Archive for August, 2013

Back to School…Investing in kid’s Health

Backpacks are filled with new school supplies.  Teachers are setting up their classrooms.  It must be back to school season.  This is a great time of year to discuss the importance of keeping healthy with your kids.  The thirst of knowledge extends beyond the classroom.  It starts at home.

To start, brains function better when well nourished, coupled with being active.  When these two things are on the right track, kids are less likely to stay home for being sick and perform better in the classroom.

Teach and reinforce the importance of hand washing.  Your child should wash his hands often: before eating, after using the restroom, after sneezing, and after playing outside. Teach your child to scrub well between his fingers and wash for at least 20 seconds, which is enough time to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice.

The bubbler is a hotbed for germs.  If the school allows, encourage your child to bring a water bottle to school.  And then explain the importance of not letting their friends share sips.

Make sure backpacks are proper fitting.  With the weight of heavy books and supplies, stress to the spine and neck can cause injury.

Winding down…Everything should wind down and get quieter as bedtime approaches. Children and teens respond well to a few minutes of focused time with a parent in the evening. This gives them a chance to share what is on their mind before bed.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s (NSF) Sleep in America polls, children and teens are not getting enough sleep. School-aged children get an average of 1.5 hours less than the recommended 10 to 11 hours of sleep per school night. Only 20 percent of adolescents get the recommended nine hours of sleep per school night. Nearly half of all adolescents sleep less than eight hours on school nights.

These are just a few tips to help keep your kids healthy throughout the school year.  Good luck to all!

be well-



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Come Back to Center

Come back to center, that place in you that is still, calm, quiet, and connected.

Your center is a place you can trust.  It connects the body, mind, heart and soul.  It connects truth, your inner voice, and the Divine.  Your best work comes from there.  Your most loving times come from there, at that place.  Your best decisions and finest moments come from that place.

Your center is a place that is quietly confident, unassuming, spontaneous, and free.  It is gentle and kind, but it has the power to defend instinctively against attack. 

Your center is a place that is naturally joyful and at peace.  It is accepting, nonjudgmental, and it channels the voice of your heart.  It knows perfect timing.  It knows the rhythm of the universe, the rhythm of all creation, and it delights in its connection to that rhythm.

If you must leave your center to learn a lesson, feel a feeling, or experience something new, do that.  Take all the side trips you are called to.  But come back to center when you’re done.

And go to your center first, before you go anywhere else.

This is a reading from Melody Beattie’s Journey to the Heart that I read in class last night.  I find it important in today’s fast lane society, we take time and come back to our center.  As I was talking about grounding and finding your center during class, I gave examples of taking a yoga class or going for a run, which are a couple of my go to places.  Spending time in nature, surrounding yourself with candles, taking a bath, repeating a prayer or mantra all help create a sense of grounding.  And then I mentioned, “maybe it’s spending time with a loved one.”  At that point, two sets of husband/wife couples extended their arms, reaching for the other’s hand.

Below are just a few things that help me feel center-



I encourage you to think about what helps you feel grounded or centered you when feeling disconnected and out of sorts.  What can you do to feel centered more often….

be well-

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Girls can CHANGE the World

On Friday I was greeted by my niece with a big hug where her arms and legs were wrapped around my neck and waist.  Once she let go and jumped to the ground, the shirt she was wearing brought a big smile to my face.  See below…


At the young, tender age she is, she has great confidence and self-esteem.  She knows the importance of learning and dreaming.  We chatted about her Girl Scouts troop and some of the things they will do come this fall.  This led to a discussion about a program called Girls on the Run.

The goal of their program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.  Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity based positive youth development program for girls in 3rd-8th grade.  They will learn about physical and mental preparation as they work towards running a 5k event.

Empowerment, Responsibility, Intentionality, Diversity, Connectedness, Joy, Optimism, Gratitude, Nurturing, Healthy, Open-hearted, Compassion are just a few words that help envision a world where every girl knows and activates her limitless potential and is free to boldly pursue her dreams.

Physical activity and sports during my youth absolutely had an impact with how I live my life today.  This is a great organization and I strongly encourage that if you have young girls in your life, check this program out.  To see if there is a council in your area, click here.

Maybe this is your opportunity to get involved with your own health and wellness while teaching others about its importance.

be well-

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I’m a Mother Shucker

Yesterday I told my brother I am spoiled by living on the east coast.  Having access to so many different kinds of seafood is a luxury compared to many of my friends and family living elsewhere.  Last year during the holiday season I learned how to shuck oysters.  After some trial and error, I have become a pretty good “mother shucker.”

With today being National Oyster Day, I thought I would share a little history and background information on this great food.

There are over 100 species of true oysters and traditionally they are named after the body of water or bay in which they are grown and are known by a myriad of names such as Wellfleets, Island Creek or Rockafellers.  The molluscs take on the characteristics of the water in which they live. This impacts their flavour and texture so that tastes can range from sweet to salty to buttery and metallic, with texture running firm to soft and gooey to chewy. Some oysters have hints of seaweed, mineral flavour and hints of melon and mushrooms.

Island Creek oysters purchased from our local fish market

Island Creek oysters purchased from our local fish market

There are a million ways to serve and eat oysters. Oysters can be eaten on the half shell, raw, smoked, boiled, baked, fried, roasted, stewed, canned, pickled, steamed or broiled.

How you prepare your oysters can vary from simply opening the shell and eating the contents, including juice. Butter and salt are often added.  According to some oyster aficionados, there is no right or wrong way to eat an oyster. With your fork move the liquid-filled half shell to ensure the oyster is detached. Bring the shell to your mouth and slurp up the oyster from the wide end. Chew it once or twice before swallowing.

It’s a myth that oysters are supposed to slide down your throat without chomping into them first.

enjoying Wellfleets at the Red Inn Provincetown, MA

enjoying Wellfleets at the Red Inn
Provincetown, MA

Below is a list of Oyster Festivals around the world-

ST. Mary’s County Oyster Festival
California, Maryland

The New Orleans Oyster Festival
New Orleans

New York Oyster Week
September 21-29, 2013
From September 21-29, 2013, New York Oyster Week will once again  celebrate the benevolent bivalve that New York was built on, inviting  social New Yorkers, oyster lovers and curious foodies to explore the  cuisine and culture oysters have spawned.

Central Coast Oyster Festival
Morro Bay, CA

Whitestable Oyster Festival
Kent, England

Tyne Valley Oyster Festival
Home of the Canadian Oyster Shucking Championship
Tyne Valley, Prince Edward Island, Canada

The Clayoquot Oyster Festival
Tofino, BC

Wellfleet OysterFest
Wellfleet Massachusetts

Falmouth Oyster Festival
Cornwall, England
Oct 10 to 13, 2013
Falmouth Oyster Festival celebrates the start of the oyster dredging season, the diversity and quality of Cornish Seafood and in particular, one of the last remaining traditional oyster fisheries, dredging by sail and hand punt

Galway International Oyster & Seafood Festival
Galway City, Ireland
Friday 26th – Sunday 29th September 2013

Milford Oyster Festival
MMilford, Connecticut
Third Saturday of August

The Florida Seafood Festival
Apalachicola , Fl

2013 Urbanna Oyster Festival
November 1 & 2, 2013
Urbanna, VA

Fiesta Oyster Bake
Campus of St. Mary’s University
San Antonio, TX

Guinness Oyster Fest
Date: Saturday, September 7
Time: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Location: Roscoe Village (Damen & Roscoe)

Happy Shucking!

be well-

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