Friday, January 31, 2014

Is it Spring yet?

Spring, get outside, healthy living

While the days march slowly, coldly on, we dream of Spring. Time to hike, time to plant, time to be refreshed. Time to unthaw!

As you wait for Spring, why not make a list? A quality list, either large or small, of projects you want to do outside, and places you want to visit this year. Make a list that can help you and your family be prepared for those warmer days. Then use that list to plan the supplies you will need, and the locations you want to research.

One of our favorite planning tools is the Indiana Recreation Guide published annually by the DNR. You can download it here. An annual pass to Indiana's State Parks is a small investment that can provide large returns. We often visit at least 4 or 5, sometimes 7 or more, state parks and recreational spots each year. Our most frequent location is Mounds State Park, because of it's nearness, and great topography.

Last year we went to McCormick's Creek in Spencer, IN for the first time. We went with friends and had a wonderful weekend of activity and refreshment.

Our world seems to be crazy-busy all the time. Plan to put a stop to the madness in your corner of the world by spending more time outside. Plan, and do!

We are working on our list for this year. Some of the items on it include work projects like double-digging the gardens and trimming the apple trees. Other items include locations we want to visit for camping and/or hiking. What will you put on your list?

This January we have seen bitter cold temperatures with biting winds. Not exactly the weather you dream of for outdoor adventures. Hopefully February can give us a reprieve in the temperatures and we can spend time outdoors. Time walking, photographing, and maybe even making a snowman or two. 

Until then, I'll work on our list. I need to add "find straw NOT sprayed with herbicide" to the supplies list.

Leave us a comment about what you have on your list for Spring!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Three simple steps

For most people, January is a time to make resolutions ... and then break them. Instead of trying to change everything at once, why not opt for some small but significant changes? You may find these small steps easier to carry out than sweeping resolutions.

While there are lists upon lists of things you could choose to focus on first, may I suggest three simple steps?

1. Drink more water! I have yet to meet a person who drinks too much water over the course of the day. I know that some people say they don't like the taste of plain water. Think up some options! You can add just a splash of juice (try orange, cranberry, or grape) and have flavored water. You could also make herbal or black tea (just don't go spoiling it by adding artificial sweeteners!) If you want to sweeten your tea, try a small amount of honey or stevia. Or, you could drink your water warm. Hear me out on this one, filtered warm water, with a splash of lemon juice ... drink it warm (like tea). If you use this one for breakfast, you'll probably find out you become more regular in your digestion.

2. Eat more vegetables! It really is that simple. Eat them raw, steamed, or baked... but not fried. Adding vegetables to your diet adds fiber, nutrients, taste, and (gasp) more water. Just look at what you typically eat and then decide to add at minimum 2 more servings of vegetables a day. I'm not advocating giving up meat, as long as it is cleanly raised, but I am encouraging you to eat more vegetables. Even in Indiana in the winter, there are still lots of choices, so experiment until you find some you like. The internet is a great tool to look for recipes, but remember, raw, steamed, or baked are usually your best bets.

3. Stop going to the grocery store when you're hungry! We have all been guilty of this in the past. So stop doing it. When you have something filling to eat BEFORE you go tot he grocery, you are much more likely to stick to the list, and much less likely to put junk food in your cart. If you know you'll be stopping at the grocery before dinner, keep a package of peanut butter crackers, or an apple in your work/ lunch bag to eat about 15 minutes before you arrive.

Now you have 3 simple steps towards feeling better in 2014. You do want to feel better don't you? 

Now, if it would just warm up some outside...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Stay inside!

I know we are all about getting outside, and getting some exercise, but let's be reasonable... the temperature (without the windchill) was -13 today! 

We love and appreciate our friends who are nurses and snowplow drivers... they have to go outside. You probably do not. 

Of course if you have animals to care for, by all means -do! But bundle up first!

We spent time outside today shoveling, in ten minute segments. Ten minutes shoveling, ten minutes inside warming up. When it's time for you to go out, please exercise caution! When you come back inside - drink a lot of liquids!

Stay inside, stay warm. There will be time to explore the winter wonderland when the temps get back above freezing!

A photo of our dogwood tree taken from INSIDE
the house last night!