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Eat Breakfast to Keep Moving and Stay Healthy

 I used to skip breakfast every day. It wasn't that I didn't like breakfast. I like breakfast a lot. I simply felt like I didn't have time, and I thought skipping that meal would help me keep my weight down. I was wrong on both counts. I credit my nurse friends who worked with me at an inner-city hospital for getting me on the eating breakfast habit. I would go into work, drop everything in my office, and they would do a pop-in. "Hey, I noticed your door was open. Do you want to go grab some breakfast with me?" I said I would go with them, but I really didn't eat breakfast. "Oh, you have to eat breakfast," they told me. Fortunately, the hospital where I worked had a terrific breakfast spread in the cafeteria, so I was hooked. I still make myself breakfast -- even if it's some fruit and cereal -- every day.  Image by  Erick Palacio  from  Pixabay Breakfast Gives You Energy In my post Moving to Create Energy , I discussed how eating provides fuel f

Moving to Create Energy

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I have ever thought about drinking coffee with only hot water and creamer -- and leaving the actual coffee out. I smiled and told them no and assured them that I only drink one cup of coffee a day.  A couple of weeks later, I had a similar conversation and the person asked how big the one cup of coffee was that I drink a day because I have seemed to have "a lot of energy." I told them that I do have a lot of energy -- when I'm awake. I have always been a high-energy kind of person. Where does my energy come from? That question can be answered by biology and physics mostly. I'm going to give you a really high-level, basic physics and biology lesson here. The law of conservation of energy  says that energy is constant within a system and energy is neither created nor destroyed. That is true for the earth or the universe as a whole. There is a limited amount of energy available on the earth. However, in human beings and other ecosystems ,

Increasing Vitamin D Production

 Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have advocated walking outside. I had multiple reasons for suggesting this activity. Walking outside gives you a different environment than an at-home environment. You can see other people, and people need other people. We are social creatures, and none of us live in a vacuum. Seeing other people and being around others stimulates thoughts and also boosts moods. The fresh air also diffuses molecules. The more air you have to breathe, the more air molecules your body has to choose from. That means that smaller molecules (or even larger ones) have a harder time circulating directly into your breathing space. When you are inside, because the molecules float around the building or space all the time, you can actually develop sick building syndrome (SBS). Walking outside is also a great way to get sunlight. Direct or indirect sunlight helps with Vitamin D production. When you are outside, Vitamin D production can occur when the ultraviolet sun rays

Keep Moving In the Winter

Over the weekend, we had a beautiful snowfall. After a couple of days of rest and relaxation at home, I had to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and the new-fallen snow. Fortunately, temperatures were above freezing. The ground was still covered with slush, and I put my boots on and took a walk on the trail. I made sure that I bundled up with my warm winter coat (I have different coats that are comfortable in different temperatures), my hat, my gloves, my scarf, and warmer socks than usual. People who live in cold weather climates know that no matter how hard you try, your feet may get cold and wet when you are outside. I was excited to get out on the trail that particularly snowy day. I love the feeling of the air when it is crisp and fresh. It feels clean. I left my music at home and listened to the sound of nature, the sound of my feet as they slushed across the ground, the sound of the river flowing, the sound of the birds warbling in the trees. I listened to the sound of my brea

Moving in the Environment

We have all heard the saying that your environment can greatly affect your success or happiness. As someone who has recently changed environments, I know how true that is. We can be in an environment that is physically or aesthetically pleasing, and there are things in that environment that affect us positively or negatively. The same can happen as we move in our environment. We can choose to have either a positive or negative impact on the environment.  This week, I am walking 13,300 steps or 6.0 miles a day for 5 days a week. That's a lot of steps, and I have to do them outside or else I would be walking at home for several hours at once to get my steps in. When I walk, I occasionally take a small hike into a wooded area. I don't go hiking very far by myself because that could potentially be very dangerous. With long hikes, you always should have a hiking buddy. I learned that as a young girl growing up in Iowa. We would take class trips and hike around the reservoir where I

An Ounce of Suicide Prevention

 Several years ago, two young boys committed suicide in the city where I lived. They were friends, and their deaths were only a year or so apart. The boys reportedly were bullied at school repeatedly and told to "go kill yourself." The part that I found most disturbing that eventually came out in the case was that the bullies also told these boys how to kill themselves. As someone who had worked in healthcare for almost two decades at that point and who had worked with special needs children and families, I was devastated and deeply saddened. I recall mentioning this case to a young person in my household who was the same age as these boys. His response was, "They weren't friends of mine, so it doesn't matter." I'm pretty sure my head spun around and nearly popped off my body at that point. I wondered how we had children in our community who valued life so little that "it doesn't matter" was deemed an acceptable response. I was further di

Raising Your Level of Awesome

 This week I am walking 11,100 steps. Actually, I have been finding myself walking more than 11,100 steps a day. Since I have been walking several miles a day for at least three years, I find walking more steps easier than before. As you increase every week, you will also find yourself reaching your former goals without even thinking about it. Those goals may even become a habit to you. As I walked today, I was thinking back to the first year I did the Billion Steps Challenge and started walking again. It was three years ago, and it was in the late Spring and early Summer. I remember struggling to get to three miles a day, and I celebrated myself when I reached five miles. I never would have imagined that four miles would almost be my starting point, and five miles would be an easy goal for me to reach.  Photo by Jeanette R. Harrison The thing is, like many other goals we set in life, once we achieve our short term goal or even a new goal, then we start to get accustomed to being at th