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Donna Kelley
1 week ago
Pumpkin seeds provide an abundance of zinc that is important for enhancing memory and thinking skills. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
Summer fun and vacation-time (which means relaxing the body and brain) have come to an end, because school is now back in session. Whether going to elementary school, junior high, college or just starting out in pre-school, we need a healthy brain, one that can be alert, focused, and ready to concentrate and remember. Are you eager and willing to power up your brain and put on your thinking cap? One way to super-charge the brain is to feed it smart foods. Adding smart foods into your everyday diet may help to power up and maintain a... [Read more]
Copyright © 2016 Amador Ledger Dispatch
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Donna Kelley
3 weeks ago
The chocolate mousse is full of healthy fats from the avocado. Photo courtesy to the ALD

Labor Day weekend is almost upon us! To most of us, the first Monday in September means an end to summer and the start of school. What is Labor Day really all about? For you history buffs out there, Labor Day officially became a national holiday in 1894, but in New York the first “workingmen’s holiday” was celebrated in 1884, and very much encouraged by the Central Labor Union.

Labor Day is a federal holiday brought about by the many contributions of our own ancestors who were among the labor working-class. These hard-working...

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Mike Sweeney
3 weeks ago
This summer, I returned to the Rockies to hike another segment of the Colorado Trail which stretches 485 miles from Denver to Durango, Colorado. Faithful ALD readers know that these adventures are scheduled by overly optimistic “Living Room Man,” who makes cavalier plans from his perch on the couch while munching Cheetos and watching TV. Over the years, it has become harder and harder for LRM to wake up his alter ego “Backpacking Man” to follow through on these plans. This year their conversation went something like this: “Wake up!... [Read more]
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Donna Kelley
08/25/2016 1:49 PM

Welcome to Part 2 – purchasing or making your own natural mosquito repellent. I will share brand names and where to buy these healthier alternatives. Also, I’ll provide you with recipes to create your own non-intrusive mosquito/bug repellent, using essential oils and herbs. In my professional opinion, these are a much better option than using potentially-damaging DEET products, as mentioned in last week’s article.

Amazon.com sells several different natural insect repellents in case you would like to purchase one instead of making...

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Donna Kelley
08/18/2016 1:32 PM
Could these mosquito repellents be harming your health? Photo courtesy to the ALD
Bug sprays and mosquito repellents are commonly used by one-third of the U.S. population during this season of the year. Many of us take vacations in beautiful, scenic parts of the country that include marshes, rain forests, and wetlands; and heaven forbid, this is when and where mosquitoes breed and appear to lie in wait for us – oh, no! Even those evening barbecues in our own backyard or while camping near lakes or streams seem to draw flying insects to our warm, red-blooded bodies. (And I am one of the unlucky ones that they seem... [Read more]
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Donna Kelley
08/11/2016 1:23 PM
One of the falls going up the Mist Trail at Yosemite. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

Hiking in nature can be therapeutic, creating an exhilarating experience for the body, as well as, inspiring for the mind. Your journey into nature can be very calming and quiet to the ears and soul, while occasionally hearing the musical tunes of birds singing and chirping.

Your eyes may dance excitingly over the breath-taking views of snow-capped mountains and blue-colored lakes that shimmer with glitter from the brightly shining sun. You may notice a variety of rainbow-colored wildflowers scattered here and there along the...

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Donna Kelley
08/04/2016 12:56 PM
Donna Kelley’s son suffered 3rd degree burns and learned, firsthand, the importance of nutrition in the healing and recovery after a burn injury. Photo courtesy to the ALD

Nutrition plays a very important role in the healing and recovery after a burn injury, especially third degree burns. I quickly learned that the intense pain of third degree burns is the worse, agonizing pain of any injury a person could ever experience. This is basically due to the skin graph that needs to be performed and the deep cleaning of the wound itself. At this point, the body is in great need of protein, vitamins and minerals (the best optimal nutrition) to make crucial repairs to the tissues.

Many of you (my faithful...

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Ginger Budrick
08/04/2016 12:55 PM
Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Bill Lavallie
I’ve been to the Amador County Fair Destruction Derby more times than I can count. Also, since it’s the only Destruction Derby I’ve ever been to, it’s obviously my favorite. Turns out, I don’t think I’ve ever paid very good attention to it. Sure, I go every year and sit in the crowd and cheer, but I couldn’t tell you who placed in each heat or who was driving which car. But this year was different, since I had interviewed six 30-something derby drivers. That gave me at least six people to cheer for. And, because of those articles, I... [Read more]
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Donna Kelley
07/28/2016 12:58 PM
The team of Bodies-N-Balance has introduced “Find Your Freedom,” a health kickstarter program to assist in weight loss and whole health. Photo courtesy to the ALD

Come join the fun and energizing environment at Bodies-N-Balance. Meet two gals who are truly dedicated to getting your health back on track while still enjoying some of your favorite foods like chocolate cake, muffins, or pancakes – wow – where do I sign up? These comfort foods have a new twist in their ingredient list — out with dairy, gluten and soy that may be causing many digestive and health issues, and in with totally organic “healthy” ingredients that support and heal the body.

Introducing Denise Schaad (aka Denise 1),...

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Brent Parsons
07/21/2016 1:34 PM
Jean Pinotti was ready for me the morning of our meeting. She had Aldo’s bridge file on the dining room table. It’s been a decade since I last reviewed its contents. The bulging manila folder was the backbone of his Sutter Creek City Council presentations. Before she opened it, I asked her about herself. She responded like I had gained access under false pretenses, “No one is interested in me, I thought this was about dad and the bridge.” I took a strategic gamble, “Sure they are. You grew up here and taught in our schools.” That... [Read more]
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Mike Sweeney
07/14/2016 11:58 AM
Gold Rush era church on the loop walk. ALD photo by Mike Sweeney
Over the years, Outdoor Amador has covered kayak trips, bike rides, triathlons, swimming, tennis, golf, and Sierra Nevada hikes. There are so many outdoor options when you live in Northern California, it can be hard to decide what to do when you have time and energy for outdoor adventure. But sometimes, you just want to go outside and take a simple walk. Maybe you don’t have much time. Maybe you don’t have much energy. Some days your life is such that you just want to stay close to home and not load up a lot of gear. On days like... [Read more]
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Brent Parsons
07/14/2016 11:55 AM
Fun on the courts. Photo courtesy to the ALD
I hoped to escape my store this year and catch part of the 17th Michael Neville 3-On-3 Basketball Tournament last Saturday, but it turned out to be a busy day. About 2:30, I received a call from courtside, Ledger Dispatch Editor Jerry Budrick letting me know the championship game was about 20 minutes from tip-off. And, in case I was interested, my son’s team was going up against his son’s for the championship trophy. I was interested and I ducked out, leaving Jack to deal with whatever might happen in the next hour. He encouraged me... [Read more]
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Mike Sweeney
07/07/2016 11:10 AM
Mule Ears with yellow flowers. ALD photo by Mike Sweeney
Last week, we chronicled our trip east up Highway 88 while investigating historical landmarks and points of interest along the way. We ended at Mile 48, the turnoff to Tragedy Springs Road. We referenced the book “Melissa’s Journey with the Mormon Battalion” which details Melissa Coray’s 3,000 mile adventure from Kansas to California and back east to the Great Salt Lake Valley in the three years prior to the Gold Rush. This week we wrap up our tour of Highway 88, covering landmarks from Tragedy Springs to the Red Lake Vista Point.... [Read more]
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Ginger Budrick
06/30/2016 12:29 PM
Michael Neville as he appeared on the Amador High School basketball team. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
You may notice that I have two 30-something interviews in this week’s paper. Let me explain why: I excitedly set up interviews with six Amador County Fair Destruction Derby drivers and wanted to fit them all into the paper before the fair. Luckily, there were exactly six weeks until the fair, if I started running the derby drivers last week. But, then I bumped into Adam Giurlani, who went to Amador High School with me, and he asked me if I could interview him and some of the other guys involved in the Michael Neville 3-on-3 Basketball... [Read more]
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Mike Sweeney
06/30/2016 12:26 PM
One of the most scenic and breathtaking areas to hike — Highway 88. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch

We have been getting up into the Sierras more this year, but too often our forays are mad dashes to Carson Pass or Lake Tahoe without taking time to appreciate the trip up Highway 88. There is much to see and learn along this spectacular road, and the other day I finally decided to slow down and check out the many points of interest and historical markers along the way. Distances noted in this column are eastbound from Jackson and Sutter Creek.

Highway 88 overview

At Mile 9, a historical marker placed during Amador County’s...

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Brent Parsons
06/16/2016 11:46 AM
Motivate Personal Fitness Academy crowned ACRA Men’s Basketball A League Champions. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
The Amador adult men”s basketball leagues that were popular 25 years ago under the late Ernie Cain have been resurrected by the Amador County Recreation Agency’’s John Williamson. It wasn’t easy. The leagues actually died a few years back and several attempts by various organizers to restart their pulses failed. Finance, facility, administrative and officiating challenges clogged the arteries. The players lost interest and went back to more traditional, more boring and probably less healthy Sunday evenings. All that changed because... [Read more]
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Carey Erichson
06/09/2016 10:25 AM

Stand proud you noble swingers of clubs and losers of balls, a recent study found the average golfer walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found golfers drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means, on average, golfers get about 41 miles to the gallon.

Kind of makes you proud, almost feel like a hybrid.

The Golfer’s Poem

In my hand I hold a ball, white and dimpled, rather small.

Oh, how bland it does appear, this harmless looking little sphere.

By its size I could not guess, the awesome strength it...

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Donna Kelley
05/26/2016 11:28 AM
So, how important is water? Our very existence and life depend on it. Photo courtesy to the Amador Ledger Dispatch
There are many elements to living an active, healthy lifestyle; and one of them is clean, purified water. Have you ever noticed what happens when you water a plant that looks droopy and wilted? It perks up, comes back to life, and looks great. Well, that is what water does for us also. The human body cannot live more than 3-5 days without water. The human adult body is composed of about 60 percent water. Our muscles and kidneys are made up of 79 percent water. Our lungs are composed of 83 percent water. Our brain and heart contain... [Read more]
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Carey Erichson
05/19/2016 12:37 PM

How far does the average golfer hit the ball? Actually not as far as you may think. Distance will vary a bit with the size and age of the golfer. The averages don’t vary much from year to year even with new equipment. Why? Because most golfers do not have a good golf swing.

Some of you young pups can whack the ball 300 plus yards so these yardage charts look out of line.

But, you have to remember, that the average male golfer can’t even hit the ball 200 yards and that will lower the overall averages as shown in the charts....

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Rene Burton
05/19/2016 1:08 PM

Regular physical activity helps keep your heart, lungs and muscles in shape and can stave off the effects of aging. In much the same way, exercising your brain can help keep your mind sharp and your memory intact. Here are several ways to activate your brain.

KEEP BUSY AND ENGAGED

The MacArthur Foundation Study on Successful Aging, a long-term study of aging in America, found that the education level was the strongest predictor of mental capacity as people aged. The more education, the more likely an individual was to maintain...

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