After the Royal Wedding: What Do William and Kate Really Need?

Wedding ball of the Duke of Joyeuse and Margue...

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The Royal Wedding has been dominating the news in the last few weeks.

The media has featured photos and stories about William and Kate and the wedding preparations on TV, magazines, newspapers and all across the Web.

Did you know that Papa John’s in Great Britain has a special pizza with toppings that look like the royal couple?

Or that Baskin Robbins has a Royal Wedding Ice Cream Cake?

And, not to be outdone, that Dunkin Donuts produced the Royal Wedding donut…available only from April 24th to April 29th?

William and Kate will be receiving hundreds, if not thousands, of gifts from all over the world.  I understand they have asked that if anyone wants to give them a gift, the money should be donated to charity instead.  If you are interested in finding out more about this and which are the 26 charities earmarked by William and Kate to receive these donations, you can go to: http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110425/wl_uk_afp/britainroyalsmarriagegifts

But honestly, I know exactly what William and Kate will need when their wedding is over.

It’s definitely been a stressful time for them.  So many decisions had to be made and they are so much in the spotlight.

What William and Kate will need is a massage.   Massage is very therapeutic.  It relaxes you.  It releases toxins in your system.  It eases tense muscles.  Perhaps they can have a couples’ massage together, in a room awash with candlelight and with soft soothing music in the background. 

Massage was on my mind because yesterday I had one with the most fantastic massage therapist in Colorado.  Kristie has been giving me and my husband massages for several years now.  She can do hot stone massages, sports’ massages and just plain old feel good relaxing stress-relieving massages…all with expert knowledge about what is connected to what and why it hurts and how to help you make it feel better.  She is also a teacher of massage therapy, so she really knows what she is doing!

I had a week off from my kindergarten story and craft presentations.  But next week, stop in on Friday for Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian?  I’ll be telling you how my final program of this school year went at Queen Palmer School.

Please come back and visit tomorrow.

Healthy Habit Thursdays: Focusing on Vitamin C

Fruit on display at La Boqueria market in Barc...

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Last Thursday we found out why it is so important to eat foods rich in Vitamin B.

Today I want to give you some facts about another vitamin that is vital to your health: Vitamin C.

  • Needed for growth and repair of tissues
  • Used to form collagen, a protein that makes skin, scar tissue, and blood vessels
  • Essential for the healing of wounds
  • Necessary for the repair and maintenance of bones and teeth
  • Blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals

Now what, you may ask, are free radicals?  The term is mentioned a lot…perhaps it would be good if we had a definition. 🙂

Free radicals are the by-products that result when our bodies turn food into energy.  Perhaps it would help to think of it like setting a match to a newspaper…after the paper burns, you are left with ashes…the ashes are like the free radicals…kind of dirty garbage.  A build-up of these by-products in our bodies is largely responsible for the aging process and contributes to the development of cancer, heart disease and arthritis.  BRING ON THE VITAMIN C!!!!!!!

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin which means it dissolves in water.  Leftover amounts of this vitamin are not retained, but are passed out through the urine.  And what this means is that you need a CONTINUOUS supply of the vitamin in your diet.

So how can you make sure that you and your family are getting enough Vitamin C?

You need to eat foods rich in Vitamin C…many fruits and vegetables fall into this category, among them: papaya, watermelon, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, red peppers, blueberries, cranberries and pineapples.

SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING contains 100 child-friendly recipes that your children would love to help you prepare.  Many of the healthful ingredients called for are rich in Vitamin C.  If you click on the book title, you can go to my website and find out more about the book.

Two important reminders:

  • Sunday, April 10th…I will be at the Covered Treasures Bookstore in Monument, CO from 2-3:30pm…talking about reading, crafting and cooking with young children and signing copies of my book.  For more details go to www.coveredtreasures.com.  The Book Fair benefits the Tri-Lakes Community Preschool Tuition Assistance Program.
  • Tuesday, April 12th…I will be hosting Max the Dog as he continues his 36 day book blog tour.  For more details about the on-going contest and to see where he has been and where he is going, please visit: http://readwithmax.com/blogbooktour.htmlhttp://readwithmax.com/blogbooktour.html.

And please don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian? I will tell you all about today’s visit with Bates Elementary School.

Healthy Habit Thursday: The Importance of Vitamins!

Fruit on display at La Boqueria market in Barc...

Image via Wikipedia

I can still remember the ENORMOUS vitamin pill my sister and I had to take every morning.  It was all but impossible to swallow…and often left us feeling that it was still stuck in our throats, long after breakfast was over.

These days, children have chewable vitamins with fruity flavors, shaped like favorite cartoon characters.

But the underlying premise is still the same…supplementing your daily diet with vitamins and minerals is probably a smart move…especially these days when the nutritional value of processed foods is questionable.

So why are vitamins important and how does each one help?

Today’s post will concentrate on Vitamin B…a complex vitamin made up of eight essential nutrients.  And then, every Thursday in the month of April, we’ll take a look at various other vitamins.

The B-complex vitamins are essential for life and good health.  They help make and regulate our genes, produce energy, regulate blood sugar, enhance mood and cognitive abilities and maintain cardiovascular health.  Since the 1940’s, they’ve been known as anti-stress vitamins because they help strengthen our resistance to the physical and mental consequences of chronic stress.

Eight B vitamins make up this family of essential nutrients.

  • Vitamin B1: Also known as thiamin, this vitamin helps cells produce the right amounts of energy and gives you the power to get through day-to-day life.  If you consume large amounts of sugars and simple carbohydrates like pizza, breads, pastas, bagels and cereals, your supply of B1 will be depleted.
  • Vitamin B2: Also known as riboflavin, this vitamin is at the heart of energy production and thought to be helpful to decrease the frequency of migraine headaches.
  • Vitamin B3: Also known as niacin, this vitamin helps cells produce an enzyme that repairs DNA damage from toxins and it also can significantly lower blood cholesterol levels.
  • Vitamin B6: Also known as pyridoxine and pyridoxyl-5-phosphate, this vitamin works together with other elements to promote a variety of chemical reactions involved in the production of serotonin and other mood-enhancing neurotransmitters.  It’s been used in studies to decrease PMS symptoms and carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Vitamin B12: Low levels of this vitamin can accelerate aging and the risk of cancer and may mimic symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Folic Acid: This vitamin is the main contributor to making new DNA which is needed to make new cells for growth and healing.  Studies show that this vitamin can enhance the benefits of anti-depressant drugs and cut hearing loss in middle-age and older people.
  • Biotin: This vitamin activates some of the genes involved in metabolizing blood sugar, protein and fat…it’s especially important for people with pre-diabetes and type-2 diabetes.  It also can help lower triglycerides and it improves nail health.
  • Choline: This vitamin is found in all cell membranes where it helps communicate external information to the cell nucleus.  It is needed for normal brain development and function.

This is a photo from my recent trip to visit my daughter and her family.  2 1/2 year-old Jeremy had a wonderful time whisking the eggs and mashing the bananas (both GREAT sources of Vitamin B) for the banana muffins we made.  As parents, we are responsible for providing healthful foods for our children…and ourselves.   Do you find yourself dragging before the day is half over?  Maybe you need to eat some foods rich in B vitamins.

1.     Dark leafy green vegetables

2.     Fresh fruits

3.     Fresh dairy products like milk, yogurt and cheese

4.     Meat

Two important tips to remember:

  • Most processed foods these days are “enriched” with vitamin B…but we should all strive to eat foods that are naturally rich in B.
  • The nutritional value of a food can decline when frozen, overcooked or combined with various additives.

If you are looking for some simple child-friendly healthful recipes…please visit my website where you can purchase a copy of SHOW ME HOW, a unique resource for parents and teachers of preschoolers that provides 100 cooking activities your child will LOVE to help with…most take just 15 minutes to prepare and will contribute to your child’s positive self-image.  The half-price sale continues until April 9th…so please don’t miss out if you were thinking of getting a copy.  You can also enter to win a selection of craft supplies for your preschooler.

Please stop by tomorrow for Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian and find out how much fun I had this morning at Edison School!  And don’t forget about the Book Blog Tour for Max the Dog.  You can click on my sidebar to find out more.

Healthy Habit Thursdays: 5 Great Tips Before You Visit The Doctor

RPA Hospital Christmas, December 1944 / by Sam...

Image by State Library of New South Wales collection via Flickr

I had to visit an urgent care facility recently because my cough sounded like I had a cage full of lions in my chest.  The on-call doctor was very helpful and reassured me that it was “just” a simple upper respiratory infection…and she sent me home with instructions to stay hydrated, rest and take various medications she had prescribed.

When I got home, head muddled with feeling ill and medications, I was glad I had written down the instructions while I had been with the doctor. 

It made me realize that there are a few tips I could share with everyone, whether they are going to the doctor for themselves or for their children.

1.   Get a small spiral notebook.  On the inside cover list your doctors and dentists names, addresses and telephone numbers, along with the same information about your local hospital and the closest urgent care walk-in clinic.

2.   Make a copy of your health insurance card (both sides), if you have one, and tape this to the inside of the notebook.  In an emergency, if your card is lost or misplaced, at least you will have the information you need and you will also be able to call your company regarding getting a new card.

3.   Use this notebook to jot down symptoms and questions before you go to see your doctor or before you call to make an appointment.  So often, in the “heat of the moment”, we forget to voice some of our concerns, and we go home with questions unanswered.

4.   It’s also a good idea to take the notebook to the doctor’s office to jot down his instructions.  How often do you get home and have to call the doctor’s office back (after they have left for the day) to clarify whether to use a heat pack or an ice pack or how many times a day to take certain medications?

5.   Take a drive past your local hospital, if you’ve never been there.  If it’s a nice day and you have children, park the car and take a walk around the grounds.  Go inside and visit the cafeteria for a snack.  If your child ever has to go to the hospital, he or she will remember this pleasant afternoon and may be less anxious.  Swinging by the nearest urgent care facility is a good idea also…instead of waiting until there is an emergency and you are searching for it with a sick and screaming child in the car.

Do you have any tips to add that might help others?  Please share!

And please stop by tomorrow for Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian?  I’ll be sharing my visit with Taylor School kindergartens and also my interview with two 4th-grade students who want to job shadow an author.  If you hop over to my website, you can purchase a copy of SHOW ME HOW! and enter to win a WONDERFUL PRIZE for your preschooler.

Healthy Habit Thursdays: It’s a Question of Moving!

New Zealand postage stamp, 1933: Public health.

Image via Wikipedia

We all know that it is important to “stay in shape”.

But, what does that mean…and how can we accomplish that?

One of the most important factors in staying in shape is to exercise on a regular basis.  I’m not sure that is matters exactly what you do…you could walk, jog, run, swim, play tennis, do aerobics…the list is endless.

What matters is that you DO IT ON A REGULAR BASIS!

We need to make exercising a HABIT.

The dictionary defines “habit” as:

  • A regularly repeated behavior pattern
  • An action or pattern of behavior that is repeated so often that it becomes typical of somebody
  • A recurrent, often unconscious pattern of behavior that is acquired through frequent repetition.

Throughout our lives, we deal with many habits…making them and then, if they are “bad ones” breaking them…like biting nails, curling hair, smoking.

So why not make it a habit to exercise on a daily basis…if you do it often enough, it will become an unconscious pattern of behavior for you.

How much time do you need to devote to establishing this new habit?

This really depends on your state of health right now…but, just 15 minutes a day can bring great benefits to you.

Just 15 minutes a day…take a walk around the block.

Just 15 minutes a day…dance to some favorite tunes.

Just 15 minutes a day…the possibilities are endless…just keep in mind how limber you are now and don’t push yourself to the point of pain or discomfort.

Another activity that takes just 15 minutes a day…read a picture book to your child.  Or do a craft project.  Or prepare an easy-peasy recipe.

Maybe you can make this a habit also. 🙂  If you are looking for story suggestions or educational fun-filled activities, please check out my book.  There is a great half-price sale going on right now with a bonus prize…no purchase necessary to enter. http://www.positiveparentalparticipation.com

Please stop by tomorrow for Follow-Me-Fridays: Where’s Miss Vivian?  The kindergarten children at Taylor School loved Katy and the Big Snow!

Healthy Habit Thursdays: Dealing With Colds

None - This image is in the public domain and ...

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AAAAACHOOOOOOO!

How did this happen?

I have a cold!!!!

I never get a cold! 

Well, I guess I should never say never. 🙂

And, I do know how this happened.

We actually have all the necessary “germs” right inside our own nose and throat, waiting for a moment of weakness when the “germs” can breach our immune system and get a foothold.

So, what can we do to improve the odds of staying healthy?

Here are a few tips:

1.   Get enough sleep!  Your body renews and your cells rebuild while you are asleep.

2.   Stay hydrated.

3.   Dress appropriately for the weather…when you feel chilled, beware!  Here in Colorado, we can experience seasons in the space of 24 hours.

4.   Wash your hands often.

For me, drinking LOTS of tea with honey is what helps the most when I do get a cold.  It soothes my throat, clears my nose and seems to shorten the life of the cold.

I’m sure everyone has their own sure-fire remedies.  Please share.

When young children are not feeling well, it is often difficult to keep them quiet and in the house…and giving them their medicine can be a tough task.  There are several picture books and activities in SHOW ME HOW! that would be helpful to use when your children are sick.  Visit my website to get your own copy of this wonderful resource, now on sale till March 9th for half-price.   It’s filled with story summaries and lots of activities…each takes just 15 minutes…15 minutes that can shape your child’s future.

What do you do when your child is ill?

Healthy Habit Thursdays: Give Your Kitchen a Health Makeover

Genre scene, woman in kitchen peeling vegetables

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

What do you think are the dirtiest, most germ-laden areas in your home?

Most people would probably say the bathroom or the kitchen.

Interestingly enough, studies reveal items like your television remote, cell phone and computer keyboard are actually the culprits!

http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2010/08/ten-most-germy-places-in-the-home/

How many of you lifted your fingertips off the keyboard just now? 🙂

No worries…you can easily clean it by turning it upside down and gently shaking to release any crumbs…then wipe with a cotton ball slightly damp with alcohol or special computer cleaning fluid and finish with an antibacterial wipe.  Clean each key…the black ones are dirty even if you can’t see the bacteria. 🙂  For more detailed information: http://www.ehow.com/how_2215315_clean-computer-keyboard.html

Even though some research has put computer keyboards, TV remotes and cell phones at the top of the germ hot-spot list, the kitchen is not far behind.

So what can you do to insure that your kitchen is a safe place to prepare and store food for your family?

Here are 6 simple steps to give your kitchen a Health Makeover!

1.   Always start with freshly washed hands when preparing or serving food…then wash hands, utensils, countertops and cutting boards, especially after touching raw meat or poultry.

2.  Promptly refrigerate leftovers…bacteria can grow at room temperature.

3.  Switch to glass food containers because some plastics contain chemicals that leech into the food.

4.  Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly and remove outer leaves of lettuce and cabbage.

5.  Wash off the tops of cans before opening…you never know who or what was crawling on the merchandise in the store warehouse.

6.  Rinse off your can opener after each use…and give it a good wash on a regular basis.

Young children love to help in the kitchen…mixing and measuring give them a sense of competence…one of the building blocks in the formation of a positive self-image.  If you are looking for fantastic fun-filled cooking activities, check out SHOW ME HOW! BUILD YOUR CHILD’S SELF-ESTEEM THROUGH READING, CRAFTING AND COOKING, available right now at half-price on my website

Don’t forget, Mother’s Day is coming sooner than you think (May 8th)…why not grab a copy for a special mom or grand-mom in your life.  And maybe one for yourself!  It’s a gift that provides 100’s of fun-filled educational activities…and answers the question…what are we going to do today?