The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life
Judith A. Belmont, MS, and Lora Shor, LSW
Premier Publishing & Media; 1st edition (October 21, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0982039891
ISBN-13: 978-0982039892

Don’t get stuck in life’s holes!

The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life is a book about resiliency. Using Swiss Cheese as a metaphor for life itself, you will explore ways to get through the holes rather than get stuck in them. Swiss is not like any other cheese – and neither are you!

This self-help health and wellness book is sure to delight and enlighten – with a thick-sliced sense of humor. While it is whimsical in style, it deals with many serious and universal topics that affect our everyday lives. We distill important concepts from many sources, slicing them up into easily digestible chunks of information.

After all, Swiss is not like any other cheese and neither are you like anyone else! This wellness book is about thriving in the face of life’s adversities, overcoming challenges, developing stress resilience, and making effective and long lasting changes for a happier life. Important training concepts are easily related through a light-hearted holistic approach that will touch your mind, body and spirit. Our expertise as psychotherapists and wellness speakers has reached thousands of people throughout the country – and now we want to reach out to you! Couldn’t everyone benefit from Swiss Cheese Life resiliency training to help them move through life’s holes instead of getting stuck in them?

Take The Swiss Cheese Theory of Life Challenge!

  • Are you trying to make changes in your life, yet you find yourself digging deeper into a hole?
  • Do you know better but can t seem to get out from under your unhealthy patterns or habits?
  • Do you often have why does this happen to me thinking?
  • Are you looking for happiness in all the wrong places?
  • Are you ready to make healthy changes in your life … physically, emotionally, spiritually?

If you answered yes to any of these questions help is here!

Judith A. Belmont, MS, is a national speaker and corporate wellness trainer, with over 30 years of experience as a psychotherapist. From college teaching to working with Fortune 500 companies, Judy uses practical, action-oriented strategies to get people through life s obstacles. She is the author of two professional books, 86 Tips for the Therapeutic Toolbox and 103 Group Activities and TIPS.

Lora Shor, LSW, is a psychotherapist, work/life consultant, and national speaker. She has helped thousands learn and implement resiliency skills and transformation techniques for happier, healthier, balanced lifestyle. Lora is an international consultant to Fortune 500 companies, the federal government, and non-profits, and also maintains a private clinical practice in the Philadelphia area.

Life Over Cancer

Life Over Cancer: The Block Center Program for Integrative Cancer Treatment
by Keith I. Block, M.D.
Bantam, April 2009, 978-0-553801149

Dr. Keith Block is at the global vanguard of innovative cancer care. As medical director of the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment in Evanston, Illinois, he has treated thousands of patients who have lived long, full lives beyond their original prognoses. Now he has distilled almost thirty years of experience into the first book that gives patients a systematic, research-based plan for developing the physical and emotional vitality they need to meet the demands of treatment and recovery.

Based on a profound understanding of how body and mind can work together to defeat disease, this groundbreaking book offers:

  • Innovative approaches to conventional treatments, such as “chronotherapy”–chemotherapy timed to patients’ unique circadian rhythms for enhanced effectiveness and reduced toxicity
  • Dietary choices that make the biochemical environment hostile to cancer growth and recurrence, and strengthen the immune system’s ability to attack remaining cancer cells
  • Precise supplement protocols to tame treatment side effects, relieve disease-related symptoms, and modify processes like inflammation and glycemia that can fuel cancer if left untreated
  • A new paradigm for exercise and stress reduction that restores your strength, reduces anxiety and depression, and supports the body’s own ability to heal
  • A complete program for remission maintenance–a proactive plan to make sure the cancer never returns

Also included are “quick-start” maps to help you find the information you need right now and many case histories that will support and inspire you. Encouraging, compassionate, and authoritative, Life over Cancer is the guide patients everywhere have been waiting for.

For more information, visit You can also become a Facebook Fan of Life Over Cancer at

Other Resources

Anticancer, A New Way of Life, New Edition  by David Servan-Schreiber MD PhD Hardcover, $17.79

The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery  by Rebecca Katz, Hardcover, $18.39

Integrative Oncology (Weil Integrative Medicine Library)  by Donald Abrams, Hardcover, $26.42

Beating Cancer with Nutrition, book with CD by Patrick Quillin, Paperback, $16.47

Discussion also continues at Psychlinks Forum.

Clean, Green, and Lean

Clean, Green, and Lean: Get Rid of the Toxins That Make You Fat
By Walter Crinnion, Foreword by Dr. Peter J. D’Adamo
Published by John Wiley & Sons
March 2010; $25.95US/$30.95CAN; 978-0-470-40923-7

Preamble: I wish books like this one weren’t so over-hyped by the publishers and marketers; it makes them all look like something a door-to-door salesman or carny would be flogging. And sometimes, as in this case, all the hype hides some meat.

Dr. Crinnon is billed as a naturopath, which, to be honest, would normally be another reason for avoiding this book for me, since so much of what is called naturopathy seems to really be mislabeled quackery.

But the undeniable fact is that most people who lose weight will gain in back – and surprisingly quickly. If you are one of those who suffers the yo-yo of weight loss and weight gain, you may well find some helpful information and a few surprises in Clean, Green, and Lean – not to mention some great recipes (it’s okay – the tofu is optional).

From the publishers:

In this clear, easy-to-understand guide to getting slim, healthy, and toxin-free, naturopathic physician Dr. Walter Crinnion shows you how to clean up your diet, clean out your body, and rid your home of the toxins that surround you.

Clean, Green, and Lean shows you why conventional weight-loss programs often don’t deliver or can’t sustain the results you’re looking for and how the toxin-fat connection prevents you from losing weight no matter how little you eat or how much you exercise. You’ll learn how reducing your toxic burden can help you stay lean for life.

Could it be your house that’s making you fat? Dr. Crinnion helps you identify sources of toxic chemicals, allergens, and poisons in your home where you might least expect them. You’ll learn how to remove and dispose of them safely, keep new toxins out, and make your home as clean and green as it can be.

Clean, Green, and Lean contains healthy, delicious, clean, green recipes and two weeks of meal plans for lean breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. These nutritious and satisfying meals will keep your stomach full, your body toxin-free, and your body and mind working at peak efficiency.

An example:
Healthy Italian Wedding Soup 1
By Dr. Walter Crinnion, Clean, Green, and Lean
(Serves 4)

½ package lean ground turkey
4 Jennie-O Italian Turkey Sausage links, sliced
Spike seasoning to taste
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 package gluten-free pasta spirals
8 cups water
32 ounces organic vegetable broth
1 14½-ounce can organic tomatoes
3 cups organic frozen spinach
1 teaspoon onion powder

In a large sauté pan, brown the turkey. Season with the Spike, drain, and set aside. Place the sausage in a sauté pan, season with the Spike, and brown. Add the sea salt to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Stir in the pasta and cook according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and set aside. In a large soup pot, heat the water and the broth, tomatoes, and spinach. Add the turkey, sausage, and onion powder, and stir until a low boil is attained. Reduce the heat simmer and stir in the pasta. Cover, simmer for about 30 minutes, and serve.

On balance, a book worth having a look at.

1 Reprinted by permission of the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., from Clean, Green & Lean, by Walter Crinnion. Copyright © 2010 by Walter Crinnion

Ask-a-Vet: Online Veterinary Help for Your Pets

Ask A Vet Question

Ask Ottawa veterinarian Dr. Marie a question about the health of your pet online. Then continue to converse back and forth with her until you feel your question is answered satisfactorily.

Online veterinary advice

Dr. Marie has been practicing small animal medicine for over 10 years now. She is compassionate and cares for the animals and the wonderful people who own them. She is experienced in treating dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, rats and mice. She is skilled in surgery, dermatology, ophthalmology, dentistry, behavior and medicine. Dr. Marie has taken courses in Orthopedic Surgery as well. She really enjoys solving complicated medical cases such as animals with difficult diseases like Cushing’s Disease, Addison’s, and those frustrating itchy dog cases that are hard to figure out.

She also has an interest in oncology and gives compassionate and knowledgeable advice whether you are interested in chemotherapy, radiation or simply palliative care.

Her latest venture, this online vet advice site has helped many people who have veterinary questions and need to ask a vet a question and get a response quickly! Need to ask an online vet? Veterinarian, Dr. Marie is here to help.

You can also browse her growing selection of free articles on pet health, including cats, dogs, and hamsters (“pocket pets”).

Please note: I am a psychologist, not a veterinarian. If you have questions about your pet, please do not post them here. Contact Dr. Marie directly at

The Concepcion Project

There is a lot in the news currently – and rightly so – about the horrific earthquakes in Haiti and the relief efforts underway to assist the Haitian people. Even in the midst of this disaster, I am hearing comments in the media about the need to do more than just help Haiti from one disaster to the next, about the need to inject some infrastructure into their nation to help them move toward greater independence from international aid.

From time to time, we are reminded that for millions of people worldwide, the problem is not confined to natural disasters or a single nation – poverty is a reality they live with every day of their lives.

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This link was sent to my by a friend, Cindy, who appears in the photo with Pastor Mike early in the video.

The Concepcion Project
by tigguur

At about the time the earthquake hit Haiti last week, I was about 200 miles away in Honduras witnessing another tragedy which continues every day.

I had pre-arranged a 1 day visit before leaving on my holidays to visit a small Mission House outside of Roatan, Honduras, with a Pastor I had emailed and arranged to meet.

He had arranged for Cindy and I to meet a grandmother taking care of 6 of her grandchildren on her own who lives in a 1 room shack, mud floor and a leaking roof. This wonderful, simple, caring woman’s name is Concepcion.

When I got there the Pastor said the Lord had spoken to him and given him the name of a younger lady who desperately needed help since we spoke even more than Concepcion. I had brought with me coloring books, gum, cheap watches for the kids and a small financial donation which I gave to this woman whose name is Rosa.

Cindy adds:

Just came back from our Caribbean cruise which was great! Prior to the trip, we had arranged with a church in Honduras to drop off a couple hundred dollars to a family in need and this is what we came across. This was our first stop and it left us feeling like misers… $200? And some coloring books & gum? They need a lot more so Kenny is going back with a few workers and construction supplies (I would love to be one of them if I could get time off work but don’t think its possible). Please check out this video taken from the pics I took during our brief visit and if you’re moved in any way, please feel free to help out.. whether it’s a donation or joining the crew to Honduras and giving sweat labor.

No. Just Say It.

No — Just Say It
by Claire Shipman & Katty Kay,
Authors of Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success

Once you’ve tamed your inner-guilt monster, you are ready to welcome that most wonderful of words into your vocabulary. We’re certain you barely use it. But it’s a potent combination of two letters that could routinely save our sanity. Go ahead. Say it. You know the word we mean.


Are we simply allergic to it, terrified of the consequences? What do we really think will happen if it becomes a regular part of our speech? Maybe the world would be rocked by an Armageddon of hurt feelings? Perhaps our pictures would be blasted through cyberspace as modern-day Leona Helmsleys? Or worst of all, people might be — disappointed?

Maybe. But here’s the fundamental problem. When we are so eager to please everyone and avoid people being cross with us, we end up saying yes to a lot of things we don’t really want. This of course means we end up spending more time working than we really want. And that’s why you are reading this book.

“In the past I tended to be a ‘yes’ person,” Stephanie Hampton, the Marriott spokesperson told us. “I’d say ‘yes’ to just about anything and everything, in the belief that I was building a reputation for myself as a can-do, go-to person. I looked around and noticed that a lot of successful people don’t say ‘yes’ to everything; they are more strategic. They say ‘yes’ for a variety of reasons. True, sometimes it’s based on who’s doing the asking. But most of the time successful people choose to say ‘yes’ to strategic or value-added work. So now I think about whether a project will put ‘heads on beds’ or otherwise enhance the brand reputation of Marriott. if the answer is no, it’s usually just busywork, and I try to find a way to say ‘no’ without saying ‘no.'”

Our New York lawyer, Linda Brooks, says she still backslides. “I think people don’t like to be told no, so I have to get a thicker skin and resist the urge to please everyone, because I sit there and think, ‘oh my God he hates me now,’ and ‘he’s never going to give me another deal’ and ‘I’m sure the partners are going to vote next week to kick me out of the partnership because I said “no” to that deal.’ My head goes there. So it does take a bit of thickening of the skin. But it does get easier.”

You may not believe it now, but tossing off no will become second nature. It’s a must-have tool for implementing Womenomics. You’ll see in the upcoming chapters how much use it gets. Once you’ve really set your goals, you will be much clearer about what you want to tackle and what you don’t want to take on. it gets refreshingly simple actually — that weekend assignment, no; those extra hours, no; that promotion with all the travel and increased responsibility, no. You will learn not just to say “no,” but also to think no, mean no, and act no.

And yes, employing it may mean you disappoint, anger, and annoy. But it will also mean you are happier, healthier, and more straightforward. It’s certainly a better situation for you and, also, therefore, for everyone in your life in the long run. Even the recipients of your nos!

Claire: I’ve always been an ardent people pleaser. For some reason, I grew up with the sense that saying yes as much as I can is more important than anything else. Disappointing people, letting them down — just the thought of that can send me into guilt spasms for days. I came to believe that being thought of as a “nice” person was the ultimate achievement. And I still believe that compassion and caring are at the top of my list.

But I’ve also come to understand that my “yes” behavior could be intensely frustrating and stressful to me, my family and friends, and the people getting my “yesses.” I was constantly taking on more than I could handle — and then having to back out of projects or commitments — making the very people I was trying to help angrier than they would have been in the first place after just hearing a “no.” Once my son was born, I started to understand that I had to cut back on my people-pleasing, since I had someone who wanted and needed my attention so much, and he was clearly my priority.

But I was still trying to do too much until one incident radically changed my outlook. I’d said yes to a trip out west for a story that I knew was not a top priority, but I didn’t want to “let down” the senior producer who’d asked me. I was juggling other projects, one of which then went on the air to tepid reviews. On top of that, my husband and I had barely seen each other, and my son was quite clingy. I came back from the trip with my typical chest cold, which my doctor finally told me she believed was stress-induced, since I managed to get it seven or eight times a year. I spent two days limping around the house, fighting with my husband instead of having a nice weekend with him as we’d planned, and I was too sick and tired to go to my son’s first swimming lesson. And I finally had to tell the senior producer I just could not finish her project, which made her livid, to say the least. It was an ugly period, for sure, but a critical awakening for me about the power, and the necessity, of no.

We’ll walk you through some very situation-specific ways to say “no” in chapters 5, 6, and 7. But first, you must have the psychological grounding, the mental readiness to deploy this powerful instrument without fretting about what people think of you when you use it. You really will come to believe that no is not negative. It’s as positive as it gets.

Recognizing a NO Moment
You probably already have a very good internal radar as to what constitutes a reasonable request and what does not; what is part of your job, and what is inappropriate. It’s funny how we all know immediately after we say yes that we made the wrong move. How many times have we said: “Why did I say yes to that?” We knew beforehand too. You just have to become a better sleuth.

Asking yourself these questions will help you make a rational evaluation of the consequences at work. They dig inside your emotions to get to your gut instinct — which is almost always right but just hard to uncover.

The best opening question to ask yourself is, very simply:

“Does this request help me in any way?”
If you realize that the request is completely unhelpful to you, then you’ve got a definite no moment on your hands. You might have to figure out how to say “no” (see the sections below) but the no should be said.

If the request actually does have value to you, and can be helpful to you, then there are a few follow-up questions to ask yourself. First, try to calibrate the importance of the request in terms of a bigger picture by asking:

“Will this make a big difference to my career?”
In many cases the answer will be that, no, it doesn’t. And here you also need to factor in smaller questions such as — do I actually have the time and the skills necessary to do it well? Otherwise, it could have a negative impact on your career! But you might also find that you believe that it is important to your career, and that you can pull it off. You’ve no doubt learned by now that if something is going to affect your career, then it’s bound to affect other things in your life. And, thus, the next question:

“How will this affect my balance at home?”
Be honest here. You may know you have a tendency to fear the worst, and assume every change in your schedule will be a personal tsunami, leaving your children whiplashed and virtually orphaned. Or you may typically assume you can handle everything, only to see it all come crashing together in an ugly way later. Know yourself, know your tendencies, and think through what you really think will happen.

Lauren Tyler fairly pulsates with a welcoming, magnetic energy. Her nature is one of the things that make her so successful, but at the same time it’s something she’s come to understand can leave her overburdened and a target of unnecessary requests. She’s spent twenty years honing her process of reaching no, and keeps it simple with a variation on the above three questions. “At this point I always ask, ‘Does it help me do my job? Or does it help my kids?’ If the answer is no, I don’t take it on.”

Robin Ehlers of General Mills easily weeds out the obvious nos with the above questions, but she has also learned to recognize that there are things she’s inclined to turn down because they seem daunting, but which she actually enjoys, professional and personal. “Even if it seems hard and it might be disruptive, is it something that I’ll actually enjoy doing in the end? That’s what I try to figure out,” she says. “Like Monday night I had thirty people over for this charity dinner, and I was like, ‘I can’t believe I did this.’ But I actually enjoyed it, and I’ve also learned not to worry about the house looking perfect or the food being great.”

That moves us toward asking the more personal questions. They deal with your instinct, your gut feeling, your intuition, your sixth sense. Think of them as an emotional litmus test.

“Do I have a feeling in the pit of my stomach when I think about saying yes?”
If there is that unpleasantly nervous feeling — something more than just “butterflies” — then you need to stop and figure out what’s going on, since this is an emotional red flag. The fact that you can physically feel the pit lingering there is an indication of how strong your doubt is.

“Will I be mad at myself for saying yes instead of no?”
If you have an inkling that you’ll be angry or feel some kind of resentment toward yourself, then you should seriously consider saying “no,” since any self-directed anger indicates a feeling of self-betrayal.

Lastly, make sure that you actually feel positive about the request:

“Am I eager to do this at all? Does any of it appeal to me?”
Here’s where looking back to the past for clues, which is what Robin does, can be helpful. Are there other situations where you’ve thought something might be hard, or unwise, and then in the end you actually were happy you said yes? Part of this, again, is knowing yourself well and recognizing when your reaction is simply a fairly meaningless habit, or actually constitutes real warning bells.

The above is an excerpt from the book Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules for Success by Claire Shipman & Katty Kay. Copyright © 2009 Claire Shipman & Katty Kay,