All Posts By:

Michelle W

  • Blog, Healthy Living, Michelle

    Bringing back fun with board games!

    Remember the days of board games? Do kids these days even know about them?  I decided to do some research with my own kids to find out how we can ‘turn off the tech‘–get away from tv, cell phones, social media.  I just want to spend a fun afternoon playing with my kids.

    An oldie but a goodie: Cards!  There are a lot of fun card games out there. My old fav is Uno. It has been updated a few times, and my kids and I love it. Another one of my daughter’s favorites, believe it or not, is Old Maid. There is just so much laughing and excitement that it creates. Go fish and Skip-Bo are a few others that can be a lot of fun.

    Board games are a bit more challenging. I had to dig them out of the closet.  I dusted them off and was able to find several that I used to love to play when I was young. Life, Sorry, Clue, Risk and of course Monopoly. We had so much fun back then!

    I gathered my kids up, and started the Game of Life. Its an older version. You basically have to put the board together and get the wheel on straight, but my kids really enjoyed spinning,  moving their cars around the board, collecting their cards and money as they went. Of course as a Mom, I’m trying to incorporate a few real world vs Life, as a board game, along the way.

    Next up, Sorry! Choosing your favorite color pieces, rolling the dice, moving around the board, and trying to be the first one to get all of their pieces back to their “home”. Mine is a Disney version, but its basically the same as the original Sorry.

    Finally, can’t leave it out, Clue! Who did the deed?  The suspense of a crime committed, in what room, with what weapon?  How much fun!  We laughed and chatted as we found our way through the mansion looking for clues?

    So, where do we get board games any more? There are a few you can still get at Walmart, Target… or better yet, Amazon! But, most of us have a few sitting on a shelf collecting dust. The real truth, board games have taken a backseat to video games and electronic devices. There’s just something very different about family relationships formed over a great board game!

    With summer break coming, and the old familiar ‘we have nothing to do!’,  maybe its time to dig them out, dust them off and show the kiddos a new kind of fun!   Make a few memories playing Candyland, Chutes and Ladders, Battleship and other games that we all grew up enjoying.

  • Blog, Michelle, Supplements

    Are you getting enough Calcium?

    Calcium is critical for healthy, strong bones. When we are babies, milk and calcium are a huge part of our nutritional intake. It is an essential building block for growth.

    Our calcium intake tends to decline as we get older.  And, women tend to need more calcium, not less.

    So, what happens when you stop getting the daily calcium required? Or, what happens if you are lactose intolerant and unable to take in the dairy products that supply you with Calcium?

    Not getting enough calcium accelerates bone loss, regardless of age.  Our bodies are not able to produce calcium. In order to get the daily nutrients, you must consume calcium from outside sources, such as supplements, dairy products and calcium-rich foods. It is recommended that we get 1000-1200 mg as the daily allowance of Calcium, depending on our age and sex. This will help maintain strong bones, preventing Osteopenia (Pre-Osteoporosis) and Osteoporosis.

    Doctors are able to detect deterioration of bones through a test called a DEXA or a bone density scan. If detected early, adding in a daily calcium supplement can help prevent weakening or deterioration of our bones, which are vital for physical health during aging.

    In addition to calcium, vitamin D is a good supplement to take because it assists with the absorption of calcium needed for bone health. If you are not sure if you are getting the amount of daily nutrients your body needs, check in with your healthcare professional for their recommendations.

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  • Blog, Food, Michelle

    The Importance of Family Dinners

    Are family dinners a thing of the past?

    When I was little, every evening at dinner time, my family would gather around the dining table.  My mother put dinner on — no tv, no cell phones — just my family  chatting, laughing and sharing the day.

    The concern for what we ate was irrelevant.  We ate whatever my mother made! We didn’t count carbs, fats, or even calories, but we did eat healthy foods.  We also had lots of exercise, though.  We were active kids, always in sports.

    Fast forward to today.  Do families still have dinner together?  Without distraction?  Does your family eat the same thing or does everyone eat something different?  Are we too busy with evening activities, so we just grab “something to go?”  Do we get enough exercise that we can ignore carbs, fats and calories?

    I think the answers to these questions vary.  However, there are more distractions and evening events that get in the way.   There is not as much time or concern for what we are eating — our obese children tell the story

    Maybe its time for simple, again. Get back to everyone participating in dinner — as a family.  A great way to encourage healthy cooking and eating is to cook and eat together!

    With diabetes and obesity being such a huge issue for families, a few simple ideas for improving your family’s diet.

    • Make Sunday meal planning time. What does everyone want to eat for the week?
    • Look for recipes together. There are great apps out there!
    • Get your kids involved in helping to prepare a healthy grocery list.
    • Shop as a family, and talk about preparation time.
    • Read food labels.  What does all of it mean?

    Even small changes can make a huge difference, and motivate the family to find time to eat together.

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  • Blog, Diabetes, Michelle, Wellness

    The Importance of Breakfast

    Breakfast!  We hear repeatedly how important it is, but what is the truth behind this statement?

    The reading and research I have done would confirm that this is a factual statement.  Being in the healthcare field, I decided not only to research this subject, but I tried a few days of eating breakfast vs. going without.  The conclusion I have come to, is that it is, in fact, a true statement.

    A healthy breakfast in the morning is like putting gas in the tank of your car.  A full tank of gas will get you to wherever you need to go that day.  An empty tank won’t get you very far and can cause multiple problems for you.  The same is true with eating breakfast.  A good healthy and nutritious breakfast will get your metabolism going, help you focus and give you the energy you need to get through to lunch or throughout the day.  Doctors recommend a combination of carbohydrates, fiber and lean protein for breakfast.

    On the go and in a hurry?  Consider protein shakes, a yogurt bowl with your cereal added on top, or pack breakfast for the car ride!

    A healthy breakfast to start your day will help you get the nutrients that your body needs.  Without it, you may have low blood sugar, feel sluggish and lack the energy you need to tackle your day, so don’t skip it.  Make it a priority to start your day in a positive, healthy way!

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  • Blog, Michelle, Supplements

    The Importance of Sunlight

    Why sunlight? There are several benefits that sunlight has on the human body.  First and foremost, is the vitamin D that the sun provides.  When out in the sunlight, the body absorbs vitamin D through the skin and is converted to a state that the body can use.  A minimum of 30 minutes a day is recommended. 

    This is easy to do year round if you live in a warmer climate, but what about cooler climates?  That’s where vitamin D supplements may be needed.  If you are concerned whether or not you are getting your daily allowance of vitamin D, especially during the winter months, please consult your healthcare professional for more information.

  • Blog, Healthy Living, Michelle

    The Importance of Daily Cardio

    People often ask themselves , “what can I do to keep my heart healthy everyday?” The obvious answers are exercising and eating healthy. While eating healthy is a big part of it, exercise is equally important. You don’t have to run out and buy a gym membership, especially if it’s not in your budget. There are cardio exercises that you can do in your own home for 20-30 minutes each day that will help you to stay active.

    Walking is a great cardio workout! There are many benefits to walking around the block, around your neighborhood or if you’re lucky enough to have a path or trail nearby, even better! What if it’s cold outside and you can’t go out and walk? Walk around inside your house, up and down stairs or around the outer walls. There are many great floor exercises you can do that get your heart rate up, too. Consider yoga or other fitness exercises in your living room.

    If that’s too confining, consider going to a shopping mall. As long as you are staying active, and getting that cardio time in each day, you will have more energy and will definitely feel better.