5 simple steps to help your kids eat healthy.

You are taking your daughter to a birthday party. It’s a pool party.You brought a cute princess swimsuit, which she has been asking for a while. As soon as you reach there, all the girls started looking at your daughter, she was extremely excited to wear her new dress. Suddenly, a skinny and petite little girl came and said ,“you look so fat in that dress”. Kids are just kids, you ignore. But, what about your daughter? She is mentally scarred by her physical appearance. This is a true story….
Kids are called names and parents are constantly judged.

March is known national nutrition month. National Nutrition Month® is a nutrition education and information campaign created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

 

What exactly is nutrition?
Nutrition is the act or process of nourishing or being nourished; In simple words the process of eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly and be healthy,

Then what is diet and dieting?
Diet is food / nourishment.
Dieting is to restrict oneself to small amounts or special kinds of food in order to lose weight.

As an adult at some point in your life, you must have heard these words or even tried to be either for or against nutrition and diet.
But, what effect does this have on our kids? Do they know about nutrition and dieting? When it comes to kids, we moms want to feed them the best, healthy, nutritious food and sometimes more than what they need.

Is this love harming our kids? Absolutely not.. We have innate human instincts to do the best for our children then why are these national statistics of childhood obesity escalating? Clearly, something is missing?watermelon_girl

According to new study by US National and Healthy Library of Medicine, “Children and teens who become or stay obese may quickly face up to three times the risk of developing high blood pressure compared to their slimmer peers.”

Studies have proven children who are obese are more likely to remain obese as an adult, putting them at higher risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and asthma. However, the effects go beyond the health risks and can lead to social discrimination and low self-esteem.

These 5 simple steps will help you keep your kids achieve good health and keep them motivated.

1. First and foremost, Stop bringing processed food at home. Always keep the refrigerator stocked up with lots fresh fruits and vegetables. When kids don’t see the store brought goodies, they will be open to the options of having to snack on fresh items. You can definitely make an exception. Once in a while treats are ok but you have to follow the next step.

2.Reading nutritional labels and ‘sticking to serving size”. This I cannot stress enough, because I was doing it wrong, till I read about it. Best way is bring small packs or pack snacks in100 calorie bags. This way a treat remains a treat.

3.Replace fruit juices, with fresh cut fruits. If kids insist on wanting juice then add water to dilute those juices. Refrain from store brought smoothies which are loaded with sugars. Just because something is named “Smoothie” doesn’t mean it’s healthy.

4.Involve kids in making choices for grocery shopping. For Ex. Would you like “Orange sweet carrots” or “Fresh crunchy celery”? Give them a opportunity to choose. Let the kids make their own snacks. Encourage them to suggest lunch ideas with lots of fresh produce. Motivate and complement them. Share about your kids making these great choices with your mom, your friends and family.

children-lead-by-example 5.Be a good role model. “ Actions speak louder than words”. Lead by example. Don’t advice “Just do it”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to introduce celery to a “picky eater” ?

Oh dear, I totally understand . I feel you !
Its sooooo frustrating when kids don’t eat what they should be eating…
Commercials, they have been watching on their ‘Stupid’ shows are not helping either.
All those sugar laden, high calorie, high fat, artificially flavored goodies are constantly bombarded on their innocent minds….
No matter what you do, your picky eater outsmarts you by not trying anything new ..Until Now….

Here’s a simple, easy, quick solution…

How about trying this super healthy, sweet tasting, naturally flavored, yummy smoothie?

CalerySmoothieblogLet Mama bear (in YOU) be happy and do her special victory dance !!!
Because you won, by feeding these nutritious ingredients…

Why Celery?
Celery is rich in phytonutrient antioxidants that contain anti-inflammatory properties. It is good source of many beneficial vitamins and minerals. According to Parentinghealthybabies.com “Serving your child celery on a regular basis will ensure the supply of essential antioxidants that protect against various diseases and cell and DNA damage caused by free radicals.” Celery seeds can be used as remedy for indigestion.
Celery is excellent for adults. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce swelling and pain around the joints. Celery sticks acts as a diuretic, which helps to remove uric acid crystals that build up around the body’s joints. It is rich in fiber thus helping cardiovascular health. Fiber is very useful for its digestive benefits. It helps keep your bowel movements regular, thereby reducing constipation.
There are so many more health benefits of celery that can I cannot stress enough how important it is to have celery in your regular diet.

Why Banana?
Bananas are well known for their potassium content, the potassium in bananas can help prevent muscle cramps after exercise. Banana contains vitamin C, vitamin B-6, manganese and fiberA banana provides some iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamins A and E, folate, carotene and choline. Bananas also contain trace amounts of many amino acids.

Most importantly, For an adult a banana in morning will start your day off right and will give you the energy to make it through to lunch without snacking.

Why orange Juice?
Orange juice is quickest easy way to get your daily dose of Vitamin C and it tastes awesome. It gives a fresh, citrusy-sweet and sour taste to smoothie.CelerySmoothieNutrition

Why Almonds?
Almonds are extremely good for your heart. Almonds are rich in the vitamins and minerals that help build a healthy heart, especially vitamin E. It contains many protective nutrients – calcium and magnesium – for strong bones. Almond contains phytochemicals, which may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated, also known as the “good” fat. This little nut is also loaded with minerals like phosphorus and zinc, as well as lots of healthy fiber.

Now why Ginger ???
I love ginger … its smell and its taste… but not sure about you, so kept it optional.
But if you are nutrition crazy like me, you will love it anyway.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory anti-oxidant properties. Ginger is always a goto for any kind of indigestion problems like nausea, stomachache, vomiting. Gingerol, from ginger has powerful medicinal properties. It is used as remedy for cold and cough paired with honey.

Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improves various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. Ginger may lower cholesterol levels. Ginger contains a substance that may helps prevent Cancer and it may improve brain function.

For, instructions on How to make … check the video below

 

Do you want to get smarter?

Ugh … Ufff .. Forgot the keys, Forgot to call , Forgot the appointment, Forgot the meeting…
Does this happen with you ? Do you feel that your tired brain is not responding properly?
You don’t feel enough smart because there is so much to do? Balancing every front isn’t easy.

I hear you, I can completely understand. I am here to help you. You can feed your brain proper nutrition and get smart. Side effects are, you will lose weight, eat and be healthy.

kale5ingredient

I have started KISS nutrition smoothie series… don’t get excited, KISS is “Keep It Simple,Stupid”

Ingredients – Kale, Banana, Orange Juice and Walnuts.

Why Kale?
Kale is known to be one of the most healthiest, nutrient dense vegetables of all. Kale is rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber. Kale is also an excellent source of protein and a good source of dietary fiber. Each serving of kale has 1g of dietary fiber. We don’t usually think of our greens as sources of healthful fats. But kale is actually a great source of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), a type of omega-3 fatty acid. Kale is perfect brain food with combinations of nutrients needed for brain health.
For more details, https://sonamotivates.com/2015/07/05/kale-nutrition-powerhouse/

Why Banana?
Bananas are well known for their potassium content, the potassium in bananas can help prevent muscle cramps after exercise. Banana contains vitamin C, vitamin B-6, manganese and fiberA banana provides some iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamins A and E, folate, carotene and choline. Bananas also contain trace amounts of many amino acids.

Most importantly, a banana in morning will start your day off right and will give you the energy to make it through to lunch without snacking.

Why orange Juice?
Orange juice is quickest easy way to get your daily dose of Vitamic C and it tastes awesome. Green, leafy vegetables like Kale are best eaten in combination with fruits or veggie having Vitamin C because iron absorption in the body is improved by Vitamin C.superfoodsmoothie

Why Walnuts?
To remember why are walnuts so special, face the fact that they literally look like brain. They have a significantly high concentration of DHA, a type of Omega-3 fatty acid. Among other things, DHA has been shown to protect brain health in newborns, improve cognitive performance in adults, and prevent or improve age-related cognitive decline. They are exceptionally rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Now why Ginger ???
I love ginger … its smell and its taste… but not sure about you, so kept it optional.
But if you are nutrition crazy like me, you will love it anyway.

Ginger has anti-inflammatory anti-oxidant properties. Ginger is always a goto for any kind of indigestion problems like nausea, stomachache, vomiting. Gingerol, from ginger has powerful medicinal properties. It is used as remedy for cold and cough paired with honey.

Ginger has been shown to lower blood sugar levels and improves various heart disease risk factors in patients with type 2 diabetes. Ginger may lower cholesterol levels. Ginger contains a substance that may helps prevent Cancer and it may improve brain function.

How to make?
Check the video below.

Vow!!! Getting all this goodness in just one glass…. Such a morning routine will set You for Winning everyday. …

For more such helpful, healthy and hassle-free tips, subscribe to our blog and join us on Facebook.

 

 

Stop Eating Breakfast ! Start Drinking…

New Years party invitation… You were so ready to have Blassssstttt and eat, drink and get drunk. You have this strapless black, body hugging, silky, elegant dress studded with a diamond lace ready for you to ROCK. You have been, wanting to wear this on such a special ocassion… Only to find out YOU don’t fit in it any more…. somehow you managed to kick the thought out of your mind and still went ahead to the party with another dress ….
But You couldn’t rock the party and You couldn’t ignore the fact that you have put on….

Has this ever happened with You? It has happened with me before till I found out this one true solution.

First you have to understand there is no MAGIC PILL…. The answer lies with ONLY and ONLY real

Fresh produce
BEST wayto incorporate abundant fresh produce in your daily diet is SMOOTHING….

I have started this 4 ingredient smoothie recipe regime..
It’s easy, simple, extra fast and yummy…
Spinana Smoothie – Spinach, Banana, Orange Juice and Almonds.

Why Spinach?

Spinach is high in nutritional value. It is rich in antioxidants and iron. Spinach is also an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, vitamin C and folic acid. It is good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and vitamin B2. Vitamin K is important for maintaining bone health and it is difficult to find vegetables richer in vitamin K than spinach.
I can keep going on and on with its nutrition but I am sure you are already convinced about the goodness of this Popeye’s Super green juice….spinanan smoothie nutrition

Why Banana?
Bananas are well known for their potassium content, The potassium in bananas can help prevent muscle cramps after exercise. Banana contains vitamin C, vitamin B-6, manganese and fiber. A banana provides some iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamins A and E, folate, carotene and choline. Bananas also contain trace amounts of many amino acids.

Most importantly, a banana in morning will start your day off right and will give you the energy to make it through to lunch without snacking.

Why orange Juice?
There’s a compound in spinach called oxalic acid, which blocks the absorption of calcium and iron. An easy way to solve this problem is to pair spinach with a food high in vitamin C. Needless to say Orange juice is quickest easy way to get your daily dose of Vitamic C and it tastes awesome.

Why Almonds?
Almonds are extremely good for your heart. Almonds are rich in the vitamins and minerals that help build a healthy heart, especially vitamin E. It contains many protective nutrients – calcium and magnesium – for strong bones. Almond contains phytochemicals, which may help protect against cardiovascular disease and even cancer. Most of the fat in almonds is monounsaturated, also known as the “good” fat. This little nut is also loaded with minerals like phosphorus and zinc, as well as lots of healthy fiber.

For, instructions on How to make … check the video below

Vow!!! Getting all this goodness in just one glass…. Such a morning routine will set You Winning everyday. …

For more such helpful, healthy and hassle-free tips, subscribe to our blog and join us on Facebook.

 

Do you want to eat pizza and not screw your diet????

Sunday Late evening, I was finishing up my weekend chores. Kids were busy with their schoolwork. Suddenly, my husband announced, “I am taking you guys out for early dinner.” As usual guessing, we will have big fuss over choosing the restaurant, I ignored him. But to my surprise …… He declared I am taking you guys to a new Pizza place…

blazePizza1We reached the place. Being a health conscious mom and professional I started the inspection of venue and menu. The place impressed me. It was decent place with decent ambience.  It was trendy with black and brown color theme. Small wooden tables and black tables for seating. Enthusiastic, charming teenager boy greeted us. Kids were happy to see the modern décor and young crowd.

We stood in line. Soon line moved forward and it was our turn. We landed in front of assembly table. It contained red and white sauces compartments. The cheese bins included Parmesan, goat cheese, Gorgonzola and mozzarella. Meat section had all toppings of grilled chicken, meatballs, pepperoni etc. Viola!!! Un-limited vegetable toppings. Leafy greens, roasted red peppers and tomatoes, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, artichokes, and zucchini.
The thin crust slices and many vegetable toppings options help you eat healthy. It doesn’t ruin your diet if you are calorie conscious like me. 

We placed our order. Our order was processed in front of us. We took our pizza plates and sat on outside seating. It was drizzling and weather felt a bit chilly.  The yummy, cheesy, crispy, colorful, warm pizza slice started melting in my mouth. .

They serve gluten free and vegan pizza options. 
Isn’t it great!!!
They have gluten free crust option, made daily from European non-GMO gluten-free ingredients.
They offer a vegan cheese option (soy-free), and none of their vegetable toppings contain any meat, egg or dairy products.

Comparison of Nutrition Facts of vegetable pizza per slice of popular pizza places:

Pizza Place Calories Total Fat (g) Saturated Fat (g) Sodium
(mg)
Total Carbohydrate (g) Protein
(g)
Blaze Pizza (6“) 130 5 2.5 310 15 6
Pizza Hut (6”) 140 5 2 320 18 6
Papa Johns
(8 “) no option of 6”
215 7 2.5 490 27 6
Dominos
(10”) no option of 6”
230 12.5 5.5 450 18 10

For this calorie test, I have selected vegetarian pizza slices.
In detail,
Pizza Hut’s “Vegie lover’s personal pan pizza” is competitive with Blaze pizza. Pizza Hut’s online Nutritional calculator was user friendly.
“Dominos Pacific Coast Veggie” is the vegetarian pizza.  There is smallest is 10”.
“Papa John’s Garden Fresh and Mediterranean vegetable” are vegetarian. They come only in size 14” and thin crust was not available in 8” … so u have to buy more and eat more…
Blaze has many possibilities with vegetarian options. You can play with different flavors of sauces and cheeses and mix and match according to your palate.

 Blaze team is committed to be eco-friendly.
Their packaging is made from post-consumer recycled and/or sustainable materials.
Forks, knives, cups, straws, lids – even those cute little containers of salad dressing – have are chosen to reduce the waste.
How Thoughtful!!!!

Now Remember, these are options for 1 slice of simple vegetable 6” sized pizza.
Lets admit we can’t stop on 1 slice… We eat at least 2 slices …right !!!
And some might eat more depending on appetite and liking.
So you will be consuming twice or thrice of above mentioned nutrients….

As a nutrition expert, I would suggest to have 2 to 3 slices maximum. Choosing healthier food rest of the time.
I agree, Life should be fun!!! We should enjoy pizza and donut once in a while….
But everything should be in moderation!!!
After all, to be fit and healthy isn’t a punishment….

 

 

Avocado – The fruit of the Kings !


So true
 …..
Sitting on a bar stool sipping the chilled dirty martini, so drained, dog-tired  from the day, you are trying to avoid a steady gaze of extremely handsome jaw dropping guy… Only thinking I wish I had eaten that extra piece of avocado in the morning.

Aphrodisiac it is – stimulates Sexual Desire
For the Aztecs, avocado was, “the fruit of the kings” and eaten as a luxurious aphrodisiac. The Aztecs also believed that avocado was the fertility fruit.

Treasure of Nutrients !!!
Among the twenty top fruits it ranks highest in lutein, vitamin E, glutathione, beta-sitosterol, folacin, fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Avocados act as a “nutrient booster” by enabling the body to absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as alpha and beta-carotene and lutein in foods that are eaten with it.

Banana or Avocado ?
It is good source of vitamin K, dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, copper, and contain more potassium than a medium banana. An avocado contains 877 grams of potassium vs. a banana has 470 grams and avocado has much less sugar!

Sooooo much FAT ??? But Good kind.
Avocados have fat content between 71 to 88% of their total calories, which is about 20 times the average for other fruits. A typical avocado contains 30 grams of fat but 20 grams of these fat are health-promoting monounsaturated fats, especially oleic acid. 
Thus single 30 gram serving of avocado is better than any other popular snack.

How much ?
It is recommended to eat up to two servings (2 ounces) or 100-calories worth of avocados per day, which can help you meet your recommended daily fruit intake. Due to the avocado’s mono and polyunsaturated fat content, they’re a great substitution for foods rich in saturated fat.

Avocados have numerous health benefits
They improve cardiovascular health, help in blood sugar regulation. It has anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Which one is right one?
A ripe, ready-to-eat avocado is slightly soft but should have no dark sunken spots or cracks. A firm avocado will ripen at room temperature within few days. As the fruit ripens, the skin will turn darker. Avocados should not be refrigerated until they are ripe. Once ripe, they can be kept refrigerated for up to a week.  Sprinkling the exposed surface(s) with lemon juice will help to prevent the browning.

Be Careful !!!!
Research has shown that the greatest concentration of carotenoids in avocado occurs in the dark green flesh that lies just beneath the skin. You don’t want to slice into that dark green portion any more than necessary when you are peeling an avocado.

More interesting ways of consumption….
Apart from adding avocados to sandwiches and salads or making popular guacamole, you can make Avocado shake and other recipes.

 

Fresh Vs. Frozen produce

Is frozen produce as good as fresh???? 

You Had a loooong exuasting day at work. Its already dark and biting cold out……
You want to reach home, get cozy and have a hot piping soup for dinner.
And what??? you remember… no grocery shopping over weekend because of harsh weather conditions…. so  no vegetables to add to soup … You decide to drive to the supermarket on your way back but in vain…. they hardly had anything left. Just the worn out, wilted leafy greens…. Now what???

Winter months in up North and Summer months down south make us struggle to get our fresh produce at reasonable rates. Most of the seasonal farmers’ market close during these peak winter and summer months, living us with hardly any options.

It is not unusual to prefer fresh produce over frozen.
Frozen foods are considered most unhealthy, chemically treated and flavorless and do not promote healthy eating habit.Until recently, I was very skeptic about frozen produce. Little research convinced me that frozen produce is not bad either rather it might be a great option.

In March 1998, Food and drug administration (FDA) indicated that frozen fruits and vegetables are equivalent to fresh product and may exceed the fresh product under certain circumstances.

Scientists have used flash freezing technique to freeze vegetables and fruits.
Clarence Birdseye invented flash freezing technique. He found out that preserving vegetable by rapidly freezing them at extremely cold temperatures retains its taste and turgor.This concept inspired massive frozen produce business.

In commercial processing, foods are flash frozen to maximize nutrient retention.
It also helps in keeping the food fresh and flavorful. Frozen vegetables are picked and frozen at peak of their ripeness retaining their nutrients and flavor. Before flash freezing, vegetables are blanched with hot water to kill bacteria. On the other hand fresh produce loses its nutritional value and flavor if not used quickly.

Frozen vegetables are good for cooking but not recommended for salads or raw eating. Frozen fruits can be used in baking. Frozen berries serve the purpose of quick and nutritious dessert and great addition for smoothies/ juices.

In conclusion, frozen produce is better option for off season and definitely serves the purpose of adding recommended 5-8 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Undoubtedly fresh produce is best in ideal situation but frozen vegetables and fruits are not bad either.

 

Next time when you grab the frozen slob of spinach instead of those fresh green beautiful looking leaves, be assured you are still doing the right thing. Eating vegetables and fruits is very important for good health and there is undeniable way to it…..