27/08/2014 | No Comments » | Posted in Barbara McNally
First Lady Michelle Obama is known for her intelligence and fashion sense, living out her colors as a sage and lover with knowledge, skill and a passion for fun. As the mother of two daughters, she extends her caring for youth and uses the mother as well as the lawyer in her to help all children. She wants to see them eat right and stay fit. One way she has done this was by establishing Let's Move, an organization with a mission of setting national goals to end childhood obesity in one generation. That is good news for kids as today, American children are on the track to be the first American generation to be less healthy than their parents.
Shrewdly, the program, begun in 2010, operates from this mission:
- To offer parents the tools and information they need to make better decisions about their children's nutrition. Lobbying for honest, clear food labeling and having the American Academy of Pediatrics encourage BMI tracking at well-child visits is an important step in reducing childhood obesity, as is involving Disney and NBC in public education partnerships.
- To help get healthier foods in the schools. President Obama boosted his wife's initiative by signing the Child Nutrition Act into law. This act increased the federal reimbursement for free school lunches and allowed 20 million additional after-school meals to be served annually in all 50 states, rather than have after-school snacks only. The act was re-authorized to include money to improve the nutritional quality of school meals and enroll more kids.
- To improve the accessibility and affordability of healthy foods. Let's Move includes a $400 million initiative focused on getting farmers' markets and grocery stores to relocate to "food deserts," the nation's poor areas where healthy food isn't easy to acquire.
- To increase children's physical activity by increasing opportunities for kids to play and move. Concentrating on athleticism isn't going to help obesity in children as much as actually just getting kids to move. Michelle Obama enlisted the help of sports leagues such as the NFL, the NBA, the WNBA and women's soccer, among other sports teams, to help in this effort to make moving cool.
It is said not to be unusual to hear Michelle Obama running with her daughters in the family quarters of the White House with a ball to play with their dog. She knows the value of moving for kids. She is a fighter, too. It was reported this year that only 1 in 4 kids have joined the Let's Move program by exercising for one hour a day and that in many schools, the changes in menus was received poorly by students, who stopped eating the lunches.
Has this kept Michelle Obama from continuing in her passion and commitment to seeing kids' obesity rates go down and their health go up? No. Let's Move is 4 years old now, has an increased its number of public-private partnerships, and reports its successes: Sixteen companies in the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) pledged in 2010 to take action to reduce 1 trillion product calories by 2012 and 1.5 trillion product calories by 2015. By the end of 2012, these food and beverage companies had sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories in the United States in 2012 than in 2007! This means a reduction of 78 calories per person in the United States per day.
Mother's can't help kids overcome difficult problems in a day and without sticking to a program. Tenaciousness is a wonderful quality in a mother, a fighter and a sage.
What can you do in your own home and neighborhood to be like the First Lady in combining your professional skills and background with your passion for helping others? Read more about Michelle Obama and her efforts with Let's Move here:
25/08/2014 | No Comments » | Posted in Barbara McNally
Hopefully, you are knee-deep in the celebration of another summer. In addition to the welcomed sunshine and relaxation summer brings, we can also embrace the seasonal shift in a metaphorical sense. Nature is perhaps one of our best unspoken teachers. Mother Nature’s symbolic illustration communicates with us in an unintentional way, which makes the learning experience all the more genuine…and personal.
Take seasons for example.
There are valuable and anticipated qualities within every seasonal shift. Each with a flavor you can taste, smell and feel. While we appreciate all seasons, we definitely have our favorites, just as in life we wish some seasons would move on more swiftly than others. (Heartache or disappointment being some of the “please move along” seasons).
Each year we undergo a tremendous
amount of personal growth and that in itself can be overwhelming. We exert a lot of mental and emotional energy into our life lessons and summer’s arrival is a little like the “last day of school”. It is a celebration of doing the work and getting to cut loose and enjoy life with all that new knowledge in tow.
Perhaps you are in need of your own seasonal shift and summer has arrived for you metaphorically as well! I can't think of a better season to represent a new phase of YOU.
Here are some ways to personally celebrate the summer of YOU:
- Relish the rays of your personal evolution. Soak up the savory persona you now embody. Remember that awkward reinvention phase? Yeah, it’s over.
- Sit in the shade and simmer on all the new gifts you have ushered into your life. In other words, count your blessings with a cold drink as your sidekick.
- Salute your past seasons. Allow life show you what was purposefully shed in your “fall” and in the works beneath the surface of all your “winters”. Fully enjoy the new life that was working so hard to emerge in your “springs”. Wholly experience the freshness, brightness, warmth, new life, and all that your summer “self” encompasses. Even on the rainy days of summer, rest assured you are seeing nourishment and restoration right before your eyes.
- Take a vacation from current worries that may still be vying for your attention. School is out. Sorry, anxieties – it’s R & R time.
- Party on! Take that fresh self of yours out and about every so often. Whether it be a BBQ cookout, special event, or girls night out, make sure the sassy side of your summer self gets to play.
- Safeguard with “Sun” Care. Just as we give our skin extra protection in the summer, allow that to serve as a reminder to protect your persona from any adverse effects. Be it a toxic friend, relationship or other personal situation; give yourself extra protection in the form of boundaries so you can enjoy your summer without getting burned.
Seasons are change, that don't change. Winters will always be winters and fall will always be fall. We
are the element of change throughout the years.
So HAPPY Summer of YOU! May you carry over the lessons learned from past seasons of life and unfold their beauty in the weeks ahead.
“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” –Albert Camus