Dads Are the First Mentors Of Responsibility

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By Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC

fathersonbaseballJune is the month we celebrate dads, and with that thought in mind, I congratulate all engaged and responsible dads! I cannot think of my dad without thinking of all the lessons he taught me. The biggest lesson was that of being responsible. His quips about the early bird getting the worm, and the importance of being responsible for your family and yourself are woven into my work ethic.

Teaching our children to be responsible is difficult if we aren’t responsible parents. There will always be helpers along the way, but allowing your children to face the consequences when they mess up can save them a lot of chaos in adult life. No matter where you work you will be surrounded with people blaming others for mishaps at work. At the end of the day, what matters most is that you take responsibility for your actions. If you miss the boat or can’t afford the toy you want, or have to go to summer school because you didn’t finish your homework, it’s no one’s responsibility but yours.

The great thing about responsibility is it is never too late to begin teaching your child. If you feel as though your children feel entitled and are spoiled, the month of June is a great month to set things straight. Below are few suggestions that can help.

• Assign chores and follow through with consequences if your child doesn’t do them. They don’t have to like doing them, or like you, but they do have to do them and respect you.

• Limit the social media, computer games, and phones. If your child spends two hours on the Internet, make sure he/she is spending three with the family. The virtual world is more influential if the family world is less engaged.

• This summer, insist your child get a job. Working for extra credit for a teacher or project is a wonderful summer job. So is working at a coffee shop or doing dishes at home. The job type isn’t as important as the concept of working for someone. Volunteer work is an excellent idea as well, but make sure your child is accountable for their hours there.

familyrun• Never do for your child what they can do for themselves. This is a golden rule. Kids who grow up with supportive parents who believe their children need to learn how to cope with defeat have an advantage over kids who grow up believing the world will cater to them because of the magnificent person they are.

When I see kids who have been enabled or entitled, I pity them. They will have a rude awakening when they find out the real world doesn’t care about who their parents were or where they live. You succeed when you are accountable for your actions and don’t make excuses for why you missed the deadline. The boat/car, bus or train leaves on its time, not yours. This is a wonderful lesson to teach your kids in June. Happy Father’s Day to all of my dads, and have a wonderful month of June!

– Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is a licensed psychotherapist and co-author with Janine J. Sherman, of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom About Health, Sex or Whatever. Read more about the book at and more about Rapini at

Healthy Tip # 211

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Healthy tips courtesy of Corey Enman

healthytomatoesWith the advances in technology and the hyper increase in smartphone use, things that used to be hard in the past, like counting calories, have become very simple and actually fun. One thing that people can do this year to get one step closer to health is to start counting calories again…with apps! A basic
calorie guideline for women to lose weight is 12-1500 calories a day and men 16-1800. Calorie tracking is one of the only guaranteed ways to lose weight and calorie counting apps like Myfitnesspal and Livestrong make counting calories not only easy, but fun. These apps on the Iphone and Android markets have databases of thousands of foods and restaurants to choose from and also allow you to scan barcodes for easy adding. . Not only do you become aware of how many calories you are taking in, writing it down will actually stop you from taking in certain calories because you see how much EXTRA is going into your body. If you can begin to limit the calories that you take in, you will also limit how big your waistline gets over time!

Corey Enman, NASM CPT, PES, CES, TRX Certified Instructor, Founder & CEO, Fitamorphosis

Healthy Tip # 210

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Healthy tips courtesy of Ilana Fishof Muhlstein

fruitswhiteBoost the satisfaction of your foods by incorporating color, flavor, and variety in your diet. The natural color in fruits, vegetables and herbs signifies that the food is rich in powerful antioxidants and phytochemicals. For instance, the purple-red color found in beets is derived from betalain, a powerful antioxidant that may have cancer fighting properties. Natural flavor enhancers, such as onions, herbs, spices and vinegars, can also be added to several dishes and are wholesome, low calorie ways to elevate food’s flavor and help boost your satisfaction with your meal. Also, when your diet consists of a variety of healthy foods, you are more likely to stimulate your senses and meet your nutritional needs.

Ilana Fishof Muhlstein, Nutritionist

Healthy Tip # 209

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Healthy tips courtesy of Rebecca Sadek and Jen Morris

fruitsalad– Set a goal and focus on the attainable

– Drink two glasses of water daily upon rising to hydrate your body

– Eat your veggies! Fill your plate 3/4 with greens at each meal

– Eat breakfast every day, and make it your largest meal

– The kitchen closes at 8pm – avoid eating after this hour

– Nix soda and other high sugar drinks, including alcohol. Consume water throughout the day

– Begin cardio AND weight training. Move every day

– Eat at home – attempt to cook 80% of meals in your kitchen

– Don’t go at it alone – tell your friends, family, and ask for support. Every little bit helps!

– Track your progress. Keeping a journal or food log helps you really understand what you’re eating and where you can make changes.

– Rebecca Sadek and Jen Morris, founders of Urban Detox Club

Healthy Tip # 208

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Dr. Lori L. Shemek

waterbottleMost people are walking around mildly dehyrated and are not even aware of it. They are suffering from joint pain, headaches, fatigue, lethargy, weight gain, hunger and much more – all due to a lack of hydration. Our bodies are mostly water, our brain is 80% water – so when the cells in the body are not adequately hydrated, cellular function slows down and so do our bodies. For example, without adequate water, our brain function slows resulting in headaches and/or foggy thinking, our metabolism slows resulting in weight gain and fatigue. Do not rely upon thirst as an indicator to drink water – by the time we are thirsty, our bodies are already 1-2% dehydrated. It is essential that we hydrate for optimal health and weight loss. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 120 lbs, drink 60 ounces of water every day.

Lori L. Shemek, PhD, CLC, NC is the Health Expert for the ABC Show ‘Good Morning Texas’
and the author of the best-selling book “Fire-Up Your Fat Burn!”

Healthy Tip # 201

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Coco Coco O’Donnell

saladheartI am a pharmacist and wellness coach, and work with clients to get off prescription medications AND stay healthy. I recommend that everyone add cultured vegetables into their diet. It has been discovered that cultured vegetables have more active cultures and bacteria than expensive probiotics.

The reason we need more live cultures is to enhance the function of our gut. This organ, disregarded by most until it starts acting up, is the foundation of our immune system and is involved in much more than just digesting our food and assimilating the nutrients into our body.

When we eat cultured vegetables, these organisms help to replenish the naturally occurring bacteria that is destroyed when we eat sugar, processed foods, refined grains or take antibiotics. Examples are sauerkraut, kimchee, relishes, and you can make your own using an endless number of vegetables.

Kefir and yogurt are examples of fermented dairy. Often, the addition of cultured vegetables can eliminate problems with constipation, diarrhea and have been know to offset some types of food poisoning.. It may be an “acquired” taste for you, but one that is well worth it!

Coco Coco O’Donnell, RPh, CPCC Clean Living Coach Clean body. Clear mind. Crave Life!

Healthy Tip # 200

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Kim Evans

saladplateIn talking with people who are trying to make changes in how they eat, I always suggest that they keep a food diary for a week or so. I like to stress that it is just for their eyes…and that they need to be brutally honest about what goes in their mouth. Then after the week is over, they can see what they eat, when they eat, and how much. When you can actually see what you are eating, it is easier to make small changes that can make a difference. If they want me to look it over, I will….and make suggestions such as:

– Eat less or not any processed foods

– Substitute water for pop

– Drink plain coffee in place of a coffe drink

– Find ways to add more vegetables and fruits into your daily eating

Baby steps can make a big difference.

I also suggest that if they have issues with being out of control with certain foods…..don’t have them in the house. Seems like a no brainer to me, but lots of people do not consider that. And when they make the big step of going to the gym, I try my hardest to tell them to take it easy! There is so much enthusiasm at the beginning of the year, and lots of people overdo it, and are either too sore or get injured and then never go back to the gym. Again….those baby steps. No one got out of shape overnight, so it is unrealistic to think that you will be back in shape in a week. Patience grasshopper…….it is the journey not the end result. (I actually say that once in awhile)

– Kim Evans, BS AFAA, USATF Fitness Professional, and track and field coach Holland Aquatic Center Holland MI

Healthy Tip # 199

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Susie Garcia

sodabottleOne Step Closer:

The one thing that I would like to suggest is actually 2 things combined:

Eliminate SODAS from your life. Regular or diet. Regular sodas are loaded with sugar which means empty calories and no appetite satisfaction. Which sounds more delicious? A can of coke…. OR Orange Balsamic Marinated Shrimp with wilted Baby Greens?

Can of coke = 140 Calories; Shrimp with greens = 134 calories. The problem with drinking sugary sodas is that they ADD to the calories of a meal and don’t replace a meal or other food item.

Diet sodas, although calorie free present another issue because they contain non-nutritive (artificial) sweeteners which have been shown to ‘trick’ the brain with the sweet taste and causing a false release of
insulin, in addition these substances are chemical in nature and are an additional toxin that have to be processed by the liver. (occasional exception: Stevia is a natural calorie free sweetener used in some sodas) The ‘combo’ effect of eliminating sodas from your life is that you need to replace it with something…..hmm-mm….Water! or Tea, especially green tea. Replacing sodas with regular water, sparkling water or organic teas will keep your body hydrated and you will be AMAZED at how great you feel.

This might not be the easiest suggestion but you can start with reducing your daily intake by “one soda” each day until you reach zero.

– Susie Garcia, RD, /Nutritionist ~ Registered Dietitian, Expert Nutrition Advice You Can Trust

Healthy Tip # 196

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Jason Karp

girljogStop making excuses about not having enough time. Everyone has enough time. If you have time to read a book on how to lose weight, then you have time to walk outside. If you want to lose weight and keep it off for the rest of your life, exercise has to become a part of who you are rather than something you do. Find a way to internalize your workouts, and you’ll never have to worry about fitting it in. The time people spend reading books on how to lose weight could be spent running to lose the weight. Don’t be a weight loss book reader. Be a runner.

Jason Karp, Ph.D., 2011 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, Author of Running for Women & Running a Marathon For Dummies

Healthy Tip # 195

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Another healthy tip courtesy of Amy Korn-Reavis

sleepMaking 7-8 hours of sleep a priority to help improve your overall health. The new year allows us to focus on our life and to create new habits that will improve our daily lives. The one thing that will make improve your health, memory and weight loss efforts is to get enough sleep. Sleep allows your body to release growth hormone, consolidate your memory and allows you to heal. This is the one little change you can make that will have the biggest effect on your health.

Amy Korn-Reavis, RRT, RPSGT, Coordinator NDT Program, Concorde Career Institute, Writer, Speaker