Nameless Heroes

By: Lara Winburn

Lara Winburn In December, my brother-in-law ran a local half-marathon. 13.1 miles. That is an impressive accomplishment, but what happened after the race is truly impressive. He crossed the finish line and was waiting on his wife to finish, when he heard someone call for a paramedic.

Being a former ER nurse, my brother-in-law made his way toward the call for help. When he arrived, he found a young runner collapsed on the side of the course. No pulse, not breathing and clearly in trouble.  A spectator and off duty paramedic had also rushed to aid the collapsed runner.  Without hesitation, the spectator started compressions and my brother-in-law started mouth to mouth resuscitation. Together they worked tirelessly until an AED (Automated External Defibrillator) arrived and they shocked the patient’s heart back into a normal rhythm.

A HEARTBEAT was back. The runner survived.

An ambulance arrived minutes later to provide further assistance. Before he was taken to the hospital, the runner was shaken but was able to tell my brother-in-law a little about himself, where he worked and who would be looking for him to finish. He was alive and talking. Just like that, a terrifying situation had turned hopeful.

As the runner was taken to the nearest hospital, my brother-in-law and the spectator/off-duty paramedic exchanged a handshake and a “good job” before they headed their separate ways.

No fanfare, no accolades, just two strangers who knew CPR.

They knew CPR, they used CPR and a young man’s heart continues to beat. 

Attend Lexington Medical Center’s Heart Fair on Sunday, March 2nd and take a citizen CPR lesson.

For more information about the Heart Hair, visit  http://www.lexmed.com/calendar/event/205/2014-3-2/Lexington_Medical_Center_Heart_Fair

Meet the New Every Woman Bloggers: Leah Prescott

Meet Leah Prescott, a mom of three who is learning to navigate the world of homeschooling and will share her experiments and successes teaching her children.

Hi Columbia! My name is Leah Prescott and I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of the Every Woman Blog community. I’ll be writing about my crazy days and life here in the Midlands of South Carolina, and hopefully meeting and hearing from as many of you as possible. I hope you are ready because I am sometimes an over-sharer.

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Please feel free to share right back. That’s what the comment section is for! I’m not exactly sure what I’ll be writing about, but I do have some ideas….only I’m really indecisive. Any votes?

As for me, I love being married to my husband of ten years. He’s the tall, quiet type, Leahbut he’s always willing to speak the truth. (In fact, sometimes I wish he was a little Iess truthful, but God knows what we need, doesn’t He?) Even 13 years later, he can look at me with those blue eyes of his and it takes me right back to our early days in college. I am so thankful that he has been with me through the ups and downs of the last decade!

Together, we have three of the sweetest, smartest, and most challenging children God ever sent down to earth. Right now, I stay busy homeschooling my seven-year-old twin girls and just trying to keep my energetic 22-month-old son from reaching his ultimate goal: the destruction of my home and sanity. And in the background there is always a barking beagle. Always.

When I’m not combing curls, teaching sight words, or wiping up something off the floor, I enjoy writing, thrifting, creativity in general, coffee, and Pinterest. I’ve really got to tone down my pinning, actually. But maybe you guys can help me sort through some of that also. Want to talk about pin-inspired successes and failures?

Did I mention I’m excited? Not only do I get the chance to share with all of you, but I already met some of the blogging team and what a fantastic, varied group of creative, funny, and skilled ladies! 2014 is sure to be a fabulous year on the Every Woman Blog, so keep your eye on us!

I Gained Weight, But I’m Celebrating

By: Mary Pat Baldauf

I wrote this post in late January, but I wanted to share it with you. It was a personal victory of sorts for me, and it’s helped me better define success when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

This morning, I weighed myself for the first time in a while. The number was up. I am five pounds further away from my “goal weight” than I was a couple weeks before Christmas. (I’m trying not to obsess too much on the numbers, but the gain now puts me 32 lbs. away from what I’ve chosen as an ideal weight.)

My initial thought was to crawl up under the covers and have a huge pity party with two special guests, Ben and Jerry. And I must admit, I DID crawl back under the covers. I was up early for cardio, but the weigh-in created a paralyzing panic that could only be relieved by an extra hour and a half of sleep. But when I woke up, I took a deep breath and decided to re-boot. And on the way in, I even bought myself flowers to celebrate.

Gained Flowers

 “Celebrate?” you might say. Yep, celebrate. Because while my weight is up from Christmas and my initial loss of nearly 100 lbs., I still have a lot of reasons to celebrate:

  • My blood pressure is down. Significantly.
  • My good cholesterol is up, and my bad cholesterol is down.
  • I now choose stairs over elevators, and when I take them, I no longer nearly fall out at the top of them.
  • I basically eat clean, whole and healthy foods. I have a few processed indulgences, including ice cream and chocolate, but I rarely shop the inside aisles of the grocery store.
  • Whole grains and agave nectar have taken the place of white flour and sugar.
  • I can’t tell you the last time I’ve been to a fast food joint.
  • Some weeks are better than others, but I regularly work out. I strength train. I do cardio. And I am generally much more active.
  • Except for an occasional pizza, ice cream or Greek yogurt, I am essentially dairy-free. I have totally switched over to almond and soy milk, and I rarely have cheese.
  • I eat much, much less meat. And except for an occasional craving for a good steak, meat has become an addition to a meal, such as a soup, instead of the main course. And in most cases, I choose ground turkey breast over ground beef, and always buy the leanest cuts.
  • I not only know how to pronounce quinoa, but I eat it on a regular basis.
  • Cooking is no longer a chore that I dread, but almost enjoy. I usually cook for the week ahead on Sunday, so there are always quick, healthy options available. And I always get excited to add a great new recipe to the rotation.
  • I plan ahead, consider obstacles and work around them. When traveling, I make arrangements to purchase healthy food and/or take my own. It isn’t always easy, and sometimes I feel like the odd woman out, but I still do it.
  • When I first started working with a nutrition counselor, the only way I could get my water intake in was to add Crystal Light. Now I prefer my water plain and cold, or I add fruit for flavor.
  • I have finally found a sweet spot for grocery shopping. I have healthy staples in the pantry, including nutritional yeast, and I have a set shopping list for the store.
  • My spice rack is now quite extensive and well-stocked.
  • I have actual muscle definition, and I’m especially proud of the strength and toning I see in my legs.
  • I am now cooking dry beans instead of using those from a can. It’s healthier and less expensive.
  • I can do all kinds of things in the gym that I couldn’t do before, but the one that stands out the most is the elliptical trainer. When I started three years ago, I couldn’t do more than two minutes at the lowest level. Now I regularly do 30 minutes, and the lower level is just a quick warm up.

Today, instead of berating myself for “failing,” I dusted myself off and prepared for a new day. I didn’t drown my sorrows in ice cream, but had some of my favorite healthy foods, including fresh pineapple and strawberries for lunch. And after finishing this post, I’m going to lay out my clothes for tomorrow’s strength training, turn in early and read.

And those 32 pounds? I hope they enjoyed today’s celebration, because tomorrow, they’re history. I may not be able to physically lose them overnight, but I’m not going to let them bring me down or define me. Instead, I’ll use them to re-energize me on my journey to good health, clean eating and physical fitness.

Meet the New Every Woman Bloggers: Lara Winburn

Meet Lara Winburn, a busy mom with two young children, who uses humor to get through life. We can’t wait to hear her stories!

Getting Fruity

By: Shannon Shull

Whenever I need to sign up to prepare food for an event, I’m never the one to offer to bring fruit. I typically stick with chips and dip, sweets or crackers and cheese. I don’t have an abundance of fruit growing in my yard and fruit is flat out expensive – especially if you need to provide fruit for over 150 people. Recently the Women’s Society I’m a member of was in the planning stages of a major wine event – a big, lovely affair that we have every year. I wasn’t at the particular meeting in which everyone signed up for which foods to bring, so guess who was put in charge of the fruit table? Yep, me!

So, I was left with the dreaded fruit table that no one else wanted to claim. But that’s ok; I took on the challenge! I figured I might as well take advantage of this opportunity to have a little fun getting creative with some fruit. I immediately started scouring the Internet for cool ideas for fruit displays. The more I saw online, the more excited I became about the idea of doing something really creative for displaying the fruit at our wine event.

The first step was to find the cheapest prices on fruit! Fortunately I found some incredible prices at Aldi. I’d never been to this store before, but the visit proved fruitful. 😉 hehehhe….

I was ultimately able to pull off a lovely table display. Of course, originally I had big ideas of a grand display – turning pineapples into swans and carving elaborate designs into watermelons. Needless to say, those grand visions did not pan out at the last minute. However, I can say that my final table display of fruit ended up looking pretty darn good and was a hit at the event.

Fruit table and me

Fruit table

One of the ideas I wanted to make sure to share with you readers is to use ice cream cones to hold fruit. The night before the event, I dipped plain and colored ice cream cones into melted dark chocolate. I drizzled all the cones with chocolate and put them in the refrigerator overnight. Once I arrived at the event, I filled the base of the cones with either watermelon or cantaloupe and then topped them all off with beautiful colored blueberries and blackberries. Each cone provided several bites of the perfect combination of sweet fruit, crispy cone and delicious dark chocolate.

Fruit table close up

Fruit table close up 2

Fruit table close up 3

So if you ever have to do a fruit display for an event, challenge yourself to have fun with it and get creative. Just make sure you actually get to partake of your yummy creations…naturally, I did not get one single lovely fruit cone! 🙂

From My Heart to Yours

By: Chaunte McClure

Chaunte McClureI find it quite interesting that my first blog post would be related to heart disease. After all, during my husband’s rants about my lack of exercise, he often reminds me that heart disease is the number one killer of women. He nearly begs me to exercise. He’s a gym rat and he wants me to be one too. Well, not exactly, because he’s shown me a few exercise routines that I can do at home. He says he wants us to grow old together.  Awww… how sweet! Well, obviously not sweet enough because I still don’t exercise.

I want to change that. I need to change that. And if you don’t exercise, you need to make a change, too.

It was a decision my friend, Michelle, had to make in 2006 when she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure at the age of 36. She was living in Texas and had symptoms of a common cold that progressively got worse. Doctors diagnosed her with a sinus infection and prescribed her potassium pills and antibiotics. While experiencing these symptoms she returned to her hometown in Columbia, SC, as planned, and actually drove alone from Texas.

Michelle Weight Loss

She still was not feeling better after making it back to the Palmetto State. Walking eventually became a challenge because it was hard for her to breathe. She went to her primary care physician in Columbia and was immediately referred to a cardiologist, who performed a heart catheterization. The cardiologist told her she had a broken heart. (Really, he did.)

Michelle now has an implantable cardioverter defibrillator and takes six prescribed medicines and an asprin daily. She’s a survivor! Thanks to some lifestyle changes, she’s doing well. Not only does she exercise, she eats healthier, too.

These are healthy habits we can all develop, whether we’re unwell or not. The American Heart Association offers tips on how you can prevent heart disease.  Your heart matters! Don’t skip a beat caring for it. We can do it!

Ham Soup

By: Brady Evans 

I am not sure if this is “ham and bean” soup or “ham bone” soup.  In any case, it has both beans and ham in it, but the bone is removed before serving.

When I was a vegetarian this might be the only meal I ever missed. This is odd because this was the type of meal my mom made maybe once a year growing up, usually after holidays when there was a leftover ham hanging around.

Ham Soup

When my dad said he was bringing a honey baked ham to our Christmas dinner, I immediately notified him that I’d be taking home the bone. He didn’t protest my greediness, and I invited him over to enjoy the soup when I finally got around to making it.

My father loved it so much that he immediately went out and bought another ham just for the purpose of eating this soup.

Ham Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. 15 bean soup mix (recommended brand: “Hurst’s HamBeens.” You won’t be using the spice packet included.)
  • 2 cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp. ground mustard
  • 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 2 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 ham bone with approximately 2 cups of ham remaining on the bone
  • Enough water to cover
  • Ground black pepper and salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large soup/stock pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Boil vigorously for 10 minutes.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and cook 2 hours or until beans are tender.
  4. Remove bone from soup. Pick off and chop ham and return to soup, Discard bone.