Do you ever feel a bit overwhelmed with all the information on health and wellness?  Especially when the information sometimes is controversial?  Hmmm….I wonder why we need to make being healthy so complicated?  Today, just for fun, I would like to share with you my simple healthy living recipe:


Recipe 4 Healthy Living



7 to 8 hours of sleep

10 slow, deep breaths each morning and evening

30 to 60 minutes of fun and relaxation

2 to 3 cups of vegetables

2 cups of fruit

30 to 60 minutes of activity

3 cups of dairy

6 to 8 ounces of whole grains

5 to 6 ounces of protein

64 ounces of water



Mix above ingredients and add a generous portion of smiles, love and laughter. Cook for 24 hours and repeat daily.


Nutrition Facts

Serving Size: All


Enjoy a vibrant, energy-filled body!


Q. How about you?  Do you have any ingredients you would suggest to add to my recipe?


Vomit, Poop, It’s Wednesday, Oh My!

September 26th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Lifestyles | Wellness - (0 Comments)

Good Morning.  Well, I must say, it has been one of those weeks that when it came to deciding what I was going to focus on for Wellness Wednesday, I knew this week I needed to talk about stress management because yep, it has been one of those weeks, heck it has already been one of those mornings!  From our dog throwing up in the middle of the night to my son’s blow out diaper this morning which required him to take a bath and me to change my outfit, I already need to take a deep breath!  So, Happy Wellness Wednesday!  You know, like many women, I am constantly trying to find a balance to being a good mom, wife, friend, co-worker and the list goes on and on.  How many of you are like me and realize that while we get so caught up in caring for everyone else, we often neglect to take care of ourselves.  If we can’t take care of ourselves, how can we take care of others?  Many of us have an incredible amount of stress.  In a recent study, 80% of Americans reported that they are stressed out.  Stress can have a major effect on our bodies and this morning, I had to take a step back and really think about what was it in my life that was making me so stressed?  Sure the obvious throw up and poop in the past 12 hours contributes to my immediate stress, but what about the constant stress that I feel bear on my shoulders.  What can I do to change my level of stress or should I say, better manage my stress?  Stress takes a toll on more than just your mood, it also impacts our bodies.  Realizing that this week has been a hectic week where I myself needed to work on some stress busters, I wanted to share with you a few simple things that work for me when I am having one of those stressful weeks:

Find Your Zen…whether it is a trip to the spa for a massage, taking a bath, meditating or journaling, take 10-20 minutes to do this for yourself.  Realize that you need to allow yourself to feel what you are feeling and give yourself permission to have your moment…but…remember…nothing is going to change unless you decide to change it yourself.

Move, Move and Then Move Some More:  The endorphins released during workouts make you feel great!   Remember that anything is better than nothing!  Go for a walk, run, or dance in your living room…anything to get you moving!  You will feel so much better knowing that you took the time for yourself to lead a healthier life!  When I work out, it gives me time to decompress and have some alone time where I can just mentally get a break from everything and know that when I am done, I will feel so much better and my stress will have had time to settle down.

Hello Doggy:  Research shows that people with pets have lower blood pressure than the rest of the population. One explanation: Pets provide constant companionship and unconditional affection.  I can’t say enough about this.  Our dog, Bentley is such a part of our family.  He is sometimes all the therapy that I need!  From him stretching out in the morning, to loving his Halloween costumes (okay he hates it, I just put the costume on him long enough to take a picture) to the excitement he gets when we take him on a walk, he is our special little guy!

Hang with Happy People:  Like your friend with an infectious laugh or buddy who seems to make lemons into lemonade, our happiness is contingent on how connected we feel to a network of positive-thinking friends.  Between my son Brody and my husband David, they are what bring a smile to my face.  When my life seems so stressful, I take a step back and think about how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family.  My stress could be so much worse and I know that there is someone out there who is dealing with much worse than my stress of worrying about a project at work or getting caught up on my laundry.

Plan Ahead:  With my husband being a high school football coach, our schedule is crazy busy right now.  I have to plan ahead with my workouts, our meals, managing the household chores, paying the bills, you name it…but I find that by planning ahead and making my lists, I can better manage my schedule.  Don’t pack too much on your plate.  If your schedule is already packed, now is probably not a great time to plan a gathering at your house where you are going to have to cook, clean and entertain.

As you get through your day, your week, your month, think about the stress that you have in your life and what you can change to make it better.  Count your blessings and know that this too shall pass, today is a new day and with a positive attitude you can better manage your stress.  If you have any other tips you would like to add on how you best find that balance, comment and let me know….you never know, I may need it later today. 🙂

Try it Tuesday: Women and Weights

September 25th, 2012 | Posted by admin in Fitness | Wellness - (0 Comments)

Stepping into the weight room as a novice can be rather intimidating. Grunting guys lifting huge weights with ease don’t do much for a women’s confidence who’s attempting to step over to the so called ‘boy’s side’ of the gym. Eventually, I got over this fear and so will you.


When I decided I wanted to explore ‘that’ side of the gym, it took some strategic planning. I had to make sure the gym was as close to empty as possible, even if that meant I was working out at 9:30 at night. After the gym was about cleared out and a few stragglers were left, I ventured over.  I had a slight Idea of what I was doing due to a few personal training sessions and introduction classes. I was far from your seasoned veteran but I felt like I had a clue, just enough to give me the confidence to step up to the plate. Of course, my time went well, and as I continued this trend, I really felt my muscles become more defined and powerful.  And no ladies, you will never get ‘bulky’ muscles, we just aren’t designed that way! The benefits of strength training and weights are huge! More muscle = more calories burned; who doesn’t love that?!


Overall, when it comes down to women and weights, the biggest battle is not being self-conscience. You are your own biggest critic and I can guarantee no one is thinking twice about you lifting weights! Also, take a few introduction classes. Most gyms offer some sort of walk-through with the equipment. This is a great time to get comfortable with the unfamiliar.  Bring an experienced friend to help! Also, don’t try to impress anyone. Lifting weights too heavy for you can be dangerous, start slow. Finally, check out your area for some local kettlebell classes. I LOVE kettlebells. They are so versatile and can be way more fun than traditional weights.


Do you have a class, workout or recipe you would like me to try? Let me know!



Photo alandarker

Let’s Get Moving!

September 24th, 2012 | Posted by Jason Bortnem in Jason's Posts | Wellness - (0 Comments)

Good morning South Dakota! I typically try to start my work day off reviewing my e-mail alerts that I set-up to get the latest news on what’s happening in health care and in our great state. An article jumped out at me involving the health of South Dakota.

There are some scary projections out there, in a recent article, click here, The Mitchell Daily Republic reports that the Adult Obesity rate in SD could reach 60.4% by 2030.

They go on to claim, “Over the next 20 years, obesity could contribute to: 101,181 new cases of diabetes, 222,609 new cases of coronary heart disease and stroke,  200,392 new cases of hypertension, 130,568 new cases of arthritis, 30,796 new cases of obesity-related cancer in South Dakota.”


It goes on to say that if we can reduce our body mass indexes (BMI) by 5%, we could have the following results:

• 21,780 people could be spared from type 2 diabetes,

• 17,899 from coronary heart disease and stroke,

• 16,721 from hypertension,

• 9,625 from arthritis, and

• 1,467 from obesity-related cancer.

All the more reason to share your stories of how you are staying active and help others in their journey towards wellness!

Now is the time to be well South Dakota!





Have you ever had one of those weeks?  You know, the weeks where you meet yourself at the door not sure if you are coming or going?  Yup, that has been my week.  Between work projects, unexpected appointments, family birthday celebrations and preparing for a weekend conference, this week has found me challenged to stay on the “healthy living” path.

Now remember, I am trying to get rid of my “Queen of Excuses” title.  I have found in order for me to overcome excuses; I have to face the truth.  Truth is, in the past, when challenged with a busy week, I often ate junk food, skipped exercise, and skimped on sleep.  I am excited to share that with a little bit of planning; this week I was able to throw away the “I’m too busy excuse”.

Here are a few survival tips that helped me avoid a major wellness crash:

Survival Tip # 1: I was intentional about packing some extra fruits and veggies for snacks.  This helped with my “stressed” junk food cravings.

Survival Tip #2: I also made lists of projects which helped me prioritize my day.  This helped decrease the stress that often comes with busyness.

Survival Tip #3: Most Sunday’s, I review our family schedule for the week and “ink” in times for physical activity.  This week I fell a bit short of my 45 minutes a day goal, but most days I was able to squeeze in30 minutes.

Survival Tip #4: When I review my schedule for the week, I jot down a quick (and flexible) supper menu for my family.  This has helped us save grocery dollars and eat healthier.  We have found having a menu helps with the temptation to go through drive thru on those “I’m too tired to cook nights”.

Survival Tip #5: I give myself permission to leave some things undone.  A healthy lifestyle is more than eating good and exercising; it is also about enjoying the moment.

Survival Tip #6: I celebrate making good choices. Today was one of them.  Most days I pack my lunch for work, but today my coworkers and I decided to order take out. Instead of driving, we choose a location that was close enough for us to walk.  Another thing we often do when eating out is share a sandwich or meal.  (We get the fun of going out, yet don’t have the guilt of eating too much!)

How about you? 

Please share any health and wellness survival tips that work to keep you on the “healthy living” path?