Lip Smacking Healthy Snacks for Your Valentines

By Diane Ruyack

Lip smacking healthy snacks for Valentine’s Day can create a new twist on traditional treats. Here are several ideas that are easy to make!

Preschoolers like strawberry yogurt combined with 2 cups strawberry or plain Cool Whip and it is perfect to allow them to dip fresh fruit into it.

Different sized heart-shaped cookie cutters can create fun meals and snacks for the kids. They associate Valentine’s Day with candy and other sweets, so use the cookie cutters for making heart-shaped pancakes, sandwiches (their favorite kind), biscuits, etc. (anything that’s healthy for them).

To make your cupcakes or muffins into heart-shaped, pour batter into a muffin pan as usual (be sure to use paper liners), then put a marble between the paper and the tin before you bake them…this makes a great and easy heart-shaped cupcake

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Someday We’ll Laugh About This!

By Kimmi Devaney

“Honey, you’ll laugh about this someday!” If only I had a quarter for every time my family said that when I was a kid. Have you ever fallen down the stairs or done something incredibly stupid, awkward or embarrassing? None of these things are funny at the time, but looking back upon these events sometimes is. We all do something dumb at one point or another, so why not laugh about it? In fact, there is actually a holiday for this! January 2-8 is ‘Someday we’ll laugh about this” week. Who knew!

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Keeping New Year’s Resolutions

By Diane Ruyack

Make this year the year you make good on your New Year’s resolutions! It’s that time of year when many people look forward to a fresh start in life and resolve to improve their health. However, the problem with the start of a new year is that most good intentions are often derailed within a few weeks. Whether your goal is to lose weight, exercise regularly or stop smoking, you might consider these additional tips to help you reach your goals:
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Festivus for the Rest of Us!

By Jenni Purcell

I have to admit one of my guilty pleasures is reruns of Seinfeld.  I have seen every episode at least five times and can relate my daily experiences to one of the episodes. Kramer, George, Elaine, Jerry…love them all.  Since it is the Holiday Season, we are quickly approaching ‘Festivus.’ According to the Seinfeld show, Festivus is celebrated each year on December 23rd. However many people celebrate it other times in December and even at other times throughout the year.

The slogan of Festivus is “A Festivus for the rest of us!”  You might ask, what does this tradition involve?  Here are the basic components of Festivus:

  • A tree is manifested in a simple aluminum pole, contrasting the normal Holiday commercialism (you can purchase them online!)
  • Those attending Festivus may also participate in the “Air of Grievances, “an opportunity to tell others how they have disappointed you in the past year.  This can’t end badly. (sarcasm) I feel like most family gatherings, sooner or later, end up in some type of Airing of Grievances!
  • A Festivus Dinner is usually included. The official beverage of Festivus is chocolate milk (wink, wink) so make sure serve that with your dinner.
  • Finish the evening with the “Feats of Strengths” where the head of the household must be pinned.  And who wouldn’t want to pin someone (especially the head of the household) during the Holidays?

Festivus is a silly way to let your hair down and enjoy the Season. Your family might have their own traditions that are a bit ‘out there’ but are near and dear to your heart. However you celebrate the Holidays, enjoy friends and family! Treat your body well by eating nutritious food and keep active each day.  Be thankful for what you have and TRY to relax and ‘de-stress’ to gear up for the New Year! “And if you get frustrated this Holiday season, just remember, ‘It’s a Festivus for the rest of us!”.

Ways to Stay Active this Winter

By Kimmi Devaney

In my family, the holidays are a crazy busy time of year. Between trying to see everyone, coordinate travel schedules and shop for gifts, healthy eating and exercise can easily be pushed aside. The good news is that with so many healthy recipes, eating healthy doesn’t have to be a chore. More good news: exercise doesn’t have to either! It just comes down to setting aside time for it. Think of it as ‘me time’ or time to relax.

There is no one-size-fits-all plan for exercise. Luckily, there are so many varieties that you won’t get bored! Let’s start at the gym…

  • Most gyms have treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes and more. Getting your cardio in no longer has to be a bore. Don’t forget your music!
  • Want to add some muscle and tone up? Don’t wait until January 1st to start those New Year’s resolutions. Many gyms also have personal trainers on hand to show you how to use a machine, or you can purchase some personal training sessions if you are looking for some more guidance in the weight room.
  • Classes galore! Whether you want to meditate, dance or workout boot-camp style, you are sure to find a class to fit your mood. Remember, it’s supposed to be fun! Who cares if you are new and don’t know all the moves yet, chances are a lot of other people don’t either. Continue reading

Chocolate Covered Anything Day

By Mary Nicholson

Glancing at the month of December in my planner, I see the typical holidays you might expect – Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and New Year’s Eve.  It was brought to my attention that my planner is missing one other important holiday – Chocolate Covered Anything Day!  Who knew that December 16 had earned such status?!

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National Pastry Day! Yum!

By Diane Ruyack

What is light, puffy and filled with delicious fillings?  Pastry!

December 9, 2011 is National Pastry Day! It is a day of celebration for these divine baked goods! There are many different types of pastries including shortcrust, flaky, puff, choux, and phyllo. Pastry chefs must use a varity of culinary creativity and flavorings to create these amazing treats.

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