Friday, December 23, 2011

Vitality 2012 - Wellness for a Community

In my journey to lose 85 lbs and keep it off - I have LEARNED TONS. I have read so many books and articles this past year, and continue to do so. My brain is on overload with all the information I read...and I love to share what I learn. Thus the inspiration for forming a community support/accountability group for people who want to make healthier and smarter choices at the grocery store. Anyone can do what I have accomplished, simply by learning to make more wise choices.
This past fall I was speaking with several ladies at Crossroads Coffeehouse, and Mary Devitt, the owner. My friend Stacy Carlson has mentioned several times that we should form a support group for weight loss, and Mary was in agreement. With Stacy and Mary's help, we are launching Vitality 2012 - Crossing Over to Healthier Eating. This new community group will meet on the third Sunday of each month from 3-5 p.m. Anyone can join. There is no fee, however, I may end up asking for a bit of assistance with cost of making copies, especially if this group grows.
It seems I will be leading the group ... This is a natural for me as I have had this role in many organizations I have been a part of in the past, and have always loved teaching. This also means I will have to set aside preparation time each month as we want to have a topic for discussion each time. My goal is to provide a handout, go over some points and toss around thoughts and ideas. With all of the health newsletters I subscribe to and books I read, there is plenty to share!
The main premise of this group is for members to support one another, whether it is in a desire to lose weight or simply have more energy. We are to hold each other accountable, share successes and ideas, and hopefully even healthy recipe ideas. No, we don't have to divulge our weight, nor will we weigh in each time... but we do want to encourage one another!

Mary Devitt suggested our group might even tie in with the community garden that was launched this past year. For those who would like, we might gather before the meeting to take a walk.

I have MANY files on my computer with bullet points and paragraphs of information I thought important enough to blog (when I have the chance). The commitment to this group will mean forcing myself to sort through those files. I also have a file drawer with a number of articles that are earmarked "research for community group". I suspect I have plenty of information to share, and will probably be spending lunch hours preparing each month. (LOL)

Today I brainstormed topic ideas. If YOU have suggestions please feel free to comment. Or if there is one topic in particular you would prefer we touch base upon earlier vs. later.

Vitality 2012 Suggested Topics, In no particular order:

1. Pyramid for healthy eating (this is NOT the food pyramid I grew up with!)

2. Label reading - ingredients that prevent weight loss and contribute to disease

3. Good Fats/Bad Fats (Oils & Nuts, Spread vs. Butter)

4. Digestion - Importance of a Healthy Gut

5. pH - Acidic vs. Alkaline Foods - Why Should We Care?

6. Detoxification - Why A Healthy Liver is Key for Weight Loss

7. The Spice of Life - Spices that Promote Health

8. Hormonally Balanced Food Choices

9. Type II Diabetes and High Cholesterol - Is There a Connection

10. From the Ground Up - Being Aware of Plants/Foods That Absorb Trace Metals

11. Inflammatory & Allergenic Foods - How To Listen To Your Body

12. Vitamin Supplementation - Is It Money Down the Toilet?

I would also like to see a CSA vendor fair, inviting local organic farmers to set up booths and share what their farm offers. I especially find the ones who provide recipes on how to use produce, like rutabagas, very helpful. (LOL) In Cross Plains we are blessed with MANY trails thanks to the Ice Age Trail...and I would like to invite IATA to share with our group the various trail options in or near our town and how we can access them.

Soon a book and group of ideas from a PBS pledge drive we supported, "Eat to Live Well" will be arriving in the new year. I know it will become an important resource in preparing for these meetings, and was thinking ahead to this group forming when I decided to make the pledge. I am confident that high cholesterol, type II diabetes, achy joints and a malady of other common ailments can be reduced or eliminated through the information this series will provide. My husband is looking forward to learning as well - and our 2012 family goal is to continue our journey to restored vitality, and eat as God intended.

We will have a sign up sheet down at Crossroads soon to get a handle on the number of people interested, so that I can prepare enough handouts. Watch for it, or be sure to e-mail me ( or Stacy Carlson ( if you plan to attend.

To your health,

Rita S.

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