Issue date: Wednesday, October 02, 2013

In this issue you'll find stories about:

Cultivate optimism from within.

Is Your Glass Half Full?

Data on more than 97,000 women from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) suggest that attitude may be the key ingredient to living longer. Using standard personality inventories, scientists found that the most cynical and hostile women had higher rates of heart disease and total mortality compared to their optimistic counter-parts; the women holding the glass ‘half-full'. Imagine that! Researchers found that adult females with a high level of well-being had decreased cardiovascular risk, decreased levels of stress hormones (cortisol, dopamine, epinephrine), increased levels of health-enhancing hormones (endorphins, neurotransmitters) and decreased levels of inflammation suggesting that attitude is everything! The good news, our brains are not hardwired for optimism or pessimism, optimism can be learned and pessimism overcome.

According to, Martin Seligman, psychologist and author of several optimistic reads such as: Authentic Happiness, Learned Optimism and The Optimistic Child, to name a few, building optimism consists of recognizing and then disputing pessimistic thoughts. Disputing pessimistic thoughts, when someone else is involved, is not the challenge. Disputing our own pessimistic thoughts about ourselves - therein lies the problem. Seligman suggests first recognizing the negative thought and treat it as if it was uttered by someone else, "a rival whose mission in life was to make you miserable" (Seligman's words not mine). He proposes four ways to make your dispute with yourself convincing:
• Evidence - What is the evidence for this belief? Learned optimism is about accuracy.
• Alternatives - Almost nothing that happens has one cause; most events have many causes. Is there any less destructive way of looking at this?
• Implications - Even if the belief is true, what are its implications?
• Usefulness - Sometimes the consequences of holding a belief matter more than its truth. Is the belief destructive? How can you go about changing it?
Learned optimism need not be an overwhelming task, it will take practice. Unfavorable thoughts can and do happen, recognize that and be prepared to dispute them.
Think of it as an opportunity to step outside of your automatic negative response and view it differently. The more you practice the more automatic it will become. Be patient, don't expect major changes in thinking right away, but do expect them to become ingrained over time. Need some additional support cultivating the optimist from within? Join us on November 6th at Aurora St Luke's Medical Center, from 6:00-7:00pm for an evening with noteworthy clinical psychologist, Jeff Lauzon, PhD. Get ready to uncover what is getting in the way of you holding a glass that is half-full.


What's New in the Center

The Karen Yontz Center presents Roadblocks to Well-being

Studies have shown that individuals with a general sense of well-being; feeling cheerful, relaxed, energetic, and satisfied with life, have a lower risk of developing heart disease and cancer. Well-being is associated with balance, understanding, acceptance and constant growth. Yes, there is work involved and with the proper tools you too can lower your risk and improve your sense of well-being Join us for an evening with noteworthy clinical psychologist, Jeff Lauzon, PhD, to uncover what is getting in the way of your ‘sense of well-being' and learn what you can do to ‘Live well'.

Date: November 6, 2013
Time: 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Aurora St Luke's Medical Center Stiemke Auditorium
Registration: (414)649-5767 or




What's New in the Center

Heart Healthy Cooking School

Do you have the desire to live healthier but lack the tools to do it? Join The Karen Yontz Center staff and other wellness professionals as we explore some non-traditional approaches to managing and improving your health. Each class will include a brief ‘wellness topic' followed by a ‘heart healthy' cooking demonstration by Staci Joers, chef extraordinaire. Discover a new approach to wellness, uncover time-saving tricks of the trade, sample a variety of culinary delights and leave with "a prescription for good health".

Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Healthy Mediterranean Part II
Staci Joers, Food Demonstrations with Flair

Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Healthy Lunch
Staci Joers, Food Demonstrations with Flair

Time: 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Location: Aurora St Luke's Medical Center
Cardiopulmonary Conference Room Kitchen
Fee: $12.00 per class.
Register for all 4 classes for the price of 3 - $36.
"Friends" of The Karen Yontz Center receive a discount:
$10 per class, 4 classes - $32.


In the News

Book Review

Authentic Happiness
Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment
by: Martin E. P. Seligman, Ph.D.

In Authentic Happiness, Seligman introduces the scientifically based idea of "Positive Psychology." Positive Psychology focuses on strength rather than on weakness. Suggesting that happiness is not the result of good genes or luck instead it can be cultivated from within. The author points out that we possess ‘signature strengths'; kindness, originality, humor optimism, and generosity and by calling upon these strengths, we develop a natural buffer against misfortune and negative emotion. As a result, we are in a more positive place, a happy place! Are you looking to cultivate that happy place within you? Consider checking out this book or one of the many resources available in The Karen Yontz Women's Cardiac Awareness Center. We look forward to meeting you.

Recipe of the Month

Looking for another healthy option for breakfast or a snack? Try this heart healthy granola! Eat it by itself or serve with yogurt or milk. You can also vary the nuts or dried fruit in this recipe. Just remember to watch the portion size!

Quinoa & Pumpkin Seed Granola

¾ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and well-drained
½ cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
½ cup slivered almonds
¼ cup ground flaxseed
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons Canola oil or coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sea salt
¾ cup dried cranberries, raisins (or other dried fruit)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, combine quinoa, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and flaxseed.
2. In a small, glass bowl heat honey on high for 20 seconds in the microwave. Stir in oil, cinnamon, and salt.
3. Pour honey mixture over quinoa mixture; toss to coat. Spread in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
4. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until golden, stirring twice. Stir in dried fruit. Cool for 15 minutes in the pan. Spread out on foil. Cool completely, breaking up any large pieces. Transfer to an air-tight container to store. Store for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Makes 13 (1/4 cup) servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1/4 cup): 191 calories, 11 g total fat (*0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 94 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber

*Using coconut oil will increase saturated fat to 2 g of saturated fat per serving.

Source: Adapted from Better Homes & Garden website