Time to break out the straps! To the untrained eye...they might look like restriant devices, but to Becky...a couple of tie down straps with handles are a great way to get a little more out of your workout! Not only is she going to show you how to use them to your advantage, she's also got a link to them on her website so if you like what you see, you can give her site a click and order yourself some.
You'll see how you can turn any door into a powerful tool to help you get a boost in your working out and how you won't have to spend a fortune to get a gym quality workout at your own home. Of course, if you like the atmosphere and camaraderie of a fitness club, we recommend The Gym in North Muskegon. That's were we tape Fit and Healthy with Becky and here comes TRX!
TRX done and you're out the door! How's that for a snap! Now, if you don't have that nifty piece of equipment, here's the link to Becky's webpage! Visit her site. Check out the products, and check out too if maybe some personal training for you would be beneficial. Becky offers both in home and on site training services. She's on a mission to get everyone in Muskegon a little more Fit and Healthy! Click on the photo below to visit her site!
Everyone loves animals and everyone loves pizza. You should go to the one event that combines your love for both on February 3rd at Fricano's Event Center on Muskegon Lake. Now, some writers might stop right there with the article, because really, that's all you need....pizza, puppies and kittys...done deal. There is quite a bit more to the story though and since the Muskegon Channel is all about the quite a bit more...stick around.
The Muskegon Humane Society is a 501c3 No Kill Animal Shelter that was established in 1972. From their website - "We have made it our mission to encourage animal welfare, promote education, work against abuse, but above all, serve as a shelter for mistreated and abandoned animals until a new forever home is found." The also receive no financial support form city, state or federal governments. It's based on community giving and sponsor donations. They have also done an awful lot of work recently not only to improve the shelter for the animals, adding all kinds of great amenities for them, they have extended the mission to outside of the shelter. They take the animals out to schools, assisted living centers, community groups and they even have people come in to spend time with the animals there at the shelter to enrich lives of both the pets and the visitors.
All of that takes a little money, well, it takes a lot but if everyone does a little...well, it becomes a lot in a hurry. So....let's do something fun to make it happen and let's get behind the great work going on...right? Saturday February 3rd, Fricano's Event Center will be the place to be for Pizza for Paws. It gets underway at 6pm. You'll find great music, great food and fun, a silent auction, a photo booth some raffle prizes and more. There will be a cash bar and as the party continues on into the evening, late night pizza will be available as well! All of the proceeds of the event will go to benefit the great work done by the Humane Society.
I was able to catch up with the Executive Director of the Muskegon Humane Society Alexis Ogborn and Paula Smith who's a dog trainer as well as service dog handler to talk a little about the party, the cause, the work and the guy they have coming to help host the shin-dig....take a listen!
Hey, it's the middle of winter, you're looking for a reason to get out of the house and the Muskegon Humane Society sure could use a hand in taking care of the critters they serve. It's a win for everyone! Make sure you get some tickets for the great event and plan on attending! We're excited to help spread the word and applaude the work done by these great people in Muskegon! For tickets, click on the photo below and if you'd like to visit the Muskegon Humane Society online, click on the photo below that!
I was at a meeting the other night, and the County Treasurer Tony Moulatsiotis said that April would be when they started to foreclose on properties that had taxes due from 2015 and that if people needed to make arrangements to get caught up, now is the time to get a hold of his office. Well, I immediately knew that I needed to tug on his shirt after the meeting and set something up because, well, I have been there and I really wouldn't want anyone to live in that fear like I did when there are ways to make things right and ways that can benefit everyone involved in the process. Let me back up a minute though.
A couple years back, I was "under employed". Meaning I had a job, but it wasn't paying enough and even though I had the one job and the work I did at home and a weekend gig...I was getting behind on things and really doing all I could do to hang on to what I have. It's not much, but when you're 45 and starting to get notices in the mail that you may lose your house it's not only frightening, it's a pretty big blow to your ego because it's not for lack of effort that you're behind. People can beat their knuckles bloody and still go in the wrong direction with the circumstances around them. I needed to take action but I didn't know where to start. To make a long story short, I had to get with my mortgage company, explain the situation and then begin looking into the HARP program to see if I could get a hand in finding a way to get the payment to where I could afford it. I didn't get a break on the principal of what I owed or anything, but they were good enough to work some numbers and help me get a little easier payment and kept my in my home. Not asking for a handout, just a hand until I could get to where it wasn't hanging over my head like it was, and it worked.
Now, let's say you find yourself in the same situation with taxes. Hey, it happens. Here's the thing...no one wants your house or property. The last thing anyone wishes is to see someone out on the streets and in all honesty, a foreclosure will end up costing everyone involved more in the long run than finding a way to help you keep what's yours and get things made right. Thus..my visit with Tony and Jennifer Matthews who is a property tax specialist at the Treasures Office. We're going to talk about the process it takes to get you on the right track. Protect your home or property had how the treasurers office will work to help you find ways you never imagined to get caught up and back on your way. It's a fascinating interview with a LOT of valuable information. Listen up!
Government working for you. Hey look, I know it's kind of scary to hear that there might be a foreclosure. I know too that it's intimidating to go in and say that you need help. But as you just saw, and heard...the Muskegon County Treasurers Office truly wants to help find a way to keep you from going into foreclosure for the good of you and all of us in Muskegon County. Take that first step. If you are in danger of a foreclosure, NOW IS THE TIME for action. Click on the Muskegon County Seal below and take that first step to getting the government to work for you!
Recently I sat down with lifelong Muskegon native Marian McDermed who is the Executive Director of Family Promise of the Lakeshore to chat about the incredible way they help families in our Muskegon area. Since 2009 Family Promise of the Lakeshore has been offering a secure place to stay for parents with young children who have fallen upon hard times.....but also, so much more than just a place to stay. Family Promise offers ongoing financial budgeting education, child care-parenting classes, life skill development assistance, food and household item donations, children's activities and library as well as daily warm meals and fellowship with other families and no pressure church organizations.
After reading this OP-ED From Christine Robere of The United Way of The Lakeshore, The Muskegon Channel asked if we could publish this on her behalf. This is new for us. We're not overly political on purpose, but...our kids and our kids futures are so very important and so vital our world. We don't think that anything should stand in the way of protecting kids....no political agenda from either side should come first and Christine explains the impact very well here. Thank you to Christine for allowing us to share her thoughts.
The Clock Ran Out on CHIP:
116,000 kids in Michigan at risk of losing essential healthcare unless Congress Acts
By Christine J. Robere, President & CEO
United Way of the Lakeshore
“Your child is on track.” As a parent, there’s nothing like the relief of hearing your pediatrician share that good news at the annual check-up. And to know, that if anything happened, from strep throat to a broken arm on the playground, your child would have quality care. That’s why we’re celebrating that 116,000 Michigan children have affordable access to health insurance, thanks to the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and calling on Congress to reauthorize this successful program before funding finally runs out in March (the program was authorized through September 31, 2018, but programs that have money can spend it through March). Congressional reauthorization is required to continue CHIP for another five years.
CHIP was enacted with broad bipartisan support in 1997 to provide funding to states to reduce the numbers of uninsured children in the United States. CHIP helps low-income children from working families who do not have access to employer-based coverage, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Before its enactment, over 23% of low income children were uninsured. Today only 5% of children remain uninsured, nationally.
CHIP provides healthcare coverage that is necessary for a child’s early development. For the first three years of a child’s life and beyond, access to quality, pediatric-centered healthcare is critical for their brain development and social, emotional well-being. Health plans offered through CHIP are specifically designed for children, with a long track record of recognizing their unique developmental needs, providing regular wellness visits, developmental screenings and immunizations. Decades of data tells us that access to early quality healthcare has predictive short and long term educational outcomes for a child’s success in school.
CHIP also supports the financial stability of working families. In Michigan, 116,000 children in working families are provided CHIP coverage because these families make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to be able to purchase coverage on the private marketplace. CHIP is often more affordable for working families in both premiums and out-of-pocket costs than most marketplace or employer-sponsored plans. It is also important to recognize that the success of CHIP rests on the shoulders on a robustly funded Medicaid program. While nationally there are 9 million children who receive healthcare through CHIP, there are an additional 50 million children who receive coverage from Medicaid. Together, more than 40% of US children depend on Medicaid and CHIP for their healthcare coverage.
Without action from Congress, funding for this critical program will run out completely by March putting millions of children at risk of losing healthcare coverage. There is no such thing as “safely delaying” action on CHIP; the consequences have already started. CHIP directors are already preparing cancelation letters and freezing enrollments. Working families are growing anxious that the coverage their children depend on will disappear.
The solution is simple: Extend CHIP funding for five years to ensure that children from hardworking families retain access to affordable and comprehensive health coverage.
CHIP is critical for early childhood well-being and development. With continued coverage, working families will be healthier and more self-sufficient. Let’s support what works!
We did some heavy duty filming back when it was Christmas break time and it worked out great because, at The Gym in North Muskegon where Becky Biesiada tapes Fit and Healthy, we just happened to have some awesome young people hanging out and with Grandma's premission, we let her jump right in on the filming!
Becky and Campbell will show you how much fun it can be to partner up for a work out. Not only that, but...if you stop and think about it, there's a world of benefits that can come from this too. Spark your kids interest in a little working out, spend a little time together talking, time away from media immersion, chances to bond, grow and really....have moments to parent. (All that kinda snuck up on ya didn't it?) (That's what sets us apart from the other media :) Anyway....
We are off to episode 35 of Fit and Healthy with Becky from The Gym in North Muskegon. Let's do it!
Buddy up and get to it! Our thanks to Campbell for being a drop in workout superstar on the Muskegon Channel. If it's still early enough in the new year for you to get going on a work out program, stop in to The Gym in North Muskegon and take a look around. Meet Mary Switzer and her staff and join up! It's got everything the "big gyms" have, but a much more home town atmosphere and personal touch. If you'd like to know a little more, click on their logo below to visit their website.
We are very pleased to welcome a new sponsor to The Muskegon Channel and Positively Muskegon, Bluewater Wellness of Spring Lake has joined us and they are excited about the new year and new opportunities to share their message about health and wellness from a different perspective than you may find at traditional medical offices. They are also excited too, to have the opportunity to show first hand what they can do by example as they are using one of our own, Andy O as part of a program.He is ready to curb his sugar cravings and away from the current diet and life style. More on that in a few.
Founded by Dr. Ramona Wallace and Pharmacist Deirdre Kohley, Bluewater Wellness is a team approach linked to you! They are experienced professionals who practice disciplines from around the world and are passionate about what they do. They look for the root cause of your problems, with a comprehensive look at your mind, body and spirit for starters, and they are very thorough. During your hour long meeting they get to know your history, your goals, and concerns. They ask some questions you might not even think have a bearing on your overall wellness. The first thing you will notice is that you are not rushed in and out like you might be in a traditional primary care office. They want to know the whole you...inside and out and build their plan not only for you, but with you.
They offer programs that cover a wide variety of healthcare concerns. From hormone health to fibromyalgia, weight loss, thyroid problems, menopause, chronic fatigue, diabetes and more are all systems problems that can be helped by a functional medicine approach. The team at Bluewater Wellness will work with your primary care provider and you to customize a plan for you to follow for a few weeks and then for a lifetime. They will determine your needs in a caring and compassionate interview and get you to decide how to best follow your path to feel your best again. In Andy's case, it's sugar. While there is a strong family history of diabetes and although not diagnosed with even the early signs of it just yet, Andy got to the point of wondering if it might be time to make some adjustments and let the sugar go. When Bluewater Wellness offered the chance to try, it couldn't be refused.
Andy will be heading into a 12 week program. To get things rolling, he stopped out to Bluewater Wellness on VanWagoner Road in Spring Lake to talk with Dr. Wallace and Dee Kohley to learn a little more about the program he was heading into, what was involved and to also let you know how you can benefit from this approach to medicine that's not the traditional "stick a band aid on it" that our insurance based medical systems allow. Take a listen to their chat below.
We're going to be updating you on this as the program goes along. Andy's committed himself to breaking the sugar habit and making this change. If you wonder if there's a better approcah to what might be ailing you, it's time to try a new approach for yourself. The staff at Bluewater Wellness is kind and caring and they offer a relaxing and warm atmosphere where they will take the time to get to know ALL of you and then, they will work to custom build you a plan to heal from within instead of just focusing on your symptoms. They will determine with your input, what may be causing you to feel sick and tired. Don't you owe it to yourself to feel better? Click on their logo below to visit their website and learn more. Call, stop in and meet the staff or go to one of their lectures and find out first hand just how a functional medicine approach to your issues can be a turning point for a healthier you.
It's one of our not so hidden secrets here in Muskegon. With one of the only three “kunstbahn" style luge tracks in the country, the Muskegon Winter Sports Complex has a little something for everyone. Attracting visitors from all around the United States and Internationally the Winter Sports Complex is the place to be with or without the snow.
Did you know that the Muskegon luge track is the world's first track that is universally accessible? This means that no matter your mobile abilities the sports complex has adapted to help you enjoy all that they have to offer. It started in 2007 with a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The $700,000 Access to Recreation grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation allowed them to make this all possible. Some of the ways that they have adapted the different activities would be to have sleds with a bucket seat and skate blades attached to the bottom along with pick sticks to help make you glide along. They also have specially designed skis that allow you to sit on a seat and move by pushing with ski poles and if you would like to try your hand at the luge and are unable to ride on the traditional sleds they will take you to the top on the back of a snowmobile and place you on a specially designed luge sled that has handles for you to steer with.
Do you like to spend time on the ice? The Winter Sports Complex has 2 acres of Ice skating. The Complex has a family skating rink, hockey rink and lighted, ¼ mile skating trail. These are all open every day from 10:00 am to 9:45 pm, weather permitting. They have a link available on their page that will let you know about the weather conditions so be sure to check that before you head out.
Ice Skating not your thing, don’t worry they have 9.32 miles of trails for the classic cross-country and skate skiing. On your adventure through these winding trials you will find yourself skirting alongside the sand dunes, finding Lost Lake Bog and Lake Michigan. Don’t forget that while this is the longest lighted trail in the Midwest and it is groomed daily (when conditions allow) you be a part of some of the BEST that West Michigan has to offer.
If you click on the little video and listen in on my chat with Bill Bailey from the Winter Sports Complex you will hear about the State games of Michigan Winter Try-Athlon.
If you are interested it is on February 4th at 10am – 4pm. You will be competing in three Winter Olympic sports which include luge, ice speed skating and cross-country skiing. This is meant to be fun and allow you to try something new that you otherwise may not have thought that you would. You can find more information about this event on the Winter Sports Complex calendar, click on the photo below.
It's become a staple of the winter in Muskegon. Hundreds of people gather to celebrate the season, thumb their nose at the temperatures a little and make a splash to benefit Special Olympics of Michigan in the frigid waters of Muskegon Lake. Yes, the Muskegon Polar Plunge is coming up again quick and you're invited to participate in any number of ways! The most important part of it all is that all the money raised goes to help support the work of Special Olympics here in Michigan giving people with unique abilities a chance to compete and share the fellowship that the games bring.
The Muskegon Polar Plunge has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. Sure, the plunge itself has always been a fun event and raised a lot of money, but the organizers of the event saw that there was plenty of room to add a little more around the event, so they tacked on a Friday night party ahead of things. The Pre Plunge Party is happening at Fricano's on Muskegon Lake from 7-11p on Friday January 26th. You'll find music from Northbound, a great atmosphere, early registration to avoid the lines Saturday before the plunge and since it's at Fricano's, plenty of great food! Saturday, registration gets underway at noon, the plunge itself starts at 2 and at 4p the After Splash Bash gets underway! It's a couple of great days were Old Man Winter gets put in his place and we revel in the fact that we've still got the best place in the state for anything fun in the water....frozen or not!
It takes a great group of people to put an event on like this, and Brian Harris and Todd Dunham will be the first to tell you that it's way more than them who pulls this off year in and year out, however, since Brian and Todd have kind of taken the event over, it's growth has been substantial. They work all year long finding sponsors, donors, divers, teams and volunteers to help make this event such a great success and so many athletes benefit from their tireless work. I had a few minutes to catch up with Brain and Todd to talk about this years plunge...take a listen.
It's a great time for a great cause. Our thanks to Todd and Brian for taking a few minutes today to talk about this years event. Make sure you're part of the fun. Take the plunge yourself or gather up a group of friends and make it a team sport. If the cold water is just too much for ya, there are plenty of ways you can help the cause. Click on the photo below to visit the Special Olympics of Michigan Muskegon Polar Plunge Page!
Chef Char is back from Kitchen 242 at the Muskegon Farmers Market! With the holiday's coming up quick, there's always a question of what to bring to the family gathering or the office pot luck that will be different and fun, but easy to make and add a splash to the event!
Fear not! Chef Char has an awesome idea for you that handles all of the above and it absolutely delicious! Today, from Kitchen 242 she's showing us how to make a cheesy pull-a-part bread with a delicious pesto center and garnished with a little marinara sauce for that added holiday touch!
Chef Char hosts the show here on The Muskegon Channel, but she also hosts classes at Kitchen 242 which you can join. There are classes designed for kids, some are set up for a "girls night out" and others are great ways to add to your skills and menu options! You can find a list of all her upcoming classes at her website which you'll find linked under her picture to the right...you know the picture with the outcome of today's delicious recipe.
Kitchen 242 is located at the Muskegon Farmers Market and is open to culinary types who want to start a business but work in an incubator type facility. It's a complete and fully functional facility and designed to help people build and launch business based on food. CLICK HERE to learn more about kitchen 242.
You'll find the complete recipe below the video for today's pull-a-part bread!
For now, let's get cookin' - Here comes Chef Char!
It's a piece of cake to make and so delicious! If you'd like to know more about a fun time at one of Chef Char's cooking classes, click on her picture above for the link to her website! The full recipe is below! Happy Holidays from all of us at The Muskegon Channel!!
Christmas Tree Pull Apart Pesto and Cheese Bread
A festive recipe from Chef Char Morse of Kitchen 242
1 tube pizza dough (you can use thin crust or regular)
¾ cup pesto (pesto recipe below)
4 mozzarella cheese sticks
1 cup shredded mozzarella or shredded Italian cheese blend
Garnish: dried parsley, pizza sauce of choice, sliced provolone cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Unroll pizza dough from tube. Using a rolling pin, shape the crust into a rectangle. Cut one large triangle out of the crust. Save the two small triangles created with the cut out and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Press the two small triangles together to make one large triangle for the bottom crust. Generously coat the crust with pesto. Line the center of the triangle, from the top all the way to the bottom, with mozzarella cheese sticks. Generously cover the remaining pesto with shredded cheese. Place the large triangle-shaped pizza dough over top of the cheese and pesto combination. Lightly press the dough to seal and cut slits into the dough, across the tree on each side of the cheese sticks, about one inch apart, avoiding cutting into the center of the tree where the cheese sticks are lined up. Cover any cheese stick at the bottom with dough from bottom crust to make a tree trunk. Twist each cut section of sliced dough on the sides to look like twisted cheese breadstick branches. Coat entire tree with Italian herb oil and bake for 20 minutes. Allow tree to cool slightly after baking and garnish with extra parsley (sprinkle all over for more green). Make stripes on the tree with pizza sauce to look like garland. Using a star cookie cutter, cut out a star-shape from the sliced provolone cheese and place on top of the tree. Serve while still warm.
Italian Herb Oil:
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning mix (oregano, basil, thyme, parsley,)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Herb Oil Directions:
Place olive oil in a small bowl and add the salt, Italian seasoning, garlic and fresh ground pepper. Stir before using.
1 cup raw walnuts or pine nuts or almonds
3 tablespoons peeled, chopped garlic (about 9 cloves)
3 oz. fresh basil, large or woody stems removed
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Juice of one freshly squeezed lemon
1 1/2 cups extra virgin olive oil
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Place the walnuts and garlic in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Process for 15 seconds. Add the basil, salt, pepper and lemon juice. With the processor running, slowly pour the extra virgin olive oil into the bowl through the feed tube and process until the pesto is thoroughly pureed. Add the Parmesan and puree for a minute. Use right away or store the pesto in the refrigerator or freezer with a thin film of olive oil on top. This recipe makes about 3 cups of pesto.
Notes: Air is the enemy of pesto. For freezing, pack it in containers with a film of oil or plastic wrap directly on top with the air pressed out.
To clean basil, remove the leaves, swirl them in a bowl of water, and then spin them very dry in a salad spinner. Store them in a closed plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. As long as the leaves are dry they will stay green for several days.
We dodged it as long as we could this year, but Winter has taken a firm grip now and we're all back to heating our homes. There are a multitude of ways people heat places, but all come with some risk. Yes, there is a risk of fire from anything that generates heat, but if there is combustion involved, there is a chance there could be carbon monoxide.
Carbon Monoxide is a silent killer. It's an odorless, tasteless gas that is produced anytime you burn fuels and it can build up in homes and poison humans and animals that breathe it. According to the CDC, every year 400 Americans die from carbon monoxide poisoning, 20,000 visit the emergency room and 4000 are hospitalized. CLICK HERE to visit the CDC website for more statistics and information about carbon monoxide.
In Muskegon, the statistics are staggering as to how many homes are not protected by the proper smoke detectors, let alone the proper devices for carbon monoxide detection, but.. it's as simple as a phone call to make sure your home is taken care of properly. Safe Kids is part of Mercy Health and they have just received a grant and along with Kidde and a joint mission of area fire departments, they want to make sure your family is safe from the dangers of carbon monoxide and the best part is, it won't cost you a penny. This program is open to owner occupied homes and all it takes is a non emergency call to your local fire department to get the process started.
Once you get a time, trained fire fighters will visit your home, they will take a look at what you have currently and help you out with what you need. They can also help with an evacuation plan, maybe show you an area or two that could be a problem if a fire occurs and most of all, they can check and make sure your equipment is up to date, and able to perform at it's best to save you and your family.
Holly Alway is the injury prevention coordinator at Mercy Health and she is also the grant writer who's helped bring this opportunity to Muskegon for Safe Kids West Michigan along with Kidde to help make your home safer. Ted Karnitz is the Fire Marshall of Norton Shores and Scott Hemmelsbach is the acting Fire Marshall of Muskegon. We all met up at the Muskegon Central Fire Department to talk about the dangers, and the ways you can get a hand from any of the county's fire departments to help protect your home and family. Take a listen.
Time to take advantage of this great opportunity. Don't wait! It's a free service as long as the equipment is available and there is nothing to lose by setting up an appointment to have your home checked over. In Norton Shores cal 231-799-6809, in Muskegon call 231-724-6793.