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Distracted Driving Can Kill You Like Patrick Dempsey’s “McDreamy” on “Grey’s Anatomy”

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Do you answer your cell phone if it rings while you’re behind the wheel of your car?
In short, do you drive while distracted?
If so, you can end up dead, as last night’s episode of the ABC medical drama “Grey’s Anatomy” shockingly showed, much to the horror, disappointment, and devastation of fans of the 10-year old show.
Patrick dempsey – grey’s anatomyu10521881
In the upsetting episode, actor Patrick Dempsey’s beloved fictional neurosurgeon character—aka “McDreamy”—did something appallingly inappropriate and incongruous for a talented brain doctor on TV (or a real M.D., for that matter).
Dempsey’s character, Dr. Derek Shepherd, behaved drearily while driving.
In short, the renowned neurosurgeon drove while distracted, which triggered his untimely death.
More specifically, after rescuing and helping four people from a massive car wreck that he witnessed, he leaned over to hunt for and then answer his ringing cell phone.
But in those few seconds, he didn’t pay attention, a huge trucker sped towards him.
McDreamy’s stupid split second decision to pick up his cell phone cost him his life.
The four-wheeler came blazing out of nowhere and smashed into him, leading to his demise hours later.
Whether or not the episode was a dream — which avid fans of the show such as myself really hope — the gut-wrenching Grey’s Anatomy episode should, I hope, wake up all drivers: None of us should answer our cell phones while driving.
What I find curious is that attention has been focused on the ineptitude of the on-call doctor, who dilly-dallied at dinner and didn’t get to the hospital in time to save McDreamy.
Rather, our focus should be on the fictional doctor’s reprehensible on-the-road behavior.
Distracted driving can kill you, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains.
FYI, the phrase, “distracted driving” means you’re “doing another activity that takes your attention away from driving,” the CDC explains.
And, as we saw on Grey’s Anatomy, distracted driving can increase your chances of getting into a crash.
There are three main types of distraction, according to the CDC:
“Visual: taking your eyes off the road;
“Manual: taking your hands off the wheel; and
“Cognitive: taking your mind off of driving..”
Distracted driving can include things like:
Using a cell phone
Texting
Eating
Using such in-vehicle technologies such as your GPS, and
Searching for something.
Unfortunately, Dempsey’s Dr. Shepherd is in good company.
According to a 2011 CDC Distracted Driving study, 69 percent of drivers in the United States ages 18 to 64 reported that they’d talked on their cell phone while driving within the 30 days before they were surveyed.
Apparently, they’re not as distracted in Europe.
I hope that this scary Grey’s Anatomy episode generates some massive behavior changes.
Wouldn’t it be nice if McDreamy’s death wakes people all across America and the world to the dangers of driving while distracted?
For me, this distressing episode aired days before I’m about to hit the road for my second recent cross- country road trip.
(Back in November, I unexpectedly took a spontaneous, end-of-year, two-month road trip, which took me all over the south and part of the Midwest to such scenic or booming places as Colorado Springs, Miami Beach, Boca Raton, Sea Island, Savannah, Hilton Head, Charleston, Atlanta, Nashville, Memphis, New Orleans, San Antonio, Las Cruces and Tucson. Incidentally, I got into a car crash while on my journey, and I unhappily totaled the wonderful Toyota Camry my Mom gave me 53 days before she passed away. FYI, I was not driving while distracted, but I was in a city I didn’t know well.)
In fact, even before this depressing Grey’s Anatomy episode aired, I’ve been creating some Healthy Rules of the Road.
Sure enough, one of them is:
Turn my cell phone off while driving so I’m not tempted to answer it.
Later, I’ll post more about my Healthy Rules of the Road.
I’ll also share tips about how you can Drive to Heal™, as I recently discovered.
In the meantime, I invite you to do two things:
First, take the Pledge to not drive and text. But, in addition, promise yourself not to talk on the phone while driving either.
Then, join the conversation. Do you talk on your cell phone while driving? If so, will you stop doing so now that a beloved fictional character died because of his distracted driving? Talk to us now. And make sure to share on Facebook, too.

Announcements

Anita Moorjani: On Cancer, Near Death & Treasuring Our Magnificence

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As a journalist, author and radio host, I’ve interviewed hundreds, if not thousands of people on a variety of topics, from sugar addiction to vision boards to forgiveness to the power of the Law of Attraction.
Today, I was deeply honored and profoundly touched by my interview with Anita Moorjani on my Gab with the Gurus Radio Show.
Anita — whose story about her remarkable journey back from a near-death experience and her subsequent spontaneous remission of cancer is rapidly spreading on the Internet — gave a truly spectacular interview.
If you haven’t yet heard of Anita, you need to discover her and her riveting, magnificent, new book, Dying to Be Me: My Journey from Cancer, to Near Death, to True Healing.
Dying to Be Me has a foreword by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer, the internationally renowned speaker and author in the field of self development.
In our Gab with the Gurus interview, Anita offered her compelling thoughts and insights about a variety of topics, such as:
Why she got cancer in the first place.
How emotions play a “grossly overlooked” role in the development of cancer.
Her key to healing so quickly.
The role of fear in getting cancer and not recovering from it.
Why she chose not to undergo chemotherapy.
What her near-death experience was like.
How it’s important — imperative, if you will — to live fearlessly, joyously and authentically.
In particular, for you skeptics out there, I asked a number of questions to clarify for you her unique claims. For instance, you’ll discover:
How ample medical proof documents her claims of having a near-death experience and spontaneous remission of her cancer.
How recognized oncologist Dr. Peter Ko of the University of Southern California carefully reviewed her medical chart and was simply astounded by her recovery
How other medical professionals are simply astounded.
Listen now to this fascinating Gab with the Gurus interview with Anita Moorjani. Remember, you can listen anytime.
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Listen to internet radio with Gab With the Gurus on Blog Talk Radio
Now, share this fascinating interview with your Facebook friends, Twitter followers, family members, and loved ones.

Beware of Hidden Sugars

Is Sugar as Toxic as Alcohol? Researchers Say Yes

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In recent years, scientists have theorized that sugar can be as addictive as alcohol or tobacco.
You, of course, know how easy it is to get hooked on sweets — and how incredibly challenging and difficult it can be to break free of your sugar addiction.
(In fact, because breaking free from sugar is so tough, I’ve devoted an entire book to take you on a fun, empowering journey so you can easily let go of your addiction. Beyond Sugar Shock — which will be published in June and which you can pre-order now — is designed to hold you by the hand and guide you to what I call Sugar Freedom.)
So since sugar is addictive, should this commonplace but potentially harmful (even deadly) substance be regulated?
Acclaimed researcher Robert Lustig, M.D. and a team of UCSF researchers say yes.
They argue that sugar should be controlled like alcohol and tobacco to protect public health.
Indeed, Dr. Lustig, along with Laura Schmidt, Ph.D., Claire Brindis, D.P.H. and colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), contend that sugar’s potential for abuse, coupled with its toxicity and pervasiveness in the Western diet, make it a primary culprit of this worldwide health crisis.
They maintain that sugar is fueling a global obesity pandemic, contributing to 35 million deaths annually worldwide from non-communicable diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
The authors then advocate taxing sugary foods and controlling sales to children under 17.
According to their statistics, reported on CBS New’s HealthPop, worldwide sugar intake has tripled in the last 50 years, and the average person is taking in a whopping 500 calories from added sugar in processed foods alone.
So what do you think? Should sugar be regulated?
A special thank you: Photo credit is due here (flickr) and here (DailyBurn).
Post your ideas here on this Sugar Shock Blog and/or on my Facebook Smart Habits Fans page.

Announcements

It’s Official: Publisher’s Marketplace Announces The Beyond Sugar Shock Diet for Hay House

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It’s official!
My next book, Beyond Sugar Shock (now called The Beyond Sugar Shock Diet), is on the way, thanks to the amazing publisher Hay House, which brings you a remarkable array of empowering self help, inspirational and transformational books, products and events. (Although I’m a trained writer, I can’t even begin to describe my excitement at being with them! It’s a dream come true! This remarkable company will help me to serve you better!)
Anyhow, on Oct. 20, Publishers Marketplace, which provides news for publishing professionals, posted this announcement. (FYI, you can’t access link anymore unless you’re a member.)
Diet
Sugar Shock author Connie Bennett’s BEYOND SUGAR SHOCK: The 6-Week Plan to Break Free of Your Sugar Addiction & Get a Slimmer, Sexier & Sweeter Life, to Patricia Gift at Hay House, for publication in Winter 2012, by Wendy Sherman (world).
wendy@wsherman.com
Hay House, Inc. 125×125
It bears repeating that I’m really honored, grateful and thrilled to be with the amazing Hay House, which can inspire you anytime, thanks to its amazing the amazing Hay House Radio and its Heal Your Life website.
By the way, in The Beyond Sugar Shock Diet, you’ll get a simple, fun, guided mind/body/spirit plan that gives you oodles of juicy, empowering, inspiring information, strategies and systems.
Learn here about how a tweeter named my book!
If you haven’t read my first book, Sugar Shock, yet, I invite you to get it now.
If you’re frustrated that your addiction to sugar or refined carbs has kept you from being the remarkable person you can be, let me help you achieve Sugar Freedom Now™! You’ll be surprised at how just this one change can help you, as I like to say, Get a Life that Rocks!™
Tired of being controlled by your sugar habit? Join liberated (or soon-to-be-liberated) Movers & Shakers at www.Facebook.com/SmartHabitsFans.
And get even more empowered on the Facebook page for Gab with the Gurus, which celebrates its 3rd anniversary in June 2011.

Announcements

Dr. Mehmet Oz Speaks With Online Journalists

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Doctor oz show images Dr. Mehmet Oz, in an effort to drum up support for “New Year, New You” episodes on The Dr. Oz Show, is on the phone now with a number of us online journalists.
Shows in early January will help Americans after they come back from the holidays, becuase this is, as he put it, “a teachable time in their lives.”
“The most novel thing that we focus on is that you will fail [on your diet],” Dr. Oz points out. ” “The question is how you’ll deal with the failure.”
“We give you tools to cheat and tips to get you back on track,” he adds. “We are flawed. We celebrate Americans where we are and [help you] get over emotional burdens.”
The first question (from yours truly) had to do with Dr. Oz’s daily routine.
* He wakes up at 5:45 a.m.
* Next comes a seven-minute yoga stretch.
* Then he has breakfast when he get to work. He advises eating within the first hour of waking and having a high-fiber, high-protein breakfast.
* Next, he recommends making sure that you begin [your work or everything] on time. “If you’re late, you’re out of control,” he points out.
* Finally, Dr. Oz goes to sleep “religiously” by 10:30 at night. “That’s an easily achievable goal [for] Americans” in the new year.
Stay tuned for other updates, because he’s still answering questions and I’m writing this up quickly.

Announcements

Facebook Disabled My Account: Too Friendly too Fast?

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Facebook has disabled both my regular account, (www.Facebook.com/ConnieBennett), and my public page, www.Facebook.com/SmartHabitsFans. (Although I can’t post to the latter, I believe you can still join and post comments to previous posts.)
Suffice it to say that I was shocked upon being told:
Your account has been disabled by an administrator. If you have any questions or concerns, you can visit our FAQ page here.
I finally discovered my offense after carefully reviewing Facebook’s Warnings and reading such helpful blog posts as “13 Reasons Your Facebook Acount Will be Disabled” (from Thor Muller of Get Satisfaction) and “Facebook Account Deactivation, Can It Be Avoided” from Facebook guru Mari Smith.
Apparently, my violation is that I wrote too quickly to people who’d requested to be my friends before accepting them.
You see, I did what I thought was a great time- saver — I simply cut and pasted innocuous messages such as “Wow! Lots of friends in common. Look forward to your posts.” You see, I was just seeking to conserve my precious time.)
I guess you could say that a fun, apt way to describe my Facebook violation is this: I was too friendly too quickly for Facebook!
And the speed of my friendliness, along with the cutting and pasting of messages, was interpreted as being potentially “annoying or abusive.” (As far as I know, no one complained.)
Facebook, I’ve now learned, limits the number of times a user can send the same message or make the same post. (So much for saving time!)
Guy Clearly, Facebook needs to set limits to protect users from spam, but unfortunately in its zeal to do so, many of us innocents are tossed out of the site.
If you’re on Facebook, I would strongly advise reading all of Rights & Responsibilities so you don’t suffer similarly.
Anyhow, I hope to be back on Facebook soon to connect with you, but in the meantime, here’s what I discovered about the unsettling experience of being booted off the social networking site.
Every day, thousands of people are banned for a variety of reasons. Just do a Google search for “Facebook account disabled, and you turn up a whopping 38,100,000 hits.
Among those who’ve been disabled are Robert Scoble, Guy Kawasaki, and actress Lindsay Lohan, who vented about it on MySpace.

Big Sugar & Big Food News

Speak Out Against Ill-Advised Coke-Doctors Partnership

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Please pass this post — which also appears on the Huffington Post — to your friends, family members, colleagues and, in particular, your physician friends and contacts. Recently, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)–in a move away from pharmaceutical funding–accepted a "strong six-figure" grant for a new "consumer alliance partnership" with the Coca-Cola Company, […]