Category Archives: kid snacks

GLORY DAYS.

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Freshman 101 Wellness Tips

Remember your freshman year? All of the new things, new responsibilities, new boundaries, new ways to incorporate freedom into your life?

Remember the summer after your freshman year? Coming home to raised eyebrows at how much MORE of you there was? I came home with 20 more pounds. Forget the Freshman 15…I’ve always tried to be an over-achiever.I was a nice sized 12/14 in pleated shorts. It was a good look.

Recently, we hosted a graduation party at The GEM for 32 graduating seniors and we shared a few ‘tips’ with them. I hope they will incorporate a few of these into their daily life. I tried appealing to their vanity rather than their long-term health. I mean, we were all invincible back then. Good skin, better energy, strength & stamina, and clear thinking seem to be a better draw. Share these with your college bound GEM.

Quite frankly, we all need to follow these rules. They make for a happier, healthier you. One more shout out for DIAMONDS ON YOUR INSIDE.

TOP 3 THINGS TO DO

EXERCISE EVERYDAY—even if it is a walk or a bike ride. It makes you happy, too!

DRINK. LOTS. OF WATER. Water keeps your body and mind hydrated. Sometimes you mistake thirst for hunger. Drink 32 oz of water every morning— first thing. Pretty skin, pretty eyes, better energy.

GO GREEN. Eat something green everyday. PERIOD. More green = better mood, better skin, better chance of not taking home the freshman 15!

TOP 3 THINGS NOT TO DO

DRINK TOO MUCH. Bad for your skin, bad for bloating, and really bad for making good decisions.

LATE NIGHT EATING. Pizza delivery after 8pm is evil. An occasional splurge is fine, but keep it to once a month. There is nothing really hip about a slug eating crap. Cut out junk food. Keep healthy options around like popcorn, apples with almond butter, nuts, hummus & veggies.

SMOKE. ANYTHING. Smoke makes your skin dull, your breath stink and your body lethargic.

INCORPORATE HEALTHY CHOICES:

FRESH GREEN JUICE—perfect nutrients, energy, glowing skin, bright eyes

KOMBUCHA—soda alternative, cleansing, great hangover elixir

SMOOTHIES—as a meal replacement, and make sure there are only fresh, clean ingredients. No Jamba Juice imposters!

I can still see myself in my freshman year spring break photos.  My face was so puffy it barely fit into the 8×10 frame. If I’d only known The GEM!!

Don’t Dig On Swine…part 1.

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Pork+Meat Glue+Cult following=McRib

Now you know the equation. But do you know what the hell ‘McRib’ is?

If you knew, you might think twice about bee-lining it to the drive thru to get you some piggie love. First off, it includes “restructured meat product” and a flour-bleaching agent used to make the soles of shoes. Delectable? You ready for this?

How many ingredients does it take to make a McRib? Holy Cow! Er, Pig.

At first glance, the sandwich contains just pork, onions, and pickles doused in BBQ sauce and laid out on a harmless bun. But the truth is, there are roughly 70 ingredients. The bun alone contains 34.  In addition to chemicals like ammonium sulfate and polysorbate 80, the most frightening may be azodicarbonamide — “a flour-bleaching agent most commonly used in the manufacturing of foamed plastics like gym mats and the soles of shoes.” According to McDonald’s own ingredient list the bun also includes calcium sulfate and ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, among other chemicals. Whaa? I’ve never seen those ingredients in my recipe books AND they are banned in Europe.

You know what they make those things out of, Chet? You know? Lips and assholes! (The Great Outdoors,1988) Or, as it’s called, this “restructured meat product” includes pig bits like tripe, heart, and scalded stomach, says Whet Moser at Chicago Magazine. (Scalded stomach???) These parts are cooked and blended with salt and water to extract proteins, which act as a “glue” that helps bind the reshaped meat together. (There’s that famous meat glue again!)

Is it really that bad for you? Need you ask? Though “slightly trimmer than the Big Mac,” the McRib, still packs in 500 calories and 26 grams of fat. And despite its name, one thing you won’t find inside a McRib is bones. The absence of any detectable “rib” is what gives the unnutritious mush its “quirky sense of humor,” says McDonald’s U.S. marketing director.

Is that really humorous?

Color Me Badd

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Families that eat together, stay together.

Tis the season to hop up the kids on candy, iced cookies, and brightly colored punch. Quick trips to the McD’s drive thru. Beware.  I am learning more and more about the negative effects of processed food on our children.  Like serious ones. Ones that we are currently treating with medications. ADHD, depression, anxiety, aggression, even poor hand writing (yes, hand writing. I will ‘write’ about that one soon.)

New research has found that delayed food sensitivities caused attention deficit disorder and removing these food sensitivities could reverse attention deficit disorder in 75 percent of children.HOLY COW. Aggression, violence and bullying are on the rise in schools. A study in England found that supplementing prisoners with multi-vitamin and fish oil could reduce violent crime in prisons by 37 percent.

But I can’t deprive my kids of the fun stuff…..WAAAAAA. Stop whining.  Did you really just say that?

Small changes can have a big impact on your family’s and your children’s health and happiness. Starting with what you bring home.

  • Eat at home and Eat together.  You complain of not having enough time to cook, but you spend hours watching The Food Network. Create a special place to sit down together, and set the table with care. You’ve all heard the research that family meals are basically the cure for every problem in America.Well, just try it and see.  At the very least, you have a chance to find out what your children are up to.  Taking back our family dinners will help us learn how to find and prepare real food quickly and simply, teach our children how to connect, and build security, safety, and social skills, meal after meal, day after day.
  • Eat a real breakfast. This is a critical life skill we must reclaim and teach our children. Kids (and adults) who eat breakfast are thinner and smarter. Think REAL, whole protein-rich food to power up the brain for the day. Scrambled eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, smoothies. BUT NOT CEREAL, which has more sugar than a twinkie–and has essentially no nutritional value.
  • CLEAN your kitchen. Throw out foods with ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLORS, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated fats, and sugars or fat as the first or second ingredient on the label. Fill your kitchen with real, fresh, whole, local foods whenever possible. Shop at nearby farmer’s markets.Have fresh fruit and veggies always available for your kids to snack on.
  • Take your vitamins.  A multi-vitamin and  Omega-3 Fish Oils are a MUST. Our kids have different needs at different times and supplements can fill some of these gaps. Deficits in magnesium can cause insomnia and constipation.  DHA deficits cause diminished brain function and inflammation.
  • JUST STAY AWAY FROM ARTIFICIAL FOOD COLORINGS. 

PEACE.

Sunny D(isgusting)

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Sunny D(isgusting)

Sunny Delight–Sunshine in a Bottle they say. It has been marketed to us kids since the seventies. Today it is all over kid programming–offering a refreshing, healthy beverage. Seemingly happy kids bouncing around in the sunshine, playing, laughing, unwittingly consuming crap. They serve it in schools, they serve it in Lunchables (that’s another post).  It all seems benign.

Take a moment. What do you think are the ingredients in that seemingly harmless orange bottle? My first guess was water, orange juice and obviously sugar. Well, that is partly correct. Real orange juice comprises less than 2% of this concoction. Get out your dictionary and call your doctor. You are poisoning your children. I have bolded the dangerous ingredients.

Water, High Fructose Corn Syrup and 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Concentrated Juices (Orange, Tangerine, Apple, Lime, Grapefruit). Citric Acid, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Beta-Carotene, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Natural Flavors, Food Starch-Modified, Canola Oil, Cellulose Gum, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hexametaphosphate, Sodium Benzoate To Protect Flavor, Yellow #5, Yellow #6

In addition to the HFCS which is linked to obesity and insulin issues, there is CANOLA OIL in your juice.  Say what? WHY is there equal parts of juice as there is inflammatory building, artery blocking CANOLA OIL? If that oil wasn’t enough, they’ve added artificial coloring–which is made from petroleum.  Do I need to explain why petroleum is harmful to consume? I won’t even go into the sodium hexametaphosphate, mainly because I can’t even spell it much less know what it does.  Oh, and why does juice needstarch?

Our lives are busy.  We know that.  But don’t err on the side of processed convenience if the label screams UNHEALTHY.  Don’t allow your children to control the choices at home.  When you explain WHY, they usually get the message.  They don’t want to consume poison either.  If you educate your children on these hidden dangers, they will eventually make better choices for themselves–even when you aren’t around.

All in moderation. THAT’S A COP OUT.

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Everything we hear these days is about if it feels good do it, — in ‘moderation’ of course.  THAT  is sheer propaganda.  It’s like the serpent in the Garden of Eden telling the first couple it’s ok to take just one bite.  Don’t get me wrong, ‘moderation’ still means the occasional Burger House, Mema Mary’s caramel cake, DQ blizzard …those things are still ok once in a while.  HOWEVER, there are some things should never hit your lips.  I mean it.  Never. Here are a few of those things:

Watch it wiggle, see it glimmer.

Anything with COLOR not occurring in nature.

Artificial food coloring.  No matter what the dye number, this stuff is toxic.  Not just a little bit toxic either.  The EU has already banned many of these dyes from entering their food source.  FDA?  Not a chance.  Those food industry lobbyists (the Fruit Loop loving folks from General Mills and the like) are just too tight with the good ole government that touts itself as our protector.  Food coloring is a derivative of PETROLEUM.  Yes, petroleum.  Would you pour 40 weight oil into your oatmeal?

Microwave Popcorn.  Remember that freaky guy who sniffed microwave popcorn everyday and then he got sick?  Have you ever heard of anyone getting sick sniffing lemons? Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), say what?? in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize—and migrate into your popcorn. They stay in your body for years, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in lab animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but until then, use a Whirly Pop and coconut oil.  Healthy and FUN for the whole family!

The entirety of anything larger than your head in one sitting. This is more portion-control than foodstuff-related, but it’s important. If it’s bigger than your cabeza, whether it be bowl of popcorn, ham hock, or butter sculpture, it’s more than one serving. Failure to follow this rule will result in a wide variety of issues, not including the obvious FAT ASS.

Anything that resembles plastic.  Seriously: you can make a perfectly good macaroni and cheese without Velveeta (and the yellow dye they use in it). Likewise, you can probably live without creepy fruit roll-ups in neon colors, strangely flexible things, or oddly shiny foodstuffs that resemble the packaging that they came in more than what they claim to be. If it looks, smells, and acts like plastic, it probably is made from something like plastic. Life is too short for that.

A rule of thumb:  if you can’t pronounce it, get all your ingredients for it at a regular grocery store, it glows in the dark,  or if you need a turkey platter to put it on…don’t eat it.  I promise you will live longer.