Children’s Health Tips – Advice on How to Keep Your Kids Healthy

Todays children are becoming more and more unhealthy, statistics show that the problem is reaching epidemic proportions. Childhood obesity is costing governments billions and the price on the childrens health and mental state is even higher. It is the duty of all parents to know how to keep their kids healthy.

Most modern parents are hard working busy people who just don’t have the time to cook different, freshly prepared meals every single night for their family. With the cost of living rising constantly, parents are finding they have to work longer and longer hours just to pay the bills. As a result of this, children’s diet and health is neglected, and groceries are bought with two things in mind, price and convenience. Kids are left to entertain themselves, which usually means watching TV, playing video games or the internet.

Things have to change or we will find in the not so distant future, that our children will die before us. They need to get back to eating fresh fruit and vegetables, healthy proteins such as fish and chicken, and start getting more exercise and fresh air.

The best way to get your children to eat the healthy fruit and vegetables they need is through smoothies and shakes. You can create any recipe you need in minutes without spending a fortune, and you can even sneak the odd green vegetable in there and they will never know. Freezing them and creating ice pops is also a great fun way to get them to enjoy it. The possibilities are endless.

As for the exercise, well sometimes that will take some of your precious time, but your child’s health and future is more important than anything. Just nipping down to the local park to play soccer or a little bike ride is all it takes if done regularly. And sometimes, when you really just don’t have the time, you have to make your child go out and play. It may sound a little harsh, but it’s a whole lot better than playing video games for keeping them healthy and fit.

Interview for "Going Deeper" author Jean-Claude Koven

Today we are talking with Jean-Claude Koven, author of “Going Deeper – How to Make Sense of Your Life When Your Life Makes No Sense.” His book is an entertaining and inspirational leap into the deep spiritual truths facing metaphysical enthusiasts of the new millennium. Welcome to Reader Views.

Juanita: Thank you for joining us today Jean-Claude, we are very excited to hear more about your new book. Please elaborate on the storyline of “Going Deeper”.

Jean-Claude: Although my name appears on the cover of “Going Deeper”, I have to admit that I was not its author in the classical meaning of the word. After committing to writing the book, I jotted down some notes regarding the topics I thought the book would cover. If you ever heard the saying, “When man makes plans, God laughs,” this would be a perfect example. After a few days of doing it my way, another force took over and the real message of the book kicked into high gear.

I now realize the process is called a “download.” It is very similar to channeling except the channel (in this case, me) does not perceive himself to be separate from the source. I was in active dialogue with a higher intelligence that turned out to be a part of me. I have since discovered that all people have access to their own higher source of information if they learn how to make contact with it. Much of the material in the book subtly deals with this process.

Juanita: Is there any of you in the lead character, Larry?

Jean-Claude: From my perspective, no author is ever complete divorced from his characters. We each house many, many different subpersonalities that play a role in our lives. Some are primary and take the lead most of the time; others may be suppressed or dormant, but they still significantly influence our behavior. As the first few chapters took shape, I perceived Larry as distinctly separate from me. Then the similarities began to creep in. By the time I got half way through the book, we were intertwined like two strands of DNA. In fact, I was experiencing (in real life – if there is such a thing) everything Larry was experiencing in the story.

Juanita: What inspired you to write your book?

Jean-Claude: That’s like asking what inspired a pregnant woman to give birth. The book was growing and growing inside of me until I could no longer contain it and still cling to life.

Juanita: Why is “Going Deeper” such an important book at this time?

Jean-Claude: I’m not certain I’m the one to answer that question. In the end, “Going Deeper” was written primarily for me. It allowed me to define my boundaries and then move past them again and again. It was a journal of self exploration that provided answers about most of the nagging questions that have been pestering me since I was a small child. This is a very personal thing and, at the same time, it is the journey of every Lightworker (Wanderer) who has come to this planet to serve. We all have a burning desire to know who we really are, why we’re here, and above all, what we’re really meant to be doing.

Juanita: What sets “Going Deeper” apart from all the other metaphysical books on the shelves these days?

Jean-Claude: “Going Deeper” is not about self improvement. It is written for the tens of millions of highly evolved beings who came to Earth to be of service during this time of transition. It starts with the premise that we’re not on Earth to win at the power and admiration games that so many people play within the illusion. In other words, “Going Deeper” isn’t about how to become more popular or how to attract more money or romance into your life. Rather, it deals with awakening to the purpose for being here.

Juanita: Who are the “Wanderers” and how do you know if you are one of them?

Jean-Claude: Wanderers, also called Lightworkers, Starseeds, Planetary Servers, — and, I suspect a host of other names – are beings who lovingly incarnated on this planet to help midwife the shift into the next paradigm. Most of us feel alienated as if we knew deep down inside that Earth is not our real home. We tend to be strangers in a strange land and often suffer from allergies. Most of us feel far more comfortable with children, plants, and animals than we do with most adults. Wanderers find much of what people do with their own lives and to each other somewhat baffling. That said, there is almost no way to know with absolute certainty that you are a Wanderer. On the other hand, you would be absolutely sure if you weren’t one. I suspect that if you even wonder about it, there a very good chance you are one of the beings who came to serve.

Juanita: We certainly are living in turbulent times – environmental changes, war, economic instability, and declining morality etc. Why are we finding ourselves in such chaos?

Jean-Claude: Think of us as tectonic plates moving against each other. If we are willing to release tension then we simply glide into new positions. On the other hand, if we have an investment in existing beliefs and hold onto them for dear life, the resulting stickiness is like a sudden cracking of the plate resulting in a major earthquake or tsunami.

Our entire solar system is traversing a section of space called the photon belt that radiates out from the black hole (the central sun) at the center of our galaxy. This small sliver of our galaxy has an unusually dense field that is meant to trigger major shifts in every form of consciousness, whether sentient or inanimate. Two of the planets, Uranus and Neptune have recently undergone significant polar shifts. Our own magnetic poles are already drifting at an increasing rate and we appear to be next in line to experience such a correction.

This force is like a fast moving river buffeting each human being. Following the example of the tectonic plates, each of us has the choice to trust and allow the river to take us downstream or to resist. The more people fear, the tighter they hold onto their old beliefs.

Juanita: What are some of the old belief patterns that keep people trapped from evolving to the next level of consciousness?

Jean-Claude: Any belief ultimately turns out to be a trap. You can make a list a mile long describing every aspect of your life, your physical attributes, your likes and dislikes, your thoughts, your beliefs and you wouldn’t begin to depict who you really are. Each item on your list is little more than the way you choose to project yourself into the illusion. None of these can make the journey.

Although it appears otherwise, the identifier of religious belief is the largest single obstacle to ascension (the lightness of being required to explore the deeper regions of rabbit holes) not because people have them, but because they believe their particular way of seeing things is truth. If you examined how most people choose their religions, you’d discover that the vast majority never really did. The religions they claim as their own chose them, usually through the circumstance of birth or enculturation. It’s human nature to want to belong and feeling lost and abandoned at the edge of a vast galaxy in an incomprehensibly large universe, we understandably cry out for mommy or daddy to comfort us. Religions give us community and answers that, for many, make the challenges of our lives more bearable.

People are more easily attracted to a religious concept if it is claimed to be the word of a deity. Imagine the priesthood saying they thought their teaching might prove interesting for the congregation to explore for a while. Any good marketer knows there’s a better chance of filling the seats if people are made to believe that you have the only true path to God’s heavenly mansion and that unless you follow it, you (and the other heathen, nonbelievers) are doomed to an eternity of unspeakable damnation. Fear, it turns out, is an excellent motivator.

It has become politically correct to advocate embracing religious freedom. However, just because each person is theoretically free to worship according to his or her conscience, why would anyone one automatically assume this to be the case? In fact, it’s just the opposite. The vast majority of the 5,460,000 people (84% of the world’s population) who identify with a particular religion took precious little part in the decision to believe as they do. By in large, they joined their family or friends in a sense of community under the umbrella of God. What they know of their faith comes from scriptures interpreted by the clergy and other believers. Virtually everything about their beliefs are prepackaged, predigested, and complete. All they are required to do is follow as they are told and good things must surely come to them according to the will and mercy of their particular God.

Imagine going to the same ice cream store every day to have a vanilla cone because that was the only flavor you allowed yourself to eat. You choose it because that’s what your parents eat as did their parents, and their parents before them, as far back as anyone can remember. What if one day you suddenly realized that there were many choices available to you, each a different color, with strange, exotic names like Rocky Road or Pralines ‘n Cream? Over the years one chain, Baskin and Robbins, has tempted its customers with over 1,000 different flavors – in addition to vanilla.

But that’s small potatoes compared to the variety of spiritual choices available. At last count there were over 10,500 different religions and denominations on this planet. How can anyone, vaguely aware of a handful, continue to pretend that his or hers is the right way to worship while some (or all) of the others are fatally flawed?

In the end, most religions are systems of beliefs, requiring an element of faith to accept as truth concepts which cannot be empirically tested. And by its very nature, belief is a two-edged sword. On the one hand it serves to link man to some of the unexplainable mysteries of life; on the other, it easily leads one to judgment and constraints that stifle curiosity.

Juanita: Through Larry’s journey, plants and animals plays an integral part in the imparting of spiritual wisdoms. Talk to us about the importance of nature in this great mystery of awakening.

Jean-Claude: In the Oneness, everything is a part of the All That Is. Animals, plants, humans, voices from the higher realms are all aspects of God and the phrase, “God is all that is” is literally true. This is what R. Buckminster Fuller must have understood when he said, “God, to me, it seems, is a verb not a noun.” His words, when I first read them many years ago, lodged in my mind. But I didn’t get their full import until many years later, during my first visit to Findhorn, the renowned spiritual community in northeast Scotland. It was there, sitting in a circle with my fellow newbies, that the penny dropped. One young man in our group, Peter, suddenly exclaimed, “Oh, wow, I finally see it. It’s not that God is in all things; it’s that God is all things.”

His exclamation triggered two remarkable realizations for me. First, the obvious is obvious only to those who are sufficiently present to see it. The delivery of Peter’s life-changing epiphany had virtually no effect on the rest of the group. Our facilitator was so consumed by his orientation agenda that he missed the moment completely. Thanking Peter for his contribution, he simply asked the group if anyone else had anything to share. Second, what Peter said is literally true. In an instant, Bucky’s words became crystal clear. God is indeed a verb. He is not the creator. He is the ongoing unfoldment of creation itself. There is nothing that is not a part of this unfolding. Thus there can be nothing separate from God. God is infinite and infinity is One. From that moment, everything in my life began to change. It wasn’t immediate; it was rather like a giant oil tanker slowly making a U-turn. As if I were facing in a new direction, I looked at the world in a new way “How,” I asked myself, “do we dupe ourselves so completely? How come so few people see what Bucky and Peter see? How could I myself have been so blind?” When we perceive God as a noun, we envision him as the creator, the architect of, and therefore separate from, his creation. Identifying ourselves as part of that creation, we see ourselves not only separate from our source but separate from each other and all other manifest things as well. This is the fatally flawed axiom underlying virtually all of the world’s faiths. They may collectively call for love and peace, but the rampant divisiveness, greed, and competition that currently pervade human culture are the only inevitable outcomes of their separative philosophies.

Once I viewed God as a verb instead of a noun, my perception of life shifted. Everything around me, manifest or no, became God. There was only God. When someone spoke to me, it was with God’s voice; when I listened, it was with God’s heart. I invite you to try it. The small shift from noun to verb may well be the antidote to the forbidden fruit that banished us from Eden. As you begin to view God not as the creator but as the constantly changing dance of creation itself, you’ll discover him in everything you see – including yourself. The old you – that fish swimming blindly in search of water – fades away as you dissolve into the simple meaning of it all. Perhaps, when your vision finally clears, you will find yourself living in the Promised Land that so many others are still praying for.

Juanita: These are profound words of wisdom Jean-Claude. You mentioned earlier that when beginning the writing process for “Going Deeper”, you started jotting down notes, then the force of your higher intelligence took over and you began to “download” from this place, making “Going Deeper” more a journal of self-exploration. For your readers, that would like to access this part of themselves, what would you suggest? Of course, reading your book is serving as a catalyst of transformation for many people, but do you have any trigger questions or thoughts that would help them as they sit with paper and pen?

Jean-Claude: One component that always precedes manifestation is Intention. This factor, coupled with Attention are they only two attributes that any of us really can control. Together, they make up the cosmic formula: A + I = M [Attention plus Intention equals Manifestation]. Each of us makes contact with our higher selves each night in our dream state. The contact is also with us during each waking moment, but vibrates just out of the range of our conscious awareness; not unlike our inability to see infrared which has a frequency just below the visible spectrum. The first step in rekindling one’s awareness of the presence of the higher self is to set the intention to do so. Then, rekindle your curiosity and ask a meaningful question. By the term “meaningful question,” I mean try to stay in the larger, archetypal realm rather than in the lower spheres of the ego. It would be far more productive to ask, “Why are so many humans unable to find loving, fulfilling relationships?” then “Why can’t I attract my ideal mate?” The next step requires patience and discipline of Attention. In this part of the exercise, you consciously hold the question before you as you go through the day. Let everything you experience become filtered through the question you have asked. Once your higher self realizes that you have truly taken the first steps in the awakening process, it will move heaven and Earth to assist you. Be open to receive answers in the most unexpected and unlikely manners. Chance pieces of conversation, signposts, radio interviews, and much, much more are used by the universe (your higher self) to inform you.

In time you will cultivate your inner senses and can pick up these signals more readily. Don’t forget to monitor and journal your dreams. You will notice a profound shift in them once you’ve committed to this process.

Juanita: Who have been your primary spiritual teachers and influences?

Jean-Claude: As I indicated earlier, once I woke up to the realization that there is nothing in all of creation which is not God I began treating everything I see and everyone I meet as my divine teacher. I have been blessed along my journey to break bread with many masters, yet my most profound teachings often came in the most unexpected places at the most unexpected times. Many plants and animals were with me as part of the journey.

Juanita: What will “Going Deeper” teach us about personal power and our divine birthright?

Jean-Claude: Everything. Nothing. “Going Deeper” is a very unusual writing. I have read it seven times and each reading introduces concepts I hadn’t seen before and presents information in a novel way that didn’t appear the earlier times through the text. I am told that it contains energetic keys to unlock distant memories. Many people write me telling them that the book changed their lives and provided a degree of clarity they hadn’t been able to obtain before reading it. I can only speak to what “Going Deeper” has done for me: it has unleashed a never-ending torrent of awareness, reconnecting me to my own personal source, reaffirming my purpose on this planet.

Juanita: Do you think you will be writing another book in the future?

Jean-Claude: I have recently become a featured columnist for UPI’s (United Press International) Religion and Spirituality Forum which takes up a fair amount of my writing time. However, a second book tentatively entitled, Heart to Heart Relationships, is already in the works. It deals with what a man needs to do in order to make himself ready for a sacred relationship with the goddess that lies dormant in all women.

Juanita: Jean-Claude, please tell your readers how they may contact you or find out more about “Going Deeper” and your other endeavors.

Jean-Claude: The best place to keep up with my writings (both books and articles) is on the Prism House web site; In addition to being able to read the first two chapters of “Going Deeper”, visitors can sign up for my highly irregular newsletter and view all my UPI columns. My touring schedule is also on that web site and can be viewed by clicking on Author’s Calendar. “Going Deeper” is available at all major booksellers, metaphysical stores, and online book stores. If your readers wish to have a personally inscribed copy, they can order it on the Prism House web site.

Juanita: Well Jean-Claude, you have given us much to consider and ponder. Thank you for being so open with your thoughts today. Do you have anything else you’d like to share with your readers?

Jean-Claude: Lighten up. Too many of us fall into the trap of taking ourselves far too seriously. There’s a reason we call the process of wakening: enlightenment instead of enheaviment. Each morning, when you first awaken, don’t get out of bed until you can name at least ten things for which you are deeply and genuinely grateful. Find the light within you and use it as a blessing to smile upon at least three people during the course of each day. Act as if the entire fate of humanity depended on how you conducted your life during the next twenty four hours. Do these few things and all the rest will surely follow.

Dream Interpretation As an Independent Science – The Psychology of the Unconscious Mind

Dream interpretation according to the scientific method is an independent science based on the wisdom of the unconscious mind, who teaches you how your brain works, and how your behavior is affected by your animal instincts, besides showing you how to overcome all your absurd tendencies and evolve.

Dream interpretation is a surgical operation inside your psyche. You see your entire psychical content, going back to the past and analyzing all your traumas, misconceptions and mistakes.

With the guidance of the unconscious mind that produces your dreams, you are able to understand why you act the way you do, and how to correct your mistakes.

You can also learn everything about the psychical content of other people by interpreting their dreams with the scientific method.

This means that you don’t need any other doctor besides the unconscious mind, and that dream interpretation according to the scientific method is really a totally independent science.

The psychology of the unconscious mind, based on the development of your intelligence, is the best existent one. Besides healing your psyche and helping you become wiser, it transforms you into a doctor for other people too.

You can cure their psychical and even physical problems by translating their dreams for them and helping them solve their problems with this knowledge.

If you want to understand why someone shows absurd behavior you can have information about them in your own dreams. This possibility is a real salvation, since mentally ill patients usually refuse to relate their dreams.

Many times your dreams reveal to you things that you could never learn otherwise, and you are always able to confirm that everything is the way that the unconscious mind presents to you thanks to the future development of reality, when you see the results of the warnings you had, which prevented you from doing what would have bad consequences and saved you from trouble.

This is something that you are able to verify only when the future becomes the present time, because only then can you see all the dangers that you could not see before, and therefore understand how you were saved thanks to the unconscious’ wisdom.

This support is very valuable, and you can absolutely trust the wise and saintly unconscious mind, since you can be sure that the unconscious doesn’t have selfish intentions hidden behind his words, while this is what usually happens with human beings, because everyone in our world cares more for their own interests than for the truth, or for your salvation from despair.

While no human doctor would ever sacrifice all his time and give you constant support and information without payment, the wise unconscious mind keeps helping you forever with infinite dream messages that enlighten you and transform you into a real human being who is not a slave of his animal nature, but has a sensible, sensitive and balanced personality.

Teacher Tips: Improving Social Skills in ADHD Students

Thank you to all of our professional educators who dedicate themselves to our children! We know how difficult it can be working with ADHD children, so here are your teacher tips for the week, brought to you by the ADHD Information Library and This is a sampling of over 500 classroom interventions for your use at Here are some tips on Improving Social Skills: Provide a safe environment for the child. Make sure the child knows you are his friend and you are there to help him. Treat him with respect. Never belittle him in front of his peers. Both he and the other children know that he stands out, and if the teacher belittles the child, then the rest of the children will see that as permission from the teacher to belittle the child as well.

Students with attentional problems experience many difficulties in the social area, especially with peer relationships. They tend to experience great difficulty picking up other’s social cues, act impulsively, have limited self-awareness of their effect on others, display delayed role-taking ability, and over-personalize other’s actions as being criticism, and tend not to recognize positive feedback. They tend to play better with younger or older children when their roles are clearly defined. These students tend to repeat self-defeating social behavior patterns and not learn from experience. Conversationally, they may ramble and say embarrassing things to peers. Areas and time-periods with less structure and less supervision, such as the playground and class parties, can be especially problematic. Enlisting the support of peers in the classroom can greatly enhance your student’s self-esteem. Students with good social awareness and who like to be helpful can be paired with him. This pairing can take the form of being a “study buddy”, doing activities/projects, or playing on the playground. Cross-age tutoring with older or younger students can also have social benefits. Most successful pairing is done with adequate preparation of the paired student, planning meetings with the pair to set expectations, and with parental permission. Pairing expectations and time-commitments should be fairly limited in scope to increase the opportunity for success and lessen the constraints on the paired students. Students with attentional problems tend to do well in the cooperative group instructional format. Small student groupings of three to five members, in which the students “sink or   swim ” together to complete assignments/projects, encourage students to share organizational ideas and responsibilities, and gives an ideal setting for processing interpersonal skills on a regular basis. Small “play groups” of two to four students can help your student to develop more effective social skills. These groups are most effective if socially competent peers are willingly included in the group. The group should be focused on activities that stress interaction and cooperation. Board games, building projects, and sessions that promote frequent verbal interactions provide the greatest opportunity for learning appropriate social skills and controlling impulsivity. Your student would benefit most when the target social skills are identified and practiced with them prior to the activity and processed after the activity.

Many students lack friends to be with outside of the school-setting. It can be beneficial to strategize with your student and his parent on developing a “friendship plan” for the home setting. Sometimes the goal of establishing one special friendship is ambitious and sufficient. This could include steps of identifying friend possibilities that might be available/accepting, practice in making arrangements using the phone, planning an activity or sleep-over that is structured/predictable, and tips on how to maintain friendships over time. A subtle way for your student to learn social skills is through the use of guided observation of his peers on the playground. Accompany them on to the playground and point out the way other students initiate activities, cooperate in a game, respond to rejection, deal with being alone, etc. For many students, thirty minutes on the playground is beyond their capability to maintain peer relationships successfully. If necessary, break up the recess into ten minutes of activity, a ten minute check-in with the teacher/playground supervisor, then another ten minute activity period.

Restricting the area available for your student during recess can increase the contact with adult supervision and lessen the complexity of social decision-making. This can be done privately with your student prior to recess. Many students welcome this manner of simplifying their social interactions during this period of low structure. It is helpful to meet with your student prior to his lunchroom/playground period to review his plan for recess activity and with whom he will sit during lunch. Have him ask peers in advance of the recess block to do a certain activity with him. Process the activity with your student after recess and make suggestions for the following day. Hopefully these will help the ADHD students in your classroom to be more successful. You can learn more about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity disorder at the ADHD Information Library.

Weight Loss Camps For Teens

Weight-loss camps allow kids to succeed and lose weight by supporting them and boosting their self-esteem without the modern day distractions of television, video games or the computer. This allows campers to build friendships between each other and foster long term meaningful relationships with their piers. The camp supervisors ought to reinforce a positive image in a constructive environment for its campers

New Environment

At weight loss camp your teen will be in a new environment. One that encourages physical activity and healthy food choices. Your teen will find it easier to make healthy choices at weight loss camp simply because there are no temptations like fast food or entire days that may be spent in front of the television. This new environment helps your teen see how much fun it can be to be active and that “healthy” food can actually taste really good!

Support System

Another benefit of weight loss camp for your teen is that everyone else at the camp is going through the same experiences. This creates an immediate support group and campers will be able to help and learn from one another. Campers will realize they are not alone and that there are many other teens out there just like them. This realization alone is huge because many overweight teens feel like they are different from everyone else. Realizing that they aren’t is a huge step in the right direction.

New Lifestyle

At camp, teens will learn a completely new lifestyle that they can apply on their own once they return home. They will learn that their emotional and physical state is directly related to what food they put in their body and how much exercise they get. Teens realize they have control over their bodies and what goes in it.

No Teasing

Overweight teens are frequently taunted and teased, so much that it can cause some teens to suffer emotionally and mentally. At camp, however, there is no teasing or taunting because all the kids are in the same boat. This respite allows teens to create real friendships and not worry what others think of them. This assists in teens developing the self confidence they need to take control of their life and their weight.

New Activities

Teens at weight lose camp will be exposed to many new activities that will help them develop an interest in getting active. Rock climbing, nature trails, and even group sports like soccer and volleyball are played. This allows teens to engage in sports and learn how much fun they can be! Showing teens what they are capable of despite being overweight will create a new sense of self and teens will be eager to explore other activities they might not have dared before because they were “too fat.” This is a safe environment for overweight teens to explore everything the world has to offer and find physical activities they enjoy and can incorporate in their lives.

Learn To Snowboard This Winter And Have Fun

Are you a good skier? Why I am asking this is because experienced skiers are people who love being outside in the colder months. Skiers can spend hours on a hill and enjoy the brisk air. For them they may want to consider another sport that is just as invigorating and thrilling.

You can learn to snowboard without too much difficulty if you are already a brilliant skier. You may think that this sport is just for the younger set. It’s true that a lot of teenagers and young adults in their twenties are crazy about snowboarding, but you can learn to snowboard even in your forties or fifties. The main requirements are a spirit of adventure and a great sense of balance.

You can get the knowledge you need to be successful on the slopes through many different ways. The Internet is a never-ending source for how to information and this is true of snowboarding as well. You will get a good understanding of the basics required to be a good snowboarder even though you aren’t going to get the hands-on experience by reading a website. It’s a wise idea to peruse a few of these types of websites to get some basic pieces of advice before you take a real class.

In outdoor sports, most ski clubs now offer different types of lessons. Not only can you sign up for beginner ski lessons, but you can also learn to snowboard from a professional instructor. You may feel self-conscious about taking a class If you’re a bit more mature than the other students.

You can always learn to snowboard through private lessons if that’s the case. The extra personal instruction is worth the higher cost you will pay than the price of a traditional class.

It’s important to feel comfortable with the board itself before you actually attempt to snowboard. It would be a good idea to rent a board before purchasing one. This alternative will allow you to see if you feel at ease being on a board, as opposed to skis. It’s certainly similar, but there are also a lot of differences when a skier wants to learn to snowboard. If you’ve just rented a board, you’re not going to lose too much money if you decide that it’s not for you.

Try a simple run once you feel confident and you’re ready to give it a go. Many people want to impress everyone when they try a new sport, particularly those who view themselves as sports pros. When you are learning to snowboard, you do need to be wary of how steep or sophisticated a run you take on is, as injuries can be catastrophic. Slow but steady is definitely the safest way to go, and you can hit the killer hills in no time at all once you’ve mastered the bunny trail. So while learning this new sport be cautious and you will enjoy it for years to come.

Stretch Your Brain!

Once we stretch our brain to accommodate larger thinking, we can never shrink our brain back to smaller thinking. This is sort of like when our big brother or sister borrows our smaller shirt. They inevitably stretch our shirt out when they wear it and our shirt becomes too big for our smaller stature. Now our old shirt just looks and feels wrong on us. In these instances we tend to get mad at our bigger brother or sister when they stretch out our clothes, right?

Well, when our big sibling or maybe even our big mentor, who all have much bigger thinking than we do, stretches out our mind and helps create the brain capacity for us to think larger thoughts; well then, just like that shirt mentioned above, our brain too ends up feeling wrong for our old smaller stature. Smile this time though, because this time the stretching out is a good thing!

You see, we really want someone to help us stretch out our younger, crisper, barely worn mind. Once our mind has been stretched we have become truly blessed. Nobody can make us go back into our old smaller shell of smaller thinking and limited ways of looking at this world.

It’s sort of like when someone squeezes the toothpaste out of the toothpaste tube… there isn’t any way anybody is getting that toothpaste back into the tube no matter how hard they try to force it. And once our brain has been stretched to accommodate larger thinking there isn’t any way anybody can force us back into smaller thinking and smaller brain capacity, no matter how hard they try. Smile again, because once again this is a good thing!

Now teens, go learn, lead, and lay the way for a better world for all of us. Remember that once we stretch our brains to accommodate larger thinking, we can never shrink our mind back to smaller thinking. The world truly does mirror our thinking, so let’s think BIG! And once again, thanks in advance for all that you do, and all that you will do…

Determination and Education

My dad would have turned 104 today. That is just amazing to think about – I can barely imagine 1911 in northern Idaho. Sadly my father only lived to be 59 but every year I think about him on this special day. Actually I think of him far more often than that, but his birthday is extra important to me. My dad set a marvelous example for his five daughters and in that way he lives on through us and I hope I am passing some of his excellent characteristics on to my children and grandchildren.

While there are many, the two finest traits of my dad were his determination to accomplish whatever he decided to do and his strong belief in the value of education. The first trait led him to some problems, as you can imagine, as he was far sighted and could visualize the possibilities long before they occurred to others. He planned ahead and prepared for the future while others were content to dawdle along in the present. Yes, he enjoyed the present but with foresight of what would come next.

In his younger years he spent summers out lumberjacking with my grandfather and so he knew how to work hard and how to create. He and Grandpa built our log cabin, completing it in 1939. It has served my family well all of these years. My dad was an educator, having taught or held administrative positions in schools for almost 40 years. In education he taught math which he loved and during his first years he also taught everything else: English, physical education, history, and science. That is one example of his determination. Yes, he had the background knowledge to teach all of these subjects and the diligence to make sure he was fully prepared for every lesson and the needs of every student.

My dad recognized educational possibilities in every situation. When we traveled we played word and number games, studied and memorized license plates to identify the counties from which they came, stopped at parks and historical sites to gather more knowledge, and then at the end of the day, rounded it up with a short daily exam. For birthday and Christmas I always received educational gifts. One year we built geometric configurations with pegboards and colored string and study the flow and mathematical rhythm of each. Another year we completed multiple algebraic questions concentrating on formulas and checking with proofs. Some years we read and evaluated authors and text. When we skied we engaged in math such as dividing the number of runs into the price of the ticket to determine price per run. We then stretched that by adding meals, gas, snacks, and so forth to complicate the mathematical problem and process and then decided on what it took to have a good deal. Had we factored in the fun we had, every trip would have been a tremendous bargain.

When we stayed at our cabin we always had projects to complete such as building a dock or painting the boat or filling in potholes in our forest road along with chopping wood, cooking and cleaning, and plenty of fishing and   swimming . We would work together to establish our calendar of events, carefully balancing work and play with the number of days we had. No one ever left our vacation anything but exhausted, and yet happy as we planned our next outing there.

Now you may be wondering about all of this physical and brain work, and so I must tell you my life was (and is) fantastic. My dad taught me to love hard work, to think and analyze problems and situations, to advance my brainpower in lots of ways, to explore and dream, and even though filled with drive and determination to accomplish a million things, to be happy. I am and I thank him.

Family Holiday on the Island of Korcula, Croatia

The stunning island of Korcula on Croatia’s Dalmatian coast is a fantastic destination for a family European holiday. Korcula is easily reachable from Split or Dubrovnik airport and 2012 sees a rapid increase in the number of airliners flying to these destinations. This news means more choice in flight times and cheaper ticket prices, both important considerations when planning a family holiday.

Korcula provides a great choice for family holiday accommodation, suiting all budgets, from campsites to large secluded villas with swimming pools. Self-catering is a good option for family groups and there are many affordable apartments and houses available to rent on the island. Practically self-catering gives families more flexibility when it comes to meal times, more space than a standard hotel room and privacy to come and go as you please throughout the day. Favourite choices on Korcula include a large rustic-style house in a beautiful bay close to the village of Pupnat, allowing the whole family to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings; a luxurious and cosy villa in Racisce with lots of modern conveniences and plenty of internal and external space, so every family member has their own breathing space; and good value modern apartments with a large open plan kitchen, dining and living area, close to the sea in the family-friendly town of Lumbarda.

Although all the towns and villages on Korcula provide ideal bases for a family holiday, Lumbarda is probably one of the best options if travelling with younger children. Lumbarda is less busy than Korcula Town, whilst still having plenty of restaurants, cafes and entertainment options; it has shallow sandy beaches, whereas most on the island are pebbled and the water can become suddenly deep and everything is in easy walking distance. During the summer the tourist board of Lumbarda puts on a number of family events, a personal favourite being the donkey race (suitable for children and adults!). There are also fantastic ally fun water inflatables to slip, slide and jump all over at Bili Zal beach in Lumbarda.

Of course most activities around Korcula take place at the beach or on the sea. Keeping the children entertained can sometimes be a challenge but get them active in the water by snorkelling, swimming or kayaking. Beach games such as volleyball, bat and ball games or good old fashioned sand-castle building at the sandy beaches are enjoyable ways to spend the time in the sun. Just make sure you slap on lots of suntan lotion and stay out of the strong midday sun. Fun days on Korcula can include boat trips to the nearby Skoji islets, scrambling up and under the strange but intriguing rocks at the natural park of Kocije in Zrnovo or how about taking a bicycle ride along the stunning coast, treating your-self to a scoop or two of Korcula’s delicious ice cream.

After a day at the beach or pedalling around the beautiful Korcula countryside, there is nothing nicer than returining to your self-contained holiday accommodation, perhaps grilling up some fresh fish or playing a game of cards out on the terrace, watching the sun gently set. It is these moments when you truly appreciate the family holiday.

Croatia is fast becoming one of the most popular places to take a vacation in Europe and is a more affordable option compared to its rivals in the Euro-zone. It is a safe country with relatively little crime and the people welcoming and hospitable. This makes a wonderful country to spend you family holiday this year.

Obesity in America: What You Can Do To Save Your Children

Outrageous portion sizes, frequent drive through meals, increased snacking, less walking or biking to school, and less opportunity to participate in gym class or recess are all factors contributing to weight gain. To get control of this issue, parents must become role models for their children in leading a healthy lifestyle. Parents should take computers, TVs, and video games out of the bedroom and limit all screen time to 1 hour after school (adolescents are currently spending an average of 7.5 hrs a day behind some type of screen). Offer only milk, water, or low to no-calorie beverages with meals and snacks. Sodas, juice, and even sports drinks are filled with empty calories and loads of sugar. Limit fast food to a once a month “treat,” and take advantage of newly offered nutritious side options such as fruit instead of fries. And just like adults, kids need 30- 60 minutes of daily physical activity. Make it a family effort and take a walk after dinner, go roller-blading,   swimming , or play catch in the yard.

Let’s Move! is an initiative launched by the First Lady Michelle Obama which focuses on five goals: to arm parents with information to support healthy choices at home, make sure that every child has access to healthy affordable food, help kids to become more physically active, and provide healthier food choices at school. In accordance with the initiative, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Memorandum creating the first-ever Task Force on Childhood Obesity to develop a national action plan and maximize federal resources to achieve those five goals.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, were released by the USDA and emphasize three major goals for Americans:

• Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight

• Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood

• Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains

The Guidelines also include 23 key recommendations for the general population. To help achieve these goals, the USDA has implemented an interactive user-friendly website ( to help consumers identify what they’re eating now and what changes can be made to decrease portion sizes, eat and drink fewer empty calories, and focus on nutrient dense foods the body needs for fuel.

There are new fad diets and weight loss pills hitting the market on a daily basis trying to capitalize on consumers looking for a “quick fix” or an “easier” way to lose weight. Weight loss achieved by these methods does not last, and can lead to yo-yo dieting and eventually more weight gain. The only proven weight loss method is by making lasting lifestyle changes, which can be done by making one to two achievable goals each week. Fitness applications for smart phones (such as MyFitnessPal) are helpful for keeping a food and exercise diary on the go. The best resource for nutrition-related advice and counseling is a registered dietitian nutritionist. Make sure your chosen professional has this designation, not just a “certified nutritionist” who can get a certificate online in a matter of weeks.