A new school year is a perfect time to start some new healthy habits – not just for your child, but for the whole family!
Here are 9 healthy habits that can help you and your kids reach their top potential.
1. Heavy breakfast – your family doesn’t need any calories to watch TV at night or sleep, but they need tons of calories throughout the day to keep you alert and energized. Make bigger meals when your family needs it most, and keep evening meals small (like just a meat and a green).
2. Frequent meals - By eating 5-6 times a day, your family will have a TON more energy. Ask your child if they get hungry during the day. Send them to school with a bag of nuts or a protein bar to snack on between classes to help keep their metabolism revved all day. This is especially important if they attend after school activities.
3. Don’t forget the protein - Many meals (especially for kids) are high in carbs. Kids tend to eat (or want to eat) a lot of foods like cereal, poptarts, chips, fruit rollups, candy, french fries, tater tots, pizza, etc., but most kids don’t eat a lot of meat or high-protein foods. Probably because they aren’t wrapped in a fun flashy cartoon wrapper. :) As you are making meal, look at protein content and make sure they are getting protein with carbs and fat for more balanced meals. Greek yogurt, eggs, lunch meat, cottage cheese and protein enriched foods (like high-protein flat bread) are great foods to add to meals and snacks.
4. Hydration – Often times kids want a soda or snack, when they really need hydration the most. Teach your child to always drink a glass of water before they take their first bite of a snack. They will not only bet the hydration they need, but they will likely eat less.
5. Limit caffeine – Caffeine is a drug of sorts. It has a chemical effect on the body, so it is smart to limit those beverages. Cokes should be treats, not a daily staple – especially while they are growing. Low Fat milk, water and juice (in moderation) should be the main source of hydration and nutrients.
6. Avoid sugar & processed foods – Processed foods break down and turn to sugar very rapidly. This can send someone’s blood sugar for a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs (and more downs, than ups). By limited sugar, you’ll be able to maintain a more steady level of energy through out the day (and avoid weight gain associated with high-calorie processed foods).
7. Stress buster foods – Does your child even know what that is? To me, it means your child shouldn’t feel deprived, but there are also foods known to help relieve stress. They should have foods they can snack on and enjoy without negative side effects. For me, it’s 100 calorie popcorn. Your child may enjoy yogurt or fresh fruit. Either way, they should never feel that eating healthy is boring or restrictive. While it may take some adjusting at first, they should enjoy the foods they eat. CLICK HERE to get see a list of 10 foods that help relieve stress.
8. Boost Super foods – People talk about super foods all the time, but do you know what they are and what they do? There are actually foods that help us think and perform better. Some of those foods include berries, nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado and beans. CLICK HERE to read more on foods that boost brain power from WebMD.
9. Avoid unknown foods – When you eat out, you really have no clue what’s in that food. Since most restaurants are all about the dollar bill, we should expect they will cut corners and add fillers, taste enhancers and who knows what to keep us coming back for seconds. My rule of thumb is this: “if you don’t know what’s in it, don’t eat it” – especially if it’s a big day (like test day). Not only is this a good way to avoid eating extra unknown calories to avoid weight gain, but it will also help you feel your best by eating your best. If you MUST eat out, stick to whole foods and avoid all the extra sauces, breads, toppings and junk.
Whether you are a parent or not, these are great healthy changes everyone should try to implement. :)
#1: I thought it was silly that I don’t take fish oil, but I’m making sure my dog takes it. Of course if it’s THAT good for him, it would be THAT good for me too. Duh!
#2: I am HORRIBLE with taking vitamins. I believe in them, but struggle to remember to take them. YET, I haven’t forgotten to give Marley his supplements once since I started. How ironic is that? So, I can remember to take care of my dog but I forget about my own health? How messed up is that?!
Solution: I decided to put MY supplements with HIS supplements and every time I give him his fish oil, I’ll take my supplements too. It’s a simple solution for a girl like me!
4 Healthy Rules to Follow:
1. Treat your body as good as you treat your kids (or furry kids) and loved ones. You aren’t going to be very helpful to either one if your health deteriorates.
2 Take it right when you think of it, even if it’s not ideal timing. The truth is, taking something when you think about it is better than nothing. If you are like me, you may put it off to take it when you aren’t drinking coffee or when you are eating a meal, etc as suggested. Sometimes you just have to take it when you think about, or you may not take it at all.
2. Find a trigger to help you remember to take your supplements and/or medications. Whether it’s feeding the dog, like me, brushing your teeth or eating breakfast, if there is a good pattern in your life that you never miss, add your nutrition ritual to it.
3. Find the perfect place for your supplements. If you are a neat freak like me, you probably like all your supplements tucked away and hidden. Well, unfortunately, out of site, often means out of mind. Try to find a place where your supplements can be seen on a daily basis – as well as convenient.
Click HERE to get Doggie Diet Tips: The trick to improving your poosh’s good looks.
Two weeks ago, Steve was playing around with his LoseIt app to figure out what ingredients he’d need to make the ultimate nutritious meatloaf that was not only high in protein, but had a healthy dose of carbs and some healthy fat too. After he did the math, he gave me the list of ingredients he wanted is muscle meat dish to have, and said “make this taste good” with a smile on his face. :)
• 5 lbs Ground Turkey
• 4 Cups Cooked Quinoa
• 3 Avocados
• 1 Cup Egg Beaters
Steve was on a quest for one dish that had it all, so he could get the protein he needed for muscle repair, but still have a nice amount of energy, which would come from the fat and carbs. I have to admit, I wasn’t totally sure about the avocado, but I was willing to try – and I have to admit, this might be the best meatloaf concoction we’ve made yet! Here is what I came up with.
5 lbs Ground Turkey
4 Cups Cooked Quinoa
1 Cup Egg Beaters
3 T Apple Cidar Vinegar
1 Large Onion
1 Large Bell Pepper
1 Small Can of Green Chilies
2 Diced Jalapeños
2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes
2 T Cumin
2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Fresh Minced Garlic or Garlic Paste
1/2 Can Rotel Lime & Cilantro Diced Tomatoes
1/2 Cup Ketchup
3 Tablespoons Stevia or Sugar Twin Brown Sugar Replacement
Mix all the ingredients together and put in 2 large baking dishes. Cook on 350-375 for 1 hour. Top with a touch of your favorite ketchup, BBQ sauce or a yummy hot sauce for an added KICK! I topped mine with this sweet and hot curry Brown Sauce (below), from a recipe my BFF gave me. Thanks Kristie!! It was DELIIIIISH!!
Servings: Makes 16 servings (8 pieces per dish).
50/30/20: This dish is approximately 50% protein, 30% carbs and 20% fat.
288 Calories Per Serving: 40gms Protein, 20gms Carbs, 6gms Fat
Trevor’s Insanity Hot Sauce Recipe (Brown Sauce)
12 fresh habanero peppers — roughly chopped (unless you want to die. I used 4 habaneros! ha)
1 ripe mango — peel, pit, mash
1 cup yellow prepared mustard
1/4 cup brown sugar — packed (I used Sugar Twin Brown Sugar)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared curry powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
salt and freshly cracked black pepper — to taste
I blended it in my blender and it made a great thick sauce that was the PERFECT topping for this dish!
The word “breakfast” literally means breaking the fast. After not eating for hours during the night, your first meal of the day breaks the fast, raises your blood sugar, and revs your metabolism. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and the most neglected. Whether people skip it or just choose poorly, most people are not getting the nutrition they need to feel good throughout the day.
Breakfast is necessary to wake your body up. You can try using coffee to fake your system out, but coffee doesn’t fuel your body like food does and it will eventually let you down.
So, now that you know how important breakfast is, here are the best and worse breakfasts, along with a few tips to boot!
TOP WORSE BREAKFASTS
- Cinnamon rolls
- Pancakes, waffles and French Toast (made with oil, butter and syrup)
- Deceiving Muffins, Coffee Cakes & Scones (although fat in muffins r better than the fat in donuts)
- Eggs with yolks (restaurants also cook them in loads of oil)
- Hashbrowns and Tatar Tots
- Omelets with real egg and cheese (and lots of oil)
Top 5 Sugary Prepackaged Breakfasts
- Pop Tarts
- Taster Strudel
- Cereal Bars
- Granola (high in fat & sugar – better used as a yogurt topping)
COMING UP on Motivation Monday:
Men’s Fitness‘ Top 5 Worse Restaurant Breakfast Food
I’ll be unveiling the top worse Restaurant breakfast food on my Monday Radio Show. Here are some hints:
- What Denny’s Meal has Over 1,160 and nearly 3,000mg sodium?
- What IHOP meal looks healthier than it is – with 920 calories & 70gm of fat?
- Which Hardee’s Monster Biscuit has a days worth of sodium AND fat in one sandwich!?
- Which McDonald’s sandwich do you want to avoid the most?
- What Sonic Breakfast Sandwich with Sausage has 51gm of fat?
We’ll post the Ustream footage after it airs from 7AM-8AM Monday on WTTB 1490 right here! Listen LIVE or on Ustream!
OR subscribe to The SideLine Radio UStream to be the first to be notified when it’s LIVE!
BEST & WORST fromNutrition Action:
Burger King the WORST breakfast fast food joint and
Einstein Bagels the BEST for serving 300 calorie bagel thin sandwiches & low fat cream cheese. Also, Einstein bagel’s cream cheese is double whipped which means it has ¼ less fat in them. 8 of the 11 flavors have HALF the fat of regular cream cheese, yet they don’t label them light or low fat.
- Dairy – yogurt & milk
- Whole Grains – oatmeal, whole grain, high fiber, low-sugar cereal, whole grain toast
- Egg Beaters, Egg Whites or Eggs with fewer yolks
- Ham steak and Turkey Sausage instead of Bacon
Skipping Breakfast Quadruples Your Chances of Obesity
4 Reasons Why:
- Breakfast fuels your body.
- Breakfast increases your metabolism.
- Breakfast keeps you sharp. (Have a good breakfast on big days, like test days & big meetings)
- Breakfast prevents overeating at lunchtime.
See all 18 Worse Breakfasts Featured in Men’s Fitness Magazine
My friend GiGi is one Kale of a blogger. ;) She totally cracks me up with her fun wit, but inspires me with her passion for eating healthy – and just making healthy living super fun. After one of her recent blogs about Kale, I’ve just had Kale on the brain – and on the plate!
Ironically, while I was picking up some kale at the grocery store this weekend, Steve was researching Kale online and was amazed with it’s nutrition. By the time he got hom that night, I already had Kale cooked and waiting – and had no clue he had already gotten on a kale kick himself! Great minds think alike!
See What GiGi has to say about Kale:
Don’t believe us? Check out What WebMD says about Kale:
“One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.
Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K — and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.
Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.
Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.” Read the whole article, The Truth About Kale.
Simple Kickin’ Kale Recipe
Kick it even another notch by serving it with your favorite hot sauce. :)
Do you eat Kale? How do you cook it? Share you kale story!
Here’s a million dollar question for you: Why is it SO hard to diet? Well, the answer is easy. We have issues! HaHa! Seriously, we have 6 common issues, or situations we find our self in on a regular basis, that we need to learn to face WITHOUT food.
Problem: One of the most common reasons people eat is out of pure boredom. This is most common in the evenings. It’s not like the world will come crashing down around us if we watch TV without a bowl of snacks, but for some reason we feel the need to feed as soon as our fat butts hit the couch. Think about this: 300 extra calories of junk a night is enough to ruin a 3-mile run – and if you aren’t working out, 300 extra calories a day for 365 days a year adds up to a whopping 30lbs of fat!
Solution: Snacking is just a bad habit. You have a learned behavior to entertain your tongue while you entertain your brain, and it probably started as a child. Fixing this bad habit is easy as saying your ABCs! A.) Go cold turkey, and teach yourself not to eat when you are bored. B.) Trade a bad habit with a good one, by learning how to eat lower calorie items instead. C.) Find something better to occupy your time, like going for a walk or going to bed early. People who stay up late watching TV have more time to be tempted. You may just be better off going to bed and getting your beauty rest.
Problem: In my opinion, laziness is one of the primary reasons we have a restaurant on every corner. Often times we don’t feel like cooking after a hard day’s work. So, we eat out because it’s easy. We like to be served – who doesn’t?! We don’t have to cook and we don’t have to clean up afterwards. Another reason people are tempted to eat out, or eat poorly, is because we make it too difficult to eat healthy. Our meals may be too complicated and time-consuming, and our snacks may not be realistic for our needs. So, we a grab quick fix or head to our favorite restaurant.
Solution: If you simplify your recipes, cooking won’t seem so overwhelming. But, if you know cooking a meal means spending 45 minutes in the kitchen, slaving over the stove, you will probably do anything to avoid it. Always keep some foods that are quick to cook, like frozen vegetable Steamers and defrosted meats. This will require changing your shopping habits. You can have the best intentions at the grocery store, but you also have to make realistic choices you can actually use in the kitchen.
Problem: We live in a world filled with instant gratification. We don’t like to wait for ANYthing, and this includes food. Being hungry makes us impatient. The hungrier we get, the more impatient we get – but patience wouldn’t be needed if we weren’t so hungry to begin with.
Solution: Hunger makes us stupid. Seriously, we do some of the dumbest things when we are hungry, so the solution to the problem is to avoid being that hungry to begin with. Keep healthy snacks, like a bag of almonds or a protein bar, nearby. So, when you get hungry, you can have a couple of bites of the bar to hold you off until you can eat something healthy. Better yet, snack periodically BEFORE you even start to get hungry to begin with. By the time lunch or dinner rolls around, you can make healthier choices - and think with your brain, instead of think with your stomach.
Problem: This is probably one of my own biggest personal stumbling blocks. I do GREAT – as long as I’m prepared. But, as soon as I eat up all my healthy groceries, and no longer have healthy choices on hand, my diet goes out the window.
Solution: Make grocery shopping and cooking a priority. Don’t let your kitchen run low on the things you need to eat healthy. It is impossible to eat healthy if you don’t shop healthy. Set 2 days a week you can cook in bulk so you always have prepared food in the refrigerator. Keep a good supply of Tupperware to make it easier to bring leftovers to work.
5. Emotional Satisfaction
Problem: We turn to food to satisfy our emotions. We eat when we have something to celebrate, and we eat when we have something to cry about. I don’t know why we turn to food to feed our emotions, but almost everyone does it.
Solution: We have to reprogram our brain. Some people have trained their body to want to go for a run when they are mad, or lift weights when they are stressed, but that didn’t just happen on its own. Those are trained behaviors, which you can also implement. At first, you’ll have to purposefully think of what the best response would be but, eventually, your body will catch on.
Problem: When you have money in your pocket, it’s hard not to spend it – and, if you have food in front of you, it’s hard not to eat it. Allowing yourself to be in a position where you are constantly exposed to food, is a great way to set yourself up for failure.
Solution: First, tell friends about your goals and request fewer outings centered on food. Second, Avoid going to events hungry so you aren’t as tempted to eat poorly. Third, drink a LOT of water. Keeping a glass in your hand, and your belly full of agua, can help you resist nibbling. Lastly, learn to say no. The key to saying no is to not even think about it first. As soon as you entertain the thought of tasting something you have said “maybe” – and maybe is the beginning to saying “yes”.
If you want to succeed this year, you have to figure out which of these above problems could be holding you back. As soon as you diagnosis your problems, you can begin to tackle them and develop the right solutions for you. With a little trial and error, you CAN learn to face your issues withOUT the need to feed!
Today’s Motivation: You have the power to change your future by what you do today. Food no longer has to boss you around. YOU are the boss! YOU are in control! And, YOU CAN SUCCEED – and that success can start today!
This is why many people can’t seem to shake the weight (pun intended). They add protein to their diet, forgetting it’s adding extra calories too. As a result, they gain weight or slow progress.
If you want to lose weight, those calories need to be shaved off somewhere else to make room for the calories coming from protein. Just because it’s protein doesn’t mean it’s “free calories”. Although they are good calories, they are still calories. So, in order to reach your goal, you need to set a budget for your shake matching your needs.
1. The Weight Gainer: Weight gainers can add protein to their diet without really worrying about the calories. If someone is a hard gainer, they probably need both fat and muscle weight in order to increase strength and size. So you are the lucky dog that can ignore this entire blog. :)
2. The Dieter: Dieters need to be in a caloric deficit. This means, they need to take in fewer calories than they are burning. In order to budget how many calories are coming from protein, simply multiple the number of grams of protein you are trying to get a day by 4. Since there are 4 calories in one gram of protein, this will give you the number of calories that are required to get your total grams of protein per day. But remember, that is just for the protein. That doesn’t include other ingredients you may add in a shake.
3. The Maintainer: This person wants to either preserve what they already have, or reshape their physique but still remain the same weight. This person will need to trade some fat and carb calories for protein calories so it evens out. In the end, they’ll still be eating the same amount of calories, but they will just be getting more protein.
FitStudio nutritionist Toby Amidor points out some of the worst offenders in smoothie land.
Smoothie King – NOT SO SMOOTH!
· Forty fluids ounces of “The Hulk Strawberry” weighs in at 1,928 calories, 64 grams of fat, and a whopping 250 grams of sugar.
Jamba Juice – IS JAMMING YOU WITH CALORIES!
· An original “Peanut Butter Moo’d” creamy treat has a staggering 770 calories and 109 grams of sugar.
CLICK HERE for fun and creative Designer Whey shake & protein recipes
When you’re watching calories, you become more aware of everything that goes in your body. It’s like trying to save money for something special. You quit blowing calories on stuff you don’t really care about anyway, just like you’d quit blowing money on stupid stuff that is senseless.
The problem is, you can still waste calories and make bad decisions because reading a label is not as easy as reading a price tag. If only there was one simple number to look for, but there isn’t. We are looking at calories, fat, carbs, protein, fiber, sugar and all kinds of other stuff too. So, in the end, we can read the wrong thing – or read only one thing (missing other things) and still mess up. Plain and simple: labels are tricky business – and I believe many of them are tricky because that is exactly the way they planned it!
Here Are My Top 10 Label Rants:
1. Who eats 1/4 cup of granola and calls that one serving size? Unfortunately, most of us use a cup or more. In my case, that would mean a bowl of my granola would be 520 calories – and that’s WITHOUT milk!
2. Since when did 5 grams of protein become “high protein”? I hate it when a product proudly announces “Now, High-Protein” just because they added 2 more grams of protein. This is false advertising, preying on people who know high-protein is a good thing. In addition, it’s all relative. High protein isn’t high protein if the majority of calories are coming from everything else but protein.
3. Fat means nothing if it still has a million calories. Sugary products are known for trying to come up with something positive to say, like “this product is fat free”, when they should be saying “this product is loaded with sugar and is 500 calories, which can make you fat anyway”.
4. “Sugar-free” doesn’t mean healthy. Chocolate products are horrible about doing this. They tell you it’s sugar free, when it should actually say “made with sugar alcohol and still packed with fat”. Sure sugar alcohols are half the calories as sugar, but they are still calories, and many of the chocolate products are still high in fat. Erythritol, Hydrogenated starch hydrolysates, Isomalt, Lactitol, Maltitol, Mannitol, Sorbitol and Xylitol are all alcohol sugars. Bottom line – unless you are diabetic, just look at the calories – all ingredients will eventually be reflected there.
5. Who really uses 2 tablespoons of salad dressing on their salad? Restaurants typically give you two 2 ounce containers of dressing, yet a bottled dressing’s serving size is only 2 tablespoons – which won’t go very far on a dinner salad. My trick is to dilute it with water, but honestly people? Don’t you want the truth on the bottle, and for a company to actually show us what a REAL serving size is?
6. “Made with real fruit” doesn’t really mean made with real fruit. When “made with real fruit” is on the label, you picture workers mashing up berries and mixing it in to the food. No, instead, what it really means is that it has fruit concentrate in it – which the Dietary Guidelines for Americans considers just another form of sugar. This is very common in snacks for kids. Sugar is sugar, and calories are calories. Bottom line, if you want fruit – just eat fruit. You might as well call all the other fruit-like products candy.
7. I don’t care if you say you have “no trans fats”, you still have a lot of fat. This is another very irritating and misleading marketing tactic. Products scream “NO TRANS FAT”. Yet, they either have a ton of healthy fat, or they replace trans fat with saturated fat which is bad too. Although not all fats are created equal, some being healthier than others. They are all created equal when you are talking about calories and weight loss. 1 gram of trans fat, saturated fat, or unsaturated fat all have 9 calories in them (instead of 4 calories that are in 1gm of proteins and carbs). So, if it still has a lot of fat in it, it still has a lot of calories in it, maybe just slightly healthier calories.
9. “Light” and “Low Fat” can still mean heavy and fattening. Salad dressings, peanut butter and milk products (like cheese) are the worst! They say “Low-Fat” but they still have a ton of fat in them. The fact is, they can’t take too much fat out of certain products, so they do what they can and proudly display it. The problem is, they often replace those calories with sugar, and other ingredients, to make up for the flavor. Some of them are the same calories, just a few calories less, or even more calories. For example, low fat JIF peanut butter and regular JIF both have 190 calories in them. So, if they reduced the fat by 4 grams, the calories should have been reduced by 36 calories. So that means they replaced those calories with something, considering the carbs doubled and the sugar also increased. These are the things that make you go hmmmm.
10. Just give it to me straight! No one buys a 20 ounce drink to split between 2 1/2 people. Get real people! Coke, Pepsi, Gatorade, Welchs – PLEASE just tell us how many calories are in the entire bottle because that’s what I plan on drinking. It is ridiculous to split up the nutrition information so I have to multiple everything by 2.5. If something is an individual bottle or single use container, it’s label should have a single serving. Period!
- B -
What is YOUR label rant? Do Tell!
When Chobani hit shelves here locally, the news quickly spread around the gym. This healthy snack was not only delicious, but it was higher in protein than regular yogurt. That’s why we literally have a whole drawer dedicated to it in our refrigerator. We actually eat so much of it, we have an overflow in our 2nd fridge in the garage.
There really aren’t a lot of snacks to choose from that are naturally high in protein. Before Chobani yogurt, the closest thing we could come to was cottage cheese. And, if you are like me, there is no way anyone is getting that lumpy mess down my throat. I just can’t get over the texture.
Then Chobani came and saved the day. Before Chobani I was eating regular yogurt, which can have double the carbs as greek yogurt, especially if you get the kind with fruit in it. It also had practically half the protein Chobani has. For a girl who’s not a big meat eater, the more protein I can get the better.
Why Eat Chobani? Well, for my fitness peeps, eating high-protein snacks, like Chobani (and Designer Whey bars, my other favorite high-protein snack), means preserving muscle and giving your body what it needs to repair muscle after hard workouts. For my non-workout folks, it means preventing muscle loss, which is even more important as we age.
This is why there was no surprise Chobani sponsored for the Olympics. What a perfect FIT! (pun intended!) They naturally power people every single day!
Way to go Chobani! Thank you for powering me – and Team USA!
- B -