Diabetes: What Can I Do About It?

When your pancreas doesn’t make enough insulin, or stops producing insulin at all, or your cells stop responding to the available insulin in your blood and can’t absorb glucose from your blood stream, you will have a condition called diabetes: too much glucose (sugar) in your blood stream.026-Diabetes-What Can I Do About It_04_720x400

One common symptom of diabetes is frequent urination which then triggers thirst and increased water/liquids consumption. Other symptoms are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and sometimes blurred vision. Untreated, extremely elevated blood glucose levels can lead to coma and death.

Kira and Bill Van Ittersum discuss these problems of diabetes and give some practical advice about what you can do about this disease.

Diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2) by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Diabetes: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments


Step Two – Planning Your Dream!

You have your dream: now what? Time for your plan, that’s what! A plan, or goal, keeps you on track and moving forward to your dream. A plan should also be flexible and change as new and better ideas show up.010-Planning Your Dream_02_720x400

Listen as Kira and Bill Van Ittersum share helpful tips to better planning and goal setting. Dreams without a written goal or plan are like raindrops—they fall freely from Heaven but they don’t last long.


How To Set Goals For The Life You Actually Want: It’s Time To Stop Setting The Wrong Goals And Start Using Goals To Determine The Journey, Not The Destination, by Stever Robbins

A Simple Guide to Setting and Achieving Your Life Goals by Leo Babauta

Happy Parents Have Happier Kids

Laughter is contagious, and now research shows that happiness is too—especially in your family. Happy parents have happier kids than the norm. What’s more: parents at the other extreme—negative, depressed, unhappy—often have children that act out, and have other behavior problems.010-Happy Parents Have Happier Kids_720x400

So, it’s not selfish for parents to develop activities away from the kids that make them feel good as a couple; to recapture the romance of their “coming together” period. As parents maintain—or reclaim—their happiness, they become positive role models for demonstrating happiness to their children. They are also modeling positive marriage behavior, too!

How to Raise Happy Kids: 10 Steps Backed by Science
by Eric Barker

How Parents’ Stress Can Hurt A Child, From The Inside Out by Alice G. Walton

Parents will raise happier children “if they put them second to their marriage” by Amelia Hill
US therapist David Code argues that an over-focus on kids creates demanding offspring and anxious, exhausted parents.

Cataract Surgery

More than 3 Million cataract surgeries are performed in the U.S. annually. This large number makes cataract surgery the most common surgery of its type in the country. It is elective surgery and the Boomer Generation is choosing to have it done more often and sooner in their lives than older generations did.025-Cataract Surgery_720x400

It starts with “blurriness;” you can’t read the fine print anymore—whether in a book or on the computer screen—without an aid such as a magnifying glass. Driving at night can also be a struggle. Lights of all kinds cause glare in your lenses that interrupt your vision and cause you to become hesitant behind the wheel.

Listen in as Kira and Bill Van Ittersum discuss Bill’s cataract surgeries. Each was quick, nearly painless, and the results were dramatic!

Step One: Seeing Your Dream!

What do you want to do? What do you like to do? Will you give yourself permission to see your dream and then go after it? It’s really all up to you. The dream that lights you up is yours alone, not your Mom and Dad’s, not your teacher’s, not your priest’s, or minister’s, or preacher’s.009-Step One - Seeing Your Dream_720x400

Listen in as Kira and Bill Van Ittersum give some fun and easy tips to help you get that completed image of your dream firmly anchored in your mind. They also cover areas like “soul searching” and “legacy planning” to help you pick the perfect dreams for you.

Kira also shares her personal experience with her “vision board”—why it’s important to her and how you can make one for yourself, and why it’s a fun activity to teach to your kids!


Golden Rules of Goal Setting: Five Rules to Set Yourself Up for Success

Goal Setting: Your Guide to Setting Goals:
How to Set Personal & Business Goals You Will Achieve by Susan Ward

Dance Helps Kids Succeed!

Practically all kids love to dance. It’s the earliest form of self-expression and creativity. Dance comes long before verbal expression and helps all humans—young and old alike—to find success in many areas of life, and especially in growing up.009-Dance Helps Kids Succeed_720x400_03

Listen in as Kira and Bill Van Ittersum discuss how dance and physical movement helps kids become happy, healthy, and successful adults. From improving coordination, to overcoming shyness, to enhancing math and science skills, dance helps kids do it all!

Thank You for Not Smoking!

Over 42 million Americans still smoke cigarettes. Add to this number the people who smoke cigars, pipes, or use chewing tobacco, snuff, and other tobacco products and you have 1 out of 6 Americans addicted to tobacco. There are over 480,000 tobacco-use related deaths each year in America and an additional 14,500,000 people are afflicted by a tobacco-use related disease.024-Thank You for Not Smoking_720x400
The direct cost to America’s health system is estimated at $133 billion dollars a year with additional indirect costs to the economy of $156 billion dollars from lost productivity and sick days due to smoking-related illness. Add to that number the direct out-of-pocket expense to America’s citizens of buying the tobacco products. The totals are staggering!

In her editorial article in the April-May issue of AARP Magazine, (p.77), Jeannine English, the current President of AARP, makes a bold statement: Thank You for Not Smoking! Kira and Bill Van Ittersum liked this approach so much that they decided to do a podcast on it. Listen as Bill and Kira share Jeannine’s tips and ideas and then more of their own on how you, too can kick the habit for good!

English, Jeannine, President of AARP. (2015, April-May). Editorial. Plain English: Thank You for Not Smoking. AARP Magazine. Page 77.

A Gift for Mom

Kira Van Ittersum presents a special heart warming Mother’s Day Love Story episode, as she tells a tender story of a young woman’s love and appreciation for her mom, and the very personal gift that she felt moved by spirit to give. It was a time when not just any gift would do. She searched her soul and found the perfect way to give the perfect gift—the priceless gift of self.008-A Gift for Mom_720x400

Kids Like Being Helpers

Kids are natural-born helpers. They want to contribute to their family and they “love” to be called “helpers.” However—most of all—they like to be asked, not told. So, instead of saying, “Go get that,” or “Pick that up,” say, “Would you like to be my helper?” 008-Kids Like Being Helpers_720x400
Kira and Bill Van Ittersum share their great tips to make children’s contribution around the house fun for all. When the whole family works together and appreciates each other, chores are not a chore!

Your Personal Bucket List

Many people wait for an external life-threatening emergency before they allow themselves the time to search for and then develop their inner greatness. But, what if you began today to discover your inner talents, loves, and desires? How would you live differently? What exactly would you do?008-Your Personal Bucket List_720x400
If you can see it, you can be it! In his famous book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill said, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” A great way to get started is to write out your own Personal Bucket List. Then study-up on creating goals, goal-setting, goal-planning, and goal-action. Your future self will thank you!


The Bucket List – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Late Evening Snacking Tips

Late in the evening, the “food siren” calls to you from the kitchen! “Come to meeee! Come to meeeeeee!” In this podcast, Kira and Bill share their tips that they use to “snack healthy,” yet satisfy their cravings.023-Late Evening Snacking Tips_720x400
Food manufacturers have been using “food science”
to hook western-world consumers with the triple-whammy combination of “sugar—salt—fat,” and they have been enormously successful in their endeavors. There are more people who are overweight today, as a percentage of society, than there ever were in the entire previous known written history of the world!
Kira and Bill share actual tips that they use to short-circuit the food providers. It’s not so much “will power”—this rarely wins against the “food siren”—but retraining the nerve signals between your taste buds and your brain’s satisfaction center. Your brain craves “satisfaction,” and these tips will help you to deliver!

Banana-Oatmeal-Raisin-Chocolate Drop Bars
3 very ripe, mashed bananas
1/3 cup apple sauce
2 cups oats (regular, organic, or gluten-free)
1/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup raisins
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Mix well. Grease a 9 x 9 square baking pan with coconut oil. Spoon mixture out into pan (should cover pan to a depth of 1 inch, more or less.) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into squares, remove bars, and let them cool on a sheet of wax paper. They’re delicious with a hot cup of raspberry-green tea!

Magic Makes Kids Happy

Why do kids love magic so much? One reason is that magic can suspend their belief in their rational world. Instantly, magic can transport them to a “Magic World” where the impossible is suddenly possible.007-Magic Makes Kids Happy_720x400

Kids also have very vivid imaginations and magic, performed masterfully, “fires” those receptive imaginations. Kids want to believe and hope—hence the enormous popularity of fantasy literature.

Kira and Bill Van Ittersum think magic encourages kids to observe and to use inferential reasoning and deductive thinking, while at the same time, providing an art form that is both entertaining and educational! Kids, and adults alike, have a lot of fun pondering that age old question, “How’d they do that?”

So, why do kids love magic? The simple answer is that magic is just plain fun!

Simon Pierro: The Amazing iPad Magician as presented on The Ellen Show

Mat Franco’s magic story

Magician Ken Kelly

Justin Willman (favorite!)

Penn and Teller

I Know How You Did That! By Emily Bazelon

Dennis Michael

The Magic of Gratitude Journaling

Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the best kept secrets of the most successful people. Being thankful, and writing these thoughts down, sets up your mind to tune into the Inner Power. Gratitude journaling paves the way for goodness, prosperity, and understanding to flow into your life.007-The Magic of Gratitude Journaling_720x400_02

Gratitude journaling won’t guarantee that you will never experience pain, loss, or suffering in your life, but you will have greater insight because of this journaling. Also, a great tip is to re-read passages of your gratitude journal on your “down” days. This practice is guaranteed to turn your mood around in short order!


  1. Turn Pain to Joy: 11 Tips for a Powerful Gratitude Journal by Louise Jensen
  2. The Early-To-Rise System of Gratitude by Craig Ballantyne http://www.earlytorise.com/journal/
  3. Keeping A Gratitude Journal by Paul B. Taubman, II, http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/keeping_gratitude_journal_0.html
  4. Tips for Keeping a Gratitude Journal by Jason Marsh
    GGSC [Greater Good Science Center]: The Science of a Meaningful Life
  5. How to Practice Radical Gratitude by Christine Carter
    GGSC [Greater Good Science Center]: The Science of a Meaningful Life
  6. How Gratitude Beats Materialism by Jason Marsh and Dacher Keltner
    GGSC [Greater Good Science Center]: The Science of a Meaningful Life
  7. Make a Gratitude Adjustment – Feeling thankful is one key to happiness, so count your blessings for a boost by Lauren Aaronson
  8. Joe Vitale’s Clearing Technique #3 – Gratitude and a Law of Attraction

What Gratitude Can Do For Our Lives! By Bob Proctor

Unstructured Play Helps Kids Feel Happy

Unstructured play can occur nearly anywhere. All it takes is kids,
imagination, and some patience from the grownups. Kids at play are happiest when inventing their own games and re-inventing rules for old games.006-Unstructured Play Helps Kids Feel Happy_720x400

Free form play is a big part of growing up. The skills they learn from unstructured play on one hand and the joy they experience from it on the other help them become responsible, caring, enthusiastic adults who also know how to keep play alive in their adult lives. Learning to play well makes kids happy!

Starfire Retreat – Episode 2: Trail to the Blazing Hilltop

In the continuing saga of the Starfire Retreat, Katherine O’Connor gets help from her friend, Morgan, as she prepares for the busy 4th of July weekend at the Starfire Retreat. Together they learn that the danger she feared from Plankerton Oil is even more real than she had initially suspected. The threat against the Starfire becomes tangible in a way that no one could have imagined, and Katherine and Morgan both make a decision to rise to the challenge.007-Starfire_Retreat_episode02_720x400

Banana Energy Bread – Kira Style

Banana bread is always a treat, but now with gluten-free flour, sea salt, organic eggs, raw sugar, coconut oil, and walnuts it can be a high-energy “pick-me-up” snack for young and old alike. Kira and Bill Van Ittersum talked about this bread in their Gluten-Free Baking podcast a few weeks ago and the response has been fantastic. Listeners wanted the whole recipe, so here it is.022-Banana Energy Bread Kira Style_720x400

Bill and Kira serve this fresh banana bread to their grandkids for an after school snack and they love it! Spread a little coconut oil-butter spread (50-50 mix) on it and they practically inhale it. With granola bars, there is always some left over—not with this delicious, moist banana energy bread. Try Kira’s recipe, you’ll be happy you did!

Find Namaste Foods and their delicious recipes here: http://www.namastefoods.com/products/cgi-bin/products.cgi?Function=show&Id=13

Banana Energy Bread – Kira Style
2 cups Namaste Foods Gluten Free Perfect Flour Blend
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup melted coconut oil
1 cup raw sugar
2 large organic eggs
4 medium, over-ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp. gluten-free vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F.  Lightly coat a 9×5 loaf pan with coconut oil.

In a medium size bowl sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl mix together the coconut oil and sugars. Add the eggs, mashed bananas and the vanilla. (Please Note: Kira always sets the eggs in a dish filled with warm water for several minutes before breaking them out of their shells because coconut oil tends to congeal and harden when exposed to cold temperatures.) Stir all of the wet ingredients together. Then fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients along with the walnuts (if using them).

Pour the batter into the 9×5 loaf pan and bake for approximately 65 -75 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. In my oven, 65 minutes is the perfect amount of time. Transfer the loaf to a wire heating rack and cool before serving.


Heart Communication Makes life Happier

How do you communicate with heart? Can it be taught, or does it have to be caught? Kira and Bill Van Ittersum believe that if you follow a few simple tips, you will improve your communication style and your personal happiness will automatically grow in the process.006-Heart Communication Makes Life Happier_720x400

Of course, even when we have the best intentions and we’re trying our hardest, communication can fail. Bill and Kira have some funny stories to share that describe what happens when communication goes wrong.


  1. Abbott and Costello’s Who’s On First? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTcRRaXV-fg
  2. “Daddy said YES!” A story of miscommunication, http://mengalings.blogspot.com/2013/01/daddy-said-yes-story-of-miscommunication.html
  3. Miscommunication causes confusion by IMCONFIDENT, https://imconfident.wordpress.com/tag/men/ (Note: Scroll down the page to the “Feb 22” blog entry.)
  4. Father and grown son, on “patience in conversation.”

Greek (?) video with English subtitles.

  1. Communicating without words. Give a little love, get a little love! People helping people. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT-HBl2TVtI

Smiling from the Inside Out

“I saw the most beautiful smile today, from the outside in, while looking in a mirror. And I am happier from the inside out.” http://www.thankthenow.com/happiness-smiling-smiles-self-love/005-Smiling_from_the_Inside_Out_720x400

“There is perhaps nothing more powerful in beginning a conversation, or in overcoming an interpersonal challenge, than a smile—a warm, genuine, sincere smile that emanates from your heart, from the inside out.” ‒Bob Burg, author and speaker, http://www.burg.com/2011/04/from-the-inside-out/

Listen in as Kira and Bill Van Ittersum discuss the practice of “Smiling from the Inside Out!” They challenge you to make this a daily practice in your own life. You’ll thank yourself for it!


  1. Smile from the Inside Out, http://www.thankthenow.com/happiness-smiling-smiles-self-love/
  2. From the Inside Out, http://www.burg.com/2011/04/from-the-inside-out/
  3. Today’s Affirmation – “Today, I Smile from the Inside Out!” – http://mydharma.ca/todays-affirmation-i-feel-blessed-for-all-i-have/
  4. The Power of a Smile: Key to Living Happy Inside Out! – http://maura4u.com/power-smile/
  5. The Science of Smiling: A Guide to Human’s Most Powerful Gesture, https://blog.bufferapp.com/the-science-of-smiling-a-guide-to-humans-most-powerful-gesture
  6. Does smiling make you happy? – http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/smiling-happy1.htm
  7. Inner Smile Guided Meditation by QiGong Master Lee Holden, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLu7X7flE5U


Meditation Success Stories

What is it about meditation that inspires some people to make it a daily practice? What are they enjoying that most of society is missing out on? In this podcast, Kira and Bill Van Ittersum share personal stories and real-life experiences from several people about their success with meditation. They leave the “how,” and “what, when, and where” of meditation for you to research on your own and instead focus on the “who” and “why.”021-Meditation Success Stories

From Fleur Carter’s story, “The benefits of meditation are wide and varied; from reduction in stress, to increased levels of concentration and focus, to the ability to deal with destructive emotions. The list is endless.” Bill and Kira invite you to try meditation for yourself and wish you, “Good practice!”


  1. The Guided Meditation Site http://www.the-guided-meditation-site.com/meditation-stories.html
  2. MindBodyGreen http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6679/How-Meditation-Changed-My-Life.html

Music Tames the Savage Child

Kira and Bill Van Ittersum believe that kids and music go together like hot dogs and buns. When the Van Ittersum grandkids start acting up and acting out, Grandma and Papa steer them toward their favorite tunes; because they know that in most cases, music helps control the mood. Music will tame a child like magic!005-Music Tames the Savage Child_720x400

Music is virtually everywhere: on CD’s, DVD’s, and on the internet via YouTube and other sites. Kira and Bill play their grand kids favorite sing-a-long tunes in the car and they encourage the kids to dance and act out scenes from their favorite musicals at home. Every summer, they take the grand kids out to “Music in the Park” productions, where they can dance and sing and even take the stage from time to time.

Kira and Bill share some of the kids’ favorite artists and DVD musical shows in this podcast, too. These are the ones who know how to get down on the kids’ level. The kids are wiggling and jumping, and sliding and stomping, and singing silly songs in front of the TV too! So, you say your kids are bored? Turn on the jams and get down with the youngins, movin’ and groovin’, and have fun creating some over-the-top musical drama. Your kids will thank you for it!

1. Guy Louis’ Web Site:    www.guylouis.com

2. Russian FLASH MOB wedding theme. “Puttin’ On the Ritz” – background song