Posts Tagged ‘obama chilhood obesity’

What Spring Is Teaching Me

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

Spring Lesson #1 Kids desperately want to plant.  Give them the opportunity.

Last week, I had an incredible Earth Day experience at Timber Ridge Middle School, thanks to Principal Dave Bendis and the enthusiasm of his staff and students.  Every 15 minutes, from 7:30a.m. to 2:30p.m., I taught 30-40 6th, 7th, and 8th graders how to plant peas in cups and care for them at home.  For many, it was the first time they planted anything.  Watch the amazing video of the event.  The students and teachers were energized by learning a new skill that influences their healthy habits at home.

Spring Lesson #2:  Ask for help.  People want to help.

Because I had such a positive experience working with an entire school in one day (it was a marathon, but the kind *I* can do), I am craving to do it again.  35 times over the next school year to be exact, and I am inviting sponsors to fund the program.  If you know a person, a company, or a foundation that wants to help schools and equip 35,000 students with a new skill that promotes health and wellness, contact me.

Spring Lesson #3:  To quote Lori, “The expert in anything was once a beginner.”

I have always believed that anything is easier with the help and experience of others.  So, if you’re new to gardening or just want to be more successful at it and don’t know how, listen LIVE or after to my monthly radio show, Get Out of the House, on BlogTalkRadio (next show, Getting Started in the Garden, is Thursday, 4/29 at  You won’t get hands-on instruction like the students in my schools program will, but it’s pretty close.

Spring Lesson #4:  When life (or in this case, the weather) gives you lemons, make lemonade

Earth Day weather:  perfect.  Monday evening with my kids: downpour.  This morning: 40 with wind gusts of 30mph.  Monday evening, I got caught in a major rain shower with my kids walking them home.  We were so wet, we looked like we stood by a flume ride at an amusement park (yeah, mom didn’t bring an umbrella because it wasn’t raining when she left the house).  So we explored 45 minutes more in the rain, finding the source of a nearby creek and a beautiful painted box turtle (thanks to great noticing by my five year old). And in today’s chill that made my hands freeze, I put on my Woolrich Pepper Pikes Jacket and my Carve Designs Paper Boy Cap, plugged in my headphones to some tunes, and took my dog for a brisk walk.  And when I returned to the office, I was warm, cozy, and energized for the day.

Spring Lesson #5:  Any day in any season teaches us something

Looking around in today’s chilly weather, there were plenty of things in nature just right:  my pea plants and lettuce looked very happy, so did my native fringe tree and perennial geraniums that just bloomed. Bleeding heart? Lenten Rose? Yep, happy.  Pepper plant and herbs that I forgot to bring inside last night?  Just fine. The inconvenient chill to me is temporary.  Nature needs its seasons and rainy and cold blustery days for its gradual and beautiful changes.  No matter the weather, get out and experience it.

Rebecca P. Cohen is a gardening and outdoor lifestyle expert and host of Get Out of the House, vignettes that show fun ideas for family time outside and reach 46 million households on Resort and Residence TV. She is also author of the upcoming book, 365 Days Outside:  A Mother’s Journey to Improve the Well-being of Her Family (March 2011, Sourcebooks).  The daughter of educators, Rebecca left the corporate world after 15 years to teach families gardening and equip them with fun outdoor ideas that keep them healthy and connected year-round.  Rebecca’s work was recently featured in the April 2010 edition of Family Circle magazine and on Rachael Ray’s website, Yum-o!, for her Earth Day event with 1,000 elementary school students.  Rebecca has extensive TV experience, including over a dozen live, how-to segments in Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Denver, Houston, and Baltimore.  For more information, visit

Michelle Obama is right about the way to combat childhood obesity

Thursday, February 25th, 2010

In today’s Washington Post article, Michelle Obama spoke of remembering time outside with her father when she spoke of being active, and that is what Rebecca Plants is all about: time outside removes the “should” and “obligation” of physical activity and replaces it with pure joy of spending time together.  Being outside naturally makes us more active and it is up to us as parents to step outside with our kids and take that journey together into improving our family’s well-being.

I’m not talking about running laps and doing push ups that the kids are drilled on in school.  I’m talking about kicking a ball, playing catch, tag, and basketball, hide and seek, jumping rope, and rolling down hills. Away from the distractions inside our homes, our kids share with us and we share with them the meaningful choices we want them to make in their lives.

Watch it Now: Get Out of the House - Rolling down hills and playing tag

And that’s just the beginning.  You can invite friends over to play outside, do homework outside, eat meals outside, and invite neighbors to join in on the fun.

I’ve produced a television series, Get Out of the House, that shows people exactly what I see the White House and so many other organizations are wanting to do, which is simply inspiring families to be more active.  And that is where I come in.  Step outside, and the rest will flow from there.

Rebecca P. Cohen is the author of the upcoming book, 365 Days Outside: A Mother’s Journey to Improve the Well-being of Her Family and Founder and President of Rebecca Plants LLC, a gardening and outdoor lifestyle company that inspires families to spend more time outside together. Rebecca is also creator and producer of the television series, Get Out of the House, inspiring you to create memorable moments outside every day. To learn more, visit

Copyright 2010

Rebecca Plants LLC