Positive Parenting: How to Turn Sibling Foes into Friends, Anna Kangas

dealing with sibling rivalry, preventing sibling rivalry, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

Sibling rivalry. It often starts at birth. I’ve heard the story many times. Baby number two+ comes along and the used-to-be-baby of the family shows those signs of jealousy—sleep regressions, potty accidents when they’d been trained for months already, tantrums over the littlest things. It’s tough on the whole family. Things have changed. They’re feeling insecure. An older child may even voice it.

Fast-forward a few years and instead of the toddler tantrums, you’ll be hearing “Mom! Billy hit me!” and “Dad, Susie won’t stop copying me!” These issues are really obvious right now when our whole world has been changed. Most siblings would just have a couple of hours a day, plus the weekends spent together…. and at the time of this writing, we are in our homes almost 24/7 in a family togetherness experiment like no other. Yes, there are good things coming out of it. For example, maybe this time can help your kids find their friendship again. “Your siblings can be your best friends” my husband reminds our kids often.

So how can we help them accomplish this? Before we can solve the problem, it helps to look at why this may be occurring. What causes this sibling rivalry, this jealousy, competition, and/or fighting. Is it boredom? Too much screen time? Perhaps. But my gut tells me this: I’d be willing to bet that one of the biggest reasons for our kids acting out is that they are craving attention from us, their parents.

Think about how this rivalry may stem from the time the younger sibling is born—

that postpartum time when the new baby takes up so much of our attention. Add in something big, such as the current state of our world, and this huge feeling of insecurity can add another level of stress. So if you’ve been wondering why on earth they keep fighting so much lately, I’d bet these things have a big part in it. If you’re like me, you’ve been spending too much time tuning into the state of the world. My phone is too close to me, and I’ve been draining the battery too often. One of the ways I know it’s too much is when my kids start acting out.

If you’re experiencing this during the postpartum time, I recommend taking some extra time with the older kids who may be feeling neglected. Keep a basket of books near your couch and sit there while you breastfeed. Involve the bigger kids in caring for the baby. Encourage them, “You’re such a wonderful big sister—look at him smiling at you, he loves you so much!”

dealing with sibling rivalry, preventing sibling rivalry, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication
Are your children past those baby years? Well. Have you ever heard of The 5 Love Languages? With kids, it’s really easy to find out what they need. Just ask them “How do you know someone loves you?”

They might answer, “When I get a hug.” There’s the physical touch.

“When someone tells me.” Hello, words of affirmation.

“When they play a game with me.” Aha! Quality time.

“When they give me a present!” You guessed it, receiving gifts!

“When they help me with my chore.” And there you have acts of service.

Go ahead; ask your child this simple question. It can go a long way toward knowing how to keep him or her feeling secure, safe, and loved.

I think quality time is extremely important, no matter what your main Love Language is. So start by spending time with your kids, good quality time. Be engaged. Put away the phone, TV, electronics. Take them on one-on-one “date nights.”

Give them the stability, consistency, and love they need. This will build up their confidence, and I’m willing to bet you’ll begin seeing a difference in their attitudes and behavior.

But even with the most stable, loving environment, kids will be kids.

There will be fights. And these stressful times we’ve been living in the past few months are going to show in our kids. They’re feeling the stress, too. So, what can we do for them? How do we help guide them when these fights break out?

As Brian Helminen, a Calumet dad of fifteen and author of How to Raise a Happy Family recommends in his book, “Stay neutral as much as possible and let kids settle their differences.” Stepping in to settle their battles for them every time won’t help them in the long run. As long as they aren’t causing each other major bodily harm (then it’s time to referee), letting them find a solution between themselves is a good lesson. It’s part of growing up—finding the maturity to solve disagreements.

The few times my husband and I had to step in, we chose to referee and bring in the “get-along” shirt.” The two siblings who have been in battle must wear an oversized T-shirt together for a set amount of time. What had started with tears and fighting ends in laughing and smiles as they try to navigate together.

Learning to settle differences is a skill.

And who better to learn it with than the people who love you most, your family members? An unconditional love creates a safe space for kids to be themselves, and grow into responsible adults. Because that’s what we’re striving for, right? As New York Times best-selling author Andy Andrews says, “The goal is not to raise great kids. It’s to raise kids who become great adults.”

I hope these tips help you to find a balance in your family. From learning their love languages and maybe trying a “get-along” shirt, to making an effort to make sure to spend some good quality time with your family, it’s not too late to encourage your children to find the amazing friendship possible between siblings.

Anna Kangas is a full-time homeschooling mom of seven, wife of 10+ years, and owner of Keweenaw Doula Services. She is passionate about supporting families in Houghton and Keweenaw counties during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.

Excerpted with permission from the Summer 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Bodies in Motion: Embodying Empowerment by Becoming More Active in Life, Crystal Cooper

reclaiming our power, physical fitness and overall well-being, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

We are in a pivotal time for actively reclaiming our power.

At this decisive point in human history, we have the opportunity to change our direction for the benefit of all. As our current circumstances require, we (at the time of this writing) stay inside our homes and are likely pondering the future. Within this time, we may find a new, ironic sense of liberation. By embracing the need to live more self-reliantly and sustainably, we naturally become more active. By becoming more present in our bodies, rather than trapped in our minds, we can empower ourselves to relieve stress, find calm, restore vitality, and regain our sovereignty.

Though our minds may be full of uncertainty and confusion in these changing times, our bodies know very well what we genuinely need—to live in a comfortable and safe place, eat nourishing food, drink clean water, breathe fresh air, exercise regularly, and get adequate deep rest. The possibilities for revolutionizing our lives may be infinite; however, they all have something in common—action. The action required may vary from meditation on emotional health to intense physical training and more, as everyone’s story will be different. Our authority comes through deciding to make beneficial moves in our lives. By focusing on what we can take action on, energy moves and frustrations neutralize.

By merging creativity, mindfulness, and curiosity, adaptations on movement are vast.

Experimenting with different modalities, as well as developing one, are both admirable approaches for getting mobile. One ancient, well-loved physical practice is hatha yoga. This physical branch of yoga unites the mind and breath with the body through a flow of poses. Both restorative and strengthening, it can prevent injury and support longevity. There are many styles of yoga, making it accessible for all. Another traditional system of coordinated body postures is qi gong, which also focuses on the harmony of meditation, breathing, and movement. Its central tenet is the balancing of energy. It is also a basis for martial arts training. Deep healing can be found within these methods, supporting many other areas of life.

When sheltering in place, or maintaining some restrictions, the significance of moving what we can may become more apparent. Deep breathing, getting the blood flowing, and heating up the body cleanses energy and provides grounding. Fast, exciting activities such as running, bouncing on a trampoline, juggling, and dancing can shake up sluggish outlooks. Strength training, working the whole body, and building muscle can help maintain focus when reality appears chaotic. Physical restrictions can inspire us to focus on what we can do and to creatively employ those abilities. Using our bodies for enjoyment, as simply or indulgently as desired, cultivates peace and exercises our freedom.

We can continue to expand our ingenuity to other, more outward necessities of life. For example, reinventing our transportation can be as simple as walking with a backpack, or as inspired as an electric-assisted bicycle equipped with a solar charging battery and storage racks or luggage cart. By returning to more manual forms of labor, we can supersede convenience by reconnecting with quality skill-building. As we reconsider tasks-at-hand during this time, a plethora of creative problem-solving abilities may be unleashed. To regain the impetus to chop wood and carry water, symbolically or literally, is good work. In mastering one’s actions, the lines between training, work, and play may blur.

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Actions such as cultivating our own energy and entertainment, growing our food, and riding bicycles run counter to the practices of the ever-consuming capitalistic economy our society has relied upon, thereby becoming acts of empowerment that resist the old status quo. By focusing inward and nurturing our connection with our bodies, opportunities abound for finding the clarity we need to move forward in harmony and inner sovereignty. Mindful activity is medicinal for our well-being and can also be more sustainable for Earth. And because we are nature and are not separate from it, healing our connection with ourselves simultaneously heals a part of human relationship with Earth.

Regaining control and becoming strong in one area of life can often translate to others.

When you can hold your own on the mat, the trail, or simply within a stressful situation, confidence is built that can be utilized in trying times. By moving through life with a more mindful focus on the body, rather than the mind, toxic stress has less of a chance to build up and create long-term negative effects. This is great for the immune system, and helps foster a more positive mood. Working with this perspective one day at a time can build momentum toward a more instinctual, spirited way of existing.

Each person’s movement will look different; however, the magic is in the sum of the parts, in people coming together. The cornucopia of abilities and resources of a united community creates a powerful, ever-evolving entity. The mightiest feats we can accomplish in the world begin with the work we do individually to dream and create and act from an inspired place. In solidarity with our communities and on massive scales, this intention could help humanity move in a healthier, more harmonious, and unified direction.

Crystal Cooper has called Marquette and the northwoods home for over a decade. An NMU graduate in biology ecology, she enjoys studying plants and writing. Passionate about natural healing modalities as well as personal and global sustainability, Crystal advocates yoga and other resiliency-promoting actions within the community.

Excerpted with permission from the Summer 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Senior Viewpoint: Nutrition Essential to Fighting Infection, Dr. Conway McLean, DABFAS, FAPWHc, FAMIFAS

nutrition, infection prevention, senior health, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication

The attention devoted to sickness and health is omnipresent these days, and with good reason. The pandemic is filling the airwaves and prompting fear in the hearts of many. What we need is accurate information, smart practices. This is where the knowledge of the physician specializing in infectious disease, one who knows the immune system intimately, can be invaluable.

So what specifically is the immune system? It’s the part of the body devoted to fighting off invading micro-organisms that are a part of our world. The complexity and effectiveness of our immune system is nothing short of staggering.

What are the functions of the immune system? This system is critical for survival. Our immune system is constantly alert, monitoring for signs of an invading organism. The immune system functions to keep us free of infection, be it through the skin, a skin structure, or our intestinal lining. Cells of the immune system must be able to distinguish self from something else, i.e. “non-self.”

By now it is well-recognized the COVID-19 virus is more dangerous in the elderly.

A decline in immune function is consistently observed among older adults. Aging is also associated with increased inflammation in the absence of infection and has been found to predict infirmity. The result is seniors are more susceptible to infections and have more serious complications when they get one.

The term for this decline in immune function is immunosenescence. It reflects the deterioration of both components of the immune system—the acquired and the innate. The innate system is the ‘first responder’ to an alien invasion (of a microbe). The cells of the innate system act quickly, but are not specialized. The innate system is generally less effective than the adaptive immune response. The adaptive response is able to recognize a specific invading organism and remember it later, if exposed again.

Scientists specializing in the role of macronutrients, micronutrients, and the gut microbiome are convinced they all play a critical role in the functioning of our immune system. It turns out to be an incredibly complex system, with a multitude of factors and variables. Up until recently, we knew next to nothing about our gut bacteria and its complex interaction with our health and immunity. We do know one crucial part of gut health, not surprising, is our diet. But there are many ways to optimize the effectiveness of our immunity.

Your nutrition can affect the microbes residing in your guts, directly altering your immune response.

The  microbial community in the mammalian gut is a complex and dynamic system, crucial for the development and maturation of every facet of our immune response. The complex interaction between available nutrients, the microbiota, and the immune system seems to be the most important ‘player’ in the fight against invading pathogens.

What does it take to have a healthy immune system?

We know well many micronutrient deficiencies have been identified as contributors to declining immunity. It is believed these could provide opportunities for directed therapies for potentially restoring immune function, creating better health through improved nutrition.

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Some proffered recommendations: eat yogurt for breakfast! Apparently, the probiotics strengthen the immune system, as revealed by a study on athletes and their colds and GI infections. Yogurt is also rich in vitamin D, which also boosts your immune system.

Vitamin C is well-recognized as an extremely important part of an effective immune system, and a deficit can make you more prone to getting sick. Because your body cannot store it, daily intake is essential for good health. Foods rich in vitamin C include oranges, grapefruits, strawberries, bell peppers, spinach, kale, and broccoli.

Vitamin B6 supports many of the reactions that are integral to immune function. Foods high in B6 include chicken and cold water fish (e.g. salmon and tuna), and green vegetables. Another important vitamin for fighting infection is E, which is a powerful antioxidant. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, and spinach.

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Some people think of tea as something consumed in the movies, yet studies reveal alkylamine, a naturally occurring chemical in tea, strengthens the immune system, again, helping it fight off infection more effectively. Honey has centuries of use because of its medicinal properties. Numerous reviews find honey, an antioxidant, acts as a natural immunity booster. So you might want to add it to your tea for both flavor and health benefits.

Another suggestion made by researchers is to eat more garlic, since it seems to stimulate many different cell types essential to the immune system. Ginger, another powerful antioxidant, has antiviral properties, probably a good idea these days. Consume more lemon. Lemon juice is high in vitamin C, and can be used for its antioxidant properties and to prevent the common cold.

nutrition, infection prevention, senior health, U.P. holistic business, U.P. wellness publication, health benefits of chicken soup

How about a bowl of chicken soup? Thought by some to simply be a comfort food, the dish has a mild anti-inflammatory effect. Ingredients in the classic recipe (chicken, garlic, onion, celery, etc.) have been found to slow the migration of white blood cells into the upper respiratory tract, helping to relieve the symptoms of a cold. Additionally, a compound found in chicken soup called carnosine seems to prevent colds. How about a nice bowl of curcumin? This is a component in the spice called turmeric. Studies have shown curcumin helps to regulate the immune system.

Zinc is known to be an important micronutrient for the immune system. Even a mild deficiency in zinc has been associated with widespread defects in the immune response. Look to fish, seeds, nuts, and broccoli as good food sources. Selenium is a trace element that also has critical functional, structural, and enzymatic roles. Inadequate selenium is associated with a higher risk for a variety of chronic diseases since it is critical to immune function. Foods containing higher levels of this mineral include spinach, lentils, eggs, and fish.

Some recommendations for immune health are related more to lifestyle modifications.

Make workouts a part of your weekly regimen since regular exercise increases the activity of immune cells. Exercise also seems to flush bacteria out of your lungs, reducing the likelihood of an airborne illness. Experts suggest moderate levels of intensity, performed 4 to 5 times a week for 30-40 minutes.

Staying hydrated is required for immune health. Water helps your body produce lymph, which carries white blood cells and other immune cells. Sun exposure is important (although difficult in certain climes) since it is the most efficient way to stock up on vitamin D, an immune system supercharger. Surprisingly little is needed, just 15 to 20 minutes a day, to get the recommended dosage.

Getting the flu shot can improve your immune profile, and has been approved for all adults. Smoking suppresses the immune system generally, so quitting helps lower the risk of infectious disease. Smoking also damages the lining of our “windpipes,” explaining why smokers are much more likely to catch a cold virus.

Because of their effectiveness, nutritional therapies should be getting prescribed in the typical medical practice, though this has been rarely and inconsistently recommended. This therapeutic approach should be utilized more consistently in those demonstrating poor immune function, as well as healthy populations.

Our understanding of the risk factors for immune system dysregulation is far from complete.

We can say definitively that adopting these and related strategies will optimize your chances of reducing or delaying the onset of immune-mediated acute and chronic diseases. In summary, I would say, you have a road map. Your course of action, a plan for better health, can now be laid. Perhaps it is time for positive changes in your routine, and thereby your health. Though giant steps are hard to take, small ones require only a step, and if taken in the right direction, lead to the larger changes you choose.

Dr. Conway McLean is a physician practicing foot and ankle medicine and surgery in the Upper Peninsula (Marquette and Escanaba). McLean is triple board certified in surgery, wound care, and orthotic therapy. He has lectured internationally on many topics. Dr. McLean welcomes questions at drcmclean@outlook.com.

Excerpted with permission from the Summer 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Community Improvement: All is Possible, Garee Zellmer

community improvement, addressing covid-19 challenges, global covid-19 responses and opportunities, U.P. holistic business, U.P. well-being publication

At the very beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak (already a lifetime ago, it seems), I was participating in a world-wide live, online, interactive, professional development presentation. Four insights came to mind during and after the session. I jotted them down to memorialize these thoughts.

Insight #1 – Every single person (or almost) on this planet is affected by this virus in one way or another.

Joining the session were attendees from all over the world – Australia, Korea, Nicaragua, Israel, U.S., Canada, England, South Africa, Norway… everywhere. During the check- in of the session, the presenter asked us to write a word or two about how we were feeling in that moment, especially in light of the world-wide COVID-19 situation. In the feed visible on the screen, words describing every emotion popped up, from one end of the spectrum to the other.

Insight #2 – We all have different circumstances, and our particular, unique, situation influences how this virus impacts us.

Everyone around the world is being asked to “turn on a dime” to accommodate the change and/or adjust to the circumstances, but to differing degrees.

I thought of my own situation. For the most part, nothing has changed dramatically in my life. My private life coaching practice continues (with a few adjustments), my “retirement” resources are stable, my shopping needs are met by generous friends.

And yet, all I need do is look out the window or zip in and out of the news to see that there are others whose lives have been turned completely upside-down, some losing jobs, some having to make quick changes (such as the grocery industry) to accommodate customers and regulations. It is true around the world.

Insight #3 – Everyone on the globe agrees we have a problem.

I cannot think of another time in history where ONE ISSUE–world-wide–exists that everyone agrees is a problem and requires a cooperative effort to secure a solution.

Insight #4 – ANYTHING is Possible

While it didn’t take long before the bickering and blaming started about where fault lies for the pandemic, in that brief instant, for one tiny slice of time, as a world we felt as ONE, with a shared purpose and objective. Political and geographic boundaries and differences in ideologies, theologies, and affiliations were set aside in favor of finding a solution that benefits all.

Arguments for “we can’t,” “impossible,” “never can happen,” just don’t hold water anymore. No matter the size of the disagreement–from a neighbor dispute over barking dogs to a hundred-year war somewhere in the world–we stand witness that working together toward resolution is possible.

The only question remaining is “Are we willing?”

Garee Zellmer is a professional co-active coach, graduate of the California-based Coaches Training Institute and their internationally acclaimed Leadership Program, and a member of the International Coach Federation.

Excerpted with permission from the Summer 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Forsberg’s A New Leaf with Owner Sarah Balding

What’s Forsberg’s A New Leaf all about?

It’s overall a floral shop, but we also carry local gift items from all-local vendors, do event planning, coordinating, decorating, and also have rental items. It’s a one-stop shop for brides and for tourists.

In 2015, we moved into the UpFront building on the corner of Main Street and Front here in Marquette, and we love it! We loved our old location on Third Street, but it’s a new fresh feeling down here. In summer, it’s bustling with tourists. We never had any of the festivals up near our Third Street shop. Now we have Blueberry Fest right at our door ,and a lot of fun things going on.

How has it changed since you started operating the business?

Since I began running it in October, 2017, we’re much more hands-on with the weddings. I combined both of my loves—the wedding industry, providing floral bridal, with also doing the decorating.

Although, of course, it’s different with a younger mind and a younger group of people doing it, I’ve tried to keep the feel of how grandma had it—her style, a lot of her paintings are still in the shop that would be really hard to part with. She loved the artistic-ness of having the local artists featured at the front of the store.

Our family-owned business started in 1969.

My grandma would drive down to the wholesalers in Green Bay and buy the flowers for her orders outright. She was such a pioneer in the business field. She was the type of person that when you came in the store, you did not leave without buying something. Get in there and find out what the people are into, and what they love, and what they might buy that will keep them smiling—that’s what I learned in the family business.

Later, there wasn’t much local artists’ work on consignment in the old store. People would come in and look around, see it’s a flower shop, and leave. We also had friends looking for a spot to put their crafts. Now it’s done a complete 180—they come in and look around, and then go “Oh, you’re a flower shop!”

What do you enjoy most about running Forsberg’s A New Leaf?

It’s the interaction with the customers and the clients. I love putting together someone’s dream of what they’d like, whether it’s the wedding or the floral. Someone comes in and says, “I really love this and this; can you do it?” I really love seeing their face when it becomes a reality. I love the process of working with the brides and grooms, and helping them make the day their own.

What do you find most challenging about running your shop?

Keeping ahead of it all—it’s very easy in a floral business when it’s holiday time for something to fall through the cracks no matter how hard I try. I’ve got a way that I think is helping, but it’s still challenging. You want to be able to do everything for everyone, but when someone makes a request real close to when it’s needed during a busy season, it can be hard to get it all done.

What are your future plans for Forsberg’s A New Leaf?

Growing the decorating and coordinating. I want to enhance and grow with our weddings, and also enhance and grow the floral, to be able to do more high style, the different things the customer wants. I’m always looking to find things we don’t normally get from our wholesalers.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Extraordinary Endurance, Chandra Ziegler

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I’m not here to provide any life-changing advice on how to raise kids. The truth is, as parents, we make hundreds of decisions any given day. We answer questions, and ask questions, sometimes straight to our kids, and other times just in our minds. From the moment they wake up until they fall asleep, we’re on duty. There’s already enough people telling us what to do, and what not to do. It can all be very exhausting.

What I will provide is a simple story and some tips on how to stay fit for the marathon of parenting, a feat that truly tests our limits, and one that takes extraordinary endurance.

Should I really give her juice as soon as she wakes up? What kind of habit am I creating? Maybe I should wake them up with nice classical music. Why couldn’t she sleep for a little longer? Do you want to lay back down, sweetie? Why didn’t I douse myself in patchouli? What should I pack in their lunches? No, you cannot wear your pajamas to school. Why are you still in bed? Did you brush your teeth? Do you have your snow pants? Yes, you need to wear a hat and gloves; it’s 3 degrees outside! Check watch…7:07 a.m.

Fast-forward to 8:07 p.m…

I let the older two watch Sofia the First a little longer than they should, which led to them being tired and cranky, and not so kind to one another in the bathroom while getting ready for bed. I could’ve walked away, used a nice, calm voice, remembered to have a sense of humor, or had some empathy… all those great parenting and teaching tricks that I know work, and have used a thousand times. Instead, I got irrationally upset.

Once we all settled down, and I got them to bed, I heard yelling and arguing so I went back into their bedroom. I looked at Emma, who had a thousand things surrounding her and asked, “Emma, look around you! I just don’t understand. Why do you need all this stuff???” And as I watched the tears well up in her eyes, she proclaimed with enough drama to win an Academy Award, “It’s just that I love you so much that I have to build up all this stuff around me to try to replace you, and help me calm down!”

I seriously melted. I embraced her and said how much I loved her and how happy I was that she still loved me even when I yell at her. We were able to rewind the not-so-good bedtime, and end with peace and calm. Thank goodness.

Parenting is hard, and I believe we’re all doing the best we can.

Whether you’re a parent of little kids, big kids, furry kids, or no kids, I know you can relate. While there can be many rip-your-hair-out moments as a parent, there are far more joyous moments and reasons to celebrate. We can become inundated with information, but in the end we just need to trust ourselves.

Children are kind, intelligent, incredibly sweet, far more enlightened than we give them credit for, and simply hilarious. We need to stay in the moment, see the world through the eyes of a child, look for the pearl, and live more joyfully. Since I said I wasn’t going to give any advice, I’ll just call that homework.

Because parenting is the toughest job on the planet, and requires extraordinary endurance, and an exorbitant amount of energy, we must first show up for ourselves. We need to take care of our physical, emotional, and spiritual bodies so we can more fully take care of the precious humans we’ve been gifted. So here are some things to consider doing:

– Rise at 5 a.m. to do some quiet reading or writing or anything else that you love.
– Rise at 5 a.m. to get a workout in to a) train for a marathon, b) burn off the calories from all the Halloween candy you stole from your toddler’s pumpkin or simply, c) stay sane and be a better parent, spouse, and person as a whole.
– Be happy with where you’re at and your decisions.
– If possible, take a day for you.
– Take any help that is offered.
– Get active in the outdoors. It’s good for the body, mind, and soul.
– Give a massage, get a massage.
– Play now, clean later.

7:07 p.m the next day..

Emma tiptoed quietly into Kate’s room as I was rocking her to sleep. She kissed her, squeezed her tight, and said, “You are so beautiful and kind! You will change the world. I just love you so much. You will make the world a better place because you’re so kind.”

The tears rolled down my cheeks. Emma noticed and asked, “Why are you crying?” All I could squeak out was, “I just love you so much.” But in my heart, I thought ‘Maybe I’m doing okay as a mom. Maybe the messages and lessons I’m trying to impart to my children are really sinking in.’ Because you know what? Sometimes it’s hard to tell if they hear what I’m saying.

For instance, how many times have I said, “Put your pajamas on, brush your teeth, that’s enough chips, hands are for helping, stop hitting your sister!” But tonight, I can pause and thank God that the things I’m saying and how I’m living are making a difference.

A child’s love is unconditional, so remember this:

“It doesn’t matter what color you are. The most special thing is that you have someone that loves you.” – Four-year-old

Your spirit is strong and vibrant, so when the going gets tough, tell yourself,
“I can do this. I just have to be brave.” – Six-year-old

You are extraordinary. And maybe you’re not an athlete, or active at all, but trust yourself that you have the endurance it takes to keep going and be the best parent you can be.

Chandra Ziegler is a Yooper wannabe in Crystal Falls with a Minnesota heart. By day, she is a mother of three girls and teacher to even more. By “night,” she runs non-profit Iron Endurance, teaches yoga and painting classes, trains for marathons, and writes.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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E-Bikes—Ride the Revolution! Steve Waller

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With a lithium battery and an electric motor, conventional bicycles become e-bikes, putting people with lots of excuses back in the saddle. Crank the pedals, the motor comes to life. The harder you pedal, the bigger the power boost. It’s easy. It’s fun! Europeans love e-bikes. Americans are finally gearing up.

All-terrain and road e-bike motors are limited to 750 watts (1 horsepower) so e-bikers can gain the power of a horse–you become a centaur with gears! No hill is too steep. No workplace is too far (20-50-mile range). No shower at work is no excuse because you won’t break a sweat unless you want to. E-bikes silently push you, almost pollution-free, with no more effort than an exercise bike on low.

Run errands. Haul groceries or schoolbooks. Add a bike rack, backpack, panniers, or trailer. The e-bike does the heavy lifting. You just ride. Get outside. Experience organic air conditioning. Joy ride on two wheels instead of four. Let fresh springtime air perfume your hair. Parking is free!

E-bikes cost more (about $2,500 on up, depending on options) because you get more. The bike is beefier to support the motor and horsepower. Battery and charger is included ($650 value). Fenders, LED lights, and digital displays are often included. Bluetooth is optional. Get healthier. Buy less gasoline. Minimize car miles and expensive repairs. That’s all worth something.

Michigan law defines e-bikes in three classes:

Class 1 – Provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to function at 20 mph. No minimum age, no helmet required.
Class 2 – Assists up to 20 mph whether the rider is pedaling or not (has a separate throttle), and ceases to function when brakes are applied. No minimum age, no helmet required.
Class 3 – Provides assistance only when the rider is pedaling and ceases to function at 28 mph. Minimum age is 14, helmet required.

Class 1 e-bikes are the most versatile, and can be ridden on a multi-use trail or roadway that runs from point to point with an asphalt, crushed limestone, or similar surface, or a rail trail (a retired railroad route) unless prohibited by local agencies. Check local ordinances for Class 1 e-Bike availability on local trails.

Class 2 or Class 3 e-bikes can be trail ridden as above only if authorized. Presume that it’s illegal to ride Class 2 or Class 3 e-bikes on trails unless expressly allowed by local authorities. Michigan e-bike law specifically prohibits all e-bikes on nonmotorized mountain bike and hiking trails (trails with a natural surface made by clearing and grading the native soil with no added surfacing materials) unless local authorities allow them.

Michigan e-bike law does not apply to congressionally-authorized public trail systems such as the North Country National Scenic Trail. No e-bikes on Mackinac Island.

When e-biking, the rider has the rights and duties of a vehicle driver, and the same requirements as a bicycle rider. When riding an e-bike on the road, treat it like a bicycle and follow all traffic laws.

Insurance

Michigan law specifically excludes e-bikes from the definition of “motor vehicles.” Auto insurance for an e-bike isn’t required and it’s often covered in the same way as a bicycle. But, since e-bikes cost more, consult your insurance agent to ensure coverage under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. If someone steals your e-bike, you want insurance! If not insured, consider purchasing a policy rider.

Yeah, you can google “e-bikes” but visit your local bike shops instead for details and local model options. Take an e-bike for an e-ride. Bike shops are excited about e-bikes. You will be too. Vive la révolution!

Steve Waller’s family lives in a wind- and solar-powered home. He has been involved with conservation and energy issues since the 1970s and frequently teaches about energy. Steve can be reached at Steve@UPWallers.net.

Reference: https://michiganbikelawyer.com/

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Inspired by Photography, Christine Saari

creative inspiration, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

After six years of living in Cambridge, Massachusetts as a graduate student’s wife, an Austrian immigrant finding her way in a new society and, finally, a mother of two young boys, I needed something for my soul. Maybe taking art classes would do the trick?

I learned silversmithing, weaving, enameling. I liked it all, but nothing stuck. Until I hit upon photography. After I learned how to expose and develop film, I went to Austria and took photographs of all I loved there.

Upon returning to the U.S., we moved to Marquette. I immediately set up a darkroom in our tiny bathroom, and taught myself to print. By serendipity, the person who taught photography at NMU was our neighbor. When he saw my work, he suggested I take classes. I did, and I was hooked.

That was in the early seventies. It was an intense time.

I met other women photographers, and we founded Interplay: A Women’s Photographic Collective. I took workshops in Minneapolis and New York with master photographers. I entered shows and got in. I helped organize exhibits, juried, taught workshops, gave presentations.

Initially, I took black and white photographs. I loved the darkroom work and shooting specific topics. During our travels, I enjoyed photographing people. Windows and doors became favorite subjects. I documented the Austrian mountain farming culture in which I’d grown up.

Finally, I expanded into mixed media with an emphasis on alternative photo processes, and embarked on a 20-year project, “Family Album” (Using family photographs, documents, and artifacts, I created 3-D objects that told the story of my family, and the “Family of Man.”

creative inspiration, photography, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

Now I am eighty, and production is not my thing anymore, although I still exhibit and sell occasionally. But I still love to shoot photos, and share my vision. When a friend pushed me to get on Facebook, I resisted. But by now I have found FB to be my preferred medium as a photographer. I can shoot every day, and share my work without expense, without printing, framing, and accumulating photos. I can post work and get feedback. I can work in a series, such as “Circles” or “Window Ice.” I don’t post just any pictures. I work on my posts, and have developed a following.

So, what inspires me when I photograph?

Sometimes it is the light. Sometimes it is color. Sometimes it is pattern (shadows, or tree branches, or architecture). Sometimes it is subject matter (Lake Superior, the ice, flowers, faces). The possibilities are endless! It is always a journey of discovery.

On the same walk from my house to my studio, I can see a myriad of different subjects to photograph. Things look different, depending on the weather, the time of day, the time of year, my mood. The sky, the light, the trees are never the same! Sometimes I get excited because the familiar looks different, sometimes because I see something I have not seen before. Sometimes I can’t help photographing the same thing again, year after year. Leaf prints on the sidewalk, the first green growth, ice formations, sun rays in my kitchen.

What I get out of shooting is that it makes me look and see. “You have such an eye,” people will say. But I think it is just practice, the practice of looking. And when I look, I find beauty. Beauty in the most ordinary thing right in front of me, beauty to share. I don’t want to keep all this beauty for myself. I want to share it. And shooting photos with my phone, and posting the results allows me to do that!

Christine Saari grew up on an Austrian mountain farm. She studied English and German in Austria and the U.S. As a journalist, she reported for Austrian media. In the U.P., she wrote for MM and Midwestern media, and published documentary photographs with her writing.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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How to Support a Pet with Loss in Hearing, Sight, or Mobility, Jenny Magli

holistic animal care, caring for disabled pet, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business

With pets, as with all creatures, life happens! Along with the joy of having fur friends in our life, we need to understand that life challenges can and do occur, often without warning. You never know what is ahead in life, so making the most of every day with your pet will strengthen your relationship with each other.

This bond can be vital in helping you support your pet should an accident or illness occur. You want to be able to help your pet handle these challenges as safely, gently, and comfortably as possible. Examples of some unforeseen events include blindness, deafness, dementia, incontinence, limb loss, or loss of mobility.

Safety is essential.

Creating new barriers and reducing potential hazards can offer a sense of security as your pet regains confidence. Pet gates at doorways and stairways can help create a safe haven and reduce the risks of accidents. Leash walking is crucial in some cases rather than allowing your pet to roam freely. Fatigue can set in much quicker in pets faced with health challenges such as aging, arthritis, cancer, and heart issues.

Monitoring daily exercise/playtime is crucial so pets get some mental and physical exercise, but don’t overdo it. Over-exercise can perpetuate more damage, and increase pain.

Blindness

Health issues, old age, or traumatic injuries can cause either gradual or sudden loss of vision. If your pet exhibits loss of vision, such as bumping into things where he or she never used to do so, or if your pet experiences injury, veterinary care is in order, and adjustments need to be made to accommodate this new life challenge. Sticking to routine and keeping familiar objects such as water bowls, beds, and furniture in the same place will help with navigating the home safely. Guide your pet around the home so he or she becomes more familiar with the setting slowly and safely. Remove potential hazards. There’s also a device (halo) you can buy or make that attaches to a dog’s harness or collar. It offers head protection and acts as a bumper, allowing your pet to better navigate both familiar and new environments.

Loss of Limb or Mobility

This can occur due to aging, paralysis, nerve damage, arthritis, cancer, deformities, etc. Regardless of the cause, animals tend to adapt pretty well, provided we help them all we can through the process. Avoiding their becoming overweight is vital. For senior pets with mobility issues, or those with paralysis, nerve damage, or limb amputation, there are ways to help them get around, such as using slings and/or carts. I have a three-legged dog (amputated before six months old) that has gotten around very well over many years. She is 12 now and arthritic, along with having other health issues. She cannot walk long distances anymore, so we use a dog stroller for long walks. We also have an outside ramp for her to use to avoid climbing steps, and we lift her into and out of vehicles, or use a small ramp. We may consider a rear wheel cart for her in the future.

Hearing Loss

This can come on gradually due to aging, or occur from an injury or illness. Certain dog breeds are genetically prone to hearing loss. Senior pets typically develop a gradual hearing loss due to degeneration or chronic health issues. Regardless of how or when this occurs, your pet can live a very normal and happy life! Learning and then teaching your pet hand signals can be particularly helpful. Using other sounds like foot stomping, clapping, or using a flashlight, etc. can help get your hearing impaired pet’s attention. Fencing your yard and walking your pet on a leash at all times will help to avoid potentially dangerous situations. An “I am deaf” tag can be added to your dog’s collar.

Regardless of what may come along with your pet’s health, remember to enjoy every moment, and play and have fun!

*Readers are reminded it is entirely of their own accord, right,and responsibility to make informed and educated decisions/choices with their pets’ health care. Jenny Magli disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

Jenny is a Certified Natural Health Consultant for pets and their people, Healing Touch for Animals (Level 2) and NES Bioenergetics Practitioner. Consultations are done over the phone and via email. To contact, call (906) 235-3524 or email at 1healthlink@gmail.com.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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Veggies for Spring

healthy cooking for spring, U.P. holistic wellness publication, U.P. holistic business, spring veggies

Springtime at last! The cold winter is coming to an end, and we can look forward to warmer temperatures and nature’s beautiful colors emerging once again. Our food should reflect that beautiful color, lighter energy, and refreshing taste associated with spring. Sour is the signature flavor of spring, and it nurtures our liver and gallbladder. To season our dishes with the refreshing tastes of sour, we can use lemon juice and vinegars.

Leeks are a signature vegetable of springtime.

Their beautiful white and green colors add a splash of spring color to any dish. Leeks are in the onion family, and have anti-inflammatory properties. They are high in vitamins C, K, and A, important for helping your blood to clot, and also high in iron, manganese, and fiber.

Asparagus is another signature spring vegetable, and one of my favorites. It can help lower blood pressure, improve digestion, and its high water content helps to cleanse toxins from the body. Asparagus is also high in vitamins A, C, and K, fiber, and folate.

When cooking spring dishes, it is important to include green leafy vegetables such as escarole (high in calcium, iron, and chlorophyll) or kale, not only for their bright green color but also for their ability to help cleanse the liver.

You might also include high-protein green lentils. Just make sure you put in a small piece of kombu when cooking them. Kombu is a sea vegetable (seaweed) that helps break down the protein and aids the digestive process, thus helping to eliminate any gas that may result from eating beans or legumes.

Radishes and carrots are also a great complement to add color to your dish, as well as great flavor and freshness.

Green Lentils, Leeks, and Asparagus Spring Dish

1 cup green lentils
2 inches kombu
2 cups water
1 leek (cut in thin slices)
2 cups butternut squash (cut in cubes)
2 cups cauliflower (cut up)
1/2 lb. asparagus (cut in 1/2 inch pieces)
1 cup chopped escarole (or kale)
2 radishes (diced small)
1 carrot (grated)
1 T. olive oil
Approximately 3/4 loaf of sprouted whole grain bread
2 T. ume vinegar
2 T. lemon juice
1 tsp. sea salt

Put the water and kombu in a pot. Soak the kombu for a couple of minutes until soft. Remove kombu, cut in very small pieces, and put back in pot. Add the green lentils to the pot, bring to a boil, and boil for 2 minutes. Layer the leeks, squash, cauliflower, and asparagus on top of the green lentils. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 40 minutes. Turn off heat. Add the escarole, radishes, and grated carrots. Put lid back on, and let sit for 5 minutes to lightly steam the vegetables. Add the olive oil, ume vinegar, lemon juice, and sea salt. Mix all together, and serve warm.

Article adapted from Year Round Healthy Holiday Cooking, copyright 2019, Valerie Wilson.

Chef Valerie Wilson, a.k.a, Macro Val, has been teaching cooking classes since 1997. Visit her website to purchase her new cookbook, Year Round Healthy Holiday Cooking, set up a phone consultation, or listen to her radio show, http://www.macrval.com. Facebook, Macro Val Food.

Excerpted with permission from the Spring 2020 issue of Health & Happiness U.P. Magazine. Copyright 2020, Empowering Lightworks, LLC.

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