Good Bye Flu Season! Get Your Healthy On!


Thank goodness, winter is behind us!  Hopefully it took all the germs with it.  I hope you were able to dodge the cold and flu bullets this winter.  If not, now’s the time to give your body, immune system and eating plan a refreshing kick start.  Starting today, build these tips into your daily living for a healthy remainder of 2015. Read More »

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College--Coming Up with a List to Apply To


In a recent essay in the NY Times, Frank Bruni, op-ed columnist and author, exploded the myth that getting into a highly selective school is the key to success later in life. In line with my recent blog, “Parenting and the Sinking of the Essex”, I would like to unpack some ideas about applying to highly selective colleges:

  • Yes, there are several dozen “elite” universities whose admit rate is ridiculously low and even with a perfect looking portfolio should never be counted on.  These schools get bucket loads of press and the drama of the rejection letters is the stuff of movies.  Should you steer your student away from filling out an application?  Well, it depends on your student.

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Walk it out! Starting a Walking Program

CobieI know I’m not the only who feels it’s been an endless North Carolina winter! What could be more wonderful than the emerging spring with its warmer temperatures, bright sun, Carolina blue skies and longer days to spend time enjoying every minute of it!  One of my favorite activities in the spring is to venture out for long walks with my black lab Cobie, exploring the many things our beautiful state has to offer while getting fit at the same time! Read More »

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3 Nutrition Tips to Boost Your Energy for Spring


Ole Man Winter has taken his sweet time getting out of here this year challenging even the most complacent weather watchers. But, last night I finally heard it - the beautiful trill of the Spring Peeper frogs. If you’re not from North Carolina or parts nearby, you may be unfamiliar with this phenomenon. It’s a high pitched chorus of the sweetest sound as it often designates that winter is coming to an end and warm weather is approaching (at least that’s what it means to me). Last night the Spring Peeper frogs performed an extraordinary symphony in high volume as they, along with us, celebrated the melted snow and the warm temps that blessed us the past few days. Read More »

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Just Lift


Dumbbell SmallAs a personal trainer, one of the top comments I hear from clients is that they want to “tone up.” Some even go as far to tell me which area of their body needs said toning. What they’re really saying is that they want more muscle and for that muscle to be defined.  In order to gain muscle (and cut fat, which will give that defined look), you have to get stronger. To get stronger, you need to strength train. Read More »

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Stress Tip: Take Time for ME Time

Many of us have schedules packed so tight we don’t have room to eat a meal sitting down much less read a novel or go for a long walk. With work, family, friends and other commitments, our days, weeks and months speed by us. It is easy to get caught up in the chaos of busyness and find ourselves feeling exhausted and overwhelmed. If this describes your life, I’d like to challenge you to make a change. If you can find 15-30 minutes a day every day (stay with me, it can be done) to invest in you, you will start to see positive changes quickly.

Finding time every day may seem impossible. If so, try to find 15-30 minutes every other day or a few times a week and put this time on your calendar. Don’t look at this week’s calendar – it’s full already – look at next week or the week after, set a date to begin your new habit of ME time.

So what do you do during me time? That’s up to you. Before your life became chaotic, what did you do for fun? What can you do in 15-30 minutes that can help you relax and recharge your batteries? Here are some ideas: Read More »

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Parenting in Light of the Sinking of the Essex

What does parenting in the 21st century have to do with the sinking of a whaling ship, Essex, in 1821. Nothing, really. But I think our approach to parenting has a lot of do with what happened after the Essex sunk and the captain and 20 crew had to decide what to do next. Essentially, they had 3 choices—head to the nearest island grouping about 1200 miles away; head to the Hawaiian islands even farther away; head south 1000 miles to pick up some trade winds that could eventually cast them upon the South American coastline…an additional 3000 miles. All choices were fraught will peril. Rumor had it that the nearest island group was the home of a cannibalistic culture. To head to the Hawaiian Islands meant certain death; the small whaling boats could not weather the severe storm systems at that time of year. The third option, due to its length, held visions of starvation and thirst given the limited supplies aboard the small vessels. Eventually, the captain and crew chose to head to South America. Eight survived the ordeal and not without reverting to cannibalism.

According to Karen Thompson Walker, author of The Age of Miracles, fear is a form of storytelling. The story that the collective fears of the captain and crew of the Essex told them was that cannibalism (even though a rumor) was the worst of all possible outcomes. Because this fear was so lurid, it caused them to underplay the very real and probable outcome of death by starvation given a 4000 mile journey.

I see a direct connection to parenting. Often we underplay very real (and probable) concerns because of sensational (and statistically far less significant) fears. Every spring, I host a college series to inform SAS parents and families about issues concerning financing a college education as well as college admissions and parenting through the process. There is a lot of hype in media about the difficulty of getting into college when in fact more than 50% of four-year colleges/universities accept 75% or more of their applicants.[1] What seems to be less talked about is not getting into college, but actually completing the college degree. It is much more sensational to talk about a handful of colleges who admit less than 10% of their applicant pool. I think a more productive conversation would start with the question, “Apart from the ability to pay, what does it take for a student to complete an undergraduate degree?” followed by the question, “What am I doing today to insure that my student has the qualities/skills that it takes to accomplish this task…preferably in four years?”

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Is Butter Back?


For years, saturated fat has been blamed for high cholesterol levels and heart attacks. This overemphasis on reducing fat intake led many people to start substituting high carbohydrate, high sugar, processed foods for fats - bye, bye eggs, hello fat-free cookies! Read More »

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Broken Heart Syndrome


Heart Balloon CCPAnother Valentine's Day has passed. I often wonder where the time goes. It seems like yesterday my daughter was buying those little cards and sharing cut out hearts with her peers. Now, she's 15 and this year she had fun in a different way and I was happy to be involved.  My daughter invited a couple of friends for a sleep over. To prep, we visited a popular corner store and bought some decorative doughnuts.  This way, the little princesses could wake up on the big day and over indulge on heart-shaped goodies with sprinkles. I really can't believe that we've lived in Raleigh since 2000 and this is the first time we've hand selected the fine craftsmanship of the hot, beautifully decorated dough.

This brings me to my next mention. It does involve food as many events often do.Valentines Day CCP My husband is so sweet and he gets caught up in the Valentine’s Day world of cards and candy.  Almost like clockwork, he buys me and our daughter chocolate, separate boxes of course. What’s not to like about chocolate!  I love dark chocolate, even before it was announced that it was heart healthy.

Although this day is recognized as a heartfelt day, I can’t help but think of those who don’t have a special someone or perhaps they lost a sweetheart from a break up or worse. Read More »

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Salad Dressing Shake Up


Have you ever sprinkled sugar over your salad? Probably not, but as it turns out food companies have already done it for you!

Dressings can have up to a whopping 2 teaspoons of sugar in just 2 tablespoons- that’s 1/3 of your recommended sugar for the entire day. Wouldn’t you rather spend you sugar budget elsewhere?! I know I would!! Read More »

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