Get Lost in a Good Book

My new article in The Country Register  – Jan/Feb 2018 Issue

There are times when life can be stressful and we just want to get away from it all. But jobs, families and other responsibilities cannot be left behind. However, there is a quick, easy way to get lost in another world and it’s right at our fingertips. And the best part is, it doesn’t have to cost a dime.
What is this escape, you ask? Why, books, of course! On a cold winter’s night, if you want to find yourself on a beach in Nantucket, pick up a book by Elin Hilderbrand. Or, would a murder mystery in front of a roaring fire pique your interest? Then delve into a Mary Higgins Clark novel.
One of my favorite pastimes is wandering the aisles of my local library. Since I’m such an avid reader, I depend on this free institution for much of my reading material, lest I go broke or fall into serious debt. I have always read a lot, but now that I take the train to work, I not only read a book at home every night before bed, I also read a different book on my commute to and from work. Yes, I have two different books going at the same time. Confusing, some may think. For me, not at all. I get so into the characters and plots that I have no problem keeping track of them all, just like people do with various television programs. While many of my friends are excited about a new season of the latest prime time shows, I’m anxiously awaiting my favorite authors’ new books. I would rather watch the story unfold in my mind than on a television screen.
I especially like continuing series, such as Patricia Cornwell’s saga about a medical examiner who helps the FBI and local police solve crimes, or Janet Evanovich’s tales involving a hapless female bounty hunter who tries and oftentimes fails to catch the fugitives she’s after. I have been reading certain series for years and have grown somewhat attached to my favorite characters.
Although fiction is my favorite genre, I am a fan of non-fiction as well. I am especially drawn to books that explore people’s strength and perseverance and show how they overcome many obstacles in their lives, such as The Last Sermon by Randy Pausch, or Blindsided: Lifting a Life Above Illness by Richard M. Cohen. These kinds of true stories broaden my perspective and make the problems in my life seem somewhat trivial.
Whatever your interests are, there are books that will engage your mind and nourish your soul. If your budget is limited, libraries are wonderful resources, as are used book stores and various discounted websites. Or, if you choose to get a little fancier, buy yourself an e-reader and download to your heart’s content.
So, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed, get yourself a good book, curl up with a steamy mug of hot chocolate, and go on an adventure. When you return, you will feel refreshed and ready to tackle a new day.

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Article written for the Scotch Plains Rescue Squad – published in local news outlets in January 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to not only trim our credit card bills, but to also trim our waistlines. It’s a fact that most of us gain some weight between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Being unhappy with the way we look and uncomfortable in our clothes are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s the underlying problems, especially when it comes to obesity, which causes the most issues.

According to the American Heart Association, “Currently, one in three U.S. adults is obese, bringing forth a possible health toll, including high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Another third of Americans are overweight.” Therefore, it’s best to talk to your doctor and stick to the guidelines he or she recommends for your age, gender, height and weight.

In regards to your diet, eat foods that are high in fiber and low in saturated fat, like fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and low-fat milk products. Get plenty of exercise, even if it’s just taking a walk around your neighborhood. If you have underlying health problems, speak with your doctor about devising an exercise program that’s right for you.

A healthy lifestyle will help you avoid many health issues, plus it will give you the energy and stamina to accomplish everything you want to do. Everybody knows that giving up our favorite foods and adopting a more active lifestyle are tough, but the benefits are worth it.

This year, when you make that resolution to lose weight and exercise, stick to it and you will feel the difference in your body sooner that you think. And instead of visiting the doctor or hospital, go out and enjoy life.

The Scotch Plains Rescue Squad is a volunteer organization of Neighbors Helping Neighbors. With over 90 volunteers, we answer calls not only in Scotch Plains, but also in surrounding towns when needed. Besides answering calls, you will see our ambulances at many special events held in town, such as Scotch Plains Day, the Memorial Day Parade, high school football games, and the summer concerts on the Village Green. We are also available to provide demonstrations for Boys and Girls Scout troops, clubs, and other groups. In addition, we lend out wheelchairs, crutches, canes and other assorted medical equipment free of charge. Please reach out to us if there is something we can do for you. (908) 322-2103 for non-emergencies or