"How was your day?" How parents can get a response!

The school year has begun, and, as parents, we are intensely curious about what is going on in the minds, hearts, and lives of our children during those hours they are away from us.  We try to act nonchalant as we query, "How was your day?", but we are anything but!

One-word responses (O.K....fine) seem to be the norm.  Or, we get an immediate defensive posture, "Why do you ask me this every single day?!  I don't want to talk about it!" ...or a simple, "Leave me alone!"  Rarely do we receive rich and interesting details of the school day.

Christine Carter, author of Raising Happiness and The Sweet Spot, just wrote a blog that provides three suggestions as to how to encourage some dialogue: Read More »

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Fuel Your Training

fuel-your-fitness

The foods we eat play a huge role in how well our body functions, positively or negatively.  If you are training for a sports event or competition, you want to make sure your body is functioning at its peak! This could be a 5K, 10K, Triathlon, Spartan Race, or any kind of event that requires a lot of physical activity.

Your food not only provides the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function, it also provides the fuel.  Just like you wouldn’t start a road trip with an empty gas tank, you need to make sure you have fuel for your training, and for the actual event. Read More »

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Reach the finish line of a race this fall with these 6 Tips

Philadelphia Marathon Finish, 2007

Are you thinking about completing a fall race? Whether it’s a 5K, 10K, or half or full marathon, it’s going to be here before you know it.  I’ve been running for years, and I can tell you, there’s nothing like the motivation of signing up for a race to get those bottom cheeks in gear and get you back into a fitness routine.  Right now, I’m training for an Ironman.  Yes, I admit that it’s absolutely nuts.  Full time job, 2 energetic little boys, and a hyper puppy - who has time for that?!  5.5 more weeks to go.  Yes, in 5.5 weeks I will cross that magical life-changing line and be an IRONMAN.  A finisher.  Five. And a half. More. Weeks. But until I get there, there’s training.  Exercise and training, especially when you’re pushing yourself to try something new, is hard.  But if it were easy, it wouldn’t be a challenge, right?!  Here are six tips to help you successfully reach the finish line: Read More »

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The Jedi Goodbye: Helping Young Children with Separation Anxiety

Beginning a new school year can be hard for little ones. Whether it is being dropped off the first day of preschool, starting kindergarten, going to a new school or getting a new teacher, young children can experience stress. A lot of times this stress presents itself as separation anxiety – not wanting the parent to leave the child.

Not only is separation anxiety hard for the child, I would argue that it’s equally as hard for the parents. Leaving your child when s/he is scared or crying is a terrible feeling that you keep with you throughout the day. I would like to share a few ideas for helping ease separation anxiety in young children. Read through these five suggestions and decide which ones might work for your child.

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3 Foods You May Be Eating Wrong

foods-eating-wrong

Choosing nutrient-dense foods is only half the battle when it comes to eating right. The other half is making sure you’re getting the most benefits from your great food choices.

How do you do that, you ask? The answer is pretty simple. Paying attention to a few common food prep habits is all it takes to help maximize the amount of nutrients your body is able to absorb and utilize. Read More »

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The Mouth-Body Link: Why Oral Health is So Important

“Everything in our body is linked”, according to former Surgeon General David Satcher and the past 5 to 10 years have seen ballooning interest in possible links between mouth health and body health. As much as I would simply love to compartmentalize my oral health from my physical fitness, current research is binding the two areas together. I’m learning that my overall health is on the line if I neglect my teeth and gums. Read More »

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A Parent's Back-to-School Shopping Tips

I hauled the Sunday paper in this past weekend.  The back-to-school shopping circulars added heft to the normal weight.  No surprise--even without the tax free holiday weekend.  We're all gearing up for the coming school year whether it be for our kindergartener starting afresh or for our college-bound student leaving home anticipating a new set of adventures and opportunities (some of which, we hope, are educational).

May I make a parenting suggestion?  Read More »

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Natural Food Dyes...at Home!

natural food dyes

As a new mom, I’ve been trying to provide the healthiest foods possible for my family that don’t have added chemicals and unnecessary ingredients.  According to the 2015 Nielson Survey, I’m not alone in this journey!  Consumers are going back to the basics with about 4 in 10 global respondents regarding having foods with natural ingredients (43%) and no artificial colors (42%) and flavors (41%) very important.  This is great news, but take a look down just about any food aisle and you’ll quickly realize this task is easier said than done! Read More »

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One is good enough!

Many of you know that I have lived for over a decade in an under-resourced neighborhood in Durham.  I love my neighbors and my community.  And I have learned the truth of Aboriginal activist Lilla Watson’s sage axiom, “If you have come to help me you are wasting your time; but if you are here because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”

What I also know from experience that is based on solid research is that a healthy adult role model can make all the difference in the life of a young person.  I find that modeling can be quite natural (walking briskly in my neighborhood for exercise after work each day, disagreeing with my spouse in a calm & non-confrontational way, leaving for work on time each morning, tending to my yard and helping an elderly neighbor with hers).  But guess what?  Kids on my street notice these things and comment on them.  Even passively, my life has impact.

Being a healthy adult role model can also be quite active and can take many forms—coaching a sports team, tutoring a student, assisting with a science fair project, teaching a Sunday school class, leading a scout troop or after-school coding club, or even apprenticing a young person in your hobby.  According to Gene Roehlkepartain, PhD, with Search Institute, the 5 things any young person needs to experience in their relationship with you are[i]: Read More »

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3 Reasons Why You Should Try Exercise in the Water This Summer

I was born in Florida and I like to think I'm a water baby.  I love the way water feels so restorative and relaxing when my body needs a break from all the impact I put it through.  I also love that swimming and water walking feel so relaxing, yet when I hop out of the pool, I'm tired and hungry (indicators that I've worked hard,) and, it's not uncommon for me to be sore after a water aerobics class.  If you haven't tried a water workout, it's time you did!  Here are 3 reasons you should try exercising in the water this summer: Read More »

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