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.

January PINK Article

“Is 2021 going to be the year of substitutions? No, No, No, A Thousand Times NO!” The Uphill Skater

My first job when I went back to work after I stayed at home with my children was as a substitute teacher. I absolutely hated it. It was the worst thing I had ever done. There are some things that you just can’t substitute and teachers are one of them. Either I fell in love with the class and had to leave right away or or I did not click with the class and the teacher was out weeks longer than expected. I couldn’t win. I feel the same way about many things that we call substitutes. It is not the real thing and that is a fact. Sometimes it works, but most of the time it just doesn’t.

In these days of Covid restrictions we are substituting going out to the movies with staying home watching Netflix. I guess we have to do this, but let’s take a shower first and get dressed. We should not be sitting in our jammies with popcorn butter dripping all over the blanket we are wrapped in and our house a mess. Take out and delivery are also big, and I get it that is necessary but again, are we eating out of the carton or pizza box in a sweat suit with bare feet and unwashed hair? And speaking of our living space, Covid experts say that dust and germs and bacteria go hand in hand. Clean your house and put up some decor. Have a life!

Pay It Forward. I have already started paying it forward in a big way, but believe me it is not easy. I have paid for the groceries of the lady behind me in line, bought coffee for the next person in the McDonalds drive through, and given a parking space that was clearly mine to a pushy guy in an SUV. Not easy, but boy, it actually evoked quite a feel good rush. I plan to continue to do this. Obviously I can’t buy everybody’s groceries on a long term basis, but I can always say a kind word, give a compliment, do a favor, call someone, and so on. I know you understand this, so get started yourself. Honestly, I can’t tell you what a moral booster this is.

Next, Let’s trade in grumpy for kind just like you would trade in that old car or a better new one. Use some emotional substitutions. How can that work? Well, how about this: smile when you really don’t feel like it. Try to interact with others in a positive way by stopping the negative talk that is so prevalent these days. Don’t watch things on TV that make you mad unless you are prepared to do something about it. (My husband saw something on the news the other day that made him furious and he started to tell me about in a furious way. No, No, No! I am not having it. I told him to write a letter and I’ll be darned if he didn’t do it. We both felt better for days!)

Being downhearted is a bummer. Some days we can’t help it, but we can head it off at the pass if we have a plan. Then, on those days, we can have a quick “go to” happy place. Have a book of happy quotes, keep a favorite old movie handy, know where to go for a lovely walk, give your dog a bath, play some music and just for fun, dance to it. I can’t believe I am saying this, but eat something. Often, nothing else will do. Don’t substitute a piece of celery for a brownie either. It doesn’t work like that and we all know it.

Finally, even in these times, do not substitute mediocre for great. Keep your chins up, all of them! Be your best self. Inside all of us is a truly kind and lovely person which is our true core self. If that is not your case, fake it and feel your spirit soften. We all need to be good to each other every chance we get. You can’t substitute that. Love, Judith

A Fridge With BIG Color

The BIG new thing now is to open your fridge door and see COLOR! We have all known about leafy greens and fresh fruits, but let’s go even a step further. Pictures of blueberries, colorful labels, a red, green, orange, purple veggie drawer, fruits that are fresh and bright-red apples and strawberries, blue blueberries, Halo oranges, bananas, and so on. You get the idea. Think of a bouquet of flowers in your fridge-Yum, Yum!

Coffee, Anyone?

Ok, I JUST read the latest research on coffee in the medical section of Readers Digest. The science on coffee has been all over the place, and now the latest thinking is that there are many health benefits to coffee. Recommended intake-No more than 3 cups. If you are a big coffee drinker, think about it and check out some of the research and maybe consider a cup of decaf instead of that fourth cup.

$$Free advice is worth what you pay for it$$

I know that free advice is worth what you pay for it, but I am going to give you some anyway. We all do, right? So, here goes.

We are in different and difficult times. Don’t let it beat you. Get up, take a shower, and get dressed. Yes, just do it. This is not hard. I will also add that you can/should/might want to have a cup of coffee or tea and eat some breakfast. Read the paper or some on line news. Good or bad, the news is there and it is good to be informed.

I could go on and on about taking each day as it is given to us, but for now just do it-get up, take a shower, get dressed and get on with it!!

Healthy Seniors

Yes! We are living longer. OOPS-what about quality of life??? Just living longer is NO FUN. The trick is to also be living better. Here are a couple of tips to help Seniors enjoy those “Golden Years.”

Live each moment. Being “Mindful” is a new buzz word but all it actually means is to be where you are and to make the best of it. Protect these times. Slow down and enjoy the walk. Send an email to a grandchild and read and respond to your answer. Look out the window at the day God has given you. Count your blessings starting with the smallest one.

Keep Moving! Walk, jog, stretch, do a video and on and on. I walk my dog every day and he now makes me do it. There sitting at the door with that look on his face, I just can’t say no-and I shouldn’t either. I know that DVD’s are sort of a thing of the past, but I just bought a wonderful stretch DVD with Ann Smith called “Stretching For Seniors” that is a 10 minute exercise in relaxing postures. What a lovely way to wake up in the morning. Do anything. BTW, I go to a gym three days a week!

Have check-ups. I know it is a pain in the behind to go to the Dr. but do it anyway. Even if you do not feel sick, have regular check-ups including blood work. Monitor any on-going conditions, check in with not only your Dr. but your spouse, loved ones, and anybody you interact with regularly. they may notice changes or symptoms you have missed about yourself. Watch weight gain too.

Finally, be sure to sleep. We all know about the eight hours but I recently also read that the strategy of making up sleep is very wrong. If you have a few late nights, don’t go to bed early to try to catch up on sleep. Better idea-take a short nap during the day. Sleep is related to so many health issues that I won’t even go in to it here. Suffice it to say, seven to eight hours is the optimum-Believe it.

So enough preaching. Read this and just think about it for five minutes! The words “Golden Years” should mean YOU!

Seen On A Tee-Shirt

Lately, I have seen soooo many Tee-Shirts with hilarious sayings that I have decided to share. What brought this on? Well, you may ask. This morning my husband and I started to look through one of those catalogues that come in the mail and they had a Tee-Shirt section that had us both in stitches. OK, so we were pretty hard up for a laugh-and who isn’t these days- but honestly, I will share a couple of them and then ask YOU to also share those you think are funny and we will see where we go with this. Thanks in advance for sharing.

Judith

Skating Uphill

Judith Lawrenson, PINK Magazine, November 2020

 “Okay, so imagine in your mind the words Hunker Down and Rest. Got it? Now imagine those words with a big red line drawn through them!”      The Uphill Skater  As many of you know and I am sure are sick of hearing about, I subscribe to several different magazines. Well, this month and last month almost all of them  are advising what I call shutting down. I mean I am reading this from my very special favorite people Joanna Gaines and Dr. Oz, for heaven’s sake! Be quiet, snug up, curl up by a fire, and on and on. How absolutely depressing. If you think you are going to get that kind of advise here, think again. I am advocating just the opposite.  I love December and Christmas and all that goes with it and I intend to keep as much of it as I can. We had planned a gathering for a group of people at the thrift Shop where we volunteer, but it got canceled. We had two other parties canceled to. Just so you know, I am putting up all of the decorations I had planned to put out anyway. We were the first people in the neighborhood to have our lights up and the day after Thanksgiving we went out and got our tree. BTW, I am wearing my Santa hat instead of one of those grey knit things too. I need to keep my ears warm and this works just fine, thank you very much.  Also, presents are way to special not to do. and speaking of presents, why not try  ETSY this year? Many marginal crafts people and single moms have made ETSY  have made this site fascinating. One of a kind is a great shopping motto this year and on-line shops are a great way to go. Perhaps even better are all of the local shopping locations. We have so many lovely shops that also feature one of a kind items.  Local shop also have on-line shops and isn’t it fun to get stuff in the mail? Go out and have a look around. (Wear your mask, of course)  If you are home, DO NOT sit in front of the TV! I love to cook and I also really like to try new things. On my blog (www.skatinguphill.com) I have one month of recipes and many four ingredient recipes and lots of good food tips. Give it a try and while you are at it, try some other blogs of better yet, try doing a blog yourself. If you are not in to that sort of thing, try keeping a journal. I find this gets me up and going just so I do not look boring to myself in my journal. Who wants to read that blank page of last Tuesday when I sat and did nothing all day??  Some people “food journal” and I have tried this several times and had limited success but others swear by it and not only journal their food but add in recipes that have worked. A friend of mine from California actually self-published her food/recipe journal and reuses it and gives copies as gifts. She had a ball doing this. So, maybe try something like this or another new kind of hobby. Learn to knit, crochet, block print, do your own nails, buy a DIY magazine and build something, and on and on. Remember also that reading a good book or better still a group of books in a series is not watching TV. Just as a recommendation, try the Laura Child’s Tea Room mysteries. They are set in Charleston and there are many of them and they are pretty good stories in addition to having all of the settings and landmarks around Charleston. Send for the books (Amazon) don’t use Kindle just because it is fun to get something in the mail. and speaking of that, I am setting up a mail back and forth between my daughter in California and my little grandson here. He is in kindergarten and loves to get something in the mail and my daughter has no family close so she loves hearing from him too. We send something twice a week and she sends about the same.  I have two final suggestions that really work for me. I am into HGTV and decor so I love to do and re-do my stuff. You do not need to paint a wall or wall paper or anything major unless you want to, but just try some new ways to show off your old stuff. I enjoy doing this so much I surprise myself. I put cute settings on my kitchen table with different table cloths and dishes, I move vales of flowers, I put out different holiday stuff, I change pillows around and lots of other stuff. I keep my “house decorations” in a pantry in the kitchen and you would be surprised what you can do over and over again with mostly the same items. When I get tired of that my next favorite is grocery store flowers and plants. So, buy some flowers. buy a plant. Enjoy. Last but not least, I feel like I give this advice every month, but it is so worth repeating. Walk! It is free, healthy, social if you want it to be, a feel good rush, a way to get out of the house, good for your dog who will love you even more if you take him for a walk, and many other things I can’t think of right now. Don’t give up, don’t stay home, wear your mask, and keep your chins up. We are better than all of this!  Love, Judith  

Skating Uphill

By

Judith Lawrenson/Pink Magazine October, 2020

  Things change-Okay? Get Used To It!

    The Uphill skater I have been talking about emotional, physical, and mental health for quite a number of years now and you might think that those things would be pretty constant, wouldn’t you? I mean good eats are good eats, right? Also, if you are on the ball and can do a cross word puzzle you are pretty okay. If you don’t cry at the drop of a hat and you aren’t hoarding automatic weapons you should be pretty stable too, yes? Well, I guess not so much, you guys. First of all, food advice seems to change regularly with each book someone puts out or every time Dr. Oz appears on the cover of a magazine-and we all know from standing in line at the grocery how often we see him on the cover of whatever! Spinach used to be really great for you but oh, now it has too much acid. Oranges are all right, but watch the acid. An apple a day used to keep the Dr. away, but now it has to be an organic apple that was grown on a sustainable tree. I grew up on a farm and we ate eggs. Now yo can buy so many different kinds of “eggs” that it boggles the mind. Cage free, gently raised, vegan diet, vegetarian diet, more vitamins, and on and on. Honestly, and you know this, eggs range in price from 88 cents a dozen to over five dollars-who knew? I think not the chickens so much, but the chicken farmers maybe?? All of this and much more make writing a column about food quite a challenge. On the other hand, mental illness and things like depression have not changed at all, right? Well, wrong again. Behaviors that were once considered outlandish are somehow some kind of new normal. I know I am old-fashioned, but setting buildings and businesses on fire and pulling statues of George Washington over in parks seems a bit bizarre to me as a way to show displeasure with politics, but I guess that’s just because I don’t get it-I am also not quite sure what it is that I don’t get. At a different level though and not kidding around any more, mental illness and associated conditions have made great leaps and bounds. No longer is the subject taboo and not up for discussion. Depression is acknowledged as a real condition, not just being sad. New drugs have literally changed people’s lives for the better. We can talk about it now too. Autism, learning disabilities, and even abhorrent behaviors are dealt with in very open ways, thank God. Gender issues are also pretty open for discussion and differences of all types are much more tolerated Again, keeping up with all of this is quite a task. We used to say that when you felt downhearted you should take a shower, wash your hair, and clean the house. Go our and get a perm. Go to the movies. Bad advice for those who really do suffer from depression. Talk to someone yo trust and seek professional help is much better advice and shows a degree of caring that I hope we can all support.  We have talked about food and the many food changes and the multitude of mental health issues that have been readdressed and redefined based on the growth of scientific knowledge, so now let’s talk a bit about physical health. Either you are sick or you are well. Is that right. Well, yes and no. Leave it to me to give those really clear answers! Well, as we all know, health and health issues have changed drastically and I don’t mean Covid. I mean the multitude of advances in preventative medicine. To my mind, this is the real leap in medical advances. How do you prevent someone from getting something? No, no, not how do you treat an illness. I know that is also important, but what if you never had to be sick in the first place? Preventative medicine, yes and vaccines too, have saved countless lives and improved the quality of life for countless others. This all relates back as you can see. To eat well and keep your mind sharp and to keep yourself healthy is not a cure all, but but, it sure is close.  Obviously I am not a Doctor, but I read everything I can get my hands on and I’ll tell you what, keeping healthy is not all that hard. It is also not that expensive. First of all, walk. That is free. I have a cheap Walmart Fitbit and I do my 10,000 per day. Keep your weight within reason. That is the new thought by the way. Not to look at your scale regularly for just that right weight, but to be sure you can button your pants without lying down n the bed, your blood pressure is good, and eat well. I am not going to list all of the good foods this time. Maybe next month, but you already know that fudge is not on the list and lettuce is, right?  So my point is that while so many things change, there are constants. PINK has been an advocate for  woman’s rights for many years and continues to be so. Pink also follows trends and reports on women who are unique in their own way. Pink does not judge. People, not just women, need to do the same-keep up with information. Form your own opinions. Stand tall. Love, Judith 

Mindfulness

There seems lately to be a lot written about the term “Mindfulness.” I have read several pieces in Yoga journals, Prevention Magazine and even in Better Homes and Gardens. It makes me feel really deeply happy to see so many meaningful and well written articles about a method of relaxation and well being development that works, is free, and can really create a healthier lifestyle. As you know, this BLOG is titled “Skating Uphill” and sub-titled Living a Healthy Lifestyle and living mindfully is such a big part of that.

Oh, so what does Mindful mean? Well, I will elaborate more on this in future statements, but for all purposes in general, the word Mindful simply means that one lives in their moment. Do not dwell on the past for better or for worse, and do not worry about the future. Breathe, center and be right where you are.