I want you to pause for a moment and think of that thing you needed or wanted to do in 2018 but you still haven’t gotten around to yet, and you keep putting off.

The idea or project is just sitting there, and the “unfinishedness” of it is weighing on you. But when it actually comes down to doing it, you seem to have lost all motivation.

So how do you recover motivation to do something you think you should do?

You can start by giving up this one word in 2019—and replacing it with something much more powerful.

Say goodbye to the s-word: Should. That one word can zap your motivation to do something faster than anything.

I’ve found that whenever I used the word “should,” I would procrastinate and avoid the activity or project I thought I “should’ do. That’s because the word “should” in the dictionary indicates a meaning of obligation or duty.

Notice how often you might say something similar to these: I should go work out. I should eat healthy. I should lose 10 pounds. I should get out of debt. I should clean that closet. I should learn how to …

Whatever it is for you, it might even be a necessary or good idea (organize a closet, clean out the car, take a class, plant a garden). But if you’re trying to force it, you either just won’t make the time or have the energy, or you’ll probably keep putting it off because you don’t enjoy it. Or it might be a good thing to do, but maybe not for you to do. Or maybe not at this time.

Now, for every “should” statement you say, ask yourself, Is this what I want? Or do you think you should do it because someone told you to or you feel under some obligation to do it? Sometimes our choices are influenced more about what others want than we want. Although they might all be great choices, until we personally own them for ourselves we will not be motivated to follow through.

So, the first step to healthy motivation in the new year is to examine your “shoulds” and get clear on what it is you want.

You can also clarify what it is you want so it matches the outcome you want to create (i.e., “I want to clean the closet so I can always find what I need.”)

Once we claim a choice for ourselves, we then can declare them with “I am” statements: I am working out. I am eating healthy. I am losing 10 pounds. I am debt-free. I am cleaning that closet. I am learning how to ….

An even higher vibration of belief is to act as if you have already accomplished it and imagine your success with these statements of gratitude: I am grateful I choose to workout. I am grateful I eat healthy. I am grateful I lost 10 pounds. I am grateful I’m debt-free . I am grateful I cleaned the closet. I am grateful I’ve learned  how to ….

This simple but powerful shift can make a world of difference. Remember, when you declare your intentions, you uplift your energy so it can support you with the motivation to do it when it is right and timely for you.


Carol Tuttle, who wrote this article, is a teacher, speaker and author in the field of personal development. More about her and her books is available at https://ct.liveyourtruth.com/.

With 42 percent of seniors over 65 owning a smartphone, one of the top concerns when choosing a nursing home is the ability to stay in touch with loved ones. Families and friends want to easily and seamlessly check in on nursing home residents so they can stay connected and ensure their well-being and happiness.

Strong cell service is crucial in any building, from pharmacies, schools and hotels, to businesses and hospitals. Assisted-living and long-term care facilities are no exception. A number of factors, including building materials and the age and location of buildings, can contribute to weak or non-existent cell signal.

The ability for residents to stay in touch with family members and loved ones is critical to ensure a good quality of life. Thanks to technology, it’s easier than ever for families to check in on their relatives 24/7 in real-time using smartphones and apps like FaceTime or Skype, even when they’re unable to make in-person visits due to distance or other circumstances.

A reliable cell signal is also critical for the staff at any assisted-living or long-term care facility, who need good service to ensure that internal communication and the systems and technologies supporting resident and data security are running as efficiently as possible. Poor cell signal also presents security and safety risks, should medical personnel be unable to appropriately respond to an emergency because they’re unable to communicate.

Despite these risks, many facility owners and managers avoid the important task of improving cell signal due to perceived high costs and disruption to residents, which can cause problems and frustration for residents and staff. However, this isn’t the case with passive distributed antenna system (DAS) technology.

Unlike expensive and disruptive active DAS systems, passive DAS offers a simpler solution, with antennas only installed where needed instead of having to hardwire fiber optics into the building. Passive DAS is also significantly cheaper than active DAS (30 to 70 cents per square foot, as opposed to $2 to $4 per square foot). Passive DAS solutions boost cell signal by up to 32 times for assisted-living and long-term care facilities. They work with all wireless carriers, so residents and staff can all enjoy better coverage, regardless if they use Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile, or another carrier.

Making sure that cellular connectivity is strong is the best move that any assisted-living or long-term care facility manager or owner can make to provide a higher standard of living for residents and give them the peace of mind that they’ll be able to communicate with their family members and others outside the facility as often and as easily as they’d like. It will also ensure that the nursing home staff is connected and can quickly respond to make sure that residents are given the best care possible.


Jeff Gudewicz is chief product officer for Wilson Electronics, a manufacturer of cell phone signal boosters.


You’ve probably heard about the popular “keto” diet in the news this year. What’s it all about, and is it healthy?

“Keto” is short for ketogenesis, which is the production and build-up of ketones. Ketones are a byproduct of fat metabolism, and they are increased when carbohydrates are restricted and the body is forced to rely more heavily on fat as a substrate for energy.

In considering whether to follow a diet that intentionally alters normal metabolism, it is helpful to have some understanding of how the body, and the keto diet, are designed to work.

At rest, our bodies typically burn a fairly even mix of fat and carbohydrates. Protein plays other important roles but is not typically included in the regular energy mix. Despite all the low-carb hype we hear these days, working muscles use carbohydrates for energy, and during exercise, the percentage of carbohydrates burned increases with intensity.

Our brains rely entirely on glucose (a simple carbohydrate) for energy. If you have ever experienced the sensation of being “hangry” (when you are so hungry that you get grumpy or have trouble concentrating), then you have felt your brain calling for glucose. As a survival mechanism, in the absence of adequate carbs/glucose, the human brain can also metabolize ketones to keep from starving.

Carbohydrates are stored in the liver and muscles as glycogen. When dietary carbohydrates are restricted, these stores are depleted. The basis of the ketogenic diet is to intentionally deplete these stores by severely limiting carbohydrate intake.

When there are no carbs available, the body is forced to rely more heavily on fat for energy. As fat is metabolized, ketones are produced. Ketones can be “recycled” for energy, but not very quickly. When they are produced faster than they are utilized, ketone levels in the blood rise and are also excreted in urine. This is ketosis.

There are several variations of the ketogenic diet, but traditionally it includes around 15 percent of calories from protein and limits carbohydrate intake to 5 to 15 percent of total calories (about 20-75 grams per day), with the remaining 70 to 80 percent coming from fat.


What is the “keto flu” and why does it happen?

The keto flu refers to a series of unpleasant side-effects that many people experience as their carbohydrate stores are depleted and their bodies adapt to burning more fat. Symptoms include headache, nausea, bad breath, mental fogginess, muscle cramps, increased heart rate, fatigue, insomnia, feeling light-headed, and lethargy/fatigue.

It can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks for individuals to become “fat-adapted” to the ketogenic diet, after which symptoms typically subside.

These symptoms are caused by reductions in blood glucose, the depletion of glycogen stores, and a general shift in metabolism. Water is also stored in the muscles, so as glycogen is used, water is lost. This accounts for the rapid drop in weight many dieters experience when starting keto and the increased risk of dehydration and electrolyte depletion.


What are the benefits of this diet?

Obvious benefits of the keto diet include weight-loss, often rapid, especially in the beginning. Fat makes food taste good and is very satiating, so keto followers enjoy eating and not feeling as hungry as they may have on other diets.

There are a few short studies showing benefits such as improved glucose control, reduced insulin levels, and positive changes in cholesterol markers, even on a high-fat diet. This may be the case, but more research is needed to confirm these claims. It is important to note that many of these studies included subjects who were already overweight/obese at the onset. For these individuals, simply losing fat/weight (regardless of how) promotes these desirable physiological changes.

Following a very restrictive diet is challenging, especially when dining away from home. The popularity of this diet makes it more socially acceptable to eat differently than your dining partners.


What are the risks of this diet?

Having the “keto flu” doesn’t sound like fun. The potential for dehydration and electrolyte imbalances can pose a challenge to the kidneys, and it is nutritionally inadequate. We have decades of research supporting the fact that high-fat diets pose a risk to our cardiovascular health. Also, long-term compliance on such a restrictive diet is difficult to maintain, both practically and socially.


It sounds like this diet makes people miss out on a lot of nutrients. How can it be healthy?

It does. By eliminating or drastically reducing the consumption of many foods or food groups, long-term adherence to a ketogenic diet is likely to result in inadequate intake of many vitamins, minerals and perhaps fiber. In addition, there is much evidence that high-fat diets, especially those high in saturated fat, increase the risk of many disease states.

As a registered dietitian, I can’t use the word “healthy” to describe this diet. It can be made healthier by including as many vegetables as possible and focusing on unsaturated fats (from nuts, oils, avocados and fatty fish) while limiting saturated fats (from meats, butter and other full-fat dairy foods). One good thing about this diet is that it cuts out simple sugars, which keeps people away from sodas, sweets and fast-food.


Who should try this diet, and who should avoid it?

People who need to jump-start their weight-loss efforts may experience the benefit of following this restrictive diet for a limited time. This is a popular diet right now, so individuals who enjoy the social support or online coaching that a large group of followers can provide may be attracted to this diet.

Individuals who are insulin-resistant may do well with lower carbohydrate intakes, including a ketogenic diet. There is some initial evidence to support a ketogenic diet for diabetic patients, but they should have a discussion with their physician before beginning this diet, as should anyone with kidney disease. Its not appropriate for pregnant or nursing mothers.


What are some healthy meal ideas on a keto diet?

Egg cups with veggies, cauliflower “rice” with veggies and chicken, salads with high-fiber vegetables, avocados and salmon.

The ketogenic diet has all the trademarks of a fad diet. It promises rapid and significant weight-loss, includes strict rules and lists of food allowed and to be avoided, features celebrity endorsements, and there is financial gain involved for promoters (authors of how-to books and cookbooks, online coaches, those selling electrolyte and keto supplements). If an individual’s need for immediate weight-loss is significant and this diet is appealing, then it may be an effective short term fix. But realizing that the ketogenic diet isn’t a healthy long-term solution, anyone planning to follow it would do well to have a followup plan for lifelong healthy eating.


Lisa Lovejoy, who wrote t

Salads with high-fiber vegetables, avocados and salmon are a healthy meal for keto dieters. (Photo credit: yummyketorecipes.com)

his article, is a sports and wellness dietitian for MultiCare Health System. Help with nutritional assessment and counseling is available from MultiCare Sports Nutrition at 253-459-6966 and www.multicare.org/sports-nutrition.

A lot of things can make us not feel well, but there is one common condition that many people may not be aware of that can have a big impact on our health: too much calcium in our blood.

Calcium is one of the most important elements in our body. It is responsible for our bone strength and plays vital roles in blood clotting, muscle contraction, and nerve and brain function.

Because calcium is so important, there are a number of factors that control the calcium levels in our blood. The most important factor is a hormone called parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH comes from four tiny glands in our neck — the parathyroid glands. These glands live behind a larger gland in the neck, called the thyroid gland. PTH controls our calcium levels by acting on the kidneys and releasing the calcium stored in our bones.

Occasionally, one or more than one of the parathyroid glands may make too much hormone. This condition is known as primary hyperparathyroidism. When this happens, calcium is sucked out of the bones and dumped into our blood, where it can cause a number of problems, including:

  • Tiredness.
  • General sense of not feeling well.
  • Memory loss, confusion or mental fogginess.
  • Stomach and digestive problems.
  • Kidney stones.
  • Muscle, joint and bone pain.
  • Bone weakness, osteoporosis or fractures.

Primary hyperparathyroidism is a common hormone disorder. It primarily affects people over age 50, but can occur at any age. Women are affected more frequently than men.

Most often, the first sign of a parathyroid problem is a high calcium level on routine bloodwork. Further evaluation with a blood test to check both the calcium and the PTH levels can confirm the presence of primary hyperparathyroidism.

Unfortunately, there is no medicine you can take to cure primary hyperparathyroidism. The only way to solve the problem is with an operation, in which the bad parathyroid glands are removed. Surgery should be considered by most patients, because the effects of primary hyperparathyroidism on the bones usually worsens with time.

It is important to choose a surgeon who is experienced in parathyroid surgery. There are a number of factors that contribute to a successful operation, and an experienced surgeon will have the best chance at curing the problem.

If you have concerns about your calcium level, bone health or general sense of well-being, make sure to speak with your doctor today for an evaluation. The longer you wait, the more bone you may be losing.


Dr. William Duke is a thyroid and parathyroid surgeon and the director of thyroid and parathyroid surgery at MultiCare Health System, a healthcare organization with hospitals, clinics and services in the Puget Sound region and eastern Washington.