Archive for May, 2014

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

May 29, 2014

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week - Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

How Farmers Markets Can Teach Your Kids the Values of Local Food & Community Building

May 27, 2014
The Farmers Market is a great place to bring your kids for so many reasons! The Farmers Market allows you to provide your family with wholesome, healthy food while supporting your local community at the same time.Here’s the reality- Family farmers need your support! Now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S., small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.And health-wise, your doing your family a great favor! Much of the food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification (GMOs). Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties. (Make sure to ask each farmer about their growing practices. We’ve found that most sustainable farmers enjoy talking about their love for the soil and the great lengths they go to produce healthy, pesticide free food!)

Top 10 Reasons to Bring your Kids to the Farmers Market

– See more at: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/2014/05/10-reasons-to-bring-your-kids-to-the-farmers-market.html#sthash.JrOdgmay.dpuf

Top 10 Reasons to Bring your Kids to the Farmers Market

eatlocal

1. Develop healthy emotional eating habits.

One of the biggest myths about emotional eating is that it’s prompted by negative feelings. Yes, people often turn to food when they’re stressed out, lonely, sad, anxious, or bored.
But emotional eating can be linked to positive feelings too! It’s no accident that McDonald’s named their kids deal a “Happy Meal”! They do this to form a lifelong emotional bond between being happy and eating at McD’s, and it works!

You can beat the fast food marketing guru’s at their own game. Simply swap out the fast food and replace it with a fun day at the Farmers Market! Do this on a regular basis and your kids will start to equate healthy real food with those happy family days at the market.

Here’s a great article on 7 Steps to Become a Conscious Eater

2. Connect kids with “real food”

There is a huge disconnect between most Americans and their food. For the most part, we’ve stopped questioning where our food comes from, how it is raised and if it is good for our health. To a large extent, this is why our supermarkets shelves are lined with so many boxes of processed junk. And most of it is Genetically Modified (GMOs). We are the ones buying it so they keep making it!

We can break that cycle with our kids and the Farmers Market provides a great opportunity to further the food connection discussion. It’s much more effective when you practice what you preach. Buying from local sustainable farmers reinforces the message.

3. Talk with real farmers

As you know, kids are naturally curious. This is a good match because farming is really amazing. Think about it: plant seeds in dirt, add water, get vegetables! Of course there’s a lot more to it than that.

As we mentioned above, a lot of the farmers we meet are very proud of the work they do and they’re very happy to talk about it. With a little coaching (if necessary) you’re kids can ask some great questions, like- Why are you a farmer? What’s your favorite things to grow? What’s that hardest thing to grow? The easiest? Do you use chemicals or pesticides? Why, or why not?

A cool side-effect of this is that the next time you go to the market your kids will remember the farmers. It’s great to make new friends, especially when their doing something as important as growing your food.

4. Let them buy their own food

Depending on your kids age(s), give them a few bucks to buy some of their own food to bring home. This in itself is a great learning experience. Will they think long and hard about what to buy? Or will they buy the first thing they see? Learning to shop wisely and consider all the options is a great skill to have.

And let’s be honest, if we really want to teach our kids about the value of real food, they should know how to shop for it!

PS- If you have young kids, instead of actually shopping maybe you can just let them give the money to farmer. Little kids (and the farmer) will probably enjoy this!

5. Cook the food you bought at home

Getting kids involved in cooking is great. Basic cooking skills open so many choices for them later in life and alleviate them of the need to buy ready made, highly processed meals. But it’s not always easy.

Cooking the food you just bought, or the food THEY just bought if you followed the step above, makes this a whole lot easier. It’s the next logical step- “We bought these veggies from the nice farmer, now we get to cook them!”

For snack ideas, check this out: Quick Clean Eating: 40 Non-Processed Snacks for Busy Moms!

6. Introduce new foods

Face it, some kids are just picky eaters. The 3 steps above may have a profound effect on their willingness to even TRY something new, right? Let’s go through this- We met the farmer, learned about how they grew this, we bought it, we took it home and now we cooked it. It’s just natural to want to taste it!

7. Learn about nutrition

For older kids, the Farmers Market provides an opportunity to learn about nutrition and why real foods are so important to maintain a healthy body. If your kids compete in sports, you can teach them why nutrients will make them better athletes. Even if they don’t play sports they can understand that real food is packed with vitamins and minerals that make them stronger, smarter and healthier.

Additionally you’ll be able to choose non-GMO foods and support non-GMO farmers.

8. Get away from the screens

TV screens, computer screens, iPad screens, phone screens- ARghhhh! Yes, I know you are reading this on a screen (unless somebody printed it for you). Screens are awesome but they have their time and place. Food has a huge impact on childhood obesity but at the same time most kids are on their butts too many hours per day.

Do we really have to watch Lion King one more time? The Farmers Market is a great excuse to bust away from the TV, or Xbox or Facebook, Instagram, – whatever, and get some fresh air.

9. Family bonding

A trip to the Farmers Market provides a great way to spend time together as a family. It’s easy to enjoy each others company when you’re doing something healthy. With little kids you can play fun games like finding food that’s different colors or shapes. With older kids try a scavenger hunt and offer a family prize if the goal is hit.

It may take a little work (and a bribe or two) but the market can be a fun family outing. Who knows, you may end up creating one of those fond memories that your kids can carry and pass on to their kids. How great would that be!

10. Teach the importance of community

The growing number of farmers markets in the United States gives us hope. They serve not only as a way for people to purchase local food but also as a chance for them to connect with others within their communities. Buying local promotes a sense of pride in you home town.

Farmers markets allow you to teach your kids that they can make a difference by voting with their dollars. When you shop at a large grocery store chain, a fraction of your dollars stay local. Supporting local farmers keeps the money in your community where it can be reinvested for the good of the town.

– See more at: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/2014/05/10-reasons-to-bring-your-kids-to-the-farmers-market.html#sthash.JrOdgmay.dpuf

Alexander Imich, 111years of age & Guinness World Records recently announced oldest living man, has some advice on living!

May 25, 2014
AImichYounger

Guinness World Records announced that 111-year-old Dr. Alexander Imich, who lives in Manhattan, is now the world’s oldest living man. He’s also the oldest living war veteran and the first ‘oldest living man’ to hold a doctorate, according to the organization.

The New York Times has tracked down the largely stationary Alexander Imich, who at 111 and 1/4 years old currently holds the title of world’s oldest man who can prove it. (He moved up the oft-changing list on April 24.) Imich has over the years fled the Holocaust, survived a Soviet work camp, and worked as a zoologist and a chemist before switching his focus to studying paranormal activity. He also has a few tips for living a ridiculously long time, to add to our master list:

• No kids. Imich is childless, his closest living relative an 84-year-old nephew. Stress-free.

• No drinking or smoking. He quit smoking forever ago and never indulged in the sauce. (For nearly everyone, it’s probably already too late.)

• Exercise while your body still can. “I was a gymnast,” he told the Times. “Good runner, a good springer. Good javelin, and I was a good swimmer.”

• Don’t eat too much, except ice cream. Also good: “matzo balls, gefilte fish, chicken noodle soup, Ritz crackers, scrambled eggs, chocolate.” So, like a Jewish 10-year-old.

• Take things as they come, but not too seriously. Of his new title, Imich said, “Not like it’s the Nobel Prize.”

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Slow Cooked Lamb Chops

May 22, 2014

slow cook chops

Active seniors can lower heart attack risk by doing more, not less

May 20, 2014

Maintaining or boosting your physical activity after age 65 can improve your heart’s electrical well-being and lower your risk of heart attack, according to a study in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.senior

In heart monitor recordings taken over five years, researchers found that people who walked more and faster and had more physically active leisure time had fewer irregular heart rhythms and greater heart rate variability than those who were less active.

Heart rate variability is differences in the time between one heartbeat and the next during everyday life.

“These small differences are influenced by the health of the heart and the nervous system that regulates the heart,” said Luisa Soares-Miranda, Ph.D., lead author of the study and a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and the Faculty of Sport at the University of Porto in Portugal. “Early abnormalities in this system are picked up by changes in heart rate variability, and these changes predict the risk of future heart attacks and death.”

The researchers evaluated 24-hour heart monitor recordings of 985 adults (average age 71 at baseline) participating in the community-based Cardiovascular Health Study, a large study of heart disease risk factors in people 65 and older.

During the study, they found:

  • The more physical activity people engaged in, the better their heart rate variability.
  • Participants who increased their walking distance or pace during the five years had better heart rate variability than those who reduced how much or how fast they walked.

“Any physical activity is better than none, but maintaining or increasing your activity has added heart benefits as you age,” Soares-Miranda said. “Our results also suggest that these certain beneficial changes that occur may be reduced when physical activity is reduced.”

The researchers calculated that the difference between the highest and lowest levels of physical activity would translate into an estimated 11 percent lower risk of heart attack or sudden cardiac death.

“So if you feel comfortable with your usual physical activity, do not slow down as you get older—try to walk an extra block or walk at a faster pace,” Soares-Miranda said. “If you’re not physically active, it is never too late to start.”

 

This article was sourced and appeared on: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2014-05-seniors-heart.html

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Satay Chicken Curry

May 15, 2014

hi

Cyclists, Time on the Mat Means Longer on the Road

May 13, 2014

indexWhy should road cyclists? They don’t require the flexibility of dancers, golfers or tennis players. There’s no leaping, twisting or lunging in cycling, just hours spent locked in a flexed position craning the head to gaze forwards.

I may have answered my own question but the simple answer is comfort. Most cyclists are all too familiar with nagging lower backache. It can cut short a ride or even force riders off their bikes and on to the physio’s couch.

The discomfort might be higher, around the trapezius or neck muscles as the upper body is braced for long periods over the handlebars. Or lower, as the glutes or quads contract and shorten after hours of hard pedaling.

Road cycling is a rush. There is no feeling in the world like having the wind in your face on a cold, crisp sunny day as the fields fly by. But a body held in the cycling stance needs regular rebalancing to maintain comfort and prevent injury.

The obvious benefit of yoga is to stretch out tight hamstrings, glutes or quads in order to both avoid injury and create a level of riding comfort. By restoring muscle length cyclists can ‘reset’ the body and feel fresh and ready to ride again.

But that’s not the whole story. Here’s four more reasons why 20 minutes of yoga, two or three times a week, will keep cyclists riding stronger, for longer:

1. Spinal Extension – Yoga’s gentle backbends ease the spine from the flexed cycling position into extension. Backbends also open the front of the body, stretching the chest, or pectoral muscles that shorten over time while riding. Think Sphinx pose, though, rather than Wheel and monitor the back carefully.

2. Lateral Movement – Cyclists operate in a forwards-only or sagittal plane of motion and strive for upper body stillness. This often leads to tightness in the stabilizing muscles of the outer hips as well as the IT band. Lateral, or sideways movements like Triangle provide a deeply satisfying stretch.

3. Lower Back Relief – Sinking into Extended Child’s Pose, post-ride will ease out the lower back (and shoulder) muscles. Add some strengthening postures like Locust in between rides to reinforce the lumbar region, an area vulnerable to injury in the cycling stance.

4. Core Strength – A strong core is vital for posture, power, injury prevention and comfort. Most road cyclists have weak…

 

Article sourced from: http://www.myyogaonline.com/about-yoga/learn-about-yoga/yoga-for-cyclists-why-time-on-the-mat-means-longer-on-the-road?utm_source=MYO+May+03+2014+Non-Paying+NL&utm_campaign=ALL&utm_medium=email

Mothers’ Lifestyle Provides the Biggest Influence on Their Children’s Health & Diet

May 11, 2014

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“This study reminds parents that their children are watching and learning

from observing their behaviors, both good and bad.”

Kids whose moms encourage them to exercise and eat well, and model those healthy behaviors themselves, are more likely to be active and healthy eaters, according to researchers at Duke Medicine and the Duke Global Health Institute.

Their findings, published online in the International Journal of Obesity on June 18, 2013, remind parents that they are role models for their children, and underscore the importance of parental policies promoting physical activity and healthy eating.

Exercise and healthy diets are critical in fighting childhood obesity, a considerable problem in the United States, where over a quarter of kids ages two to five are already overweight or obese.

“Obesity is a complex phenomenon, which is influenced by individual biological factors and behaviors,” said study author Truls Østbye, M.D., PhD, professor of community and family medicine and global health at Duke. “But there are variations in obesity from one society to another and from one environment to another, so there is clearly something in the environment that strongly influences the obesity epidemic.”

The home environment and parenting can influence a child’s health by shaping dietary and physical behaviors, such as providing access to fruits and vegetables or encouraging kids to play outside.

“The ‘obesiogenic’ environment is broad and multi-faceted, including the physical neighborhood environment, media and advertising, and food tax policies, but we feel that the home environment is critical, particularly among children. However, we didn’t have a lot of evidence as to how important this was,” Østbye said.

In this study, Østbye and his colleagues examined the relationship between the home environment and behaviors related to obesity – dietary and exercise habits – among preschoolers.

The researchers studied data from 190 kids, ages two to five, whose mothers were overweight or obese. They collected information on the children’s food intake over the past week, with foods rated as junk food or healthy food. To gauge their levels of physical activity, the children wore accelerometers for a week, which measured moderate to vigorous physical activity as well as sedentary time.

The mothers reported information about their children’s environments, including family policies around food and physical activity, accessibility of healthy versus junk foods, availability of physical activity equipment, and whether they model healthy eating or exercise for their kids.

When they analyzed the data, the researchers found significant associations between these environmental measures and the preschoolers’ physical activity and healthy versus junk food intake. They concluded that to promote healthy behaviors in children, a healthy home environment and parental role modeling are important.

For example, limiting access to junk foods at home and parental policies supporting family meals increased the amount of healthy foods kids ate. Overall, the home environment had more influence on the children’s dietary habits than on their physical activity levels.

This study reminds parents that their children are watching and learning from observing their behaviors, both good and bad.

“It’s hard for parents to change their behaviors, but not only is this important for you and your own health; it is also important for your children because you are a role model for them,” said Marissa Stroo, a co-investigator on the study. “This might be common sense, but now we have some evidence to support this.”

The researchers also looked at socioeconomic factors of the mothers, including their education levels and whether they worked, to see if this had an effect on the children’s behaviors. The mother’s socioeconomic factors did not affect their kids’ physical activity, but had mixed results when it came to their dietary habits.

Further research is needed to better understand how a mother’s socioeconomic factors influence her child’s health, but it is possible that different strategies may be needed to prevent obesity in children depending on a mother’s education and work status. More research is also necessary to see if the influence of the home environment changes as children get older, and if parenting strategies should adapt accordingly.

In addition to Østbye and Stroo, study authors at Duke include Bernard Fuemmeler in the Department of Community and Family Medicine, Rebecca Brouwer at Duke Global Health Institute, and Nancy Zucker in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. Rahul Malhotra of the Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School and Cheryl Lovelady of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro also contributed to this research.

Article sourced from https://globalhealth.duke.edu/media/news/parenting-and-home-environment-influence-childrens-exercise-and-eating-habits

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Chicken with Apple & Bacon

May 8, 2014

chicken

Get Happy! Here are 31 Ways

May 6, 2014

happy

We’ve all heard the advice to “be the change you wish to see in the world.” But what does it mean to “be the change” in daily life? I’ve pondered this question often in my coaching practice, where I work with folks who struggle to change every day.

In my experience, positive change — whether individual or global — is inevitable when we refuse to perpetuate behavior which harms, and when we refuse to be victims and choose action instead. This breaks down to 31 daily practices that inherently make a difference. Here they are.

1. Own your talents proudly.

Your gifts matter, and the world needs them.

2. Refuse to recreate injurious behavior by those above you.

Mentor those you supervise, recognize their achievements, and treat everyone with respect. “That’s the way it’s always been done” is not an excuse for mistreatment.

3. Know what you don’t know.

Pretending to be something you’re not robs you of your ability to learn more from others who already know the ropes.

4. Acknowledge your part in any office conflict, and work to remedy it.

Honestly owning your role in any working relationship makes you a model for all those you work with.

5. Advocate for positive change.

If your office doesn’t recycle, start a program. If you see too few minorities being hired, work to shift office policies.

6. Compost and recycle.

Most cities now have by-donation public composting programs. Those with backyard space can compost at home. Make sure to recycle everything you can, no excuses. The planet needs your help.

7. Buy local and organic.

Buying local decreases reliance on fossil fuels, and also benefits the environment through fewer carbon emissions. Buying organic preserves biodiversity, supports farmers who are doing the right thing and undermines efforts to genetically modify our food sources without consequence.

8. Know what’s in your cabinets.

Read the labels on everything you eat and every cleaning product you own. If you can’t identify an ingredient without using Google, chances are you shouldn’t be eating it or putting it on your countertops.

9. Conserve resources whenever possible.

Turn off the lights when you’re not in the room. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth. Unplug your chargers when not in use.

10. Be a responsible pet owner.

That means not only picking up after your pets but also caring for your animal companions as you would for a family member. How you act here affects your entire community.

11. Listen first.

Think about it: when you want support, chances are you don’t turn to the friend who only talks about herself. Listening well is a mandatory skill in healthy relationships.

12. Stop blaming.

Every relationship is a two-way street. Imagine what would happen if, instead of blaming the other party, we each investigated our own part in the dynamic, and took responsibility to shift it? Presto-chango: a stronger, healthier relationship.

13. Be the partner you wish to have.

We each reflect back our best and worst qualities in our romantic relationships. Want more romance? Be more romantic. Want a great lover? Master the art of being one. Want generous communication? Learn to communicate well and model that ideal.

14. Parent with respect and connection.

Our kids are our greatest teachers. Loving them well and parenting with good boundaries, kindness and respect benefits the entire world for generations to come.

15. Nurture and care for others …

… and you’ll get the same in return. Making soup for your sick friend or offering an ear to an acquaintance who recently lost a parent guarantees that the same support will be there for you in turn.

16. Get to know your neighbors.

Particularly in major cities, anonymity leads to loneliness and isolation. Cultivate community events in your apartment building or in your neighborhood, and participate when others do the same. Aim to be a hub of your community. The rewards are endless.

17. Seek out like-minded organizations, and contribute.

Volunteer organizations always need more help. Whatever your gifts, they’re needed.

18. Be generous and polite.

Carry your neighbor’s groceries in when she needs a hand. Open doors for others. Say please and thank you. These little niceties make a world of difference, especially to those with whom we interact on a daily basis.

19. Be curious and open.

Got neighbors from another nation of origin? Ask about their holidays and traditions. Got a colleague who has a slightly weird hobby? Ask what makes it so compelling. You’ll gain unprecedented insights into your world and those around you.

20. Surround yourself with positive people.

We become the company we keep. Keep company with those who are optimistic, uplifting and kind, and your world will become more of the same.

21. Treat your body with respect.

It’s the vessel for your experience in this life. Fill it with junk and refuse to move it, and your experience will eventually be a miserable one.

22. Examine and heal your negative self-talk.

If the things you say to yourself in your head aren’t things you would say to your kids, your partner or your best friend, you’ve got work to do.

23. Take responsibility for offloading your own baggage.

No one can fill a void that you haven’t addressed in your own history. And being a responsible partner, friend and parent means taking whatever steps necessary to make sure you don’t perpetuate your negative experiences when you interact with others.

24. Practice self-love.

Got a body part you’re less than thrilled with? Every day for 30 days, look at that body part in the mirror and say out loud that you love it. Look at yourself in totality and say the same. See where that gets you in a month — it’s life altering.

25. Forgive yourself.

We’ve all done things we’d prefer to forget, and made mistakes we’d prefer not to repeat. This is a part of life! Write a letter to yourself in which you forgive yourself for past errors, and burn it. Use your energy for the future instead of the past.

26. Educate yourself.

Don’t understand what’s happening in another part of the world and how it might impact you? Read respected news sources, and opinion pieces in particular. Know how you and your government interact at home and in the world. And always, always consider the source.

27. Eradicate ignorance and fear.

Don’t stand by silently while others make slurs or bully. One intervention can change lives.

28. Trust until you have a reason not to.

Inherent suspicion of others, our government and our world cuts us off from positive experience and connection.

29. Practice patience and compassion.

The driver who cuts you off might not be paying attention because his dad’s in the hospital. The person who bumps you on the subway might be late to pick her kid up from school. Assuming the best rather than the worst of strangers who cross our paths decreases stress levels and makes us better citizens.

30. Operate from a place of inherent value.

The person who delivers your takeout or pours your coffee may be just as smart and talented as you, but their lives have led them in a different direction. Everyone has a purpose, and everyone has a mission, even when it’s not apparent on the surface.

And lastly, in all things:

31. Love.

You need it, those around you need it, and the world needs it. Literally everyone you interact with and anyone you’ll ever meet is looking for it somewhere. How can you be the change, no matter what? Practice love whenever you can. It is the biggest game changer there is.

 

31 Ways sourced from http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12430/31-ways-to-be-a-better-person-every-day.html