Macro Moments Challenge: Week 30

Musin' With Susan

Welcome to Macro Moments Challenge: Week 30 and  thank you to everyone who entered last week’s challenge. The theme for this week’s challenge is “Birds”.  Get out and shoot, search your archives, or find something indoors that depicts the theme.  Remember, for this challenge your entry needs to be macro or close up, not just a bird sitting on a fence. For my bird photo, below, I cropped the picture tightly. 

A quick reminder before I announce last week’s winner.  You may enter each challenge as many times as you’d like, but please include only one photo per entry.

Congratulations to justpat1, a brand new blogger, of  Pat’s entry is entitled “Eye of the Beholder”.  Please pay her a visit to view her work as she gets her blog up and running.

Couch's Sadefoot Couch’s Sadefoot


My inspiration for choosing the bird theme was this little guy.  He was all…

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Tips to Help Your Teenager Get the Most out of School

Attending school is one of the most important things your teenager will do with their time. Junior high and high school will fill up a large part of your teenager’s life, and there are many things you can do to help this part of their life run smoothly.

As your child gets older, your part in their life will become less about giving commands and more about giving support. Here are some ideas on how you can help your teenager get the most out of school.

Encourage Learning to Speed Read

This is a tangible skill that will help your teenager study more quickly. The amount of reading material they will be assigned in this phase of life is significantly more than when they were in their younger years. There are many different ways to speed read, so encourage your child to try a few and decide on the method that works best for them.

Encourage Learning to Focus

When your child was younger, they may have been able to get away with not fully focusing on the material at hand. Learning to focus is important as they enter their teen years.

Help your child to figure out how to remove distractions when they are experiencing difficulty focusing. Teach them to remove possible distractions one by one, such as turning off music, powering down their smartphone, or closing any windows that open onto a loud, busy street.

Encourage Regular Study Time

Your teenager will need to learn to study regularly if they do not want to become stressed because of leaving everything until last minute. It is far more beneficial if they build the skill of setting aside a certain amount of time each day to study. This might be 20 minutes per day, or it might be three hours per day. What is important is not so much the amount of time, but your child’s consistency.

Encourage Inspiring Friendships

The individuals your child chooses to spend time with will change their course of direction over time. If your child chooses friends who inspire them to build their character and who encourage them to work hard in life, your child will generally walk down the same path. If your child has more friends who are interested only in having fun, your child’s grades will likely suffer, as could their future.

Encourage Good Nutrition

Nutrition plays an important role in giving the brain its power. Although junk food is a common part of the life of most teens, teach your child to keep the main amount of their food intake healthy. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grain carbs and healthy fats should be your child’s main source of nutrition. Consider supplements if your child is a picky eater, or if their diet is lacking in any way.

Encourage Routine

Although your teenager’s routine is sure to be different than when they were little, it is still an essential part of keeping things running smoothly. Talk to your child about regular meals, regular bedtimes and getting enough sleep each night. This will give their body a chance to know what to expect on a daily basis, and their body will then provide them with better results.

You will be your teenager’s greatest source of help as they go through these challenging years. Take every opportunity to share your wisdom with them in regards to how to live it well. With your efforts, your teenager will be sure to glean a lot from their school years. Registered & Protected EHTX-NL8J-XDCT-1WAY

Top 5 Nutrition Tips for Children

Your child’s body is growing so rapidly, proper nutrition is extremely important for healthy growth. This is true both mentally and physically, and emotionally as well. Use the following top 5 smart nutrition tips for children as a way to ensure that your child has the best chance at a healthy and happy childhood, and develops beneficial habits that lead to being a fit and healthy adult.

#1 – Stay Hydrated, on a Consistent Schedule

Drinking water regularly is just as important as drinking enough every day. Children have unique fluid needs. Since their bodies are growing so rapidly, it is best for them to sip water throughout the day, rather than trying to reach their daily water intake in just a few drinking sessions. Teach your children at a very young age to keep a water bottle handy, sipping and refilling all day long.

#2 – Promote Quick Muscle Recovery

Adults should eat some protein and carbohydrates within the first 60 minutes after exercising. Children have internal systems which are quicker at healing and repairing than adults. This is why you should make sure your kids enjoy a high protein snack or small meal in the first 30 minutes after they have played sports, exercised or played outside.

#3 – Practice What You Preach

This is more a tip for you than your child. Do you really expect your kids to enjoy a healthy diet if you don’t? To get your child eating more fruits, vegetables and whole foods, and less processed food items, you are going to have to do the same. Children look up to their parents, and by eating right you impact your own health in a positive manner while helping your child enjoy the benefits of good nutrition.

#4 – Do Not Forget the Fat!

In an effort to keep your child healthy, don’t forget that his body needs lots of “good fats” to function properly. Avoid trans fats and saturated fats, which means steering clear of pastries, doughnuts, french fries, processed foods and pizzas. Focus on getting healthy amounts of extra virgin olive oil, cold water fish like mackerel and salmon, grape seed oil, nuts and seeds into your child’s diet. Healthy fats are good for your kid, and those foods provide them.

#5 – Feed Your Kids Sweets… Seriously

We just mentioned cutting back on pastries and processed foods, and now we are recommending that you give your kids sweets. What gives? The rationale here is simple. Nutritionists, doctors and other health professionals like dietitian Sarah Krieger know how important it is for you to allow your child small amounts of sweets on a regular basis. This reinforces the idea that sweets should not make up a significant part of your child’s diet. As he grows older, your child will develop a smart and healthy relationship with sweet foods and treats. This may not be the case if you totally deny access to what children naturally have a taste for. Registered & Protected EHTX-NL8J-XDCT-1WAY

What Happens To The Body When It Doesn’t Get Enough Exercise

Many things happen to the body when it doesn’t get enough exercise. Unfortunately, it goes way beyond gaining weight. It’s important to remember that even a little bit of exercise is better than no exercise at all. Continue reading to learn more about the dangers of inactivity. No one is immune!
Energy Levels
Mitochondria are energy producing structures, which live in the cells of body tissues, organs and muscles. These amazing little structures need carbohydrates and oxygen to work properly. Since mitochondria are required for all bodily functions and movement, you definitely can’t live without them.
Mitochondria levels drop when your heart isn’t working at its full potential and your oxygen levels are diminished, due to lack of exercise. Fatigue occurs when energy production is slowed down and the body requires the same amount of energy to get work done.
Bone Issues
Bones love a workout, almost as much as they love calcium. The lack of weight-bearing exercise causes bones to lose density and the ability to properly store calcium. Less calcium in your bones means more of a mineral build up in organs such as your kidneys, the cause of kidney stones.
If the period of inactivity is long enough bones eventually began to weaken. This oftentimes results in osteoporosis, which leads to a much higher risk of painful bone fractures.
Muscle Problems
Just like bones, muscles benefit from a good workout. One of the first signs of being out of shape, due to inactivity, is loss of strength and muscle tone. When muscles are idle, blood flow slows down and the exchange of waste products and nutrients decreases. Less mitochondria results in lack of muscle coordination.
Without exercise, the “electrical” connection between your nerves and muscles is sporadic at best. How does this affect you? You’ll typically find it more difficult to move around with the agility that you once could. It can also mean decreased strength and an increased risk of muscle injury, because of shrinking muscle mass.
Heart-Related Difficulties
Whatever your age, it’s important to keep your heart as healthy as possible. Even though your heart muscle is different from your skeletal muscles, the same health-related principles apply. Without proper exercise, the heart muscle shrinks. This makes it difficult to adequately distribute blood throughout the body and causes the heart to work much harder to get the blood to where it actually needs to go, especially in your hands and feet.
Sluggish blood flow can lead to plaque formation in the blood vessels. This, in turn, sometimes causes high blood pressure, dizziness and circulation problems. All of these conditions are potentially dangerous if left untreated.
As you can see, inactivity causes havoc in and damage to your body. This is especially true for individuals who already deal with chronic conditions, because it typically only makes things worse.
In many cases, periods of inactivity are inevitable. But, the sooner you can participate in even a light exercise regimen, the better off your mind and your body will be. Registered & Protected EHTX-NL8J-XDCT-1WAY