One of my favorite books is The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale.  OK, I’ve never actually read the book…but I’ve listened to the CDs so many times I can’t even count.  You would think with as many times as I’ve listened to the CDs that I would be the most positive person on the face of the earth…but I’m not. 🙁  It’s hard to be positive!  But by golly, I’m working on it so scratch that last negative sentence.  And I’m working hard.  It’s amazing how just adding a few small changes, I feel way better about things.

So here’s my question….just how powerful are our minds?  As I’ve listened to these CDs, I keep hearing how powerful our minds are.  To the point that we can make ourselves sick just by our thoughts.  According to Norman Vincent Peale,  “It has been computed that from 50 to 75 percent of present-day people are ill because of the influence of improper mental states on their emotional and physical make-up.”  He goes on to say, “Many people suffer poor health not because of what they eat but from what is eating them.  Emotional ills turn in upon yourself, sapping your energy, reducing your efficiency, causing deterioration in your health.  And of course they siphon off your happiness.”   But this book was originally published in 1952.  That’s a long time ago.  Maybe the power of our minds has changed. 

Not so according to a study in the Circulation: Journal fo the American Heart Association.   There you will find an article entitled, “Optimism appears to lower women’s risk of death, heart disease.”  DALLAS, Aug 10, 2009 – Optimistic women have a lower risk of developing heart disease or dying from any cause compared to pessimistic women, according to research reported in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Researchers also reported that women with a high degree of cynical hostility — harboring hostile thoughts toward others or having a general mistrust of people — were at higher risk of dying; however, their risk of developing heart disease was not altered.

“As a physician, I’d like to see people try to reduce their negativity in general,” said Hilary A. Tindle, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and assistant professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. “The majority of evidence suggests that sustained, high degrees of negativity are hazardous to health.”

It has been said that we are just about as happy as we make up our minds to be.  We can choose to be happy or we can choose to be unhappy.  The choice is yours!  The power of positive thinking can change our lives.  So let’s all jump on the happiness bandwagon!!  What do you do to stay positive and be happy?

A few months ago I read an article entitled “The ‘Pistachio Principle’ of Weight Loss”  In a nutshell…or should I say pistachico shell…the study found that people who were given pistachios in the shell ate fewer pistachios and hence, fewer calories because they had to take the time to shell the pistachios before eating and therefore ate less pistachios and consumed fewer calories.

I thought it was an interesting thought on many levels.  We’ve all heard how eating slower will help us lose weight because it takes our stomach 20 minutes to notify our brains that we are full and so by eating slower we’ll actually eat less thereby losing weight just by eating slower.  I believe in the concept of eating slower.  I think it would do me a world of good.  AND I believe I actually would eat less.  The problem….I really don’t have time to eat slower.  I’m one of those that is actually lucky to just eat.  I eat standing, reading the paper and it takes me about 5 minutes.  I’ve tried the whole chewing my food 20-30 times before I swallow.  I just can’t do it.

However, the Pistachio Principle article also says that their “experiments have shown that people can consume fewer calories without consciously restricting themselves, and yet finish a meal feeling as satisfied and full as does the average American who consumes more calories.”  Now that piqued my interest.  The more someone tells me no…”no you can’t eat that”, or “no, you can’t do that”….the more I want to do it or in the case of food, the more I crave it. 

So here are some things to help put the Pistachio Principle to test:

  • Eat fresh fruit instead of drinking the calories.  If you actually have to peel the orange and eat it slowly it will help. (The problem for me…I rarely, if ever, drink orange juice….and I hate peeling oranges.)
  • Eat unshelled peanuts as opposed to shelled peanuts.  (Aren’t almonds better for you than peanuts?)
  • Try cutting up fresh fruit and veggies into smaller pieces than normal and see how slowly you can eat them.  (They about had me on that one until they used the word slow.)

Well, it was still an intriguing article to me.  Cick here to read the full article.

What do you think about the “Pistachio Principle”?