Let’s go Camping!- Blog on ALL.com 8/19/13

We can hardly believe September is almost here- but that means it’s time for fun Fall activities!

If you’re looking for a healthy family bonding experience in the great outdoors, why not plan a camping trip?

maine camping

Here in Virginia, you can camp at many state parks including spots in Virginia Beach, up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, down in the valley by Harrisonburg, by the Shenandoah River or along the Appalachian Trail. If you want to find state parks or campgrounds in your area you can search GoCampingAmerica.com.

To make the most out of your camping adventure, here are some tips:

1) Don’t forget to pack the basics: a tent, plenty of water, sunscreen, bug spray, sleeping bag, lantern, lighter, warm clothes, trash bags, first aid kit, toothbrush, toilet paper, chairs for around the fire, hiking shoes/socks, bathing suit/towel if you’re planning other excursions

2) We always encourage physical activity, so we suggest you incorporate hiking, biking, tubing or fishing into your plans! Many state parks have trails and paths mapped out or tubes you can rent to explore the waterways. You could even catch a fish for dinner!

3) Pack healthy snacks like trail mix and make a healthy dinner, like these recipes we found on Pinterest: Kebabs, Pasta Foil Packets, Baked Potatoes


And then, of course, the best part of camping: S’mores for everyone! Try one of these variations of the campfire classic.

Campfire Banana Splits


Peanutbutter S’mOreos


Candy bars, strawberries, cookies, ect!


If you have any other favorite camping recipes please share them in the comments below!

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Bluberry Month Recipes– Blog post on ALL.com 7/18/13

Did you know July is Blueberry Month? Blueberries are so good for you because they’re packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients to protect your brain and decrease wrinkles, catechins to burn belly fat and they increase the production of dopamine. We’ve scoured the web for the best healthy blueberry recipes to share with you. Follow our “Healthy Living” Pinterest Board for more recipes all the time!

Blueberry crumb bars


Cous-cous fruit salad


Blueberry protein smoothie


Blueberry crumble pie


Blueberry gorgonzola salad


Gluten-free blueberry muffins


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Lace up those sneakers! — Blog post on ALL.com 6/5/13

Lace up those sneakers because today is National Running Day!

From the National Running Day website, this day is dedicated to everything about running:

A day when runners everywhere declare their passion for running. Wherever we are and whomever we’re with, we run—fast or slow, alone or with others, all over town or just around the block. It is a coast-to-coast celebration of a sport and activity that’s simple, inexpensive, and fun. It’s the perfect way for longtime runners to reaffirm their love of running and for beginners to kick off a lifetime and life-changing commitment.”

We encourage everyone on the Ask, Listen, Learn team to get out and RUN today! It doesn’t matter how far or fast or where you are. You could go for a run at lunch with your coworkers, after school with your kids, or head off on the trail for 30 mins of alone time after dinner. It’s also easy to search for National Running Day events in your area if you want celebrate running with a new group of pals.

tcc running

TCC running along the Potomac last summer

It’s no secret running is one of the best exercises for your mind and body- so why not take this holiday to make a commitment to incorporate running into your weekly routine?

While you’re out there, we suggest you tweet or instagram with the hashtag #IMARUNNER and Timex will donate $5 to the One Fund Boston to help victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy.

Happy trails!

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Get Happy: It’s National Bike Month — Blog Post on ALL.com 5/15/13

May is National Bike Month, and this week is Bike to Work Week!

Last April, we posted about Smart Biking in Spring, with great tips for bike safety, like:

Obey traffic signals and signal your turns. For a left turn, hold your left arm straight out. For a right turn, hold your left arm at a 90 degree angle up or hold your right arm straight out. When coming to a stop, hold your left arm out and down with your palm facing back.


We know everyone on the Ask, Listen, Learn team strives to live a healthy lifestyle every day, and biking has some wonderful health benefits for your mind and body! Biking is a cardiovascular activity that’s good for your heart and burns calories for a slim waistline, but maneuvering around trails while balancing is also good for your coordination skills. As with any exercise, biking boosts the immune system, prevents weak bones and joints, and lowers cholesterol.

In regards to commuting to work, it’s important to note studies have shown that people who exercise in the morning are happier throughout the day. Morning exercise sets your circadian rhythm- your daily cycle of mental, physical and behavioral changes while you’re awake and asleep. It also fills your lungs with fresh air and stimulates blood flow to the brain, like the Ask, Listen, Learn game, to improve mental alertness and elevate your mood.

For more info, check out the League of American Bicyclist’s Bike Month Guide or search for Bike Month activities in your community!

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Dr. Wolf on how to #JointheConvo on underage drinking– blog post on ALL.com 4/4

Dr. Anthony Wolf is a member of The Century Council’s Education Advisory Board and has practiced psychology for more than 25 years with children and adolescents in the Massachusetts area. He is a best-selling author of 2 books: Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? A Guide to the New Teenager and I’d Listen to My Parents if They’d Just Shut Up.

Teens say that parents are the leading influence on their decision to not drink alcohol underage, but sometimes the conversation may be hard to start. Here is Dr. Wolf’s advice on how to #JointheConvo and talk to your teens about underage drinking this month!

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Dr. Wolf's house had sweet decor

Dr. Wolf’s house had sweet decor

Major Girl Power– Blog post on ALL.com 3/25/13

Since March is Women’s History Month, the Ask, Listen, Learn team would like to take a minute to send a special shout out to 2 of our partners making a huge difference in girls’ lives.

Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy’s camps teach girls to not only be leaders on the field, but leaders in life. They’ve had a great year with the addition of lacrosse camps. We’re proud to sponsor the “Choose to Matter” service project contest and can’t wait to be down at Disney with the grand prize winners and their moms in May!

Girl Talk is also leading the charge for girls building self-esteem and leadership skills in their communities and schools in 43 states and 6 countries . Their T.H.I.N.K (before you speak, text or type) campaign has brought forth the important issue of bullying to try to make teen years a little less dramatic!

We hope you all keep up the good work in encouraging girls to be their best! You rock!

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Loved hanging with the JFSLA contest winners in London last summer! Great girls changing the world!



March is National Nutrition Month- Blog post on ALL.com 3/21/13

March is a great month- flowers are starting to bloom and temperatures are getting warmer with the start of Spring!

March is also National Nutrition Month– and what better way to make a dedication to your health than by taking the Ask, Listen, Learn pledge to say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking?

Living a healthy lifestyle has many parts: getting good grades in school, choosing the right kind of friends, staying active and exercising at least 60 minutes every day…


Feeding your body the nutrition it needs to perform at its best is important when you’re growing up. Fuel your muscles, brain and bones right with these 5 nutrition tips to think about this month:

1)      Choose whole grain bread, pasta and rice for more fiber than white bread, pasta and rice

2)      3 servings of dairy a day gives you the calcium and vitamin D needed for strong bone health

3)      Make your plate colorful! Try spinach, red peppers, sweet potatoes…the darker the color the more nutrients a vegetable has!

4)      Protein helps your muscles grow and keeps you fuller longer- incorporate lean meats, fish and nuts/seeds into your meals and snacks

5)      Limit junk food and sweets…remember that everything you put in to your body fuels your brain and muscles and can affect your performance in school and on the sports field!

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Are you living life as a leader?– Blog post on ALL.com 2/22/13

February is Youth Leadership Month!

The Ask, Listen, Learn team always encourages young people to live as leaders in their schools, communities and peer groups. You can be a leader by getting good grades, bringing a healthy lunch, being nice to everyone and saying NO to underage drinking.

Our Superstars are hand-selected to serve as role models for kids living a healthy lifestyle. Remmi Smith is a leader by teaching kids how to make healthy, tasty meals on her cooking show, Cook Time with Remmi. Winston Duncan with Wheels to Africa is a leader because his organization has changed thousands of lives thanks to his dedication to collecting bikes. And of course, Aly Raisman is a leader- she worked hard to prove herself to be a hardworking, determined gymnast and became captain of the US Women’s Team!


How do you live your life as a leader? Comment below!

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You go, girls! — Blog post on ALL.com 2/6/13

Today is the 27th annual celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day!

Ask, Listen, Learn is proud to partner with organizations that empower girls to be leaders in their communities, whether they’re being a team player with a positive attitude at Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy‘s Camps or starting a Girl Talk chapter at their school to prevent catty drama.

Today we want to give a digital high-five to all the girls and women out there staying in shape and we’d like to bring special recognition to this year’s theme, “Girls in Sports, An Investment in the Future.”

As girls participate in physical education classes at school, team sports and other recreational activities, they’re taking care of their bodies and building relationships for a healthier, happier future. Many friendships in middle and high school start on sports teams. When girls are practicing together every day of the week after school, they form valuable friendships- AND stay out of trouble! Everyone knows that working out keeps your body healthy, but girls in sports are also less likely to drink.

I played field hockey and lacrosse in high school, but kickball's my team sport now

I played field hockey and lacrosse in high school, but kickball’s my team sport now 🙂

To all the girls out there investing in their futures- keep up the good work! Always remember to say YES to a healthy lifestyle and NO to underage drinking.

And don’t forget to vote for your peers in JFSLA’s Choose to Matter Contest to help determine who will join Julie at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Disney World starting this Friday!

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American Heart Month–Blog post on ALL.com 2/1/13

Do you know heart disease is the number one cause of death in the US? An estimated 600,000 people die of heart disease in the US each year and 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing it.

The American Heart Association has designated February as American Heart Month to raise awareness of heart disease and bring attention to steps you can take toward prevention.

Of course, the Ask, Listen, Learn team always encourages families to follow healthy lifestyle regimens, but this month in particular it’s great to take time to make some conscious changes keep your heart healthy.


Heart Health Tips

    • Get moving every day! The AHA encourages walking for all ages, at a minimu
    • Cut back your sodium intake to lower blood pressure. Check the labels on canned goods and processed foods
    • Use olive oil instead of butter when cooking- it contains healthy fats, not saturated and trans fats
    • Dark green leafys like kale are heart ‘superfoods’ for their antioxidants, omega-3’s and fiber

For more tips on how to raise a heart healthy family, visit the AHA “Healthier Kids” page.