Thursday, November 20, 2014

School garden at LVE

This morning, I volunteered at our kid’s school to help plant the fall/winter garden.  I showed up with knee pads and garden gloves, ready to work – but the children were on it.  I mostly observed them do their thing. The garden at Lewis Vincent Elementary is not elaborate.  They used small areas along windows on the back courtyard for planting. 

For supplies, the 4th and 5th grade teachers sent a notice home Monday requesting donations of winter plants and seeds, soil, watering buckets and other needed tools. As usual with this school – parents responded. 

Lewis Vincent Elementary Garden

Two days have been designated for planting and from this morning's work, the garden already contains winter vegetables including a variety of lettuces, cabbage, and brussel sprouts.  

Lewis Vincent Elementary Garden

Also in are herbs like rosemary, mint, chives, ginger root and one without a tag we could not identify (the kids said it smelled like feet). The garden also contains ornamental items – pretty peppers, cabbages and soon to arrive is the one parent's donation of a live Christmas tree to be planted on the side of the courtyard.

Lewis Vincent Elementary Garden

There were quite a few blooming experts in the group as many have gardens at home.  All the kids were exuberant as they dug and planted, shared about what they contributed, smelled the fragrant herbs and examined plants they had never seen before. 

Tending the garden will be worked into their activities throughout the year and when harvest time comes, Ms Baynard said they will make a huge pot of soup. YUM!


Some of my most meaningful childhood memories involve working with my parents in our small yard garden in Chicago, or watching my grandmother tend the huge garden on their farm in Mississippi.  I’m not good at gardening, but try a little something every year and enjoy passing this experience along to my children.  (See My lesson from gardening.)

There is so much to be learned from gardening.  In her article The Garden, A Master Teacher, Kirsten Berhan writes:
“It seems that educational experts through the ages and across the globe have all cited the garden as a master teacher. In the garden we learn first-hand about nurturing and caring, patience and discovery, stewardship and respect, beauty and life. We also learn practical skills such as; mathematics, science, health and nutrition. Perhaps even more relevant today is the opportunity that gardening gives us to reconnect with nature. Research and anecdotal evidence tells us that when this connection with our natural world is established and nurtured, the child’s mind becomes centered and focused, eager to attack other areas of academia.”

It is so effective, there is an instructional strategy called Garden Based Learning, (GBL), that uses the garden as a teaching tool.  Research shows children exposed to this teaching method experience increased vegetable preferences and nutrition knowledge as well as improved environmental attitudes. They also show higher levels of learning and evidence of stronger life skills.  

Thankfully, the presence of school gardens is growing across the country. 

Starside Elementary School, Kansas
image source:
School Garden Collage
Image sources:, and

In this technological age, children need such opportunities to connect with the life process and nature.

Does your neighborhood school have a garden? If so, please share about it.

If not, why not?  Here are some resources to help make it happen:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

NJFFS launches SilverSneakers FLEX exercise classes

One in three Americans is now 50 or older and there is an increasing awareness of the importance of exercise for maintaining the quality of life and wellness.

As a ACE certified health coach with an older adult population specialty, I have expanded my group offerings to include SilverSneakers FLEX classes.

The SilverSneakers® fitness program is a fun, energizing program that helps older adults take greater control of their health by encouraging physical activity and offering social events.

SilverSneakers® FLEX classes are designed to:
  • Bring physical activity outside of the traditional fitness center
  • Reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease
  • Help connect participants with others who share interest in a healthy life
This month, we began a weekly SilverSneakers FLEX group exercise class and an indoor walking group.

Strength, Stretch and Balance is held Tuesdays at 9 am at New Hope Baptist Church, 5856 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge, LA.  This 45 minute exercise class uses the BARRE Basics technique. Participants are asked to bring a mat (or large towel) to class. All levels are welcome and accommodated.  Class notice here.

The first class was held yesterday. 

I had a wonderful time with these lovely ladies and suspect the relaxation segment at the end was the favorite portion of the class.

The Indoor Walking Group kicks off today at Cortana Mall, 9401 Cortana Place, Baton Rouge, LA. Our group meets Wednesdays at 9 am for an invigorating 45 minute walk in climate controlled comfort. We start at the JC Penney stage (across from Macy's).  Each session includes a guided stretching segment at the end. Class notice here.

These SilverSneakers FLEX offerings are free for SilverSneakers members. 1 out of 5 people 65 or older is eligible for a SilverSneakers membership. If you’re a group retiree, or part of a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement Health plan, you may already have a SilverSneakers membership. Visit for more information or to check SilverSneakers benefits. 

If you are not a SilverSneakers member, classes are $3.  

Have questions, post in comments and I'll get back to you. 

Take care, God bless and be well,

SilverSneakers® is a registered trademark of Healthways, Inc. © 2014 Healthways, Inc.

Monday, November 17, 2014

One hour investment for your health

one hour workout 4% of day NJFFS

We need to move.  “Every cell in the human body benefits from physical activity,” says Tim Church, MD, director of preventative medicine at Pennington Biomedical Research Center. 

One hour of exercise a day (done regularly) can: 
1.     Reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease by almost 46%.  (Ref: Medical News Today)
2.     Reduce risk of Type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome (Ref: Centers for Disease Control)
3.     Help manage arthritis. (Ref:
4.     Counteract the negative health effects from 6-7 hours sitting. (Ref.
5.     Rev up your immune system for the next 24 hours. (Ref. Fitness Magazine)
6.     Ward off weight gain. (Ref: WebMD)
7.     Make your skin more radiant (Ref: WebMD)
8.     Help reverse skin aging process. (Ref: Huffington Post)
9.     Release stress (Ref. Mayo Clinic)
10. Improve sleep (Ref. Psychology Today)

Great returns for an investment of 4% of your day.  

If you exercise regularly - how do you make that happen? 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Consistency Club supports Diabetes Awarenesss Month

Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. If not controlled, diabetes can cause blindness, nerve damage, kidney disease, and other health problems. 

Movement is medicine.  People at high risk for type 2 diabetes can lower their risk by more than half if they make healthy changes that include increasing physical activity. For those with type 2 diabetes, exercise is key to lifetime management of the disease.

Consistency Club 100 Miles in November is supporting the fight against diabetes. Like us at there daily for tips on diabetes prevention/control and PLEASE join Medal for Miles. Move 100 miles this month – do something great for your health and the health of others as a portion of the profits from this program go to diabetes education and support. 

Plus you get a fantastic medal! More at 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

WIN Sports Detergent Review and Giveaway

Disclosure:  I received two bottles of WIN Sports Detergent for this review. The opinions in this post are honest, my own and I only support/recommend products I believe are helpful. This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you, I receive a small commission. 

I live in hot and humid Louisiana, workout regularly and when doing so, I sweat -  a lot.

Add to the mix activewear from my husband and son, and every week, a large aromatic hamper of sweated clothing appears.  A friend who trains firemen calls the aroma of such items ‘the smell of success’.  I call it ‘stank’ and separate those items for special cleaning.

Stank clothes picture

I’m sure many can relate to the challenge of removing the smell from performance or technical wear.  Here's the why: Technical wear is made from synthetic fabrics that wick away moisture and regulate heat.  Unfortunately, they also attract and hold oils from your skin and thus can hold odor. Standard laundry detergents aren’t designed for these synthetic fabrics.  Instead of cleaning properly, supermarket detergents tend to coat/cover the fibers locking in odor and degrading the performance of the material. 

WIN Sports detergent is specifically designed to remove the oils, residue and bacteria from performance materials that cause odor. This not only gets and keeps your athletic wear smelling fresh – it also helps preserve the material.

image source:


I have used WIN Detergent for the past month - 2 capfuls per workout clothing load in my standard top loading washing machine.  Here's my take:

  • Works well - The product does a good job removing odor from performance wear as promised.
  • Smells fresh- My preference is WIN Blue – it has a very slight, clean fragrance (not perfumey at all).
  • Bottle design - The outer cap used for measuring has to be cleaned before placing back on the bottle or set aside. It doesn't have a reservoir like the supermarket brands to catch extra product. 
  • Availability - This specialty product is not available in most retailers.  Unless it is stocked by an athletic store in your area, the best/easiest way to get it is from Amazon. (Free shipping if you are an Amazon prime member.)
  • I found the odor removal in natural fiber items was not as effective. My first load had 2 cotton pieces mixed in and they were not as fresh. Considering the formulation of the product (for synthetic materials), I guess this makes sense. Going forward, I will sort by fabrication and use WIN for performance wear as designed – not just clothing I sweated in…
  • Performance wear is not inexpensive.  In this testing, I learned about the function and proper care of their special fabrications. Using a product that is designed to help extend the life and usefulness of these garments is a nice feel good bonus.
Want to give the product a try? 

Use these links for WINBLUE and WIN Green (unscented and dye free).  Promo code WINGIVE1 will give you $1 off. WIN Detergent is also available in a 4 pack unit for a special price.

Want to try the product for free?

Enter the giveaway below for a chance to WIN 2 full sized bottles of WIN Detergent.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Love to hear your thoughts about the product and please help spread the freshness (smile)... share this with others who sweat hard.