What do you want to be when you grow up?

Someone sent me some great videos of young people from the Atlantic. Here’s the link to one that shows them saying what they want to be when they grow up. http://www.theatlantic.com/video/index/392021/ask-a-tween-what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up/. I’m so inspired by these young people!


Have you seen this beautiful video of love and caring? What’s amazing is that it’s a Thai commercial. Whatever, it’s just heartwarming.

E-cigarette use is now ridiculous

Well, now it’s just ridiculous-middle school and high school e-cigarette use tripled in from 2013-2014. More students use e-cigarettes than other tobacco products. And this is the key-e-cigarettes are tobacco! I used to think that e-cigarettes could be used to help people stop smoking, but it looks like they are just another way to hook people on tobacco. E-cigarettes need to be regulated like other tobacco products so that we can try to keep everyone, especially young people, from using them. Learn more about tobacco and how prevent or stop smoking here, http://betobaccofree.hhs.gov.

Failure is not fatal

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”

Winston Churchill

Hard work is like taking the stairs

Someone sent me this picture. I like it because it captures how the importance of hard work.

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Helping Teens Make Good Decisions-presentation

Here’s the link to a talk on helping teens with decision-making that I’m giving today. I tried a new presentation format-fingers crossed, I hope it works!


Why I succeed

I was sent this today-I love this quote because most of us fail more times than we can count before we succeed.

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Facebook suicide prevention

Facebook has added some suicide prevention features such as resources, advice, and support to anyone who may be struggling with suicidal thoughts. They also provide help for friends of someone who may express suicidal thoughts. Learn more about these features here, https://www.yahoo.com/health/what-facebooks-doing-to-help-prevent-suicide-112143733727.html?src=rss.

But why wouldn’t they?

A recent study showed that since the school lunch nutritional guidelines changed in 2012 in order to encourage students to eat more fruit, children have been choosing more fruit. Two thirds of students surveyed choose fruit, up from about half in 2012. Also, students eat most of the healthy food offered which means there is less waste. I’m not surprised. If children and young people are offered healthy food, why wouldn’t they eat it? Maybe not away, but with time they’ll develop the taste for healthy foods-we just have to keep the junk food away from them.


Meet them halfway

“But meet them halfway with love, peace and persuasion
And expect them to rise for the occasion”

From Glad Tidings by the singer Van Morrison

Find your own Muscle Beach

I visited the original Muscle Beach today and was inspired by all of the people who stop by to work out for free. There were people who looked like tourists working out, alongside people who looked like they stopped by after work and school. The thought that kept running through my mind was how if you build it, they will come. By that I mean that it’s hard to keep people from using exercise equipment that’s free and accessible. There may be places in your community where you can exercise for free-use it and make it your own Muscle Beach.


It doesn’t get any simpler than this

I saw this list on the wall where I work. The formula for success doesn’t get any simpler than this.




Vence al monstruo boca

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You’re responsible for your successes and failures

This year’s Super Bowl was great. It was suspenseful and featured a great play by a young person, Malcolm Butler, who has had a difficult life. Here’s what his college coach had to say about him.

“He’s never had anything given to him,” Hall said. “Anything he’s got in his life, he’s had to work for and get for himself. You see a lot of guys that are in that situation, and they go the other way. Malcolm realized early on no matter what hand you’re dealt, you’re responsible for your success and failures. Just like all of us, as he grew and got older, he realized what mattered.”

What really matters to you?

The three whys of measles and one sad face

You may have heard that there are a number of cases of measles around the US. Yes, measles! Why are we seeing cases of measles? Because many people aren’t vaccinated which means that they could get and spread measles. Why don’t people get vaccinated? Because people believe the myth that vaccines are harmful. Yes, there are very, very rare cases of vaccine reactions, but most people who get vaccinated do well. Why don’t people believe this? Who knows.

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What is FFVP? The Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) Nutrition Services explains:

“The Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Program (FFVP) is a federal grant program that provides a fresh fruit or vegetable snack to all students in qualifying elementary schools. It’s a great way to get students excited about eating healthy and trying new fruits and vegetables!”

Here’s information from MPS about clementines offered by this program-yum!

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“Failure gave me inner security”

I was talking to a young person who didn’t do as well on an exam as they wished when someone else in the conversation remembered a quote from J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter books. In her 2008 commencement address at Harvard she spoke about failure and how it helped her. Here is a part of that great speech,

“Failure gave me an inner security that I had never attained by passing examinations. Failure taught me things about myself that I could have learned no other way. I discovered that I had a strong will, and more discipline than I had suspected; I also found out that I had friends whose value was truly above the price of rubies.

The knowledge that you have emerged wiser and stronger from setbacks means that you are, ever after, secure in your ability to survive. You will never truly know yourself, or the strength of your relationships, until both have been tested by adversity. Such knowledge is a true gift, for all that it is painfully won, and it has been worth more than any qualification I ever earned.”

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Best emergency contraceptive for you





Here’s a list from Planned Parenthood of emergency contraception. Which one is right for you?
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Don’t believe the hype

Those e-cigarette manufacturers say they aren’t trying to get young people to use their products, but this doesn’t seem to be true. These companies work to get as many people as possible to use their products and that includes young people. So, don’t believe them when they say they are only advertising to adults-don’t believe the hype.

Common’s beautiful acceptance speech

Did you hear the Golden Globe acceptance speech that the performer Common gave last night? It was beautiful. Here it is.

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Small change big impact resolution

This year I hope that you resolve to make the small changes that have a big impact. An example of a small change that has a big impact is when someone chooses to drink a little more water and a little less soda. This change can improve your weight, not right away-but keep it up and you will notice a difference.

Another New Year’s resolution for you

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Another New Year’s resolution I offer to you-eat more fiber and drink more water, so that you can poop more. I know some may be surprised that I’m suggesting you make a New Year’s resolution of pooping, but those people would be surprised at how many young people don’t eat enough fiber, drink enough water and end up with constipation. It’s also important to give yourself time to poop. Most young people may feel like they need to poop at school, but don’t feel comfortable doing that, so it’s really important that they take the time to poop at home. After dinner is a good time.

So, maybe this is a bit of a strange resolution, but do as I recommend and you’ll feel a lot better this whole year.

New Year’s resolutions for you

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Over the next few days I’m going to list my New Year’s resolutions. Not my New Year’s resolutions, but my New Year’s resolutions for all of you. First, I resolve that all of you will get enough sleep. I have written over and over again about the importance of sleep on health and academic performance. Teens need 8.5 to 9 hours of sleep each night but so few get this amount. I know that school starts too early for most teens, but help your sleep health by putting away the computer and all screens early enough at night so that you can wind down.


“they are wanted in this country”

The great author Walter Dean Myers died this year. He wrote more than 100 books for young people, including Monster and Bad Boy. Four months before he died Myers wrote an essay, “Where Are the Children of Color in Children’s Books” for the New York Times. Here is a quote from that essay that comments not only on the lack of diversity in literature, but speaks to larger issues of racism and disenfranchisement of so many young people in our increasingly diverse nation.

“I realized that this was exactly what I wanted to do when I wrote about poor inner-city children — to make them human in the eyes of readers and, especially, in their own eyes. I need to make them feel as if they are part of America’s dream, that all the rhetoric is meant for them, and that they are wanted in this country.”

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Walter Dean Meyers, age 11

What 2,000 calories looks like

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It can be really hard to eat healthy at a fast food restaurant and, unfortunately, it’s easy to eat poorly. In fact, it can be easy to eat all of the calories you should eat in a day in just one meal. Here’s an article from the New York Times that shows what 2,000 calories or a day’s calories looks like http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/12/22/upshot/what-2000-calories-looks-like.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=mini-moth&region=top-stories-below&WT.nav=top-stories-below&abt=0002&abg=1.

I prefer strong

I saw this quote at the gym while I was exercising today, “7 days without exercise equals 1 weak.” I prefer to be strong, how about you?

Either way, smoking is bad for you

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A recent study has shown that more and more young people are smoking e-cigarettes. Now, this may not be leading more young people to start smoking regular cigarettes or stop smoking regular cigarettes, but generally we know that smoking e-cigarettes is not healthy. If you don’t smoke, please don’t start smoking. If you do smoke cigarettes or e-cigarettes, talk to your healthcare provider about how to quit.


Ecotherapy relates to the health benefits of being outdoors. Here’s a funny video from the Atlantic on-line about this.

Are you part of the solution?

“There is no more neutrality in the world. You either have to be part of the solution, or you’re going to be part of the problem.”

Eldridge Cleaver, b. 1935 d.1998, Black Panther Party leader, author.

Hammer out freedom

“Freedom is hammered out on the anvil of discussion, dissent, and debate.”
Hubert Humphrey, b.1911, d.1978, 38th Vice President of the United States

There’s still time to get your flu vaccine

Flu season has begun and some of the cases of the flu are types of flu not covered by this year’s flu vaccine. However, the flu vaccine does provide protection against some flu strains that could cause illness and, if you are unlucky enough to get the flu despite the flu vaccine, the vaccine may help keep your illness mild. So, get your flu vaccine even though it may not keep you from getting the flu.

Our finest hour

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I love these types of inspirational sayings.

Exercising in the cold-take care of your feet.

It is really cold here in Minnesota now, but many people like to exercise outside even in this weather. But, remember that you have to dress properly-with layers of warm clothes, insulated shoes and the right socks. I wore cotton socks in runny shoes when outside exercising recently-what a mistake. I should have worn synthetic socks that pulled sweat away from my skin and if I had enough space in my shoes I could have added a pair of wool socks on top. I learned my lesson-one of my toes hurt for a couple of days from the cold damage. Ow!

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This dog is more appropriately dressed for his weather than I was for my weather.

Opposite of poverty

I heard someone say the other day that the opposite of poverty is not wealth, it’s justice. Today, on Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for all people working for justice, and I’m thankful for those who serve those in need.

If only e-cigarette companies used their products for good not evil

What a bummer! Cigarette smoking by teens in my state of Minnesota has declined, but almost 13% of high schoolers have tried e-cigarettes. Now, if you’re like me you are hoping that the rate of adolescent e-cigarette use is high because teens are using e-cigarettes to quit smoking. But, no such luck-many students who tried e-cigarettes never used any tobacco product before.

It is illegal in Minnesota to sell e-cigarettes to minors, but that hasn’t kept e-cigarette companies from marketing e-cigarettes to teens. Let’s push for more control of e-cigarette advertising to adolescents. It would have been great if e-cigarette companies used their product for good and not evil-no such luck.

Extraordinary destiny


It’s cold out there-head outside and move

I recently found out that people don’t move as much when it’s really warm or cold. It would be great if the temperature was always perfect, but it isn’t. For your health, you need to get out and move. On my way to work today, a cold day, I saw a young man who seemed to be heading to school. Not only was he getting exercise by walking to school, he was bouncing a basketball at the same time. What a good example for all of us.

Are energy drinks poison?

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Energy drinks are not poison, but a recent study found that more than half of calls to U.S. poison centers are about children who have drunk them. Some of these children have had suffered heart problems or had seizures after having an energy drink-young people of all ages have had problems with energy drinks because they have so much caffeine in them. It’s best to be careful and not risk your health with these drinks. They may not be poison, but you could end up in the hospital because of them.

What is whole grain and how do I get more of them?

From Choose My Plate, information about whole grains and how to eat more of them.

Circle of 6 app

I’ve written about the Circle of 6 app before, but more young people need to use this anti-violence app, so here’s more about it.

Texting while driving does not compute

Almost 100 percent of people agree that texting while driving is dangerous, but 75 percent of drivers say that they read or compose a text, or they check a phone for messages while driving. This does not compute. What also doesn’t compute-that a 15 month-old suffered a traumatic brain injury when the car he was in was hit by a car driven by a 17 year-old who was texting. You know texting while driving is dangerous for you and those around you-don’t do it.

Take your time, there’s no rush


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There are many reasons why young people should think hard before having sex including those listed above. There is little to lose by waiting to have sex, but lots to lose if you have sex too early. Take your time, there’s no rush.

Good advice from previous students-drinking til you pass out is a bad idea

There was a recent article in the Atlantic on-line that had advice about the risks of heavy drinking from recent female college graduates to current students. Here’s one quote:

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Better athletes with more sleep

I’ve written about the importance of sleep for athletes and today I read another article about this. Here it is and I hope it will convince all of you, athletes or not, to get the sleep you need.


Order holiday cookie gifts from Cookie Cart

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I’ve written previously about Cookie Cart a youth organization in Minneapolis that makes and sells cookies, and tonight I met many of those involved with this great group. Cookie Cart is gearing up for the upcoming holiday orders which made me think about what great gifts cookies from Cookie Cart would make. Learn more about ordering cookies from Cookie Cart here, http://shop.cookiecart.org. Yum!


“Sleep is the best meditation.”

Dalai Lama

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Parenting teens who may be sexually active-from Planned Parenthood

Better safe than pregnant and sorry

Here’s a question for you-when should a young person start on birth control, before or after they first have sex? So, this isn’t really a hard question, but it’s amazing how often I have to discuss this with young people. We talk about how it’s okay to begin contraception even if they are only sort of thinking about having sex. It’s better to be safe, then pregnant and sorry.

Don’t quit

For all students studying for the big test and all athlete’s going to practice for the umpteenth time-here some inspiration for you:

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.”

Muhammad Ali

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Ebola is an ugly virus

There has been a lot written about Ebola, but just in case here is an article about it, http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/03/ebola-ask-well-spread-public-transit/?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=b-lede-package-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news. It’s a deadly infection that has killed many people in several African countries, but for most of the rest of the world the risk of getting Ebola is low. If you haven’t travelled to Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea recently, you are luckily at low risk.

Ebola really is an ugly virus.

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