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metroMagazIne • The Spirit of Omaha

a healthy holiday plan

creating the extraordinary

by mary e. vandenack

you always be pleased with freedom, both inside and outside of yourself!” • “May creating out of the orDinary holiDay experiences involves a combination should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.” • “We of aDvance planning, consiDeration, courage anD some minDfulness. you fall in love with yourself, you begin to feel the positive • “When The Merriam that Webster dictionary “treat” asourselves.” “an event or item that is out of self-esteem comes when wedefines don’t deflate

the ordinary and gives great pleasure.” as we move into the annual holiday season, my BECKER HOLSTEIN “FOUR GATEWAYS HAPPINESS” thought is ~ weBARBARA should be giving thought now toFROM how we can create amazingTOholiday experiences without gaining five pounds.

i write this column on a hot august day. i stopped at hy-vee today for some iced green tea and noted an aisle filled with halloween candy of every kind. i managed to find a few “sugar free” items among the pile but the vast majority of the halloween candy was replete with fat and sugar. last week, i sent my one and only off to college. all summer long, i received mailings from his college urging me to sign up for a program that would deliver “treats” in the form of a welcome basket, a halloween basket, a mid term basket, and more for each and every event that the seller could come up with as an opportunity for a basket to be delivered. the baskets would be filled with candy, snack bars, and energy drinks. as i ignored the letters, the letters became more frequent and persistent and informed me that my son would feel sad and left out when everyone else received their goody baskets except him. Set New Standards i spoke to my son about the letters. We have both had challenges in adopting a life of healthy eating. it isn’t easy. my son laughed when i showed him the most recent letter. i offered to send “treat baskets” supportive of the lifestyle values we are seeking to adopt in our lives. We brainstormed on some basket ideas that would support healthy living. the first one will be a gift certificate from the vegetarian store he found near his dorm. his first call home was to tell me about the store. as we move into a season filled with holidays, and food, and gift exchanges, consider doing your own brainstorming on what might give your family and friends great pleasure without jeopardizing their health. some might value the gift of your time. some might get great joy from a massage. perhaps there is someone in your world who could use a pair of orthotics to relieve feet pain. maybe you have a friend that needs a workout buddy.

autumn love

by “mulberry lane”

from it all...

isn’t it funny hoW a turn of season can trigger a rush of memories? in summer you breathe in Warm air scenteD With sunscreen anD freeDom anD all too soon you breathe out faDing summer nights. in autumn, the falling leaves anD football air surrounD you like a fleece throW. And then sometimes those turns of seasons bring back the memory of a certain someone –maybe not as clearly as if they were standing right there, but the essence of who they were, like a comforting hand on your shoulder, linking you to the past. for us, this time of year brings back great-aunt christie. you may have someone like her in your family. she’s one of those characters, almost out of a book. great aunt christie never married. she survived cancer. she quilted. she was friends with everyone from the pharmacist at Walgreens, to her hairdresser who fixed her hair every week. While all her neighbors went to shelter during a tornado, she lit a candle in her kitchen and said the rosary. her house was the only one on the block that was never damaged. she drank a beer every day and understood something that gaga has made a fortune on. people like to be shocked and entertained. she loved telling jokes that pushed the envelope for a churchgoing woman in her 80s. she talked about how beer “doesn’t make me fat… it makes me lean,” then she would dramatically lean against the wall and laugh. she talked about how she went to bed with ben gay, slept with charlie horse, and woke up with arthur itis. she spoon-fed us coffee when we were just a few months old (starting our addiction-thanks aunt christie!). and, she came to every one of our recitals and performances. this time of year really brings her back. as kids we would go to oktoberfest at her church in council bluffs, and learned a few things at a very young age. you don’t need a man to be happy and fulfilled. you can flirt with anyone-all you have to be is genuinely interested. When you do thoughtful things for others, you are loved. people are drawn to optimism and humor, even when you’re old and wrinkly - and if you’re fun to be around, someone will always invite you somewhere. after packing up the oktoberfest, aunt christie would go to work in her kitchen on 6th avenue and work for the next 9 weeks, making homemade apple strudel, razor thin sugar cookies, chocolate chip cookies, glass candy, and anise toast for all her nieces, nephews, the mailman, the pharmacist, and the hairdresser. Which brings us to another thing we learned from great aunt christie. love is found in the little sacrifices, not the big gifts. love is memorizing a joke you know the pharmacist would get a kick out of; love is remembering the name of your hairdresser’s niece and her fiancé; love is baking for your loved ones ‘til your back hurts; love is making a quilt for each of your great-nieces that will outlast the oktoberfest, the house on 6th avenue, and your time on this earth. the quilts you know they will wrap up in, feeling your love in a very special way.

Set A New Trend as to halloween candy, i often hear “it’s the expectation.” my thought is “change the expectation. it’s hard to buck the candy trend when everyone else is doing it. imagine if we all got creative and handed out items that gave great pleasure but didn’t cause diabetes and obesity. the expectation would change. i acknowledge there was a time i gave out large candy bars to get a crowd at my door at halloween. it worked. i decided many years ago to practice what i preach. i give out items that contribute to health. While my doorway is less crowded on halloween, i sleep well that night.

We have them still.

Mary Vandenack, while a lawyer by profession, has studied extensively in mind/body areas of fitness and wellness. She is Yoga Alliance RYT-200, Power Pilates certified and ACE certified.

You can hear “The Mulberry Lane Show,” a music, arts, and lifestyle talk show every Saturday morning on The Mighty 1290 KOIL from 10am – noon, brought to you by Elisa Ilana Jewelry. Visit www.facebook.com/mulberrylane. 21

metroMagazIne • OCT 2013

metroMAGAZINE's October 2013 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's October 2013 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council...

metroMAGAZINE's October 2013 Issue  

metroMAGAZINE's October 2013 Issue is online now! metroMAGAZINE is published monthly by ALH Publications, serving the Omaha/Lincoln/Council...