Giving the Gifts Of Gardening and Fitness

December 7, 2010

 

Volunteers from Get Active Orlando (GAO), the organization that acts as the City of Orlando’s link to health and fitness initiatives, announce the debut of three new community gardens in the Orlando area. Utilizing grant monies from the Blue Foundation, this year GAO funded five school- and youth-based gardens designed to teach children the importance of healthy eating.

Sunrise_Elementary_Garden
Sunrise Elementary Garden

 

The new gardens –the New Image Youth Center Garden, 

Reeves Terrace Recreation Complex Community Garden and the Sunrise  

Elementary School Garden — also promote physical activity. 

“It’s a special feeling to have these gardens up and running at a time of the year associated with bountiful feasts and giving thanks,” notes GAO Chair Leah Nash. She says two other gardens — the Fern Creek School and Community Garden and the Orlando Day Nursery Garden — are scheduled to open by the end of the year. 

 For more information or to become involved with GAO, please visit www.getactiveorlando.com.


Where Do We Begin?

June 18, 2010

Strategic mortgage defaults, childhood obesity, oil drilling and the devastating BP oil spill, one-in-ten unemployed. This list lies heavy on many hearts right now.  It is hard to turn a blind eye to the challenges that lie before us today.

And it’s really the uncertainty that keeps most Americans today on edge, not the actual problem at hand:

People with money walking away from mortgages even though they have money. When will it end? Has we lost our morals? The wealth that could be destroyed in this manner is incomprehensible.

Childhood obesity. 33% of kids are morbidly fat. We are turning out young adults at a record pace too overweight to even defend our country. There is plenty of blame to go around — parents, the media, fast food companies, soft drink conglomerates, and past government programs come to mind. Does anyone see this changing any time soon? 

Unemployment. It’s been between 9.7 and 10.0 since last August. We are getting complacent that one out of every ten of us are not working.

The Deepwater Horizon-BP Oil Disaster. Everyone is on pins and needles about this one. Worst-case scenarios could destroy the welfare of people and ecosystems from the Gulf to the Atlantic. I feel sorry for the families of the loved ones you were killed in the oil rig explosion who really were forgotten through this mess.

As the saying goes, this too shall pass. After all, we have survived the likes of world wars, cold war challenges, polio and the Great Depression.

Maybe I just worry too much. 

   


Living green has morphed itself

May 26, 2010

Living green has morphed itself. In a short couple of years, it has gone from being environmentally friendly and conserving energy to all things healthy. Just look at the homes that are currently being certified green by the Florida Green Building Council. The only Platinum Home — the highest designation available — is in Orlando, Fla., that indeed is not sexy green. It scored high marks not for its roof gardens or rain barrels, but for its low-VOC and no-VOC carpets and paints. The tight envelope of the home keeps out allergens as does the fresh air intake of the air conditioning unit. Moreover, Cambria countertops are installed in the kitchen and all bathrooms: Cambria is food safe since it is nonporous and food and moisture cannot penetrate the surface.

And it’s not only the sick buildings we are addressing; it’s the foods we eat that have become the newest green offshoot. It started with eating local foods to cut down on emissions and carbon footprints, but it has become a quest for eliminating obesity — especially in children — and returning our eating habits to those of our ancestors free of processed foods and out-of-control portions. The obesity factor has reached such a high scale that the White House Task Force on Childhood Obesity was just released by First Lady Michelle Obama, which is aimed to reduce childhood obesity from 20% to 5% by 2030.

The greener eating craze has caused an uptick in the fight for exercise as well. It is not only a good diet that will keep you healthy, but it’s the regular exercise that so many people avoided way too long.

Indeed, it is the influx of baby boomers into their senior years that is really causing a stir.

If boomers are not kept healthy, their sheer numbers could crush even the best of health care plans.