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“We work to live not live to work” should be the creed that we all live by, but unfortunately, some entrepreneurs tend to be stressed-out, unhealthy workaholics. The secret is to find a balance to your life that incorporates quality time for your work, family, and most important, for you. Having some fun and staying positive are important components of a balanced and happy life.

So this page is devoted to that message. Here you will find some of my family photos, an article on the benefits of keeping fit, some quick, fairly healthy recipes for entrepreneurs on the run, and a couple of jokes. Feel free to e-mail your favourite joke (if it’s clean) or a healthy recipe and we’ll post them next month.

MY PERSONAL FITNESS STORY(From a F.L.O.P to a T.H.I.N.) (PDF Document)


It doesn’t take much effort to turn a bad day into a good day, either for yourself or for someone you love. When it all boils down, it’s the simple things in life that give happiness. Here’s some simple things that can bring joy.

Try praising your children instead of chastising them – there’s always a positive action that can replace a negative reaction.
Put an “I love you” card on your spouse or partner’s windshield.
Even better, if you pack cut lunches for the family, take a bit out of a sandwich and replace the bite with an “I love you” note and a smiley face.
Go for an evening walk with the family.
Call someone and tell them you’ve been thinking of them and wanted to hear their voice.
Send someone a thank-you card. There is always something to be thankful for.
Listen to your partner or children instead of doing something else while they talk.
Pull weeds, get some dirt under your nails and breathe some fresh air.
Find a quiet place and listen to and watch the sounds and sights of nature.
Start the day with a smile and answer the “How are you?” phone question with “I’m great!” Pass on that positivity.
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Laughing is good for the soul. It releases endorphin and eases stress. What could be better? I’m not one for remembering jokes, but I have a couple of favourites that aren’t original, but I think they are funny, so I’ll share them with you.

Bugging the insect: I needed a cheap pet and didn’t have much money, so the man in the pet shop suggested a centipede.
“A centipede?” I laughed, “You’ve got to be joking!”
“They make great pets,” explained the pet shop owner, “they’re cheap to feed and they love doing housework.”
I was sold. I bought a centipede home and called him Charlie.
“The first thing I would like you to do is to clean the house through, dust and vacuum and wash the floor,” I instructed Charlie.
“No worries mate!” answered Charlie cheerfully (he was an Australian centipede).
I took a nap, and an hour later on waking, the house was spotless with fresh flowers in the vase.
“Looks very good,” I commented, “would you like to go to the corner store and buy me a newspaper?”
“No worries mate,” replied Charlie cheerfully, “do you want the Sun or the Daily News?”
“Get me the Sun please,” I instructed, and he hurried out of the back door.
After half an hour, he wasn’t back, and I started to feel guilty. I had been hard on the little critter. I couldn’t see him coming down the road. I started to worry. I looked out of the back door, and there was Charlie.
“Where have you been?” I snapped, “What is taking so long?”
“I’m hurrying, I’m hurrying!” said Charlie, somewhat hurt. “I just have to finish putting on my shoes!”

The excellent engineer: An engineer was turned away from heaven by mistake and ended up in hell. It was too hot and lacked some basic amenities, so he spoke to Satan and designed an air-conditioning system, running water and flush toilets. Satan was thrilled! Meanwhile, God called Satan to explain the mistake and asked that the engineer be returned to heaven.
“No way!” said Satan. “He’s a great guy and he’s doing wonders for us.”
“But he belongs here,” said God. “Send him back or I’ll sue you!”
Satan replied smugly, “And where are you going to get a good lawyer from?”
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Cut out the fat and shovel in the fruit, vegetables and protein. Yes, we all know we should, but who has time to always eat healthily? Here’s a few suggestions for quick, healthy meals to help you achieve that goal. If you have a favourite healthy recipe, send it to us and we’ll share it around.

Breakfast on the run
Fibre Up high fibre cereal with grapefruit
One slice of wholewheat toast, lightly buttered
Microwave an egg, put onto toast with slices of tomato, salt and pepper
Keep a fresh fruit salad in the fridge for variety.

Lunch in a flash (keep an assortment of these products on hand and make healthy pitas)
Wholewheat soft tortillas or pita bread, 8" size
Light cream cheese
Low-fat, light mayonnaise
Cans of salmon and tuna
Turkey or chicken breast slices from the deli
Lettuce, tomato, alfalfa sprouts
Healthy Bake frozen fish pieces (they microwave and make a good sandwich)
Low-fat cheese (use sparingly)
Leftover soup from the recipes below
Quiche from the recipe below.

Dinner quick as a flash

Cream of Cauliflower soup (about 40-45 minutes): Cut up and throw half a large cauliflower, a large onion, two carrots, two celery sticks, one or two potatoes, salt, pepper and two envelopes of chicken stock into a pot. Barely cover with water and simmer until vegetables are cooked. Puree the vegetables in blender with stock until thick. Empty out any excess stock and return pureed vegetables to the pot. Add three tablespoons of Parmesan cheese, one to two cups of 2 percent milk (keep consistency fairly thick), salt, extra chicken stock and pepper to taste. Heat but do not boil. Serve with wholewheat buns.

Wholewheat pizzas (15 minutes): When the family wants Friday night pizza, make your own version with fewer calories. Take a wholewheat pita bread, smother with Ragu spaghetti sauce, load up with deli chicken slices or ham, add chopped mushrooms, green peppers and olives. Sprinkle sparingly with grated cheese and cook in the middle of the oven at 325 degrees for five to eight minutes. Great with cauliflower soup or a Greek salad.

Chicken Noodle Soup (45-50 minutes): Take a large pot and throw in two cups of cooked chicken (two chicken breasts), one diced onion, three diced carrots, two celery sticks cut up into small pieces, one can of cream corn and one can of sweet corn, one cup of frozen beans. Cover with water until the water is an inch or so over the contents. Add salt, pepper, two to three envelopes of chicken stock, and one-third of a jar of Ragu spaghetti sauce. When boiling, simmer for ten minutes and add one cup of small pasta, such as egg noodles, small shells or spaghetti broken into small pieces. Simmer for twenty minutes, add water if needed and season to taste. Serve with a wholewheat bun. It’s a meal in a pan.

My Favourite One-Pan Chicken Stir-Fry Meal: (About 45 minutes): Slice two chicken breasts into 1/4" slices. Marinate in 1/4 cup light soya sauce, one tablespoon of cooking sherry and two teaspoons of cornstarch. In a wok, lightly brown a sliced onion and two cloves of garlic. Put into a large bowl. In a little oil, stir-fry an assortment of vegetables, for example a sliced green or red pepper, two cups of cauliflower and/or broccoli, two sticks of celery, a couple of carrots and a can of baby sweet corn cobs. Put into the bowl.
Add a tablespoon of oil to wok and cook the chicken breast without the marinade for three to four minutes. Put into a bowl. Add two cups of water to the wok, boil then add a cup of small pasta, such as small shells and cook ten minutes. Add all the other cooked ingredients, the marinade, a tablespoon or two of teriyaki, cooking sherry or light soya sauce to taste. Heat through thoroughly. Add a 1/4 cup of cashews and enjoy.

Quick and Healthy Vegetarian Quiche: Take a store-bought deep-dish pie crust. Beat four eggs, add salt and pepper, finely chop four ounces of feta cheese, two ounces of grated aged cheddar, one can drained spinach or one packet defrosted spinach, one tablespoon dried onion flakes and four tablespoons of 2 percent milk. Mix well, pour into pie crust. Cook 15 minutes at 400 degrees then half an hour at 350 degrees.

Seafood Quiche: Use same recipe as above, but substitute four ounces of fresh shrimp and two slices of diced ham for the spinach, substitute four ounces of aged grated cheddar for the feta, and add one chopped spring onion. They freeze well and make great lunch snacks, or dinner with a bowl of healthy soup.

Snacks for the midnight munchers and nervous nibblers
We all get those cravings to munch at odd times of the day or night. Here’s some lower calorie “munchies” that are healthier than normal cookies or chips. Like all food, the more you eat the more calories you have to live with.
Dried apricots (about 10 calories)
• Cashews or almonds (10 calories)
Low-cal pretzel thins (3 calories)
• Light popcorn (3 cups 65-85 calories)
Cheese Nip crackers (5 calories)
• Baby carrots (very low-cal)
Low-cal cookies (30 calories)
• Melba toast (22 calories).

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Here’s some photos of some of my family, our 13-year-old daughter Katrina, my mom, who is a wonderful nearly-94, and my Quarter horse Champ. The family also includes a border collie cross dog, Lewis, two cats, a hamster, assorted fish, a Shetland-Welsh 10 hand-high pony, Sparkle – with a Clydesdale attitude, and a chinchilla, Misty, who we rescued from my daughter’s school (she was a neglected class pet). Becoming a Canadian in July 2002 after living here twenty years was a very special moment in my life. Look who I got to celebrate it with!

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Champ and I, he's one
of my Stressbusters!

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This is my 'Grandma',
my 93 1/2 - year old
mom with my Quarter
horse, Champ

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My beautiful 13-year old daughter and I in summer 2002, just having FUN!

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A proud day - becoming Canadian after 21 years.
It was worth it to spend time with these handsome young men.
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By Frances McGuckin

You may well ask, “Why is a business management consultant writing about fitness? Shouldn’t she be advising us on keeping our businesses healthy, not our bodies?” Well, I discovered recently – rather late in life – that the two go hand-in-hand.

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The usual cry of business owners seems to be, “I’m too busy! There’s no time for me, too much to do and I’m so stressed!” Have you uttered these words lately?

Coupled with the everyday stress of being self-employed is a relatively new enemy, one which had not been factored into our lives before – fear. North American businesses are still suffering from the effects of 9/11. It appears that no one has escaped unharmed. Retail trade is still slow in some sectors and attitudes now tainted with the acceptance that the world is a different – and obviously not better place to do business in.

Succeeding in this unusual economic climate is tough, taking much ingenuity, creativity and hard work to survive. Now is the time to assess your business weaknesses and strive to improve customer service. Take care of the customers you have. Can you better service them? When was the last time you called and touched base with your existing customers?

“Oh I should do that,” you think, “but I am so busy.” Yes – life in the new millennium spins too fast, with days becoming shorter and more demands on one’s time. After all, there are only twenty-four hours in the day. There’s certainly not enough time for you – right? Wrong! Now more than ever is the time to focus on taking care of you. You need to be physically and mentally fit to positively tackle life and your business.

Just over two years ago, I was a classic example of the overworked entrepreneur, stressed, unhealthy and unfit. I don’t think that turning twenty-nine (ha ha) and bursting out of my clothes had anything to do with this, but in desperation, I hired a personal trainer, who taught me to make time for myself, change my eating habits, and exercise for half an hour at least five days a week.

The end result, with careful eating and regular exercise was a 27-pound weight loss, a 16 percent reduction in body fat, muscles (yes – muscles!), and renewed energy. More important, this exercise time has become a necessary stress reliever. And I don’t mind being the slimmest and fittest that I can remember and love having to shop because my clothes are – get this – too baggy! Roll out the size fours on sale.

Many of us have experienced “entrepreneurial burnout,” constantly immersed in our day-to-day business operations and trying to cope with the sixty different jobs an entrepreneur is responsible for. No wonder we burn out.

Learning to work smarter, not harder is the key to a successful business. However, you won’t grow your business or make time for yourself if you don’t first consider yourself a priority. Therefore you need to stop trying to cope with the responsibility of those sixty jobs, so the first step is to list all the jobs that running your business entails.

Highlight the time-wasters and ones you hate doing. Can you delegate some of them by hiring someone for a few hours a week, allowing you to work on growing your business and penciling in some time for yourself?

A stressed, burnt-out mind will not help you operate your business effectively. What you once did with passion, you may now be resenting. Many promising and viable businesses never reach their full potential due to “owner burnout”. If twenty-four hours a day is not enough time, split the day into 48 half-hours. Can you plan to allocate one-fiftieth of a day for yourself? If you can’t, then you do have a serious problem.

Start exercising by taking a short power walk at least every other day, perhaps at lunchtime, increasing your distance as you increase your fitness level. Exercise releases endorphin, increases energy levels, gives you time for yourself to think and sets those creative juices flowing as you whittle off the pounds.

Make healthier meal choices. Try a wholewheat pita stuffed with tuna and salad with some fruit instead of a greasy hamburger and fries, or a high-fibre bran cereal, grapefruit and eggs for breakfast instead of toast or waffles. Through the lips and onto the hips. Put protein and power into the work machine; don’t feed it empty calories.

Walking and eating healthier isn’t the complete solution. You must build muscle to maintain fitness. A personal trainer or your local gym can show you an easy weight and body routine that builds all-over body strength. These programs can be done in the home at your leisure.

Don’t become depressed and unhealthy by hibernating in your business, running to flab. Stand out in the crowd with your positive, confident attitude and fit body. Reaching business goals is only a small part of life. You also need to maintain a balance with a healthy body and mind. Remember, we work to live – not live to work.
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10-3348 Mt. Lehman Road, Abbotsford, BC, V4X 2M9 Tel: 604-856-0602

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