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Weekly tips and encouragement to help you handle stress, stay fit, and find joy in parenting

Stop Holiday Weight Gain While Enjoying your Family and Friends

I have a few holiday parties to attend this weekend and frankly it takes forethought to not over-indulge in the abundant provision that characterizes these events. Avoiding holiday weight gain while enjoying your family and friends is the goal. I'm here to help while acknowledging that it isn't easy.

Little changes in your holiday eating habits won't take away your fun but they will take away inches from your waistline. Even more importantly, they will model behavior for your children that will help them stay fit for a life time. If you will implement these six ideas, they will help you navigate through the holiday temptations and stay lean this season.

1. Choose the smallest plate available and then only fill it half to three quarters...

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Spending Time with your Children

If there is one thing that never gets old it is attending one of your child's events and seeing them catch your eye and smile. It's deeply satisfying to be there for our kids. When you can see in their eyes that they are glad you are there, it's even better.

Today I'm watching my youngest son at his first gymnastic meet of the season. He'll think it was a rough start but I think he's amazing. The dedication and strength of character as well as physical strength that the sport requires is inspiring to me. I've watched his team mates grow up over the years and the coach is dad to three current and one former team members. They've all been friends for years. It's so vital that our children's friends are good influences and enjoyable to be...

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Family and Friends: A Priceless Gift

We live our lives on two different levels all the time. Sometimes we are fixing sinks, driving children and getting some sleep. That’s the routine day to day life that we live without a lot of thought about its meaning. Then there are those times when we experience a loss through death or a major change in the direction of our lives and there is nothing routine about that. We may be steeped in sadness or reaching out for a friend but the problem is most of the people around us are in routine mode most of the time.

It works the same way when we hit a goal or experience a particular high point in our lives. It’s hard to share it with people who are beset with the day to day schedule and routine. I recently watched a friend of...

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Why They Call You Mom

While in a gift shop in Estes Park last week I saw a shirt that read "Who are all these children and why are they caling me Mom?" I laughed because I well remembered the days when a simple trip to the grocery store meant nursing a baby before I could leave, collecting the diaper bag essentials, getting a toddler to hold my hand while I had a baby in the other and several other children followed my lead. And all that to secure a pot of stew or vegetable soup.

All of my boys chose to be vegetarians from a very young age and all my girls chose not to be. Today that's changed a bit with two of the boys remaining vegetarians and one of the girls becoming one with another not far behind. One girl has always been a committed carnivore and I...

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A Change of Pace

Last week I enjoyed a beautiful ride through Rocky Mountain National Park. Just at the end of the ride I missed being struck by a car on the highway by mere inches, the alertness of the driver and the grace of God. That night I settled down into my tent anticipating the 102 mile that concluded the week long tour. The week had been peppered with hail, lightning and lots of rain as we transversed eleven summits, 14,150 feet of climbing over 439 miles. It was an exhilarating week with lots of challenges and comraderie.

As tiring as each day was, I generally returned refreshed because it was so different from my daily routine. It's a very busy season of life right now juggling lots or responsibilities. Perhaps you can relate. At one time I...

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Instilling Good Habits Means Overcoming Our Own Bad Habits

A bad habit would never have become a habit at all if it didn't provide some benefit,relief or good feeling. Recently, the 2010 Dietary recommendations from the U.S. government urged parents not to allow their children to eat in front of the television set. A young mom recently told me that she had tried to create a special event for her children by laying out what she called the "magic carpet" in front of the T.V. so her three children could watch something special while they ate. Soon they were regularly asking her to get out the blanket they called the magic carpet and she said if she had let them the would have eaten every meal there. Seeing where this was headed she wisely got rid of the "magic carpet" and dinner returned to the...

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3 Actions You Can Take Today to Lose Weight, Get In Shape, and Help your Children to Do the Same

In today’s blog I’d like to help you get a plan for improving your health, losing weight, and helping your children to do the same. I have three practical suggestions for you as well as some guidelines for getting started.

I’m in a wonderful season of life where I am able to truly enjoy the fruits of raising six children. I enjoy their company and I respect their goals and achievements. I have found that it isn’t necessary to be perfect or to raise perfect children to be in a position to enjoy this time of life. It is important, however, to have lead your children in a purposeful way toward the excellent and praiseworthy. Moving in that direction and brushing yourself off after mistakes is key.

I have created...

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2010 Dietary Guidelines Shed Light on Growing Obesity Epidemic

The United States government issues updated dietary guidelines for the nation every five years and the preliminary copy of the 2010 version is now available for public viewing and comment. Included is the following statement:

" Everything within this Report is presented through the filter of an obesegenic environment in critical need of change. This is especially true in regard to American children whose incidence of obesity has tripled in the past five years. This desperately requires an all out effort to improve diet and physical activity behaviors across the country. The Committee is united in its resolve to provide recommendations that halt and reverse this rampant epidemic. This will require extensive collaboration and...

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5 Easy Ways to Insure your Child's Success in School

Whether your child is home schooled or in public or private school I'm sure you are very concerned that they learn, grow and thrive. Here are five strategies to help you achieve that goal.

1. EXERCISE - Neuroscientists study the impact of exercise within brain cells. It is already well-established that exercise increases the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine. Scientists are also studying how exercise boosts insulin-like factor and vascular endothelial growth factor and how these combine to enhance our deepest thought processes. These studies are showing that exercise enhances brain function making it easier to concentrate and to remember. A little exercise before studying improves the student's ability to learn and retain...

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Family Fun this Summer: 3 Easy Ideas

Whether you view summer as a lazy relaxing time or if it seems to be just as hectic as usual; you will want to take time to spend extra time with your kids while they are out of school. Here's a few games you can play outside with just a ball and a little room:

1. Soccer Freeze Tag: Everyone in the family gets a ball except one person who is it. Players dribble the ball with their feet soccer style trying to keep it away from the person who is it. If that person can kick the ball away then the player who lost the ball runs for it and puts the ball over their head with their legs apart "frozen" until someone kicks their ball between the legs to "unfreeze" that person. Meanwhile the person who is it tries to freeze the next player. Play...

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