Category Archives: Living A Healthy Lifestyle-Published Articles

I write articles for PINK Magazine. This section contains reprints of Healthy Living articles. My articles share tips for living a healthy lifestyle and diet information. I include healthy recipes and weight loss information.

There are sooo many things to do with an empty pie shell. Think of it as a totally blank canvas and go from there. I think first of quiche. I make literally 10 different types of quiche with veggies, different types of cheeses, and leftovers.

Think also of fruit pies. The skies the limit on fruit pies with all different types of fruit, different toppings and so on. Think also of summer pies, I love the one you make with jello, cool whip and jello pudding. Yummy.

I am sure you could think of many more things to do with an empty pie crust. Also, one can do so much with imagination. Foods are such a pallet. Think about tastes you love and combine with other tastes you love. Also, think about all of the new fruits and veggies that are out there now.

Finally, I do not mean to be a nag, but also check out labels as you shop. We now know sooo much more about nutrition and health. Take advantage of all of this new knowledge.

We Are Back!

I have been on a vacation, but have been thinking of all of those of you who have been faithfully following this blog. We have been learning new things together, I hope, and gaining and growing in many ways. Participation has been wonderful and I hope it will continue to be so. Please write a comment, share a recipe or thought, and just be a part of “Skating Uphill.” My sort of life motto has always been that skating uphill is really hard work, but when you get to the top, the view is well worth it! I hope you agree.

Anyway, we are back and ready to go again. Join the group for recipes, stories to share, comments, life style tips, and on and on. Thanks to all and of course, I have been “Thinking of You!”

Fresh and Refresh

Refresh, fresh fish, fresh produce, fresh face, and on and on.

What we are talking about here is fresh! To me fresh has mostly food meanings. I love to Farmer’s Market shop for crunchy veggies and I always do “pick your own” fruits in season whenever I can. What is also part of the meaning of the word fresh to me is renewal. I guess I am talking about the term “freshen up.”  To freshen ourselves up or to freshen up our surroundings can be daunting and frustrating. the New Year is a good time to perhaps revisit some goals that may have failed in the past.

I think that the new year is a time for forgiving ourselves and giving whatever it is a “fresh” try, don’t you?  How about we start with remodeling the bathroom? Oh, can’t afford the contractor or the architect? Well, here is an idea for a fresh start. Begin by just cleaning the hell out of everything. Scrub everything out, wash the walls, and whatever else needs to be done. Stand back and look at that then look at your budget. Start with some colorful towels and move on to a bright, cheerful shower curtain. If you don’t have a medicine cabinet buy a mirror at Lowe’s or Home Depot. They start at under $ 20! Do all of that and then see how you feel. No tile or paint or sink. Just that. I promise you will see you old bathroom as new and fresh! 

 Wow, you have been so successful there, let’s do the fridge. Start by taking everything out-yes, I mean everything . Look at your stuff and toss anything old. Wipe down what you have left and then wipe down the inside and outside of the fridge. I read in a magazine that you should see color when you look in your fridge, so try to do that. Put fruit in front. Arrange labels so the colorful side shows. Use your imagination. Make your fridge cheerful. Don’t say this is stupid. Just take half an hour and try it. When you are done, give your kitchen a great big clean and buy some grocery store flowers and a basil plant and be happy. Oh, finally, for just a couple of dollars, replace old dish towels and check out that old fringe curtain above the kitchen sink window. Walmart and a couple of dollars could change your dish washing life! You might get so inspired that you will go crazy and clean the whole rest of the house while looking for cheap easy places to put color. 

Last but not least, and most important of all, refresh yourself. Read a good self help book, take a big shower in your new bathroom, shave your legs, put a rinse on your hair, and put on a cute outfit that is easy to button or better yet has an elastic waist band. As the new you walks out the door to buy those flowers and herb plants, think good thoughts about you having spent half a day and about $25 and having a really fresh outlook on 2022. 

PINK-Free Advice

  “Yes, yet again it is advice you may not really want to hear!”     

The Uphill Skater  One year when we lived on Hilton Head Island, we had a party invite for every night in December including Christmas Eve. We could not believe it and indeed felt very popular. That is until we realized that nearly everyone had invites for every night in December and if they didn’t it meant that they were having a party of their own. Let’s face it y’all, HHI is a party kind of place and Christmas and the holidays are just to perfect to pass up!  I said I had unwanted and unpopular tips for you party goers and I do. If you follow these tips even though it seems a real party pooper agenda, trust me, you will thank me very much later. You can shoot me and email or comment on my blog to say, “Thanks Judith, you were right” any time you like. first of all, and this is not a fun killer, believe me, simply do not drink at parties. There is always something non alcoholic around to have without anyone noticing or caring and if you keep your wits about you, you will chat more, see more, and just as a side benefit, you can have the last laugh at those who have had too much to drink. Oh, and there is one more benefit-it will be much easier for you not to overeat. When one has had something to drink the tendency is to overeat because you are simply not paying attention. Just try this for your first party. You can thank me tin the morning! 

Next, and this is not a party killer either, be comfortable. Wear comfortable shoes, a comfortable dress, comfortable undies and so on. If you have a dress that is just that bit too tight, don’t be tempted to wear something to hold you in. It isn’t worth it. Don’t wear spikes or total flats. Wear comfortable shoes that still look good. I am sure you have a pair somewhere. If not, buy yourself one for Christmas. The last thing you want to say when someone asks you if you are having a good time at the party is, “My feet are killing me!” You can still look great and will look even better because nothing hurts and you can actually stand up.

When you do go to the buffet, which of course you will, try to pick out some of your favorites. This should be obvious, but how many times have you seen people not only loading their plates, but standing next to the table snacking as they fill and refill? Yes, I know this because it used to be my life. You can eat literally thousands of calories simply standing there noshing. Remember, you are comfortable and sober. You don’t need to eat your way through the evening. Last tip: figure out if you need to go alone or with someone. If you would like to meet someone new at the party, for God’s sake don’t go with your skinny blond girlfriend. Also don’t go with a guy friend. He may look too much like a date and scare off Mr. Right. Do take a friend if you don’t know anyone else and do not want to be left standing alone all evening. Kind of gauge how you are thinking the evening will pan out. And remember, it is okay for you do drive home whenever you feel like it because you are sober. Enjoy the parties. And by that, I mean that you should enjoy the parties even more than you ever have before!!  Love, Judith

PINK #friendship

 “I often wonder how Elizabeth Millen and her crew think up these really great themes???”   The Uphill Skater  #friendship goals set me to thinking the minute I read it. I not only thought about the word friendship, but also how in the world it could be tied in with the word goal? Eazzzy Peazzy as it turned out, but because I am into food and nutrition, my first thoughts were about how to make food your friend. In other words, what sort of goals would you set to make food your actual friend. So many times in my day I think of food as the enemy. I see cookies, my special weakness which is chips of ANY kind, that second glass of wine, butter or extra cheese on anything… I could go on and on, and so could YOU! We spend so much time thinking about foods that seem yummy but are in fact looking to be sneaky and glue themselves to our hips, that often we look at all foods in the same light and we forget that we must have food to survive and that we also must have the RIGHT foods to be our best selves.  

So we all know what foods are not out friends, but let me share a few foods that could and should be not only our friends, but our BFF and bonded sister friend for life. First the quick and easy. Raw fruits and vegetables are good in so many ways. Nutrients, minerals, and big time fiber are some of the ways that raw fruits and vegetables love us and we should love them back. Quick and easy too.  Buy them in a bag or not and just enjoy. Oh, also, nutritionists pretty much universally say that you should eat the rainbow. In other words, enjoy foods of all colors. The deeper the color the better and surprise, surprise, the deeper the color, the fresher the product.  PS-Frozen veg are also quick and easy and equally healthy. Dairy in moderation is also our friend. Just for something really quick and good, take either cottage cheese or yogurt, add any fruit, a bit of honey, and some nuts or granola. This is sooo very good and so healthy. Note the above advice and and eat colors-blueberries, strawberries, apples, oranges and so forth. Fat free frozen yogurt is good with fruit, by itself, and in a smoothie. Use fruit juice in your smoothie instead of milk and add vitamins and save calories.  A final way to make food your friend is to take it with you. Yes, bring along your new friend. Set a goal to take food you have prepared yourself at home  and you will be sure to have something good and good for you. You are sure to like it also! Take your lunch. Take your breakfast and eat at work or on your break. Pack your own food whenever possible.  Let food be something you welcome into your home and to your party. Bring it along just as you would a friend. Welcome good nutritious food and set a goal to seek it out. Look for fresh produce, read labels, sample and taste, and read up on the values in different foods. Pick your favorites and hang out with them just as you would your special friends.  You can thank me later!

In Training-Get it?

We are , in fact, always in some kind of training. We may be trying yoga for the first time, learning a new healthy eating plan, or even taking a pottery class. Here are a few life tips for whatever you may be doing with your day today.

  1. Always remember to stretch before and after you do any kind of exercise.
  2. Try your best not to snack. Grab an apple if you just MUST have something.
  3. Eat your 5 servings of fruits and veg. daily. It is not that hard. A serving is only 1/2 cup.
  4. Try Quinoa or some other different food.
  5. Read a magazine you have not read before. I like to recommend “Real Simple” or if you are an HGTV fan you might try their mag. or the “Magnolia Journal.”
  6. Try to actively fight a bad habit.
  7. Make a list of NOT meals or calories, but rather of foods you like to eat that are healthy and then try to keep to these foods. After all, you just said you LIKE them.
  8. Evaluate yourself-Daily if you need to, but on a regular basis. No one knows YOU like you!

OK, so you hate other people’s tips-I get that. Just pick one and try it. Maybe you will go on to get on board the “Train.” Let me know how it goes.

Eat This/Not That

I have said many times before that wrapping whatever in a tortilla is great for any meal or snack, but you can also use this trick for lovely and even elegant appetizers.

Lay down any type of tortilla and spread it with lite cream cheese or Laughing Cow. If I am using fruit I like to spread with flavored cream cheese like strawberry or pineapple. Finely chop your filling.

For fruit I use strawberries, blueberries drained canned pineapple, chopped apple and cinnamon, or really just about anything. Do NOT pulse this in your blender. It makes the filling much to finely chopped and damp. I use my little hand chopper.

If you prefer vegetable, use broc, cauliflower, BLT, tomatoes or again just about anything. Spread your cream cheese or Laughing Cow and add filling on the tortilla and wrap tightly. With a sharp knife, slice the roll very thinly. The spirals are quite festive, and if you dress the platter with curly Italian parsley or cilantro, it makes a lovely appetizer tray.

You can take this anywhere!

Mama Bear?

Skating Uphill

Judith Lawrenson

 “I love the concept of a Mamma Bear fighting for her young, but………”                                                                     The Uphill Skater  

Yes, that idea about the Mamma Bear protecting, nurturing, feeding, grooming and so on, is very appealing, But, just because, here is another way to look at it. How in the world is a Mama Bear going to get all of that done if she isn’t looking after her own self??? Okay, I know you are thinking right now that this concept may seem a bit selfish, but let me assure that it is certainly not. Yes, I am aware of the fact that throughout history heroines, heroes and martyrs have been people who were able to accomplish unbelievable things even though they were not physically “well” in present day definitions, but  that was then and this is now, and I am certainly not making light of those people in any way. I am talking about us. Just us. You and me and all of the regular people out there. There are many things to do and people to help. I believe that we all do our very best to make the world a better place for all of us,  but all I am saying is that the better we feel the more we can do, and the more we keep ourselves fit and healthy, both mentally and physically, the more able we are to bring our whole selves to any cause that calls us. 

I should be saying right now that we must all eat healthy foods, get a weekly massage and facial, and get a check up regularly if we feel the need to be of service to others, and of course, that is not true or valid. If we are to do for others, though, we must in all honesty, do for ourselves too. Notice I did not say “first” because often that is not possible, but it must be a part of our profile to be of sound mind and body or we are going to be poor helpmates for others. The sub-title for this column is “Living A Healthy Lifestyle” and I will advocate for that as often as I must to try to do my “Mama Bear” job for the many women who give of themselves to the point of loosing themselves.  Advocating for those we feel called to help can be a very strong pull.

When you think of women like Mother Theresa, that tiny little person who was so faith filled that her very calling sustained her through things we can only imagine, it makes one feels as I said earlier, just a bit selfish if we are not giving all for our cause, be it family, a loved one, or a strong community commitment. Please do remember though, we are only human and we cannot do more than our best without risking losing the ability to do anything at all. How many times have you heard of a caregiver falling ill or even passing away before the person for whom they are caring. Working and worrying yourself down to a condition of ill health is always a strong possibility  Be a Mama Bear. Be a Tiger Mom. Say “I am Woman, I am Super Woman.” All I am saying is that if you say it, then be it. Keep yourself strong and healthy. take a nap if you need to. Eat right, but have an ice cream if you feel like it. Buy yourself a new pair of jeans that are cute and not on sale, and love yourself so that you can love others. Think about it!   Love Judith


Skating Uphill April Edition 2021      

By Judith Lawrenson

“This is on of the three times a year that I just hate!”
             “The Uphill Skater”

All right, so I really don’t mean that I actually hate any time of the year, especially Spring. but this my situation-three times a year I am moved, to get stuff done. New Years Day, my birthday, and Spring somehow get to me. I see everything I own as needing to be rearranged, thrown out, repaired, donated to charity and on and on. I think this might be hormonal, but I also know that that kind of thinking is very out of date nowadays. I feel the urge coming on though, so I thought I would share some insights with you. 
Briefly, here it is. Clean out the pantry and start on a brand new healthy eating plan. Note I did not say diet and I have a very good reason for that. I hospital dietitian told me recently that any plan that you go on that has a beginning and an end will never work. I have enough experience to know that this is true.  Next, go through your closet. and finally, clean your house. I did say this was brief, right? Oh, but of course, this is not really the point of this month’s column. In addition to this regular stuff that drives me crazy, I have added, this Spring, something new that I really must share. I have taken up gardening! 
Maybe you already have a big vegetable garden or flowers by the ton, or even watermelon, but I do not and I never have. I grew up on a farm and we had alfalfa and cotton. People do not eat those things or have them in their house in case you have not noticed. I was inspired to all of this by a TV show which is a bit odd since I am not a real TV watcher.  This show is about a British couple who buy a chateau in France that has 100 rooms, a 25 acre lot, and is nearly 200 years old. A big part of this show is about the garden they create. Just by sprinkling some wild flower seeds, the woman is able to grow what they call a cutting garden. She has lovely flowers for months and puts them in her chateau and everything looks fabulous. Okay, so maybe I can’t do that, but I can certainly go down to the nursery and buy some flower seedlings and make a start of it. I am really looking forward to trying this. I seldom try anything completely different so by going out of the box a bit I am taking a bit of a risk, but I think it is going to be fun. 
I am also going to plant some tomatoes. I already have my plants in the garage and will put them in shortly. I did a bit of this last year. Just for fun and to fill an empty spot, I planted a little grape tomato plant. I actually had tomatoes and I actually ate them. Again, this may be all boring old news for some of you green thumb types out there, but i was quite a thrill for me.  This year I am going to plant not only some more tomatoes, but some herbs too. I use a lot of basil and rosemary so I will plant that. I also really like flat leaf parsley so I am going for that too. I can hardly wait to see things grow, and I really hope not to have grocery store flowers and hard tomatoes this summer.  Boy Oh Boy!

Part of the fun of this is that it is something completely different, of course. I am always advising readers to do that. Break out, give something different a try, I have done this with my BLOG and it has been wonderful. I am leaning as I go and I think things like that keep your brain from drying up. Do look at Spring a bit differently this year. New growth, new life, and let’s add to that, a new project. Why Not???  Love Judith

Called By Nature

Skating Uphill-March 2021 Pink Magazine

Judith Lawrenson
               “I am called by Nature in so many different ways. Are You?” 

  As the weather becomes Springlike, our life rhythms change and reflect the many shifts that this brings. I like to look at this time, especially now, as a challenge. Newness, even though it is recurring, is new nonetheless. It is time to get ready for that newness and see what it means to us at that deeply personal level where we all function.  I see my challenge firstly in the original purpose of this column. Food! What started as “diet” advice has morphed many times and even become a successful BLOG. I like to check back to basics regularly and update new, again the use of that word, developments in research and discoveries.

One of the most interesting developments to me has been the fact that now it seems that water is not the best hydrator and in fact almost anything that is non-caffeine and not alcohol liquid can serve that purpose. The best now has been found to be milk. This was of great interest to me. It is not only milk, but juices, power drinks and so on. Also the “drink when you are thirsty” idea has been debunked too. Waiting until you actually thirst can lead to dizziness, nausea and kidney issues. so drink up and do it regularly.  Foods have also been looked at in different ways. The lowly breakfast cereal is now a vitamin fortified good heakthy breakfast. Read the labels. Some cereals have 100% or your iron requirements and many other vitamins and minerals. Yes, they are fortified, but hey, so is a vitamin pill. I would rather eat it.  Add milk and fruit and have a nice easy breakfast. Oh, and don’t forget the big one-overnight oats. See the BLOG, for quick, easy, portable, recipes that are easy to customize.

Another new one? Sure-It used to be that we could wrap anything a tortilla and that is still good, of course, but how about wrapping anything in a piece of Naan Bread just for a new twist? Yummy!  Exercise has also changed somewhat. I am at a gym that is associated with a re-hab unit of a hospital and I have, for the first time in my life, hired a personal trainer. Boy, have I learned a lot. It is not just about machines and the tread mill. Walking has changed too. the words brisk, striding, and quick step have been but out there and you now need to move your arms too. Fitbits have been greatly improved and come down in price and I find mine a really useful tool. I check it and record my steps every day. It is a fun challenge.

New to me is the concept of lifting weights. I had no idea, but fat to muscle ratio is now a huge factor in overall health and body strength. Your weight is made up of both fat and muscle, obviously, but muscle burns more calories much faster than fat.  The way to build muscle it to lift weights. I started with five ponds-don’t laugh-and I I am up to double now. I honestly feel better and have more stamina too! My final challenge, and I pass it on to you, is to get off your butt and go outside. For me it has been quite a hard indoor winter and I have had enough of it. I want to go outside. Yes, nature is calling me. I plan to walk on the beach with a mask and coat if necessary. My dog is wondering when we are going to go for an actual outing, not just up the block.

Trees and flowers and sunshine are there for all of us to enjoy. Outdoor beauty belongs to all of us. How lucky are we??? Get out into it. If you don’t want to walk, run or even shlep along, sit on your front porch and read a book. Breathe the air. Look at the sky. Pull a weed….you get the idea, I am sure.  BTW-did I mention fresh foods and perhaps Farmer’s Markets? Yes, this is all a part of spring too. Also,  I will never forget one year I heard David Lauderdale speak at our church and he happened to mention that people should watch road signs and the paper for daffodil picking. I did and guess what-there are daffodil farms around Hilton Head and Bluffton that open and let you actually wander around in the fields and pick daffodils to your heart’s content. Not free, of course, but pretty close to it. Give that a try. What a unique experience. have a great Spring, Love, Judith