Healthy, sustainable Eating

January 13th, 2018 by Patricia Jehle 1 comment »

A double pyramid to help you eat healthily and sustainably

An Eco-Friendly Diet that’s healthy? What’s that?

After this week’s earlier blog on good decisions and the placebo effect, especially regarding healthy food choices ( ) I started thinking about meat (and other protein) eating and I started researching on the ecological sustainability of high-protein diets and the recommendations of the UN and medical associations.

While doing my little research, I came across the “double pyramid”, which shows the effects of what we eat (diet) on the environment and comparing it to the updated suggested dietary pyramid used by the UN and medical authorities.

I assume we all want to be healthy and for the world to be a better place, and one of the ways we can help these goals is to care about what we buy in general, and specifically, what we eat. I personally think we need to eat a more sustainable, but yet a healthy diet, and it’s a viable choice, both environmentally and financially.

So, here’s what our eating footprints look like, depending on our general diet: Vegans (though I could never claim to be one) have the lowest carbon and water footprints. Just saying. This is followed by vegetarians and then omnivores. I am an omnivore, but I readily will give up eating meat or other animal/fish proteins for days on end. This excludes our own home-grown eggs from our (free range, very happy) chickens, and Swiss milk products. I do live in Switzerland and come from Minnesota, after all.

Having said that meat eaters have the highest carbon and water footprints, it can also be said that most dietary recommendation pyramids now say we should not eat so much meat, especially red meat, anyway. And if you cut your meat eating down to twice a week, you already halve your footprint levels. That’s not too bad, considering it is healthier, anyway.

I did note that coffee and chocolate are not listed on the pyramids, and find that not so helpful for my personal lifestyle.

Coffee and Chocolate

After a quick google, I found that black (UGH!) coffee has 21g carbon footprint per cup and the latte (MMMmmm!) 340g- gasp and sigh. The water footprint is high, one article said 20 049 m3 per ton of harvested coffee just for the growth, and that does not include roasting containers and any other preparation. But maybe we should be buying at least a FairTrade version.

Deforestation aids to adding to chocolate’s carbon footprint, so we should really only buy sustainable fair trade brands. In Switzerland, the UTZ seal is important (for both chocolate and coffee). Regarding chocolate, one article says “Cadbury estimates that 169g (6 ounces) of carbon dioxide equivalent are emitted into the atmosphere for each 49g (1.7 ounce) Dairy Milk chocolate bar. This calculation includes emissions from the production of raw ingredients such as cocoa, cocoa butter, milk and sugar, and from packaging and distribution, but not from land-use change.”

Maybe a diet after Christmas would be in order for me, but first we have to eat all the chocolate in our house, and there is quite a bit left. Anybody want to come help?

A sustainable Diet

Now, let’s go back to the suggestions. Here’s the low-down on my interpretation of the double pyramids:

What to eat a lot of:

Local and seasonal fruit (and dried version) and vegetables, bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, legumes, olive oil (- which for me is local), nuts, and milk products and eggs. For those who don’t have good olive oil, try something else that’s local and healthy.

What to eat a little bit of:

Fish and seafood (see the wwf list for what is healthy and not over-fished), local chicken and other poultry. They put cookies here, interestingly enough, too. I like cookies.

What to eat once or twice a week, maximum (SORRY!)- and the list is rather the same, surprisingly:

Sweets, “bad” fats, and red meat

That’s it! Al we have to do is the good old rice, vegetables and beans thing, which I have known and done since college days. I bet we all know this. Luckily I bought a new (to me) Moosewood cookbook recently to jazz up my vegetarian cooking.

Tonight we will be eating chili and rice. What about you? So, let’s eat healthily and sustainably for a better world and a better life!

I raise my carrot to you and to our better health!

Patricia Jehle




Placebo effect and decisions

January 11th, 2018 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

Mind over Matter

Get out of Your Own Way and make sure you are making good decisions

I recently read an article that said that January is the month where you and I would most likely spend (waste) money on bogus health products, so watch out! This is the season of getting our lives in order, of losing those extra Christmas and New Year holiday pounds, of starting new self-improvement programs, and the like.

When I put cynicism aside over our overzealous resolutions to improve, is there some truth to these efforts and ideas that we can indeed change, or is it really the placebo effect at work.


Is there a Placebo at Work?

My medical-student daughter says that the placebo effect is real and very helpful in a lot of cases. This means if you decide to spend a lot of money on a bogus home remedy of sorts and you believe it’s going to work, it probably will. This means of you follow x diet for so many weeks, it is likely to work if you believe in it.

So, what do you believe in? What’s your go-to remedy for x, y, or z?

My nephew is a convinced user of mega-vitamin supplements with zinc, etc. to enhance his immune system. I have got to admit that I use something similar when I travel or feel a cold coming on.

The real question is what is at work, the vitamins and mineral, or a placebo? The other question is if it matters or not.

And does the placebo effect continue to diets and such?

My next thoughts lead to eating habits and diets, as this is the season of shedding our extra pounds, or at least attempting to do this. I have to admit I really don’t believe in diets, as I have seen friends and family do the diet yoyo – and I, myself, have been rather stable in weight for the past several years, even during chemotherapy. As and aside, I had hoped to shed a few pounds during therapy, but alas, it was not to be, sigh.

So, at least for a time, does the placebo effect work for diets? And what is healthy, anyway? Are carbs all that bad, and is sugar a “drug”? Now, here is my layperson, non-expert opinion:

Diets don’t work, instead we should eat, move and live healthily.

According to Mayo Clinic this is hwat you should be eating for a normal 2,000 calorie eating plan:

  • A variety of vegetables — dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt and cheese, and fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds and soy products
  • Oils, including those from plants, and those that occur naturally in nuts, seeds, seafood, olives and avocados


Vegetables 2 1/2 cups a day
Dark green 1 1/2 cups a week
Red and orange 5 1/2 cups a week
Legumes (beans and peas) 1 1/2 cups a week
Starchy 5 cups a week
Other 4 cups a week
Fruits 2 cups a day
Grains 6 ounces a day
Whole grains ≥ 3 ounces a day
Refined grains ≤ 3 ounces a day
Dairy 3 cups a day
Protein foods 5 1/2 ounces a day
Seafood 8 ounces a week
Meats, poultry, eggs 26 ounces a week
Nuts, seeds, soy products 4 ounces a week
Oils 27 grams a day
Limit on calories from added sugars, solid fats, added refined starches 270 calories a day (14% of total calories)

Thus, I would have you note that grains and starch foods are BIG on this list, and I find it interesting that so many people I know are scared of those foods. It’s not those foods, but the processed versions that are really bad. Another aside, for those who know what they are, Twinkies still exist. I saw some last week in a Target store in Seattle. I know that many of you are off all sugar, but unless you are diabetic, this could be a bit extreme. A little sugar is not going to hurt you, unless you are addicted to it, as I am to coffee and salty foods. BUT, so you know, the Mayo Clinic only allows a normal snickers bar worth of sugar a day. That’s all. Luckily, I don’t like many sweets and can forego this, but many friends have sweet-tooths.

One other thought on bias

Our biases are rampant and the goal is to become aware of them (and our assumptions) and take them into consideration when we make decisions. When we make un-considered biased decisions or decisions based from fears we are most likely to make poor decisions and mistakes. So, we need to ask ourselves, or better get the help of others to ask, what are our biases, our assumptions, our fears. We must move beyond t these to find the solution and make the best decisions.

Which decisions and why?

Whether it’s diet, activity, health, or future, let us make good sustainable decisions based on truth and not a placebo effect. 

Have a healthy rest of the week and weekend!

Patricia Jehle


New Years Wishes for You!

December 31st, 2017 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

I wish you More of what counts for 2018!

More love in your important relationships

Happy 2018!

How we spend our time shows what’s important to us- what is your balance between work, family, friends and self? Who do you want to invest more time in this year?

More joy in your life, in what you do and with whom you celebrate

There is a time to celebrate, celebrate life and anything else. We have a BIG birthday this month and it is with joy that we celebrate it. I can hardly wait to have that time together as a family. What do you celebrate and with whom?

and Especially More peace and contentment

The New Year is upon us full swing and one neighbor told me yesterday that it hardly feels like we had a break, which we (well most of us) did. We get over busy very fast.

I was listening to a podcast the other day and I was struck with the commentator’s note on being able to be interrupted and the value in this, as that is often where life happens. If we go more slowly, we can be more easily interrupted without fluster- and notice what is happening around us.   When we are in a slower mode, we are more likely to be at peace, too. How can you set up your day so you are flexible for interruptions?

Also, I wish you More fun

And laughter and charming stories. I love Star Wars, and am still basking in the glow of the newest episode. What is fun for you?

And More song

There is so much around us and all we have to do is tune in. What kind of music do you like to listen to?

On top of that, I wish you More art

We have a couple of friends who are artists, and another friend whose husband is one. Her house has almost every square inch of wall-space used for art, her husbands and that which the couple has collected together. My husband and I visited her apartment in Paris last October and I went home inspired. I DO have more room for more art on my walls! I even received some more art from friends for Christmas and most everything is up – just have a few more frames to buy and then I get to enjoy those special pieces. What do you do to surround yourself with beauty? There are many ways, with art at home, going to museums, or taking walks in nature. What would you like to do more of?

And Most of all, I wish you More wonderful conversations

We are social beings, and even we introverts need good conversations. Who do you like to converse with and why? Who would you like to spend more time talking with? What kinds of conversations would you like to talk about?

May you have more of what counts and less clutter- both in things and in your calendar, and more of what counts in 2018.

Patricia Jehle

Icelandic Tradition: BOOKS!

December 26th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

It’s holiday time! What are you reading? What are you learning?

In Iceland everyone gives (and receives) books for Christmas. I have to admit I am quite jealous of this tradition. So, I took matters in hand and (mostly) gave books this year. Most people who know me at all know I love books and I love to read. Do you like reading?

Some books I am reading at the moment

I have a friend who regularly greets her friends with the question, “What are you reading?” This is one of my favorite questions because it assumes that the person is a learner and a reader. I think we should be both. So the second question that goes with the first is “What are you learning?”

That really leads to pre-questions: Why are you reading these books? What are your goals? What books and articles are you reading that lead you to your goals? Also, what courses, lectures, YouTube videos, webinars might you be “attending” to reach your goals?

My reading and goals

One of my biggest goals is always to work on being a better coach and consultant for my clients, so I am reading coaching and supervision books and am in the middle of a finishing a CAS (certificate of advanced studies in coaching). I am also reading “fun books” – a photo will be attached.

What I feel is key for me and my life/work:

It’s all about people and relationship, and of course that is my mantra, anyway. But I love it. We are all trying our best with “what we have”. Emotions are neutral and only show where the individual is “at” at the present moment. Thus anger and sadness are not “bad” per se, but just signs of what is going on inside of you and me- only our reactions to the environment.

The person (my client, or my student) is a whole being: mind, body, conscious and subconscious. I do not have any effect on one part without affecting another. A person is a “system” and all the rules for systems apply.

We are all constantly learning and changing and change is possible for everyone. We learn via modeling: watching and mimicking others to learn new ways of doing things and responding to our circumstances. Thus, we (I) should make sure I am being a positive model for others, my family and friends, my clients, my students…

And smiling (just like reading) is good for the soul: that is also something I remembered this past weekend.

So, what are your goals? What are doing to reach those goals? What are you reading and what are you learning?

Keep on smiling — and should you want to visit my site: –Or join my group on LinkedIn:

Have a great holiday season!

Patricia Jehle  

Reading is a joy for me.

A Christmas Greeting from Jehle Coaching, Swiss Expat work and Life

December 23rd, 2017 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

The time of annual Christmas letters and cards is upon us. This year has been full, although not always of happy and good things, it has been a profitable year, work-wise for Jehle Coaching. I hope your year has also been profitable. In most ways, I am still on “the same path”.

Merry Christmas!

Jehle Coaching

2017 has been a productive year with my coaching business really getting busy! Much has been tried, refined and there is growth. The plans for 2018 are also shaping up, and the networking continues, as well. I had a great year and went to some training, such as Organic Quality Management and a CAS in Coaching from the FHNW-PH. Here is what I have been doing:

  • General business coaching
  • Executive and management coaching
  • Career and job transition coaching (both at beginning and middle management levels)
  • Life and career choices coaching (for young people, but also for those who are making decisions after about 10-15 years of work)
  • Moving into management coaching
  • Expat coaching (intercultural transition and adjustments)
  • Time management coaching
  • Decision-making coaching
  • Conflicts at work coaching
  • Burnout coaching
  • Coaching people with slash careers
  • Start-up business coaching (both regular and for creative businesses)
  • Starting a coaching business coaching and mentoring
  • Assisting friends who are artists and creative (this has been a pro-bono passion of mine)
  • Masterminds (a kind of (small) group coaching)
  • Life Coaching

I still love teaching business communications at the FHNW

It’s amazing that I have stayed with one job so long and that means something: I love it! This year has been no different and I look forward to next semester, and the following school year with great anticipation.

Enjoy the holidays!

Still writing after all these years!

I haven’t stopped and, have two on-going projects (both books in rough draft form, now)– and I do like writing these blogs, too! I expect to be at the next (2018) Geneva Writers’ Conference for some input and motivation.

Still revving up my training and qualification, too! (more a bout that next year)


Finally, I look forward to this holiday season, where I can step back, take a breath, reflect on the good and the hard, and anticipate a great 2018 to come! I hope you are doing the same. What has 2017 been like for you?

Training is a key to success

May you and yours be blessed this season and throughout 2018!

Patricia Jehle


Team Mentoring next year? Try these tips:

December 19th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

Mentoring new team members is a challenge but also can be a great joy.

Mentoring a new team can be a joy, if you follow these tips

So, you have a new team starting in 2018, or at lest a few new team members and they need to get up to speed? Try mentoring!

Here are some benefits to mentoring:

  • The team members get new training in skills and learn the ropes
  • There is someone to ask for help and to be accountable to
  • The gain new insights and are allowed to try out new ways of doing things
  • If more than one person is doing this, the group can learn not only from their own, but from each others’ mistakes, and each others’ learning points

Mentors do these things:

  • Initiate and develop the relationship(s)
  • Guide, counsel and develop the mentee(s)
  • Model good business acumen, emotional intelligence, executive presence and so on
  • Motivate, inspire and teach

How does team mentoring work? Well, it takes time, planning and emotional energy:

Be ready

You need to plan ahead and know what the year (or even two) is going to generally look like regarding the mentoring process.

Communication, especially vision, goals and strategies

Make sure you know the vision and strategy for your organization and team so you can clearly communicate it to your mentees. You need to communicate this often, as it should become second nature to your people.

Provide training for the individuals and the team

Of course you need to provide training to develop the skills your team members need. You can do this in a variety of ways: at weekly meetings, in one-to-one meetings, via training days, or even on retreats. It is up to you to develop the program, unless you want to outsource that, or part of it, to someone else. This may be good for you to do, as you are not usually good at everything. I suggest you make at least a six-month plan of where you want to be in six months and how you plan to get there. It would be a little like a teaching plan.

Make them accountable to you in a clear way

Each individual needs to make a kind of learning contract with you of what they and you think they need to be successful in their position and as part of the team. This, of course needs to be individually negotiated with every mentee. With that you can create milestones together and help them so they can find the learning and training they need. You do not need to be the only person training them; the team can help each other, and if there are others around, they can also help. Of course with on-line training opportunities, this is also a way of learning and honing on skills. Of course, the learning goals should be as SMART as possible.

People are the most important asset – in your team and company

Feedback is key

Allow for times of feedback. Make it as positive as you can and make it as reciprocal as possible.

  • Praise in public – people need praise more than anything and when it’s in front of others it’s doubly worthwhile to the recipient
  • Make it timely (if you see it happening, say something about it)
  • Be specific (so the person knows what to – or not to – repeat)
  • If at all possible keep the feedback positive (not sandwiching the bad in the middle of the good)
  • Give the big picture, so they know how the action affects “the whole”

Team building is key

Then you need to focus on the development of the team as a unit, so you will need different kinds of activities to bring them together and start them on their way. These kinds of activities help to get through the Tuckman phases of Forming, Storming, Norming, and Working. This I will address in a moment, and I also want to talk about about team roles and how you need to make sure the ones you feel are important are covered by your team.

Be a good listener

Patience and understanding are key. Please try to put yourself in the mentee’s shoes as much as you can and avoid being judgmental.

Be a good story teller

Besides listening, be a storyteller who uses the stories as learning points, as parables of sorts. People remember and learn from stories.

Like Coaching, the Relationship is KEY

When all else fails, try and keep the relationship. You won’t regret it! You can always go back and change strategies, but changing team members is usually not a good idea, so keep the relationship and when needed, readjust and change the way you mentor.

You will do well when you take not of these tips and I am looking forward to how it goes with you- keep in touch!

Patricia Jehle





December 12th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

BURNOUT, it is not all the employee’s fault!


Too much stress can lead to burnout

A few Fridays ago I sat with someone and we talked through some of the stress she is facing at work. It’s a lot of stress, and I cannot imagine how that company system is going to continue. The level of expectation on employees and the speed of change is no sustainable.


You see, the company has decided to take the term “Agile” and apply it to everyone and everything in the whole company: work faster, smarter, more flexible, ever more responsibility.

Agile can be difficult when applied to a whole company

Except there is a big problem: people are human and there is a limit to the speed and efficiency they can reach and work at in a sustainable manner. At my friend’s work place burnout is common and heart attacks and strokes happen, and not just to “fat old men”.


This expectancy of ever more perfect employees is a worrisome pattern in many of today’s leading companies. Agile is not just for R&D/Tech., it’s an excuse for companies to use and abuse their employees. Yet their employees are the company’s most valuable asset, and many of them are now sick with burnout and other stress-related illnesses.


Here is what the World Health Organization says about burnout:

“Over the past 20 years one of the most significant changes to workplaces in industrialized countries has been the relative decline in permanent full-time employment and a corresponding growth of what has been termed precarious employment or contingent work arrangements… Widespread and often repeated restructuring/downsizing and outsourcing by large private and public employers has increased insecurity amongst workers previously presumed to have secure jobs.” All this causes burnout. “And burnout syndrome includes the following three dimensions:

emotional exhaustion;
depersonalization; and
reduced personal accomplishment

Locally speaking, according to KMU Magazin, (nr. 2, 2009), Switzerland has a burnout bill of over 18 billion francs! That is an amazingly high number! Companies need to realize that this phenomenon is not about the individual employee, but about the company culture, the company system and when there is a seriously high level of long-term, stress-related illness and burnout, the company needs to look at itself and ask some questions about how they “do business”!

So, what can be done about this problem:

  • First, have healthy expectations of yourself, your co-workers and your employees.
  • Second, allow a culture of failure and learning become the norm. Let yourself – and your team – grow from mistakes instead of trying to be like robots.
  • Third, when people start to experience burnout, do not shame them, but instead, help them to get the care they need as soon as possible.
  • Finally, create healthy work expectations and systems. Remember that you and your employees are humans, not machines.

This is just a beginning, but a necessary one to starting off towards sustainable growth and development, instead of using and abusing employees until they are not of any use to anyone anymore.

Here are some (non-exhaustive) signs of burnout:

  • You hate Sunday night because you have to go to work in the morning
  • Tiredness (often with insomnia), stress-related health problems, difficulty concentrating
  • Emotional problems like irritability, resentment, apathy, boredom
  • Making more mistakes than you usually do, uncommon procrastination
  • Conflicts are increasing, needing to prove or defend yourself in an unhealthy manner
  • Use of unhealthy coping mechanisms (drugs/alcohol, food, shopping)
  • Withdrawal, inner emptiness, depression

Even though it is not just the responsibility of the employee, if you are starting to experience burnout, here are some things you can do:

  • Focus on your (home, not work) relationships– talk about your feelings and frustrations with trusted friends and family.
  • Do things that you can change, be in control of (google Coveys’ list of things you can change).
  • Choose to believe that your (good) actions will lead to (good) feelings—in other words, fight against negativity with positive actions, not just words.
  • Accept yourself as good enough and be realistic about your goals and expectations
  • Pay attention to your emotional and physical needs. Listen to your body and give it some good care.
  • Maybe you need to do some soul searching about what (and how) you are doing for work. Maybe you need to change some things. Take time to reflect on this.

I wish you a very healthy – and – sustainable month and 2018!

Patricia Jehle        




December Job Search

December 7th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

Job Search in December? Don’t give up! Keep on going!

Keep up the job search

Finding a new job at the end of the year can be daunting, but it can be done.

Keep Looking!

Just because some companies slow down at this time of year, don’t give up your search. Keep on, and you might even get an interview in the next two weeks before the holidays. In Switzerland I have seen a number of new postings recently, so be on the alert, as the first ones who apply often receive more attention than those in the “middle flood”.

When you do get that interview, what can you do to stand out in a positive way?

  • Do your research, about the company of course, but if you know who will be interviewing you, also research that person, or those people. Read and refer to their blog, if they have one.
  • Be concrete in your examples, either in the past (stories are really good when you can link previous success to the company’s future success if they hire you) – but also for the future. Imagine how you can help with the company’s strategy (it should be in their annual report), for example. Find a problem you imagine the business faces and solve it (with your help, of course).
  • Be prepared for the long process of interviewing, These days, it could take a while, unless you are an insider. Show your confidence and warm personality, your manners, humbleness and EQ. Make sure you are talking in what I call verbal paragraphing. Chunk your sentences together and make yourself sound eloquent.
  • Posture is key: smile, shoulders back, well-groomed people get the job. Period.

keep looking for an opportunity

Of course there are books that have been written about all the steps in the job search from CVs to follow-up emails, so I don’t have to say more at the moment. Mostly, remember to do your best and do not give up. Keep going until the 22nd of December and start again on the 8th of January at the very latest (and that’s for Switzerland, the break is much shorter in the US and other places).

I wish you all the best for this month, and for the holidays.

Patricia Jehle

Happy Samichlaus Day!

December 6th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

Today is the Feast of St. Nikolas

Samichlaus visits children with a donkey and his companion, the Schmützli

On December 6th in Switzerland, Samichlaus (the Swiss German St. Nick) visits children’s homes and brings bags filled with peanuts, chocolates, gingerbread, clementines, and other delights. Sometimes he and his helpers, the Schmützlis, come and secretly drop off the goodies. Sometimes whole (and in our village’s case, schools) classes of children head to the forest to meet Samichlaus and his Schmützlis. Sometimes he visits the house, comes in and reads from his book about being naughty and nice. Often he comes with a donkey, too, to carry his bags of goodies.

I like the Sixth of December for many reasons: first and foremost, there is no Santa at Christmas bringing gifts; but also, I prefer this Samichlaus and have had very positive experiences with our local ones who have visited our family over the years as our children grew up. Our children had very congenial ones who asked for (musical) concerts and read from their books in a compassionate manner. It was hard to be afraid of these handsomely dressed bishops with their amazing costumes.

Samichlaus is almost the antithesis of commercialism. He shows up only with a bag of treats and talks about how the children have done the past year, not about what i-thing they want from him for Christmas. It is a great relief for me as a parent and a better focus on the Reason for the Season, in my point of view.

But my adult children do not ask for visits from Samichlaus anymore and we do not (yet) have any other children about who may. So the a this year we will celebrate on our own, with the chocolate, peanuts and mandarins in a bowl and have a “light” Swiss supper of homemade vegetable soup, Swiss nüssli (lambsears) salad, sliced meat and cheese—and Griitibänz with Swiss Aargau Gingerbread for dessert, to be eaten with the bowl of goodies. And, in our family we drink hot chocolate with all of this. The recipes I use for the Griitibänz and Gingerbread are at the bottom of the blog today, but first let me explain the Griitibäanz. These are men mad of (sweet, white) bread dough that you can buy specifically on the 6th of December here in Switzerland. As far as I can tell, he represents Samichlaus. We dunk the pieces of bread in the hot chocolate and it’s delicious!

Here are the recipes, the first from “Swiss Milk” and the second from the Aargauer Landfrauen:


  • 500 g flour here you can use “Zopfmehl”
  • ½ TB salt
  • 1-2 TB sugar
  • 75 g softened butter
  • ½ block of fresh yeast (21 g), crumbled
  • 2,75 dl milk,lukewarm

Mix all ingredients together, preferably with your hands and then knead about 10 minutes. Let it rise until it is doubled in size in a warm, draft-free place. If your kitchen is cool, warm the oven a little and put it in there. I make four-five men from this amount of dough. Shape the dough into a log of about 10 cm and cut the bottom for legs, the arms are also cut (be careful not to cut through the log) and then tiny cuts are made for the neck. Experiment and have fun. Some make female ones, others add stocking caps, etc. Use raisins to decorate, but cut holes for them, or they will just burn during baking. Paint them with a beaten egg and bake in a 200°C oven for 20-30 minutes until done (the bottom should sound hollow when done).

Enjoy a Swiss bread-man!

Aargauer Gingerbread:

  1. flour – 500g (I use half-white and the other half spelt (Dinkel)
  2. sugar – 500g
  3. cocoa powder – 3TB
  4. Lebkuchengewürz – 1 packet (from the Swiss store)– or a mix of 1.5-2t cinnamon, 0.5t clove, 0.5t nutmeg and a dash of cardamom
  5. baking powder – 1TB
  6. milk – 5dl (a half a litre)
  7. canola (Raps) oil – 4TB

Sift dry ingredients together and then mix everything together in a bowl. I put the dough on a cookie sheet that has baking parchment on it. Bake in an unheated oven at 180°C for 30-40 minutes. As it cools you can butter it, or after it cools you can decorate it as you wish. We eat it plain, often with tea.

A favorite snack in Advent in my canton

Happy St. Nick’s, Swiss-style!

Patricia Jehle     




One life: many careers?

November 28th, 2017 by Patricia Jehle No comments »

More than one career? How do you deal with it?

Are you a slash? I am!

A slash is someone who has more than one career, who perhaps, has made a second career out of a hobby or passion. A slash can transition you from one stage in life to another or it can accompany your other career through most of your life.

I am a slash and I have friends and family who are also slashes:

My cousin Mark, for example, is an engineer, project manager and coming up towards retirement. He also, along with his wife, makes soda, mainly rootbeer, in a huge pole barn next to his house. Mark Glewwe of Glewwe Castle Brewery produces black cherry, cream, orange, gingerale, raspberry gingerale, and ginger beer besides the spicy adult-flavored rootbeer. He has been doing this for years and is quite famous among the Minnesota rootbeer and other specialty soda fans. Glewwe Castle Brewery is doing well, so well, in fact, that local beer breweries and bars have begun to order his soft drinks for their customers’ use. What is next? Only he and his wife, Laurel, are in the know. We Swiss relatives are hoping for a “factory” here!

My second cousin, Eleanor Glewwe (niece of Mark’s), is a two-time author of YA science fiction and fantasy, publishing with Penguin/Random House. In her other slash, she is getting a PhD in linguistics at UCLA. Her books, Sparkers and Wildings are quite thought provoking and still fun to read. Eleanor may have other slashes in her future. Her personal website says it all: “I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Maryland and Minnesota. I have a BA in Linguistics and Languages (French and Chinese) from Swarthmore College and have also studied at Université Stendhal, Grenoble III. When not doing linguistics, I write books for children. My hobbies include playing the cello (and, more recently, fiddle), folk dancing, shape note singing, and singing in Datvebis Gundi, the UCLA Georgian chorus.”

My friend Doug Brouwer is a pastor and an author. After a very successful 40-year career in ministry, both in the US and Switzerland, Doug is retiring early to concentrate on his other passion, writing. I was honored to have been in a writers’ group with Doug a few years ago. Besides books, Doug writes a blog, too:

Another friend, Sarah Tesnjak, is a singer, a furniture restorer, and a budding coach. She hopes to also add speaker to her slashes. Sarah has also been an event planner and who knows, maybe she will add this to her list of slashes again one day. Her business is called Simply Transformed.

Another friend, Daniel Gargliardi-Paez, is a surfer on the Swiss National Surfing Team, has his own business finishing/shaping and selling surfboards in Switzerland called Force Line Surfboards, Intl., and is a very successful computer specialist the Apple® Team on Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich.

Hats off to other friends, colleagues and (former and present) clients who have slash careers: Mary Yee, Dilek Cansin, Selime Berk, Olivier Pirlot, Kate Pendergrass Norlander, Holger Hendricks, Brian Sparks, Dina Ioannou, Albert Klein, Jeff and Kristen Kidder, Urs Rey, Melissa Kurtcuoglu, so many others, and especially the supposedly “retired” Dr. Prabhu Guptara.

Now for me: besides being a writer/blogger, I am a business coach/ business communications lecturer and a sometime speaker. I am also a mentor and coach/helper of start-ups and artists and other creatives. What pays? Most of it, because I do what energizes me. Besides teaching here are some of the activities (besides teaching, writing and speaking) that have filled my time recently:

  • General business coaching
  • Executive and management coaching
  • Career and job transition coaching (both at beginning and middle management levels)
  • Life and career choices coaching (for young people, but also for those who are making decisions after about 10-15 years of work)
  • Moving into management coaching
  • Expat coaching (intercultural transition and adjustments)
  • Time management coaching
  • Decision-making coaching
  • Conflicts at work coaching
  • Burnout coaching
  • Coaching people with slash careers
  • Start-up business coaching (both regular and creative businesses)
  • Starting a coaching business coaching and mentoring
  • Assisting friends who are artists and creatives
  • Masterminds (a kind of small group coaching)
  • Life Coaching

So, are you a slash? Maybe I can help you manage some of the and highlight the benefits. Even if we don’t work together at the moment, at least you have a new name for what you are doing: you can say “I have a slash career – one person, multiple jobs.” You are not schizophrenic, you are multifaceted!!! Now you have a name for “what you do”: a slash career. Enjoy the variety!

Patricia Jehle