Need to be motivated to start the week off on a healthy note? No, it's not an April Fool's question, just try one or more of three things to start the week off on the right path.

1. Consider attending the fourth annual Got Plans? Conference. The event is designed to provide information from advance care planning experts and offers a chance for people to create their own. The free event is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, April 5, at Lutheran Church of the Cross, 5064 County Highway 13, Nisswa. Lunch is included. Space is limited. For more information, go to

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speaker Dr. Nancy Miller oversees the care of 200 terminal patients in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Event organizers noted Miller knows the importance of having the discussions before a terminal illness happens.

2. What does the MIND diet offer for memory? The MIND diet is part Mediterranean and DASH diet-short for dietary approaches to stop hypertension. The Cleveland Clinic noted the "MIND diet focuses on food with the most direct brain benefits and shuns foods that promote early aging." Brain boosters included: fish, poultry, olive oil, wine, leafy green vegetables, vegetables, nuts, berries, beans and whole grains. Brain bashers included: red meat, cheese, pastries and sweets, butter and stick margarine, deep fried and fast food. For the full story, go to for more about the brain benefits with this plan for nutrition.

3. Need help getting more veggies and fruit into kids' meals? The Mayo Clinic notes it can be as simple as making the cuts more fun. The clinic recommends getting an inexpensive waffle cutter to create a wavy edge for cuts of carrots, cucumbers, apples, radishes, pears and melons. Other suggestions include cutting peppers into rings shapes instead of traditional slices. Scoop melons into balls. Use a spiralizer to make vegetable "noodles" and top with pasta sauce. "For fruit spirals, drizzle them with nonfat yogurt thinned with a little skim milk and a pinch of cinnamon," the Mayo Clinic suggests. Other recommendations include switching things up: sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes. Roast cauliflower and mash it as an alternate to potatoes. Create a veggie layer in lasagna. Add chopped veggies into stew or soup. Put peppers, cucumbers or avocado on tacos.

"The rule of thumb is that you have to try something 10 times before you develop a taste for it," the Mayo Clinic reported. "So don't give up. Keep exposing your kids to a variety of fruits and vegetables; tastes and reasons for disliking foods may change over time. Plus, kids tend to eat a food if their friends are eating and enjoying it." Go to for more information.

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 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 or 218-855-5852.