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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Vacation Time!

It's Tuesday and Memorial Day weekend is over. Bummer. But it was a beautiful weekend and I got to spend some quality time with my family and get a lot done. However, I can't stop thinking about vacation time. It's the beginning of another summer and I have a strong urge to get away!

I realize times are tight for a lot of people right now so trying to figure out how to enjoy summer without breaking the bank seems like a daunting task. But there is always one inexpensive vacation that is not only healthy, but it is great for the entire family - CAMPING!!!!

Camping is one of my favorite ways to spend vacation. It's relaxing, brings you closer to nature and gives you many opportunities to be active.

Don't have a tent or RV? No problem. Try a camping cabin. They are only $40 per night in most parks and you don't have to own your own camping gear.

My version of a perfect camping day would be: wake up early with a cup of coffee; eat breakfast off the grill; go for a morning hike; eat lunch; afternoon bike ride; hit the park swimming pool; relax (maybe take a nap); eat dinner and roast marshmallows over a campfire; then check out the nightly events most campgrounds have to offer. Good times.

One of my favorite places to visit in Ohio is Hocking Hills It's amazing and the ammenities are amazing. Check your nearest park for details.

Another great park here in Ohio is Long's Retreat in Latham, Ohio ( It offers a swimming lake, water slide, indoor arcade, splash pad, go karts, basketball courts and other fun kid activities. It was like visiting a mini amusement park for a lot less money.

Also, check out the book Cooking on a Stick: Campfire Recipes for Kids by Linda White. I found it at my local library and it gave us some fun ideas for cooking over a campfire with kids.

So don't think you have to stay at home this year. Find a campground near you and stay for a night or a week. It's up to you, but make the most of your summer and have fun!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

How Buying Local Is Better For Your Health

Buying Local is better for your health

Why Buying Local is better for your health:
1. Buying local is better for the environment. The further you travel the more you are using your car or other forms of transportation that pollute the air we breathe.

2. Buying local means exercise. Take time to walk around downtown and shop with your family.

3. Buying local means keeping money in your community. It means more jobs for your friends, family members and neighbors.

4. Buying local means healthier food. Visit your local farmer’s market and buy fresh produce. It’s cheaper and supports local farmers.5. Buying local means meeting new people in your community.

6. Buying local means enriching your life. Attend festivals, concerts, charity events and plays. Run in your local 5k or walk for cancer or for the health of babies. Take classes to improve your fitness level, culinary skills or artistic abilities. Take First Aid and CPR or self-defense. Many local organizations offer these opportunities for very little money or for free.

7. Buying local means safer communities. More people walking around downtown means safer streets.

Take advantage of all your community has to offer.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Frugal Weight Loss Tips

Why do so many of us think that weight loss has to be expensive? We don't have to pay for a fancy gym membership or eat super expensive health foods.

There is not a complicated method to losing weight. There are some very simple tips to losing weight. Here are my favorite.

1. Eat breakfast - the experts are not kidding when they say it's the most important meal of the day.

2. Quit rushing the process! This is very important. Quit trying to lose 10 pounds this month. It's not healthy and you will just be discouraged. Take your time. It will come off slow, but it will stay off.

3. Journal - write down what you are eating and how you feel about it everyday. I learned this years ago in college and it was the best tip EVER!

4. Eat slower - I went to Italy 2 years ago and was amazed by the way they savor their food and there were no fat Italians!

5. Eat smaller portions of the foods you love.

6. Go for a walk every day - this does not take fancy equipment or gear. Just get out and walk.

7. EAT MORE FIBER!! Increase your fiber to the recommended amount. The USDA recommends getting 14 grams of fiber per every 1,000 calories consumed. This would be approximately 25 grams for a woman and 38 for a man. Add fruit, beans and whole grains to your diet. They are not expensive!

8. Stop drinking sugary soda and other drinks. They cost more and add way too many calories.

9. Do not use diet pills. If you eat enough fiber, you won't be hungry. Plus, those suckers are expensive and often dangerous!

Please take care of your health and see your physician before making any changes. Good luck!

Note about me****My master's will be in Public Health Promotion and Education not Nutrition. I am not a diet expert and I am not telling you what to eat. I am simply sharing the tips that have worked for me over the years. I am not super thin and probably never will be. I am at a healthy weight. I do fluctuate about 10 pounds here and there. I have been heavier over the years. I gained 50 pounds when I was pregnant at 29. I took that weight off slowly over the next three years. I lost around 10-15 pounds each year after that. I have stayed at this weight since then plus or minus a few pounds here and there.

Monday, May 18, 2009

It's Positively Monday!

Good Monday morning!

I know, it’s Monday and it’s generally the least favorite day of the week. Poor thing. Why is it the least favorite? Is it because you have to start another week of work or other chores? I will let you in on a little secret. I don’t mind Monday. Nope, I don’t. I am writing you from my kitchen table where I sit in front of my window overlooking my backyard. I get to look out at a beautifully manicured yard with hundreds of trees at the end of it. I am enjoying a wonderfully delicious cup of coffee and enjoying the dawn chorus of birds before I head off to another week of work.

How can I sound so happy about it? Well…because I can.

I choose my mood every single day when I wake up and today I am choosing to enjoy everything. It is amazing how much joy you can find in everyday things. Look around you. What brings you joy? Why are you in a bad mood today? You are probably in a bad mood because you are choosing to be in a bad mood. Stop it!

If you hate getting up to go to work everyday, then you are in the wrong business. I have mentioned this before, but my husband was in a job he hated! When he found out he might lose his job, I was grateful. I didn’t get down on him about it. I told him we would be okay and that this was his opportunity to find something he truly enjoyed doing. And he did. We make less money now, but we didn’t lose everything. We have had to learn to be a little more creative with our budget and we are doing great. This morning for breakfast I enjoyed a PB&J sandwich on the bread I baked just yesterday. It was probably the best PB&J I have ever had.

Find joy in everything you do today. It’s there. Look for it.