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gardenMost people want less dirt in their lives. I want more. I need enough to fill up this rectangular box of potential:

One thing that has been on my to-do list for a long time was to build a raised bed in my back yard. My previous garden space was tiny, only worthy of a patch of green beans and two rows of carrots and then the space was maxed out. But this weekend, between rainstorms, I finally made the trip to Home Depot for some boards and then my husband and kids helped me screw them together.

May 1st will be planting day and I can’t wait. My goal is to plant items the kids will eat straight out of the garden. Cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas and strawberries make tasty snacks. I think we’ll even try some pumpkins, although our last effort was pretty abysmal and only resulted in three fist-sized orange nubs. If I had called them gourds, I could have called it a success, but in my heart I knew they were pumpkin seeds we put in the ground.

Whatever our harvest, planting seeds is a great way to celebrate Earth Day. Eating foods that we grow ourselves is inspiring, healthy and a great learning experience. Some years we have done better than others, but it is always an adventure.

Whether you garden or not, if you’re inspired to eat healthier and live a healthier life, here are two books that you’ll definitely enjoy. One is for adults and one is for kids, of course.

EarthaCover-with Moonbeam AwardEartha Gets Well by Kristi Falk and Dr. Daniel Falk – Is it a struggle to get your kids to eat healthy, want to be active, and get outside for fresh air and exercise? Then introduce them to Eartha! Eartha Gets Well is a story about a little girl who never exercised, didn’t like vegetables, and was always sick. Eartha learns how to make herself, her family, and the Earth feel better! Throughout her adventure, she realizes that she can be healthy and happy by making a few simple changes. When she realizes how easy and fun it is, she wants to tell everybody!

wellnessWellness 100: 100 Carbs/100 Recipes by Amber French, DO and Kari Morris – Just thinking about dieting or eating right can feel overwhelming and heavy for most of us, but Dr. Amber French and chef Kari Morris show us that it doesn’t have to be. Wellness 100 presents a realistic and optimistic option with simple guidelines and healthy, easy, and delicious recipes that are respectful of busy lifestyles. Plus, the program naturally works to combat diseases of aging such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Can you imagine wanting to eat healthy and enjoying a diet program? With Wellness 100, you can because it is an attainable lifestyle, not a fad diet.

Based on hundreds of studies, research articles, and books by respected authors, the program will teach you how to eat a variety of readily available fresh and colorful foods with the proper amount of carbohydrates and protein for lifelong weight management and better health. Wellness 100 gets us back to basics, teaching us to make better choices when it comes to our eating habits instead of being lost in a world of confusing food labels and savvy marketing of convenience (processed) foods and fad diets. Shopping, cooking, and eating according to Wellness 100 guidelines is achievable and rewarding.

All books by BQB and WriteLife Publishing can be purchased at Amazon.com or ordered through your local bookstore.

Happy Earth Day! Plant a garden, plant a tree, read a book!

And if you have a success or fail story about gardening, I would love to hear it…