Clarity in the Chaos

June 28th, 2013 | Posted by admin in Be Well Story - (0 Comments)

*A Submitted Story

Like many young adults, alcohol was a huge part of my social life.  Drinking at gatherings was accepted and a part of what we did.  It never seemed odd or out of place.  It never dawned on me that alcohol was the reason we got together, but it was always there.

During the 12 years that I was a drunk, my life was a mixture of disorder, chaos, pain, and hopelessness.  I lied – to almost everyone.  I lost important relationships.  I lost tens of thousands of dollars.  I lost and used friends.  I lost my self-respect.  I didn’t see that then, but it is crystal clear now.

Thank God that I had a friend, Julie, who was willing to risk our friendship in order to help me.

Since I have been sober I have: met my wife, been a father to two beautiful daughters, engaged a fantastic job, regained my health, attempted to help others, shared my story, and I have regained my self-respect.

I see alcohol addiction as similar to cancer, as a disease that is treatable.  I have not met many cancer patients that are embarrassed by their disease.  They are fighters and brave.  Alcoholics need to fight as well for the clarity that comes from removing the shackles of this disease.

Be brave! – ask for help! – sober life is beautiful!

Anyone who knows me, can tell you I am a ‘salsa-aholic.’ I just can’t get enough of the stuff! Summer is the perfect time to chop up those garden fresh fruits and veggies for a great salsa that can be eaten with veggies, Smart Pops (LINK to post), or even just with a fork. This salsa screams summer with its tangy and sweet flavors.

Mango Red Pepper Salsa

2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted, and diced
1 red pepper, diced
Half a red onion, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cover and allow it to sit in the fridge for at least one hour.
  3. Serve and Enjoy!

 Recipe Credit

I never considered myself a “real” runner. I played various sports growing up which primarily consisting of running up and down the basketball court.  After college, I got ambitious and ran a couple of half marathons but then came love, then came marriage, then the baby in the baby carriage….and let’s just say the workouts have since changed J  I do make a goal to run at least one 5K each year and when I do, I always am motivated to keep in good enough shape year-round so that I am capable of running a 5K whenever the opportunity arises!  Whether it is running to get color thrown on you, running to chug a beverage at the finish race, or running to help fight for breast cancer, here are some tips that keep me on the 5K running path:

Don’t be nervous:  I’ll admit that I always get a little nervous each time I arrive at the race, even though I have done several 5K’s in my lifetime!  I always remind myself that, “There will always be people who finish before me and people who will finish after me.” I mean, I never run to be competitive, I run to feel good knowing I am healthy enough to run 3.1 miles.

Pace yourself:  I wasn’t always the best at this.  I sometimes think I get an adrenaline rush and start out running faster than I should be.  Although I enjoy pushing myself and allowing the faster runners to push me harder than when I am on the treadmill over the noon hour running for a workout, it is important to try and find people closer to the pace you can keep up with more comfortably.

There is no shame in walking:  Some people run; some people walk. Others do a little of both and it is totally fine!  Never feel that you are unsuccessful because you may have to stop and walk during your 5K.  Success comes in many forms and crossing the finish line happens whether you run or walk the entire 5K!

Enjoy the moment:  The whole experience when doing a 5K is unlike anything else. Along the way, you hear the collective pounding of your shoes on the pavement around you. People gather on the sidewalks or path just to cheer on complete strangers. When you look around, you see people who are all there for one common goal. And when you see the finish line approaching, no matter how tired you feel, somehow you dig down deep and give it everything you’ve got left. It’s the most fun you’ll ever have running.

Be proud:  I never thought that a 5K was really a big deal—I mean, it’s no marathon, right? But for me, running is always a challenge and I am always happy when I know I have pushed myself to the end! I know my husband and family are always there to cheer me on and tell me they are proud of me for doing it, regardless of my time!

You CAN do it:  You will see young children running, seniors, pregnant women, dads pushing strollers, tall, short—every size, shape and age imaginable. Everyone is there to finish a 5K and don’t let the fear of coming in last deter you—it’s still better than all the people who never try.

So, next time you are wondering if you would like to add a 5K to your bucket list, think to yourself, what have you got to lose?  Check out the events page on Be Well South Dakota for the next 5K in your area and if you know of a 5K or other event that we don’t have posted, please let us know so we can add it!  Have a great day and remember….Be Well South Dakota!

Photo Credit

Warm summer days are on the horizon. The perfect start to those hot days is a cold, healthy smoothie that will keep you full until lunch time. Try this version that is guaranteed to taste like apple pie in a glass!

Apple Pie Smoothie


5 raw almonds
1 red apple (cored)
1 banana
3/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup nonfat milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender.      (Depending on how powerful your blender is, you may need to chop the apple      and almonds into small pieces before blending.)
  2. Blend on medium-high for 30 seconds (or until desired consistency).


Recipe Credit:
Photo Credit:

Summer is the stuff of dreams. When adults sit at their desks, and children sit in school, they dream of summer. Summer is the time of infinite fun. The day seems to last forever, and the fun never stops. It is a time of romance, excitement and an enhanced enjoyment of life. Somehow summer never seems to last long enough. It is always over before we get a chance to fully experience its power. This is true of all things wonderful. They always seem too short.

Do you agree that summers always seem too short? Or that it is too easy to let the busy summer days slip right on by? Last week my family and I kicked off our summer by creating a summer “fun” wish list!

To help you make the summer of 2013 a Spectacular Summer of Fun, here are some tips my family uses:

  1. We get out the calendars and plan.  We write down our scheduled events like work, ball games, social obligations, weddings, family reunions, etc…
  2. We make a list of activities and summer events we would like to do.
  3.  After we have our “fun” wish list, we review our calendars and schedule one of our “fun” items. (To avoid the stress of an overbooked schedule—we limit scheduling one item from the list per week.)
  4. For any “wishes” we aren’t able to schedule, we put the ideas in a “wish jar.” Whenever we have unexpected “down time,” we pull an idea from the jar.
  5.  By planning, we are able to create a spectacular summer of fun!

Need some ideas for fun summertime activities?

1.    Go to the beach
2.    Go camping
3.    Draw with sidewalk chalk
4.    Catch fireflies
5.    Go on a day road trip
6.    Make root beer floats
7.    Pick an official “2013 Summer Song”; play it until you’re sick of it(or until your neighbors call the cops.)
8.    Go to a U-Pick berry farm
9.    Go on a scavenger hunt (or better yet, go Geocaching.)
10.    Go fishing
11.    Go on a boat ride (canoe, rowboat, paddle boat)
12.    Play miniature golf
13.    Go to an outdoor concert or theater performance
14.    Spend one whole day barefoot
15.    Take a nap on a hammock
16.    Go on a picnic
17.    Fly a kite
18.    Go for a hike
19.    Water balloon fight
20.    Make S’mores
21.    Blow bubbles
22.    Make homemade popsicles
23.    Go bird watching
24.    Visit a national park
25.    Go stargazing
26.    Play tag
27.    Play tennis
28.    Sit on the deck and read a book
29.    Eat watermelon
30.    Visit farmers market
31.    Jump in mud puddles
32.    Attend a parade
33.    Have family movie night—outside
34.    Play outdoor yard games like bean bags, croquet, bocce ball, badminton
35.    Play disk golf
36.    Go for a bike ride
37.    Visit the local parks/pools
38.    ____________________________________________
39.    ____________________________________________
40.    ____________________________________________

With a little planning, summer 2013 will be remembered as a Spectacular Summer of Fun!
How about you, what are some of your favorite summer fun activities?