feared. Remember, we have nothing to fear but fear itself. Yeah.

5. Let your inner child loose. See the magic around you!

6. Don’t listen to the party poopers. Flee the party poopers!

7. Identify and flee away from people who radiate negative energy. They will suck your ability to live in the moment from you. Negative people should just hang out with negative people. Perfect!

8. Get a good workout every day. Yeah, for real. At least 30 minutes of working those muscles, hard. If you are not sweating, huffing and puffing, you are not working hard enough. Give me 20. Now! What’s that got to do with living in the moment, you ask? Try it. For 30 minutes. You will see. :-)

There you have it, my friend. My recipe for living in the moment!

Namaste.

You only have one body. Eat healthy!

Young guy looking at all the veggies in my grocery store cart:
“Looks like we are eating healthy tonight!”
I: “Um, yeah. I only have one body. I don’t see any other option besides eating healthy. Do you?”
Guy, with a surprised look on his face: “Good point.”
A very compelling argument, I tell you.

“You only have one body. Eat healthy!” is my personal motto. It is also 100% aligned with the philosophy of www.proselemUSA.com, my company. Our corporate mission is to inspire people to live a healthy lifestyle so that they can truly do the things they love!

So I went home and made this little poster . Feel free to share it, pin it or just look at it for inspiration!

 

 

 

Mountain man, photographer, Christian Paul

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Christian Paul is a mountain man who happens to be a very talented professional photographer.

Nevermind where he was born. He was reborn in Alaska, during a solo trip in 2005. “We had no TV, barely cell service, and we had to socially interact with each other as there was not this TV to entertain us. This made us go out, live adventures, touch and see the real world. I have always loved the outdoors, but my Alaskan experience has enhanced my vision.  I feel I was reborn up there. Now I care less for TV, and more for experiencing the real world. All of this that we live in is fake, man-made, and not the real world. When I touch the wilderness, it is real. Mother Earth made that, not man. We are also made by our Mother Earth. So it makes sense why we feel so alive in the wilderness.” Christian Paul spends almost every weekend in the wilderness, often hiking and backpacking alone.

Marsell Star Trails, Marsell Canyon, Grand Daddy Basin, High Uintas Wilderness

Christian Paul’s photographs of the American West capture light and life with a soul-stirring vibrancy. There may be myriads of photographers in Utah, but Christian Paul is undeniably the truest mountain man of them all.

http://www.christianpaulphotography.com/

About Christian Paul: besides offering full photography and stock services, Christian is an avid outdoors nut and angler. His passions include hiking, trekking, backcountry camping, peak bagging, skateboarding, snowboarding. Selected work by Christian Paul is available as limited edition prints.

Real food. Yes, real food!

In poor countries, people squat. A lot. Even old people. They squat at home, they squat by the side of the road and watch the cars go by, they squat in front of buildings, they squat to play mancala… Squatting, a very natural sitting position for humans, has somehow fallen out of favor in “developed” countries. Take America. Squatting is just not considered a “normal” position in which to sit for a prolonged period.  Blogger Oscar Schneegans theorizes that the main reason why people squat in poor countries, and Americans don’t, is that they can’t afford furniture and we can. Read his excellent observations on squatting here.

There may also be a nutritional component.

In many poor countries, people often eat traditional, real food.  Old people in these poor countries are often comfortable squatting for a long time.

By contrast, in America, most people eat abundant processed foods containing hydrogenated oils and other industrial oils. Not only are our “older” people often incapable of squatting, they are routinely diagnosed with the “need” for knee replacement or hip replacement surgery.

Coincidence? I think not.

Hydrogenated oils and other industrial oils compromise the integrity of your cells and promote inflammation. They are insidiously present in the majority of packaged and restaurant foods. If you don’t pay attention to them, you are eating them. Period.

Hello America. Time to wake up. Ban hydrogenated oils from your diet. Avoid industrial oils such as canola oil, soybean oil, vegetable oil, corn oil etc.  Eat real fats and real food! Forgot how? Here are some ideas to get you back in the saddle!

1. Read http://realfoodmedia.com/ for inspiration. There are 23 excellent blogs to choose from! Surely you will find one to suit your taste!

2. Check out Kelly The Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesdays, for links to a variety of other blogs on real food! A great way to discover delicious real food recipes and inspiration like these irresistible coconut oil chocolates!

3. Read Principles of Healthy Diets by the Weston A. Price Foundation.

4. Resolve to try one new Real Food Recipe every week! How about this delicious gluten-free Easy Risotto with Shrimp, Prosciutto & Peas?

5. Need a little motivation to ditch your hydrogenated-oil laden crackers? Read my post on hydrogenated oils, and especially the links at the end.

6. Read Real Food Fermentation: Preserving Whole Fresh Food with Live Cultures in Your Home Kitchen by ALEX LEWIN, fabulous Feed Me Like You Mean It blogger.

7. Pay a visit to a farmers’ market this weekend, load up on organic veggies, grab some pastured meat and prepare a whole meal from them, without adding any industrial ingredients!

Our bodies were designed to eat real food. Shall we?

One husband’s response to the article on hydrogenated oils

So… a reader of my blog sent me this comment in response to the infamous article. Read on.

“This comment is for all those husbands out there who groan when their spouse tries to “ïmprove” their diet.

So there you are, happily chomping on a Big Mac and side of fries, blissfully content as you swab each fry into a crimson ocean of ketchup.  You are proud of yourself because you chose to pass on your usual supersized half-gallon of diet coke and are sipping on a 32 oz root beer instead.

Life is good…..then you wake up.

Like me, many of my fellow high fructose corn syrup brothers have had their lives turned inside out by a wife who has “gone organic”.  Our diets have been converted to the cult of lean fish, spinach leaves, endless raw salads and veggies.  The six pack of “you name it” in our refrigerator has been replaced with purified water with slices of cucumber or lemon.

Well, my Brothers of the fridge, isn’t it time to do something about this? Action is required! Our very manhood is at stake!

Do we secretly cheat on our wives by having an affair with hydrogenated oil? Or perhaps run off with a couple of sexy monodiglycerides for a weekend of fun and frolic?

What is a “real man” to do?

The answer is simple:

Get off the couch, walk over to your wife….and thank her.

Your “near vegan Dominatrix” loves you enough to actually care about your health.  She wants you to enjoy good health.  She cares.

Though the transition to healthy food may not be easy, the end result leads to a longer life full of enjoyment.  Veggies and fish can actually taste good.  Water is far better than diet coke.

Above all, health is better than sickness and disease.

So give that wife a hug.

Who knows?  Healthy is the new sexy.

You might get lucky in more ways than one.

Thanks Cat.”

There you have it.

The most important thing you can do for your health

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Hydrogenated oils and their derivatives (i.e. mono- and di-glycerides etc) compromise the integrity of ALL YOUR CELLS* and lead to diabetes, cancer, obesity, heart disease, premature aging, fertility problems, the diagnosed “need” for hip or knee replacement and many inflammatory and/or degenerative conditions.

Hydrogenated oils are a man-made ingredient present in many industrial foods. Hydrogenated oils are single-handedly responsible for more disease, in the USA, than any other ingredient. Hydrogenated oils are truly public enemy #1. The most important thing you can do for your health is to BAN them!

Nowadays, avoiding hydrogenated oils and mono- and di-glicerydes requires resolve and effort. Here are some strategies:

- read ingredient lists. If the words “hydrogenated” or “mono- and di-glicerydes” (or some variation) are listed in the ingredient list, BAN the item!

- spend more time in the kitchen! Cook from fresh, simple, unprocessed ingredients, including lots of fresh vegetables! If you use boxed, bottled, canned or other industrial ingredients, check the label and make sure they are free from the words mentioned above.

- when eating out, choose restaurants that serve local food prepared from scratch. If eating at a chain restaurant, stick to dishes most likely to have been prepared from scratch and that contain a lot of raw vegetables. Avoid industrially prepared dishes, sauces and desserts unless you can see the ingredient list (good luck with that).

- Typically, most hotel free “breakfasts” are loaded with hydrogenated oils. I personally snuck into the “kitchen” of one such breakfast area and looked at the labels (with the complicity of a hotel employee). As expected, most foods offered were industrial, pre-made and contained hydrogenated oils. Among the guilty offerings: scrambled eggs!!, all baked goods, waffle mix, hot cocoa, gravy, all bread, muffins, bagels, coffee creamer. In addition, the bacon had nitrite and the yogurt had high fructose corn syrup. Good news: the bananas are real!!

- Typically, the following foods contain hydrogenated oils: industrial baked goods (breads, donuts, waffles, rolls, pizza dough, bread sticks, cakes), industrial sauces, industrial ice cream, industrial peanut butter, most crackers and industrial cookies, some meal replacement powders, most hot cocoa powders, industrial coffee creamer, and so many more…

A little Q & A about hydrogenated oils:

Q: Why are hydrogenated oils used in foods?

A: Because hydrogenated oils are CHEAP and increase PROFITS. Your health is irrelevant, at best.

Q: Are foods containing hydrogenated oils delicious?

A: No. Hydrogenated oils makes products more profitable for manufacturers, not more delicious for you.

Q: Do I need to give up my favorite treats such as ice cream, cookies, cakes, crackers, breads etc?

A: No! You can still have your treats. Just be vigilant and either make them yourself (delicious!!) or buy commercial versions that are free from hydrogenated oils and/or mono- and di-glycerides.

For every industrial food containing hydrogenated oils on the market, there exist at least one better-tasting counterpart free from these poisons.

Examples of delicious products free from hydrogenated oils and/or mono- and di-glycerides:

Most Haagen Dazs ice cream!

Most Ben and Jerry’s ice cream!

Most Kashi products

Many natural peanut butters, including Adam’s Peanut Butter

Many delicious cookies and crackers from the health food store. Links welcome.

Most organic breads, including Dave’s Killer Bread. Delicious!

Many other wonderful products. Share your favorite links in the comments!

While you’re at it, ban high fructose corn syrup and nitrites from your diet. They will be the focus of a later article.

BOTTOM LINE: bad ingredients such as hydrogenated oils are added to foods NOT to make them delicious but to make them more profitable!! Do not fall for it. Boycott hydrogenated oils. It is a great first step to ensuring long-lasting health and freedom from the ailments that plague America today.

Eliminating these poisons from your diet is, unequivocally, the most important thing you can do for your health. Once you have done that, further empower your cells by taking cod liver oil or fish oil every day and a whole food bioavailable synergistic antioxidant such as Proselem.

*I have asked my resident Biology Artist to draw some diagrams illustrating the effect of hydrogenated oils on cell membranes and cell function. Scary stuff. I will publish them later.

The best dissertations on hydrogenated oils are:

David Lawrence Dewey’s acclaimed column, “Hydrogenated Oils, The Silent Killers” at http://www.dldewey.com/hydroil.htm  and

Eric Armstrong’s “Metabolic Poisons: What’s Wrong with Partially Hydrogenated Oils?” at http://www.treelight.com/health/nutrition/PartiallyHydrogenatedOils.html and his “What’s Wrong with Mono-and Di-Glycerides?” at http://www.treelight.com/health/nutrition/Mono-Di-Glyderides.html

Additional information on the dangers of hydrogenated oils:

http://www.truthpublishing.com/poisonfood_p/yprint-cat21284.htm

http://www.naturalnews.com/hydrogenated_oils.html

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/trans-fat/CL00032

DISCLAIMER: This article is intended for persons who live in the 21st century, in areas where hydrogenated oils have pervaded the food supply (i.e. the US and, well, pretty much the rest of the world except for a few lucky countries). Please note that hydrogenated oils are now banned in restaurants in New York City and California, where the legislation has recognized that hydrogenated oils are killers.  

Notes: partially hydrogenated oils are just as dangerous as fully hydrogenated oils. See David Lawrence Dewey’s article above. Read also, in the links above, how manufacturers use mono- and di-glycerides – which have the same health-damaging effects as hydrogenated oils – to skirt the labeling requirements on trans-fat. You, the consumer, pay the price with your health. React! Share this information with loved ones!

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