Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Do you remember the book, Blue Zones? Places on earth where people are more likely to live to be 100? The author has a new book: Thrive – Finding Happiness the Blue Zones Way.
I haven’t read it, but I get promotional e-mails. Today I received one that offered 5 tips to ‘get happier’.
- Say something nice to your partner or family member
- Eat a plant-based breakfast
- Morning exercise will boost your mood for 12 hours
- Socialize 6 hours a day
- Sleep 7-8 hours a night
Give it a try & let us know if it works.
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Last week a consultant from Minnesota toured our 5 healthy towns. I’d like to share some of his comments with you.
- All 5 communities have recently invested in their schools so we know they care about education & kids.
- There is a lot of reinvestment in existing homes. That’s a good sign.
- These towns are more alive than many in states like MN, IA & WI where the economy is better.
- Some of your grocery stores [some mind you] have healthy food sections that rival the most urban, upscale grocery stores.
- It would be so easy to restripe some of these roads to include bike lanes.
- Although there are sections of unconnected sidewalks, it would be easy to connect them in most places.
- Clearly these towns are proud & each have an identity separate from the larger cities, nearby.
It’s good to hear a compliment once in a while.
Thursday, May 20th, 2010
Winter, water, wonderland – don’t you love Michigan? For all our challenges we live in an amazing state.
Paul Schissler, a local Rotarian, invited me to hear Jennifer Granholm speak on Wednesday & I was delighted to attend. I’m pretty sure you have to love a state to take on the exhausting work of being a governor.
She talked about the ways we’re moving Michigan forward, primarily from a business point of view. She touched on things that won’t surprise you; green industry, tourism, advanced manufacturing, educating our citizens and restructuring our tax system. She did not mention the health of our citizens or any statewide efforts to reduce the cost of living in Michigan by reducing behavior-related health care costs. Most of the costs are related to obesity and smoking.
What if 5 healthy towns could reduced the expense ourselves – and not to save money? We could do it because it feels good to feel good. Does this idea appeal to your sense of independence and self-determination?
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.
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.
- She’s interested in everything. She reads, discusses and challenges.
- She prepared and cooked real meals for herself, even when she was alone.
- 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).
- I don’t believe I ever heard her say she was on a diet.
- She’s was always busy – leading poetry classes, sweeping, visiting, dusting, shopping…
- Midday she sits down to relax (& doze).
- She reads the Bible through every year – at least for the last 50 or so years.
- She reads a lot of other things, too. And she writes poetry.
- 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.
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…
Friday, March 26th, 2010
I’m in Pittsburgh at a nursing conference and had lunch with my friend, Patty. Early in her life, Patty started smoking, assuming she could quit any time she wanted. After a decade she realized quitting would be nearly impossible. Right then she made up her mind she was going to do it anyway. She woke up every day and told herself it was the day she would quit smoking. She tried to quit every day for 15 years.
One day, about 8 years ago, she finally conquered her habit and is now among the league of those who don’t smoke – quite an accomplishment. I admire her tenacity. She simply wouldn’t quit quitting.
Wednesday, March 17th, 2010
Could we make over an entire town in one year? I mean, turn it into a place where almost everyone chooses to move more, eat better, avoid tobacco & connect with others in healthy ways? Really – are we up to it? Is it important enough to us?
One town in Minnesota did it. We’re including a link to a website for everyone to read about the Vitality Project. About half way down the page are 4 short videos, too. Take a look. Add a comment, below, to let us know what you think.
Monday, March 15th, 2010
You all realize, don’t you, that local grocery shopping is about to become a nightmare for me? What if someone sees me putting Frosted Flakes® in my cart?
Here’s the thing. Wellness might include a daily sliver of chocolate for one person. Another person may not exercise regularly but have a physically demanding job. Someone else may never feed their children meat raised with antibiotics & steroids but does allow them to drink pop. One person my find their greatest sense of wellness (and lowered blood pressure) comes from a prayer group or yoga class – not from eating fruits and vegetables.
It’s the rare & remarkable person who can be perfect in all things healthy. Since most of us won’t ever reach this state of nirvana, I think my best option is to encourage and embrace any efforts on the part of my family, friends and neighbors.
Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010
As far back as I remember I’ve heard healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food. So, yesterday I went to the local grocery store to find out.
Grapes = 15¢/oz
Potato chips = 36¢/oz
Apples = 5¢/oz
Doritos = 30¢/oz
Sweet potatoes = 6¢/oz
Tostitos = 28¢/oz (the bargain among chips)
Head of Romaine = 9¢/oz
Hot dog = 25¢/oz
Fresh chicken 9¢/oz
Bacon (the cheap stuff) = 29¢/oz
Cottage cheese = 10¢/oz
Chips Ahoy = 21¢/oz
Oatmeal = 9¢/oz
Cinnamon Toast Crunch = 23¢/oz
Milk = 2¢/oz
Gatorade = 4.6¢/oz
Apple juice = 3.5¢/oz
Beer = 11¢/oz
So, as long as we have access to a full service grocery store, that settles that.