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.

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.

Unmotivated!

Skating Uphill

By Judith Lawrenson

January Issue 2020

Is there such a word as “unmotivated?” I’m just wondering!

Last year, 2019, was very up and down for me. I do not mean just weight either. A week or so ago I was so unmotivated to look to the future that I took my 2019 resolution lists, yes, lists, and made the 1 into a 2 by putting a little curl on the top and made the 9 into a 0 by filling in the empty space up the side. Can you picture it? It now looks like I have made new resolutions on the 2020 totally unmodified lists. BTW I still have them shamelessly up on my fridge.

Well, times change, and something happened that actually got me motivated-Christmas! I love it and as soon as I went down to the basement to unpack my boxes, the world changed. I put up all of my stuff and loved it then went to California to see my daughter for a week, then came home and slowly over the period of a week, I put things away and had quite a good time doing it. I looked at everything, re-loved it, and saw it into its box. Strangely enough, that got me on the move. I checked out my old resolutions and still liked them so that was good. I figured I could just try it all again. I had stuff on the lists that were good resolutions: write letters, eat less white sugar, call my friends, etc. those are good things, right? So, I just kept them, and I am ultra-motivated to do them. You know what they say about the second time around, right?

Okay, that is one motivation done and I am really happy with that. Happiness means you have picked something good to be motivated about, you know. In fact, I believe that thinking about doing something that will make you happy is the best of all motivators. In truth, why would you not? So, let’s try to recall a happy time, or think about a new thing that we have seen or read about that perhaps is going to move the “happy bar.” I love to cook and take several cooking magazines and I am going to try to try something our of each one at least once a week. I do not think that sounds hard since I am always trying to think of something new to have. I always check for exotic ingredients first lest I get stuck in the middle or the recipe contains something expensive that the recipe needs ½ teaspoon of and I will never use it again. That criteria dealt with, sets give some new food a try. Motivation? Sure, eating pleasure and perhaps even compliments. I love compliments and consider them to be right up there with my top motivators.

This next one is one of those “If you can afford it” ideas. How about a little trip? It is pretty cold and ugly here in January so I was thinking a small cruise? You can actually go on week-end cruises for a smaller price than you would think. If you do not like to cruise, how about just a getaway? Sometimes one night in a hotel with a pool and spa can do wonders for your outlook. Other outlook improvers that can push that motivation button are very simple. Shop a little. I do not mean for clothing, I mean for a feel good thing. Giving of yourself can bring not just a good feeling, but actual JOY! Help someone, pet a dog, or better yet adopt one, do anything that makes you feel that you have given yourself a forward push and that it felt so good you want to do it again.

My greatest motivator is a very selfish one. I am in to my very own personal health and wellbeing.  I feel sometimes that I am getting pretty old and those numbers are looking me stone cold in the eye. On the other hand, I don’t feel that I am done yet if you get what I mean. I can only go on to do more of the things that I want to do if I am fit and well enough to do them. I make myself go to the Dr. and get that flu shot and mammogram and talk about preventative medicine. I exercise and watch my weight. Perhaps that is my biggest battle, but not being able to breathe in my jeans for a whole day or having to lie on my back to zip up a pair of pants can motivate the hell out of both you and me!

Motivation is a funny, and very personal emotion. Sometimes it lasts and sometimes not, but if it is something that becomes a part of your life and value system, your original effort will be well worth it-I promise!

Be The Change

Skating Uphill
By
Judith Lawrenson
December Issue
2019

You know that the whole quote is “Be the change you want to see in the world,” which actually makes it MUCH harder!

The Uphill Skater

Honestly, Elizabeth Millen our darling editor/publisher comes up with the best themes for PINK. What a challenge to actually bring home something as broad yet right to the point as one person making a change in the world and, whoa, having that person perhaps be YOU!!!

I am just kidding-I can think of many ways we can make meaningful changes in our surroundings and if we look at the small view of say writing a check to an organization even that has its place in betterment. As you sit and read this article, look at yourself-actually see yourself. Are you thinking that there is not much just little you can do to make a dent in the big wide world? Think again.

Do you have an extra pocket book or two floating around your closet? Go down to the Dollar Store or Wal-Mart and buy some feminine hygiene items, a wash cloth, a pair of socks, some lipstick, a pair of underpants and a t-shirt, and stuff like that. Add a $5 certificate for a fast food restaurant and give it to a homeless woman. If you can’t find one, go to your local shelter or better yet, go to a local church that has meals for the homeless. Believe me, you will be shocked at how easy it is to find a homeless woman and statistically, she will be over 50. Do you believe that. It makes you want to cry, doesn’t it?
PS-Go in person!

Next, I am asking you to “stand your ground.” You have opinions and emotions and strong feelings about many things. Examine those feelings and think carefully what threatens your convictions to those thoughts and ideas. Fight them. Think your own thoughts and act on them. Don’t let others deter you from your ideals. Is something happening in your job or life to you or someone else you care about? Do you see a big injustice or better yet, a little one? Step up. Little hurts and unfair acts are only little to the person who is not involved in it. Remember that.

See a need and fill it. Man, this is an easy one. I have a dear friend who was a victim of sexual assault when she was young. She is African American. She was moved by an article she read in her newspaper about a rape victim who was a visitor to her town and knew no one. My friend went to the hospital to see her and was denied admittance because she had no training to handle this type of situation. Give up? Not on your life. She went to the Rape Crisis Center and took the three month training course and began to advocate in her local hospital and began to visit victims. This is the heart part of this story: In almost every instance the victim was Black. In every instance she and the victim were the only African Americans in the room. Nurses, doctors, even aids and pastors were white as snow. Just imagine how a victim of abuse would feel seeing not only a sister, but finding out that her visitor was a real sister not just in color, but so much more importantly, in life experiences. See a need and fill it.

My favorite #Be the Change is the easiest and potentially the most fun. Tutor or mentor a child. Oh, poor you. You don’t need a child who may need you-Are you kidding me??? Go to your local Boys and Girls Club. Go to your local elementary School. Ask at the library. Ask a Sunday School teacher. Come on, no excuses on this one. Children who need academic help, a warm coat, a backpack of food to take home over the weekend, a friend and on and on. I go into my grandson’s Pre-K classroom once a week and it was easy to spot the little girl who needed help. Now when I go to read I spend 15 minutes with her afterward. It has been so good for me-never mind good for her, ladies. When you help someone on a face to face basis, it is just as good for you as it is for the child you are
helping.

Finally, do a thing that you know needs to be done. I can’t tell you what it is. Maybe something in a neighbor’s yard. Maybe a bag of food on a doorstep. Maybe a coat for a child you see in the classroom where you volunteer. Maybe something as simple as a phone call to a shut-in. If you think that things like this don’t change the world, you are dead wrong. These, in fact, are the only things that are going to change the world. In the process and as an unforeseen side effect, you will be changed too. Trust me on this!

Your Thoughts

Can your thoughts and meditations and simple ruminations actually effect your overall health? Yes, and in pretty dramatic ways. “Prevention Magazine” one of my favorite sources for health news and recent updates on clinical studies reveals how seriously bad thoughts, bad Karma, and negative words can draw down your supply of good feelings.

Upbeat people live longer, are healthier, have better blood pressure readings, fewer chronic ailments and on and on. I found this to be highly revealing and took it to heart simply from people I know and how they live their lives. The articles are in this month’s issue of “PREVENTION MAGAZINE.” I highly recommend you give it a read!

Skating Uphill-May Edition “Be Good To Yourself!”

 

May is now officially declared “Be Good To Yourself Month!”

Yes, I love to change the designation of months. I think some of them are silly anyway. I mean who really knows or cares if it is Dairy Month if they don’t live in Wisconsin? Also, I get that April Showers Bring May Flowers and all of that, but I honestly think we can do better.  So now, we are going to have a special month absolutely dedicated to ourselves. That may or may not sound a bit selfish to you. I am thinking not. Think about how little you actually do just for you-not because you need to or not because you have to or not because someone else wants you too or any other reasons why we give to others first. Just for this month, try some fun experiment’s for you and you alone-OK?

The first one will be the hardest-it was for me anyway. I have regained five pounds from my goal weight success story of last month. I know a couple of others in the same boat and I don’ necessarily mean YOU. So, let’s just simply forgive ourselves and move on. Gasp! Idi I just say that? What I really meant was NOT to give up and go back to being a slacker, even though that has a lot of appeal for me. What I meant was to kind of let it go. I stopped and looked at why this weight situation was happening to me and it was because I had gone off of several of the things that were working for me.

I usually have the same healthy breakfast and I somehow lost that habit between Easter Brunch and chocolate eggs. I lost my way in a forest of PEEPS. So now back to 80 calorie yogurt with two teaspoons of mixed nuts and a cup of mixed fresh fruit. I really like that and it is quite filling. I am back to basics with no sacrifice and no regrets. Do little fixes and check out results. Nothing dramatic, all right?

Buy a good book. I love murder mysteries wet in cool places. I just finished a series of books set in the time of Richard the Third and have now started reading a series of murders set in the 1920’s about a down and out aristocrat who goes to London to try to find a job with only a finishing school diploma for a reference and she gets caught up in murders in the best of families at lovely manor houses and, of course, she solves the mystery and keeps the family names from the dreaded scandal that was so much the kiss of death in those days. Good fun and I really love things set in totally different times. It adds to the fun of a good read. Try it.

I love a massage or a spa day, but that can get expensive. Instead, I treat myself to a new personal item-make-up, face moisturizer, perfume, a really good smelling shampoo, a bottle of nail polish in a flashy shade, lunch out, or my personal favorite: flowers. I have very low standards when it comes to flowers because it is hard to find flowers that I do not love. Grocery store flowers are just fine with me. I have some pretty vases and I love to play with arrangements. Plants are fun too and designers will tell you for lots of $$$ that plants soften an environment beautifully.

Finally, for absolutely no money at all, take the afternoon off and watch a movie. Take a warm bath, wash your hair, rub lotion on your feet and put on socks, smear cream all over your lovely self, and just fade out for a couple of hours. Book it. Make an appointment with YOU. I did this a couple of days ago and binge watched an old TV series on Netflix and actually nodded off. I have not had an afternoon nap in I can’t remember how long. I woke up feeling smooth and lovely next to my flowers and yogurt mixed with a bit of honey and gave myself a no guilt pedicure. How sinful-NOT!

Remember, May is now Be Kind To Yourself Month and I honestly think you know what I mean. I bet you could pick three things you would love to do for yourself right this minute, couldn’t you?  Love, Judith

 

PS-As you know, I read a lot and some of the new things food wise on the pipeline have to do with oil. We knot that olive oil and other natural oils can be ultra-healthy, but have you tried a tuna salad with your own recipe but with olive oil instead of mayo? Also, pasta salad with olive oil instead of mayo is way healthy. Finally, I have recently come across several recipes using avocado oil. I am a huge avocado fan being originally from California so I was happy to find spray avocado oil at my grocery store. For more food tips check out www.skatinguphill.com.  See you next month

Skating UPHILL-June Article (2019)

 

 

                                           Keep It Fresh!!

No! Don’t you dare let the beauty and fresh start inspiration of Spring turn in to the “Dog Days” of Summer, Y’All!       The Uphill Skater

Keeping it fresh is a huge challenge. I don’t just mean those of us who like to lay out in the sun and drink wine or have chips and a soda for lunch either. I mean ME! I have been writing this column for quite a while and I always try to bring something new to the table. No pun intended ladies, because I don’t mean just food either. In fact I subscribe to five different magazines just to keep current and to try to keep you current as well. Getting in a rut is all too simple because the “rut” things we do are feel good stuff. Of course, right, right? Otherwise why would we keep doing them?

This month I have several anti-RUT suggestions that are cheap and easy-by the way, those are my favorite two adjectives for things in life. Oh, is that a rut-I think yes. Sigh. That is my first suggestion, by the way-stick to get out of the rut things that suit your lifestyle. Don’t go too far out of the box, or you will never stay there. Cheap and easy suggestion number one is to do more of what you are doing, but change it up a bit. I volunteer at t thrift shop and I have been doing the ladies clothing department. I recently asked to do books for a while and be trained on the cash register. Who knew-I like this way better and plan to stick to it. Cost- 0000! Satisfaction and new fun-$$$$$!

Also cheap and easy is to try a new food. I am into healthy stuff for the most part and I have done roasted veggies for a long time. Recently I added turnips and Brussel sprouts to the sheet pan and it is a huge improvement. There are tons of new kinds of tea to try and I got a big box from my daughter from Mother’s Day and it has been fun. She also included honey stix which are just great. Kale and broccolini are pretty new to me if perhaps not to you but I love both of them. Finally, remember now that the summer season is here to keep it fresh at your local Farmer’s Market.

Where I live there are many excellent Farmer’s Markets and I have been going for quite a few years, but this year my something new out of the rut has been pick your own. Just now it is pick your own strawberries, but I also this year I have picked my own daffodils and that has been fun. I am soon going to take my grandson out to pick our own blueberries and then we will pick grapes and apples. We have also been on jaunts to a local farm to see baby goats and calves. How lovely this has been.

Let’s now spend a little money. I know I said cheap and easy, so if you have not done so already, why not try a thrift shop. Even if you do not think this is up your alley, just try it once for me. I recently scored a Talbots brand new blouse for $1.50 and I put it in the wash and it came out looking like brand new. I buy most of my grandson’s T-shirts for .50 because they either get super dirty or ripped or simply outgrown so quickly it does not pay to spend more. I also buy books, many books, for just a dollar. Used children’s books are a feature at all thrift stores and many will exchange your old one for one you have not read to whoever you read to and then you can keep up the process. Thrift store shopping can be a hoot. You literally never know what you will find.

Finally, let’s look at either busting out a new hobby or helping your old hobby group try a new whatever. I love to play bridge, but my husband and I have moved up from party bridge to a type of duplicate bridge that is more complicated and difficult. Not only have we enjoyed this, but we have made some very interesting new friends. Our neighbors recently invited us over to play canasta and we said yes. Drawback: I don’t play canasta. I quickly learned on line. OK, it is not that hard, but I did actually learn something new and It is quite a lot of fun. So, my tip is to branch out. Bring a new person to book club. Read a type of book you have never read before. Serve a completely different type of snack or wine. See-cheap and easy.

One more thing: if you have never gone to a blog, try going to www.skatinguphill.com. It has new recipes, sayings, shared thoughts, and lots of other stuff. When you try it, leave something of your own like a comment, recipe, profound thought, and so on. You get the idea. Do it for something completely different.

Yes, same old, same old, I will see you next month. Don’t stop reading Skating Uphill. We are not going to get THAT radical!  Love, Judith

Five Ways To Save Big $$$ At The Grocery Store!

I love to grocery shop and often do it just for a field trip to look for information for an article. I am a pescatarian and my husband eats anything and everything so I shop widely at several different stores and Farmer’s Markets. Here are a few really good tips to shop well and economically.

 

  1. Always check out the newspapers for grocery store ads and shop those specials but only as they fit in to your meal plans. Do not buy something just because it is on sale or go into a store to buy a special and come out with a ton of other overpriced stuff!
  2. Go to the back of the store and check out the clearances. If items are not too near the due date and they fit in to your food plans for the week, load up. Also check out “day olds” in the bakery.
  3. Don’t buy already chopped up things unless you really need to time wise . things that are cut up go off much more quickly than whole products. Particularly things like chopped salads go off very quickly compared to head lettuce and whole packages of carrots and celery. Bagged broccoli and celery and cauliflower are also much more costly than buying unwrapped . Don’t buy too much fresh in bulk. You always think you will eat it all, but seldom do.
  4. Buy store brands and stock up when they go on sale. Buy things that last a while or that you can freeze when they are a store brand special and you will really save big. Personally I recommend the Walmart “Great Value” brand. Just compare some time when you are out shopping. Store brands are generally placed near name brands and sometimes the price difference is quite shocking.
  5. Shop in bulk whenever you can. Check out what you use a lot, a particular cereal brain or type for example, and buy a bunch when it is on sale. Watch due dates, but in general this is a good $$$ saver. I buy pasta this way and canned goods too!

I know a coupon shopper who saves tons and loves to do it almost as a hobby. I don’t seem to be able to make that work, but obviously millions do. Try it?

Groceries expenses can be kept in line with very little trouble if you follow these tips. If you have others, please share n the comment page.

Pescatarian Life!

Yes, Pescatarian Life is easier than veggie or vegan. The addition is fish and shellfish. Just look at some of the fabulous stuff WE can eat!!

                                                          FRUITS

Apples, bananas, blue berries, cantaloupe, all varieties of oranges, pears, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, all melons, peaches, grapefruit, persimmons, kiwi, lemons, raisins, pineapple, and many others I have forgotten!

                                                          Vegetables

Artichoke, broccoli, Kale, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, cauliflower, carrots, celery, spinach, avocados, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes ,lima beans, cucumber, zucchini, mushrooms, and many others have forgotten

                                                               Dairy

Milk-all types: soy, almond, Fairlife, Lactose free, etc., Cheeses and the variety is delicious and virtually endless, any and all types of ice creams and sorbets, cottage cheese with any and all of the additives (I like pineapple), my mainstay, yogurt and I use any and all types including soy yogurt, cream cheese, particularly on a bagel, and many others I have forgotten!

                                                              Fish and Shellfish

I could go on and on here, but I will mention my favorites: salmon prepared any and all ways including salad, patties, croquettes, and so on. Same for tuna. All fish is good. All shellfish is good too, but calamari is the highest in cholesterol remember.

So, in conclusion, remember with so much stuff out there to eat, who wants a candy bar??  Another mainstay for me is oatmeal by the way. I also eat quite a lot of Frosted Min-iWheats. If you read the label, it has most of your daily requirements when you add a half of a banana, a few blueberries, and some Fairlife milk. PS-Don’t forget to add a bit of protein powder to your smoothie!!

                                                           Eat Well-Eat Healthy!

 

Skating Uphill

By

Judith Lawrenson

March Issue

“Combining a healthy lifestyle feature with a discussion of women who give back? Piece of cake, my friends!”   The Uphill Skater

 

I go to the dentist. You go to the dentist. Yes, like it or not, we all go to the dentist. Since we all must do it, let’s discuss the benefits of good oral hygiene as it relates to being in a totally healthy good zone. We have talked here in this column about everything from sex to heartburn, to ingrown toenails, so now it is the time, dear ladies, to talk about teeth. I know it is boring-no pun intended- but as I researched the topic for this article, I found out tons of things I did not know.

We all get that you should brush twice a day, right? But, did you know that it is not necessarily a good thing to overbrush? I did not even know what “overbrush” meant until my son was told had had receding gums and had to have tissue grafts to correct the situation. It was expensive, painful and took weeks to heal. So, twice a day with a soft brush, floss, and rinse with a mouth wash.

Flossing is old hat. Everybody’s dentist tells them to flow and I for one almost never do it. I save myself with two relatively new procedures. I have a waterpik. It has a little round soft brush on the end, and I use that instead of the pointed squirty thing. The other thing is a mouth rinse and my dentist tells me that this has proven more and more to be of great value in a program of good oral hygiene. I rinse regularly. It is easy and I like easy. Sorry if this is too personal, ladies, but that’s the facts of the matter.  My dentist recommended Listerine in any flavor. This is not a commercial. As you know Skating Uphill does not do commercials, but I will just say that is what was recommended.

Brushing and rinsing are both good for lots of things as we know. One of the important offshoots of poor dental hygiene is bad breath. Ick, not that! Yes, haven’t you ever sat next to someone or worse yet, been stuck with someone with that awful breath? Well, often bad breath can be a sign of something worse than not brushing your teeth. Decay, gum infection, and even prediabetes can be causes of bad breath. Did you know that poor dental care can even cause poor lung function? Wow!

What else can we do to complete a healthy picture. Well, I hate to go on and on, but pretty much all dentists will tell you two things: quit smoking and cut back seriously on sugared drinks. We do not need another lecture on smoking, obviously, but sugared drinks are a real culprit too. The sweet liquid not only adds empty calories to your diet, but sloshes around your whole mouth and throat and remains on your teeth for hours after consumed unless you brush immediately. No Bueno!!

All those things having been said, and on a bit of a different subject, did you know that there are more women dentists than men. My dental practice is a mother and daughter office. I know what you are thinking, one is a dentist and the other is the hygienist. Wrong. Both are dentists and do implants, retainers, and some oral surgery as well. I love these ladies. The mom is a raw-feed vegan and the daughter is a Southern cook with a capital “S.” I am a vegetarian who eats fish, so we go round and round. The mom was a pioneer in many areas of dental practice and partners with several other offices for a variety of services. She is about seventy and still going really strong, I might add.

Being a woman dentist may not seem earth shattering or world changing to some, but these two women are out to make the world a better place. Both have volunteered in foreign mission, do gratis work for indigent patients, and mentor other young women. We each do what we can for the sisterhood I hope, and try to not only do good for others, but to support each other as achievers, movers, and shakers.  Love, Judith

 

SIDEBAR-Visit www.skatinguphill.com  blog for new recipes, daily thoughts, and décor ideas. Also find reprints of PINK articles shared comments. Blogging is fun and easy. Look at this blog and maybe you will want to try it yourself!