Trust- made tangible

It is tricky to explain trust to a little kid or even a spouse. How can I convey the meaning and importance of trust? I created an explanation that stuck with my little guy and oddly enough my husband too. The First grade proved to be a challenging year in this house. To this day they both will refer to the “Trust Meter” which I came up with 3 years ago.

Here is what I told my little guy back then:
Trust is really important in every relationship. Each relationship has it’s own amount of trust between those two people. I have a certain level of trust with other people in each individual relationship. And they also have a certain level of trust with me in return. For example with my dad we have high trust level for one another. If he says he will do something I know he will do it. With my sister it has changed and there is very little trust because in the past few years there have been many lies and bad choices. Everyone is aware of this so it was easy to use as an example.

You are always building, maintaining, or changing the trust level in each relationship. We sat down and I quickly drew a trust meter to try and make this idea stick for a 1st grade kiddo. On the top left side you are building up to trust and on the top right you are losing trust. From the middle down are ways you can lose trust. Here is our Trust Meter.
trust meter

I have no doubt this meter could be improved upon because it was done in the spur of a moment and worked in our situation. Who knows we may be designing a new one as the teenage years approach. It might not be a bad pre-marital activity now that I think on it.

The Trust Meter is still in his room after 3 years. We talked about ways you drop down the meter from Full Trust to Trust You Sometimes and on down to Do Not Trust. Upon realizing he was sliding quickly to the Do Not Trust end of the meter he asked how he could climb back up to the top. Great question. It is important for him to understand that he alone lost the trust. His position on the trust meter is earned by his very own actions. Likewise it is also important to know that he alone can work his way back up the meter by his very own actions. This was simple and to my great surprise has been effective.

He will often ask “Where am I on the trust meter right now?” I believe it has been a valuable lesson for him to see the level of trust others have in him is earned and is lost by him alone. He went through a fibbing phase recently and the trust meter helped me explain how those fibs dropped him down the meter. During those times I said, “You are in the middle where I trust you sometimes but not every time. If you keep telling fibs then you will begin to move toward I ‘Do Not Trust’ anything you say. If you begin to tell more truths then you will move back up the trust meter to where I trust everything you say at Full Trust.”

Maybe I got lucky on the fact that he cares where he is on the trust meter. Now he knows that each relationship has it’s own meter and that it can fluctuate based on behaviors. It is also useful when we discuss friendships and how those play out in his life as he gets older. It is up to him to decide how important it is to be high on the trust meter with other people and likewise it is up to him to decide where someone else is on his trust meter. Yes that’s right we all have a position on the meter by someone’s level of trust in us, even as parents.

New Discovery by me -Book & Author

If you have not discovered Brene Brown then let me introduce you. She is a researcher who proves things by measuring them and quantifying them with data. She writes about difficult emotions and how those can be our success or our failure in our life. I think there is something for everyone on this book. Fast Company has put her book as one of the top business books of 2012.
She gives wonderful talks and interviews.
She has a website Ordinary Courage
Her current book “Daring Greatly” is the next thing for me to complete.

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead


Our Inner Clock and it’s effects

Here are the highlights from an interview with Dr. Michael Terman who is the Director of the Center for Light Treatments and Biological Rhythms at Columbia University Medical Center.

The rising of the sun speaks directly to your internal clock. This occurs because the sunlight stimulates the retina of your eye which sends a signal to the base of your brain. The outer clock is the solar clock or rather the clock that runs the world. In the winter there is less sun and some people are more prone to get the blues or depression because of the shift of sunrise. If you use artificial light when you wake up and before you go to work then it tricks the mind and body into feeling better by adjusting your inner clock.  The best amount of light is the level of light you would get walking on the beach for 40 minutes after sunrise. The best lit architectural spaces is 600 lux as opposed to the 10,000 lux you would receive during that walk on the beach.

For those who are having insomnia they can try light therapy in the morning which is at the end of your internal night clock. The timing of the lights is critical. We each have an internal night and we have an external night. Each of our internal nights can differ by hours so you need to find out where your internal clock is sitting. You can take a test at Center for Environmental Therapeutics. Look for morningness and eveningness questionnaire under self-assesstment tools click the circadian rhythm. This website will give you information about light therapy as well as your personal internal clock.


The hormone melatonin is a gauge for sleep time. Your body naturally begins making melatonin about 2 hours before it is ready for bed. According to Dr. Terman taking an over the counter melatonin pill before bed is mostly useless because your body is already producing it. Their research shows it is better to take a much lower dose hours before bed to try and signal you brain to get ready for bed or move your internal clock.

To handle jet lag when going east he suggest protecting your eyes from the light by wearing dark sunglasses or special filtering glasses when you land until noon and for the first few days until noon.  Jet lag will be worse if you step right off the plane into the bright Paris sunlight straight from the plane. Filtering the light with glasses the first few days will reduce the disruptive symptoms of jet lag.

Dr. Terman also suggest we are not lighting up our homes enough in the morning and have too much lighting in the evening from TVs, computer screens, and the such. We need to be dimming everything as the evening approaches and turning up the lights in the morning. He suggest this for kids before they become teenagers when the internal clock truly does change and sleep patterns and school start times can be very difficult. So crank those lights while they are brushing those teeth. He also addresses the blue light theory from TVs and receivers which interferes with the body’s function of making melatonin at night. There are amber blue block glasses which allow you to see clearly but filter out the blue light component so your body’s melatonin production remains on schedule.

The light therapy has been used in research to address depression and bi-polar disorder ONLY when in the depressed state. This would require a doctor’s care. Light therapy has shown to have positive effects on dementia, depression during  pregnancy, and eating disorders.

Buy his new book:

Inner Clock Interview

Omega 3

I heard this interview twice and I was amazed at how much I missed the first time I was listening. Diane Rehm has a panel of highly specialized experts to talk about Omega 3: the research, the doses and types, the differences between diet of  Omega 3 and dietary supplements of Omega 3, and more in depth question and answer topics concerning Omega 3.

Assessing The Health Benefits Of Omega-3


Sleep precious sleep

I heard an excellent interview about sleep aids , pills for sleeping, sleep habits, and how our body and mind relate to sleep. I preach sleep in my home. I think sleep is very important to our well-being. …

What do we really know about drones? Are they harmless?

Do you think there will be a drone flying in your neighborhood soon? What purpose will it serve? Who will be flying the drone?

Air Force Chief Leaves his legacy.

Homemade Toy or Weapon?

Losing US citizens to drone attacks explained by US Attorney General, Eric Holder.

What can drones see?



Are you aware?

I believe it serves you well to know a little bit about this topic. I am working on my opinion and still gathering information.

Cybersecurity is often covered by Diane Rhem and she invites experts on for interviews quite often.



Here to discuss the growing threats on the Internet and the Pentagon’s role in defending the nation in cyberspace: James Lewis of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Thom Shanker of The New York Times, and Greg Nojeim from the Center for Democracy and Technology.

How powerful are expectations

Kris Boyd gives another great interview on Think.

 Could expectations have a more tangible effect on our lives than reality? We’ll talk this hour with journalist Chris Berdik, who explores the science of expectation in the fields of medicine, education, criminal justice, and more in his new book “Mind Over Mind: The Surprising Power of Expectations” (Current, 2012).

Mind over Mind: The Suprising Power of Expectations

Food & medical conditions

I, like most, have battled my weight at different times. This interview reminded me of the basics which I have abandoned when I have put on a few extra pounds. Eat only when you are hungry. Use smaller serving dishes so you will serve yourself smaller portions. Prioritize your calorie intake by choosing good calories to consume. Stop when you are comfortably full which is especially challenging during the holidays.

Moving on to food as a medicine cabinet. Dr. John La Puma, who specializes in internal medicine, went to cooking school to lose weight and to be more effective as a doctor to his patients.

You can lower your blood pressure just a little bit by eating chocolate.

Curcumin, only found in tumeric, can help with osteoarthritis by acting as an anti-inflammatory. But you need to have black pepper in it for it to be activated. It has also been used to lower blood sugar.

Cinnamon can lower blood sugar which is very helpful for those with diabetes.

Some claim that inducing freeze brain (like a milkshake) can cut a migraine in half if you catch it right at the onset.

Honey is great for kids with a cough. The thick sugary liquid seems to quiet the cough at night. The anti-oxidants will not hurt and may be helpful in fighting the cough.

Canker sores for some can be a nightmare. I heard a personal testimony about eating dark leafy greens or using folic acid supplement. Sauerkraut juice has also been shown to make canker sores go away.

Heartburn or acid reflux can be relieved with apple cider vinegar. You can take a half of a swallow when symptoms appear or use a tablespoon in your salad dressing.

These were the highlights of the interview.

Dr. John LaPuma was interviewed on the Peoples Pharmacy Show and I wondered if anyone has tried using foods for medical purposes and experienced success.