Thursday, April 23, 2009


I had a conversation with someone recently which made me think of the relevance of this piece I wrote a while back. I hope you enjoy it.

Holding a grudge – How to give yourself an ulcer
By: Chalene Johnson

I have two friends who haven’t spoke in years. They used to be close friends. In fact, all three of us once shared a special bond. I’m still friends with both but their “split” and insistence on maintaining their mutual grudge changed my relationship with both. I feel awkward when one's name is mentioned in the company of the other. I purposely avoid any topic that might have those two worlds' collide. I'm a pretty reasonable person. I, honestly, can see both their points. I done trying to help one see the other's side of things. I've given up trying to mend their ship. It’s their cross to bar. (That's a lie. Their mutually shared grudge has become EVERYONE'S cross to bare.

Holding a grudge is about the surest way to develop an ulcer.
You may think your grudge is the private property of your personal opinion. You assume that because you have chosen to “write off”, “villainize” or simply “pity” this person that no one else is effected. They are. In fact, everyone close to you is effected in one way or another. Not by choice, your anger, resentment, hurt and frustration has become the burden of everyone around you. Your friend’s grudge, whether you agree with it or not, forces you to keep a healthy distance from the recipient of his anger. That’s what a grudge is, it’s anger. It’s anger, pain and hurt you’ve chosen to hold on to in the interest of preserving something. We hold onto anger, hurt, and resentment because they serve a purpose. Sometimes it is our need to be “right”, or to keep an unattainable dream alive. Sometimes we hold a grudge so that we can avoid looking at ourselves, or our part. It's a big price to pay.

Holding a grudge is like carrying a small vile of non-lethal, but potent poison that corrupts and sickens you and the people closest to you. The virus is released with the mere mention of the “other person’s name”. Ill prepared to reach a resolve, your family and friends try desperately to avoid encountering this person or situations of similarity. The mere mention of their name forms a pit in your stomach. You shift uncomfortably thinking of it. Your face changes expression. You work to change the subject. "Move on. New topic. I hate this person," are the words in your head. It's uncomfortable. It makes your heart beat faster.

Sit with this feeling. Sit with it for more than a moment. Let's analyze what it is you’re really feeling… it’s not disdain for that person, it's self disdain. Oddly enough it’s that the target of your grudge often makes you feel bad about yourself. Maybe it’s that they have an ill opinion of you, or they have brought to the surface qualities in yourself with which you struggle. You're probably a good person. Most of us are good people. There's something about this person that makes you feel less, unworthy, found out. For whatever reason, this person stirs up old dust, rips open unhealed wounds. My theory is (and I did take Psychology 101 in College and I watch Dr. Phil almost everyday, so that pretty much makes me an expert) that the onset of ALL of this stems from childhood experiences.

Grudges destroy families. They cause children to be raised with the pain of an otherwise avoidable divorce. Grudges sour friendships and destroy positive energy. Grudges suck the life from you and consume nearly every thought. When you relate to someone with a deep rooted, well publicized grudge, you carefully chose your words and never fully let your guard down. Grudge holders in the workplace make the office staff tension filled. Consciously or unconsciously, you ask those around you to share your grudge in order to prove their admiration for you. Yet no matter how many people love and support you, it takes only the presumed "wrong" of one person to send you spinning into attack mode. While you may not ask it, you expect that your husband, your friend, your sister and your coworkers will share you disdain for the individual who has done them no wrong or whom they have chosen to forgive or forget.

In business your grudge could cost another their job. I understand you didn’t ask for it. You didn’t hope for it, but by holding a grudge, you reap vengeance. The irony of a grudge is that the deepest cutting vengeance you deliver is to yourself. It’s an acid brewing in your belly. It's a wall of plexiglas that allows you to believe your close with others, but prevents you from truly, intimately connecting with even the people who love you unconditionally. It’s time to let go.

What does it mean to let go of a grudge? It means peace of mind. Letting go of a grudge means learning to enjoy life, perhaps for the first time. It doesn’t mean you’ve forgiven, reached an agreement or mended your fence. It might mean simply that you’ve come to accept what happen, accept their existence, believe in your own value and move on.

Jim Henson was in the middle of negotiating a life time deal with Disney when he died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 53. The deal fell apart. His son Brian Henson was strapped with the responsibility of putting the deal back together. He recalled living under the dark cloud of a grudge he held for Disney. What pulled him into a healthier state of mind was recalling a childhood memory of his father, "I remember when I was 8 or 9, someone stole my father's camera and wallet from the trunk of his car [in a New York garage]. He just said, 'I guess they need it more than I do.' He closed the trunk; we drove home. He never mentioned it again. Someone else would have been angry for days. But it didn't cause my dad to stumble for a second."

What is a grudge? I suppose there are as many definitions as there are people. In my mind, holding a grudge means holding anger toward someone even after they have apologized, attempted to apologize or established that they have no intention of apologizing…ever. Holding a grudge is being angry with someone for something that happened years ago, the details of which have become fuzz, or which other would have long forgotten. Holding a grudge means harboring resentment for trivial or non-earth shattering matters that have more to do with your delicate ego than your sensibility.

Letting go of a grudge doesn’t mean you condone bad behavior or are actively seeking to rekindle a deep level of friendship. As Frederich Buechner states in Wishful Thinking, at its core, “forgiveness is an act of radical self-interest.” The expensive price of your many grudges is eroded happiness, potential joy never known.

Let go of your grudge and enjoy life again. To let go of a grudge is to forgive someone even when they have not asked for your forgiveness. It means acting in kindness or simply being polite even when you believe the other person is not worthy of it. Letting go of a grudge does not mean that you have to forget. In fact you should remember, so that you set your expectations more reasonably of this person. Remember, but move on.

I do believe you are either a grudge holder or you're not. To those who do and desperately want to stop, those who can admit the damage it causes, those who feel controlled by what other people think of them, those who feel the gnawing in their stomach but can't seem to change...there is work to be done but it starts with feeling better about yourself. Scrap the therapy phobias. You might feel the weight of the World lift from your shoulders with a just little time spent with a qualified therapist or counselor.

Holding your grudge only hurts you. It hurts daily and becomes a breeding ground for villainizing, paranoid, victim centered thinking. If not for you, let go of your grudge for the people around you. It’s no longer who was right or who “started it” or who has taken responsibility, now it’s who is intelligent enough to end it.

Enjoy your life more fully. Learn to forgive those who trespass against you.

Monday, April 20, 2009





Heat a nonstick skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray over medium heat. Add chicken or turkey, eggs, and spinach. Scramble together and cook until eggs are throughly cooked. ( about 5 minutes) Add the cheese and remove from heat.
Pile mixture onto tortilla and wrap it up. ENJOY!!

Calories: 246, Protein: 32g, Carbs: 21g, Fiber: 2g, Fat total: 5.5g


Monday, April 13, 2009


Try this high protein soooo easy to make snack for under 100 calories! You may just feel like you are eating at a relaxing spa!!


2 oz. Imitation Crab Meat
1 TSP. Light Manonnaise
1/2 TSP. Wasabi
1/2 TSP. Reduced-sodium Soy Sauce
2 Leaves of Butterleaf Lettuce


Shred the imitaion crab and add the mayonnaise, wasabi, and soy sauce. Mix together and wrap in lettuce leaves. RELAX & ENJOY!!!

Calories: 75, Protein: 12.5 g, Carbs: 2 g, Fiber: 0.5 g, Fat 2.5 g

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

The Most Basic Step In Building Relationships / Networking 101

The Most Basic Step In Building Relationships

The sweetest sound to anyone ears is the sound of their own name. Yet, when your name is mispronounced it screeches like fingernails on a chalkboard. No one feels this more than those of us who have been blessed (or cursed depending on your perspective) with a unique or difficult to pronounce birth name. We pretend we don’t notice when people slaughter our names. We act as thought it doesn’t bother us, gleefully replying… “That’s okay. I’ll answer to anything.” Truthfully, we do get used to it and we never fault others. It’s a tough name.

I happen to have one of those names. Since a kid I’ve learned to answer most commonly to Charlene, but I’ve grown equally accustom to Chaylene, Shalleen, Chanel…basically anything that starts with a “Shh”. I always thought it was odd when people just go for it, as opposed to simply asking, “How do I pronounce your name?” No matter how long I’ve known the person, or how much I like em, you just automatically feel a distance to anyone who doesn’t know how properly pronounce your name.

I have “one of those names”. I know what it feels like to be on the other end. Even if I’ve met the person more than once, if I’m not 100% sure of the pronunciation I will say, “I’m sorry, you have such a beautiful (or unique) name, can you tell me how to pronounce it again?” Then I repeat the name a couple of times in their presence. This is a great technique. On the advice of someone with a difficult name, I appreciate it when someone is really trying to get my name “right”. This person stands out because so many people get it wrong. It shows they care enough to learn the most basic thing about me… my name! By saying a persons name several times in front of them (in essence perfecting your pronunciation in their presence) you give the other person the opportunity to correct or commend you or better yet, to offer a away to remember the pronunciation. This is the first step in making a connection between people.

This is important to remember today. Uncommon names seem to be more and more common today. I often will ask people how they spell their name, who they were named after or if they have any special tricks to help people with the pronunciation. Its not uncommon to find yourself in the awkward position of having to introduce someone whose name you surely should know how to pronounce to another professional. Ugggh! Those dreaded moments before you just “go for it” and blurt out what you think is close enough!

Allow me to put you out of your misery…just ask! We don’t mind at all. We won’t be offended or think that it’s the 10th time you’ve asked. I’d prefer someone whose known me for 5 years to ask me every time versus someone say it wrong who should know me better.

It’s the absolute best, most acceptable, polite approach. Oh and by the way, this applies to first and last names! People have as much pride in their last name as they do their first. You’re not getting one over on the person by only using their first name, because they have a challenging last name.

My Point:
The most basic form of all networking strategies starts with the most beautiful sound in the world, the sound of a person’s own name (pronounced correctly).

Side bar:

Some tips to help you properly pronounce my name…
• It’s Chalene – there is NO “R” in my name. My parents
were young and couldn’t afford the extra letter.
• I was named after “Kid Chalene” a drunk cowboy
played by Lee Marvin in the 1968 comedy “Cat Ballou”
with Jane Fonda
• The first syllables in my name “Cha” are pronounced like
the “shun” in “shut” or “Shove”. The “a” is long, not short
“a” as in “Shay-lene”. Think “Shutlene” then take out the “t”.
• Put an “sh” sound in front of the name Celine, as in
Celine Dionne
• My name rhymes with Celine Dionne

Shakeology Recipes

Okay, who are these people who don't know how to "customize" their Shakeologies? I talked to a guy today who told me he didn't like the taste of Shakeology. Really?? I asked him how he prepared it. He said, I added water and put it in a shaker. Um, hello... duh! That's like buying broccoli, taking a bit of it raw and saying it's "just okay" or boiling a breast of chicken in tap water and thinking it tasted kinda boring. People... really. Get a dose of creativity will ya??? Allow the queen of concoctions to assist.

Directions: Add ingredients into a blender, secure the lid and blend to your desired consistency. Some people like their shakes really juicey (more liquid) and some like them thick and foamy. I like something in the middle, but I add a ton of ice and water so that the whole thing is far more filling and not quite so strong. Keeps me full for hours and I love, love the taste. Most of these recipes are from the Beachbody message boards, mixed with a few of my own. Add more ice and more water if you like your shake to be more abundant.

Also, check out the benefits of Almond milk. Super low in cal, and you can find it in the powdered milk section of your grocery, in the non dairy section, not the cold milk area.

Orange Julius
1 scoop GreenBerry
1 cup of water
1/2 cup almond milk
1 packet Crystal light Sugar free "Classic Orange" or "Sunrise"
Ice (I put in like 2 cups of ice)

1.5 scoop Chocolate Shakeology powder
1 banana
1 Tbsp almond or peanut butter (or to taste)
ice to taste
8oz water

SUNRISE - Antioxidant Special
¼ cup fresh orange juice
1 scoop Berry Shakeology powder
3/4 cup water
Ice to taste

Most people have been able to kick their am coffee habit completely with Shakeology. I have to agree that after 2 weeks I could not believe how strong I felt even 50 minutes into my workouts! Wow! Coffee always just makes me crash later. But I do love the taste of it! I really do, so I understand why people would want to mix instant coffee with their Shakeology. Just remember that it needs to be added cold so as not to disrupt the delicate balance of nutrients in this masterful mix.

Mocha Madness
1 cup water
1/2 almond milk
1 cup of water with 1 tbsp instant coffee disovled - pour over ice after it disolves!
then add 1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology powder
Ice to taste
Sweeten if desired :)

1/2 cup frozen strawberries
½ cup frozen peaches
1 scoop Berry Shakeology powder
3/4 cup water
Ice to taste

Chocolate covered bananas
1/2 banana
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology powder
1/2 cup water
¼ cup non-fat soy, rice or almond milk
Ice to taste

Yogo Berry Blast
8- oz water
1- scoop of greenberry shakeology
1- cup of frozen mixed berries
1- 4 oz container of Dannon Light & Fit yogurt vanillia

Reeses PB Cup
1 Tbsp natural almond or peanut butter
1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology powder
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup Almond Milk
Ice to taste

1 scoop Chocolate Shakeology powder
1 cup water
1/2 almond milk
1/2 cup frozen strawberries
Ice to taste

½ cup combined frozen blueberries and blackberries
1 tsp fresh orange juice
1 Tbsp non-fat blueberry yogurt
1 scoop Berry Shakeology powder
3/4 cup of water

Cap'n Crunch O' GreenBerry
1 scoop Greenberry
2 cups of Cap' n' Crunch Ceral
1/2 heavy whipping cream
1 cup Vanilla Haagen Dazs Icecream
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup strawberry cornsyrup
ice to taste
Top with Whip Cream
(just kidding!! You've been jammed! Simply trying to keep you on your toes! )

¼ cup sliced strawberries
¼ cup GreenBerry Shakeology powder
¼ cup non-fat soy, rice or almond milk
½ cup water
Ice to taste

Tropical Banana Berry
1 Scoop Greenberry
1/2 cup Unsweetened almond milk
1/2 banana
2oz of 100% Pineapple juice

Strawberry, Choco PB Banana

1 Scoop of Chocolate
8 oz water
1/2 banana
1 tbsp of peanut butter
Frozen strawberries

Kids and Shakeology:
I don't know that Beachbody has officially listed their position on serving Shakeology to children and the appropriate dosages, servings and frequency. I can only speak for myself and say that it's far better than the zero GREEN my 12 year old son was eating before Shakeology came along. The only veggie we could get him to consume without gagging and running for the bathroom was corn and come corn really a vegetable? Cierra loves her fruits and veggies. Brock HATES 'em! This kid wont even eat an apple. So this has been a God -send. However, parents, this takes some STRATEGIC PLANNING on your part. If you have a "picky eater",don't think for a second you're going to be able to add ice and water to the mix and your kid is going to beg for more! Be smart! Baby steps! Remember when you weened them off of baby food to "real food". Same thing! Ween them on to it. The first shake I served to Brock was anything but low cal! It was very much so a delicious desert... by design...but he still got his veggies in! I added some the tastiest of ingredients I could find... just to get him to love it AND to agree to have one every day. After that first shake I slowly started cutting back on the "yum yum stuff" but in small doses so he didn't notice. Now he's drinking a pretty healthy version and still loving it! Baby Steps!

I call this technique the "Bait and Switch" what was in that first "bait and switch" shake? Fat free vanilla yogurt, a big 'ol scoop of peanut butter, sugar free chocolate sauce, almond milk, half of a banana and honey for added sweetness! For real! Shut up! Save it! I don't want to hear it, because it worked and the next time I made him one it was much healthier and far less calorie dense, but with picky eaters, that first taste is critical!!! I had to win him at the first sip. You have to win over your picky eaters or your dead in the water! (Right Moms?) So the next one I just cut back on all the yummy ingredients and added more ice. Slowly, over the course of the month I got him to the point that I'm just putting a 1/2 cup of Fat Free Fro Yo, Almond milk and 1/4 banana and tsp of Peanut butter. It's magical! He's totally asking for them by name and talking all of his friends into drinking it! He'll make an awesome coach one day!

Some Fun things to add to your Shakeology:
To switch up your flavor experiences, and boost your smoothie benefits, you can add:
1 scant tsp fresh orange juice will add a bright flavor punch!
1 Squeeze fresh lemon or lime is a very happy addition to the berry smoothies!
1Tbsp of organic nut butter peanut, cashew, almond, hazelnut are great)
Cinnamon is noted to suppress appetite and level out glycemic levels after meals.
1 Tbsp non-fat yogurt adds satisfying body to the smoothie.

Fruits that taste great in your shake:
Pears, Asian Pears, Korean Pears