Circle City Classic Parade this Saturday

The Circle City Classic is in its fourth decade as one of America’s top football classics and favorite weekend celebrations. The Classic Parade is a family-oriented event with a focus on education which highlights honor students from central Indiana high schools.

Pagentry, celebrities, floats and marching bands make this one of top parades in the country. Nearly 100,000 spectators watch the Classic Parade weave its way through downtown Indianapolis. This year’s Grand Marshal is five-time NBA champion Ron Harper.

The parade route is as follows: From Vermont St. south on Pennsylvania St., west on Ohio St., north on Meridian St. ending at New York St.

Tickets: $16, bleachers.

Indy Do Day

If you love the out-of-doors and want to participate with a group in a feel-good project, there are many opportunities at the following website:


Indy DO Day consists of several days when the people of Indianapolis get to know their neighbors, take ownership of their neighborhoods and take care of one another.It’s decentralized, ground-up, people-powered community improvement. It’s about pride, shared ownership, and stronger relationships. It’s about building the most civically-engaged community in the nation where every day is a Do Day.


Participating in Indy Do Day is as easy or complex as you want to make it. Indy Do Day is a framework for service and action, and does not need to organize or approve community projects. Be creative in how you participate and give back to the community. The sky’s the limit!

One Hour a Day for Children

Recommendations for Physical Activity

  • The US Department of Health and Human Services provides guidance on healthy physical activity habits. The national recommendation is that children and adolescents aged 6 to 17 years should have 60 minutes (1 hour) or more of physical activity each day. This includes:
    • Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate- or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.
    • Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.
    • Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.

These guidelines also encourage children and adolescents to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.

Physical Activity and Academic Achievement

  • Students who are physically active tend to have better grades, school attendance, cognitive performance (e.g., memory), and classroom behaviors (e.g., on-task behavior).
  • Higher physical activity and physical fitness levels are associated with improved cognitive performance (e.g., concentration, memory) among students.

Ginger-marinated Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Dietitian’s tip:

Because of their larger size and firmer texture, portobello mushrooms are good candidates for stuffing or grilling. They have a satisfying taste and texture with virtually no fat or sodium.

Serves 4


  1. 4 large portobello mushrooms
  2. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  3. 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  4. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger, peeled
  5. 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil


Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove their stems. Place in a glass dish, stemless (gill) side up.

To prepare the marinade, in a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, pineapple juice and ginger. Drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms. Cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for about 1 hour, turning mushrooms once.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack 4 to 6 inches from the heat source.

Grill or broil the mushrooms on medium heat, turning often, until tender, about 5 minutes on each side. Baste with marinade to keep from drying out. Using tongs, transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving

Serving size :1 mushroom

  • Cholesterol 0 mg
  • Calories 65
  • Sodium 15 mg
  • Total fat Trace
  • Total carbohydrate 13 g
  • Saturated fat Trace
  • Dietary fiber 2 g
  • Trans fat 0 g
  • Added sugars 0 g
  • Monounsaturated fat Trace
  • Protein 3 g

Indy 500 Festival Mini Mini

Indiana’s youngest runners take over the world’s largest sporting venue at the 500 Festival mini-mini! The 500 Festival mini-mini (#Indyminimini) is the first and only youth run to take place at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Designed specifically for kids, the 500 Festival mini-mini provides Indiana’s youth with an “Indy Mini” experience sized just for them.
The 2nd annual 500 Festival mini-mini will take place on Sunday, September 17. It is open to children ages 5 – 12. Five different race distances will be offered, ranging from half a mile to 2.5 miles, allowing participants to select the race that best meets their age and ability. All participants will finish at the famed Yard of Bricks. Click here to view the #Indyminimini courses!
Kids participating in the mini-mini will experience the larger-than-life fun of a 500 Festival running event – complete with course entertainment, massive cheering sections, participant timing and the coveted mini-mini medal.
All participants will attend packet pickup, hosted at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s Pagoda Plaza, before their race. Participants will receive a goodie bag, a runner’s bib with a timing device, and a participant shirt. At the conclusion of their race, participants will receive a finisher’s medal and the opportunity to go through runner’s services – just like the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon participants.
Participants and spectators can enjoy the mini-mini’s Celebration Zone before and after their race. The Celebration Zone will feature fun, interactive activities for children of all ages and a wide range of exhibitors who believe in the importance of a healthy lifestyle for Indiana’s youth. If your company or organization is interested in exhibiting at the Celebration Zone, please email


Now through Tuesday, September 12, you can pre-register your mini-mini runner for $15. You can register onsite on the day of the event for $20. Both fees include a participant t-shirt and finisher’s medal. To pre-register, click here.


1:30 p.m.: Gates and Celebration Zone open, packet pickup begins
2:30 p.m.: .5 Mile Race (Kindergarten & 1st Grade)
3:00 p.m.: 1 Mile Race (2nd & 3rd Grade)
3:30 p.m.: 1.5 Mile Race (4th Grade)
4:00 p.m.: Packet pickup closes
4:00 p.m.: 2 Mile Race (5th Grade)
4:45 p.m.: 2.5 Mile Race (6th Grade)
6:00 p.m.: Gates and Celebration Zone close

Pets Can Be A Prescription for a Happier, Healthier Life

We include them in our family portraits, make room for them on our beds, tell them our deepest secrets and miss work when they’re sick. And whether they paw, fly or swim their way into our hearts, pets are an important part of our lives.

America is a nation of animal lovers. According to the National Pet Owners Survey, about two-thirds of U.S. households own at least one pet, which means 71 million homes provide shelter for at least one furry, feathery or scaly critter. We take good care of our pets, but did you know that our pets also take good care of us? A growing body of research suggests that owning and interacting with a pet can improve our health.

Besides loving you unconditionally, studies show that those wagging, purring or hopping bundles of love can reduce your stress levels, tame your blood pressure, curb your depression, reduce feelings of loneliness, keep you physically fit and even help you live longer.


Photos courtesy iStockphoto. Fish by Lisa Gagne, bird by Robert Byron, rabbit and bulldog by Eric Isselée

Some studies suggest that children who are exposed to furry pets as infants are less likely to develop allergies.

“There are lots of studies showing that pets are good for our health,” says Rebecca Johnson, PhD, RN, director of the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine.

Enjoying pawsitive energy

Researchers are busy studying the many ways our pets can benefit our health. Several large studies suggest that Fluffy and Fido — in addition to winning your heart — can improve the way your heart works. A National Institutes of Health study of 420 adults who had suffered heart attacks showed that pooch owners were significantly more likely to still be kicking — and their tickers still ticking — one year later than were poochless patients, regardless of how serious the heart attack. In another study of 240 married couples, those who owned pets had lower heart rates and blood pressure, both at rest as well as under stress.

Your best bud can also improve your circulation. A study involving cat owners found they have fewer strokes than their feline-free counterparts.

“The reduction in blood pressure through interaction with a companion animal has been shown in many studies,” Johnson says. “It’s practically the oldest finding we have.”

The “relaxation response” has even been shown when people kick back and watch their fish swim, Johnson says.

Puppy tails

At the end of a long day, who doesn’t enjoy coming home to a cold nose, a wagging tail and a slobbery kiss? But is it okay to kiss our pets?

It’s not a good idea to let your pets lick you on the mouth, says Jennifer Wright, DVM, MPH, a veterinary epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you want to kiss your dog or cat, the top of her or his head is the preferred place to plant kisses.

“The rewards you get from your pets are much greater than the risk of acquiring an illness from a well-cared for pet,” Wright says.

Just like people, our pets can carry certain bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi, so get into the habit of washing your hands after interacting with your pets. This is especially important for children and for people with compromised immune systems.

If you have a child younger than five, don’t bring turtles, amphibians such as frogs, or baby chicks into your home. Small kids can’t resist picking up these cute critters, but there’s a downside: They shed salmonella bacteria, which can cause serious illness, especially in small children, elderly people and folks with chronic conditions.

Pet-to-person infections can occur if you are bitten or scratched by an infected animal, or have contact with an infected pet’s waste or saliva. Cats and dogs can carry bacterial infections in their intestinal tracts, and parasites can be present in their waste. If you have small children, make sure the cat’s litter box is not accessible to them. Kids will put anything in their mouths, so you don’t want them in your cat’s toilet.


Keeping up with your pet’s vaccinations will help keep your pet healthy and reduce the risk of someone in your family contracting an animal-borne infection.

“There are benefits to having pets, you just have to be aware that there are some risks and they are all perfectly preventable risks,” Wright says.

Parade your pooch

In terms of getting you off the couch and out the door, dogs have the edge.

“You’re not going to walk a snake,” Johnson says. “Dogs will facilitate physical exercise better than cats or other non-walking pets.”


Studies show that dog owners who regularly walk their hounds lose pounds and are more physically active overall than those who don’t own or walk a dog. In addition to getting you outdoors — rain or shine — your pooch provides “social lubrication,” she says.

In other words, when you’re out walking Max, people are more likely to strike up conversations with you. And some research shows that neighborhoods where people walk dogs regularly are viewed as friendlier and safer.

One Tip on Increasing Workout Intensity

1. Drop Set

Consider doing a drop set at the weight you currently are using. A drop set is where you perform your desired number of reps at your current weight and then drop the weight by about 5-10 pounds. Then perform a second set, drop the weight one more time, and finish up with a third.

This drop set technique will go a long way towards improving not only your strength, but your muscular endurance level as well.

Emergency Preparedness- How To Help In An Emotional Crisis

Our lives can be complicated enough, but with all the other urgent concerns going on currently – hurricanes, wildfires, nuclear weapons testing, as well as the day-to-day stresses, the following information may prove very helpful to you or your loved ones.

While the post below is from the American Psychological Association and makes reference to psychologists as a helpful resource, there are many types of assistance available including our own Employee Assistance Program.

Spotting the Signs

One of the most common signs of emotional crisis is a clear and abrupt change in behavior. Some examples include:

  • Neglect of personal hygiene.
  • Dramatic change in sleep habits, such a sleeping more often or not sleeping well.
  • Weight gain or loss.
  • Decline in performance at work or school.
  • Pronounced changes in mood, such as irritability, anger, anxiety or sadness.
  • Withdrawal from routine activities and relationships.

Sometimes, these changes happen suddenly and obviously. Events such as a natural disaster or the loss of a job can bring on a crisis in a short period of time. Often, though, behavior changes come about gradually. If something doesn’t seem right with your loved one, think back over the past few weeks or months to consider signs of change.

Don’t wait to bring up your concerns. It’s always better to intervene early, before your loved one’s emotional distress becomes an emergency situation. If you have a feeling that something is wrong, you’re probably right.

Lend an Ear

If you suspect your loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis, reaching out is the first step to providing the help he or she needs to get better. Sit down to talk in a supportive, non-judgmental way. You might start the conversation with a casual invitation: “Let’s talk. You don’t seem like yourself lately. Is there something going on?”

Stay calm, and do more listening than talking. Show your loved one that you can be trusted to lend an ear and give support without passing judgment. When discussing your concerns, stick to the facts and try not to blame or criticize.

Seek Professional Help

Reaching out can help your friend or family member begin to get a handle on an emotional crisis. But professional help is the best way to fully address a mental health problem and get that problem under control. You can explain that psychologists have specialized training that makes them experts in understanding and treating complex emotional and behavioral problems. That training is especially critical when an emotional disorder has reached crisis levels.

Psychologists use scientifically tested techniques that go beyond talking and listening. They can teach their clients tools and skills for dealing with problems, managing stress and working toward goals.

To help your loved one find a psychologist to speak with, you might encourage your loved one to speak to his or her primary care provider about available mental health resources in your community. If your workplace has an employee assistance program (EAP), that can be a useful resource and referral service. You can also find a psychologist in your area by using APA’s Psychologist Locator Service.

Concerns About Suicide or Self-Harm or Threats to Harm Others

No emotional crisis is more urgent than suicidal thoughts and behavior, or threats to harm someone else. If you suspect a loved one is considering self-harm or suicide, don’t wait to intervene.

It’s a difficult topic to bring up, but discussing suicide will not put the idea in someone’s head. In fact, it’s not abnormal for a person to have briefly thought about suicide. It becomes abnormal when someone starts to see suicide as the only solution to his or her problems.

If you discover or suspect that your loved one is dwelling on thoughts of self-harm, or developing a plan, it’s an emergency. If possible, take him or her to the emergency room for urgent attention. Medical staff in the ER can help you deal with the crisis and keep your loved one safe.

If you think someone is suicidal or will harm someone else, do not leave him or her alone. If he or she will not seek help or call 911, eliminate access to firearms or other potential tools for harm to self or others, including unsupervised access to medications.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is also a valuable resource. If you’re concerned about a loved one’s mental state or personal safety, and unable to take him or her to the emergency room, you can talk to a skilled counselor by calling 1-800-273-TALK.

If you’re concerned about a loved one, don’t put it off. You can make the difference in helping your friend or family member get back on track to good mental health.