Expressions of Health Blog
"Videos, Motivations, and Other Positive Stuff"
  1. If He Can Do It, We ALL Can!!!


    From Michael Moore:

    “I am now in Week 42 of my walks. Each day, 30 minutes, that’s it. Thousands of you have joined me since that Sunday night on March 18 when, as a joke, I said I was going for a walk. I had read that morning in the paper that there were now more people in the U.S. on anti-depressants than those who go to the movies. I tweeted out that maybe that’s the problem — perhaps if people got out and went to the movies more they might feel better. This unleashed a lively conversation about mood-aletering drugs, the lousy movies these days in theaters, the rip-off prices for 3D films, etc. Finally, someone wrote: “Sometimes I think what I need is just a brisk walk.” I tweeted, “Hey, there’s an idea! I’m putting my shoes on right now.” I went out and came back home after 30 minutes — and a few hundred of you had amazingly joined me where you live. So I went walking the next night, probably out of some sort of obligation because so many had written to say “please let’s do it again tonight!” So I did. And the night after that. By the end of the week it was hard to determine how many thousands were now going out with me on these “virtual walks” in hundreds of cities and towns, but it had taken off like a rocket and so we all went walking every night from that point on.

    Now it’s 250 days later. What a simple, great idea that person had! Some have asked, “Why are we walking?” “What’s the cause?” There is no cause other than to go for a walk. We do it just because it feels good. We do it because we can. We do it because it’s free and it takes no time. All you need to know is how to put one foot in front of the other (or, for the disabled who’ve joined in, by any means necessary). It’s the perfect slacker/schlub activity.

    I am often asked “How much weight have you lost from all this walking?” For a while I didn’t understand the question. I mean, why would I want to lose anything? I have enough trouble finding my keys! Then I got it — skinny people (1/3 of the country) want us, the majority, to be like them. That’s so nice of them.

    But the truth is, exercise does not work, diets do not work, feeling crummy does not work. Nothing works. My advice: Quit trying to be something you’re not, be happy with the life you’ve been given, and just go for a pleasant walk outside. With me. Wherever you are. Get off the treadmill, stop drinking diet Coke, throw out all the rules. It’s all a scam and it conspires to keep you miserable. If it says “low-fat” or “sugar-free” or “just 100 calories!” throw it out. Remember, one of the main tenets of capitalism is to have the consumer filled with fear, insecurity, envy and unhappiness so that we can spend, spend, spend our way out of it and, dammit, just feel better for a little while. But we don’t, do we? The path to happiness – and deep down, we all know this — is created by love, and being kind to oneself, sharing a sense of community with others, becoming a participant instead of a spectator, and being in motion. Moving. Moving around all day. Lifting things, even if it’s yourself. Going for a walk every day will change your thinking and have a ripple effect. You’ll find yourself only eating when you’re truly hungry. And if you’re not hungry, go clean your room, or have sex, or call a friend on the phone. Without knowing it, you’ll starting eating like the French (there is no French word for “fast-food”) — and you will feel better. You do not feel better admonishing yourself or beating yourself up or setting up a bunch of unrealistic rules and goals with all the do’s and dont’s that are just begging to be broken. You wanna know something? I eat ice cream every friggin’ day. I drink a regular Coke every single day. I put butter on things. But I also walk every day. Some days now, I walk twice. And now I’ve started to do some push-ups and lifting stuff. It’s building muscle, and in doing so, has created an extra furnace to burn stuff and create energy. Weird! That, in turn, makes me sleep 7-8 hours a night which is another game-changer. And all the walking and lifting makes me thirsty, so that makes me drink more water — another huge plus!

    So, you can see from the photo of me up in the box that something has changed. I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost and I don’t care. I don’t care about that or diets or home gym equipment or rules about what I can or cannot eat or anything other than making sure I go on my walk today. That’s it. That’s the big secret. It costs nothing. I feel great. I can see my feet! There they are! Hello, feet! Wanna go for a walk? The feet say YES! Ask yours right now. And if you want, join me. But do NOT go on that walk with me if you are doing so to “get fit”, “be healthy”, or “lose weight”. You are fine just the way you are. Only walk outside with me right now because you know it might just feel good, because it’s a beautiful day, or someone is joining in with you, the fresh air is invigorating, you have to drive down to the drug store but you realize you can walk there, or simply because it’s just nice to be alive for one more day. Walk to walk and nothing else — and the other stuff will take care of itself.

    I’m heading outside in an hour. Join me. And let me know how it went!”

  2. Awesome Blue Cross New Health Videos


    Hello everyone!

    These are awesome.  Blue Cross very short new videos about health  . . .  Please take the time to watch them and leave a comment.   Just remember TNT “Today Not Tomorrow”.

    All the best, Martha and Jeff

  3. Sponsoring 3 Families at OCC


    Hi everyone!

    We’re asking for your help in identifying 3 families that Expressions of Health (and Spriggles Books) will sponsor at the Oscoda Community Center for the remainder of the season.  The following is the news release concerning this endeavor:


    Martha and Jeff Gottlieb, owners of Expressions of Health and authors of Spriggles Motivational Books for Children, are looking to sponsor three family memberships at the Oscoda Community Center for the remainder of the 2012/2013 season.  The Gottliebs have established a ”Spriggles Fund” in which a portion of the proceeds from the sale of Spriggles books goes toward avenues which help children lead healthy and active lives.   It is  this fund that will provide the support for the family memberships.

    In order for a family to be considered for this sponsorship, a short essay must be submitted that introduces the family and details how this membership will benefit them (including, but not limited to, importance of health, health goals, and time willing to commit).  Three worthy families will be chosen from all entries.  Essays may be emailed to or mailed to Expressions of Health, 6170 Ridge Road, Oscoda, MI 48750 no later than Dec. 7, 2012.  Families will be notified by Dec. 10, 2012.


    If you are aware of any families that may like to participate, please pass this information along to them.

    Thanks, and happy holidays!!!!!!!!

    Martha and Jeff

  4. Tips for a Healthier Thanksgiving!


    Get Active 

    Create a calorie deficit by exercising to burn off extra calories before you ever indulge in your favorite foods. Make fitness a family adventure by taking a walk early in the day and then again after dinner. It is a wonderful way for families to get physical activity and enjoy the holiday together.


    Eat Breakfast 

    While you might think it makes sense to save up calories for the big meal, experts say eating a small meal in the morning can give you more control over your appetite. Start your day with a small but satisfying breakfast — such as an egg with a slice of whole-wheat toast, or a bowl of whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk — so you won’t be starving when you arrive at the gathering.


    Lighten Up 

    Whether you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner or bringing a few dishes to share, make your recipes healthier with less fat, sugar, and calories. Use fat-free chicken broth to baste the turkey and make gravy, use sugar substitutes in place of sugar and fruit purees instead of oil in baked goods, reduce oil and butter wherever you can and try plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream in creamy dips, mashed potatoes, and casseroles.


    Police your Portions 

    Thanksgiving tables are bountiful and beautiful displays of traditional family favorites. Before you fill your plate, survey the buffet table and decide what you’re going to choose. Then select reasonable-sized portions of foods you cannot live without.


    Skip the Seconds. 

    Try to resist the temptation to go back for second helpings.


    Choose the Best Bets on the Buffet 

    While each of us has our own favorites, keep in mind that some holiday foods are better choices than others. White turkey meat, plain vegetables, roasted sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, defatted gravy, and pumpkin pie tend to be the best bets because they are lower in fat and calories.


    Slowly Savor 

    Eating slowly, putting your fork down between bites, and tasting each mouthful is one of the easiest ways to enjoy your meal and feel satisfied with one plate full of food, experts say. Choosing whole grains, fruits, vegetables, broth-based soups, salads, and other foods with lots of water and fiber add to the feeling of fullness.


    Go Easy on Alcohol 

    Don’t forget those alcohol calories that can add up quickly.


    Be Realistic 

    The holiday season is a time for celebration. With busy schedules and so many extra temptations, this is a good time to strive for weight maintenance instead of weight loss.
    [modified from source WebMD]
  5. New Research: Sit Less and Live Longer!


    The following article cites several new studies that have shown if we reduce the amount of time we sit on a daily basis, we can actually increase our life expectancy. Sitting less than three hours a day could increase life expectancy by 2 years.   Of course, this is not always easy, considering our jobs, but there are simple stretches and exercises outlined in this article to help in those situations.  In fact, by just reducing the amount of time spent sitting in front of the TV each day to less than two 2 hours, life expectancy could increase by 1.4 years.

    As well, this article introduces us to Foundation exercises, which attack the root cause of most low back pain…weakness and imbalance in the posterior chain of muscles (muscles involving the pelvis, spine, and hips).    The simple and basic Foundation exercises displayed in this article are enormously beneficial to anyone who finds themselves sitting for an extended period of time as well as to those of us with ongoing low back pain.

    We urge you to read this article, sit less, and live longer!!

  6. “Sitting Kills”


    Published in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2012), a study involved 222,497 Australian adults, aged 45 and older.  Researchers compared data from the “45 and Up” Study with mortality data from early 2006 through late 2010.  Not surprisingly, parallels emerged between daily sitting time and premature death.


    This data was consistent across the sexes, age groups, body mass index categories, and even physical activity levels.

    So the bottom line is….get off your bottom.  Don’t sit, get fit!!!


    story from IDEA Fitness Journal, July/August 2012

  7. Spriggles Books Head New North Carolina Program!!


    The Wayne County Partnership for Children announced Tuesday they received a grant from the North Carolina Community Foundation for the Spriggles initiative of the Shape NC program.

    Shape NC is working to create a statewide health program to ensure that a child’s earliest experiences with food and physical activity promote a lifetime of healthy behaviors.

    The Spriggles program is a series of motivational books and activities for children, written by Martha and Jeff Gottlieb, designed to inspire health, nutrition, activity and exercise. The program will be modeled at the Shape NC model early learning center at Wayne Community College and then provided to child care facilities across Wayne County.

    “We are pleased to support Wayne County nonprofits through our growing family of charitable funds. We support the Partnership for Children’s Shape NC-Spriggles program of providing health and wellness information to young children in a fun and motivational way,” said Bob Logan, President of the Wayne County Community Foundation.

    The Partnership for Children seeks to provide young children with the start they need to become educated, healthy and self-reliant. “Thanks to the NCCF grant we are able to help educate our youngest citizens about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. We know that healthy behaviors start young, and we hope the Spriggles series will get kids excited,” said Charlie Ivey, Executive Director of PFCW.

    For more information visit or

  8. Latest Spriggles Review


    Brandi Thompson, a registered dietician with ABCD Eat Right, recently gave Spriggles Books this great review:


    I really loved these books that intricately combined “spirit” and “giggles” in order to motivate young children to choose healthy habits by eating right and staying active.  Each page is illustrated by kid friendly illustrator Alexander Gottlieb.  Each page touches an important topic for healthy habits. They bring to life animals in a rhyming pattern that presents them at a level that children understand and can learn from.  I enjoyed these books and plan to include them in my On A Nutrition Mission curriculum coming up in May. If you want to check them out visit for more information on where you can find these books.  You won’t be disappointed.


    Thanks, Brandi!!

  9. Modified Sun Salutation

    Here’s a gentle, modified sun salutation that will provide a wonderful “awakening” to both your mind and body.  Try and do it each morning.  Enjoy!



  10. Free Yoga at the Library (09/28/2011)

    The Robert J. Parks Library in Oscoda will be hosting a FREE YOGA CLASS on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm.  The entire community is welcome to attend this beginner class that will utilize a gentle, slow-flow style to enhance flexibility, strength, balance, and peace of mind. This class is accessible to all age groups and levels of fitness.

    It is recommended that you bring your own yoga or exercise mat (there will be a limited supply available), water, and eat only a light meal no later than one hour before class.  The class will be taught by Martha and Jeff Gottlieb of Expressions of Health.

    So gather your friends and family and join us for this exciting free event.  For more information, contact the Robert J. Parks Library at (989) 739- 9581 or Expressions of Health at (989) 739-5498.