Some of the prizes given at her meetings

“in love with healthy eating”- an update

 

( This post contains affiliate product links; purchase through these links pays a commission to this blog; thank you)

Almost a year ago I introduced you to my friend Pam who successfully lost weight a few years ago. Perhaps more important than achieving her weight loss goals, she actively maintains those goals and enthusiastically helps others do the same. 

So I thought you would enjoy an update about  Pam . If you didn’t meet her the first time , you can do so now . Here’s my original post from last September. 

Meet my friend Pam

I am pleased to introduce you to my friend Pam. My husband and I met Pam and her husband in a ballroom dance class. I was immediately captivated by her radiant smile and Southern charm. Since then I have learned more about her and watched an amazing transformation in her life.

Pam and I attending a wedding at the dance studio

Pam and I attending a friend’s wedding at the dance studio

Pam graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts from Mississippi State University in 1980. With a major in Communications, she started her career as a writer and Account Executive for advertising and public relations agencies in Mississippi and in Oklahoma where she moved after marrying.  She was the Marketing Director for a large medical clinic for several years. Since 1995, she has enjoyed being a stay-at-home mom with involvement in PTA, church and community. In 2012, she was named Volunteer of the Year by her community public school system.

But despite such a charmed life, there was a struggle, one that Pam shares with many people. In this blog I have discussed the physical and emotional consequences of excess weightyou will be encouraged by Pam’s success story which she so generously shares with me and you.

“Breaking up(with junk food)  is hard to do .”

By Pam Whitson

“I was happily married to the love of my life and should have been having the time of my life.   Sadly, my self-confidence and my happiness had been stolen, and I was the thief.

For over two decades, I robbed myself of peak energy, vitality, health and beauty by totally disregarding my intake of food.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, I thought about what I should do.  I spent money on self-help tapes, gym memberships and weight loss programs from the practical to the extreme.  I whined and wished about it constantly.  And it didn’t help knowing that I was not alone; almost half of adults are overweight or obese.

And I had occasional moments of success.  Like the time I was within four pounds of leaving the “obese” category. (Obese is a BMI, body mass index, of 30 or higher)  After months of hard work, I ran to Glamour Shots for the mid-1990s version of a sequin and big hair make-over.  On the way home from my triumphant photo session, I stopped by my favorite barbecue place and started eating my way right back to where I was before.  I gained all the weight I had lost back and more.

I joked my way through feelings of depression, because  I had an unhealthy relationship with food.    I thought about it way too much.  I ran to it for instant gratification.  I was too in love with the tastes, the textures, the sheer delight of food.  Even now, I love to grocery shop.  One of my favorite places on the planet is the cereal aisle of the grocery store.

cereal boxes in a store

“One of my favorite places on the planet is the cereal aisle of the grocery store.”

 

 

Finally, at age 53, after twenty years of carrying way too much weight for my 5’7 ½” (1.7 meters) (yes, the half inch counts!) frame, I was ready for a change.  Really ready.  Change isn’t easy.  Change hurts.  I walked into Weight Watchers and pretended it was my first time ever.  I read everything.  I listened and participated.  I went to every meeting.  I hung around afterwards and pestered my leader for every little nugget of information I could cling to.

Pam before weight loss

Pam and her daughter before her weight loss.

 

 

I rejoined Weight Watchers in July, 2012, with 20 pounds (9 kg) still off from a previous Weight Watcher effort. I lost 40 pounds (18 kg) in 4 1/2 months to be at goal before Thanksgiving! I learned to maintain this loss during the required six week maintenance period with Weight Watchers and became an official Lifetime Member before the year’s end of 2012. This meant a lot to me because my birthday is New Year’s Day. How wonderful to start the year at a healthy weight!

At Weight Watchers I learned I could change.

I could change what I put in my grocery basket.

I could change what I ordered in restaurants.

I could change how much I moved.

I could change my relationship with food for good.

 

I still enjoy food.  Very much.  Maybe even more than before because now I appreciate my food as fuel to live a healthy and active and even beautiful (in the eyes of the beholder) life!

I still enjoy the tastes, even more so because I choose only the best.  My plate is colorful with roasted veggies and fresh fruits and salad greens.

I enjoy grilled lean chicken, steak and seafood.  My carbs are high fiber, full of flavor and texture.  I no longer long for the processed foods full of white flour, sugar and fat.

By pairing healthy eating with increased physical activity, my weight dropped from 226 lbs (102 kg) to 150 lbs (68 kg).  Now 70 pounds (31 kg) lighter and at a healthy BMI of 23, I feel so much happier and healthier.

Once I started eating better, even before I was near my goal weight, my self-esteem and confidence were instantly restored.  Just knowing that I had a plan gave me optimism and excitement.  I’ve been at goal for almost three years and I wouldn’t trade it for the world (or even a crisp cookie). And I now stay about 10 pounds (4.5 kg) below goal as a safety net.

Pam on a well deserved vacation

Pam on a well deserved vacation

 

 

In addition to my daily walks, I enjoy ballroom dancing, Jazzercise, swimming and an occasional bike ride.  I wear a Fitbit and accomplish 15,000 steps a day.

 

I’ve been a Weight Watcher leader for two and a half years and just LOVE it! I never imagined I would do this; you might as well as told me I would become an astronaut. While helping me stay at a healthy weight, I enjoy the privilege of making new friends and helping other people be their most confident and healthy selves.

Just for fun, I’ve started a Park Walking group that explores different parks in our city every two weeks. We took a summer break (Oklahoma gets real hot in the summer) but will be back on the trails in September.Along with my awesome Weight Watcher members, I’m enjoying a new healthy relationship with food for good. ”

Pam leading a Weight Watchers meeting

Pam is now a Weight Watchers coach

 

 

 

Weight Watchers may not be the answer for everyone, but Pam’s idea of changing our relationship with food should be a part of any weight management plan.  Our eating habits affect our health in other ways, so even if you are not overweight, using food appropriately is important.

Physical activity also has health benefits beyond weight loss. I joined Pam’s walking group and find it a fun way to exercise and make new friends. (My favorite walking shoe is Go Walk by Skechers.)  In addition to social dancing with our husbands, Pam and I are part of a ladies dance team. We performed a Western theme dance routine to the song “These Boots are Made for Walking” . That’s so appropriate for someone who walked her way from a BMI of 35 down to 25. If she can do it, so can you.

 

 

So what’s Pam doing now?

Pam has maintained her junk food break-up by continuing to make wise food choices consistently. She may have an occasional splurge, especially on special occasions or travelling. But most of the time she sticks with what she has learned works for her.

 

woman drinking tea

Enjoying real tea time at The Kensington Palace Orangery! Cucumber sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and delectable tiny treats – glad I already weighed in!

 

 

 

Weighing in at Weight Watchers

Pam is still a Weight Watchers coach and mentor, posting promotions on social media and inviting people to meetings. Like these recent posts-

 

“If you’ve been thinking of giving ‘getting ‘fit and healthy’ ONE more try, come and join and make it THE try that changed your life.”

“Sixty fun members and lots of celebrations at Weight Watchers today! We may have fun, but we are seriously proud of their achievements!”

“Thinking of using a No Weigh In pass at Weight Watchers tomorrow? Go right ahead! Just be there, 10:30 am,  as we go “beyond the scale.” Happy 4th of July and hope to see you soon!

“Mall Walk for cash and prizes! Meet me this Thursday morning, July 7th, at 9:30 am  for a super fun walking challenge! Bring $2 and any kind of step counter (Fitbit, pedometer, phone tracker, etc) to take part in the cash reward. We’ll also have drawings for prizes! Everyone is welcome and I hope to see you there!

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Some of the prizes given at her meetings

 

 

 

“Great meeting today “Clear The Clutter” if it doesn’t spark joy in your life get rid of it!!”

“WW Friends: Let’s attend the “Every Body Happy” free class together this Thursday, 1:30 p.m.. The class sounds super fun – practical tips for looking great at every size and building a transitional wardrobe to feel our best as we lose weight. Hope to see you there!”

“Drinking our life or at least our SmartPoints away? This week at Weight Watchers, we’re learning how to be smart about our coffee drinks, happy hour, even tea, lemonade and slushies! Hope to see you at the  meeting Monday at 12 noon, Tuesday at 10:30, or at the meeting time and place that works best for you!”

 

Keeping moving

Her other “secret” to weight maintenance is regular physical activity. She ballroom dances with her husband and organizes regular park walks with other ladies . She recognizes the power of group support and encouragement, as well as the safety in walking in groups. She even goes to Zumba class with her mother.

feet in sports shoes

 

 

jogging trail sign

At one of the many parks in our city 

A trip to London

Pam and her family know how to have fun. They  make even ordinary occasions special. But recently they had an extraordinary  experience as they toured London. She posted regular updates on Facebook where I noticed  she was doing lots of walking. She even went bicycling one morning through Kensington Park and Hyde Park.

 

woman on bicycle

 

 

 

 

I think maybe for her the highlight of the trip was visiting a Weight Watchers meeting where she was weighed in stones. That’s unfamiliar to us Americans, so she explained that one stone equals 14 pounds.

Queen Elizabeth in the distance

And Pam even met Queen Elizabeth! (well almost, haha)

 

 

And one more piece of exciting news- I think I am as excited as Pam is. This spring Pam’s daughter graduated from college- the same one I went to. And she is now a medical student- also at the same school I attended!

young woman in cap and gown

future physician in training

 

I am happy to see talented young women and men who want to dedicate their lives to the medical profession, and it’s a special treat when they are the  daughters and sons of friends. I look forward to the day I can call her my colleague.

 

 

Weekend Words about peace and love

 

 

 

 

Weekend words is a regular feature of watercress words. At the end of the work week we take a break from exploring strictly medical topics to read words of faith, hope and love from the Bible and other carefully selected sources.

Disclosure:

This blog gains no financial benefit from  any charitable organization mentioned here. I recommend you investigate before donating anywhere. Affiliate links will be identified.

passing the torch

From Colorado Springs to Rio -the Olympic Games in Tuesday Travels

 

 

The 2016 Summer Olympic Games occur in Rio de Janeiro,  Brazil next month.

This reminds me of my visit to the United States Olympic Training facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Both Olympic and Paralympic athletes train and live here.The facilities are state of the art, modern and open to the public for visits and tours.

I told you about my visit last year, so here is a recap of that post with some additional photos .

The Ancient Olympic GAmes sign

brief history of the Olympic Games

 

As much as I admire the elite athletes who comprise the Olympic team, the Paralympic athletes captivate my imagination.

These are athletes who compete with, not necessarily despite, significant physical impairments; but to call them “disabled” does them an injustice. Many of them play and compete in physically demanding sports without full use of their arms and legs; some don’t even have all of their arms and legs.

As we walked around the complex on a guided tour, I was reminded of the importance of physical activity for our physical and mental health, and made a note to remind you too.  Almost no one will disagree with the recommendation to include and increase physical activity in our daily lives.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans call for

moderate-intensive physical activity for 150 minutes or more per week,

vigorous-intensity activity for at least 75 minutes per week, or

an equivalent combination of the 2, and

engaging in muscle strengthening activity at least twice per week.

 

  • Medical studies show that exercise can prevent or improve many chronic health conditions and lack of exercise contributes to many diseases.
  • Physical activity may reduce the risk of cancers of the breast, colon, uterus, prostate and pancreas.
  • Regular exercise may help prevent diabetes and heart disease.
  • Exercise can relieve joint and back pain due to arthritis.
  • Depression is treated with physical activity successfully

 

As we walked through the  USA Shooting area I picked up a flyer titled “Winning Attitudes”. I liked what it said so I am using some of the ideas to illustrate my photos. I hope they will encourage you to develop a “winning attitude” in all areas of your life.

Enjoy this brief tour through the Olympic Complex and if you go to Colorado Springs, be sure and visit; the cost is reasonable and worth the price.

Become excited, confident, and enthusiastic about your goals.

 

statue of four athletes jumping

 

 

True confidence is based on the thoroughness of preparation. 

Olympic work out room

 

 

 

 

 

Winners have the ability to look inside themselves and find that special dream.

“Olympic Strength” statue- four athletes supporting the world with a figure skater beside them

 

Winners focus on solutions, not problems.

wheelchairs

wheelchairs adapted for playing

 

 

Winners have positive attitudes in all elements of their lives. The more you think about, talk about, and write about a thing happening, the greater the certainty of that thing happening.

vehicle

on display in the Hall of Fame

 

 

Goals should identify minimum performance levels. They should never limit your performance.

swimming pool

a real “olympic sized” swimming pool

 

 

Real winners are champions in life, not just in sports.

two champion athletes

Runner Tyson Gay and gymnast Mary Lou Retton in the Hall of Fame

 

 

Missing a goal means setting another goal to strive for.

gym

multi use gymnasium

 

A champion constantly learns and improves.

practice

words to train by and live by

C

 

 

Champions are willing to risk a little in the short run to gain an advantage in the long run.

2 athletes

2 athletes hard at work

Winners have the ability to look inside themselves and find that special dream. 

be a champion.

I may not be a competitive athlete, but I will stay as active as possible as long as possible.

man standing next to hockey players

Look out Raymond!

 

A champion constantly learns and improves .

DSCN1135

passing the torch

Excellence is achieved only through constant pursuit. 

housing.

The athletes live, eat, and sleep here.

 

Real winners are champions in life, not just sports. 

statue of four athletes raising arms

 

 

 

 

Are YOU a CHAMPION? 

Weekend Words in song- “The Prayer”

 

 

 

Andrea Bocelli

The first time I watched a video of Andrea Bocelli singing, I wondered why his eyes were closed. I did not know that he is blind due to a head  injury at 12 years of age.

He showed passion and talent for music from childhood,  performed and competed as a teenager, and sang  to earn money while attending law school.

Fortunately for music lovers, he abandoned his law career for singing both pop and classical music which is appreciated by his multitude of fans.

 

Celine Dion

Celine Dion’s musical career has been equally successful, but she also weathered medical challenges. After failing to get pregnant  for several years, she used IVF (in vitro fertilization)  to conceive her first son, and again a few years later twin boys.

Her husband, Rene Angelil, died early this year due to cancer.

I appreciate their commitment to their craft and perseverance in sharing it despite difficult circumstances. We benefit from their example as well as their magnificent talent.

 

The Prayer

 is a popular song written by David Foster, Carole Bayer Sager, Alberto Testa and Tony Renis. The song won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song from the 1998 film Quest for Camelot. It was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1999 and a Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals in 2000. (source Wikipedia)

 

 

Weekend words is a regular feature of watercress words. At the end of the work week we take a break from exploring strictly medical topics to read words of faith, hope and love from the Bible and other carefully selected sources.

Disclosure:

This blog gains no financial benefit from this or any charitable organization mentioned here. I recommend you investigate before donating anywhere. Affiliate links will be identified.

2015-06-30 07.06.31

Why this week makes me glad I am a doctor

2015-07-02 14.25.07

This week I head into the wild to serve as camp doctor for a children’s summer camp. It’s a special week for many reasons.

Here’s what happened last summer.

 

 

 

For one week I was the doctor at an exclusive summer camp for children ages 7 through 11 years. Only a few children are accepted to this camp from those who qualify. There are strict requirements for admission, but once a child qualifies, they can return every year until they reach 11. Both boys and girls are recruited to attend.

2015-06-30 11.02.18

 

 

So exclusive is this camp that the ratio of staff to children is almost one to one. Some activities are done in large groups; others are done in groups of four campers with at least 2 adults.  There were adult staff in charge of leading music, teaching crafts, hiking, fishing, swimming and drama presentations. Additional staff came each evening for special programs and a birthday party for everyone. Since we were there the week of Independence Day, there was a fireworks show one evening.

2015-07-01 14.28.13

 

Three hot meals, served all-you-can-eat style, and snacks were provided daily. Assisted by a registered nurse, I oversaw treatment of any injuries, assessed illness and dispensed medications. The campers slept in air-conditioned cabins with full bath facilities, supervised by adult staff.

2015-06-30 11.43.14

 

The total cost of running this 5 day camp is in the tens of thousands of dollars; the cost to each child’s family-nothing.

Sound wonderful to you? The kind of camp you would like to send your child or grandchild to? No, it isn’t.

 

This camp is exclusive but you can’t buy your way into this camp. It is not for the children of the rich and famous, celebrities, entertainers, politicians, or doctors.

 

This camp is reserved for children who are in the foster care system- children who have been abused, neglected and/or abandoned by their parents.

2015-06-30 07.07.29

 

By  sponsoring these camps Royal Family Kids has been

confronting abuse and changing lives since 1990 .

The camps are staffed by local people for children in their community, usually affiliated with a church. All are volunteers. Funds to pay for the camp are raised by individual and corporate donations, grants, and old fashioned fund raisers like pie auctions .

Child abuse is a preventable, treatable medical condition- and a crime.

The American Academy of Pediatrics calls it  “a public health problem with lifelong health consequences for survivors.”

The World Health Organization calls it a “global priority” due to its potential impact on social and economic development.

All organizations that deal with child abuse agree that prevention is much more effective than treating the effects of abuse.

Child abuse is underrecognized and underreported but estimates are that as few as 4% to as many as 30% of children worldwide experience some sort of maltreatment- physical injury, emotional abuse, neglect, sexual assault or exploitation.

Many of these children land  in the foster care system which can be another form of abuse. Foster children may be shuffled from one home to another without warning, separated from siblings, leaving behind  personal possessions like  clothes, toys, books and photos. They have few opportunities to do normal kid activities like summer camps, family vacations, play sports and music lessons.

2015-07-02 14.31.33

 

That is why our camp is so important. For their week at camp, each child gets  caring attention from safe adults, many of whom return year after year. The goal of the camp is to create positive memories for kids who have few. Each craft is carefully packed to go back with the child, as is a small photo album filled with pictures of their activities at camp.

 

For the sake of their privacy and protection, I cannot show pictures of the children to you, but these photos  from the camp give you an idea of the fun things they did that week. Most important, they are taught that their life has value and that they can overcome the challenging situation that has brought them here. 

2015-06-30 07.06.31

If you suspect a child is being abused, here is how you can help.

State child abuse reporting phone numbers

Welcome home heroes sign on a VA clinic

Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Health Care- an update

 

This week we celebrated the birth of the United States of America, on July 4th, 1776.

Statue of Liberty

Lady Liberty lifting her torch in New York harbor

 

Even though the United States does not officially have “socialized” health care, a large proportion of our medical care is funded by the federal government. Even though I know that, I was still surprised by statistics in a recent article, which stated that  the federal government accounts for

40% of healthcare  spending

$1.3 trillion /year

Covering 100 million individuals

Through 4 federal agencies

Department of Health and Human Services 

Department of Defense

Veterans Administration

Department  of Homeland Security

(JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association), June 21, 2016)

 

 

The  United States Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010 to guarantee basic health insurance to all citizens.  People who oppose the ACA ,aka Obama Care, dislike or even fear government involvement in medical care; they consider it interference, control, or even nationalization of the United States healthcare system.

I think many people, even physicians, don’t realize or forget, how involved the government already is in healthcare. As far back as the American Revolution the fledgling government extended health care benefits to the soldiers and veterans of that war; that system evolved into the current military health care system which covers service members and the Veterans’ Administration system for veterans.

a Veterans Administration clinic

a Veterans Administration clinic (photo by blogger)

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan

American soldiers serving in Afghanistan

This year marked the 50th anniversary of two other government healthcare programs- Medicare and Medicaid.

Medicaid provides insurance coverage for adults and children who are unemployed or low income.  

Medicare covers disabled children and adults  and persons 65 years and older.

The numbers are rather staggering.

  • Together these programs cover at least 30% of Americans.
  • Together they comprise 25% of all federal spending.
  • Together they pay 40% of total U.S. health care spending.

An infographic from the Kaiser Family Foundation and JAMA explains this further.

Disabled children and adults may qualify for Medicare.

Disabled children and adults may qualify for Medicare.

Children may be eligible for Medicaid if their families cannot obtain health insurance for them.

Children may be eligible for Medicaid if their families cannot obtain health insurance for them.

You may not be eligible for either of these programs now, but chances are eventually you or someone close to you will.

  • Anyone can become disabled from a serious illness or freak accident.
  • You or your spouse may lose your job and your employer sponsored health insurance.
  • Your child may have a disability that will prevent them from working when they grow up.
  • We may all live long enough to qualify for Medicare on the basis of age alone.  Your parents or grandparents are near or already at Medicare age.
Senior adults age 65 and older use Medicare.

Senior adults age 65 and older use Medicare.

It’s important to understand how Medicare works, since it’s not automatic; even if you qualify, you need to sign up to be covered (with a few exceptions). The rules are summarized here. Or consider an easy to understand book here. 

 

Several government agencies regulate, monitor,  promote and/or support  both public and private healthcare including-

 

Food and Drug Administration- FDA

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention- CDC

National Institutes of Health- NIH

Occupational Safety and Health administration-OSHA

Drug Enforcement Agency-DEA

 

medication capsules

The FDA regulates the development and sale of medications and medical devices and the DEA regulates dangerous and controlled drugs. 

Congress has enacted several important laws that  concern health care such as

The Affordable Care Act- ACA

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act-HIPPA

Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act- EMTALA

Health Information Technology  for Economic and Clinical Health- HITECH

Americans with Disabilities Act-ADA

Family Medical Leave Act-FMLA

 

 

 

 

 

air ambulance landing at a hospital

EMTALA requires all hospitals to offer emergency treatment to any patient who arrives, regardless of ability to pay for that care

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the Declaration of Independence, the founders of the United States  created a nation based on the “self-evident truths”  of  “Life ,Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” as well as  to promote “Safety and Happiness” . 

In the Constitution they vowed to “promote the general Welfare” .

 

I wonder if they envisioned that would eventually include so much effort and money providing and regulating health care, most of which was not available or even imagined at that time? 

 

Comments welcome and encouraged!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The United States flag displayed at Grand Central Station, New York City, NY

Remembering Independence Day, July 4, 1776

” On Independence Day, Americans will celebrate our country’s freedom with fireworks, family, and friends. Amidst the fun and hoopla, let’s pause to remember the supreme price of freedom.

The holiday is Independence Day. The day it is celebrated is July 4th. Because freedom is our most revered right as citizens of the United States, Independence Day encompasses a whole Fourth of July weekend to celebrate.

The United States flag displayed at Grand Central Station, New York City, NY

The United States flag displayed at Grand Central Station, New York City, NY

Let’s hoist up our American flags, prominently wear our red, white, and blue, and proudly show our dedication to those to whom we owe this weekend: our nation’s veterans and U.S. military.

 

Our country is great because of them. In their honor, I want to invite everyone to take a moment with me today and pause in honor of those who have fought and those who continue to fight for our freedom.

statue of General George Washington, first President of the United States of America - New York City

statue of General George Washington, first President of the United States of America – New York City

As the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, the American Legion Auxiliary thanks the brave men and women who fought – and continue to fight – at home and abroad, along with their families who sacrificed along with them to allow us the privilege to live in the Land of the Free because of the brave. ”

(message courtesy of ALA leadership)

 

May God bless America and our friends around the world.

The Statue of Liberty

“Liberty Enlightening the World” on Liberty Island, New York City, gift to the United States from France

"faith, hope, love"

Weekend Words from the Book of Esther

(This post contains affiliate links, links which pay a commission for sales made with its use)

A surprise flashmob

Social media created the concept of  “flash mobs” although I haven’t seen as many videos of them posted lately. This one from 2013 is still my favorite.

I guess surprise is characteristic of a  flashmob, but this one  happened in an unexpected place-a hospital-and illustrates what this blog is all about-exploring and promoting the heart of health.

The story of Esther

The Hadassah Hospital  in Jerusalem is named for an Old Testament character, Hadassah, whose name was later changed to Esther. Among the 66 books in the Bible,  Esther is one of only two books named for women; the other is Ruth.

The story of Esther is one of the epic dramas of the Bible, full of intrigue, conflict, conspiracy, danger,risk, betrayal, discrimination and ultimate justice. As the Queen of Persia, Esther faced the choice of risking her life to save others.  The story is so engaging that it has been dramatized in movies. (There is even a Veggie Tales version.)

You can read the whole story here- The Book of Esther 

 

 

The music in the video is  The Waltz of the Flowers  by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky . If you’ve ever attended a performance of The Nutcracker during the Christmas season, you will recognize it. 

 

 

 

I love the way this performance brought  people together- the musicians, dancers, visitors, hospital staff and  patients. You can feel the joy they created in a place that always needs it. I’m sure you can tell that some of the patients seen here are seriously ill. Perhaps they felt a sense of hope and peace and for a few moments forgot the reason they were there. Music can be therapeutic and I believe it was that day.

 

Music as medicine from the American Psychological Association

 

 

Weekend words is a regular feature of watercress words. At the end of the work week we take a break from exploring strictly medical topics to read words of faith, hope and love from the Bible and other carefully selected sources.

Disclosure:

This blog gains no financial benefit from  any charitable organization mentioned here. I recommend you investigate before donating anywhere. Affiliate links will be identified.

How To Letterpress

How to stay safe and well this summer

(This post includes affiliate links, from which a purchase might pay a commission to this blog, but cost you nothing extra. thank you. )

Since this week is the official start of summer, at least in the northern hemisphere, I’ll share some resources on staying safe and healthy this summer.

Summer often means travel, and no one wants their vacation spoiled by getting sick. So here is some helpful advice from the New York Times health blog on how to avoid illness, especially if travelling abroad.

Staying Healthy While Travelling The Globe 

 

couple with llamas

up close with llamas at Torres del Paine National Park, Chile

 

 

 

 

Two pediatricians  at Two Peds in a Pod explain how to use sunscreen to prevent sunburn

The best sunscreen:questions answered

 

Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen

Hawaiian Tropic Sunscreen

 

 

The  New York Times also explained how much water we need to drink to stay hydrated; it may not be what you think.

Dehydration: Risks and Myths 

 

 

 

Recently I discussed mosquito born diseases like malaria and Zika virus infection and preventing foot blisters at-

Exploring health from head to toe

 

a mosquito on a leaf

Mosquitoes are tiny but the diseases they carry can be deadly.

 

 

 

Why not commit to giving up tobacco use this summer? Here are

7 surprising reasons to be smoke free

 

2015-09-14 13.33.50

AT 7 FALLS IN COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO

 

 

 

And summer is a great time to catch up on some useful reading.

What are you reading? book suggestions for health and fitness

 

statue of boy reading a book

Children and adults can develop a reading habit.

 

 

"faith, hope, love"

Weekend Words for Fathers’ Day from Luke 15 

 

In the United States we observe the third Sunday in June to honor,celebrate and recognize fathers. Here is a story from the Bible about a special father and two different sons.

 

The Story of the Lost Son

11-1212 Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’
12-16“So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.
17-20“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father.
20-21“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’
22-24“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.
25-27“All this time his older son was out in the field. When the day’s work was done he came in. As he approached the house, he heard the music and dancing. Calling over one of the houseboys, he asked what was going on. He told him, ‘Your brother came home. Your father has ordered a feast—barbecued beef!—because he has him home safe and sound.’
28-30“The older brother stalked off in an angry sulk and refused to join in. His father came out and tried to talk to him, but he wouldn’t listen. The son said, ‘Look how many years I’ve stayed here serving you, never giving you one moment of grief, but have you ever thrown a party for me and my friends? Then this son of yours who has thrown away your money on whores shows up and you go all out with a feast!’
31-32“His father said, ‘Son, you don’t understand. You’re with me all the time, and everything that is mine is yours—but this is a wonderful time, and we had to celebrate. This brother of yours was dead, and he’s alive! He was lost, and he’s found!’”