Healthy, Wealthy And Wise! Energy, Nest Eggs and Ego!

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!  Energy, Nest Eggs and Ego!

We have officially kicked off summer this month–and it’s no big secret that it’s a busy, active time of year, but we can still do things that will help us be “Healthy, Wealthy and Wise”! 

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!  www.mytributejournal.com

There’s nothing quite like the happy exhilaration and the delirious exhaustion of working hard at summer play…I guess that’s what makes it so much fun!

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“Summertime passes by quickly, so you better hurry up and enjoy it!?!”  CagleCartoons   

Being healthy.  www.mytributejournal.comEach summer brings its own unique brand of fun–but I think we can all agree that it takes a certain amount of high-octane energy to really enjoy it!!  As I get a little older, using my energy wisely has become part of my summer game plan, and as a nurse I’m always looking for smart ways to help me keep pace with busy hospital schedules so I can give good patient care, while still maintaining my own health and well-being!!  Recently in a “Simple Living” magazine article, I came across some great ideas on finding ways to get an extra energy boots when needed.

The key to having a good energy level is ramping up your metabolism, and with these few practical reminders, it’s much easier to adjust than I would have ever imagined!

Drink plenty of water.  Water is the purest way of removing toxins from your body to help revitalize it!!  (At the very least, I’ve had to make it a habit to drink a big glass of water before each meal.)

♦ Reduce meal sizes and incorporate a few healthy snacks into your daily diet.  Eating this way can help you maintain energy by eating more frequently and avoiding the sluggish feeling you get from heavy meals; include higher protein snacks with less sugar and carbohydrates.  When I eat a boiled egg or natural peanut butter on some whole grain crackers instead of sugary snacks, I notice a huge difference in my energy level.  It takes some planning when you go to the grocery store, but it is worth it when you feel so much better!  (More healthy snack ideas coming soon.)

♦ Exercise in short bursts throughout the day. There’s no doubt that strenuous exercise burns a lot of calories, but when you break your exercise into smaller, more frequent periods of activity, your metabolism will also increase without causing a spike in your appetite.  Shorter exercise sessions can help build and maintain lean muscle mass easier and save wear and tear on joints!  (I’ve tried doing a couple of 20-30 minute exercise sessions each day and have found I feel more energized afterward–they’re a nice change from my usual routine.)

Get the sleep your body and mind need.  It’s definitely easier said than done, but the average person should aim for 7 hours of sleep at night, and try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule, even on the weekends.

Summer play!  www.mytributejournal.com

“It’s a happy talent to know how to play well!”  Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Gaining wealth.  www.mytributejournal.comJune seems to be a popular month for people to retire…after all, why not get your summer underway knowing that it is the beginning of your extended leisure living time!  (My parents used to say, however, that they were never so busy than when my dad retired.) 

A good friend of mine just retired at the age of 70 as the head of the blood bank department at the hospital where I work–he was a hard worker and did his job well; I once teased him that he kept working because he wouldn’t know what to do with himself if he retired, but he told me that it had simply been poor retirement planning on his part that kept him on the job longer than expected.

As I’ve mentioned before, my husband is a financial consultant and he’ll often review a few questions with his clients based on a Kiplinger Personal Finance Quiz when they are considering the best plans for their retirement “nest egg”!

Here’s a few of the questions to consider: 

$$ Considering the many financial variables, what percentage of your gross income, including employer contributions, should you strive to save for a comfortable retirement?

$$ If you postpone claiming your social security benefits beyond the regular retirement age, how much will future benefits be increased for each year you delay until age 70?

$$  Should you wait until your retirement to shift your investments to a more conservative allocation?

$$ Recent cutbacks in employer-provided health care benefits means many who retire will be paying more for their medical care out of their retirement savings.  To cover out-of-pocket medical costs during a 20 year retirement, not including long-term care, how much would a 65-year-old couple need to have?

Get answers to the above questions and take the full “Are You Saving Enough For Retirement” Quiz by clicking here. 

Saving for retirement "Nest Egg"!  www.mytributejournal.com

 “The secret of getting ahead is getting started!”  Mark Twain

Using wisdom.  www.mytibutejournal.comIf you turn your television on to any news station now days, it’s more than likely you’ll find yourself besieged with commentaries on a myriad of political viewpoints as yet another presidential race season gets underway!

Recently, I discussed with my husband that considering the less than amicable environment of the current political arena, it was pretty amazing to me that anyone would want to run for office…he just chuckled and responded in a rather matter-of-fact way, but what he said gives you real food for thought, irregardless of your party affiliation:

Try to consider the person’s true character the best you can, along with their confidence vs. ego quotient as they present a viable plan for following through on what they’ve committed to do.”

That my friends, is sensible politics 101…and seemingly applies to all aspects of life!  I suppose any major accomplishment in life takes a bit of fearless confidence and humble ego.  Dr. Ben Carson, former head of pediatric neurosurgery at John Hopkins Medical Center and author of the book, “Gifted Hands” wisely stated:

“I actually don’t think I’m that much smarter than anybody else, I’m just willing to study hard and do the work required to solve a problem, and therein lies wisdom!”  

Know Yourself!  Arisotle quote  www.mytributejournal.com

 “Truly knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom!”  Aristotle

I would love to know what advice you’d give to help others have a healthier, wealthier or wiser summer.

–Mary 

My Hometown!

My Hometown!

Centerville, Utah!  My Hometown!  www.mytributejournal.com

The fun town that I’ve had the privilege of calling home for a number of years is celebrating its 100th birthday this year!  Centerville, Utah and the surrounding areas have provided a great place to raise my family and all the blessings that go hand in hand with a wonderful community!  As exciting as it can be to plan a fun summer vacation away from home, anticipating the arrival of my daughter and her husband from New York City in the next few weeks, allows me the chance to rediscover so many of the great things I love about my hometown! Centerville, Utah on map  www.mytributejournal.com

I love that Centerville has seemingly maintained its small town feel, but has all the amenities of a big city just a short drive down the freeway in Salt Lake City.

 Things I Love To Do In And Around My Hometown!     

Good Eats: 

I’m going to start with some great places to eat since food is often the centerpiece of so many memorable activities!  Although Centerville can now boast an “In and Out” burger joint, among other popular restaurant chains, it’s a couple of locally owned food establishments that make eating in my hometown so unique!

♦The Mandarin♦ 

Tucked away on a corner lot of a residential neighborhood is one of our favorite places to eat!  Not only do we enjoy the food and the atmosphere of this quaint, Chinese restaurant, we love the owner Greg Skedros, who you’ll find most nights wandering around the tables visiting with his patrons.  Mr. Skedros is also active in the community and offers a full scholarship to a qualifying student each year when they graduate from high school.

Mandarin Restaurant in Bountiful, Utah  www.mytributejournal.com  The Mandarin is also the first place of employment for many local teenagers where one of the most important things they learn is a great work ethic.  My son and youngest daughter were both employed at the Mandarin as they worked to save money for college.       

Mandarin Restaurant's cashew chicken.  www.mytributtejournal.com

(via Urban Spoon)

The Mandarin serves a variety of great Chinese dishes including some that are more spicy Szechuan style…their cashew chicken is one of our favorites!

Mandarin Restaurant's Chocolate Fallen Angel Cake  www.mytributejournal.com

(via Urban Spoon)

The desserts at the Mandarin are not only delicious, but beautiful works of art too–my granddaughters absolutely love the Chocolate Fallen Angel Cake with orange cream ice cream!

♦Dairy Queen♦

I found out not too long ago that most Dairy Queen hamburger joints are owned and managed locally, and while I won’t even pretend to know the exact formula for success that is recommended to help a small business thrive, I do know that they seem to have found the winning combination at Centerville’s Dairy Queen; so much so that my son-in-law will often joke that the steady stream of cars that are always lined up at the drive-thru window must be due to the fact that money or another coveted item is being handed out to customers!

Dairy Queen's Chocolate Mint Blizzard  www.mytributejournal.com

One of the things my daughter, Mandi, seems to crave the most when she comes home to visit from NYC is a Dairy Queen Blizzard.  (She says there’s just nothing quite like it in New York–imagine that!)  One of my favorite flavors is Mint Chocolate Chip, but seriously, anything from their corn dogs to their fries and fry sauce to any of their delectable ice cream concoctions is worth the splurge once in a while!     

     Fun Times:

♦Bountiful Bowl♦

While there is plenty to do in my hometown that is worthy entertainment for most everyone in your family no matter their age, going bowling is definitely one of our family favorites.  I just love the happy, party vibes of a fun bowling alley!

Bountiful Bowling!   www.mytributejournal.com

      There are also arcades, pool tables, yummy hamburgers and glow-in-the-dark, neon bowling on weekends at Bountiful Bowl!  (My husband recently told me that this neighborhood staple is up for sale and if new owners aren’t found, Bountiful Bowl may be closing its doors for good.  It makes me so sad to hear this news!)  

♦Lagoon♦

It’s no big secret that my granddaughters and I would gladly take up residency at Disneyland…but since that’s not really a possibility, it’s nice to be able to enjoy a bit of hometown magic of our own at Lagoon Amusement Park just down the road from Centerville!

Lagoon Amusement Park!  www.mytributejournal.com

Although Lagoon gets a thrilling new ride every few years, the iconic, white wooden roller coaster is the ride that park attendees flock to the most.  Built in 1921, this roller coaster is the seventh oldest roller coaster in the world and the fourth oldest in the United States!  (My oldest granddaughter, Makena, is just happy that she is finally tall enough that she is eligible to ride on it!)

     Outdoor Recreation:

♦Mueller Park♦

Utah is well-known for its many beautiful outdoor recreation spots, but it’s safe to assume that I’m definitely bias in saying that some of the most amazing ones are nearby where I live!  Mueller Park Picnic Area is one of those special places where along with my family, I look forward to spending some time each summer, hiking and cooking dinner over a camp fire.

Mueller Park in Bountiful, Utah!  www.mytributejournal.com

Mueller Park has a total of 18 picnic areas available for day use only, (no overnight camping) where tables, campfire pits, grills, horse shoe ring toss, bike trails and other assorted amenities (including flushing toilets) are available for your use, all surrounded by mother nature’s scenic backdrop, making way for some of the most memorable times you’ll ever spend with family and friends! 

Mueller Park picnic area  www.mytributejournal.com

Like many who visit Mueller Park Picnic Area, my granddaughters have come to love this little piece of heaven on earth and look forward to our time spent there each year!  (Check out our fun variation of making smores over a camp fire on this post.) 

♦Pineview Reservoir♦

Pineview Reservoir is a popular boating destination very close to my hometown, about 15 miles up Ogden Canyon.   My parents had a boat when I was growing up and my husband and I bought one when our children were still quite young, so Pineview has been a place where many eventful boating excursions have taken place!

Pineview Reservoir in Ogden, Utah  www.mytributejournal.com

For those years where a “staycation” is in order, we load up the boat and head out to Pineview Reservoir for some much needed playtime! 

Boating on Pineview Reservoir  www.mytributejournal.com

For me, Pineview will always hold a special place in my heart because it’s where my kids and so many of their friends learned to waterski and where we all just enjoyed being together, out on the water, on a gorgeous summer day!

From all the beautiful parks to the eclectic mix of new and old architecture and everything in between, no doubt it’s family and friends and the strong sense of community spirit that always makes our hometowns so near and dear to us!

Founders Park in Centerville, Utah.  www.mytributejournal.com

Happy Birthday, Centerville, Utah!  100 years looks good on you!

I’d love to know what unique things or traditions make your hometown special to you!

–Mary

Healhty, Wealthy and Wise! Don’t Fry Day!

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!  Don’t Fry Day!

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!  www.mytributejournal.com

In considering this month’s “Healthy Wealthy and Wise” blog post, I couldn’t help but think about the fact that this weekend officially kicks off the fun summer months ahead.  Knowing that most everybody loves spending a good part of this happy season having “fun in the sun” so to speak, the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention has declared that the Friday before Memorial Day, “Don’t Fry Day” to help encourage sun safety and remind us all to take special precautions to protect our skin while enjoying the outdoors.

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!  Don't Fry Day!  www.mytributejournal.com

Having had to undergo treatment for skin cancer myself, this topic has become a personal passion, and so for that reason, I’ve decided to today’s post entirely on this subject matter; besides like my dad always used to say…

“There is good wisdom in seeking after those things that will help you maintain good health, because after all, feeling well is truly one of life’s richest blessings!” 

I grew up in the sun bathing, oil slathering generation somewhere in between the “baby boomers” and the “millennials” (…a lady never really tells her age…) and prided myself on a developing a good tan over the course of the summer, despite the fact that I had inherited my dad’s fair Norwegian skin tone and developed a smattering of freckles over my nose, cheeks and shoulders as I was growing up.

Healthy, Wealthy and Wise!  Don't Fry Day!  www.mytributejournal.comMy parents also bought a boat when I was younger, so many summer weekends were spent playing on the beach, but even then–pre-sun screen emphasis–my mom often warned me to cover up and avoid too much sun exposure.  It was only as I got older and saw my dad undergo treatment for some pre-cancerous lesions that I started taking skin care more seriously–but as you can imagine, by then most of the sun damage had already taken place.

Safeguarding Your Skin From Harmful Sun Exposure!

Due to my skin cancer history, I now undergo a thorough skin evaluation at least yearly from my dermatologist, but even if you’ve been a sun-wise person, here are some common sense guidelines from the Skin Cancer Foundation that can help protect you against skin cancer!

  • Seek the shade–especially between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm–that is when the sun’s damaging ultraviolet light is the strongest.
  • Do not burn–even a single sunburn will increase your risk of getting skin cancer.
  • Avoid tanning and UV tanning booths–the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention warns us that tanning is never safe whether you acquire it on the beach or in a salon; research indicates that even occasional sunbed use triples the chances of developing melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer!
  • Cover up–including a sun hat and UV blocking sunglasses.  Despite our ready access to good sun-blocking lotions today, clothing can be one of your most effective forms of sun protection.  (I wear a funky sun hat and long sleeves when I work in my yard now.) 
  • Use products with a Sun Protection Factor (SPF) of 15 or greater every day, all year round–during the winter months and even on cloudy days, 70-80 percent of the UV rays still travel through clouds and overcast skies.  Sun block should also be applied every two hours when skin is exposed to the sun.
  • Keep infants out of direct sunlight–a baby’s skin possesses little melanin, the pigment that gives skin color, therefore babies are more prone to the sun’s damaging effects.
  • Examine your skin from head to toe every month–including your scalp, under arms, hands, soles of your feet, and nail beds.  Skin damage can be quite elusive and present itself in the most unlikely of places, especially as you age.  Changes of any kind, such as a spot that is sore, itches, or forms a small crusty wound that never heals can all be signs and symptoms of skin cancer.

Skin cancer growths  www.mytributejournal.com

(via SkinCancer.org)

When unprotected skin is overexposed to the harmful effects of UV sunlight, the DNA of cells is damaged and can lead to change (mutation) of the skin cell. 

(Although hard to look at, above you see: Basil cell and squamous cell carcinoma–crusty, blistering of a damaged skin spot that if treated early is a very curable form of skin cancer.  Any irregular and oozing dark moles or skin lesions are usually a sign of melanoma which need immediate attention and treatment from a skilled dermatologist!) 

The surprising rise in the rate of skin cancers found in young people, 20-30 years of age, has made the Council for Skin Cancer Prevention realize, more than ever before, that even with all the strides we have made in skin cancer research over the last several years, the public needs to be reminded again of the basics of skin care and cancer prevention so they came up with this unique and clever slogan:

Skin Caner Awareness poster  www.mytributejournal.com

 Here’s to many sun safe and happy summers to come!

 I’d love to know any habits or products you advocate for better skin protection!

–Mary