Healthcare Blog

Posts Tagged ‘humor’


Posted by capcityspeakers on June 7, 2017

By Dr. Brad Nieder

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse water-bottle-pollution
There’s an apocryphal story of a woman who attended her first Weight Watchers follow-up meeting and said, “I’m having trouble with the 68 bottles of water a day.”  Poor lady.  She had heard the instructor wrong at the previous meeting. Six to eight bottles.  That’s the range she was told (which, by the way, is apocryphal in and of itself).

It’s been over ten years since Lewis Black thoroughly and hilariously (and with an abundance of expletives!) covered the topic of bottled water.  Yet we’re still unnecessarily buying it, paying a lot of money and using a lot of energy to package, transport and refrigerate it.  And then we’re polluting the planet even more when the bottles wind up in landfills or the ocean.

20161027 google image ice cubes labeled for reuse 2045290249_4ccfd06b2e_z

It’s crazy, especially when you consider that tap water is safe to drink in almost all parts of the country.

Yet it seems there are more varieties of bottled water than ever: mineral water, spring water, distilled water, purified, vitamin-infused, ionized …

Soon they’ll sell us expensive ice by calling it “frozen concentrated water.”

Or maybe they’ll sell us condensed water.  Just add … water!  (Half-filled bottles you simply fill up at the tap!?)

Instead of coffee houses we’ll have water houses where you can order a tall half reverse-osmosis-filtered vitamin E-infused sparkling Aquafina and half distilled Artesian kiwi-infused Deep Rock with 3 squirts of O2 and a double shot of Fiji with an Evian magnesium mineral boost all over Dasani ice cubes … nonfat … no whip.

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse Fish_tank_(2)

One of the more ludicrous options is oxygenated water. Our lungs are great at obtaining oxygen, folks.  Our digestive tracts, not so much.  Unless you’ve developed gills in your stomach, I’d save the water for your pet fish.

And speaking of our pets, there’s actually water specifically formulated to appeal to our four-legged friends.  “But Dr. Brad,” you may say, “my dog drinks out of the toilet!”  Indeed.  Yet people buy this stuff.

20161027 Google image labeled for reuse Toilet_double_flush_01

Come to think of it, maybe all this nonsense started with toilet water (“eau de toilette”) … for which we pay good money to spray on ourselves!  “If they’ll do that,” said the marketers, “let’s sell them a bunch of bogus waters to drink, too!”

So, unless you’re in Flint, MI, feel free to go straight to the tap for your 68 (or six to eight) glasses a day. Otherwise you’re just flushing away your money in the water closet.


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Posted by capcityspeakers on May 16, 2017

by Karyn Buxman

Does this blog post make my butt look big?

The “Average American” (I’m still trying to find that person!) gains about one and a half pounds of fat a year between ages 25-60. Bummer! Not only does this lead to a number of health issues—it’s costly, it’s depressing, and it’s definitely not helping our self-esteem. If you’re like me, you are searching for ways to laugh your, ummm, your butt off—literally.

A 15-minute laugh burns 10-40 calories. Okay, so that’s not as much as an hour of spinning might get you. But how consistently are you spinning? Or running? Or swimming? Or shaking those hips at Zumba?!

15 minutes of laughter doesn’t require any coordination. Or a membership fee. You don’t have to leave the comfort of your home. Or your room. Or your chair. (You can do it in a house. You can do it with a mouse. You can do it in a boat. You can do it with a goat. You can do it here or there. You can do it anywhere!)

Over a year’s time, you can laugh off one to four pounds. (Hey, I see you over there rolling your eyes!) But think about the cumulative effect. In five years time, you can gradually lose 5-20 pounds. Or you can do nothing continue to watch the scale creep up, or best case scenario, hold your own.

As any dietician will tell you, it’s the small incremental changes over time that will yield the best long-term results. So start adding 15 minutes of laughter to your daily routine. Don’t turn this into a chore. You did this easily as a kid. And reap the benefits of laughing you’re a$$ off!


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Nurses! Get Inspired & Connected on Planet Improv

Posted by capcityspeakers on December 22, 2016

by Beth Boynton, RN, MS

Things are cooking in the Medical Improv world.  Recent workshops at Rutgers Medical School and Bay State College and the first train-the-trainer book,  Medical Improv:  A New Way to Improve Communication Skills & 15 Activities You Can Teach STATis scheduled to be published early in 2017.

If you’d like spice up your holiday party,  try this super fun activity with your team described on Medline post: De-Stress and Improve Communication with Medical Improv!

Also, I’m VERY happy to announce five Medical Improv programs through Capitol City Speakers Bureau!  This one was designed for “Nurses’ Week, but if your team needs a boost sooner, please contact Capitol City at 1-800-397-3193.

Get Inspired and Connected on Planet Improv!

An Out of this untitled-design-40World Experience for Nurses Only! It is no secret that nurses face relentless high-stakes high-stress work with little time to come together for pure fun. On Planet Improv, nurse colleagues are guaranteed to have a great time together while building positive relationships. Join Medical Improv Practitioner Beth Boynton, RN, MS as she facilitates a variety of easy-to-do and playful activities that will leave nurses feeling engaged, connected, and inspired about their work. Whether staff actively participate or watch, this interactive workshop is always a one-of-a-kind and memorable experience!

(P.S. If you want to offer a similar workshop for ALL healthcare professionals I’m pretty sure Capitol City Speakers Bureau will be happy to help and so will I!)

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The Masterpiece Of A Moment

Posted by capcityspeakers on November 23, 2016

by Kathy Brown

We need to live One day at a time and make it a masterpiece. If you never want to be lonely, build bridges instead of walls. Being lonely takes its toll on your overall health both mentally and physically. Relationships help us multiply our joys and cut our sorrows in half when shared.

Our moments are all we have as we are not promised a tomorrow. Live fully in each moment making something better because you were fully present “in it.” Nobody can help everybody but everybody can help somebody.

Remember that great people are ordinary people with an extraordinary amount of commitment. They persevere when times get tough. Difficulties come not to obstruct but to instruct. Learn the lesson and move on.

Friends are God’s way of taking care of us. Nurture your relationships with those people who encourage, uplift, and inspire you to reach your full potential! Your moments become memories which can last a lifetime and then live on in those left to enjoy them.

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Measuring Success: Significance or Just Staying Busy?

Posted by capcityspeakers on October 6, 2016

By Ron Culberson

Recently, I spoke at a conference in Indiana. I spent the morning with four hundred attendees and then closed their event with a keynote address. Afterwards, I worked on a writing project at Starbucks. Later, I ate dinner at a local restaurant and then returned to my hotel room where I watched an episode of Boardwalk Empire. I went to bed around 9:00 p.m. which, by the way, is not my typical-old-man bedtime but rather my way of avoiding travel fatigue.

This was a common day for me. And even though it was quite full, there was this nagging voice in my head that said, “You should have done something more significant.”

Do you ever experience this? Do you ever feel like you should have accomplished something more important during your day? Does sitting on the porch or watching an episode of House Hunters feel like you’re not making the most of your time?

This frequently happens to me. For some reason, my Success Meter is not calibrated properly. When I get to the end of my day, I often feel that I have not achieved success unless I accomplished something tangible like writing a new piece of material, booking a presentation, or finding a cure for ebola. I watch other people who appear really busy and seem to be accomplishing many things throughout their day and I don’t feel that I measure up. In fact, when I catch myself staring out the window at a stink bug trying to get in through the screen, I realize that I must be quite a slacker.

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You Can Ring My Bell…Or Not

Posted by capcityspeakers on September 8, 2016

by Christine Cashen


A Kroger  opened in our neighborhood. You’ve gotta love that new store smell and the fresh and perky employee attitudes. This store is awesome! It has a Sushi Bar, a Starbucks and, the Express Lanes have a sign that states, “About 15 items.” Sweet! The pressure is off.

As usual, we are out of milk, cereal and dog food. I’m on a fast grocery run between kid pick-up and 17 other errands. I approach the checkout and see that you can ring a bell for exceptional service. When you “ding,” everyone yells, “WOOOOO!” I don’t know why this cracks me up, but it does. So I have been experimenting. If I ring the bell the moment I arrive at the cashier, does that ensure better service? If I don’t ring the bell, do the checker and bagger feel disappointed? Do I get to yell, “WOOOOO!” or is it just for employees?

After many failed attempts at gathering any true intel, I decided to ask. Except, I may have asked the wrong cashier.

“Excuse me, do you get happy when people ring the bell?”

“Not really.”


“Well, I only like it when a manager is around to hear it. Mostly, it’s just annoying.”

This was a totally unexpected answer. Seriously? Doesn’t everyone want their bell rung? (That doesn’t sound right — but stick with the story). Doesn’t everyone want to provide great service, whether a manager is around or not? If great service happens and a manager isn’t around to witness it, did it actually take place?

As a frequent bell ringer, I walked to my car downtrodden. It’s like finding out there is no Easter Bunny or the real age of Mick Jagger. Sitting in the car, I thought about what just happened and there are some great lessons here:

  • What you think motivates your employees, kids, bosses, partners… may not be what actually motivates them.
  • Hire, surround yourself and make friends with people who want the bell ringing.
  • Check your own “WOOOOO!” Are you doing things that motivate others to want to ring your bell? Great service, attitude, professionalism?
  • Are you ringing others’ bells regardless of who is or is not watching?

SO… Will I still ring the bell? Absolutely! If I truly get good service, the world should know! In this crazy life, there’s still nothing like giving and getting a real, “WOOOOO!”

Go forth today, “WOOOOO” and be “WOOOOOed.” Now more than ever we need more cheerleaders, fewer critics and better customer service.

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The Healthy Humorist® Weighs In On Healthy Eating

Posted by capcityspeakers on September 1, 2016

by Brad Nieder, MD–The Healthy Humorist®


I know!  I know!  I seem like a hypocrite.  I call myself The Healthy Humorist®, yet whenever I write about diet and nutrition, I appear to be decidedly unhealthy.  Cheesesteaks in Philly.  Pizza in Chicago.  Barbecue in … well, wherever it’s nearby!  (See The Healthy Humorist®’s Unhealthy Eating Adventure Across America (#THHUEAAA).)

But that’s me on the road.  I splurge.  Most of the time, though, I try to eat healthy.  And I encourage others to do the same, offering nutrition advice whenever I have an audience.  With so many diet plans (sorry, “lifestyle choices”) out there, I know how confusing the issue can be.

Caveman+with+Food+TrayAt the moment, many of my friends swear by the Paleo diet.  They tell me that our caveman ancestors in the Paleolithic era did not develop heart disease or cancer despite eating a lot of animal protein and very few carbohydrates.  But what they don’t point out is that those same caveman ancestors didn’t live long enough to develop such diseases, as they all died in their mid-twenties via dinosaur trampling.

Anyway, if you’re trying to lose weight, here’s the plan I recommend:

  1. Eat whatever you want.
  2. Eat as much as you want.
  3. Don’t exercise at all.
  4. Drink eight glasses of water a day … from Guadalajara, Mexico.

You’ll quickly lose a lot of weight (and your appetite!)  And you’ll gain a sense of accomplishment (and a bottle of Imodium!)

Ha!  I am kidding of course.  The truth is I keep my nutrition advice very simple.  First, choose healthy foods. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ten Toxic Words: words we wish Webster would withdraw

Posted by capcityspeakers on August 25, 2016

by Bobbe White

Start with the worst first, shall we? Pretend these words are dysfunctional family members or friends in your home for dinner, seated around the table to upset our calm and confidence.

#1 Should is a dumb word. As in, “You should go visit your mother.” It’s worse when, ‘really’ is used too, “You REALLY should go visit your mother.” Stop it.
#2 Have has to go. Period. We’re told, “You have to do this; have to do that.” Our inner brat cranks up to retort, “I don’t HAVE to do anything.” And I don’t and won’t. Have is not welcome here. If you’re in customer service, the same goes for what you tell a customer he or she has to do.
#3 Should have Who invited this couple? My favorite, “I should’ve gone to the funeral visitation.” For some reason, you didn’t go. Not to be irreverent, but visitations are one-and-done; no do-overs. Stop beating yourself up when nothing can take you back in time. I’m curious, are the bereaved cognizant of your absence during visitation? Surely, not. (However, I do know people with a mental scorecard, doing their ‘check-off’. Another one is, “You should’ve come with us to the concert! Nice, huh? Stab my heart again.
# 4 Don’t. We’ve heard, “don’t” since we donned diapers: “Don’t do this! Don’t do that,” and the combo, “Don’t EVER do that again.” Excuse me, is that a threat? Don’t EVER tell me “don’t” again. I’m 60, not 6.
#5 Ought is Should’s kissin’ cousin. The word looks like it’s missing letters. Like bad teeth on Cousin Eddie. When you think, “I ought to do….”, don’t ought to do it, DO IT, if you can’t stop thinking about it.
#6 Didn’t you realize…? When something goes wrong, we’re asked if we realized such and such would happen, it prompts this reply, “Hey, if I’d realized it beforehand, would I have done it?” We feel bad enough. Stop pouring salt in that wound. Unless of course, if you did realize a possible outcome, and did it on purpose, you may be passive aggressive. And that is another blog post.
# 7 & #8 Wouldn’t /Couldn’t Another unwelcome table guest, which should be banned from our conversations. “Couldn’t you help me, just this once?” Move on, Martyr. Or, “Wouldn’t it make more sense to do it this way?” Yes, it might. Sounds better when phrased, “Let’s try it this way.”
#9 Absolutes. This is the “3 for 1” toxic offer. Never, Always & Ever, because nothing ever is always one way. Never, ever, ever. Lose these three.
#10 Guilt is not a toxic word, but is the babe and by-product of the above nine dinner guests. Guilt’s the guest who is a travel agent. She’s a frequent flier, inflicting guilt at every chance. If someone at your proverbial dinner table acts like a travel agent, sending you on guilt trip after guilt trip, send her packing!

Thanks to these ten toxic words, we question our decisions, actions and ideas, many of which were made with our best intentions, only to be undone by someone who thinks he or she knows better. No thanks. These words are harmful enough when said to us by others. They’re even more toxic when said in our heads. Confidence is making decisions and feeling good about them. If we let others knock us down with words, or insinuation, our confidence is destroyed. Does it make sense how words can be a lot like toxic friends or family members? Don’t tear yourself -or others-down with words.

Wouldn’t it be fun at future friends/family dinners, if the dog sitting under the table at our feet, could bite the ankles of people who make others feel crummy with toxic words? Grrrrrrrrrrrr! I love the idea.

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Changing Your Mental Channel

Posted by capcityspeakers on June 15, 2016

by Kathleen Passanisi

Television has done much for psychiatry by spreading information about it, as well as contributing to the need for it.-Alfred Hitchcock

It’s been called the “idiot box.” It’s been called “the greatest single invention of the 20th century.” Either way, to say that television is a huge part of daily American life is to state the overwhelmingly obvious. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, “American children and adolescents spend 22 to 28 hours per week viewing television, more than any other activity except sleeping. By the age of 70 they will have spent 7 to 10 years of their lives watching TV.” The effects of sleep on mind and body have been well documented. But what comes of all this “tube time?”

How does television affect the mind? In order to understand how television effects our health, we must first understand how it affects the mind. Several studies have shown that the longer one watches television, the easier it is for their mind to slip into “Alpha state.” Here, the brain’s waves are slow and steady. This hypnotic trace-like state is the brain’s most receptive mode. Images and suggestions have maximum impact in this mode. Why else would advertisers spend up to one billion dollars per year on television advertising? But what about what’s between the commercials?

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The Tug of Time

Posted by capcityspeakers on June 2, 2016

by Kathy Brown

Have you felt the tug of “too much to do in too little time” in too many areas of your life?

Temporary is the new “normal” so change is constant. That can be very wearing on our stressed out coping skills as we constantly adjust our lives to fit the variety of needs of our family and work place. Did lack of sleep and time to eat, much less cook something nutritious, get mentioned yet? Throw a pet into the mix just to keep things interesting. Let’s not forget our aging parents who may live near enough to be of some help OR need help themselves. How’s all that working for you so far?

Goal setting should be a lifestyle or it can simply be a tool to ensure progress. We need to constantly learn more efficient ways to work smarter not harder as our areas of responsibility increase . Collaboration of our time and resources both personally and professionally can set a positive emotional environment where we help one another achieve a greater balance while keeping each other accountable! Your joys get multiplied and your challenges get cut in half when you share your needs and goals with others who will support and encourage you.

Laughter ignites a healing balm of happy that soothes our soul and lubricates our lungs. It is both contagious and addicting. Smiles can infect others who willingly join your group of family members and friends who can then start an epidemic of joy. This will stamp out “hurry sickness” which thrives in the petrie dish of doing too much. Start managing and investing your time and energy into things that have the most significance to you. Take a humor break. Leave a legacy of love and laughter. Just be yourself. Everyone else is taken. :-)

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