Free Labor Day Weekend Music Festival

Do you feel like kicking back and sampling some joyous music making?  Plan to spend Saturday or Sunday, September 2-3 in historic Metamora, Indiana. Only 90 minutes from Indianapolis, Metamora is the site of the Whitewater Canal State Park.  You can take rides on the horse-drawn canal boat or visit the local canal shops.  In that same area you will find two stages of free music.  For more information check out these links:




Healthy Snacking

Whether sweet or savory, you can manage your snack cravings with great choices.
Let’s be real, we all snack. And actually, snacking isn’t “bad” for you if you do it in moderation and make healthy choices. Try these tips to do both!
 Yes, we all have long days at work where we start craving something sweet or need something salty to help us snap out of the workday lull, but if you’re smart about how you snack you’ll feel, and maybe even look, better. And who doesn’t want that?

Athletic Shoe Selection

 How to Select the Right Athletic Shoes

Proper-fitting sports shoes can enhance performance and prevent injuries. Follow these fitting facts when purchasing a new pair of athletic shoes.

  • If possible, purchase athletic shoes from a specialty store. The staff will provide valuable input on the type of shoe needed for your sport as well as help with proper fitting. This may cost a premium in price but is worthwhile, particularly for shoes that are used often.
  • Try on athletic shoes after a workout or run and at the end of the day. Your feet will be at their largest.
  • Wear the same type of sock that you will wear for that sport.
  • When the shoe is on your foot, you should be able to freely wiggle all of your toes.
  • The shoes should be comfortable as soon as you try them on. There is no break-in period.
  • Walk or run a few steps in your shoes. They should be comfortable.
  • Always re-lace the shoes you are trying on. You should begin at the farthest eyelets and apply even pressure as you create a crisscross lacing pattern to the top of the shoe.
  • There should be a firm grip of the shoe to your heel. Your heel should not slip as you walk or run.
  • If you participate in a sport three or more times a week, you need a sport-specific shoe.
  • It can be hard to choose from the many different types of athletic shoes available. There are differences in design and variations in material and weight. These differences have been developed to protect the areas of the feet that encounter the most stress in a particular athletic activity.

For additional information see link:

Gratitude Improves Health

Gratitude is more than a buzzword. It’s a habit and practice that may actually change your perception of well-being.
Do you ever feel like you just can’t catch a break? You know – the truck that cut you off, the meal that didn’t turn out, the weird feedback you got from your boss? Do you sometimes feel negative and cynical about life.

Some neuroscience experts think our brains focus on negative information as a way to remember pain so we can avoid it in the future and stay safe. They call this the “negativity bias.”

  • Maintain a gratitude journal. Emmons’ research showed that people who keep gratitude journals on a weekly basis exercise more regularly, report fewer physical symptoms, feel better about their lives as a whole, and maintain greater optimism about the future.
  • Create a list of benefits in your life and ask yourself, “To what extent do I take these for granted?” Some people need such concrete visual reminders to maintain mindfulness of their gratitude, explains Emmons.
  • Talk to yourself in a creative, optimistic, and appreciate manner, suggests Sam Quick, PhD, of the University of Kentucky. This could entail simply reflecting on things for which you’re grateful or, if you’re facing a challenging situation, seeing how it can ultimately be beneficial. For instance, having to cope with particularly difficult people in your job or neighborhood can improve your patience and understanding.
  • Reframe a situation by looking at it with a different, more positive attitude, offers Quick. He provides this example: Rather than seeing his 6-year-old daughter as cranky, irritable, and troublesome, a father might reach the conclusion that the youngster is tired and needs rest.
  • Here’s a simple way to get started: Write these down before you go to bed or share them around the dinner table. In five minutes, you can practice gratitude from the HEART.

    HEALTH: What did your body do for you today?

    Did you know you take about eight million breaths a year? Your feet can take you up a mountain, your arms can hold someone you love. Take a minute to marvel at the finely tuned machinery of your body.

    EAT: What did you feed your body to nourish yourself today?

    Was it an old favorite, something you made, or something new and different? If you eat three meals a day, you’ll eat about a thousand meals this year! Take a minute to savor an especially yummy meal.

    ACTIVITY: What did you do that really enjoyed today?

    Did you give it your all at the gym or take a quiet moment while sitting in traffic to reflect? Take a minute to think back on one particularly awesome moment.

    RELATIONSHIP: Who do you look forward to seeing?

    Is it someone who sets your heart on fire, always has a smile for you, has your back, or makes you laugh until you cry? Take a minute to smile as you think about this special person.

    TIME: What are you doing right now?

    Every single day you wake up with 24 brand new hours. The past is history, the future is a mystery, and today is a gift. That’s why they call it the present! Take a minute to be thankful for the gift of time.

    Let’s do this, and be Healthy For Good!

Overcoming Workout Relapses

A body in motion stays in motion—until life gets in the way. Despite your best intentions, situations out of your control can hinder your ability to stay active. Even the most devoted fitness enthusiasts face challenges with exercise adherence.

To avoid a fitness relapse, it’s helpful to recognize potential barriers to exercise and develop plans to overcome them. Here are some of the biggest obstacles you may face in maintaining a physical activity regimen and strategies to avoid them.


The most common barrier to exercise is lack of time. Jobs, kids, social obligations and other responsibilities frequently add up to shrink your available time for exercise. When time is tight, physical activity is easily pushed aside.

Overcoming this obstacle requires mental shifting and planning. Human bodies are meant to move, and viewing exercise as a necessary part of a healthy human existence makes creating time for it is easier. Plan exercise into your schedule and mark it on your calendar as you would any other obligation. This way, you have to plan time to be active in advance, as opposed to hoping you’ll find a few minutes to squeeze it in.

If you still find lack of time is an issue, start with five minutes of activity daily. These five minutes will add up to modest health improvements, but more importantly, they will instill a habit of regular exercise you can build upon.


When life gets hectic and you’re feeling overwhelmed, exercise might seem burdensome. Though most people know exercise is a powerful stress-buster, it isn’t easy to act on that knowledge during high-stress times. Moreover, because exercise is a stressor on the body, intense exercise during tense periods may be unwise (not to mention unenjoyable).

To reap the stress-reducing benefits of activity and avoid relapse during chaotic times, focus on movement that is enjoyable and rejuvenating. If a high-intensity fitness class or an 8-mile run feels overwhelming, it may be. If exercise feels like an additional stressor, you’re far less likely to do it. Decide which modes of movement feel energizing and/or relaxing to you, and focus on these when stress levels rise.


When the sun is shining and the birds are chirping, it’s easy to get out and move. During rainstorms or when temperatures drop to single digits, it’s much harder. Instead of waiting for sunnier days, plan a strategy for the change in seasons. While your normal routine may take you outdoors or to the gym, your inclement weather sessions might look different. Determine a safe, warm and dry place you can move during winter months. This may be in your basement with an exercise video or walking laps at the mall. Remember that all movement counts when planning strategies that take weather into account. If you always wait for perfect weather, you’ll be inactive much of the year.


Even with a well-structured exercise routine, you will reach fitness plateaus. If a change in physical appearance or a certain number on the scale is your only reason to be active, this can quickly lead to frustration and relapse. To prevent this, create non-weight-related goals to drive your exercise behavior. Make a list of all the benefits you perceive from exercise, such as increased energy and stamina, better sleep, enhanced mood or simply the joy of moving your body. When you’re struggling through a plateau, pull out this list and reconnect with your intrinsic motivations for being active.

Injury or Illness

Sometimes you just can’t (and shouldn’t) exercise due to injury or illness. To prevent this setback from turning into a full-on fitness relapse, focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t. Sprained your ankle and can’t run? This could be the perfect time to start swimming or to focus on upper-body strength training. Have a cold and feel totally wiped? Step outside for a short walk and breathe some fresh air. The key component during illness or injury is to keep up your momentum with some kind of activity, so as not to break your regular exercise habit.

The Long Haul

When your fitness routine starts to backslide, take inventory of what’s getting in the way and employ targeted strategies as needed. Most importantly, remember that there’s no end goal in the game of fitness and health. Rather, it is a continuous process of learning, growing and improving your health and well-being through movement.

Go Ahead and Eat Out Smartly!

Who’s cooking tonight? Don’t roll your eyes.

We know how hectic life is – working late, after-school activities, trying to cram in a gym session, and catching up with friends, or better still, your spouse! Sometimes cooking at home just isn’t an option.

What you need to know is that there are healthy options when dining out. Many restaurants now offer delicious meals and menu items that are better for you. But it still takes a little bit of effort and a splash of willpower to construct a healthy meal away from home.

So what do you need to know, do and look for when dining out?

Let us break it down for you with our top ten tips:

  • Search it. This is the information age! Look up the menu and decide what you want before you go. Lots of restaurants and fast food chains now have nutrition information on their websites.
  • Look for clues. The menu may have “healthy” designations or symbols, or key words in the names of some items (like light, fresh, fit, vegetarian, skinny, and so on) which indicate they could be a better choice.
  • Check it out. In select restaurants, look for the Heart-Check mark on the menu. It’s an easy way to spot healthier choices that meet the trusted nutrition standards of the American Heart Association.
  • Use your words. Sure, nobody wants to be “that guy,” but it’s really OK to ask your server or even the chef about ingredients, preparation methods, or substitutions.
  • Just say no. Resist the upsell and freebies. Yeah, we know the cocktails and appetizers can be tempting, but just remember they can add fat, sodium, sugar and calories – not to mention expense — that you don’t need. And while you’re at it, you don’t have to accept the “complimentary” bread and butter or chips and salsa!
  • Color your plate. The kiddie crayons on the table aren’t the only way to add color to your meal! Look for colorful fruits and vegetables you can add as sides or substitutes for other ingredients in your dish.
  • Have it your way. What do you do if you just can’t find a healthy option? Be bold, and see what’s possible! Combine side veggies or items from different dishes. Ask if they can prepare your food to order. This may not work in the drive-thru window, but most chefs at sit-down restaurants want to be able to satisfy their diners, so it’s worth a shot!
  • Check your oil. Ask about butter, solid fats and cooking oils used in the kitchen, and request that healthier nontropical vegetable oils be used instead. Swap the bad fats for healthy ones your body actually needs!
  • Keep it on the side. Request that butter, cheese, toppings, salad dressings, sauces and gravies be served on the side so you control how much you use. Look who’s in the driver’s seat now!
  • You can half it all. If the portions are large, share an entrée or set aside half to take home before you start eating. Split “indulgences” like appetizers, fries and desserts. Don’t supersize it, rightsize it.

Here are some easy swaps that will help you make the healthy choice:



bacon, sausage & other fatty, salty meats skinless chicken, fish, lean meat
white bread, rice and pasta whole-grain versions
cream-based or cheese soups broth-based soup with lots of veggies
deep-fried, pan-fried, extra crispy, creamed, stuffed grilled, sautéed, roasted, steamed, baked, poached
fries baked potato or side salad
refried beans pintos or black beans
sour cream, queso guacamole, pico de gallo
salty sauces like soy, teriyaki, cocktail, au jus light sauces flavored with herbs, spices, vinegar, wine
all-you-can-eat, supersize, buffet a la carte, light menu, salad bar
traditional desserts, cookies, ice cream fresh fruit and fruit-based desserts
regular soda, sweet tea, sugary cocktails water, 100% juice, diet soda, seltzer, spritzers

Be prepared when you go out to eat. Healthy choices can be found if you know what to look for and how to ask. Bon appetit!

Summer Succotash

Serves 6

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large sweet onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen beans (lima, edamame, fava, etc), cooked al dente
Kernels from 6 ears of corn (about 5 cups)
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup basil, sliced in chiffonade
Flaky sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Add the chopped onion and a small pinch of salt and cook, stirring, over medium heat until translucent and tender, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat, add the beans and corn and stir over medium-low heat for about 1 minute, until tender but still crisp.

Transfer cooked ingredients to a large bowl and toss with the tomatoes and lemon juice. Serve immediately with the feta, basil and black pepper sprinkled on top, or let the mixture cool, then top with the feta, basil and black pepper.