The Four A's of Fiber: "Remember the four A’s of fiber: apples, artichokes, apricots, and avocados. "

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Handful of Health

I can count on one hand the five steps to family fitness. Following these simple steps together as a family will improve the health of each individual family member, as well as the family as a whole unit.

STEP 1 Eat nutrient full and wholesome foods
STEP 2 Allow treat foods
STEP 3 Limit electronic time
STEP 4 Move more
STEP 5 All family members follow Steps 1 through 4

What are nutrient full and wholesome foods?
Foods high in vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients and low in calories are wholesome foods.

What are considered treats?
High calorie and low nutritional value foods. Food that is processed, high in sugar or fat, or are not making a nutritional contribution to the diet should be used as treats.

How long is too long for electronic time?
Two hours a day tops for electronic or screen time is enough. That includes TV, computer and video games.

How much time a day do I have to move?
Each day aim for one hour of activity. The time doesn’t have to be all in one long hour shot. Break up bouts of activity through out the day. It all adds up!

Why can’t I do it my way, since I am the adult?
You are part of the family. And everyone must participate for consistency. You are also a role model. If you change the ‘rules’ for yourself, kids learn they can too. We have to teach our kids by example the importance of health.

The strength of family is tremendous. A family works best when everyone does their part to add to the whole. Help make your family as strong and healthy as they can be. It is all in your hands.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Summertime Squash

This tasty recipe uses zucchini which is plentiful in the summer. Have the kids help with this one. They will enjoy watching the ingredients transform into a yummy frittata.

1 medium zucchini squash
4 eggs
1/2 tsp oregano
1 medium tomato
1 tdsp dried basil
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese
3 TBS parmesean cheese
1 tsp olive oil

Wash zucchini, cut into thin slices.

Wash tomato, cut into wedges

In a medium bowl, beat eggs with the basil and oregano.

Stir in cottage cheese and parmesean cheese into the egg mixture.

In a 12 inch skillet, cook zucchini and tomato with olive oil until zucchini is soft.

Pour in the egg mixture.

Cook over low heat until the eggs are set , about 15 min.

Cut into pie slices and serve warm.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Monday, July 23, 2007

Exercise is for Everyone!

Whether you are an athlete or a parent chasing your toddler around, you need exercise!

The benefits of exercise are plenty. Exercise will lower blood sugar levels and strengthen your heart, increasing ‘good; cholesterol and reduces stress for anyone, young or old.

Are you too busy to exercise? Not interested? Or maybe you don’t feel comfortable in the middle of an aerobic class? These all are valid hurdles to your health. There are ways to include heart health exercise into your day, without becoming the next gym junkie.

First, exercise comes in many forms.
Walking the dog, taking the stairs, parking a distance for the store and walking in are some ways to add minutes of activity to your day. The minutes add up. Cleaning the house, playing with your kids, gardening, etc... You just got to move it!

Second, exercise comes at different times.
If you want to do the traditional exercises, long walks or runs, cardio machines, weight lifting, or aerobics; realize that the time of day to exercise is different for everyone. Some enjoy to expend their energy early in the day, others after work, and some use their lunch hour. The point is…Do it when you can!

Third, exercise is fun.
You are more likely to continue to make an effort to exercise if you like what you are doing. You may enjoy the comradity of people at the gym or the solace of walks on your own. Either way, it is what you like. Make time for you and what you like to do.


Sunday, July 22, 2007

Fatigue and Iron

Have your kids been feeling tired lately? Lack of iron may be the culprit. Iron helps transport oxygen to the organs and muscles. Low iron causes lethargy, reduced immunity and makes it harder to remember things and learn new tasks.

However, too much iron can also be harmful. Men with too much iron are at an increased risk of gallstones, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Where is the iron I need?

Beans and Legumes

Chicken, beef, osyters, clams, and turkey

Fortified cereals and grains


How much do I need?

1 to 3 years old 7mg

4 to 8 years old 10mg

9 to 13 years old 8mg

14 to 18 years old (BOYS) 8-11mg

14 to 18 years old (GIRLS) 15mg

19 to 50years old (MALES) 8mg

19 to 50 years old (WOMEN) 18mg

Over 50 years old 8mg

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hungry Mungry

This is one of my favorite Shel Silverstein poems. Just a bit of fun about eating. I think this describes feeding my two teenage sons. Talk about eating us out of house and home!

Hungry Mungry

Hungry Mungry sat at supper,
Took his knife and spoon and fork,
Ate a bowl of mushroom soup, ate a slice of roasted pork,
Ate a dozen stewed tomatoes, twenty-seven deviled eggs,
Fifteen shrimps, nine bakes potatoes,
Thirty-two fried chicken legs,
A shank of lamb, a boiled ham,
Two bowls of grits, some black-eye peas,
Four chocolate shakes, eight angel cakes,
Nine custard pies with Muenster cheese,
Ten pots of tea, and after he,
Had eaten all that he was able,
He poured some broth on the tablecloth
And ate the kitchen table.

His parents said, "Oh Hungry Mungry, stop these silly jokes."
Mungry opened up his mouth, and "Gulp," he ate his folks.
And then he went and ate his house, all the bricks and wood,
And then he ate up all the people in the neighborhood.
Up came twenty angry policeman shouting, "Stop and cease."
Mungry opened his mouth and "Gulp," he ate the police.
Soldiers came with tanks and guns.
Said Mungry, "They can't harm me."
He just smiled and licked his lips and ate the U.S. Army.

The President sent all his bombers--Mungry still was calm,
Put his head back, gulped the planes, and gobbled up the bomb.
He ate his town and ate the city--ate and ate and--
And then he said, "I think I'll eat the whole United States."

And so he ate Chicago first and munched the Water Tower,
And then he chewed on Pittsburgh but he found it rather sour.
He ate New York and Tennessee, and all of Boston town,
Then drank the Mississippi River just to wash it down.
And when he'd eaten every state, each puppy, boy and girl
He wiped his mouth upon his sleeve and went to eat the world.

He ate the Egypt pyramids and every church in Rome,
And all the grass in Africa and all in ice in Nome.
He ate each hill in green Brazil and then to make things worse
He decided for dessert he'd eat the universe.

He started with the moon and stars and soon as he was done
He gulped the clouds, he sipped the wind and gobbled up the sun.
Then sitting there in the cold dark air,
He started to nibble his feet,
Then his legs, then his hips
Then his neck, then his lips
Till he sat there just gnashin' his teeth
'Cause nothin' was nothin' was
Nothin' was nothin' was
Nothin' was left to eat.

-Shel Silverstein

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Extreme Sports

According to By PAT GRAHAM | Associated Press, "Bethel, 21, is battling anorexia nervosa. At 5-foot-4, she weighs just 75 pounds. Her hair is thinning, her face ashen.

That fight nearly cost Bethel her life: In September, she went into cardiac arrest while running on a campus track. Soon after, Bethel was suspended from school and even banned from campus, because university officials considered her a danger to herself."(photo attributed to AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

When you read this article in its entirety, you realize that this young woman knew her performance on the swim team diminished to a frightening low, and yet it took being ostrasized from her school to wake her up. I'm just glad she woke up to the fact that what she eats and how much she eats makes the difference between success and failure, life and death.

Although we often attribute the pressure to "make weight" to boys in sports, girls struggle with this just as often. We know that the undernourished don't perform as well in school. This is the main reason the School Lunch and Breakfast programs exist. It's crucial that as parents we watch for signs of eating disorders and research proper treatment methods. If you suspect your child has an eating disorder, partner with your pediatrician for answers and support.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Smart Moms Need to Know

3 Food Mistakes Even Smart Moms Make

Not Giving kids a choice.
Kids are more likely to eat healthy foods when they get to pick them out. They don’t want to be forced into eating them. When its time to shop, take your kids with you and let them find the vegetable, fruit and healthy snacks to try for the week.

2. Not offering a food because you assume he won’t eat it. Often children who are picky eaters have parents who simply did not expose them to enough variety. Your child may like sweet peas the first few times he tries them, but keep serving them in different ways, and you’ll be surprised what they start to enjoy.

3. Not allowing special treats. The forbidden fruit, tastes so sweet. Kids need to learn balance. And forbidding them from a certain treat makes them want it more. The occasional ice cream cone or candy bar will not hurt them. Allow some small treats and balance their diet the rest of the time.

Friday, July 13, 2007

SUGAR: How Sweet It's Not!

Sugar tastes sweet, but the effects of sugar are never ending. Remember…Everything in Moderation!

In addition to throwing off the body’s balance, excess sugar may result in a number of other significant consequences. A variety of medical journals and scientific publications show many of the negative effects of excess sugar intake. Here are the top 30 effects:

1.Sugar can suppress the immune system.
2.Sugar can upset the body’s mineral balance.
3.Sugar can cause hyperactivity, anxiety, concentration difficulties and moodiness in children.
4.Sugar can cause drowsiness and decreased activity in children.
5.Sugar can adversely affect children’s school grades.
6.Sugar can produce a significant rise in triglycerides.
7.Sugar contributes to a weakened defense against bacterial infection.
8.Sugar can cause kidney damage.
9.Sugar can reduce HDLs (good cholesterol)
10.Sugar can elevate LDLs(bad cholesterol)
11.Sugar interferes with the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
12.Sugar may lead to cancer of the breast, ovaries, prostate and rectum.
13.Sugar can cause an increased risk of colon cancer in women.
14.Sugar can increase fasting blood glucose.
15.Sugar can produce an acidic stomach.
16.Sugar can raise adrenaline levels in children.
17.Sugar can speed the aging process.
18.Sugar can promote tooth decay.
19.Sugar can cause asthma
20.Sugar can contribute to osteoporosis.
21.Sugar contributes to saliva acidity.
22.Sugar can cause a decrease in insulin sensitivity.
23.Sugar causes food allergies.
24.Sugar can contribute to eczema in children.
25.Sugar can cause hypertension.
26.Sugar can cause headaches, including migraines.
27.Sugar can cause depression.
28.Sugar can cause hormonal imbalance.
29.Sugar can increase the risk of Alzheimer Disease.
30.Sugar can cause constipation.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

The A List

The next time you are at the grocery, take home these healthy, peak performance, and easy to cook up foods. Heres a list of the top 15 fuel foods to fill your grocery cart:

1. Almonds

Try to eat 20 of them, 3 to 5 times in a week.

2. Black Beans

One cup gives you more than half the daily fiber you need.

3. Chicken

One breast provides half your daily protein needs.

4. Dark Chocolate

Eat a1 ounce serving a few times per week.

5. Eggs

If allergies are not a problem; eat a few each week.

6. Frozen mixed berries

Active kids need at least 2 cups of fruit per day.

7. Green, yellow and red veggies

Buy a colorful mix to get lots of antioxidants.

8. Low-fat plain yogurt

2 cups of dairy a day for kids.

9. Mixed salad greens

A variety of greens provide the most nutrients.

10. Oranges

One orange a day will satisfy your vitamin C needs.

11. Salmon

Provides healthy fats and high quality protein for brain function.

12. Sweet Potatoes

A complex carb with a bonus amount of vitamin A.

13. Whole-grain bread

100 percent whole grain choices only!

14. Whole grain cereal with protein

One serving gives about 5g of fiber and 8g of protein.

15. Whole-grain pasta

Eat at least 2-3 servings of whole grains daily.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Kids Can Eat Veggies and Love it!

These kid-friendly food strategies will have your child pulling you to the produce department for more.

When I became a mom, I was determined to raise my kids as healthy eaters. Unfortunately, things were difficult at best. At first, our norm was more like feeding in a frenzy, Between my son, who is clearly a ‘picky eater’, and my daughter, who will try anything and changes her mind constantly about what ‘she likes’; I about throw in the spatula every meal.

In time, with a little creativity and balance eating at our house was fun and fulfilling.
Children need to learn to eat a variety of foods so they can benefit from a variety of nutrients. Fruits and vegetables are high nutrient, low calorie foods essential to a well balanced diet. The trick is getting your child to eat them. Here are the top 5 tips to try:

Start Now
The earlier in life the better; however, it is never too late to learn the pros and cons of the food we eat.

Eat Raw
Try cut up raw fruits and vegetables. Cooking sometimes deplete veggies of primary nutrients. Also, flavor changes from cooking make some vegetables less appetizing.

Do Dips
Kids love their dips. Provide a choice of low-fat dips in small side containers, and let the kids do the dipping. Low-fat melted cheeses, peanut butter or pureed fruit are some great taste choices.

Fun Food
Kids love to play with their food. Let them play and eat. Food can be fun. Try making a smiley face on whole grain bread with raisins for eyes, a green bean for the mouth, a cut carrot nose, all set on a spread of cream cheese. Or let your kids make Cool Kabobs. Give them a selection of fruits, cheese, meat, veggies and a marshmallow to choose from. Let them create what they eat.

Try, Try Again
Just because he says he doesn’t like something, does not mean you should not serve it. Kids eat what is available. Keep providing a variety of fruits and veggies in different combinations, eventually something will grab their taste buds. And remember, just as our tastes have changed over the years, so will your kids. Your job is to make it available to them to try.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Don't Give Up - Don't Give In

It is so tempting when you encounter resistance from your kids about eating to back off or give up. Most of us will have to make some major changes in our buying, preparation, and eating habits if we're going to provide our families both nutritious and delicious foods. Those changes may not always go over smoothly with the very people we're trying to serve. But that's OK. They don't have to understand or even agree with what's for dinner.

Don't let grumbling, whining, or refusal to eat get in your way. Kids will eat when they're hungry, and when they're hungry enough, they'll eat whatever is available. All you have to do is make sure the right things are available. In the case of nutrition, the path of least resistance is the path to obesity, a sedentary lifestyle, sugar-related syndromes, diseases and illnesses, poor growth, pediatric hypertension, tooth decay, and a host of learning problems.

So never give up! Never surrender! It's worth the fight.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Wordless Wednesdays

"Over Easy" - the last egg my mother ever made me. . .

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Think Fast!

Thinking that is fluent, flexible and original takes practice. Our children are not used to thinking "outside the box." They prefer learning that is predictable and routine (even if it's boring). It's safe. The unknown is not safe; it has risk.

One way to encourage fluency (which means to come up with ideas quickly)is to provide daily writing or journal prompts. Even at home, you can encourage kids to write. The more they write, they better writers they will become. Paired with nutrient-rich foods, their brains will make more permanent connections and be able to access information stored quickly.

I highly recommend The Write Brain Workbook as one resource to exercise your brain.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Fuel up on the Fourth!

The Fourth of July is another grill out, get together time for most families. Use some of these yummy recipes to bring a bang to your table!

Almond Chicken Dijon

4 Small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1 lb)
2 tbsp. Light mayo
2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1/4 cup Slivered almonds, coarsely chopped

*Put chicken in lightly greased 13x9 in baking pan
*Blend together mayo and mustard.
* Spread top side of each chicken breast half with 1 Tbsp. of the mix; and sprinkle evenly with the almonds.
*Wrap in foil and grill for 10 mins on each side or until chicken is cooked through.

Nutrient Information
200 Calories
9g Total Fat
1.5g Saturated Fat
3g Carbohydrates
26g Protein
0 Vitamin A
0 Vitamin C
4% Calcium
300mg Sodium
6% Iron
1g Fiber

Summer Strawberry Orange Cups

1 pint strawberries
1 package unflavored gelatin
2 tbl water
2 tbl Boiling water
1/2 cup Frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 1/2 cups Skim milk
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tbl Sugar (optional)

*Wash the strawberries and remove the stems. Cut on-half of them into thin slices and place them in the butoom of six, 8 ounce custard cups, dividing equally.
*Soften the gelatin in the cool water for 5 minutes. Add the boiling water to the softened gelatin and stir until completely dissovlved.
*Combine the orange juice concentrate, milk, vanilla and sugar and mix well. Stir in the dissolved gelatin and pour the mixture over the sliced strawberries in the custard cups.
*Place in the refrigerator for about 2 hours, or until completely jelled together.
*Halve the remaining strawberries; divide equally among cups.