New Year’s Resolutions: Get Back on Track

Have you forgotten your New Year’s resolutions? Or, have you given up all together? It’s never too late to give

Its never too late to get back on track with your New Year's Resolutions.

 your New Year’s resolutions a little wake-up call. It’s tough to take time and think about the things you want to accomplish when you’re so busy.  What were your resolutions? Did you decide to eat healthier or smaller portions, exercise or stick to your financial budget? Don’t throw in the towel yet, it’s time to get back on track and refresh those resolutions!

This is easier said than done. The first step is to remember WHY you made these New Year’s resolutions. What benefit are you going to gain by achieving this goal? Next, list the reasons that you want to make these changes in your life for a little motivation. Writing them down on paper or in a journal is helpful.

Remember you are moving forward from this point, so don’t beat yourself up for not getting started. Stay positive and congratulate yourself on the progress you make when moving towards your goal. Finally, ask yourself: “Are my goals clear for 2011?” You may have said to yourself as the ball dropped toward a new year, “I want to lose weight” – but you didn’t clarify how much you wanted to lose or even HOW you were going to achieve this goal. Your resolutions (goals) need to be measurable and attainable. An example of a defined goal is: “I will lose ten pounds by June 1st by walking three miles four days per week and eating more fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy and sticking to around 1500 calories a day.” Remember that setting small, measurable goals in order to achieve your overall goal will help you focus and succeed.

 Don’t be one of the many statistics and fizzle out through the year. Do something, anything, today and jump start your resolutions. You will feel so much better and your health with thank you.

Getting to Know Deb O.


What do you do at Indiana Dairy?

I am the General Manager.  I focus on our organization’s vision, mission, goals, strategies, staff and budgets.  I work with our dairy farmer board of directors.  I participate in our senior leadership team comprised of staff from our national and state and regional dairy promotion organizations.  Occasionally I go into a recording studio to tape radio spots featuring our events and Every Single Day dairy image campaign.


What is your favorite part of your job?

My favorite part of the job is the people with whom I work.  Agriculture is a small community and dairy is a small neighborhood within that community.  Everyone is so passionate about producing food.  I especially enjoy visiting dairy farmers on their farms and seeing first-hand how they care for their animals and the land.  They take pride in what they do.  They love their cows.  So many times over the years dairy men and women have told me how they love working together with their families on their farms producing food for others.  I’m very passionate about them and about spreading the good nutrition news about their product:  milk.


Tell us a little about yourself

I have a BS degree with a double major in Business Administration and Marketing.  I’ve worked for Indiana’s dairy farmers in dairy promotion for over 30 years.  I am very passionate about representing dairy farmers and the food they produce.

I am a lifelong Hoosier.  I grew up in St. Joseph County, where the plentiful lake effect snow teaches you to learn to enjoy it.  My husband and I live in a rural community not too far from Indianapolis and are active in our church.  We also participate in our community band.  I play a flute in the band and he runs the sound system.  I enjoy working with animals.  I have geese, a cat and a dog.  I’ve owned horses and goats as well.  My very elderly Arabian mare recently passed away.  It was tough losing her, but I was blessed with 22 years of caring for her.  She and I even shared the same birthday.  I enjoy watching and identifying the birds of Indiana as well as in other parts of the country when traveling.


Tell us a little about someone who has influenced your life and why?


My mother influenced my life a great deal.  I wish she was living to read this.  She would be proud and gratified.  She was very bright, funny, kind and caring.  A polio survivor, she lived her life and raised two children, kept a home, entertained guests, had her own child-care business and traveled the country—all this and much more from her wheelchair.  And she did all this long before accessibility issues were on anyone’s radar screen.   I’m so proud of her and so blessed that she was my mother.  She was my teacher and role model.


Do you have a favorite recipe or restaurant to share?

Bonge’s is my favorite restaurant.  Check them out at  The food is fabulous and people travel many miles to enjoy that dining experience.  Fortunately I live nearby.

Happy Chocolate Cake Day!

By: Michelle Plummer

Happy Chocolate Cake Day!

Yes, January 27 (tomorrow) is considered a national holiday for cake…while I am not sure of its history or even who began this holiday…Hats off to the person who did!  Chocolate cake is great plain and simple!  Think about it…have you ever had a ‘bad’ piece of chocolate cake?  Well, maybe, but what is your next step?  Go to the fridge and pour a big glass of ice cold milk and now you have perfect AGAIN.

It really is difficult to enjoy something so rich and delicious without the balance of a glass of milk.  I have to tell you; when I began to write this blog (how can chocolate cake and dairy work in a blog?) I was skeptical; however now, I am salivating over The Barefoot Countess’s chocolate cake and I really want a glass of milk to compliment it!  As many of you know, I am a strong support of the magic in a Starbuck’s cup except when it comes to cake.  Milk is my choice!

As I look at the ingredients of this simple cake (yes, any novice can make this one!) dairy really does play a starring role!  Buttermilk makes this cake light, moist and lower in calories that many counterparts.  The buttercream icing will cause you some extra workout time, but really National Chocolate Cake day only comes once a year…unless we can find other great reasons for cake…

Enjoy the many benefits of a homemade chocolate cake.  The recipe is simple, you will not get frustrated, the ingredients are modestly priced and the joy and pleasure you get from making a cake from scratch is euphoric!  I cook all the time from scratch, muffins- accomplished, bread- no big deal; cookies—why would anyone buy store bought when these are so simple…but making and baking ‘cake’ scares me as much as having Julia Childs teach me to make Beef Bourguignon! I have made this cake many times, each time I feel as though I have won the Pillsbury Bakeoff or the Cooking Olympics.  So lift your glasses high and let me be the first to toast your culinary success with a ice cold glass of MILK!!!


Laugh It Up for Your Health

 Celebrate the great gift of laughter on Global Belly Laugh Day, January 24. On January 24 at 1:24 p.m. ( your local time) people around the world smile, throw their arms in the air and laugh out loud. Since 2006 belly laughs have been bounced around the world from corporations, medical centers, senior centers, grocery stores, homes, schools, libraries, museums, organizations, families, restaurants, air planes, radio.

Laughter is good for your health and contagious! Anyone that knows me, knows that I laugh a lot and probably during times that I should be quiet. Now, I can tell them that I am laughing for health reasons! Laughter is a powerful antidote to stress, pain, and conflict. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh. Humor lightens your burdens, inspires hopes, connects you to others, and keeps you grounded, focused, and alert.

Health Benefits of Laughter:

  • Laughter relaxes the whole body. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
  • Laughter boosts the immune system. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
  • Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
  • Laughter protects the heart. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Laughter appears to burn calories. 10-15 minutes of laughter burns 50 calories.

Here are a couple of ‘dairy jokes’ that are a little ‘cheesy’ but MIGHT help get you started.

Q:  What games do cows play at parties?
A:  MOO-sical chairs

Q:  What do you call a cow that can’t give milk?
A:  A Milk Dud

Q:  What is every cow’s favorite movie?
A:  The sound of MOO-sic

Q:  What was the bull doing in the pasture with his eyes closed?
A:  Bull-dozin’

Q:  What does a cow wear to a luau?
A:  A Moo- Moo! 

If that didn’t help here is a video that makes me laugh and smile every time. (Click here)

Find the humor in every day occurrences and laugh your way to better health!

Colts Fitness Camp

By Mary Nicholson

Students all around Indiana are getting a workout with Colts alumni player and Super Bowl XXLI winner, Mike Prior!  In conjunction with Dairy & Nutrition Council’s Fuel Up to Play 60, Mike and his team involve students in a 45 minute workout with jump ropes, free weights and calisthenics.  The fitness camps teach students how to warm-up, workout properly and live a healthy lifestyle. Not only is the importance of being physically active stressed, but eating properly is also addressed.  These two topics are the key components of the Fuel Up to Play 60 program, a collaboration between the National Dairy Council and the NFL.

Ten Fuel Up to Play 60 schools that applied for funding earlier this school year were chosen to receive a Colts Fitness Camp from the Dairy & Nutrition Council. Each camp is composed of three 45 minute workout sessions, with different students at each session. Twenty five other schools also are participating in the fitness camps. This translates to more than 4700 students benefiting from this fun opportunity.

After each session, each participant receives a pint of chocolate milk in order to fuel up!  The milk is provided by Prairie Farms and Deans dairies.  Dairy & Nutrition Council also provides bags, sweatbands, and nutrition information; the Colts provide pennants, posters, and prizes; and other camp supporters provide water bottles and/or pedometers so the participants a have a great face to face experience of health and physical activity in one packet.


Say CHEESE to National Cheese Lovers Day!

By Michelle Plummer

Happy National Cheese Lovers Day!

Have you ever wonder why saying cheese makes you smile or what does cheese and teeth have in common or Mom always says YES to cheese as a snack!  According to an article written by Kashket and DePaola, cheese helps to lower the acids and prevent dental cavities.

Cheese is available in over 900 varieties on almost every continent. It is no wonder Americans love the complexity, textures, aromas and variety of uses for aged milk!  In Indiana we have approximately 20 cheese houses and artesian cheese makers.

According to ChaCha, Americans consume approximately 30 pounds of cheese yearly– almost 8 ounces a week.  Continue reading

Celebrate National Popcorn Day!

By Michelle Plummer

The origins of this holiday are unknown. We have not found any information or documentation to confirm this is a true “National” day. But, don’t let that pop (burst) your bubble.  It’s a day to celebrate healthy (until you load it with salt and butter), and addicting popcorn.

Strangely, National Popcorn Day is in January, yet National Popcorn Month is October. So actually we have 32 great days to enjoy this delicious and fun to eat snack.  According to tradition, it is celebrated on January 19th each year. There is some suggestion that Popcorn Day may, at one point, have been tied to the Superbowl. That may just be wishful talk.

On National Popcorn Day, we suggest you pop up some fresh popcorn, kick back and enjoy!   Here are some reasons to enjoy these little nuggest of goodness in January:  this is the month where we pay the plastic piper for the extravagance of the Christmas season, and popcorn is economical and a great fast food.  It can also be a filling and relatively low-calorie choice for those of us attempting to shed those “yes-mom-I’ll-have-some-eggnog-and-cookie” pounds that came with the holidays. Continue reading