Caring Lessons / WOW Blog Tour – Stop #8 – Giveaway Copies

Are you an empty nester? Are you trying to lose weight? These are just a few of the fun things that Pam Lofton, the host of this blog tour, writes about on her blog, Empty Nest.

Her review of Caring Lessons nails what my friend Marianna and I were hoping when we began writing our nursing memoirs: to let the general public know what goes into making a nurse! Here’s a quote from Pam:

“One of the most interesting things about this book is hearing about the field of nursing. All the study, hours, time, bloodsweatandtears that go into obtaining a nursing degree. But, even more than that, what makes a nurse.

Lois discusses how she learned that nursing is more than performing procedures. It’s so much more.

‘…it’s not necessarily just what we say to people, but how we act: how we listen, how we encourage, how we empathize, and how we show respect…” (from Caring Lessons page 115).'”

Pam has two giveaway copies of Caring Lessons.   Click to read her post, make a comment, and then wait to see if your name wins in the drawings for a free copy of Caring Lessons.

And now a reminder to plan ahead. National Nurses Week is just around the corner, May 6-12. It’s gift time! Also, May is Mental Health Month; mental health is a thread throughout Caring Lessons: A Nursing Professor’s Journey of Faith and Self. Buy a copy of Caring Lessons and help promote and support the profession of nursing. All proceeds go to nursing scholarships at Trinity Christian College.

An Update on Skipping Sugar

Well.  A few of you have held me accountable this past week by asking how the no sugar deal is going. Fine, thank you! Marv is loving every piece of the pie he bought last week, and he doesn’t have to worry about me inhaling every sweet he brought home from his office Christmas party.

But my stomach has a thing to say to your stomach. Listen up!

Diagram of basic surface anatomy and regions o...

Image via Wikipedia

As you pouch out bloated with sugar, I’m eyeing the sweets on my owner’s kitchen counter. They are in order, left to right: tutti frutti hard candy, Frango Mints, white chocolate pretzels, peppermint chocolate cookies, cinnamon sugar cookies, crepes au chocolate cocoa flavored cookies, and caramel corn.

Just think if you had to watch this stuff get stale on the counter! It’s a crying shame. Not only that, but yesterday my owner passed up a bowl of peach cobbler while all the other stomachs around were simply gobbling it down. Over a hundred of them. If you don’t think I felt embarrassed in the corner hiding under my owner’s slacks, think again. I hate to be last at anything, and in this contest I didn’t even place!

At least my owner now says she’ll quit this no sugar tomfoolery on Saturday, the 31st. Why? Because she’s attending an annual family thing on New Year’s Day where it is tradition to eat angel food cake with lemon pudding as frosting. So, until then, I’ll sign off and let you all get more bloated up. Me? I’ll be dreaming about Sunday.

So, there you have it. I’ve let my stomach have her say. What is yours telling you?

Lose Weight Over Christmas?

Walking past a Fannie May shop this morning, I remembered those days when Pixies™, eggnog creams, and chocolate covered cherries covered the counters of nurses’ stations at Christmas. So, I want to challenge you, especially nurses, to skip the candy, in fact, to skip sugar altogether, over the holidays.

But, you say, there are too many temptations. Patients leave “thank-you” boxes of candy, the break room is laden with the unit manager’s fudge and peanut brittle, and the cafeteria has their famous peppermint stick soft ice cream.

But, I say, no excuses. Why? Because you have everything going for you to lose some weight over the holidays. You’re already running around, right? At work, you never sit down. At home, you’re shopping yet for that red cashmere scarf for your mother, wrapping that boring book on football for your husband, and picking up and dropping off kids until you’re ready to drop yourself.

So, just by running around, you’re doing the exercise part of losing weight. Now you only have to make sure you’re not eating more calories than you’re burning up. Nutrition 101.

And that’s where sugar comes in, or should I say, sticks to your hips. So, what can you do to ensure that you lose weight over the Christmas holidays? You guessed it. Skip sugar.

I know that’s not easy! One year, while I was conducting research in a medical practice, vendors I’d never heard of buried us with goodies I’d never heard of–German Stollen Bread, Lindor Dark Chocolate Truffles, Ghirardelli’s Peppermint Hot Cocoa… The office staff arranged each arrival on a table right outside my office. By the end of each day, the table was missing my hourly scavenger hunts for the next best thing. As my lab coat tightened around my shoulders, I couldn’t wait for the holidays to be over. Seven pounds later, it was New Year’s Day and time to make the annual “lose weight” resolution.

This year, in my eleventh year of retirement, I’m taking a new approach and starting my annual resolution before Christmas. Skip sugar. Walk more. That’s it. No sugar, more steps.

Skipping sugar covers all those foods that produce empty calories and end in “ose,” except for milk (lactose) and fruit (fructose). Simple—pass up the candy, cookies, cupcakes, pies… You know the rest. Nutrition 101 again.

I started two weeks ago. The digitized numbers on the scale are edging down, 0.2 pounds at a time. It is possible to skip sugar. I passed up my husband’s offer last night of apple pie. This morning, I walked 3,780 steps to a bookstore. If you nurses wore a step counter, many of you would find that you walk thousands more than that every day.

I’m sitting at the bookstore café now. The white-bearded man on my left is scarfing down a chocolate frosted chocolate cupcake. A little girl is eyeing the brownies in the display case. I rise from my chair, wander to the case, and contemplate the goodies infused with sugar: Oreo Cookie Blast, Chocolate Blackout Cupcake, Godiva Double Chocolate Cheesecake.

Did I tell you that my favorite comfort food is chocolate? A serotonin booster, you know.

I turn away. Since I started de-sugaring myself, I no longer crave chocolate, or any sweets. A miracle! I choose the Spinach and Artichoke Quiche.

And, I am sure that you, during this holiday season, can pass up the sweets and skip sugar too! Think of how good your scale would look and you would feel come New Year’s Day.

*I welcome company! If you’d like to join me, publicly, in my No Sugar binge, click on the little bubble on the top right hand of this post, and follow the directions to leave a comment. Or email me, privately, at

Caring Lessons / Radio Interview, Part 2

I think I caught the infection I mentioned on my 11/29 blog post on this same topic. If so, that would be a good thing.

Infections are normally unpleasant. They can be contagious. They can keep you home from work.

But the infection that I hope I caught is a contagion that many of us in America who have weight to lose would love to catch. It’s what Laura Dion Jones, the host of The Laura Dion Jones Show on WRMN 1410AM, is all about. A motivational coach, par excellence, she worked her magic on me, after I was a guest on her show on 11/30, when she offered me a ride home after the interview. The drive from Elgin, Illinois, back to Chicago, took over an hour during rush hour.

Imagine being captive in the car of a woman who has motivated 166 people in Elgin to lose 1685 pounds in a little over 18 months. And who has lost 130 pounds herself. And kept it off for years. Plus, she radiates confidence that anyone can do the same.

Imagine getting a messenger-delivered package the next day that contained Laura’s book, Commit to Get Fit: The Secret to True and Everlasting Weight Loss. On the cover, a large Laura, draped in a black tunic top topped with multiple strands of colorful beads, stands alongside a svelte Laura wearing a black form-fitting dress. A plus-size model at one time, she looks smashing in both pictures, but much healthier and happier in the latter.

I could not help myself. I sat down and read the book cover to cover. And then, having caught the bug, started tracking my daily carb intake, water consumed, steps taken, miles walked, and weight.

You can probably figure out the rest. With the holidays rushing toward us, I’ve said no to Marv’s offer of pumpkin pie for three nights in a row, passed up frosted cookies and heart-shaped brownies at the wake of a dear friend, and avoided the donut holes during coffee hour at church.

The song that’s singing in my head is one I made up that I sing to the tune of Jesus Loves Me! This I Know. It goes like this:

No more sugar! this I know, No more sugar! this I know.
No more sugar! this I know, For my body tells me so.
Yes, no more sugar! Yes, no more sugar!
Yes, no more sugar! My body tells me so.

Oh, and by the way, the interview with Laura on WRMN 1410AM gave me a friendly relaxed opportunity to talk about what nursing means to me. To see Laura in action for yourself and to learn a bit more about nursing, watch the YouTube version here. Then eat an apple, walk a mile, and think about buying Caring Lessons for that woman in your life for Christmas!