It’s time for lunch at Hampshire Dining Commons, known affectionately by students at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst by its nickname “Hamp.” There may be essays to stress over, majors to choose and friends to catch up with later but for now, the most difficult decision for students is choosing whether to fill their stomachs with hand-rolled sushi or vegetarian tacos with fresh guacamole before their next class.
Soon after taking a position as Director of Food Services for Framingham Public Schools in Massachusetts, Brendan Ryan stood in the courtyard of the high school and had an idea. It had recently come to his attention that many students had no idea where food came from; “most suburban youth have no idea how a vegetable grows!” he says.
Ryan looked out across the nearly two-acre courtyard and envisioned a garden that would not only teach students where their food comes from but highlight the importance and deliciousness of healthy eating.Read More »
It's No Secret Chore Rhymes With Bore
As a kid, my responsibilities including vacuuming and dusting the living, dining, and family rooms of the house. I hauled around a heavy canister vacuum cleaner, relishing when it “accidentally” slammed into the furniture. I used my dad’s old t-shirts saturated in Pledge or Windex on the tables and hutches. My life improved considerably when I learned how to mow the lawn and used that as an excuse to shirk my indoor chores.Read More »
That Nagging Voice
In the spring of 2000 I walked into the home for the first time and immediately knew something was wrong.
I told my husband we needed to eliminate it from our house-hunting options, even though it was 5,500 square feet and would easily accommodate our eight children and three pets. We were preparing to move cross-country from Illinois to Colorado. Unable to find the right home, our realtor suggested we reconsider. “Think of the potential,” he said. My husband agreed. “It’s five levels. We’ll make it our own.” Chris’s optimism led me to a new vision for the house and how we might use it.
A nagging feeling remained, but I pushed it down.
We moved into the home in June. Within six months one of our children was diagnosed with a seizure disorder. Within a year our bird died and our dog was diagnosed with diabetes. Mood disorders surfaced in the kids. We were at the doctor repeatedly. I assumed it was the change in elevation.Read More »
Meg Payne reveals misconceptions, struggles, epiphanies and turning points highlighting the life of a teenage athlete and the perception of health. How much of her story resonates with teens you know? What perceptions of health are we teaching the next generation as adults, coaches and parents?Read More »
The journey toward nontoxic living is akin to standing in the hub of a 10 speed bicycle wheel. Each degree we turn we see yet another path, another topic, and another area to learn about, sometimes leaving our minds spinning just as fast as that wheel. No more. We are taking this on together, at a nice pace.
The purpose of the Savvy Path is to take a step down one path, one topic a month. We’ll learn what we can, figure out what we need to know, and who we need to support our growth. (It’s our own getting Savvy version of 99 Bottles of Toxins on the list…“Take one down, pass it around, 98 toxins left on the list…”)
For our inaugural, themed month (sound the trumpets) we introduce you to the ubiquitous, Bisphenol A, a.k.a. BPA.Read More »
Founder's Note: How often will we wonder "When will I see results? Is change happening?" or "How hard should I try?" Do you hear a tiny voice chiding, "Are we creating mini-monsters who will rebel against our high standards? Or are we raising responsible healthy citizens?" Trusting our heart is all we have - until you meet someone like Julia. It is an honor to feature Julia's confession as one of Savvy's first blog posts, offering a delightful glimpse of what 'can-be' when we embrace this journey.
When I was a little younger than I am now, my favorite breakfast food was a Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop-Tart.
I would pop it in the toaster and eagerly watching the wires glowing red inside, evidence of the mini oven at work. I can remember that first glorious, sugar-filled bite; the perfect balance of sweet, gooey filling and crispy cracker crust. The toaster oven always melted the insides just right. Most of my mornings began with a trip to the toaster oven. Eggo waffles, french toast sticks, those cinnamon roll things with icing in the middle… I was the freezer aisle’s biggest fan. I was young, I didn’t really care where my food came from, and I just cared that it tasted good. If I ever felt the inkling to eat healthy I would reach for Special K or Cheerios. Because those were good for you, right?Read More »
Was I even a good mom today? Did my kids feel any love from me? Did we laugh or talk?
I despised being Sergeant No.
After everything I unearthed during my research, I understood the world did not have my family’s health in its best interest. Constantly trying to shield them was exhausting. Modern parenting felt like pushing a double stroller through the Boston Marathon in a hailstorm while trying to protect the kiddos amidst a constant barrage of pelting, frozen peas.
I first sensed this dark cloud when Tanner entered preschool. I was delighted for his first taste of independence and ninety minutes in a loving, nurturing environment. However, I silently observed the parent-supplied, non-birthday cupcakes twice the size of his pudgy fist, handed out for 10:00 a.m. snack. As a relatively new mom, I hadn’t found my voice. I kept my opinions to myself and rarely stood up for what I thought. Unspoken mom-pressure kept it that way. Instead, I watched the children’s eager eyes and giddy smiles as the “favorite moms” brought in frosted delights and the disappointment on their faces when I provided sliced apples and pretzel sticks.Read More »