Like Mind and Body

Welcome to Like Mind & Body. This is a wellness program which addresses several different aspect of health. This part of the Smoke Less America web page is segmented into areas which cover the mind, body and spirit.

If you have questions or comments, please feel free to contact me Mail to Laura P. Yahney, Ph.D.

Changing our life requires us to change our direction.


Opportunity for Growth:

Know that getting stronger and healthier everyday requires our willingness and ability to remain open to change. Some people put off change due to fear of the unknown or the inability to foster the motivation to change. Yet people live in fear and remain still and in turn wonder why they are remaining unhappy.

Today examine your various areas of your life and be honest with the assessment.

Look at your sleep patterns, monitoring, dietary needs and daily exercise. Take a moment and ask yourself do I need to make some changes? If so, keep in mind that words are powerful so let's empower ourselves by stating the changes I am making are to get healthier and stronger every day.


The foundation of good health; a good night’s sleep.

Night after night of poor sleep can take its toll on your overall health and well being.

Sleep deprivation can affect your concentration, mood and immune system.

One way to improve your sleep habits is to have regular bedtime and wake time. Research shows that you keep with in two hours of your normal bedtime and waking. For example: if you go to bed at 10:00 you could go to bed at either 9:00 or 11:00.  Same thing with waking up: if you get up at 8:00 you could wake up at either 7:00 or 9:00. So going to bed and waking try staying with in your time range is important for achieving night after night sound sleep.

Building on your foundation with sound eating habits and daily physical activity. 

The American Heart Association suggestions controlling your weight by daily exercise (at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day and a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol are key to creating a positive health plan. addition, try having a diet plan that has a variety of vegetables and fruits. Try selecting foods that are nutrient rich and limit food with saturated fat by reading the food labels. Drink alcohol in moderation and avoid tobacco products.


If you don't like the way the world is, change it. You have an obligation to change it. You just do it one step at a time.

Marian Wright Edelman



Develop a personalized self-car plan for optimal emotional health and a positive sense of well being.


This does require a commitment to health and follow through.  This is a great follow up to you taking charge of your physical health and the medical care you participated in.

One of the first steps in your self care plan is learning and developing relaxation techniques to help with reducing stress and tension.

 Steven A. King, M.D. recommends the following ways to relax.


·         Rent a funny movie or visit a joke Web site. Laughter releases tension and helps put life back in perspective.

·         Get moving! Who said you need quiet to relax? Pop in your favorite CD or turn to your favorite radio station and dance for a few songs. This will revitalize your body and mind and you'll be ready to face anything.

·         Have you ever heard of the phrase "take 5?" Set aside 5 or 10 minutes to have "you" time. Try waking up a little bit earlier than the rest of the house and enjoy the quiet alone (or with a nice cup of tea).

·         Clean your inbox daily. No, not your e-mail. Your mind. Buy yourself a notebook or start a computer journal. Every night jot down happenings, thoughts and things accomplished that day, or even your frustrations. When your mind is "cleaned up," it is easier to relax and fall asleep.

·         Clean your inbox weekly. Yes, this time we mean the computer. At least once a week, read and answer your e-mails and file, archive or delete the stuff you don't need anymore. Clutter in the computer can clutter your mind, so let's clean it up.

·         Do yoga. If you don't have time to join a yoga class at least once a week, then purchase a yoga video. Make time to do at least 15 minutes of yoga most days. This will help stretch and relax your muscles

·         Take a bubble bath. Put on some soft music, light a candle and enjoy a nice warm bubble bath. If you don't want music, you can always take a book or magazine with you.



Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great.

            Mark Twain.


While you are developing and reviewing your self-care plan look at your support system.

Who are you surrounding by; friendly supportive people or angry, negative people who like tearing you down. Review the social supports available to you. If necessary, work at developing an adequate and appropriate support system. Utilizing your social supports can offer relief, distraction and pleasure.


Make a list of you supporters who have the following characteristics;


·         Listen without judgment, offer support, suggestions and feedback when asked.

·         Is dependable

·         Does not feel the need to put you down or use mean and hurtful humor to make a point.

·         Helps you solves problems.

·         Let’s you have your moods and feelings and doesn’t tell how you “should, must or have to feel.” 

·         Lets you have bad days and you still know that you will be friends tomorrow.

·         You respect one another.

·         You allow each other space apart and space to change and grow.


"You and I are essentially infinite choice-makers. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices."

            Deepak Chopra


Initiate a journal where you can express thoughts, feelings, clarifying issues, and problem solving. It can also be helpful in determining patterns, relationships health and emotional functioning. Writing it down can help you monitor your progress with life goals.

David Hoss provides insight into the benefits of taking time to write in your journal. He suggests that writing in a journal can provide a way to see pattern in our lives, ways to improve our lives and our current way of tackling problems.


Journal writing can be done where you that your thoughts and emotions can be written in a safe and emotionally secure place. You don’t need fancy tablets or pens, write with whatever makes you feel comfortable.

Writing daily, weekly or monthly in your journal will take time and can be seen as a daunting task. Schedule your writing on a calendar if this helps you remember to write in your journal. Keep it up and reap the benefits of the time you take for yourself.

"People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success."

            Norman Vincent Peale


Approach each day with a purpose. Be productive by outlining daily structure. No task is too small to feel good about. Each step can be important to reach goals that you develop.  Setting goals will help you find focus and encourage you to grow.  When setting goals or a purpose to strive for avoid criticizing where you are at currently.  Avoid being self-critical. Be as kind and understanding of yourself as you would be another person. Use positive self-talk to reassure yourself to cope effectively and to allow yourself to see that there are always choices and can move toward your goal and purpose.


When you take time to find your purpose of you begin to develop a seen of accountability and responsibility.  When you start taking responsibility for your own life you begin to understand yourself, your behaviors, your thoughts, beliefs and your motivations are about choices.



Don't Let the Prospect of a Modest Weight Gain Prevent You from Quitting Smoking, Advises the American Lung Association

Experts say that the risk of smoking far outweighs gaining a few pounds

Americans attempting to quit smoking must determine which is more important: Gaining a few pounds or risking lung health problems. To most people, the decision to quit smoking is quite easy, but actually doing it is not. In fact, quitting smoking can be more difficult with the additional concern of putting on weight. Medical experts at the American Lung Association advise potential quitters that a modest weight gain is common, but should not be used as a rationale to continue smoking.

"The first six months after quitting smoking are the most difficult," says Dr. Edwin Fisher of the American Lung Association. "A person not only has to contend with constant urges to smoke, but also with putting on up to 5 - 10 pounds. But, that person must realize the tremendous lung health benefit of not smoking. Youll feel better, you'll have more energy and youre more likely to live longer. And, those few pounds gained during the quitting process can eventually come off."

According to the American Lung Association, an estimated 46 million Americans smoke cigarettes and more than two thirds, 32 million, reportedly would like to stop. Each year, 34 percent of smokers actually attempt to quit. While the short-term consequence of quitting smoking is gaining approximately 5 - 10 pounds, the long - term consequences of continuing to smoke are the increased risk of lung cancer and chronic lung disease.

Lung disease is the third leading cause of death in the United States. The American Lung Association wants to help in the struggle to maintain healthy weight and still quit smoking. The Lung Association offers these tips for balancing quitting smoking and weight gain:

1. Recognize that it will be more difficult to quit smoking if you also try to lose weight. Controlling weight can sometimes distract you from your ultimate goal: Stopping smoking. A plan for losing the gained weight can only be put into effect after you have stopped smoking for a period of time.

2. Do not try to limit your eating until urges to smoke subside. If not, you may find yourself in a cycle of quitting smoking, gaining weight, returning to smoking to lose that weight and then the pattern starts again.

3. Incorporate an exercise regimen into your daily activities. Exercise can be used as a potential substitute activity to distract urges to smoke. Exercise reduces tension and stress as well as increases your metabolism and helps burn off excess calories.

4. Adhere to a healthy nutritional plan. Eat three square meals a day consisting of the six basic food groups: Proteins, breads, milk products, vegetables, fruits and fats. Know what you are eating and what triggers your eating. It is important to know what foods you are eating, how much, when and why.

5. Monitor your weight. Weigh yourself regularly. Do what you can to avoid weight gain.

Smoking outweighs cardio-protective benefits of otherwise healthy lifestyle 

Regular physical activity and healthy diet appear to reduce the risk of "early" atherosclerosis in those who have never smoked, but this does not hold true for people who smoke, according to new research findings in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Atherosclerosis is the deposit of fats in the arteries that eventually form plaques. Early atherosclerosis can take place for many years before actual symptoms, such as stroke, take place. But the effect of lifestyle choices such as diet, exercise, and smoking on this process is unclear.

Researchers interviewed 1,632 individuals aged 45 to 70 years about their diet and exercise habits. They also determined the level of early atherosclerosis by measuring the thickness of the participants' carotid arteries and looked for plaques and blockages in those arteries.

Those who were inactive and had an unhealthy diet were classified in the "unfavorable" group, and those with a physically active lifestyle and healthy diet were classified in the "optimal lifestyle" group.

As expected, those who exercised less frequently and had an unhealthy diet were more likely to have signs of early atherosclerosis, and the risk was increased more than twofold in the unfavorable group compared with those in the optimal lifestyle group.

However, in participants who smoked, leading a healthy lifestyle had no effect in decreasing the signs of early atherosclerosis.

"The smoking effect completely outweighed the beneficial effect of a favorable lifestyle," the authors conclude.

Courtesy:  Association Between Behavior-Dependent Cardiovascular Risk Factors and Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis in a General Population :  Jan Luedemann, PhD; Ulf Schminke, MD; Klaus Berger, MD; Marion Piek, MD; Stefan N. Willich, MD; Angela Döring, MD; Ulrich John, PhD Christof Kessler, MD

Quit Smoking Without Weight Gain

How Exercise Can Help

One of the scary things about quitting smoking (aside from going insane with nicotine withdrawals) is the fear of gaining weight. According to studies, the average smoker gains about 8 pounds after quitting. However, weight gain isn't inevitable! If you approach quitting the right way, you can use exercise to avoid gaining weight and help you quit for good.

Quitting and Gaining

One of the reasons for weight gain is because nicotine speeds up your metabolism. When you quit, your metabolism slows down and you might gain weight even if you're not eating more. Of course, lots of people DO end up eating more after quitting. When you stop smoking, you'll typically feel hungrier and food will taste better. You'll also need something to replace cigarettes and some folks turn to food. The combination of eating more calories while burning less results in weight gain. Before you give up on quitting, there is something you can do to avoid extra pounds.

How Exercise Can Help

Exercise is an obvious way to help avoid gaining weight after you quit. Studies show that smokers have an easier time quitting when they add exercise to their smoking cessation plan. There are some other benefits of exercise including:

  • stress reduction (you'll need that as you battle with the urge to smoke!)
  • reduced depression
  • improved mood
  • reduced craving for nicotine and an alternative idea for smokers who don't want to use nicotine replacement therapy
  • improved confidence and motivation
  • improved physical conditioning and performance (no more huffing and puffing!)

It's a good idea to add something to your life as you're taking the cigarettes away. Exercise will not only help you control your weight, it's a reinforcement for your commitment to be healthy and smoke free. Try walking if you've never worked out before or opt for something gentle, like yoga.

Using Exercise to Get Through the Cravings

Exercise can be an effective tool in your smoking cessation program. When the urge to smoke hits, try the following:

  • Take a 10 minute walk, reminding yourself how much faster you can go now that you're smoke-free
  • Go to Desktop Yoga and do some relaxing yoga exercises right at your desk
  • Walk the stairs and keep track of how much easier it gets each day
  • Go to Office Fitness Clinic to find out how to stay fit at work
  • Try this office workout to get your blood moving and put yourself in a good mood
  • Take a deep breath, stand up and stretch your entire body

Why Your Diet Is Crucial

Taking some short walks or doing other exercises is easy. Avoiding sweets and other fatty foods after you quit is much more difficult. We often turn our cravings for nicotine into cravings for food, thus satisfying that oral gratification we're not getting. Again, this is where exercise can be a big help in avoiding those extra calories. Also, if you're going to nibble on things to get through your cravings, consider these ideas:

  • sugarless gum
  • carrots, celery or other vegetables you can eat tons of without worrying as much about calories
  • air-popped popcorn
  • dried fruit and nuts
  • avoid fast food restaurants at all costs!
  • drink tons of water. It will fill you up and keep you hydrated so you don't feel as tired

The best thing you can do to stay smoke-free is to prepare yourself long before your quit date. Plan exactly how you'll get through cravings by making a list of everything you can do when a craving hits (walk, clean the house, organize your desk, call a friend, etc.). Decide what you'll do to avoid sugary and fatty foods and make sure your fridge is stocked with healthy alternatives before the big day hits. If you plan, prepare and put all your energy into your new healthy life, you can quit smoking without gaining weight.

Courtesy of Paige Waehner.


Six handy tips for sticking to a healthy eating plan

Forget previous failures and bouts of excess. The new you starts right here, right now.

Whilst previous new year's resolutions may have been unsuccessful, it's never too late to revive your healthy eating goals. If you're determined to improve your diet and get into shape, these useful and inspirational tips will help you focus and, most importantly, stick to your plan.

  1. I will set realistic goals
    If you want to diet, decide how much weight you need to lose and work towards that goal realistically. You might find it helpful to look at our healthy weight chart to see what your ideal weight should be. Ideally, you should aim to lose about 2 pounds a week. Remember that, while this may not sound like a lot, you're more likely to achieve permanent weight loss if you do it slowly. If you are not trying to lose weight, focus on eating five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Eat sweets and fatty foods in moderation.
  2. I will reward myself
    If you are on a diet and being strict about counting calories, it's important to reward yourself every few weeks because this will strengthen your will to stick with the diet. Treats, such as a facial, manicure or pedicure, are great because they make you feel good about yourself. If you can't afford these at a salon, why not maybe ask some friends around and hold a pamper party? Get them to bring along some massage oils and other body treatments and have a girls night in. Even if you're not on a diet, you should treat yourself for eating healthily.
  3. I won't be too hard on myself
    If you allow yourself too much chocolate, or if you are dieting and don't reach your 2lb goal each week, don't beat yourself up. Everyone has days when we eat too many unhealthy foods. Just decide to focus on healthy foods the following day. If you aren't losing weight, it's possible you've just hit the plateau - fat takes a long time to work off, so stick with it. Getting support from family and friends will help, and you can always talk to other women on one of our three diet and fitness message boards. They are a great way to meet people who share your same goals, and also provide an excellent opportunity to exchange ideas or low fat recipes.
  1. I will eat lots of snacks to keep me fullThe key to resisting unhealthy foods and to a successful diet is staving off hunger. In fact, the hungrier you feel, the more likely your resolve will weaken - hunger makes you think more about food. Fill yourself up with plenty of carbohydrate and other high fibre foods, such as salted popcorn or dry cereal, as snacks between meals. Drink lots of water to fill your stomach up, add a slice of lime and lots of ice. Herbal tea is also an excellent alternative to cappuccinos and lattes that are packed with calories.
  2. I'll find an exercise I love
    If you hate the thought of going to a gym, then grab any opportunity you can to exercise. Walk up and down the stairs instead of taking the lift, or go for a power walk at lunchtime. Two hours of dancing at a party could burn off the equivalent of a portion of Christmas pudding and double cream. Or two hours walking at a moderate pace could burn off the calorie equivalent to your Christmas dinner and a glass of wine. Check with your doctor first if you haven't done any exercise for a long time.
  3. I will eat sensible portions
    Watch your portion sizes. If you always like fill your plate it might help to start using a smaller one. If you need help with your portion sizes, try the following guide which will provide around 1500 calories:
    Breakfast: 30g breakfast cereal, 1/4 pint semi skimmed milk and a banana.
    Lunch: 60g tuna fish or lean meat or 125g cottage cheese; a baguette, spread thinly with low fat spread or low calorie mayonnaise; salad leaves, tomato and cucumber; a clementine and pear for dessert.
    Dinner: 180g chicken or 180g fish or 120g red meat, grilled or roasted; 60g dried pasta or 240g potatoes; salad leaves or lightly boiled vegetables like carrots and broccoli; fruit salad or fruit pudding (e.g. one pot of yoghurt with 120g raspberries or strawberries).
    Drinks: Unlimited water, herbal tea. Only use skimmed milk or semi-skimmed milk for coffee and tea.


“I've put on weight after quitting smoking “

courtesy of by Angie Newson


Well done for giving up smoking. Keeping a food diary of your daily eating habits is also a great idea, so keep it up. Ensure that you are not comfort eating in place of nicotine cravings and try to remain positive about giving up your habit. For starters, quitting smoking will improve your circulation and increase your lung capacity so you can only become healthier.


Although you say you're not losing inches, it sounds like your 'changing shape' means your muscles are becoming more toned and stronger due to regular exercise. However, if you feel your thighs and hips are getting too big, then try varying your exercise routines with a selection of cardiovascular and strength training exercises that work different muscles. Since you're already running and doing aerobics to work your legs, don't forget to include exercises that focus on your upper body muscles like your chest, arms and shoulders. Good luck.

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The 10 secrets of exercise motivation

By Malia Frame

Sweating it out on the treadmill or lifting weights in a gym is fine for the first few days of an exercise programme, but after that who can stay motivated with the same old boring routine? Not to mention, on the days that it’s rainy and grey outdoors, or when you’re just knackered, your fitness routine is the first thing to get chucked off your ‘to do’ list. What’s the trick to staying keen on exercise? Follow these simple steps to stick to the programme.

1.     Start Safely. ‘Check with your GP before trying a new exercise routine so you don’t do anything that’s unsafe,’ says Marilyn Luscombe, the National Director of the Association of Personal Trainers in London. Also, take time to get proper instruction on different types of exercise and technique. Schedule an appointment with a personal trainer at your local gym or work out with an experienced training partner to reduce your chance of injury.

2.     Choose a workout you enjoy. Thirty minutes on the treadmill is torture if you’d rather be strolling outdoors or taking a spinning class. ‘It’s crucial to make exercise something you like doing, otherwise you’ll dread making it a part of your life,’ says Luscombe. If solo sport-orientated exercise like skiing or running is your game, go for that over class-based workouts.

3.     Set realistic goals. ‘If you feel waffly about getting fit, you’re unlikely to stick to a routine,’ warns Luscombe. Having clear objectives and a challenging, yet achievable goal—such as losing half a stone before holiday—will motivate you to get to the gym or take that afternoon walk on days when you just want to toss out your trainers. One way to encourage yourself to keep a fitness commitment is to sign a contract with yourself stating your goals. 

4.     Reward yourself. There’s no better way to sustain your motivation to get fit than immediate gratification. So, when you reach the halfway point of your goal, treat yourself to something like a nice dinner out or that new handbag you’ve had your eye on. Share your accomplishment with family and friends, as others’ acknowledgement of success will inspire you to further press on towards your goal.

5.     Be consistent about when you exercise. Choose to work out at the time of day when you tend to feel most energetic,’ suggests Luscombe. If you’re a ‘morning person’, exercise when you wake up. If you’re on a consistent workout schedule, your body’s hormones adjust so that you train most efficiently—and with the least fatigue—at that particular time of day.

6.     Fit in fitness whenever possible. Did you know that six 5-minute spurts of exercise can be just as beneficial as one 30-minute workout? That means it’s fine if you can’t do your workout all in one go—just break up exercise throughout the day. ‘Try getting off the bus one stop early, walk to the office or supermarket, take the stairs instead of the lift or stroll through the park at lunchtime,’ suggests Luscombe.

7.     Take it one day at a time. ‘The more gradually you take on an exercise plan, the more likely you are to achieve your goals,’ says Luscombe. Your body will adjust better if you start slowly, and you’ll get stronger without injuring yourself. Avoid making too many lifestyle changes at once. For instance, changing your diet, giving up smoking and rushing into a full-on fitness plan is too much all at once.

8.     Find an exercise partner or support group. Make two appointments per week to meet up with someone and exercise. If you have a friend relying on you to go to the gym or take a morning walk with her, you’ll be less likely to cancel. Write down any workout dates in your diary and commit to them as if they are business meetings.

9.     Vary your fitness activity. ‘Cross-training is the key to a balanced fit body,’ says Luscombe. ‘If you don’t change up your workouts, your body only trains one set of muscles and you stop seeing results. To prevent this fitness plateau, make sure you incorporate a variety of strength training, flexibility and cardiovascular exercise into your routine,’ she adds. One weekly fitness plan might include swimming, running or walking briskly one night, lifting weights the next, doing yoga, cycling, and weight training or Pilates on consecutive evenings.

10.   Skip a day. ‘Exercise obsession is as bad as none at all because it’s physically and mentally counterproductive,’ says Luscombe. Allowing your muscles to rest and rejuvenate is a crucial part of being healthy and achieving maximum results. And giving yourself a mental break prevents burn-out and makes you more likely to stick to a long-term exercise plan. Listen to your body and if you’re having an off-day, take it easy and rest.

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 “Life is what we make, it always has been,  always will be.”

 Grandma Moses.


The web page for Like Mind and Body has added some new components to it in order to be more comprehensive in attending to your needs. Realizing there several different aspects of your life that make up your life, Like Mind and Body will try to address as many of those variable as possible. Hope you will enjoy!

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Healthier Living for the Mind Body & Spirit.

"Act well at the moment, and you will have performed a good action to all eternity”. Johann Laveater.

 Take a few moments to examine various aspects of your life. Make your physical health your priority.  Schedule appointments for your yearly physical, have your blood pressure checked, and try to maintain a healthy weight. Several illnesses can be prevented or lessen via regular activity; heart disease, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and diabetes. In addition, exercise has been reported to lessen anxiety and depressive symptoms.  Before starting get your docotor’s approval and start slow but by all means start.

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The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.

Benjamin Disraeli.

Here are some interesting tidbits about your body.

1)      There are 7 cervical, 12 thoracic, 5 lumbar, 5 sacrum and 2-4 coccyx bones that comprise your spinal column.

2)       Ligaments attach bone to bone.

3)      A desirable cholesterol level is less than 200 mg.

4)      The knee joint allows for flexion and extension.

5)       The Alveolie are the small air life sacs where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged.

How to be Healthy at Your Work Space


Tomorrow is Now~ Eleanor Roosevelt

When working at a computer for a period of time. Blink often so that your eyes keep moist and assist in focusing. About every 20 minutes take a moment to focus on something about 20 feet away.  Keep your screen clean and dust free. Try to place reference materials as close as possible to the screen. If your eyes become tired or your vision is becoming blurred try covering your eyes with your palms and press gently for 30 seconds to re-energizer your eyes. If you wear glasses or contacts take time to schedule regular eyes exams to ensure you have current eye wear.

When sitting for periods of time at your desk use a back support and sit up straight. Try not to slouch or hunch forward. Try holding your head upright so that the top of your text or project is just below eye level and at least 12-18 inches from your face. When resting your arms try to keep them level with your work space.

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