Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Why a Friendship Today Helps Keep the Doctor Away

Photo of three friends chatting

You live in a busy world.

There are appointments to keep, deadlines to meet, and the household to take care of. When things get a little too hectic, it can start to affect your sleep, eating habits, and overall health. According to a recent study at Brigham Young University, the key to reducing stress and improving your health might be found in your address book, not the medicine cabinet.
The study claims that a stagnant social life can be as harmful as smoking 15 cigarettes a day or being an alcoholic. It also says that not having friends is twice as detrimental to your health as obesity and worse than not exercising.
While none of those things are good for your system and hanging with your buddies won’t cure the flu, looking for ways to include others more just might add years to your life.

Why not enlist a friend to help?

We all know that exercise is a great way to relieve stress, but sometimes hitting the gym can be a little intimidating. The key is to get a workout buddy to join you. Sweating off your stress is much easier when you have someone there to help keep you moving.
The buddy system is also a great way to explore the wild. Enjoying the beauties of nature by hiking, boating, swimming, climbing, biking, or just going for a walk is not only relaxing but also a lot safer when you’re among friends.
Working on hobbies with someone is another great way to take your mind off the day-to-day grind. It gives you a chance to focus your time and talent on projects you enjoy with people you relate to.

The benefits extend beyond the obvious.

Whatever you decide to do, whether it’s watching movies, playing sports, or just getting together to chat, friends can help you unwind when things get tense. They motivate you to step outside of your comfort zone in productive ways, encourage you when you fall short of a goal, and celebrate all the little victories along the way.
Exercise, laughter, and a positive outlook can all help to reduce your stress as well as add life to your years.

Original Post on The Melaleuca Journal

Monday, January 28, 2013

A Resource to Know About - Community Thrift and Treasure, Inc.

Community Thrift & Treasure’s mission is to promote sustainability in the community by offering a place where the community can donate & recycle, sell the items to the public at affordable prices, and utilize profits to assist local non-profits.

Donated household items for sell include; clothing, furniture, housewares, electronics, tools, sporting goods, shoes, accessories, books, metal, construction materials, etc. Donations are accepted 24/7. Most items are priced 75-80% below retail.

But wait! That is not all! Community Thrift & Treasure, Inc. is just one part of:

The Community Sustainability & Wellness Project

"The Community Sustainability & Wellness Project will connect families and individuals with local farmers, recycle professionals, contractors, healthcare professionals, nutritionists, herbalists, artists, musicians, and other like minded people in the community.

It is our belief that by bringing people together, people will recognize and discover different choices they can make in their everyday life that can have dramatic effects on sustaining our environment, our health and our economy.

CSWP is a non-profit community promotion and sustainability organization designed to create community interaction and awareness of sustainable and responsible living solutions. CSWP will develop programs, forums and events that are designed to educate people of all ages and backgrounds about sustainable agriculture, material sustainability, "green" construction and repairs, natural health, individual wellness, and environmental and social responsibility."

Saturday, January 26, 2013

kim: Yoga for YOU

Searching for answers to maintain or obtain wellness?  Take a look (or a second look) at yoga and the scientific research that shows it really is good for you - mind, body, soul.  Based on this research, the government and healthcare systems are beginning to take yoga seriously as a part of a treatment plan for all kinds of conditions.

Check this article out on my personal wellness blog:

kim: Yoga for YOU: Ever thought about adding yoga to your life? Perhaps you've tried it and found those "pretzel-like" poses awkward and uncomfortable or just...

AND, here are some local Roaring Fork Valley yoga resources:

Glenwood Springs - The YOGA Space & Colorado Mountain College

Carbondale - True Nature Healing Arts

Aspen - Aspen Health & Harmony

New Castle - New Castle Family Fitness

Rifle - Mistyoga

Battlement Mesa - BMAC/Battlement Mesa Activity Center

I am also available for private group and individual sessions from New Castle to Carbondale.  Call or email today for more information or to book a session: or 970-930-1242

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Smart Shoppers Do This......Do You?

Originally posted on the Melaleuca Journal.

Shopper Alert: Grocery prices are going up, and up, and up, and up…

Do you sometimes wonder how in the world a few bags of groceries could cost as much as a cart-full used to? With groceries and gasoline in a battle to see which can do more damage to the wallet, shoppers are finding it difficult to keep both stomach and gas tank full enough to make it all the way to payday.

The good news, says Melaleuca, is you have many more options when it comes to grocery prices than you have concerning gasoline. The bad news is you may have to make changes in your eating habits as well as in your spending habits. 

Smart shopping is about more than simply choosing generic labels over brand names. Smart shoppers consider the nutritional value of the foods they buy—and that can be an eye-opening experience.

Take the standard advice, add some thought, and amplify your savings

You probably already know the basics of getting the most out of your food budget: tactics like clipping and using coupons, checking the weekly advertisements for bargains, not shopping when you are hungry, and comparing cost per unit are commonplace and fundamental.

The next step is to couple those standard tactics with some introspection. If you will do that, the resultant savings can be significant.

Smart shopping begins in your attitude towards food, and that means a “checkup from the neck up” before you even begin to plan your shopping.  Work to develop an attitude towards food that reflects reality: the primary purpose of food is nutrition, not pleasure.

Now we’re not saying that your food shouldn’t taste great, but focusing on food as a means of satisfying some unnamed longing or unreasonable craving is a sure path to overspending on the food budget. That sort of thinking can also get you headed down the path towards metabolic syndrome, prediabetes, or obesity. Focusing on food as a means of supplying your body with nutrients casts grocery shopping in a different light altogether.

The following ideas are not meant to be a complete list. They are suggestions pointing in the direction of health—both physically and environmentally. They are meant to help get you going.
  • Rather than eat from cans and packages, start as close to the source as you can. Example: A crockpot of beans, cooked from a bag, saves about 80% over canned beans (and doesn’t require the recycling or disposal of a can). Cook a bunch of beans and freeze them for future use. Basic food ingredients tend to be much less expensive than precooked and prepackaged alternatives. Moreover, by cooking and storing basic foods, you save money and have the makings of any number of creative and fun meals on hand.
  • Turn first to leftovers. Get creative. Try to never let food go to waste. Studies show that up to half of our available food goes to the trash—and much of that occurs in the kitchen. Here again, creativity is the key. Staple foods can be used in any number of recipes—whether from a cookbook, the family files, or made up as you go. Have fun. Let your primary concern be getting the nutrients you need—and that is much easier when you are working with basic ingredients instead of name-brand concoctions.
  • Revisit the basic food groups you learned about in school. The plate has replaced the pyramid as a way of looking at how your diet should be structured. Go to to find out more. And think about this: the food recommendations call for fruits, vegetables, protein foods, grains, and dairy—not McDonalds®, Betty Crocker®, Pillsbury® and Stouffer’s®. Sure, there are times when prepared foods are handy—but it may be that your wallet stays fatter and your body trimmer when you prepare meals from scratch instead of from a package.
There is one more consideration though—one that is especially critical today. Even when you start with basic foods, you may not be getting all the nutrients you need. Most of the available food supply is now produced by giant agri-corporations, and the methods they use have resulted in foods that look good, but may pack considerably less nutritive value than the foods our grandparents ate.

Smart shoppers are turning as much as possible to crops grown organically or purchased from local farms that still work at building up the soil through natural, instead of artificial, methods. Most of us will need to add quality vitamin and mineral supplements to our diet in order to make sure we get the nutrients we need.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Resource to Know About - CORE

CORE works cooperatively with businesses, individuals, utilities and government entities to create measurable improvements in energy and water efficiency in order to benefit the environment and develop a more sustainable economy.
Photo courtesy of CORE

The Community Office for Resource Efficiency is a nonprofit organization that promotes renewable energy, energy efficiency and green building in western Colorado and beyond.
CORE’s partnerships with individuals, governments, and businesses (which incudes three local utilities) has led to a remarkable series of accomplishments. Our renewable energy and energy efficiency programs will keep 800 million pounds of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere over the next 20 years.  For example, Holy Cross Energy, one of CORE’s utility partners, is buying more wind power than ANY of the nation’s other 929 rural electric utilities, thanks to an innovative green pricing program that CORE promotes.  Additionally, Aspen Municipal Electric and Glenwood Springs Electric System, CORE’s two other utility partners, rank in the top five of the nation’s 2,000 municipal utilities for the percentages of wind power that they purchase.

In 1998, CORE started the nation’s first “solar production incentive” program, which pays local residents $2.00/watt for installing a solar photovoltaic system.  (Up to $6,000 per customer).  Incentives are also available for installing solar hot water systems and purchasing Energy Star appliances. See the cash incentives link for more details.

In 2000, CORE helped start the world’s first Renewable Energy Mitigation Program (REMP), which has raised nearly $8,000,000 over the last seven years.  This money is used to fund various grant programs to lower carbon emissions in the Roaring Fork Valley. For more policy achievements, please go to CORE’s policy initiatives corner.

CORE also tracks national and global energy to Continue reading

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Resource to Know About - Clean Energy Collective

Proud community solar owners of CEC's Colorado Springs Community-Owned Solar Farm

The CEC is a new idea in power generation - a member-owned collective that builds and operates clean energy facilities at a community level, such as community solar arrays.

Colorado-based Clean Energy Collective is a developer of community-based renewable energy facilities and a leader in community power generation. CEC has pioneered the model of delivering clean power-generation through large-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. The CEC’s proprietary RemoteMeter® system automatically calculates monthly credits and integrates with existing utility billing systems, enabling all utility customers to easily have clean, renewable power credited directly on their monthly utility bills, without modifying their home or office.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Resource to Know About - LiveWell Colorado

LiveWell Colorado is a nonprofit organization committed to reducing obesity in Colorado by promoting healthy eating and active living. In addition to educating and inspiring people to make healthy choices, LiveWell Colorado focuses on policy, environmental and lifestyle changes that remove barriers and increase access to healthy behaviors. Working in partnership with obesity prevention initiatives across the state, LiveWell Colorado aims to provide every Coloradan with access to healthy foods and opportunities for physical activity in the places they live, work, learn and play.

Initially established as a grant-making collaborative in 2007, LiveWell Colorado became a 501(c)(3) in 2009 with the support of its initial funders: The Colorado Health Foundation, Kaiser Permanente and the Kresge Foundation, and its partner the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Obesity in Colorado
While Colorado is often touted as America's "leanest" state, we are not immune to the growing health crisis of obesity. Nearly 58 percent of Colorado adults and a quarter of our children are overweight or obese. And we're getting worse. If trends continue, only 33 percent of Colorado adults will be a healthy weight by 2020. LiveWell Colorado was formed to take a leadership role in tackling the complex problem of obesity and realizing the vision of all Coloradans embracing a healthier lifestyle.

Learn more about LiveWell Colorado.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Sharpening the Mind

Photo by Matt Hurst

When it comes to wellness, we often leave out social interaction and intellect.  Playing games is a great way to address both social interaction (think healthy relationships) and intellectual stimulation.  That's why we think the Scrabble Club at Glenwood Springs Library is a great resource for locals to live well, locally!

Here are the details: Glenwood Springs Scrabble Club

 What activities do you participate in regularly to keep yourself healthy and thriving, body, mind and spirit? Perhaps sharing your experience in the forum here will help inspire others!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Events Worth Knowing - Solar

Courtesy of Solar Energy International
Solar Energy International (SEI) Launches Mobile and Online Solar Training Courses! Online sessions start Monday, Jan.14:

SEI is proud to announce an innovative upgrade to our PV101, PV203 Prep, PV203, and PV206 online courses that include video lecture capture and mobile ready learning opportunities for those wanting to enter the solar industry or learn more about adopting renewable energy into their own lives. Check it out:

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Wellness Perspective on Groceries

Great information and visual examples of healthier shopping. Advocates shopping locally whenever possible.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Plastic Water Bottles Banned

You have to admit, plastic water bottles are convenient.. but the expense, the environmental consequences and the flavor of bottled water leave a bad taste in my mouth.

What say you?

Here's an article about Concord, MA and their attempt to ban plastic water bottles.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Go ahead - be mediocre!

Originally published in 2010, this is still a great local story with a great message. Enjoy.

kim: Go ahead - be mediocre!: Be the best mediocre you can be! Great moment yesterday. A member came to me and shared that he had completed a 25 mile bike ride over the ...

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Wake Up! Reiki

Angelique Fowler, RMT
Want to know about Reiki energy healing? Want to learn about empowerment? Want some gentle coaching in lifestyle transformation? Then a visit to Wake Up! Reiki might renew your path. This local company is the passion of Angelique Fowler, RMT. She shares her story HERE. Read how she conquered lupus with natural methods, and discovered that it is a spiritual illness. Read how she discovered the healing power of Reiki, and became a certified Reiki Master/Teacher (RMT). Make sure to visit the website to learn how you can benefit from spiritual counseling, raindrop therapy, Reiki, and an extensive schedule of classes and personal growth opportunities. Enjoy your day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Waste Free Roaring Fork

Great fun! Check out Gretchen Bleiler, Chris Davenport, John Oates, and several other local celebs and their creative alternative "bags". This video is also a great introduction to Waste Free Roaring Fork On the website you will find tons of information and strategies for reducing waste in the Roaring Fork Valley. Well worth the visit.