Life in Balance

Through this online art blog/gallery we can encourage, inspire and share hope with one another…We invite who you to share your “NAPS” (News, Art ,Poetry, Songs) or inspirations. Email if you would like to share inspirations. Please note we can not post advice with regards to nutrition and exercise.

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Eating Together as Family Serves Up Benefits


Families are busier now more than ever and eating meals together is a challenge. Is there more to family meals than people realize? I looked into the latest research and found nutritional and non-nutritional benefits of families eating meals together. There is so much more than just sharing delicious food together!

Nutritional Benefits

Children and adolescents who eat together often with at least one other family member have better food and nutrient intake and can have a protective effect against eating disorders in adolescents, especially girls. As well, other aspects such as making family meals a priority, having a more structured mealtime environment and creating a positive family meal atmosphere are also linked with a lower rate of disordered eating behaviours. Adolescents who ate with their families grow up to be healthier adults, choosing more dark green and orange vegetables, and consume fewer soft drinks.

Frequency of family meals also predicts girls would eat breakfast as adults. As for boys, family meals predict higher intakes of calcium, magnesium, potassium and fibre as adults. Family meals don’t need to be complicated or time-consuming – the key is eating together.

Families that eat together eat better. They tend to eat more fruit and vegetables, drink more milk and less soda. They also tend to eat less fried and fatty foods than children who never eat dinner with family members. Involve your children in the preparation of the meals. The more they help, the better chances they’ll also eat it.


Non-nutritional benefits

Adolescents who eat together more often with their parents are at lower risk for substance abuse, have better social adjustment (e.g. fewer fights, decreased early sexual activity) and have better school performance compared to adolescents who eat together with their parents less often. As eating dinner together with all or most of the family increases in frequency, so do family support, boundaries and expectations, as well as older children and adolescents having a positive view of personal future and being motivated and engaged in school.

The simple act of eating together as a family benefits children and families. In addition to impacting health, this improves family communication and relationships. Children appreciate established routines such as family meals and often treasure the memories of time spent together. Families that eat together talk more and have stronger relationships. Children who eat regularly with their families often have better test scores.

Eating together as a family bonds a family for life. Family meals give you a special time to listen to your children’s stories and give you a special time to help share your values and shape their lives. Worth doing? I think so!

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Laughter Yoga

Laughter Yoga is a revolutionary idea – simple and profound. An exercise routine, it is sweeping the world and is a complete wellbeing workout. The brainchild of Dr. Madan Kataria, a Physician from Mumbai, India, launched the first Laughter Club at a Park on March 13, 1995, with merely a handful of persons. Today, it has become a worldwide phenomenon and there are thousands of Laughter Clubs in more than 72 Countries.

Laughter Yoga combines Unconditional Laughter with Yogic Breathing (Pranayama). Anyone can Laugh for No Reason, without relying on humor, jokes or comedy. Laughter is simulated as a body exercise in a group; with eye contact and childlike playfulness, it soon turns into real and contagious laughter. The concept of Laughter Yoga is based on a scientific fact that the body cannot differentiate between fake and real laughter. One gets the same physiological and psychological benefits.


For more information about Laughter Yoga, visit

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“Walking Across Canada” Photos Are Here!

View the photos from the walk on our Facebook page:

If you got your photo taken and wanted a printed copy, please email with the photo (it can be downloaded from our Facebook page in the link above) and your mailing address!

Thank you again for your support!

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Science Codex: Alcohol Abuse, Eating Disorders Share Genetic Link

In the September issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, the researchers report that people with alcohol dependence may be more genetically susceptible to certain types of eating disorders and vice versa.

“In clinical practice, it’s been observed that individuals with eating disorders also have high rates of alcohol abuse and dependence,” said Melissa A. Munn-Chernoff, PhD, the study’s first author. “Other studies have focused on the genetic connections between alcohol dependence and eating disorders, but all of those studies looked only at women. Ours was the first to include men as well.”

According to Munn-Chernoff, a postdoctoral research scholar in psychiatry, that’s important because although eating disorders tend to be thought of as a female problem, they affect men, too.

Read the full story:

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Justin Hines’ “Vehicle of Change” Tour in Aurora!




The Aurora Cultural Centre

22 Church, Aurora, ONL4G 1G4

Justin Hines brings the “Vehicle of Change” Tour to York Region!

100% of ticket sales benefit Riverwalk Eating Disorders and Wellness Centres

Justin Hines, a singer songwriter who hails from York Region, is on the road in a campaign to raise funds for non-profit organizations.  He calls this campaign the “Vehicle of Change”.

Your heart will melt, as did mine, when I viewed this four minute video about a generous gesture from a warm hearted couple who helped Justin get the campaign on the road.

Thanksgiving weekend we are celebrating entering our 10th year of service (read the article :

We could not be more grateful to Justin, his band and The Orange Lounge Recording Studio for their support as we all join in a wonderful celebration of Thanksgiving.

 Please join us for a heart warming evening with friends and gifted musicians as Justin reminds us of our roots and takes us back home.

Justin Hines

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“Walking Across Canada” Huge Success!

We would like to thank everyone who supported the “Walking Across Canada: Remembering Renata Walk”, Sunday August 25th,  with their donations and/or their participation.  Thanks to you, the event was a great success!A special thank you to the Skerratt/McGaffey family for planning and organizing the event!  A big thank you to the “Faces of Recovery” team for promoting the walk and for leading the way.  Also, thank you to volunteers and staff especially, Nisha, our fantastic photographer and Natalia for her mulit-talented multi-tasking!

Thank you to Nyanna for selecting just the right songs to uplift and inspire our hearts, souls and spirits with her singing and to “Show Our True Colours”.
Thank you to:
The Auroran
Aurora Home Hardware
Black Forest Garden Centre
Kyle Potts, GIS Technician, Geographic Information Services Branch
Longos Aurora
The Newmarket Era Banner
The Regional Municipality of York
Robert M. Prentice, Commissioner of Development and Infrastructure Services, Town of Newmarket
Schomberg Construction Company
SNAP NewmarketSt. Johns Ambulance Volunteers
The Tannery Mall
The Town of Newmarket
York Region Amateur Radio Club
Please visit the past events page next week for the coast to coast slideshow of photos.