Author Archives: Paula Widish

Brown Bag or Plastic Tray?

Around these parts, a new school year is about to begin, and with it comes the discussion of what to do about lunches. I can count on both hands the number of times our boys have gone through the lunch line for their midday sustenance, but that doesn’t stop them from being completely fascinated by […]

Just Need a Little Somethin’

I’ve always been a snacker by nature. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t need a little something by 4:00 in the afternoon. It’s just not right. My boys are much the same way, only they’re constantly in search of a bite to eat. When it comes to snacks, they’re bottomless pits. What goes into those […]

We Got the Beets!

I’m willing to bet you’ve never heard someone say, “Beets are okay.” If you mention beets to someone, you’ll either get a cringe of loathing or a spontaneous smile with an audible “Mmmmmm.” For some reason they’re just one of those vegetables people either love or hate. I’m lucky enough to be of the Mmmmmm […]

A Whole New Kind of Wild Rice

As an avid self-healther and an information junkie, I’m always interested in reading about different philosophies and pioneers of real-food nutrition and alternative health. That’s why I was excited to see that one of the July specials at SRP is Wild Rice: The Biography of Vivian Lillie Rice by David Blot and Libby Demmon. Sure […]

What Does Your Water Bottle Bring to the Party?

It’s summer. It’s hot. Staying hydrated is important, and no matter the occasion, water is the best choice you can make. But beware—with some water bottles, you may end up downing more than just water. My personal water “bottle” of choice isn’t a bottle at all. There’s nothing better than a wide-mouthed, quart-size canning jar, […]

Keep Up With the 3 Rs: Cook With Your Kids

Every teacher I talk to stresses the importance of kids keeping up with the school basics over the summer. When kids take a total break from learning for more than two months, they often lose ground by the time the new school year starts. Students need several weeks of refreshers before moving on to new, […]

Beat the Summer Heat with Frozen Treats from Your Youth

The Fourth of July arrives this week and with it comes the glorious summer heat. Growing up on the farm meant summers were filled with all sorts of outdoor activities that left us basking under the hot sun—things like fixing fences and unloading hay bales. Though there weren’t a whole lot of lazy days, we […]

5 Dinnertime Survival Tips for Your Busy Family

I find summer to be a really relaxing time with the kids at home—nowhere in particular to be for the majority of the day until…dinnertime. This can cause some real problems and complaints from hungry kids in the backseat on the way home from a ball game (or whatever the activity was that night). The […]

Warning: You May Find This Repell-sive

The summer solstice arrives this weekend. Let the fun begin! But while the beginning of summer brings an abundance of lively outdoor activities, it also brings more bugs. Luckily for me, those pesky biting ones (I’m talking about you, mosquitoes) only find me moderately tasty, but they adore my hubby and two of our boys. […]

Top 4 Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Nutrition and Health

I grew up in a traditional home, which meant my mom was the chief cook and nutrition expert. When I look back, though, I see that I learned plenty from my dad too. Not that he ever started conversations with, “Here’s what you need to know.” Rather, he taught by example. Actions speak louder than […]

Thank a Local Farmer: June Is National Dairy Month

When I was growing up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin, “America’s Dairyland,” June was always a month I looked forward to. After all, it’s Dairy Month! A national holiday since 1937, various other states pay tribute to Dairy Month with their own events—but I’ve never seen it celebrated with such vigor and enthusiasm as […]

Here Comes the Sun: To Expose or Not to Expose

Summer vacations and loads of outdoor activities are going to be here before you know it, which means you’ve got a big decision to make. Hide in the shade the whole time or bask in the sun’s glory? Lots of us keep to the shade, no matter how much we’d rather soak up the rays. […]

Soda Habit: Breaking Up Ain’t Hard to Do

Back in the day, I was an avid soda drinker. And I’m not talking about just once in a while. I drank my share and your share and maybe even part of your best friend’s share. Growing up, I was almost never allowed this tempting beverage, so apparently I had to make up for it […]

Gelatin: Wiggly, Jiggly Goodness

Gelatin

Today, I present you with a challenge: Never buy artificially flavored gelatin again! But don’t worry. I’m not just going to challenge you—I’m also going to provide you with the tools you need to succeed. Why? Because gelatin is great for your overall health, except when it includes refined sugars, acids, and artificial colorings and […]

A Hot Bath: My Guilty Pleasure

I have a confession to make…I’m crazy about taking a hot bath. Even though it makes me feel guilty, I’ll frequently indulge myself with a soak. Why the guilt? Well, as a mom of three and an entrepreneur, other tasks are always calling me. Laundry to do, supper to start, a dog to walk—not to […]

4 Lessons from Mother Earth

On this day 44 years ago, we officially started celebrating Mother Earth with the first Earth Day. The thing is, she’s been teaching us lessons a lot longer than that. We’d be wise to recognize what Mother Earth has to share. Here’s a countdown of the top four lessons Mother Earth can teach us about […]

The Egg: The Villain That Never Was

I’ve lost track. Are we eating eggs now, or are we still too afraid to enjoy them? It’s hard to think of another food with a reputation that’s flip-flopped as much as this poor, humble morsel’s. Another silent victim of misinformation. Unfortunately, the majority of us bought into the idea that eggs were bad for […]

Growing Yourself Some Peace of Mind

Meditation is all the rage. But I would venture to say that if you are someone who enjoys time in the garden, you’ve been meditating all along. My own loose definition of meditation is a state of being completely aware of, and involved in, the moment—alert to every detail, no matter how small. Meditation is […]

Don’t Be a Food Label Fool

Are you a fool when it comes to food labels? You’re not alone. The way the food industry twists label definitions with tricky language on food packaging makes all of us look foolish when we walk down the aisles of our local market. We make personal choices to eat natural, wholesome, and nourishing foods. But […]

Lighten Up! Spring Has Sprung

The spring equinox has arrived! There’s something about the newness of all-things-spring that makes me want to ditch old habits that might be holding me back. I’m compelled with the overwhelming urge to do things like: Declutter our living space. Winter turns us into semi-hoarders, but something happens when I open the windows and let […]