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

Secrets of Home Cooking for Busy Families

Even the words, "a home cooked meal” evoke a happy smile.When I was a child, the typical parent, usually the mom, spent ninety minutes a day in meal preparation and clean-up and the family typically ate together. Today, a regular routine of eating together often gets crowded out by other activities. For some families, this only occurs at holidays and special occasions.

Today, time devoted to these tasks is thirty to forty-five minutes a day. And, yes, women still do the bulk of it. The reason for less home cooking is understandable with forty-five percent more women now working away from home, everyone working longer hours, and the absence of a cultural shift towards men learning to cook.

Unfortunately, filling in...

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Three Ways to Fail A Multiple Choice Test When You Know the Answer

In front of me there was an intelligent young man proficient in Krav Maga and about to become a top notch personal trainer. He's one of my students at Heritage College and I'm about to administer the written test for him to recertify his CPR, which he had let lapse by a few days. He was in the Isralei armed forces and has actually rescued a number of people. Talking to him before the test, as he described his rescue experiences, it is clear that he knows his stuff. He speaks about it passionately and rattles off all the procedures in the CPR manual. Confidently, I hand him the test only to find that he misses one question too many to pass. I look at what he missed and it makes no sense to me. I know he knew the answer. What happened?

We...

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Three Ways to Assess Your Parenting Skills

It's been said that there are three versions of a person: who they see themselves as, how others see them and who they really are. It can be hard to see ourselves sometimes. Today, I was talking shop with a fellow personal trainer at Heritage College where I teach and he asked me if I was hyper-mobile, a term you might understand better as double jointed. I said no and he quickly asked, "How do you know? Have you ever been tested?"

Seemed to me it was the kind of thing I would have noticed so I was pretty surprised when he ran the tests and I scored an eight out of ten for hypermobility. Two of those points came because I can bend over and put my hands flat on the floor. Although I knew others couldn't do that,  I'd never given it...

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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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6 Important Ways to Promote Life Long Health and Fitness

I can remember my mom saying she just wanted to live long enough to see all of her three children reach adulthood. But while I was in college something came along to change that game plan. It was Seth, the first of her twelve grandchildren. She did live to see all of these children born. A favorite photo I have of her is her racing my youngest son, Kian. with his three year old arms flung in the air in victory.

As parents and potential grandparents, we have an investment in guarding our own health and fitness. We don't just want to watch from the sidelines but we want to be able to go and do with the younger people in our lives. We have an even stronger urge to protect their health and fitness.

Here are six important facts to help you...

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3-2-1 Blastoff!

Do you remember counting things down as a kid? You know, eight days till Christmas, four weeks until schools out, 364 days until my next birthday.

I bring this up because my son, Skyler, leaves for Pepperdine University in five days. In some ways it is filled with the excitement of Christmas, summer, and birthdays but I find myself tearing up unexpectantly nonetheless -you guessed it- even as I write this. Sky is fourth of six children so you'd think I'd be a pro by now but every child is so unique that their sojourns into the adult world hit you differently.

Exercising Values was written to help families instill values as well as healthy habits in their children. When the day comes for you to send your child into a new environment...

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It's OK to Take Care of Yourself

Many busy moms will let their appearance and fitness slide in the effort to take care of everyone else. With a little creativity you can take care of yourself while also providing a program that builds health, character, and even exposure to great literature for your children. Rather than taking anything away from your children when you do this program you get leaner and less stressed and they get a wonderful physical education plus program 

In the program Exercising Values Iʼll give you short but effective workouts that busy families can do together. It is designed to be fun and educational while building a solid foundation for a lifetime of fitness. To truly influence our children toward...

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Teamwork Works

I got my debut as a coach when I was a senior in college at Stanford. That's not the cheapest place to get an education so I worked several jobs. One that I remember quite fondly was nanny to a fourth and second grader, Jennifer and Michael. Jennifer was thoughtful, even wise if a ten-year old can be considered wise. Michael was a tow-headed bundle of energy. I worked for a single mom who worked for Stanford by day and left her children in my care while she went to lawschool in the evenings. She was funny, upbeat and also full of energy. I liked sharing her house and her family for that brief year.

I got the idea that it would be sad if Michael could never contribute a coach to the parenting pool so when he signed up for T-ball I...

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What Do You Think?

“As a man thinks in his heart so is he.”

Crum et al (2007) showed that this Biblical principle applies to weight loss and fitness. Eight-four women who clean hotel rooms for a living were divided into two groups. One served as the control group while the other was told (falsely) that their occupation fulfilled the Surgeon General’s standard for an active life. Behaviors did not change between the two groups but the latter were given examples of how their work was the equivalent to significant exercise. These women began to believe that they were now athletic. Their bodies responded by losing weight, lowering body fat, lowering blood pressure, and decreasing...

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