Wellness Wednesday…Happy 4th of July!

4th-of-july-usa-1Hap-Hap-Happy Fourth of July!!! With this fun, summer holiday right around the corner, now is the time to plan for those parties and gatherings with friends and family. Do you know what you’ll be serving or taking to the party?

Liberty4th-of-julyWhen I think of Fourth of July food, I think of BBQs, watermelon, red, white, and blue jello, and plenty of drinks. How about you? While I could give you tips this Wednesday on how to make your holiday meal healthier (things like use whole wheat buns, lean meats, use smaller plates, etc.), I want to specifically focus on your hydration and those drinks in your hands.

No matter where you live in America, it’s hot in July. This makes drinking enough water super important. If you’re planning to go outside this weekend for a parade, a picnic, a day at the beach, or to watch fireworks, you need to drink enough water to keep your body from overheating. You may not even feel thirsty, but you still need those fluids. This is key to staying healthy this holiday weekend.

I know what you’re thinking. Water is boring, and there’s no way you’re going to skip those holiday beverages. I hear you, so I’ve provided some fun and festive holiday tips and recipes that will keep you on track!

Tip #1 – Make Festive Drinks to Keep YOU Hydrated

Red Summer Water1BA4083F00000578-0-Healthy_Drinking_two_glasses_of_cranberry_juice_a_day_could_cut_-a-32_1435702703495

1 liter water

1 cup strawberries

½ Tbsp cinnamon

Juice of 1 lime


*Blend all ingredients and serve over ice.



                 Berry Infused Water

                  6 cups cold water

                  1 cup raspberries

                  1 cup blueberries

                  *Chill for 2 – 8 hours. (more time = more flavor)



4th of July Ice CubesIMG_2038post





*Squish the berries into the IMG_2043-2postsquares of an ice-cube tray. Fill the gaps with water and put in the freezer until frozen. Use as ice-cubes in water or either of the above drinks.



Tip #2 – Double Fist It

Yes, you read that correctly….double fist it! Alcoholic and caffeinated beverages have a diuretic effect, so they work against you when it comes to hydration. If you’re going to have one of these beverages this weekend, hold a glass or bottle of water in your other hand. Whenever you take a sip from one fist, take a sip from the other. This will help to keep you in balance.



Tip #3 – Fill Up on Fruits & Veggies


Fruits and veggies contain a lot of water and can be a tasty way to get your water. If you see a fruit or vegetable tray at your BBQ, dig in! Did you know that each bite of watermelon contains about 92% water? Some other fruits and vegetables you might see this weekend that contain a high water content include cucumbers, celery, radishes, strawberries, and baby carrots.

However you spend this holiday weekend, make it GREAT, and ENJOY the time with your friends and family.

Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!



Wellness Wednesday…12 Fun Ways to Burn Calories this Summer


Summer on a beach

Summer is here!!! With these long days and warm weather, now is a great time to get outside and enjoy the season. Doing quick bursts of activity can really be a fun way to burn some calories and sneak in some extra exercise. Here’s a list of 12 fun, summery ways to burn around 50 calories (based on a 150-pound person). Combine a few each day, and the benefits will add up before you know it.


  1. Go For a Bike Ride

According to Self.com, going for a light spin for just seven minutes can burn 50 calories!


  1. Go For a Hike

Break a sweat and explore nature along the way. Hiking is a great full-body workout. In just six minutes, you could burn 54 calories.



  1. Do Water Aerobics

Do you love swimming in the summer but not really into doing serious laps?   Commit 12 minutes to water exercise, and you can burn 57 calories. Get your friend to join you for a good laugh and lots of fun!



  1. Mow the Lawn

Although this might not be your favorite summer activity, isn’t it great to know that just eight minutes of mowing can help you burn 52 calories?



  1. Get in the Garden

According to myfitnesspal, spending 12 minutes in the dirt will burn 54 calories.



  1. Play with your Grandkids

Fooling around with your little munchkins is more of a workout than you might think. Chasing those rascals for 12 minutes could help you burn 57 calories.



  1. Play Doubles

Lace up those sneakers and grab a partner. Ten minutes of tennis can help you burn 59 calories.



  1. Play Golf

After just 10 minutes, you can burn 54 calories. Imagine what an entire day out on the range burns.

Senior couple playing golf



  1. Fetch with Fido

Playing with your pet for 15 minutes can burn 50 calories!


  1. Grab the Fishing Rods

In 15 minutes of watching your line, you could burn 51 calories.


  1. Try a Game of Croquet

In 20 minutes you can burn 57 calories with this lawn game!




  1. Go for a Stroll after Dinner

Instead of plopping down on the coach after dinner, take a slow walk. A 12-minute stroll could help you burn 55 calories.


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!



Wellness Wednesday…Dealing with Grief

big_thumbnailThe events that took place in Orlando this week have left me heart broken. Orlando was my home for a number of years throughout my twenties, and it will always hold a special place in my heart. As I watch the news and hear the stories from that horrific night, I am deeply saddened. I cannot wrap my head around what the friends and families of the victims must be experiencing.  They will go through a grieving process that most of us will never fully understand. The Orlando events and another sudden loss I learned of yesterday have me thinking about how important it is to deal with grief and how mental health is a huge component of our overall well-being.

When I write these Wellness Wednesday articles, I often focus on physical health with exercise and nutrition related articles. Wellness, however, is defined as the state or condition of being in good physical AND mental health. Today I’d like to look at mental health, in particular the topic of grief. Whether or not you are personally connected to the Orlando shootings, everyone will go through grief at some point in their life. This is especially true as you age. Loss of a spouse, friends, pets, and even children can make growing older emotionally challenging. Loneliness and depression affect many older adults after the loss of a loved one; so, today, let’s look at some ways to deal with grief.


Dealing with Grief

Coping with death is vital to your mental health. It’s only natural to experience grief when a loved one dies. The best thing you can do is allow yourself time to grieve. According to Mental Health America, there are many ways to cope effectively with your pain.


Seek out caring people. Find relatives and friends who can understand your feelings of loss. Join support groups with others who are experiencing similar losses.


Express your feelings. Tell others how you are feeling.  It will help you to work through the grieving process.



Take care of your health. Maintain regular contact with your family physician and be sure to eat well and get plenty of rest. Be aware of the danger of developing a dependence on medication or alcohol to deal with your grief.


Accept that life is for the living. It takes effort to begin to live again in the present and not dwell on the past.


Postpone major life changes. Try to hold off on making any major changes, such as moving, remarrying, changing jobs or having another child. You should give yourself time to adjust to your loss.


Be patient. It can take months or even years to absorb a major loss and accept your changed life.



Seek outside help when necessary. If your grief seems like it is too much to bear, seek professional assistance to help work through your grief. It’s a sign of strength, not weakness, to seek help.



Helping Others Grieve

If someone you care about has lost a loved one, you might become his or her confidant and rock during this time. You can use these tips to help them through the grieving process.

Share the sorrow. Allow them — even encourage them — to talk about their feelings of loss and share memories of the deceased.



Don’t offer false comfort. It doesn’t help the grieving person when you say “it was for the best” or “you’ll get over it in time.” Instead, offer a simple expression of sorrow and take time to listen.


Be patient. Remember that it can take a long time to recover from a major loss. Make yourself available to talk.



Offer practical help. Baby-sitting, cooking and running errands are all ways to help someone who is in the midst of grieving.


Encourage professional help when necessary. Don’t hesitate to recommend professional help when you feel someone is experiencing too much pain to cope alone.


Remember, with support, patience, and effort, you will survive grief.  Some day the pain will lessen, leaving you with cherished memories of your loved one.


For More Help

If you feel that the pain is more than you can handle or you would like more information on how to deal with grief, please refer to one of the organizations listed below. You are not alone and help is available!


Hospice programs in nearly every community throughout the United Sates offers bereavement counseling and support groups.  To find the location of a hospice near you, contact…

            National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization




For Parents Enduring the Loss of a Child:

            Compassionate Friends





National Suicide Hotline USA



            Available 24/7


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!


Sleep Problems, Type II Diabetes, Osteoporosis? Could this Miracle Mineral be YOUR Answer?

I must warn you! This article is LONG, but I beg you to read the entire thing. I truly believe it could save your life, or at least make you healthier and feel better. If that happens, it’s worth it…..right?

What is your number one health complaint? Do you have trouble sleepinimages-5g a full night? How about Type II Diabetes? Have you been diagnosed, despite the fact you live an active lifestyle? Maybe you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis and take a calcium o
r vitamin D supplement to try to keep your bones strong. Or, maybe you get migraines or just have unexplained irritability. Why do these things happen? Believe it or not, it might come down to one very important mineral. “What is this ‘Miracle Mineral’ you speak of?” you might be asking. You’ll be shocked to find out that it’s none other than MAGNESIUM!

Magnesium is a mineral that flies under the radar. It’s not one of the sexy vitamins, like Vitamin D, that gets all the buzz these days. But, magnesium is so important. It’s involved in at least 300 enzyme reactions in your body. That’s a lot! I recently came across a doctor who believes that 80% of us are magnesium deficient.

Now, I’m not a doctor and don’t pretend to be one, but let’s take a look at magnesium and how a supplement might help to improve your health. Before you begin taking any supplements, though, please talk to your doctor. Use the information below to fuel the conversation.  


As I mentioned, magnesium is involved in numerous enzyme reactions in the body, and it’s especially important for the enzymes involved in energy production. That’s right…you need magnesium to make energy. Who doesn’t want more energy?   It also assists in calcium and potassium uptake and plays a role in bone formation. That’s right…you need magnesium for strong bones, which is so important as we age. Magnesium is also necessary to prevent the calcification of soft tissue and is involved in your metabolism. Phew….that’s a lot, and I’m not even done yet. The big stuff is still to come!




I was shocked to find out that a deficiency of this little, unspoken of mineral is the root of many cardiovascular problems. In fact, magnesium deficiency may be a major cause of fatal cardiac arrhythmia, hypertension, and sudden cardiac arrest. That’s in addition to asthma, chronic fatigue and chronic pain syndromes, depression, insomnia, irritable bowel syndrome, and pulmonary disorder.hqdefault

As if that wasn’t enough, a deficiency also interferes with the transmission of nerve and muscle impulses, causing irritability and nervousness. Other possible manifestations of magnesium deficiencies include confusion, poor digestion, rapid heartbeat, and seizures. A magnesium deficiency has been found to be synonymous with diabetes, and research has also shown that a magnesium deficiency may contribute to the formation of kidney stones.

Have I sold you on the fact that this is an important mineral for your body and health? If you’re wondering if you may be deficient, here’s a list of signs to look for:




Irritability and anxiety91626260


Impaired memory and cognitive function

Loss of appetite

Nausea and vomiting





muscle-spasms-and-crampsMuscle spasms


Muscle cramps

Hyperactive reflexes

Impaired muscle coordination


Involuntary eye movements and vertigo

Difficulty swallowing



Increased intracellular calcium


Calcium deficiency

Potassium deficiency



Irregular or rapid heartbeat

Coronary spasms




Chronic fatigue syndrome



Irritable bowel syndrome

Parkinson’s disease

Sleep problems


Cluster headaches


Premenstrual syndrome

Chest pain (angina)chestpain

Cardiac arrhythmias

Coronary artery disease and atherosclerosis


Type II diabetes




_81745789_blodtest468099501So, maybe you experience some of the signs listed above and want to test your magnesium levels. That should be easy; unfortunately, it’s not as easy as you might think. The most common test for magnesium deficiency is a serum magnesium test. This is a blood test that looks at the magnesium in your serum. The problem with this test is that most of the magnesium in the body is found in your bones and soft tissue. Blood serum contains less than 1% of your total magnesium. So, it is quite possible for the magnesium levels elsewhere in the body to be low but the serum test to come back normal.

Talk to your doctor about different tests that might be available and more accurate!



Magnesium is found in a lot of food, which is a great thing! Be careful, though, because some foods that “should” contain magnesium actually don’t. This has to do with the soil that foods are grown in these days. The soil has become so chemically enhanced, that a lot of the minerals from the ground have been lost. This seems to be one of the reasons so many people are now deficient.

Good food sources of magnesium include:

Whole grainsmagnesium

Wheat germ






Leafy green veggies



white pills

If you’re like me, you might be considering adding a magnesium supplement to your daily routine. Before you do, please talk to your doctor. If you determine this is the route for you, find out which form your doctor wants you to take.

There are numerous forms of magnesium supplements ranging from magnesium citrate to magnesium malate to magnesium oxide to ionized magnesium. That’s not even all of them! And, this really does make a difference. Magnesium oxide, for example, is one of the most popular forms, but your body only absorbs 4% of what you take. In addition, it’s known for having a strong laxative affect. Needless to say, you’ll be stuck in the bathroom, and your body won’t even benefit from much of the magnesium. I’d say “no thank you!” to that form. There are other options, so find the best one for YOU!



Well, it’s quite obvious to me that magnesium is super important for good health. It’s more important than I ever knew. The research strongly suggests that this little “Miracle Mineral” can help with a lot of chronic conditions that older adults face everyday. I’m not saying this one mineral will cure all your conditions, but it might be worth investigating.  I urge you to talk to your doctor today!


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER…age is just a number!


Wellness Wednesday…Skinny Summer-time Spaghetti

Happy Belated Memorial Day! We hope you all enjoyed the holiday weekend, and for those of you that have served this beautiful country, we say, “THANK YOU!”

As Memorial Day Weekend has come to a close for this year, we know that means it’s officially SUMMER! And, when I think of summer, I think of gardens with fresh fruits and vegetables. Having grown up in Ohio, it seems like everyone up theDSC00984re with a garden always has so many zucchini and tomatoes they just don’t know what to do with them. In preparation for the season that’s upon us, here’s a Skinny Summer-time Spaghetti recipe that uses zucchini noodles and cherry tomatoes for the sauce. It’s delicious, and it’s full of healthy nutrients! And, did I mention that using zucchini noodles saves you a ton of calories and carbs too? This recipe is BNM approved! It serves 2, but if you’re cooking for yourself, it’s super easy to cut this one in half.

Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Skinny Summer-time Spaghetti with Shrimp

  • 1.5 teaspoons olive oil                                 
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 25 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 25 small shrimp, frozen or fresh
  • 3 large leaves fresh basil
  • 2 large zucchini


Cut 25 cherry tomatoes in half, place into a bowl and set to the side.DSC00972

In a large, non-stick pan, heat olive oil over high heat. Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 30 seconds. Add the cut tomatoes, crushed red pepper flakes, and pepper. Reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered, until the tomatoes soften, about 15 minutes.



While the tomatoes simmer, prepare the zucchini into noodles. I used a thin julienne slicer and slid the zucchini length-wise along the blade. If you don’t have one of theseDSC00977, you can also use a straight edge slicer. Make sure to slice length-wise and once you have wider pieces, use a knife to cut them into thinner spaghetti-type noodles.


Place the zucchini noodles in a bowl and cut fresh basil on top.


Return to the stove-top to check on the tomatoes. They should be soft by this time. Add shrimp to the tomatoes and heat through, about 2-3 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium-high, stir in the zucchini and basil, and cook for 2 more minutes.


Serve right away.  ENJOY!!!


Stay happy, healthy, and N motion, AND REMEMBER….age is just a number