By Lisa Lewtan

Growing up, I was a huge fan of Dear Abby. Dear Abby was an advice column that started in the 1950's by Abigail Van Buren. 

I started reading Dear Abby as a preteen in a world that had not yet invented social media. Dear Abby gave me a voyeuristic peek into the issues facing OTHER people. I was fascinated by these strangers' problems. The weirder, the better.

I was hooked. 

Fast forward a gazillion years, and here I am today with an opportunity to write a column for a small paper as a health advice columnist. Woo Hoo!

I asked some members of my Facebook Coaching Club for questions, and they came back with great ones like:

 

Dear Lisa,
My husband and I share a love of food and great wine and enjoy planning dates at romantic restaurants. When we eat at home, I can cook healthier meals and forgo the wine, but the experience is simply not as fun. Even when it is just the two of us at home, we tend to eat quickly and then go our separate ways. I need some ideas on how to change the dynamic so that eating in can be as romantic as eating out. Any ideas?   - Hungry for Romance

Dear Hungry for Romance,
Kudos to you for making date nights a priority! So many of us get bogged down with our lists of "have-to -do's" that spending quality time with our partner can sometimes fall to the bottom of the priority pile. Making your dinner table feel more like a restaurant would do the trick. Pull out the good china and linens.  Take a shower. Light some candles. Pour your water into wine glasses and pipe in some music.  Add a dash of red lipstick and you'll be all set :)


Dear Lisa,
I am the mother of teenage boys and need to prepare meals they will eat. How do I feed a hungry family and keep my own weight and health in check?   - Tired of Cooking Multiple Meals

Dear Tired of Cooking Multiple Meals,
Watching your weight while fueling teenage boys can be quite a challenge. I recommend making meals in layers.  We've all heard of dressing in layers - which might look like starting with the t-shirt and then adding a long-sleeve shirt followed by a sweatshirt. That way we are ready for multiple scenarios. Well, the same can be said for meal prep.

Layer one could be a big green salad with lots of vegetables. Layer two could be a roast chicken that the boys can eat in quantity, and you can slice and throw on top of your salad. Layer three could be something hearty like sweet potatoes. Again, you could take a small piece, cut it into cubes, and sprinkle on your salad. While the boys are eating the hearty meal, you will be dining on a delicious salad!


Dear Lisa,
I try to do everything right, but life keeps getting in the way. I seem always to run out of time for the things I most want to be doing (exercising, buying and preparing healthy foods, etc.). What can I do about this?   - Knows What to do But Can't Seem to Do It!

Dear Knows What to do But Can't Seem to Do It,
When one of my clients says to me "I am too busy to exercise" or "I am too busy to get to the market," I play a little game with them. I ask them to replace the words "I am too busy" with "It's not a priority for me." In other words, "It's not a priority for me to exercise or to go to the market". Get it? We make time for things that matter to us. Try moving your self-care up a few notches on your priority pole and see what happens. I recommend scheduling your workouts right in your calendar and make them non-negotiable as if they were meetings with an important client. Also, delegate other tasks out to kids, a spouse, or any other person hanging around your house so that you can do the things that you need to do to stay healthy!

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