Tag Archives: nutrition

Healthy is as Healthy Does

Webster’s Dictionary defines “health” as “the condition of being sound in body, mind and spirit.” Other definitions include “being free from physical pain and disease” and “the general condition of the body.” Therefore, good health includes not just one but many facets of positive living.

We all know health is important. But in our multitasking society, life pulls us in many different directions. Work, family and friends become intertwined and business can take over our lives. It is difficult to find the right balance. As a patron of the Library, we have some opportunities to assist ourselves in the right direction.

Currently, I am obsessed with exercise videos. Without spending a dime, they provide a way to incorporate daily workouts at home. Exercise produces endorphins that benefit body, mind and spirit. Here are a few that have maintained my interest (and yes, they are available in our local libraries).

Leslie Sansone’s Walk At Home-Five Day Slim Down– In our catalog, type “Sansone, Leslie” under “Author” and 72 titles appear. This is one of my favorites, with something for everyone. Choose to walk a mile a day or complete the entire video in one session. During each mile, you’ll focus on a particular body part, such as arms, legs, or tummy. Includes easy breakfast ideas as well. Request a copy as soon as possible!

Leslie Sansone’s Walk Slim: Fast Firming!– Another favorite. Strengthen arms as you walk. Plus, see progress with a mile marker on screen. Its fun, and unlike the gym, the video can be turned on at your convenience.

Jillian Michael’s 30 Day Shred– If you desire a more intense workout with a strict trainer, Ms. Michael is your choice. Known for her tough regimen on the TV program Biggest Loser, she can make anyone cry. If I need motivation, I put this video in for a full body workout. Of course it is not for everyone and on some days (gasp!), I cannot finish without taking breaks.

We all know that exercise plays a role in good health but eating well is just as important. Here are some titles for further thought:

Nutrition for Dummies by Carol Ann Rinzler- The book begins with a simple definition of nutrition and lists everything you might want to know about vitamins and minerals. It also includes basic diet plans.

Naturally Thin: Unleash Your Skinnygirl and Free Yourself From a Lifetime of Dieting by Bethenny Frankel with Eve Adamson- Offers tips on how to eat anything and stay thin. The authors have a simple solution: watch portions and eat in moderation. Although this saying is as old as the eleventh stack itself, interesting analogies drive the point home.

Eat Your Way to Happiness: 10 Diet Secrets to Improve Your Mood, Curb Your Cravings, Keep the Pounds Off by Elizabeth Somer- A handy dandy, self-explanatory tool for those who want to feel they are not on a diet.

As you can see, the Library offers many resources for exercise and diet education and inspiration. They remind us that we can continue our search for good health despite life’s temptations. I must end this for now because I have an appointment with my personal trainers, via video, in five minutes.

 -Melissa H.


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Fine Dining

As you may have noticed from our many posts that mention cooking or baking, many of us on the Eleventh Stack team love to cook.  But eating out has its own charm.  There are fewer dishes to clean up, less ingredients to buy, and the novelty of trying something new is always fun.  CLP has lots of resources for home cooks, but we also carry resources for those of us who enjoy eating out. 

Of course, dining out can pose its own challenges, particularly when you’re trying to eat a healthy meal.  Books like Eating Out: Your Guide to Healthy Dining, with information from the Mayo Clinic, can help you make sure you’re eating something nutritious.  The popular Eat This Not That! Restaurant Survival Guide is another book you can turn to in order to make healthy decisions at a restaurant.  And books like The Guide to Healthy Restaurant Eating, a publication of the American Diabetes Association, or Living Full and Gluten Free: A Restaurant Guide With a Full Menu help those on special diets discover which restaurant foods they can eat.

If you’re searching for a new place to eat locally, our Pennsylvania Department has some dining guides to the Pittsburgh area.  Where the Locals Eat: Pittsburgh is a guide to 100 of the best restaurants in town.  The book Where We Like to Eat N’At: Celebrating Pittsburgh’s Neighborhoods focuses on 57 places that are uniquely Pittsburgh, with recommendations from Pittsburgh residents on where to find the best pierogies, kielbasa, pizza, and more.  If you’re still stuck for a suggestion after looking at those guides, our web site offers reviews and links to many local restaurants. 


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There are lots of things that I love about working in a library, but one of my favorite things has to be the serendipity factor– finding books that you didn’t even know that you were looking for.  Whenever I’m not quite sure what to read next I know that if I spend 15 minutes walking around the library I’m sure to find something that’s perfect.  In the past couple of days alone I’ve discovered:

  • If the Buddha Came to Dinner: How to Nourish Your Body to Awaken Your Spirit, by Halé Sofia Schatz: The author advocates getting away from refined and processed foods, and looks at how Eastern philosophies relate to nutrition. The combination of spirituality and nutrition looks intriguing, and this just got added to my to-read list! 
  • Happy Kitty Bunny Pony: A Saccharine Mouthful of Super Cute, by the Charles Anderson Design Company and Michael J. Nelson: Bunnies!  Puppies!  Squirrels!  Ponies!  A disgusting show of cuteness with commentary by Mike Nelson that’s proven to be just what I needed to shake off my end-of-winter blues. 
  • Dishing Up Vermont: 145 Authentic Recipes from the Green Mountain State, by Tracey Medeiros: It was the cover photo of this book that caught my attention (mmm, the “Awesome Pear or Apple Pancake”!), and a quick flip through revealed some amazing looking recipes like “Grilled Maple-marinated Portabello Mushrooms,” and “Harvest Stuffed Squash with Apples and Cranberries.” 
  • Fashionable Clothing From the Sears Catalog: I happened upon two of these books featuring clothes from the 1970s, with lots of Earth Shoes, ruffles, big collars, mustaches, and polyester.  I definitely have a soft spot for 1970s fashion, so these books were right up my alley.  If a different decade is more your thing, the books in this series cover the 1930s to the 1980s. 

Every day I find more amazing books.  Have you come across anything that you weren’t looking for, but turned out to be exactly what you wanted to read? 


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