Happy Memorial Day from The Morning Thing 5/25/15

Happy Memorial Day from all of us at WNZR.

This morning, The Morning Thing crew shared some traditions for this special holiday.
These are great ideas for you and your family.

memorial day

1. Visit a veterans’ home. After the Civil War, the US found itself with a large number of indigent and disabled veterans who couldn’t care for themselves or go back to work. The first veterans home was opened in 1864, and since dozens have sprung up to give back to our vets. It’s the least the nation can do, but we as citizens can do more. Stop in, visit them! Chat with a vet for an hour or two, bring the kids to say hello, drop off a big plate of fresh baked cookies. Do something to let them know they are not forgotten.

2. Visit the local veterans cemetery. Some graves are well-maintained by family members, but when there are no living relatives, that chore falls on the shoulders of local veterans groups. Lend a hand by bringing some flowers and helping to beautify a few of the less cared for graves.

3. Attend a parade. This one’s pretty easy, and a big hit with the kids, and it will give the veterans marching a big smile.

4. Attend a memorial service. Many veterans groups plan these events for the holiday, and they never say no to more participants.

5. Raise your flag. Some times showing your thanks can be as simple as flying Old Glory at your house. She should remain at half mast until noon, as per tradition.

6. Honor the National Moment of Remembrance. In 2000, Congress addressed the fact that many Americans simply use Memorial Day as a day to eat burgers. They created the National Moment to make sure our troops are honored. At 3 p.m. on Memorial Day, every American is asked to pause for just one minute to honor the fallen.

7. Hoist a POW/MIA flag. According to the Department of Defense, more than 83,000 Americans are missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War and the 1991 Gulf War. Flying the POW/MIA flag reminds people of their sacrifice and their families’ too.

8. Visit a battlefield. Memorial Day owes its roots to the Civil War, and there are numerous sites up and down the East Coast where soldiers laid down their lives for us.

9. Watch/Listen to the National Memorial Day Concert. Broadcast on PBS and NPR, this concert on the west lawn of the United States Capitol includes music but also tributes to the men and women who gave their lives for their country.

10. Share a photo of your beloved fallen soldier/airman/etc. on Facebook or Instagram. It’s a day about remembering after all, so share his (or her) story!

What are you doing to truly honor the meaning of Memorial Day?

We also shared the meaning behind the lyrics of some of the most popular patriotic songs.
Take a few minutes and check out these links. You will be inspired! We have a rich and meaningful history in the U.S.A.

The meaning behind the lyrics of The Star Spangled Banner

The meaning behind the lyrics of God Bless America

The meaning behind the lyrics of America the Beautiful

The meaning behind the lyrics of My Country Tis of Thee

Grilling, Grads, Friday winners and a special 50th Anniversary! The Morning Thing 5/22/15

PTLIF stands for Praise the Lord it’s Friday!
The Morning Thing had a very busy morning on 5/22.


We announced our birthday and anniversary winners of the week.
Congratulations to Jana Shira of Mount Vernon. She is the birthday winner this week. She wins a 7 inch birthday cake from Ferrari Baking Company. She celebrated her birthday on Monday 5/18. Congrats Jana!
Congratulations to Jennifer and Adam Fletcher – our winning anniversary couple this week. The Fletchers celebrated their 10th anniversary on Thursday 5/21. They win an 8 X 10 color portrait from Seavolt’s Studios.
Please get YOUR special days registered at http://wnzr.fm/birthdays—anniversaries.html

Our Morning Thing Fave 5 took us back in time! :-)
We decided to share high school graduation pictures with you. We hope you enjoy them!
Marcy (Street) Rinehart graduated from Houston High School in 1987.
Marcy Grad PicWesley Boston graduated from Smithville High School in 2012.
Wesley Boston graduation

Annabelle Harray graduated from Otago Girls High School in New Zealand in 2010. They don’t have traditional graduation ceremonies in New Zealand. Annabelle was part of the annual “prize giving” ceremony. Here is a picture of her in her school uniform.

Annabelle Harray in high school uniformWe decided to invite The Afternoon Drive to be part of our graduation picture Fave 5!
Here is Jessica Wells at her 2013 graduation from Madison Christian High School.

Jessica Wells graduation

Joe Rinehart graduated in 1987 along with Marcy, but he was NOT in the USA. He graduated from Colegio Nueva Granada in Bogota, Colombia. Here is a picture of Joe and 2 of his friends.

Joe Rinehart graduation

We wish the best to all graduates! Congratulations to the Class of 2015!

We also shared about the special 50th Anniversary of the Knox County Head Start. We had the chance to talk to Peg Tazewell, Executive Director of Head Start about this special time for their organization.
Click here to listen to the full interview.

We also shared recipes for Memorial Day weekend.
Check out these yummy recipes for your grill.

Grilled Corn on the Cob Recipe – Allrecipes.com

grilled corn on the cob

All-American Here’s the Beef Burgers Recipe – Allrecipes.com


All American Burger

…and while you are waiting for what is “on” the grill, this salad looks great!

Red, White, and Blueberry Fruit Salad Recipe – Allrecipes.com

Red White and Blueberry Fruit Salad

The Morning Thing salutes High School Graduates! Congratulations!

grads throwing capsThursday, 5/21/15 – a day to honor High School Graduates

Congratulations to our local graduates.
Here is a schedule of upcoming graduations:
Fredericktown – Friday, 5/22
Mount Vernon – Sunday, 5/24
East Knox – Friday, 5/29
Centerburg and Danville – Saturday, 5/30

We shared the history of America’s graduation traditions.
by Emily Hull

As area high school seniors prepare to graduate this week, the traditions of the graduation ceremony that have existed for generations will be put into practice yet again. But what exactly are the origins of all these traditions? When was “Pomp and Circumstance” written? What’s up with those gowns? Who came up with tossing the graduation caps? And why do graduates move their tassel from one side to the other?

I decided to do some research on the history of graduation customs to understand why these traditions have remained over the years.

Pomp and Circumstance

Also known as “Land of Hope and Glory” was written in Sir Edward Elgar in 1901. The title of “Pomp and Circumstance” comes from a line in Shakespeare’s Othello, “Pride, pomp and circumstance of glorious war!” In 1902, lyrics were written by poet and essayist Arthur Christopher Benson to celebrate the crowning of King Edward the VII.

It first became associated with graduation ceremonies in 1905 when Elgar received an honorary doctorate from Yale University and it was played. Other schools such as Princeton and Columbia picked up the tune as well, before it spread to nearly every college and university in the U.S. Today the piece is often played as processional or recessional music for commencement ceremonies across the country. It has become so widely used that it’s rare to attend a graduation event without it.

Cap and Gown

The outfit that signifies a graduate is the traditional cap and gown. The use of the graduation gown began in the 12th century. At this time no sufficient heating systems existed in universities. Therefore scholars were forced to try and keep warm during their ceremonies. Graduates started wearing long robes with hoods to prevent being cold. Later on in that century gowns were made the official attire of academics.

Today, it is custom in most high schools that males wear the school color, while female students wear white. The gown should fall midway between the knee and ankle.

The graduation cap also has roots in this time period. The cap is sometimes called a mortarboard because of the resemblance it has to a tool used by masons to hold mortar. The caps became popular in the 14th and 15th centuries and were worn my artists and students. These hats were used to signify superiority and intelligence. At this time the caps were commonly red in color to signify blood and life.

Caps vary in color depending upon the institution today. In present day commencement ceremonies, the cap should be worn flat on the head and parallel to the floor. The front point of the cap should be centered on the forehead.
cap and gown

Tossing of the Cap

The throwing of the graduation cap in the air is a tradition that was started by the Naval Academy in 1912. Prior to the graduation of 1912, graduates of the academy were required to serve two years in the fleet as midshipmen before being commissioned as Navy officers, therefore they still needed their hats. The class of 1912 was commissioned from the time of graduation and received their officers hats, thus their hats were no longer needed, leaving the graduates free to toss their caps into the air and not worry about getting them back.

The tradition then caught on at other institutions throughout the country. Now the action is regarded as a symbolic gesture of the end of a chapter in a graduate’s life.


Turning of the Tassel

The use of a tassel adorning a graduation cap only started in the last 40 to 50 years. The tassel was originally designed to decorate the graduates cap during the ceremony but it has come to have symbolism as well.

The gesture of moving the tassel from one side of the cap to the other symbolizes the individual’s movement from candidate to graduate. Prior to the ceremony the tassel is expected to be worn on the right. During the ceremony it should be moved to the left side after students receive their diploma. This custom is practiced in educational institutions nationwide.

When you attend a high school graduation ceremony this week or weekend look out for all the traditions that are in place. Notice any other school specific customs designed to celebrate a new chapter in a graduate’s life. Congratulations to all the graduates on their accomplishments!


Read More: Graduation Ceremony Traditions and History | http://cnynews.com/graduation-ceremony-traditions-and-history/?trackback=tsmclip

We also shared some advice for the high school graduates.
Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me After Graduating High School
By Thorin Klosowski

With graduation looming, it’s the time of year when we all tend to reminisce about high school. For a lot of us, that means thinking about all the things we did wrong after tossing those caps into the air. Here are a few pieces of advice I wish someone had passed down to me.

High school itself is often a battlefield that’s tough to get through. Once you graduate, you’re left staring back blankly at one of the first major accomplishments in your life. Now’s the time when teachers tell you to go for your dream college. Parents are push you toward that medical degree. Friends are urge you to get stoned and tour Europe. I remember spending that summer after graduation stressed, frustrated, and confused. So now, years later, here is the wisdom I wish someone had given me.

You Don’t Have to Go to College Right Away

We’ve already talked about when college does and doesn’t matter, and even how to make the most out of those college years. But going to college immediately after high school isn’t for everyone. For a lot of people, it’s a good idea to give yourself a year (or a few) before deciding whether or not you want to go to school. In fact, of the people I know who’ve graduated college, the majority who finished in four years didn’t even start until their early 20s.

It seems like most parents and counselors say that if you don’t start college immediately after graduating, you won’t start at all. In my experience, that’s not true. The people I know who waited a few years after high school started college just fine, didn’t switch majors a bunch, and were “adult” enough to beeline their way through school without a lot of trouble.

I wish someone had told me that it’s okay to chill out and wait before starting college. Contrary to what everyone told me, the world would not have ended, I would not have ended up living on the streets addicted to drugs, and I wouldn’t have had to move back into my parents house because I was directionless. It would have been fine and I would have wasted less time in school.

It’s Okay to Not Know Your Major

Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me After Graduating High School

Before I started school, I spent months deciding between majoring in graphic design or political science. I chose graphic design. I did that for a semester before realizing it wasn’t my thing, then transferred schools and started a political science program. I did that for a couple of years before moving over to creative writing. I graduated seven years later with 40 more credits than I needed and a pretty solid case of burnout. I had no idea what I wanted to do and nobody told me it’d be okay to take some time off or just skip declaring a major until I figured things out.

This is a story I’ve heard from countless others, including our own Andy Orin, who adds:

I was apprehensive about having to choose a major, which seemed like a decision that would affect the course of my entire life. It didn’t matter.

You don’t have to know what you want to major in. You don’t need to pick it right away. You certainly don’t need to worry that much about it. There’s a pretty good chance you won’t even end up in a career that you reflects your college major, so don’t expect it to change the course of your life. It’s important to study something you actually like, but in the end it’s not necessarily going to make that much of a difference to where you end up.

Crappy Jobs Are Still Worth Doing Well

Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me After Graduating High School

We like to think that after you finish high school you’ll move onto bigger and better jobs. Gone are those days of standing behind the counter at Dairy Queen or washing dishes at the pizza restaurant. But most of us continued those menial jobs well after high school and throughout college. That said, no matter how stupid and pointless those jobs are, they’re worth doing well.

It’s easy to slack off at crappy job and not care about it, but that has a serious effect on you in a lot of ways. On the most obvious level, it makes you lazy. It might not seems like it matters, but the longer you spend slacking off at a crappy job, the bigger effect it has on you for jobs in the future.

Even the crappiest job fosters friendships and partnerships. Through my pointless, minimum wage jobs in my late teens and early 20s I met many of my lifelong friends, creative partners, and people who’ve helped me with further employment. I can guarantee that if I’d been a lazy employee those friendships would not have endured. It’s a cliche, but how you handle bad situations—like a minimum wage job—reflects on you as a person. It’s worth doing well and you might be surprised at what you learn.

Don’t Lose Touch with Friends and Family (But Make New Friends)

Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me After Graduating High School

I went to a small high school in the Colorado mountains, and despite the fact my graduating class was a mere 80 people, I’ve kept in contact with none of them outside of Facebook. Over the years, I’ve touched base with a few friends from high school, but nothing substantial came of it. For the most part, I’ve been okay with this. Still, our own Melanie Pinola points out that fostering those relationships is important:

Try to stay in touch with your high school friends. It’s all too easy to let each other drift apart. They might be the most meaningful friendships you’ve developed so far, and could last well into later decades (when it’s harder to make good friends).

Likewise, if you have siblings and you’re going to different schools now or exploring separate paths, don’t forget to check in with them often. We get so busy with our college lives or work (and coming home for the holidays isn’t enough to catch up)

My experience was different. I’d argue that it’s more important to forge new friendships now that you’re away from high school. I spent the days immediately after high school forcing old high school friendships that didn’t work because I didn’t know what else to do. Whitson Gordon suggests a nice balance between making and keeping friends:

It’s fine to keep your relationships with your high school friends—In my case, those are the ones that really lasted. But especially for your first few weeks of college, try to make new friends and let your high school buddies do the same. Meet the people in your dorm, and make it a point to hang out with them—even if they aren’t the kind of people you’ll be friends with for life (or even through college), you’ll be a lot happier with a few buddies at the beginning.

So, like most things—it’s about figuring out what’s right for you. I wish someone had just told me that it’s acceptable to cut those old ties and make new friendships. I wouldn’t have wasted so much time hanging out with people from high school who I didn’t get along with. That said, if you have great relationships with friends in high school, keep those people around as long as you can.

Ask Questions

Advice I Wish Someone Had Given Me After Graduating High School

After graduating high school I thought I was a pretty smart guy. The truth is, I was at the height of my stupidity (hopefully) and I knew nothing. That pretension is a dangerous thing.

Between the ages of 18-20, I didn’t ask questions. I went on my way through life thinking I knew how the world worked. I didn’t ask questions in school. I didn’t ask questions at work. I didn’t ask girlfriends the questions a boyfriend should ask. I didn’t ask friends questions about things they knew more about than me. Looking back on those years, I’m not sure why I was this way. I think it came from the idea that I wanted to come across as being intelligent, so I didn’t want to reveal that I didn’t know anything.

Now I know that one of the best signs of intelligence is curiosity. The more questions you ask, the more intelligent you become. Ask questions about how things work. Ask why they work. Ask why they don’t work. Ask where things come from. Just ask as many questions as you can about everything. You’re going to make a ton of mistakes as a teenager, in your 20s, and beyond. Make sure you train yourself now to ask the right questions so that you can learn from them.

Photos by Guigaamartins, SMBC, Quinn Dombrowski, Pascal, Riza Nugraha, William Murphy.



Inspiring Stories on the Morning Thing

Today on the Morning Thing we talked about two very different topics. One was what we would do with a million dollars, in honor of today being Be a Millionaire Day. Let’s be honest, there are a lot of things that we could use it for that we need to do- student loans, house payments, medical bills- but then there are the frivolous things that we simply want but cannot afford.

The other topic was a few inspiring stories of people who are making a difference or have made a difference in very different ways. The first was the story of a man running 3200 miles across the country in 100 days in order to raise money to fight poverty. The second was a man using a few tools and supplies to build tiny houses for homeless people in LA- and the wave of support that arose for him. Lastly, we talked about a woman who was saved by an EMT in 2012 after being stabbed and just accepted his marriage proposal. All very touching and inspiring stories. You can find the links to all of them at the bottom of the post.

But let’s go back to the millionaire topic for a second. It can be really easy to look at our budgets and say, “we are not millionaires. If we were we would really be able to make a difference and do some good.” Wrong. The three stories that we shared today show that you can make a difference without a big budget. The first shows us that we can use our passions, the second that we can use our skills, and the third that we can use our jobs to really do something for someone else. Don’t think about the million dollars that you don’t have, think about the gifts and abilities that God has given you and I promise you that you can use them to be the inspiration in someone else’s life.




Are you prepared for a summer storm? The Morning Thing 5/19/15


Storm Season is in Full Swing-BBB Wants You to Be Prepared
Be Ready for Any Weather that Blows Your Way

May 11, 2015 – Columbus, OH – Emergency preparedness is not just the concern of people on the west coast who have earthquakes, the residents in Colorado who are dealing with snow in May, or Gulf Coast residents who weather hurricanes. Most communities may be affected by several types of catastrophes during a lifetime, like the citizens in Texas who are experiencing flooding and tornadoes. Knowing what to do before, during and after an emergency is a critical part of being prepared, and very well could make all the difference when seconds count.

Some of the basic protective actions are similar for multiple disasters and safety is necessary when experiencing any hazard. Depending on the specific emergency, this may include plans for sheltering or evacuating. Developing a family communication plan or making an emergency supply kit are key for most emergencies, natural disasters and acts of terrorism. However, there are important differences among potential emergencies that should influence the decisions you make and the actions you take.

Your Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests having a basic emergency kit with the following essentials in case of a disaster:

Emergency Documents Packet, including:

  • Social Security card
  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport
  • Any other official, hard-to-replace documents

Contact information: Both your contact information and your emergency contacts’ info. This includes your nearest relatives, your will executor(s), and employers.

Will and medical directives: Add a copy of your will/living trust and medical letter of instructions (keep the originals with your legal representative). You can upload a PDF file to Google Docs for this purpose.

Insurance: Homeowners, auto, medical, life, disability, and other insurance agents/brokers contact info and policy numbers.

Financial accounts: Bank, investment, and credit card/loan accounts information, including institution names, phone numbers, and account numbers.

Health records: Immunization records, allergies, dietary restrictions, medications, medical/surgical treatments.

Pet information: Description of each pet, vet contact information, and any important medical notes.

Property: Car information, home purchase papers/deeds, and other home inventory items.


  • Water and food for three days. (One gallon per person per day.)
  • Blankets
  • A manual can opener
  • First aid kit
  • Dust mask, to help filter contaminated air, and plastic sheeting and duct tape to provide protection from the outdoor elements
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal hygiene purposes
  • Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities
  • Local maps
  • Small battery-operated radio with extra batteries or an emergency crank combination radio, flashlight, and clock device

More information on BBB Disaster Resources can be found at bbbdisasterhelp.com.

Familiarize yourself with the signs of events that come without warning and know your local advance alerts and warnings and how you will receive them. Knowing about the local emergency plans for shelter and evacuation, local emergency contacts, the locations frequented by members of your household and the specific needs of household members, including animals, will help you reduce the impact of disasters. It may also save lives and prevent injuries during a crisis.

BBB recommends using FEMA’s website at ready.gov to learn about the potential emergencies that could occur where you live and the appropriate ways to respond to them. When you know what to do, you can plan and prepare in advance to be ready. The FEMA website provides information about how to protect your household and begin recovery following the initial disaster.

Natural disasters like tornados, hurricanes, floods, fires and earthquakes can bring out the best in people, as strangers reach out to help others in need. Unfortunately, crisis also brings out persons who choose to take advantage of the victims, like storm chasers and itinerant companies. Disaster victims should never feel forced to make a hasty decision. For reliable information, lists of BBB Accredited Businesses by industry, and BBB Business Reviews on local businesses, Start with Trust and visit bbb.org.

About BBB

For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2014, people turned to BBB more than 165 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 4.7 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. BBB Serving Central Ohio was founded in 1921 and serving 21 counties in Ohio, is one of 112 local, independent BBBs across North America.

It’s a GET HEALTHY Monday with The Morning Thing 5/18/15

couple exercisingHappy Monday – it’s Get Healthy Monday!
The Morning Thing shared tips from the Knox County Health Department and Warren Honeycutt (fitness, nutrition and weight loss expert).

The Knox County Health Department and Get Healthy Knox County want you to think of every Monday as an opportunity to do something to improve your health – studies show that when it comes to making decisions to improve your health, Monday is the day most people make those decisions.

A simple step to improve your health is to drink more water. Water is the second most popular beverage in the U.S. after soft drinks. This is a scary stat, since sugary soda is a huge health hazard, upping the risk of obesity, stroke, and other heart problems. However, these dangers can be avoided if people choose to drink water, which doesn’t have negative side effects. So help put the sugary stuff to the side and make water the number one drink of choice. When it comes to thirst, put water first.

There are a number of reasons you should drink more water:

Water can keep your body in balance. Roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body’s fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more.

Drinking water could also help with weight loss. Numerous studies have found a connection between water consumption and losing a few pounds. The secret? – Water simply helps people feel full, and as a result consume fewer calories.

Water can increase your productivity at work and studies show that water can help you think better, concentrate and stay alert. A study in London found a link between students bringing water into an exam room and better grades, suggesting H2O promotes clearer thinking. While it’s unclear if drinking the water had anything to do with a better score, it doesn’t hurt to try it out!

When you feel tired, try drinking water. One of the most common symptoms of dehydration is tiredness.

The amount of water people need per day is up for debate, but studies suggest adults need nine to 16 cups of H2O. However this number varies depending on activity level, age, and how much water people are consuming in coffee, tea, or water-rich veggies and fruit. Here’s how to keep yourself hydrated: Begin by drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up, and 30 minutes before eating any big meal. (This will help control appetite, too.) Get in the habit of keeping a water bottle on hand at all times. And if the taste beings to bore, spice up the taste buds with a squeeze of citrus to the glass! Before you know it, all the benefits of water will be right at your fingertips… and in your body

Whatever healthy thing you decide to do …and we do want you to choose to something healthy for yourself – whether it’s something small like drinking more water – or something big like joining a gym – do it today…. it’s Get Healthy Monday.

Get Lean for Life, Starting Now:
How to Kick Off Healthy Mental, Nutritional, and Physical Change

Fitness, nutrition, and weight loss expert Warren Honeycutt says getting healthy for life is
all about balance and sustainability. Here, he shares tips to help you get started.

Memphis, TN (May 2015)—Yes, bathing suit season is right around the corner, and for many people, that’s motivation enough to get up off the couch, break a sweat, and seek out a healthy(ish) snack. But if you’re still wavering, Warren Honeycutt wants you to consider a few things.

First, it’s never been easier to get healthy. From healthier restaurant menus to community exercise initiatives to free instruction and information on the Internet, the world is increasingly geared toward getting fit for those who wish to. Secondly, we’re looking at a future in which bad health will be penalized. Increasingly, employers and insurance companies are paying attention to who is costing them the most money and are preparing to pass on those costs to their source.

“The point is, right now is the time to get started on getting lean for life, whether you’re relatively healthy or haven’t broken a sweat in years,” says Warren Honeycutt, author of Get Lean for Life: 7 Keys to Lasting Weight Loss (Get Honeycutt, Inc., 2014, ISBN: 978-1-5008011-7-5, $19.95, www.getlean.guru). “But you need to know one thing up front: There are no lasting quick fixes. I’m talking about instituting habits you can stick with for the rest of your life.”

Honeycutt says that sustainable lifestyle change is a three-legged stool. Those legs are Mindset, Nutrition, and Exercise, and it’s important to focus on all three.

Honeycutt practices what he preaches. A respected expert in weight loss, fitness, and nutrition, he is a championship bodybuilder who has been a Southern Classic Physique Champion, two-time Mr. Tennessee, and six-time Mr. America finalist. Now, at age 62, he enjoys perfect health without any prescription medications. Honeycutt offers personalized fitness training through his comprehensive Get Lean program, which features detailed fitness videos for exercising at the gym, at home, at the office, and while traveling; personalized meal plans; motivational material; and more.

Here, Honeycutt shares tips to help you get started on developing sustainable and healthy mental, nutritional, and physical change:


Know your reasons why. First, get clear on why, exactly, you are trying to make a lifestyle change. For instance: I don’t want to have a heart attack like my dad. I’d like to have more energy. I want to be around for my grandchildren. I’m tired of disliking what I see when I look in the mirror. And so on.

“Without a powerful, authentic ‘why,’ the ‘how’ of getting fit will be very short-lived,” comments Honeycutt. “You need a reason that will still be relevant long after your willpower has been drained. And be sure to write down your reasons for wanting to make changes in your nutrition and fitness habits. Magic takes place when we transform our thoughts into the written word!”

Understand that the biggest barrier to living healthy is mental. Henry Ford once said, “Whether you think you can, or think you can’t—you’re right.” He was absolutely correct. Your self-talk and attitude will be the deciding factors in your quest to get healthy. Why? The hardest part of exercising and eating right is taking the first step—and overcoming that barrier is largely mental.

“The body hears every thought the mind has,” confirms Honeycutt. “It is vitally important to understand that the body follows the mind. Our mind—especially the subconscious mind—determines the long-term success (or failure) of any nutrition and fitness program. Once the mind is in the right place, changing and sustaining your habits will become as easy as texting, driving, or walking.”

Measure your progress. Yes, literally measure your waist, hips, chest/bustline, neck, etc. on a regular basis and record the results. Take progress pictures too. On a day-to-day basis, you may not feel as though your nutrition and fitness efforts are making much of a difference, but over time, the numbers don’t lie. Seeing your waist measurement steadily shrink can be a huge source of pride and motivation.

“The tape measure is one of the very best tools to gauge progress,” Honeycutt states. “So once you’ve identified your goals, take all your measurements and forget about measuring for two weeks. Then take them again at the same time of day as the first set of measurements. If you have designed the correct program for yourself, you WILL see progress. This is not philosophy; it is science.”

Give yourself a break. You will fall off the wagon at some point. It’s inevitable. Maybe you’ll look down in surprise to find that you’ve finished the entire bag of potato chips, instead of just the few bites you meant to have. Or perhaps you’ll press the pause button on exercising while you’re on vacation and then neglect to push play again once you’re back home.

“Whatever the circumstances are, it’s important to understand that tomorrow really is another day,” Honeycutt says. “You can’t change the past, but you have full control over the future—so when you’ve slipped up, direct your mental energy to planning your next meal or workout instead of dwelling on your mistakes. Be as kind to yourself as you would be to your best friend. Encourage the most important person in your life…YOU!”


Get a basic nutrition education. Often, people have one foot in 15 different diets (No carbs! And eat like a caveman! And oh yes, lots of green smoothies!), and as a result, their food intake is far from balanced. Alternatively, they might be relying on box meal plans, which are (at best) short-term solutions. A much better option, says Honeycutt, is to take the time to learn about health and nutrition so that you can make smart choices for yourself.

“For instance, when you know that 100 calories of simple carbohydrates will be digested almost immediately, whereas 100 calories of complete protein will take several hours to be digested and metabolized, you’ll be able to choose a snack that will keep you feeling satisfied longer,” he shares. “There are many sources available to help you gain a good understanding of nutrition, including my website, www.getlean.guru.”

Clean out your pantry. When turning over a new nutritional leaf, many people say to themselves, Well, I’ll eat what I already have in the house, then I’ll start buying healthier items. That’s understandable—not using what you already have feels wasteful. But Honeycutt encourages you to get rid of all the junk—right now—anyway.

“Throwing out all of your unhealthy items in one fell swoop sends a pretty powerful psychological message,” he observes. “You may be surprised by how big the pile is and how empty your pantry is afterward! Plus, I think if you’re going to start eating healthy, it’s best to just do it—torturing yourself with the last remaining bag of potato chips doesn’t do your motivation any favors. And the good news is, you don’t have to trash everything. Take any unopened and unused items to a local food pantry.”

Master a few healthy meals. If you don’t have any healthy meals in your household rotation (be honest—you know that French fries don’t really count as a vegetable), now is the time to master some new recipes. To start, learn to make three or four healthy options for each meal (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and keep the ingredients for each on hand. (You may even be able to make more than you need and keep portions in the freezer for later.)

“As time goes on, you can add more meals to your repertoire,” Honeycutt says. “And while you’re shopping for ingredients, pick up an insulated container with compartments. That way, if you know ahead of time that you’ll be in an environment that doesn’t lend itself to smart eating choices (such as the break room at work), you’ll be able to bring a healthier option.”

Plan ahead. If you think about it, you’ll probably admit that you tend to make your least healthy dining choices (think drive-thrus and “junk food”) when you just aren’t sure what else to eat. Taking a half hour every Sunday (for example) to plan out your meals and snacks for the week, and to make out an appropriate grocery list, can be a real game changer. If you know you have the ingredients for spaghetti squash with marinara sauce in your fridge, for instance, you’ll be much less likely to pick up a pizza on the way home from work.

“Personalized meal plans that take into account personal preferences and dietary restrictions (like being gluten-free) are a big part of my Get Lean program for a good reason,” says Honeycutt. “When you plan healthy meals, you’re much more likely to eat them.

“On that note, I’d like to share one of my personal favorite options for snacks and meals,” he continues. “Protein shakes (my personal favorite kind of protein powder is Optimum Nutrition) can really support your fitness goals. If you want a slow burn, choose casein. For quicker digestion, go for whey. I love taking a scoop of protein, a serving of almond milk, fresh fruit, and ice cubes, and blending it all to the desired consistency. Absolutely delicious—and quick and easy to prepare.”


Start small. When you’re fired up about getting fit, it’s tempting to rush out and spend a lot of money on a gym membership or complex home gym equipment. But Honeycutt advises you to wait if you don’t already have those things.

“Start small and take baby steps when it comes to integrating exercise into your daily life,” he advises. “A pair of tennis shoes, elastic exercise bands, and 5- or 10-pound dumbbells are all you need to get started. Once you have established the exercise habit, then you can upgrade to that gym membership or elliptical machine!”

Know how to get the most bang for your buck. If and when you do start going to the gym, take the time to learn how to use the machines. Often, newcomers gravitate toward the familiar treadmill, bike, and elliptical, and avoid the other equipment.

“Working with a trainer, even for just one or two sessions, can really help,” Honeycutt states. “He or she can explain which machines to use, how to use them safely, and how often. Be sure that your trainer understands your goals and is qualified to give you maximum results in minimum time!”

Schedule your workouts. Workouts are not going to happen if you don’t plan ahead and assign them a time on your schedule. It’s that simple. So figure out when you’d like to exercise, whether that’s first thing in the morning, over lunch, or in the evening, and block out some time on your calendar.

“Even when you schedule your workouts, it will be incredibly easy to think of excuses not to follow through,” Honeycutt comments. “Look back at your reasons for getting fit to reinforce why you want to take this journey. (This is why I encourage you to write them down!) You deserve to live a life of energy, passion, and enthusiasm, and your family deserves to have you in this setting.”

Find something fun. If you’re one of those people who really loves crunches, lunges, and lifting weights, great! If not, don’t limit yourself to these types of exercises. Your willpower won’t last forever, and you’ll eventually fall off the wagon if you dread every single workout.

“Remember that any movement is good for the body, mind, and soul!” Honeycutt says. “Our bodies are designed to move, and anything that doesn’t move is dead…or soon will be. So take your dog on longer walks. Bike with your kids or grandkids. Take a dance class. Plan a vacation to a hiking destination. And so on. Your options are unlimited!”

“Remember, a healthy lifestyle is all about staying balanced for the long haul,” Honeycutt concludes. “The changes you make now need to be things you can make a lifetime commitment to. And yes, they’re worth it—because they’ll extend your life and enhance its quality.”

About the Author:
Warren Honeycutt is the author of Get Lean for Life: 7 Keys to Lasting Weight Loss. An expert in weight loss, fitness, and nutrition, he is a championship bodybuilder who has been a Southern Classic Physique Champion, two-time Mr. Tennessee, and six-time Mr. America finalist. Now, at age 62, he enjoys perfect health without any prescription medications and a physique that is the envy of most 25-year-olds.

Along with his partner, Soraya Bittencourt, Honeycutt is the cofounder of Get Honeycutt, Inc. This company supports Get Lean, a comprehensive weight loss and fitness program featuring personalized fitness routines, menus designed by registered dietitians, instructional videos, and motivational support.

A popular speaker on fitness and nutrition topics, Honeycutt’s expertise has been featured by NBC, CBS, ABC, LifeExtension, A Second Look at Sports, LiveStrong, Live Relentless, and more.

To learn more, please visit www.getlean.guru.

About the Book:
Get Lean for Life: 7 Keys to Lasting Weight Loss (Get Honeycutt, Inc., 2014, ISBN: 978-1-5008011-7-5, $19.95, www.getlean.guru) is available at www.getlean.guru and on Amazon.

Graduation Etiquette 101 – what to do for Graduation Parties and Gifts. The Morning Thing 5/15/15

college-graduate-clipart-9TpgBErTEThe Morning Thing wrapped up Seniors Week by sharing Graduation Etiquette.
How many graduation party invitations have you received this year? Struggling to know what you should do? The Morning Thing shared the protocol of graduation parties and gift giving.

Check out this article about how to navigate through graduation season. http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2011/05/04/graduation-etiquette-101/

We also shared some thoughts from a Mom of a graduating senior. Maralee McKee
shares the Top Eleven Manners of Graduation for Guests and Graduates.

We also shared our Fave 5.
The Morning Thing Fave 5 for the week of 5/11/15:

The MVNU school year wrapped up this week. The Morning Thing hosts shared their 5 favorite things from this year.

1. Jenna Potts says that her favorite part of this school year was being a part of of the WNZR video team. She loved watching all the sporting events while broadcasting them for others to see. Plus, she was able to work with all of her friends which made it even better!!

2. Faith Orecchio’s favorite memory this year was rooming with her best friend. She is so grateful that she met her friend Megan. Faith says that she will cherish their late night talks, uncontrollable laugh sessions, and sushi runs. She is thankful for every memory they made and the friendship that will last a lifetime!

3. Wesley Boston’s favorite thing from this school year was the time he got to spend with the people that he cares about. The things like monthly movie nights where they ordered pizza and bought candy, playing ridiculous games, late night conversations, being in the fall play, going to Momentum and the National Religious Broadcasters with his coworkers, and celebrating his one year anniversary with his girlfriend.

4. Marcy Rinehart loved spending more time with her daughter Rachel. She was able to get more connected to several of Rachel’s activities including the spring musical at MVHS and the North Central Ohio Impact Team. Marcy knows that the time for her “empty nest” is coming soon, so she plans to enjoy every moment of her senior year next year.

5. We all loved spending time with our 7 seniors this year!
Congratulations to Drew Chaltry, Zach Ford, Payton Gessel, Rachel Held, Sonny Panzica, Josh Sturm and Andrew Yoder. Good luck to all of you! We will miss you!