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Healthy Lunch & Dinner Ideas

Corn chowder
Spotsylvania County's Christine Carlson recommends this soup, which features amaranth (a gluten-free grain), cilantro and more.

Apples and homemade peanut butter dip
This recipe comes from the Richmond-based I Heart Vegetables blog, whose creator, like me, loves apples and peanut butter.

Local and National Health Headlines

15 ideas for healthy stocking stuffers
Find something nurturing for the loved ones on your shopping list. I feature gifts under $20 in my latest blog post.

Want to raise chickens or bees in the city?
Applications are now available for Fredericksburg residents who want to keep hens or beehives. Read more at

'A little tough love' helped 186-pound child slim down
A 9-year-old's battle with obesity highlights the challenges facing families with overweight kids. Read more at

$70 childbirth bill highlights rise in medical costs
The huge jump in the cost of giving birth in a hospital illustrates the overall steep rise in health care costs. Read more at

Stress Buster

Ease stress at meditation gatherings
Consider taking a break from the bustle of the season to attend one of two candlelight peace meditations coming up locally. The first will be Dec. 7 at Fredericksburg Healing Arts & Yoga Center at 7 p.m. Participants are asked to bring an uplifting story, poem or quote about peace, plus a light snack to share. Call 540/371-4555 to RSVP. A second peace meditation will be at Stafford House of Yoga on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. RSVP or get details at

Exercise of the Day

Buff up your shoulder muscles
Strengthen your shoulder muscles and arms with the "reverse fly," also known as a "reverse deltoid raise." The exercise involves lying with the middle of your body on a stability ball and your feet on the ground, then lifting dumbbells (or other weighted objects). Click the headline for a demonstration and more guidance from trainers Chris McAuliff and Julie Eiben of Green Fitness in Fredericksburg.

Parenting News & Wisdom

More sleep can cut diabetes risk for teens
An extra hour a night of sleep can help protect teenagers from diabetes. Read more at

Gene variation may explain teens' tendency to binge drink
Some brains seem to be wired to find alcohol more rewarding than others, researchers say. Read more at

Make a difference

Help the needy during the holiday season
SERVE, a local non-profit, is seeking donations of food for food boxes, as well as $10 gift cards to grocery stores, $20 gift cards to Walmart, Target or Best Buy, gifts for teenagers and toiletries. If you're able to help, you can drop off donations at 15 Upton Lane in Stafford County or call 540/288-9603 for more information.

Motivational Words

Keep going
"Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." - Will Rogers

What's Happening

Get help quitting smoking
Dec. 6: Mary Washington Hospital will host a smoking cessation support group meeting in the cafeteria area at 7 p.m.

Get help healing
Dec. 8: Hospice Support Care will offer "Healing for the Holidays," a workshop for adults who have lost a loved one, at Wright's Chapel United Methodist Church in Ladysmith at 2 p.m. Call 540/361-7071 for details.

Run a half marathon
Dec. 9: The Virginia Runner Blue & Gray Half Marathon will be held in Central Park at 7:30 a.m.

Take a shopping class
Dec. 11: The Doctor Yum Project will offer a free grocery shopping class at 7 p.m. to help people make smart, affordable food choices.

Get help with grief
Dec. 11: Mary Washington Hospice will host a seminar from 5:30-7:30 p.m. for parents who have lost a child. The focus: coping with grief during the holidays. For details: 540/741-2377 or

Give blood
Dec. 12: Spotsylvania Regional Medical Center will host a blood drive from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome.

Farmer's Markets

Fredericksburg Farmer's Market
The Fredericksburg Farmers Market is located at Hurkamp Park at the intersection of Prince Edward and George Streets, Monday through Saturday, 7:00 am - 2:00 pm.

Farmers Market at Stafford Hospital
Sundays through October, 8 a.m. - 1 p.m. Outside the SH Medical Pavilion

The Rt 639 Farmer's Market
Thursday Evenings through September 25th, 4 p.m. - 8 p.m. Located in the front parking lot of the former Ladysmith elementary School in Ladysmith.

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