“Habits: Once formed, they’re hard to break.” With Author Kris Doran Williams

Habits: Once formed, they’re hard to break. If we eat the same thing for breakfast day after day, month after month, and year after year, we become physically and psychologically wired to choose that same thing each time we eat breakfast. The practice forms a “groove” or “rut” in us. And just like it’s difficult […]

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Habits: Once formed, they’re hard to break. If we eat the same thing for breakfast day after day, month after month, and year after year, we become physically and psychologically wired to choose that same thing each time we eat breakfast. The practice forms a “groove” or “rut” in us. And just like it’s difficult to drive a car out of ruts, it’s difficult for us to drive ourselves out of well-worn — — but harmful — — habits. (Which isn’t to say it can’t be done. It can! )

As a part of my series about “5 Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kris Doran WilliamsKris received a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from Washington University in St. Louis, is trained as a Master Certified Health Coach with the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, and remains committed to helping others receive the best information, support, and encouragement they need for the health and well-being of their minds, bodies, and souls. At Kris Williams+Wellness, Kris draws on her background as a creative designer, teacher, actor, and health researcher, to expertly and compassionately guide others along the path to health and wholeness. Kris is the author of two books: Switzerland to Alaska: Just to Die (based on the true story of a Swiss artist’s journey of self-discovery in the Alaskan wilderness) and Becoming Lean and Free: Surprising Secrets to Healthy Weight (an encouraging, conversational 21-day health and weight-loss guide that provides powerful facts about basic nutrition while offering hope that losing weight and keeping it off is possible).

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the story about how you first got involved in fitness and wellness?

I’m passionate about sharing with others what I know about health and wellness because my own health was sabotaged as a child, and I experienced the disastrous results of…not knowing. My mother was feeding my ten siblings and me fairly well until she — — without understanding the devastation it would bring to our health — — accepted the weekly generosity of a neighborhood baker. Every Saturday evening for years, that baker gifted my mother all the jelly-filled donuts, sweet rolls, breads, cakes, and pies that hadn’t been sold before her shop closed for the weekend.

Because of all these goodies (that would be hard to resist for any child), I put on more pounds than I needed in middle school, was a prisoner to diet after diet in high school, and in college gained more than the “Freshman 15.” During these years, I dove into and out of depression and bouts of very low energy.

It wasn’t until I had my first job as a flight attendant that I began to connect healthy weight with proper nutrition. My job required both. So I started reading as many books on nutrition as I could find and experimented with various diets and health practices. Luckily I discovered scientists, health advocates, and nutrition experts whose nutrition information was science-based and trustworthy. What I learned helped change my thinking…my habits…and my life.

I became a Certified Health Coach to educate, motivate, and empower other people who want to live healthfully and well. Perhaps they are confused by all the “food noise” out there and just need a clear path to wellness, or perhaps they’ve tried too many times to lose weight the wrong way and are ready to give up. I want to tell everyone there is a way. There is hope. I love making nutrition simple for all individuals and groups who just want to be healthy and live at peace with themselves.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

I was riding in an Uber with a beautifully well-dressed and well-groomed driver who began telling me about her teenage daughter. From what I understood, her daughter carried around a hundred pounds more than she needed and hung out with friends like her — — content to eat and drink what they wanted with no thought to what such a diet could mean for their health. The mom was concerned because her daughter seemed to have given up on even trying to regain clearer skin and a body that didn’t hurt to move.

When I explained to this Uber-mom what kind of help I could offer, she kept asking me, “But how much did you weigh when you struggled with weight?” I tried to explain to her that even though I had never been a hundred pounds (or more) overweight, the extra weight I carried kept me just as much a prisoner as if it had been a hundred pounds. I had to work a little harder to find the words with which she could identify.

People want to know you understand their struggle, and I want to tell them I do. I’ve been there. I understand the physical and emotional toll that struggle brings.

Can you share a story with us about the most humorous mistake you made when you were first starting? What lesson or take-away did you learn from that?

I always try to put into practice what I write about and coach. For instance, if I’m going to write and coach on the benefits of juicing, then I want to be sure I include in my diet all the juices I recommend. When I first started, I put garlic in every vegetable juice I made and drank it in the morning no matter what plans I had for the day. Sad to say, it took me more than a few meetings before I noticed the nose twitches, eye squints, and step-backs from the people I was meeting. Noticing made me realize that I needed to make some kind of adjustment! No matter how much I wanted my body to experience the healing power of garlic, I’d have to do something about that smell! I mean, a bad diet can give you bad breath…but I didn’t want a good diet to have the same result!

So I developed some simple tricks to calm down the odor of garlic in my juices (while still experiencing its healing benefits).

I learned that you’ve got to pay attention to the effects certain suggestions, practices, and guidance may have on people and how they choose to incorporate them into their lifestyles. You have to always be aware of adjustments that you might need to make.

Can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fitness and wellness field? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?

I began investigating nutrition and health science many years ago — — sifting, comparing, and absorbing the information. At the same time, because I recognized that human beings are more than physical beings, I also focused on feeding and growing my spiritual nature. As a result, I am firmly committed to being a holistic health coach — — one who addresses the health of my clients’ minds and spirits as well as their bodies. Dr. Sears emphasizes the four pillars of health that form the acronym L.E.A.N., which stands for Lifestyle, Exercise, Attitude, and Nutrition. I add one more pillar: S — — for soul.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

My sister-in-law, Sandra, delivered a child who was brain-injured at birth. This child, her son, was never able to walk, speak, or feed himself. He lived to be seventeen years old. From the time he was born until he died, Sandra explored every path she could to bring health and relief to her son. She was the one who introduced me to homeopathy. She was the one who pointed out this or that author that I might consider in my own quest for health. In fact, she recommended a book that enabled me to dramatically change a crucial aspect of being well. I am forever grateful for her commitment to health and wellness — — even at times when it seemed her methods directly opposed those traditionally practiced by western medicine.

Sandra taught me this: If your life is struck by tragedy, you can do one of three things: shake your fist at God, live your life wallowing in self-pity, or accept your circumstances — — and the people who come to you in those tragic circumstances — — as gifts. Choosing the third option gets you looking for opportunities to learn all you can about how to enjoy those gifts. Then, if you’re willing to share what you learn, you also get to experience the joy of being a valued friend and guide to others.

Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. We all know that it’s important to eat more vegetables, eat less sugar, exercise more, and get better sleep etc. But while we know it intellectually, it’s often difficult to put it into practice and make it a part of our daily habits. In your opinion what are the 3 main blockages that prevent us from taking the information that we all know, and integrating it into our lives?

Two of the blockages — — habits and hormones — — I discuss in my book Becoming Lean and Free: Surprising Secrets to Healthy Weight.

It’s so important to understand how powerful both are.

Habits, for instance. Once formed, they’re hard to break. If we eat the same thing for breakfast day after day, month after month, and year after year, we become physically and psychologically wired to choose that same thing each time we eat breakfast. The practice forms a “groove” or “rut” in us. And just like it’s difficult to drive a car out of ruts, it’s difficult for us to drive ourselves out of well-worn — — but harmful — — habits. (Which isn’t to say it can’t be done. It can! And in my book I talk about how.)

So if you’re a parent, start your child off well by getting her into the habit of eating well. She’ll develop a taste for the less-sweet…a taste for broccoli, spinach, and other leafy greens. And she’ll crave those things when she’s tired or hungry.

Hormones are molecules that carry information from one cell to another in the body. Certain foods we eat might activate certain hormones and deactivate others. For instance, insulin is a hormone that increases your supply of leptin, another hormone that tells your brain you don’t need to eat more food (because you have enough fat stored for energy use). But if what you’re eating causes you to become insulin-resistant, then there won’t be enough leptin around to do its job.

Hobbit Friends is a name I have for the people who live with you or are close to you — — your family and friends. They have a huge impact on how much and how well you sleep, what you eat, and how you exercise. One of the things I discuss in health coaching is developing a network of people who can support the healthy changes you want to make.

Can you please share your “5 Non-Intuitive Lifestyle Tweaks That Will Dramatically Improve One’s Wellbeing”? (Please share a story or an example for each, and feel free to share ideas for mental, emotional and physical health.)

I’ve written about dramatic lifestyle tweaks in Becoming Lean and Free: Surprising Secrets to Healthy Weight. (The name of my book might make you think it’s just about losing weight. But the “secrets” revealed in the book suggest lifestyle changes that have very much to do with improving the total wellbeing of a person.) And here are five of them:

Tweak #1:

Drink more water.

Not every person requires the same amount, but every person requires — — and benefits from — — regular daily hydration.

One of your body’s biggest needs is for liquids.

More than one half of your weight comes from them.

Every tiny cell in your body has a job to do, and each cell needs liquids to function. If you go without liquids for more than three days, you…will…die.

Water helps to regulate your body temperature, keeps your eyes, nose, and mouth moist, lubricates your spinal cord, and cushions your joints. Enough water in your system helps to prevent kidney stones. Water is necessary to properly digest food and remove waste after food is digested. Imagine what your garbage bins look and smell like when you never have the trash removed. Your gut needs water to help you “take out the trash”!

If you regularly drink enough water for your body-type, I promise that you’ll sleep better and feel more energetic.

Tweak #2:

Limit the sugar you consume. Seriously. This second tweak, like the first, will make a world of difference in the way you think, feel, and move.

Sugar seems so innocent. It’s put in foods and drinks to make you enjoy what you’re consuming…to make sure you come back for the same products again and again. Sugar makes you feel good — — at first.

But it triggers harmful processes in your body — — perhaps more than any other food additive. It triggers processes that you usually don’t see the results of right away. Be assured, though, that the results of consuming sugar in excess will eventually lead to the demise of your health and weight, and poison your emotions.

Deceptive sugar.

Why is this so?

If you’re wondering why something that tastes so good could be so harmful, I’ll tell you.

It’s because of this one truth:

Sugar is not a food.

Sugar is a drug.

“Pure, white, and deadly,” John Yudkin called it in his book of the same name. Sugar is just as addictive as heroin or alcohol, but the manifestations of sugar consumption are far more subtle.

Who would have thought that any substance in your food supply would have the ability to mess not only with your body, but also with your mind, as well as with your spirit?

Who would have thought that any food substance could possess such power?

Deception is powerful, and any substance that can control you without your wanting it to is deceptive.

Do you want to bring saneness, relief, self-control, and real energy into your life?

If so, you’ve got to be released from the power of deception.

If you desire saneness, relief, self-control, and real energy in your life, you’ve got to be released from the power of sugar.

What’s the first step?

Exposing yourself to the truth about sugar — — truth based on science, as well as experience. Knowing the truth is powerful because knowing the truth can set you free. The second step is acting on what you know.

Tweak #3:

Include some probiotics in your day.

Probiotics are good bacteria that help your body digest the food you eat, absorb nutrients you need for energy, and prevent you from gaining unwanted weight(!)

With a good supply of them, you’ll be thankful that being able to go to the bathroom regularly is something you won’t have to worry about.

Probiotics are also valiant soldiers that protect you from illness by killing bad bacteria. Where can you find probiotics? They occur naturally in foods like sauerkraut, plain, unflavored yogurt, miso, kimchi, pickles, tempeh, kombucha tea, kefir, and even dark chocolate. If you can incorporate these foods into your day, you’ll be all set for a healthy gut environment! But remember that if you’re eating any of the above foods with added sugars, the sugars will introduce fungi like Candida into your system, which works to kill your good bacteria…

Because many people are challenged to incorporate into their diets foods that contain naturally-occurring probiotics, a more sure way to get them daily is to take probiotics in supplement form.

Tweak #4:

Increase the mineral known as magnesium in your diet.

When you consume magnesium, in pill form or in foods that contain it, hundreds of enzymes in your body are activated — — including digestive enzymes — — so you can actually digest and process every morsel of food you eat. Without magnesium — — without help to properly digest the fats, proteins, and carbohydrates you eat every day — — your body doesn’t get all the nutrients it needs. Without all the vital nutrients your body needs, you end up hankering to eat more…and more…in an effort to obtain those vital nutrients.

When you’re in between meals, magnesium in your system helps to keep your hunger cravings in check.

If there’s not enough magnesium in your system, your bowel movements can slow down or stop, food putrefies in your digestive track, your gut protrudes, and you end up distressed and sick as a result. As you may have already experienced, a distressed and sick body will color your outlook on life and limit your ability to think and live feely.

Magnesium influences insulin, that hormone which helps to regulate blood sugar. Some people have high levels of insulin in their blood either because they eat too much sugar or highly processed foods, or because their bodies fail to use insulin effectively. And since insulin causes fat to be stored in fat cells, high levels of insulin cause lots of fat to be stored in lots of fat cells.

When your body continues to fail to use insulin effectively, you’re known as being insulin-resistant, and when you’re insulin-resistant, your blood sugar levels are naturally out of whack every time you eat. Magnesium helps insulin do its job more effectively and keeps your blood levels in check.

Magnesium helps you get a better night’s sleep. Dr. Mark Hyman labeled magnesium “the most powerful relaxation mineral available” because of its calming effect on your body’s nervous system and its relaxing effect on your muscles.

Magnesium, it turns out, can also neutralize the effects of stress. It does this by supporting and feeding your adrenal glands, preventing your adrenal glands from becoming overworked, and helping you maintain a calm attitude.

If you’re willing to practice a magnesium-rich diet, here’s what to do:

Try avoiding refined grains like white flour, sugared cereals, muffins, bagels, or white rice, since these foods often have nutrients like magnesium processed out of them.

Instead, fill your menu with foods high in magnesium: fruits, vegetables (especially leafy green vegetables), beans, nuts, seeds, and fish.

And now you might see a bit more clearly why it’s so important to eat your vegetables!

Tweak #5:

Add some regular movement to your day.

This doesn’t mean you have to spend hours at the gym. But it does mean that you’re going to have to get up from the sofa or chair and…do something!

A very interesting scientific discovery showed that movement will actually increase your body’s ability to heal itself!

Remember that a body at rest tends to stay at rest. But a body in motion tends to stay in motion. In my book, Becoming Lean and Free: Surprising Secrets to Healthy Weight, I suggest that each reader who undertakes the journey to becoming lean and free try (and hopefully adopt) a new movement each day. So I’ll suggest that here, too.

If you work at a desk, get up and walk around at least once every thirty minutes.

If you find that you’ve got to sit at your desk for long periods, make time to do leg extensions: Extend your left leg and point your toe, and hold for five seconds, then flex your foot and hold for five seconds. Do the same with your right leg. Make sure you extend and flex at least five times for each leg.

Use isometrics while you’re sitting for your arms and shoulders, too. With feet flat on the floor, grab the seat of your chair on either side of your knees. Straighten and flex your arms, tighten and hold for five seconds, then release. Next as you grab the seat of your chair on either side of your knees, tighten your shoulders near your ears. Hold for five seconds, then release. (This offers a great release for computer-muscle strain!)

As an expert, this might be obvious to you, but I think it would be instructive to articulate this for the public. Aside from weight loss, what are 3 benefits of daily exercise? Can you explain?

We’re a pill-obsessed society. We opt first for some sort of medication to ease our pains before thinking about what we can do to make our bodies healthier or our lives better.

Dr. Sears teaches that anyone visiting a doctor shouldn’t ask “What pill should I take?” but rather, “What should I do?”

One of the easiest things a person can do to change her health and wellbeing for the better is to make exercise part of her daily routine. Daily exercise doesn’t just result in a healthy weight. There are so many more benefits to regular movement that a person can experience — — without pills. For instance, regular exercise can:

1. Increase your energy levels

Exercise makes your heart muscle — — and all the vessels attached to it — — stronger. As you incorporate daily exercise into your life, you’re able to do everyday tasks (like walking up stairs, bending for boxes or briefcases, or carrying groceries or children) with greater efficiency. When or if you can complete your daily activities effortlessly, you end up having energy left over at the end of the day. Extra energy lets you enjoy all those additional activities that add spice to your life. How much exercise does the American Heart Association recommend? At least 30 minutes of moderate aerobic activity at least five days a week. (If you have high blood pressure, it might seem counter-intuitive to exercise, but moderate-to-vigorous aerobic exercise three to four times a week can actually lower your blood pressure, too!)

2. Improve your moods

If you’re a person who uses pills to elevate your moods or overcome depression, know there’s another way: you can opt to do something that requires a burst of energy! When you do, your body will release higher levels of natural hormones known as endorphins — — those hormones that give you a level of wellbeing, or even euphoria, as they pass through your bloodstream. (As Elle said in “Legally Blonde”: Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy!”)

Stress affects moods, too, and exercise helps to diminish stress by scaling back the release of adrenalin and cortisol — — two hormones that run rampant in your body when you’re over-stressed.

3. Improve your digestion

What exercise does is increase blood flow in your body. When you regularly invite a higher amount of blood to circulate through your digestive tract, your digestive processes will function better. Over time, regular exercise can tone and strengthen your whole digestive tract.

(But because of the extra blood needed for digestion, it’s probably not a good idea to exercise immediately after a high protein/fat meal. You’ll have more energy if you wait an hour or two, because you’ll have more blood available to oxygenate whatever muscles you’re working out.)

For someone who is looking to add exercise to their daily routine, which 3 exercises would you recommend that are absolutely critical?

Each week I’d recommend that you include some aerobics (walking, running, biking, swimming), stretching (yoga, pilates), and weight-lifting. Each type addresses a different aspect of your body’s wellness.

Aerobic exercise strengthens your cardiovascular system and increases your body’s metabolism so that you can lose that hard-to-lose weight. Stretching improves posture, mobility, and flexibility. And weight-bearing exercises increase muscle strength and balance. You don’t have to do all three types of exercise in one day (although gentle stretches after aerobics and weight-lifting relax and “smooth out” your muscles).

In my experience, many people begin an exercise regimen but stop because they get too sore afterwards. What ideas would you recommend to someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise to shorten the recovery time, and to prevent short term or long term injury?

It sounds like you’re asking two questions here:

  1. How should a beginner approach exercise?
  2. How can someone who plays sports or does heavy exercise shorten recovery time and prevent injury?

For the beginner, it’s important to start exercising slowly.

If you’ve never done any type of exercise, experiment with isometrics.

For instance, tense and relax five times:

  • Your quadriceps (muscles on the front of your thighs)
  • Your hamstrings (muscles on the back of your thighs)
  • Your calves

Repeat these at least three times a day.

When you are ready, map out a walking itinerary and stick with it for twenty-one days — — because twenty-one days can form a habit! While walking, try to speed up every 2 minutes for 30 seconds. (This is a version of interval training and is very good for your heart.)

Eventually, you’ll want to add more intense cardio (walking further or a little faster, for example. You could also swim or use an elliptical machine for variation).

To prepare for lifting weights, squeeze a tennis ball (or other small ball) during the week before. Squeeze and release five times, then increase the time you hold the squeeze. (You can do this even while you’re watching T.V.!)

When you move on to weights, start with 3-pounders; continue with light weight until your muscles “ask” for more weight. If a joint hurts when lifting, go down to a lighter weight.

How can you shorten recovery time and prevent injury if you play sports or do heavy exercise?

First: get enough sleep! Really. Your body needs to recuperate fully after strenuous exercise.

Second: Only play a demanding sport or do heavy exercise every other day. Your muscles need time to build back up again after you “wear them out.” If you work out strenuously every day, your muscles are constantly being torn down.

Third: stretch gently but regularly. Stretching releases tension in the muscles, preventing both muscle and joint injury.

Fourth: make sure you eat the right foods to build your muscles and keep them relaxed. You also need to eat the right foods to protect your joints from glycation and oxidative stress. The right foods can keep your joints strong and flexible for years to come.

There are so many different diets today. Can you share what kind of diet you follow? Which diet do you recommend to most of your clients?

I don’t restrict myself to a particular diet, although what I practice is probably more like a Paleo diet than anything else.

I eat whole foods — — meaning I don’t buy or eat packaged meals. I have eggs almost every day for lunch/brunch and for dinner may have fish, chicken, beef, bison, or beans. (I try to eat meat that’s from a grass-fed animal, but this isn’t always possible.)

The first food I usually eat each day — — usually around mid-morning — — is fresh fruit (blueberries, mostly, but during the summer I like to vary the menu with fruits that are in season), and then an hour or so later sip on a vegetable smoothie.

Vegetables are always welcome on my lunch/brunch and dinner plates, and I’m always experimenting with various spices. I use healthy fats like butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocadoes, and have tried to eliminate as many of the unhealthy processed vegetable oils as is possible. I talk about the reasons why in my book. (Understanding why vegetable oils are detrimental to your health and eliminating them from your diet will move you closer to your goal of becoming and remaining healthy.)

As for my clients, I don’t recommend any diet in particular. It’s important that they decide what foods they can and will eat, and I guide them as they make their choices.

I find the most effective way to get a person to eat nutrient-rich foods is to introduce them to their meal plates gradually.

Most people choose what they do because that’s what they ate when they were children. Their taste-buds have been developed and habits have been formed over time. Generally, they choose foods they’ve eaten all their lives, even though what they choose might not be healthy for their heart or joints or brain or energy. They choose what they choose because they are in the habit of eating certain things and they’re used to the tastes.

However, tastes and habits can be changed. One easy way is to make adjustments little by little: add a good food here, crowd out a bad food there. There’s only so much time in the day to eat…

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story?

When I worked as a flight attendant, my schedule was wholly unpredictable. I never seemed able to get enough sleep, even when my body craved it. Plans for when the next meal might be — — or even what I might eat during it — — were more often than not scrambled, too. I might work a twelve-hour day and have nothing to fortify me but a granola bar. Flying across time-zones messed with my internal clock, and my digestion, moods, and mental clarify suffered.

I have to admit that my diet at that time was grab-and-go, and I was addicted to sugar. I was scared to gain back the weight I lost after college because there were strict weight-requirements for my job. So I was constantly in a battle with myself: counting calories so I wouldn’t put on extra weight, but then sneaking in the sugar because I needed the energy, however deceptive that energy was.

Then one day, a very special colleague checked in for the same 3-day trip I was scheduled to work. She carried her own supply of water, and read from a book called Sugar Blues, by William Duffy, that she offered to share with me. I was curious about the title because I had never made a connection between sugar and emotions. I was drawn in by Duffy’s writing from the beginning pages, and his became the first book I would read about the dangers of sugar. Before reading through Sugar Blues, I had always thought sugar was an innocent ingredient that did little more than add a few extra pounds if you ate too much of it. Sugar Blues dramatically presented sugar as a poison, and I realized I was hooked — — both on the sweet crystals themselves and also on finding out more about them. William Duffy made me wonder for a long time why food enthusiasts ignored what the famous Gloria Swanson had to say so convincingly about sugar. It was when I began to limit my intake of sugar that my health and my emotional state began to turn around.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would beg to have food manufacturers stop adding sugar to all of their packaged foods and drinks out there! What a world of difference that would make! Type-2 diabetes might be eliminated! Depression could be cured! Arthritis could be minimized! Even Alzheimer’s Disease might become a thing of the past!

Our society’s been able to remove tobacco and its smoke from airplanes and restaurants. Would it be so hard to spread the word that sugar is a drug — — a highly refined substance that is just as addictive as tobacco…and heroin or cocaine?

Without having sugar added to every food and drink on our grocery shelves, our society might return to experiencing the sheer pleasure of natural sweetness found in foods direct from nature.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

Every evening during my growing-up years I’d kiss my mother good-night, and each time without fail my mother would say after I kissed her, “Okay then. Brush your teeth and say your prayers.” And so I did.

Little did I know at the time how much influence for good these two admonitions would have on the health of my body and my soul.

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Hearing you ask this question is like being presented with a magic lamp — — the kind that you rub and the genie who appears offers you three wishes!

So I hope you won’t mind if I ask for three meetings?

1. I’d savor having a meal with Geno Auriemma, the UConn Huskies’ Womens’ Basketball Coach, the coach with the most N.C.A.A. basketball championships in the history of the sport (for men and women).

Because my daughter played basketball in highschool and for a short time in college, I began to follow the Lady Huskies — — and Geno — — and became impressed with the type of coaching system Geno employs and the type of players he recruits.

I would look forward to meeting him to find out his secret for winning, his recruiting process, and what exactly he does to develop mature and respectful players. His players all graduate and seem to become very confident, successful women.

Geno Auriemma’s whole story needs to be written down, and — — as a writer — — I’d like to be the one to write it! Maybe if I shared a lunch with Geno, I could convince him to allow me to be his biographer!

2. I’d be grateful to have lunch with Dr. Mehmet Oz — — just to thank him! He’s so dedicated to teaching others — — and will use whatever creative, crazy method available — — to explain in as many ways possible, how human beings can improve the health of their bodies. The world needs more health advocates like him!

3. I’d delight in having lunch with Ellen DeGeneres, because she is one person who is always wonderfully curious about everything and everyone, and has a marvelous ability to find the humor in any situation. She has the gift of making people laugh, and never fails to me laugh! And laughter, you know, really is the best medicine!

What is the best way our readers can follow you on social media?

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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