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3 things for better health - Sept. 17

Need to be motivated to start the week off on a healthy note? Just try one or more of three things to start the week off on the right path.

1. Make plans to attend the annual Great Pumpkin Festival Oct. 13 in Gregory Park in Brainerd. The free community event has old-fashioned races like the three-legged race, wheel-barrow races and pumpkin rolls. It's a way to get the entire family outside and active. Other options include pie-throwing and, for a fee, there are horseback rides through the park.

2. Don't eat lunch at your desk. "You may think it's wise to eat lunch at your desk, when in fact, it could actually hurt your productivity," Money reported. The magazine quoted Professor Kimberly Elsbach of the University of California, Davis Graduate School of Management. Elsbach said, "We know that creativity and innovation happen when people change their environment, and especially when they expose themselves to a nature-like environment, to a natural environment.

"So staying inside, in the same location, is really detrimental to creative thinking."

Also, avoid keeping sweet snacks—cookies, candy, or chocolate—at your desk if you're trying to stay healthy.

3. This is a good time of year to think of potatoes. WebMD notes potatoes aren't necessarily a "diet bad guy." Prepared the right way, WebMD stated, potatoes can be a low-calorie source of vitamin C and potassium. They also provide protein, vitamin B, folate, calcium and magnesium. So bake them whole, dice them up or make soup—just leave off butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon bits. Try boiled red potatoes with a touch of olive oil. Or mash potatoes along with the skins. Try accordion potatoes—make thin slices but don't cut all the way through the potato then drizzle with olive oil and garlic and bake. Try topping a baked potato with chili. Or try roasted purple potato soup (color on certain kinds of potato skins are believed to be especially good for you.)

For more tips from the weekly Three Things list, check out the Monday Motivator page each week in the Dispatch or e-edition, or go to www.brainerddispatch.com and go to lifestyle to reach the drop-down menu for health or search using the keywords "Monday Motivator."

Questions or tips to share, contact Renee Richardson, managing editor, at renee.richardson@brainerddispatch.com or 218-855-5852.