Tag Archives: starting day right

Do you let yor kids eat this?

For me food is food. Actual, real food.  I admit, I am a supporter of “Green face” eating. Green face means that your food is grown or it has a face.  Don’t get hung up on the face part.

Lean sources of protein and an array of veggies.

That is the opposite of faux food.  That is the “food” that is all manufactured food.  It’s been created food.  It comes in many wonderful colours, has wonderful sounding names and generally has an incredible marketing budget behind it so that you’ll be more likely to buy it based on “pretty”.

One of the faux foods that tops my list is cereal. If there is a cartoon on the box, it is a red alert not to eat it!!

Food manufacturers are trying to lure parents in by saying that these sugary concoctions to start your day are “better” because they are now made with whole grains. Ummm, not really.  The great thing about labeling laws is that  you can say things (over inflate) that only need to be part true.  In that sugary bowl of mess, you might get 1 gram of fiber. Having an apple will get you a minimum of 4 grams of fiber.

Not so lucky are ya

Lucky Charms are on my hit list today. If you are feeding this “cereal” to your kids, you will be “lucky” if they don’t end up with a weight problem.
Let’s keep this real shall we.

It’s a bowl of candy you are serving to your kids. Brightly coloured marshmallows–that’s candy.

You jack your kids blood sugar sky-high first thing in the morning, so they crash at school.  Then they start looking for another hit of sugar to keep the high going #addict.

So, let’s go over what are in these brightly coloured sugar bombs. Yellow dye #5 & 6.  That sounds yummy…yellow dye. Studies have indicated that Yellow 5&6 as potential causes of behavioural problems and hyperactivity. Add that to the spike in blood sugar and it’s no wonder why ADHD is being misdiagnosed.

Here’s another tasty ingredient that is in your not so lucky charms.  Trisodium Phospate. This delish add-in is found in many toilet bowl cleaners….oh yes, toilet cleaner!  Maybe appropriate if your child has a potty mouth, but…

Now I know a lot of people will be calling me a fear monger……the truth hurts. If you want to stay in denial, well, so be it.  But, these manufactured foods are toxic and dangerous and consumption year after year will add up.

If you are investing money into your children’s future with academics, sports, RESP’s, then why, WHY, would you knowingly feed them garbage?

Take the time to make food, good food.  Healthy eating habits will last a life-time…do everything you can to make it a long life.

Food Friday…Chicken and Pancakes

I am excited about the opening of the Smurfs Adventure today!!  Bringing back the childhood memories.  And on that note, here is a Blue recipe to start your day!  Too late for breakie now? No worries, this will make a great Saturday morning starter.

The second recipe is one that my kids ask for at least twice a week. They love it!!  If there are any leftovers, they can be used the next day for lunch in a sandwich or a salad! (See, make a little extra food at night and you have already started your next day plans right.)

Blueberry Pancakes

  • 1/2 cup rolled oats (gluten-free oats-would be better)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  1. Put rolled oats in food processor and blend oatmeal to a fine powder.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, except blueberries, into food processor and blend until batter forms (about 10 seconds).
  3. Heat skillet, pour batter into a hot skillet, making 4 pancakes and add your blueberries.
  4. Cook until lightly brown and then flip over and cook the other side until lightly brown.
  5. To make them Smurf-tastic mix the blueberries into all of the ingredients and blend!

Balsamic Chicken

  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 teaspoons lemon-pepper seasoning
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth(low sodium)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (garlic lover over here, I used 3-4 cloves instead)
  1. On hard surface with meat mallet or similar flattening utensil, lightly pound chicken to 1/4-inch thickness.
  2. Press lemon-pepper seasoning evenly on both sides of chicken.
  3. In large fry pan, place oil and heat to medium temperature. Add chicken and cook, turning once, about 7 minutes or until fork can be inserted in chicken with ease. I covered it while cooking and thus only had to cook it for about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken to warm serving platter; keep warm.
  4. In medium bowl, mix together vinegar, broth and garlic; add to fry pan. Cook over medium-high heat, scraping up brown meat bits, about 2-5 minutes or until mixture is reduced and syrupy.
  5. Place chicken back into the mixture or pour mixture over chicken and serve.

Beat the February Blues – Exercise for Happiness

 

Beat it with Exercise!!

It’s Feb-Blah-ary, or Fe-BLUE-ary.  Post holidays, shorter days, early nights, cold temperatures.

 

The good news is that you can help your mood and boost your energy during these cold and non-sunny months.

Exercise might be the last thing you want to do to boost your mood and energy, but I GUARANTEE that you will feel better and look better!

Working out perks up your body chemistry:

When you are active, your body releases neurotransmitters such as endorphins, serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine which will make all help you feel happy and help you relax…naturally!

Being active reduces your body’s production of cortisol.  It also has a calming effect on the body and thank goodness for that!  Could you imagine what I would be like without exercise?

Exercise will do this:

Boosts confidence: Achieving a fitness goal, no matter how small, will give you a sense of accomplishment.

Burns calories: How else does the weight melt away? Plus getting thinner and feeling more fit is likely to cheer you up.

Redirects your focus: You’ll be too busy trying to do one more rep of that crunch, curl, or kick to think about anything negative.

Shows you can do something positive: By choosing to get up and move, you’re taking care of yourself, and coping in a healthy way. And when you see that, you’ll believe you can take more steps forward.

How much exercise makes a difference?

So the most important thing is getting started. To get the greatest benefits, work your way up to at least 30 minutes a day, 3 to 5 days a week.

What kind of workout is best?

One you enjoy. Seriously. If it’s not something you like, you’re less likely to make the effort.

How do you get started?

The power of exercise doesn’t come from fancy equipment, but from the effort you put in. If you pick something you can get to and that fits your timetable, you’ve lowered the barriers to beginning.

Start today. Boost your activity level and help put a smile on your face.

Let me know if you think I’m right or wrong.  What feeling do you get when you exercise? Do you get a sense of accomplishment, personal pride?  I know I do, what about you?

 

What kind of eater are you raising?

I will start this post by saying that it is not all right to feed your kids junk because, “They are kids” or “because they are active” or “because they will burn it off”.

This might seem harsh to some of you and that’s something I’m ok with. We all need a dose of harsh reality. If you choose to stop reading now, that’s ok too, but you will find value in what I have to say here, so read away.

Kids need to be nourished just like you and I.  They need to have lean sources of protein and they need to eat fruits/vegetables and whole grains…end of story.

If you feed them chicken nuggets and pop tarts, they’ll be learning that it’s ok to avoid spending 5 minutes preparing a meal.  You are coating their palates / tongues with salt, sugar and some grand chemicals.  I know the excuse that’s coming, “They wont eat anything other than chicken nuggets and pop tarts.” Then that’s what you’ve accepted and allowed.  That’s your doing, not theirs.  Who bought it and who made it for them? Kids learn what they live.

Parenting is tough and at times can be thankless. It’s part of your job to teach them right from wrong, AND to teach them healthy from unhealthy.

Now I know people are getting all fired up reading this and are thinking, “Come on Carrie, they’re kids, let them have a treat” or “Carrie’s poor kids must be miserable.”

I think it’s fine to have a treat, but treats with every meal? NO, not a chance.  Replacing real food with something that comes out of a box? NO.  Making excuses why you can’t / won’t cook?  NO.  I have 3 small children work full-time and I can still manage to make healthy meals.  It can be done!

Would I love if many of you did a complete overhaul of your pantry/fridge?  Yes!!!  I realize that will be a process.  Start by adding in more veggies. I would also say, be the parent.  Don’t accept the fuss that is put up when the kids won’t eat the food that is prepared.  Start incorporating veggies that the kids like and then expand into other veggies.  This is not the eat the Brussels sprouts or else blog post 🙂

Work with what they like and find similar vegetables to add in.  If they like potatoes, then sweet potatoes would be the next one to add in.  If they like cucumber then next try zucchini.  If they like green peppers then add in some red and yellow peppers.

I’m notorious for pureeing veggies and adding them to meatloaf, chili, hamburgers, etc.

Here is what I do: I make sure they have some fruit with breakfast-cut up apple (they seem to eat more when it is cut up for them) I pack fruit and a vegetable with their lunch-after school snack is a mix-some days it is a veggie and some days it is fruit-I alternate so they don’t get bored and dinner is another serving of vegetables.  I also use different cooking techniques, stir fry, grilled, steamed, baked–they like variety just like you!

I will say stop buying crap.  If you don’t buy it, it won’t be in the house.  Chicken nuggets and hot pockets fall into this category as do pop tarts, sugary cereal, etc. This is just being lazy, sorry, but it is.  Kids don’t understand the health issues; so don’t let them dictate what you are buying and making.  They don’t need to eat these kinds of foods-they don’t -end of story.

Why do you willingly want to feed them all of these unknown chemicals, preservatives and fake meat while not really understand the long-term damage they are doing. I do believe that there is long-term damage–with the increase of cancers and other deadly diseases.  I believe there is a link to ingesting all of these unknown chemicals/preservatives.

One thing that is known….if kids don’t learn healthy from unhealthy, they will go into their adult lives not knowing the difference and struggle with their weight.  Why would you do that to them??  Take it from me, growing up and getting bigger and bigger as a teen was the worst feeling.  When you feel that bad as a teen, you eat more and get bigger.  If you’re struggling with your weight now as an adult why, then why in the world would you ever want to pass that along to your kids????????

Think of how you can “make-over” your pantry/fridge.  Think of how you can replace the junk/crap with healthier choices.  Remember though, just because it says “healthy”, “organic”, “lower in fat” doesn’t mean it is.  We call that clever marketing!!

Best choices: Food that doesn’t have a label.  Next, learn how to read a food label and teach your kids to do it as well.  Empower them to make healthier choices.

Here is your food label decoded:

Look at the serving size-then look at the calories- look at the grams of sugar–my kids can’t have anything if the grams of sugar is over 9 grams per serving!

Take a glance of the ingredients….do you know what those words mean? If you need a chemical science degree to understand the words on a box of food–put it down!

You know you feel better when you have eaten well, and you know how you feel after you have had pizza and cake…bloated, tired, cranky. Kids can feel the same then they act up and you wonder why????!!!!! Also, be kind to teachers.  Don’t send your kids to school with their blood sugar sky-high after eating a bowl of Froot Loops PS….there is no fruit in a Froot Loop!! 🙂

If you clean up the pantry/fridge and start making real food, your entire family will be better for it.  Your kids will perform better at school and their sports.

Uggghhhhh, I feel another blog post coming on (aka rant) kids, nutrition and sports…..hold on to your helmets and dance shoes….that one should be a dooozie!!

This is your health and the health and future of your family, make the changes so that you can all live healthy lives.

Ok, tomorrow……sports and performance nutrition for you future all stars……I will give you a heads up….Tim Bits are not on the approved list…hahahhaha

 

3 Things to Avoid: Juice, Cereal and Bars, OH MY!

Don’t be fooled by foods that are sold to you as ‘healthy’ or even foods that you are sure are healthy.  There are so many foods (and food products) that are marketed as being a healthy alternative or a good choice that really need to be avoided if your goal is to live a long, strong life.

Now, I haven’t lost my mind…yet, so don’t be shocked at these three avoidable foods.   Read the explanation and you’ll understand why I am suggesting that you avoid them.

Most Breakfast Cereals

The reason I say most breakfast cereals is because there are some that you can eat if you absolutely must have cereal in the morning. Most cereals claim to have whole grains, vitamins and minerals but they also contain tons of sugar and processed, unhealthy ingredients. Reading the ingredients label will tell you all you need to know. If you can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t eat it. Some cereal is healthier than others, but you can find several others in your local health food store.  If you absolutely need to eat some cereal every once and while – then make sure it’s all natural and organic.

Fruit Juices like Orange Juice and Apple Juice

Great sources of vitamins, sometimes minerals and generally good for you stuff but they are loaded with SUGAR!! Yes, it’s natural sugar, but it’s still sugar- and we all know sugar turns to fat. Think about a glass of orange juice…how many oranges were used to make that one glass, maybe 8 to 10? When was the last time you ate that many oranges at one sitting.  Sure lots of vitamins, but wow, why not just take a vitamin C tablet and then suck on handful of sugar cubes.  Drinking juice for fibre? Not a chance…there is no fibre in juice.

Energy/Meal bars

Some may have the perfect ratio of protein, fat and carbohydrates. Some are marketed as a good meal replacement when you don’t have time to eat real food…that’s the yellow brick road to the land of fat.  But if you take a look at the label of most bars, you’ll words like high fructose corn syrup, glucose, sucrose, sugar and in some bars fractionated oils. If you need a bar, chose one that contains only all-natural, organic ingredients.  No, they don’t taste nearly as good as the others but that’s because they aren’t packed with sugar!

Think about how your children start their day.  Is it a nice big glass of OJ, a heaping bowl of great tasting whole grain, sugar laden cereal and a granola bar with chocolate and caramel for a snack.

Be kind to teachers, start your children’s day, and yours right.

Quick and easy healthy breakfast idea

What do you do with left overs on a Saturday or Sunday morning when there are many mouths to feed?

Breakfast Burritos!

This morning while I was running the team through the paces at Boot Camp, . He did a combination of (great turn out and awesome energy by everyone today BTW), DH was at home making breakfast for the troops.  He took care of cleaning out leftovers and putting together a nutritious meal.

This is what he used, but make your own ingredients based on what your family will eat.

8 Wraps (multigrain)

12 eggs

2 cups spinach (leftover from salad)

1/2 green and 1/2 red peppers diced (leftover from salad)

Ground Turkey (leftover from Turkey Tacos)

Goat Cheese (crumbled)

Wilt the spinach and combine in the same pan the peppers and Turkey.  Once warmed add the eggs and stir until cooked.  Serve in the wraps with Salsa, Guacamole, your own fav topping or nothing at all.

Fast, simple and helps clean up, without throwing out food.

Bon appetite!

6 Minute Move It

Wow!! A lot of you watch Breakfast Television in the morning.  How do I know? We received some great feedback from all of you after seeing us on TV this morning.

That is where we introduced the “6 Minute Move It” Program.  This program is designed to get you moving in the morning.  A way to get the blood pumping and your muscles firing up.  You start you day like this and you can’t help but be better prepared mentally, physically and emotionally.

So here they are….the 6 exercises that you can use to get your day started right!

1.) Squats – The biggest muscle group in your body gets the first hit of attention.

2.) Lunges – The king of lower body blasting.

3.) Push-ups – Chest, shoulders, arms, back…a wake up call for your upper body.

4.) Crunches – Never forget the mid section.

5.) Tri-Cep dips – Guys…3 muscles, makes your arms pop. Ladies, have to control the chicken wings and keep them tight

6.) Jumping Jacks – Finish off with some low impact cardio.

Each exercise is one minute in duration with no rest in between.  If you can’t do one full minute, take a quick rest to allow your body to get ready to do it again or move onto the next exercise.  Either way you are working those muscles hard and when you do it everyday, it won’t be long until you are completing the minute.

Everyone of these exercises is simple, proven and you can scale them to your needs.  Lunges too easy for you? Grab a couple of 5 pound dumbbells and do them.  Push-ups too hard? Do them on your knees or against the foot board of your bed, or wall until you can do them properly.

The idea here is not to turn into the next fitness model on the cover of ‘Incredible Sexy Great Body”.  The goal here is to get your day started right.  Setting a tone for the week and making sure you are improving your life.

6 minutes a day.  For most of us, that means getting up when the alarm goes off instead of hitting snooze.  For some it means setting the alarm 10 minutes earlier than normal.  Either way…you can never have the excuses of time, equipment, or memberships again.

What do you think? Too much, too little? Can you do it…commit 6 minutes per day to your health, fitness and wellness? Let me now.  Would love to hear your feedback!