About the Author
Elizabeth Prager

Texas College Converts Football Field to Organic Farm. Is Nothing Sacred?

Mark Winne is the author of Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin’ Mamas: Fighting Backin an Age of Industrial Agriculture.

Highland Hills is one of those down-and-nearly-out communities that’s allowed a glimpse of prosperity but never gets to taste it. The Dallas skyline looms large and shining across the hazy north Texas horizon and is linked to this poverty-plagued neighborhood by a seven-mile ribbon of light-rail steel. Ledbetter Avenue crosses the train line passing by vacant buildings, vast stretches of empty parking lots, and a dizzying array of “For Sale,” “For Lease” and “For Jesus” signs. Named for the renowned guitar picker Lead Belly who did time in these parts – both in and out of prison – the Avenue speaks little in the way of promise, but wails the blues of poverty loud and clear.

Movin’ On Up … to the lower-risk-of-obesity side?

by heacphotos from flickr.com

Location! Location! Location!

Jens Ludwig,  a professor at the University of Chicago, published a study titled “Neighbordhoods, Obesity, and Diabetes — A Randomized Social Experiment”, published in The New England Journal of Medicine on October 20, 2011.  The study investigated the health affects of Moving to Opportunity, an initiative created to give single women (typically with children) in high-poverty areas access to housing in low-poverty areas.

Open Enrollment 2011! Join Now! While Supplies Last!

CLICK TO ENLARGE "Just Compensation - Episode 1" by Lily Resnikoff

The UUA Health Plan holds an Open Enrollment each year in November.

For the month of November, all eligible UUA home office and congregation staff – everyone working 750 or more hours per year – will be able to join the plan effective January 1, 2012, even if they have not taken advantage of past enrollment opportunities.  Check out plan  eligibility rules here.

We are making some great changes for 2012!


Interview with Fat Boy, Thin Man author Michael Prager

Michael Prager is the author of Fat Boy, Thin Man, a memoir chronicling his journey with food addiction.  Michael was kind enough to sit down me to discuss his book and strategies that might apply to you, Choose Health readers!


Elizabeth: Hello, Michael.  Thanks so much for taking the time to chat today.

Michael Prager: Hi, Elizabeth. Thanks very much for your interest.


Elizabeth: Fat Boy, Thin Man details your journey as a food addict toward wellness.  It seems to me that many people have an “ah ha” moment that catalyzes their journey — did you have such a moment?

Michael: I was very slow in this respect. I never thought I was a food addict, or even that food addiction existed. Then I wasn’t at all interested in any of the remedies/attitudes/practices that existed to fight my addiction. Then I adopted one, and then another one, and then others, over a long period of time. The process showed me that I may be “wicked smaht,” as we like to say in Boston, but I was a very slow learner when it came to my biggest health issue. So I would say my “ah ha” was far more of the slow, cumulative, educational variety, rather than a bolt of lightning.

Exercise Less! Live Longer!

Lynda Giddens from Flickr
by Lynda Giddens from Flickr

What can 416, 175 Taiwanese people tell us  about exercise that we didn’t already know?  Fifteen minutes is the minimum amount needed to live longer and healthier.


Only 15 minutes!?!?

The enormous study, reported this August in The Lancet, was conducted to determine the health and longevity benefits of doing fewer than the normally recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week (roughly 30 minutes a day).  Turns out, less than [30 minutes] can mean more [years on Earth].

Wake up AND pay attention … thanks, Morning-Exercise!

by Loren Zemlicka from Flickr

You’ve all probably heard those commercials that refer to that  “2 o’clock feeling” … what about that 9-5 feeling?  Most of us know that we really can’t afford to hit the snooze button for a third or fourth time, but we often do it until we absolutely must get out of bed.  Once our bodies are finally awake,  we must wake our brains up to focus for our workday after our alarm’s unsettling “buzz, buzz”.

But, how?

Reader, if you haven’t met before, let me introduce you to Morning-Exercise.  Morning-Exercise, please meet Reader.  *Reader and Morning Exercise shake hands and exchange quaint pleasantries*

So, you know your numbers — now, how do you keep track?

by ~Pixelsmithy's from Flickr

Remember going to your new doctor and receiving a barrage of intake questions?  “Have you had any surgeries … in what year … when was your last physical?”  It’s not always easy to remember the specifics.  In our tech savvy world, there are easy ways to keep track of this important information.

Apple has come out with an app called My Medical that allows you to track your:

  • blood pressure,
  • diagnostic test results, including total cholesterol,
  • weight changes and BMI,
  • past surgeries,
  • allergies,
  • prescriptions,
  • upcoming appointments,
  • and much more!


Know Your Numbers

Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Chances are you can type in your Facebook password without even thinking, you know it so well.  You can probably find the login to your long, lost MySpace account in the annals for your email account, too.  And, when is the last time either of those saved your life?

Now, think fast, what was your blood pressure at your last physical?  Oh, when exactly was your last physical?

We carry so much information around in our heads and on post-its scattered around our offices and homes about our social networking, bank accounts and other facets of our hectic, high-tech lives; yet, many of us don’t know the numbers that can reveal the risks factors we face related to cardiovascular disease and other health and wellness issues.

Welcome to Choose Health!


This blog seeks to highlight the most current news in wellness, nutrition and fitness.  We want to create a forum for thoughtful health and wellness discussions — so, we are counting on you to comment, comment, comment!

We’ll be posting something new approximately every week so make sure you sign up for the RSS feed and visit us often!