Posted in Health, mental-health, Personal

Take a Hike!

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of editing and work. I’m excited about my story and I’m close to the finish line. I’ve got another story I’m just as excited about that I’ve put on the back burner so I can whip my latest project into shape.

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about taking down time to enjoy the little things, like taking a hike. I love walking through the woods. I love the smell of the leaves as they fall mixing with the scent of soil. It grounds me. I feel our society needs more time outside. We’re all stuck in front of our computers. We’ve become the inside generation. We’re not getting enough fresh air and sunshine.

We’re not getting enough exercise. I see my boys sitting in front of their computers doing their virtual learning then gaming, and it worries me. I must become quite the Napoleon to get them outside, but they grudgingly do it.

There was a movie we watched when they were little that left quite an impression on me. That movie was Wall-E. It was the story about what happens after we’ve abused the earth so badly it has become unlivable and the humans create a home away from home. It’s a huge space station and everyone on the station is lazy and overweight. They’re so fat, they can’t walk very well, so they have these devices that transport them everywhere.

Sadly, I don’t think this future is far off the mark. Unless we get off our rear-ends and get moving. I’m trying to get outside more myself. I’m trying to set a good example for my kids, but even I fall short. Especially with winter right around the corner where we rise in the dark and get home from work when it’s dark. This not only affects my motivation but makes me want to hibernate, to hunker down and stay inside.

I think I came from a tribe of hibernators.

But I digress. Taking a hike through the woods is great exercise and it’s good for yourself mentally. It gets those endorphins running and we get something from the forest. The trees emit phytoncides.

These little guys are good for our immune system. They enhance our anti-cancer protein production. To learn more about Forest Bathing click here: https://lisaorchard.wordpress.com/2017/08/05/the-benefits-of-forest-bathing/

So, getting outside is good for our body and our souls. Let’s get moving America and get healthy again!

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. Do you have any outdoor activities that you like to do? Please leave a comment! I love hearing from you!

Posted in Family, Health, mental-health

Keep Fighting the Good Fight

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a week of being busy at work and working hard on my WIPs. But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about the importance of exercise in your self-care regime.

The reason I’m writing this post is to remind myself to exercise. It’s getting colder outside and I’m at that point where I have to transition from running outside to running on a treadmill. I don’t like running on a treadmill and I do it grudgingly because it’s important for my health. So, as you probably have already surmised it’s very easy for me to skip my run during this time.

But I shouldn’t do that because exercise is so important for our bodies and our brains. It increases blood flow which helps in the absorption of oxygen and strengthens all our muscles including our hearts.

It also helps with depression and anxiety. I must remind myself of this during the winter months when it’s easier to slip into that seasonal funk. So, I’m making a concerted effort to continue my exercise routine, but this year I’m going to try something new. I’m thinking about adding another dimension to my exercise routine. I’m going to try Pilates. I’ve heard of it and I’m going to check out a new gym that just opened near my house. I’m not stopping the running, but I think it’s time to build up strength in my core, so I don’t have back issues later in life.

Our bodies need a solid foundation just like our writing does. Did you know running is good for your bones? It is. In fact, running can reverse osteoporosis, so can walking. Any weight bearing exercise is good for your bones.

I feel exercise helps me with my writing as well. All that extra blood and oxygen going to my brain gives my creativity a boost. Since being a writer is my passion, anything that boosts my creativity is good for me.

So, why do I find it hard to exercise when it’s so good for me? Because it’s hard work. I get hot and sweaty and I have to clean up. All of that takes time and right now time is precious to me. I want to spend it with my family. I want to spend it writing. I don’t want to spend it slogging away on a treadmill even if it’s good for me. So, there you have the dilemma I face when I must choose between exercise and writing or exercise and my kids.

It doesn’t sound like a tough choice, but it is. Because exercise is so important, and I must remind myself that I will have MORE time with my kids and MORE time for my writing IF I exercise. I’m extending my life because I’m putting time in now to take care of myself.

This post is a reminder for me, but it’s also a reminder for you to keep up the good fight against disease and illness and continue your exercise regime. What is your exercise routine during the cold winter months? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health, mental-health

Beauty Pageants, who needs them?

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week at work, but I did something fun this week that kind of broke up my routine. I made a clock for my office, and I must say, I enjoyed it immensely. It’s pictured below and I must give a shout out to my friend, Paulette Carr. She taught the clock-making class and I wouldn’t have been able to make such an amazing clock without her tutelage. So, if you’re ever in Michigan you need to stop by Brave Art Studio and check out her work. It is amazing.

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My Clock

The Brave Art Studio and Gallery

1873 Lincoln Rd Allegan, MI 49010

But enough about that, today I’d like to talk about a meme I saw on Facebook and it got me thinking because it’s so true. There’s been a lot of controversy over the new film “Cuties” on Netflix. The reason everyone’s in an uproar is because of the blatant sexualization of these young girls.

Cuties Poster

I’m glad everyone is upset about this. It’s about time we took a look at the messages we send to young girls. Instead of focusing on their beauty, let’s focus on their abilities. Let’s teach them to become a master in whatever their heart desires. So, the meme below makes total sense.

Image may contain: 4 people, text that says 'NateTalksToYou @NateTalksToYou With the controversy surrounding the #Cuties film ately maybe we can start talking about how disgusting child beauty pageants are.'

Let’s do away with all beauty pageants. Not just the ones for small girls, but the ones for grown women, too. We should all be so busy chasing our dreams that we don’t have time to stand on a pedestal and be judged for our exterior beauty. We have goals to accomplish and skills to master. Let’s teach our girls that we have better things to do with our time than to try and become an idealized version of ourselves.

Let’s send the message that they’re valuable no matter what their physical appearance may be. Instead of promoting beauty, we should be promoting health. Teaching our girls to take care of their body and staying healthy as opposed to reaching some idealistic version of themselves set by society.

What do you think? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Health, Parenting, quarantine, raising kids

Online School versus Wearing a Mask All Day

 

 Girl Writing on the Sofa

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a busy week of work and writing. My next WIP is going well and I can’t wait until it’s done. I really like this story, too.

But enough about that, I’m back today to talk about the issue of school in the fall. Right now, we must let the school know if our kids are going to be riding the bus, so they can set up routes and figure out how many kids they’re going to be transporting.

 

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I’m talking with my kids and my oldest is fine either way, but I’m not. There are so many unanswered questions. My oldest tells me if there’s an outbreak at the school, they’ll  immediately shut it down. That worries me. I don’t want my kids to get sick, so I’m leaning toward online school. I have a feeling we’re going to end up in that position any way.

In conversations with my kids, they aren’t looking forward to wearing a mask all day, but I don’t know of any other way to protect them. There are so many things we don’t know about the virus. I keep hearing rumors of fevers lasting for months and long-term damage to the lungs and heart. The thing with sending them to school is there’s more of a risk for them to be exposed to this virus.

 

Medical Mask - Coronavirus - Free Photos

https://www.everypixel.com/image-16846227259641020229

 

Right now, I don’t know what the school has planned. We haven’t been given those details yet. The thing is we have to figure out how much of a risk there is in sending the boys to school versus online schooling. I know that online schooling eliminates the risk, but I’m worried about the isolation factor.  We are human after all, social animals. How is this virus going to affect their social development in this time in their lives when learning social cues is so important?

 

There are no easy answers, that’s for sure. What are your school districts doing? How do you feel about it? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Posted in Family, Health, quarantine

To Wear the Mask, that is the Question

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Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after spending a week at our cottage. I really needed to get out of Dodge because I’ve been stuck in the house and haven’t been able to visit friends. I do talk with them on the phone, but I miss seeing movies or getting together for lunch.

In Michigan our Governor has issued an executive order requiring everyone to wear masks in public places and at public gatherings. Many people are protesting this, and it upsets me.

I’ve heard from friends who have had this virus, and it is no joke. I worry about my kids getting it. At Torch Lake (where my In-Laws cottage is located) there is a sand bar where everyone gathers especially on the Fourth of July. Everyone parks their boats and swims. Some people bring grills and sell hamburgers and hotdogs. It’s a lot of fun. We’ve always avoided it on the Fourth because the crowd is huge, and people are drinking and that usually results in a few fights.

 

We avoided it again this year and we’re glad we did. One of the restaurants we love to go to had to close for a couple of days because someone tested positive for the virus and was a patron there without a mask. So, everyone who was there when that person was there must get tested for the virus. The restaurant closed to disinfect everything. I’m sure that was expensive.

 

I know it’s hard on these businesses that have had to close because of this virus, but I’ve heard from medical professionals that this is no joke, and it could have long lasting health effects if you get it. Don’t listen to the politicians. They’re far removed from this. Listen to the doctors and nurses who are dealing with it first hand. They don’t have an agenda, and they’re trying to keep everyone safe. I’m sure they would love to see their families again, too.

 

On social media, everyone is screaming that this directive is unconstitutional, and the Governor can’t force anyone to wear a mask, and this is probably true. But who cares? I certainly don’t, if it keeps my family and friends from getting sick, I’m all for it. So, wear the mask. Be considerate so other people can continue to be there for their families.

White chalkboard writing

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If you’re struggling with the wear a mask in public issue because it’s uncomfortable, just think about how uncomfortable a ventilator is, and when you think about it in that context, I’m sure you’ll make the right decision and where the mask.

 

Medical Mask - Coronavirus - Free Photos

https://www.everypixel.com/image-16846227259641020229

How about you? How do you feel about the mask issue? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

 

 

Posted in Family, Health, Public Service Announcements

Why do we need to Quarantine?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a long week of working and editing. I’m still trying to whittle my story down to a respectable word count without editing the voice out of it. 😉

 

typewriter, keyboard, paper, letters, work, desk

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-13191961344949175093

 

Anyway, as I was scrolling through my feed on Facebook, I came across a friend of mine who works in a store that happens to still be open, and a customer arrived without a mask and started ranting about Covid-19. She stated the virus isn’t as deadly as the media has portrayed and she has had it twice. The first time she had the sniffles and the second time she had a headache. She never got tested because her symptoms weren’t bad enough to warrant a test, but she KNOWS she had the virus.

 

italy, cinque terre, store front

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-1738136856256063602

My friend was frustrated with this woman because while she respects her right to voice her opinion, she doesn’t have the right to come into her store and spread her germs to the other patrons. This woman coughed several times without covering her mouth so she could help with the “herd immunity.” It’s at this point I’m stepping up on my soapbox because this woman’s actions hit a nerve.

 

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-291258989527209578

 

First, who appointed her the patron saint of the “herd immunity?” Also, did she ask if anyone else wanted her germs before she coughed them into the atmosphere? Many people have loved ones who are at a high risk for this virus. The way I understand it, you could have the virus without any symptoms and spread it that way.

 

saint benedict, patron saint of europe, benedict

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-14685783607950863719

 

The point I’m trying to make is, this person certainly has the right to her opinion, but she doesn’t have the right to inflict her beliefs, germs, what have you on the rest of us. I don’t want to catch the virus. I know people who have had it and it is no joke. It’s painful and many people are dying from it.

It’s people like this woman who have created the need for the quarantine order. How do you fight against total ignorance?

I get it. I know this quarantine is hard, but just the thought of someone in my family getting sick because I didn’t take the quarantine seriously upsets me. So, I do it for them. I don’t want my boys or hubby, or my mother, or siblings getting this virus because I refused to believe in it.

There are many theories floating around and politicians pointing fingers and lying. Don’t listen to them. Listen to the doctors and people who’ve had the virus. It is real and it’s deadly.

 

index, finger, pointing

image courtesy of https://www.everypixel.com/image-9079317021273371074

 

So, the point I’m trying to make is let’s try to be considerate of everyone and when we have to go out in public, wear a mask even if you believe the virus is a conspiracy. Wearing a mask isn’t hard to do and it protects you and your family as well as the other patrons in the store. I mean what if all the conspiracy theorists find out they’re wrong and the virus is real? What then?

Medical face mask

image courtesy of everypixel. com  https://www.everypixel.com/image-17355753261623576966

 

Thanks for stopping by and reading my post! I appreciate it. Do you have any opinions about the conspiracy theory? Leave a comment! I love to hear from you!

 

 

 

Posted in Family, Health, mental-health

Strive for Balance

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’m back today after a weekend of writing. I had a procedure done this week that left me exhausted. It was a routine procedure and everything came out fine, but it did wipe me out. So I didn’t get much writing done during the week, but I made up for it over the weekend. 😊

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However, today I want to talk about finding balance. It’s hard when you’re juggling so many balls like family, a full-time job, writing, and exercise. Sometimes, you must spend a lot of energy  helping your family. Sometimes you have to spend extra time for your job. When this happens, things like your writing, self-care, and exercise fall to the wayside. This is unfortunate, but quite natural.

Photo on VisualHunt

However, when things settle down, it’s important to get back into your routine and take care of yourself. Right now, I find myself out of my routine and I’m struggling to get back into it. Why? Because this procedure I had to do this last week left me exhausted. So, exhausted I didn’t have the energy to exercise. I also had a couple of nights when I didn’t sleep well and that has also wreaked havoc on my motivation.

So, I spent most of the weekend writing and I feel good about that, because my story is one of my goals, but I need to get back into my exercise routine because it’s important for my health. Taking care of myself is one of my goals, and  I’ve lost some weight. I want to keep it off, so I need to get moving again.

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The way I try to maintain balance is to set up a flexible schedule for myself each day. I actually schedule time for exercise and time for my writing. Some days, it’s hard to maintain my commitment to my schedule, because sometimes I don’t feel like exercising or doing housework during my allotted time. During those times, I have to fight the urge to get back to my story and do what’s best for my health.

Photo on VisualHunt.com

Sometimes I give in and write instead of exercise. When I do this, I just adjust my schedule and exercise another day. The flexibility is important because the routine can sometimes grow restrictive and boring.

So, strive for balance by scheduling the self-care you need to do into your weekly routine. It’s important, especially as you grow older and less active. You’ll be happier when you do. I know I am.  What self-care activities do you do? How do you balance them with your other goals? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

 

Posted in Family, Health, raising kids

Why is Childhood Obesity on the Rise?

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a busy weekend of kids, writing, and housework. I can feel the energy changing because it’s getting close to the holidays. I know it’s getting busier which means I’m going to be frustrated because I won’t have as much time to write. Boo. But it’s always like this during this time of year, so I just have to suck it up and get through it.

But enough about that, today I want to talk about our country’s weight issues. I wrote a post a couple of years ago titled “Is our Food Industry making Us Fat.” At the time I had just learned that food manufacturers had added sugar to much of our processed food so we would like it better and buy more of their brand. This added sugar adds calories, thus making us gain weight.

Photo credit: ubiquity_zh on Visualhunt / CC BY-NCCo

I also learned today that our portion size has grown through the years. I call it portion distortion. Many fast food places have made their portions bigger. For example, a portion of French fries twenty years ago was 2.4 ounces and two hundred calories. Today, the portion size has grown to 6.9 ounces and six hundred and ten calories. This is the reason Diabetes is on the rise and our children are obese.  Even if you’re exercising, there’s a good chance you’re still taking in too many calories.

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I don’t eat fast food very often, but there are times when I use processed food for cooking. For example, canned tomato sauce. Did you know there are two grams of sugar in a fifteen ounce can? I know two grams doesn’t sound like much, but why in the world are manufacturers adding sugar to tomato sauce? Because sugar is like cocaine to our brain. It turns off our over-eating inhibitor, so we eat more, and it is addictive. Doesn’t this sound like what the tobacco industry did to cigarettes? They added nicotine to them so people would become addicted and keep buying their product even though smoking causes cancer and heart disease. They didn’t care. Am I the only one who sees a trend here? To learn more about the negative effects of sugar consumption click here . Negative Effects of Sugar

Sugar does not cause cancer, but it does cause us to be overweight which is a precursor to cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. So, while the food industry isn’t necessarily causing these diseases, it certainly isn’t helping by adding sugar to our processed food.

Photo credit: @bodil on Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-SA

What can we do? We’ve got the food industry working against us. First, we can stop eating fast food. I know, it’s hard to do when it’s convenient and we just don’t feel like cooking. However, we must get back to the basics where we cooked our own food. We need to get away from processed foods and fast food. Once we do that, food manufacturers will change their products because they want to keep selling it, and fast food joints will offer healthier alternatives. Wouldn’t you agree? Thanks for stopping by and reading my post. How do you feel about our food industry? Do you think they’re making us sick? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!

Related Articles:

Is Processed Food Poisoning Us?

Is our Food Industry Making Us Fat?

Is Our Food Industry making us Sick?

An Insidious Epidemic: Childhood Obesity

 

Posted in Health, Women

Stress Relievers for Every-day Life

 

Hello everyone, I hope all is well with you. I’ve had a great weekend of writing and running. (I’m recovering now.) It was gorgeous this afternoon and a great time to get out and get some exercise. I forced my boys to get away from their video games and get outside, which they did grudgingly, but I’m sure they enjoyed it. I’m trying to teach them to take care of themselves. No easy task. Believe me.

I’m pushing for them to get outside because when winter flies, I’m sure we’ll be hibernating and it’ll be hard for them to get some exercise, but enough about that. Today I want to talk about dealing with the stress of every-day life and with the holidays coming up, well that can be stressful  too. So, I want to give you a quick list of stress relievers that I’ve used in the past, and continue to still use. Here they are:

 

Stress Relievers:

  1. Exercise: Exercise is my go-to stress reliever. Even a short walk gets those endorphins pumping through my brain, settling me down and allowing me to refocus instead of react.

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  1. Reading: Did you know reading for only fifteen minutes reduces your stress level by right around sixty percent? Reading is an excellent stress reducer, plus it teaches empathy, and improves your vocabulary. For more information on this, click here. 

 

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  1. Forest-bathing: Forest-bathing is another great way to relieve stress, but there are also other health benefits to taking a hike in the woods. The trees in the forest release phytoncides, that we breathe in and these little buggers help strengthen our immune system. For more information check out this post by clicking here.

 

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  1. Laughter:  Laughing is an excellent stress reliever. Take the time to watch a comedy or funny sit-com. It relieves your stress and can also improve your immune system.

 

Photo on Visual hunt

 

So, there you have it. Stress relievers for every-day life and the holidays. How do you manage your stress? Leave a comment! I’d love to hear from you!