Does your family have a favorite TV show that all can enjoy together?  Though TV is not a priority in our home,  we often turn on “Family Feud”  late in the evening on the Game Show Network where we can watch reruns from the 80’s and 90’s.  The simple game with genuine, wholesome families and an engaging host is a fun way for us to  wind down and laugh together. We are sure we could have won that $20,000 many times by now, if we just had the chance!  What we do have the chance to do, every day, of course, is to make  wise choices that will bring blessings worth far more than $20,000 – especially with regard to our health!  The family that prays together stays together, and so does the family that PLAYS together.

How would you and your family do if you were on a quiz show about  health?  Would the buzzer  be flying with YOU giving right answers?  If there were $1,000 for each of the following  seven questions, how much would you go home with?

1)  To reap the benefits of physical activity, health experts recommend that you walk a minimum of this many steps each day:  a. 5,000;  b.  7,500; c.  10,000; d.  15,000

2)  A person’s ideal body weight is often calculated by using BMI-Body Mass Index. Ideally, to be at a healthy weight, your BMI should be less than:   a. 20 b. 25 c. 30 d. 40

3)  To maintain a healthy diet, experts recommend that you consume how many servings of fruit and vegetables daily?  a. At least 1 serving; b. At least 2 servings; c.  At least 3-4 servings; d.   At least 5-9 servings

4)  Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood. There are both “good” and “bad” forms of cholesterol. Which type is the “bad” cholesterol? a. LDL;  b. AFL; c. HDL; d. NFL

5)  When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, portion size matters. The recommended serving size for meat at a meal is: a. 3 ozs. (size of a deck of cards) ; b. 6 ozs. (size of a tennis ball) ; c. 8 ozs. (size of a TV remote control) d. 12 ozs. (size of both your hands cupped)

6.  Experts tell us that there are “good” and “bad” fats. But figuring out which is which is often times difficult. So which ofthe following is considered a “bad” fat? a. Saturated fat; b. Trans fat; c. Cholesterol; d. Unsaturated fat; e. Bad fat includes a, b, and c

7.  It’s no secret that lifestyle plays an important role in living along and healthy life. Presently, the leading cause of death in the United States can be attributed to: a. Tobacco; b. Physical Inactivity; c.  Overweight and Obesity; d. Stress

HERE ARE THE ANSWERS: 1) 10,000; 2) Less than 25;  3) 5-9 servings;  4) LDL is the “bad” cholesterol; 5) 3 oz., a deck of cards;  6) Saturated, Transfat and Cholesterol;  7) Tobacco  (For details on each answer scroll to the bottom of the article.) 

How did you do? Did you win $7,000?

If so, Consider yourself an individual health expert!

$5,000 – $6,000 You’re doing great, but there’s room for improvement.

$3,000 – $5,000 You may fall prey to many of the health myths-pay particular attention to the sources that you are getting your health information from.

Less than $2,000 You’ve definitely been duped by the misinformation that’s floating around.

If you’re interested in the detailed answers to each question, scroll down.

Facts and answers, however, are nothing without DOUBLE AAs – and I’m not talking batteries:  It’s action and accountability! As in “teach me all that I must DO …”

The beginning of the summer is a perfect time for both. Most of us have a bit more time in the summer that can be used for exercise and meal planning/preparation.  Fresh fruits and veggies are affordable and in abundance.  Simply prepared foods and salads, and raw, chilled fruits and veggies  taste the best in the summer! Fun outdoor activities can burn a lot of calories!

I have fond memories of a fabulous summer where on June 1 I committed to fruit over ice cream and frozen treats, water instead of drinks with sugar, to spend 30-45 minutes with an exercise DVD each morning before the day got started, and to really PLAY with my little children while we were at the playground, pool, etc.  It was a truly wonderful summer. The scale went down, my energy and peace soared, and by the end of the summer I was in smaller clothing and feeling fabulous about everything!  I loved that summer and am excited about repeating it THIS summer.

There were not the online resources that summer, as it was long before the internet.  At the risk of providing information overload, here’s a terrific step-by-step 9-week plan that leads to a much healthier diet

My favorite site these days is  www.SparkPeople.com. It’s hard to believe something so valuable is absolutely free, much like Meridian Magazine. The online accountability there is terrific.  I’m overwhelmed by the social element there and pretty much ignore that, but it’s worth registering just for how it helps you structure and analyze your day.  It even provides printable meal plans, shopping lists, etc.  Best of all, at the end of the day, you click a button and it will tell you how what you have eaten up adds up in terms of not just calories, but overall dietary balance and ways to improve tomorrow.

It was dear Mary Poppins who told us that “To every job that must be done, just add an element of fun and SNAP!  The job’s a game …”  How we appreciate a bit of humor and delight in doing the mundane and necessary.

So here’s to … walking with a friend or music or a good book on your electronic device instead of sitting at the computer with Facebook; frozen grapes, ice and water instead of soda, splashing at the pool with kids and grandkids instead of reading a book on the side; considering meats as a condiment with lots more veggies and happy seasonings; painting toenails instead of eating ice cream …. And all the other things there are to do instead of EAT and SIT.  Who knows how we’ll be feeling come September?

While we may never get to be on a TV game show with a chance to earn thousands of dollars, each and every day we can play the game of ” DOUBLE A – Action and Accountability” where the prize is health, energy, peace, confidence … all which provide an extra measure of FUN to whatever we’re doing and strength to whatever life may bring.  And summer is the PERFECT time to play every day!

Carolyn Allen is the Author of 60 Seconds to Weight Loss Success – One Minute Inspirations to Change Your Thinking, Your Weight and Your Life. She has been providing mental and spiritual approaches for weight loss success both online and in the Washington, DC community since 1999 presenting for Weight Watchers, First Class, Fairfax County Adult Education and other community groups. She is the owner and president at MyMiracleTea.


com, an herbal detox tonic in keeping with the Word of Wisdom. She is the mother of five and the grandmother of a growing number of delightful grandsons and granddaughters and lives with her husband, Bob, in Springfield Virginia, where she serves as the Visiting Teaching District Supervisor. She has been writing for Meridian since 2007. Her favorite foods are broccoli — lots of it! and chocolate frosting … just a taste every now and then. Her book is available at both Amazon.com and her website,
www.mymiracleTea.com

DETAILED INFORMATION ON THE HEALTH QUIZ:


1:  To reap the benefits of physical activity, health experts recommend that you walk at least: 10,000 Steps Each Day. 10,000 steps is the number that will help you to improve your health and, in case you were wondering, it’s equivalent to walking five miles.

2:  A person’s ideal body weight is often calculated by using BMI-Body Mass Index. Ideally, to be at a healthy weight, your BMI should be: Less Than 25.

BMI is calculated by using a formula based on your height and weight. A BMI of less than 25 is normal, so if you answered “B” you are correct! Underweight = less than 18.5; Normal Weight = 18.5-24.9;

Overweight = 25.0-29.9; Obese = 30.0+

3:  To maintain a healthy diet, experts recommend that you consume: At Least 5-9 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables Each Day.

 Diets richin fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other chronic diseases. Fruits and vegetables provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

4.  Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood. There are both “good” and “bad” forms of cholesterol. Which type is the “bad” cholesterol?  LDL is the “Bad” Cholesterol.  It’s normal to have cholesterol and it is an important part of a healthy body because it serves many needed bodily functions. But too high a level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) in the blood is a major risk for coronary heart disease, which leads to heart attack.

5.  When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, portion size matters. The recommended serving size for meat at a meal is: 3 Ounces (About the Size of a Deck of Cards). One way to stop unwanted pounds from trickling on your body is to eat sensible portions.

6.  Experts tell us that there are “good” and “bad” fats. But figuring out which is which is often times difficult. So what is considered a “bad” fat?  Saturated Fat, Trans Fat, and Cholesterol. Only unsaturated fats are considered “good.” Good fats are the naturally occurring fats that haven’t been damaged by high heat, refining or processing and are found in fish, nuts, avocados, seeds, and fresh creamy butter. Bad fats are found in things such as margarine, fried foods, refined vegetable oils, and anything with the words “partially hydrogenated” in the food label.

7.  Presently, the leading cause of death in the US can be attributed to: Tobacco. Tobacco is the leading cause of death-400,000 per year in theUS perish from tobacco related illnesses each year.