Archive for April, 2010


Friday, April 30th, 2010

I just listened in to a policy wonk webinar about healthy people & healthy places.  (Policy wonks are people who study & develop strategies & policies.)  One of the policy wonks said “Resources are about constituencies. We link to existing constituencies.”

He was probably saying they work with local people. 

Guess what.  That’s us!  We are local people.  The Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation is local people working with local people

I love my job.

Define Old

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

Remember the book I mentioned weeks ago – The Blue Zones?  It’s the book describing how those who live to 100 years live their daily lives. 

This weekend I’m visiting a woman who will be 96 next month.  I’ve known her all my life so I can tell you how she lives.

  1. She’s interested in everything.  She reads, discusses and challenges.
  2. She prepared and cooked real meals for herself, even when she was alone.
  3. The food on her plate is always colorful – the more colorful her food the healthier she thinks it is (& I’m not talking circus peanuts, fruit roll-ups & Orange Crush).
  4. I don’t believe I ever heard her say she was on a diet.
  5. She’s was always busy – leading poetry classes, sweeping, visiting, dusting, shopping…
  6. Midday she sits down to relax (& doze).
  7. She reads the Bible through every year – at least for the last 50 or so years.
  8. She reads a lot of other things, too. And she writes poetry.
  9. Her family pays attention to her.

Just like the centenarians in The Blue Zones, living exactly like Louise probably isn’t the one, true answer.  We just don’t know enough, yet.  But it’s working for her.

Oh, Chicken Poop!

Friday, April 16th, 2010

In a recent conversation some folks described a group of older adults as set in their ways.  While older resident’s small-town, by-gone ways may not seem as healthful as new-age organic, farm-market, bike & hike, community outreach activism, there is something to be said for the healthy way they grew up.  We couldn’t be more organic than putting the chicken coop by the kitchen garden so the chicken’s can fertilize.  And mowing the lawn with one of those reel push mowers meant there was no need for a treadmill or exercise bike. 

The conversation about those who are set in their ways (and have been in our communities a long time) reminded me not to be so sure I have all the answers.  I’m going to take a closer look & see if I can learn something from those who are set in their ways.

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Food Revolution

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Over the weekend Gwen Stubbs, who works for the CWF, watched the movie, Food, Inc.  And last Friday she watched Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.  And, she’s trying to read Mindless Eating.  And, temporarily, she’s had it up to her eyeballs with the current obsession with talking about healthy food. 

 This morning she wondered if this nationwide emphasis on the way we eat will just be a trend… a flash in the pan.  In 2011 we’ll wake up & it will all be about our posture or dust mites or hearing loss from headsets.  I’m worried she’s right.

 In Chelsea, Dexter, Grass Lake, Manchester & Stockbridge we don’t have to jump on the ‘trendy’ band wagon.  Our communities have an opportunity to do something different because of the long-term funding through the Chelsea-Area Wellness Foundation.  Instead of being part of a short-term trend, we can make changes in our community and as individuals, and we can maintain them even when the national discussion moves on. 

 Gwen, is that what you have in mind?

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Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary – Oh My!

Friday, April 9th, 2010

Over the past few months I’ve spoken to the Rotary, Lions & Kiwanis.  These men & women understand one of the most important tenants of a long, happy life. They connect with others in healthy ways. Connecting with others in healthy ways is also part of the Foundation’s vision for all of us.

At each meeting they acknowledge their God, our flag and they always honor our community through their service.  Service groups, with little money and mostly their time, do things like build ramps for the infirm or put up T.V. antennae for shut-ins.

 I have the greatest respect for all of you.  Thanks for your long-standing service to your communities.

OK OK OK… (Pat’s 4/2 update)

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

I made it to the gym only once this week!  The (potentially) good news is that I have not weighed myself, so weight in and of itself, cannot be my wellness focus this upcoming week…

 Some high points:  No walk in the woods, but a nice loop around the fields with my 4 year old son on a lovely spring evening.  Now what could be better than that?  In other words, I’ll chalk that one up to WELLNESS…How nice to connect with family, children, nature, fresh air and sunshine all in one shot.  It was free and no bother (no trip to gym, equipment, etc.) at all.  Though I offered the older two kids the chance to walk too, they declined.  I’m trying to model enjoyment of wellness and not mandate it (as tough as THAT is…).

 Still off the wheat products, though I have slipped a bit from time to time.  Battling back the sinus infection with herbs, tinctures, vitamins and other gross things that I won’t mention in pleasant company.  Slow going but no steroidal rage to visit on my family (which is good).  I’ll weigh in next week when I make my THIRD visit to the gym.  Until then…

Is cheese a vegetable because it comes from cows who eat corn & grass?

Thursday, April 1st, 2010

Many of you know my sons and might also know I asked them, almost every night at dinner: “How many fruits and vegetables did you eat today?”  In their minds a taco counted as about 6 servings of fruits and veg; tomato salsa, corn in the shell, lettuce, and ground beef/cheese/sour cream – all from cows who eat corn and grass so count as one serving each.  

Next week we’re going to quiz our face book friends on all things fruit and vegetable(  Each day we’ll have a different question about fruits & vegetables and we’ll randomly pick a winner from the correct responses.  Each winner will receive a guest pass to the Chelsea Wellness Center.  

It should be fun.  I can’t wait to see what our facebook friends can teach my kids about what constitutes a fruit or vegetable!