Tonawanda News

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December 9, 2013

FIT FOR LIFE: Strategies to help avoid common holiday pitfalls

Tonawanda News — During the last month of the year it’s easy to fall victim to the sweet treats and rich, fatty foods made available to celebrate the upcoming holidays. Here are some ideas on how to avoid putting on the pounds this season:

The office cupcake lady

You probably never knew Melissa from tech support had dreams about becoming the next reality TV chef, until she started bringing in the cakes, pies, cookies and cobblers that she’s “testing out” in preparation for her primetime debut. And nothing will derail your muscle definition faster than a couple of slices of cheesecake/pie during your coffee break.

The remedy: The best way to avoid is with something I call “the proximity defense.” Most office treats get set up in a specific conference room, in the kitchen cell block four, etc.

Do everything you can to avoid going past these areas and you’ll be much less likely to indulge. It may require you mapping out a new route to the bathroom, but no one said that keeping your title of “best booty/pecs in the department” would be easy.

The New Year’s Resolution

So, you’ve let your gym membership slide and you’re thinking you’ll just wait ‘til the post-New Year’s deals before you re-sign up. Or you figure, with all the holiday parties and dinners you have lined up, you may as well wait until after Jan. 1 to really commit to that new low-carb diet plan. 

Problem with this kind of thinking is that while you are waiting for the perfect time to make fitness your priority, you are packing on inches to your waist, and getting further and further away from your goals. And, at this rate, it will take you until April just to get back to where you were in October.

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    More than 90 private gardens throughout Western New York, and a number of public ones, are open to the public for select hours Thursdays and/or Fridays during July as part of the National Garden Festival’s Open Gardens program, now in its fifth year. The program is separate and distinct from local garden walks, and the gardens range from Gasport to Holland. They’re organized into districts of about five to eight gardens each, including Northtowns West (which includes gardens in Kenmore and the Town of Tonawanda) and Niagara Trail (which includes gardens in Lockport, Gasport and Lewiston).

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  • SUN LIFE terrariums 1 072014.jpg For the love of nature

    Sara Johnson lives surrounded by green and growing things. Showing a visitor around her apartment in North Buffalo, she pointed out the plants in every room, the balcony and even in two small greenhouses — houseplants, flowers, vegetables, even carnivorous plants.

    "I try to keep as much growing in the house as I can," she said.

    Another goal of hers is to show others how to do the same — and to that end, Johnson is offering a series of workshops this summer in connection with her business, Sylvatica Terrariums, and Project 308 Gallery in North Tonawanda, teaching people how to bring a piece of the outdoors into their homes in the form of a terrarium or other greenery.

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    “They will be running outside and playing in the grass and going swimming,” said Cheryl Flick, a fund representative of the Northern Erie and Niagara Counties chapter of the Fresh Air Fund at a picnic for the host families and kids. “They won’t be cooped up inside, they’ll be outside, getting fresh air and being active.”

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    I think it’s true of many parents, that amidst the many challenges and hard work of parenting, we anticipate the day our children grow up just enough ... to like the same things we like, whether it’s as an ongoing phenomenon or a fond childhood memory.

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    Did you know that the suffix “vore” comes from the Latin word “voro,” which means to devour? I probably knew that once, but I should have paid better attention in my Latin class. “Vore” is used to form nouns indicating what kind of a diet an animal has, such as omnivore, carnivore and herbivore.

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    When Explore Buffalo Tours got started about eight months ago, the business concentrated on specialized tours designed to showcase specific aspects of the City of Buffalo’s history, architecture and culture.

    Now the organization is looking to the future and trying out ways to highlight the other unique aspects of the Western New York region. The tours change out each month, but the more popular ones will circulate back in, according to Explore Buffalo Executive Director Brad Hahn. This month it’s test-driving its “North Tonawanda: Lumber City” tour, one of only a few to take place outside the City of Buffalo. (Although a Lockport tour is in the works.)

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     Following a trend of public, outdoor exercise programs, a number of local venues are offering their own free events aiming to get residents outside and active during the summer.

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  • SUN LIFE muscoreils 1 071314.jpg Beyond the bakery

    For years, Muscoreil’s Fine Desserts & Gourmet Cakes has been a go-to location for desserts and wedding and occasion cakes in Western New York.

    This summer, even as the bakery deals with the rush of wedding season, changes at its associated bistro aim to create a revitalized focus on that side of the business, as well.

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    The options when you escort your child to a birthday party are endless, really. Everywhere you turn, there’s another thrill to uncover.

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