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”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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….

 

 

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…..

Kale – Nutrition Powerhouse

 

Kale is known to be one of the most healthiest, nutrient dense vegetable of all
Kale is the most nutritious green leafy vegetable.  According to American Dietetic Association, Foods that may offer protection from cancers contain antioxidants, phytochemicals and fiber and Kale is the one of them.

Kale … Vow!!!
Like nearly all vegetables, kale is extremely low in fat, with only 3.9 calories of fat in an average 1-cup (67g) serving. Kale is also a excellent source of protein and a good source of dietary fiber. Each serving of kale has 1g of dietary fiber.

Kale is considered as a “superfood,” packed with vitamins.
It is an excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Kale is also an outstanding source of vitamin K. It is a good source of vitamin B6 as well. It is also very high in thiamin (vitamin B1), riboflavin (vitamin B2), and niacin (vitamin B3).

Kale is no slouch when it comes to minerals, either.
kale, is good source of calcium that is relatively easy to absorb. It is a very good source of minerals such as calcium (9 percent daily value), copper (10 percent daily value), potassium (9 percent daily value) and manganese. Kale is also a decent source of folate, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.

Interesting way to eat kale….

Kale chips :-

In large bowl, toss kale with olive oil until thoroughly coated. Sprinkle  salt, red chili powder . Spread in a single layer on baking sheet and bake on 350 degree F until chips are crispy, about 15 minutes.

What color is your diet?

What color is your diet by David Heber and Susan Bowerman

 

After reading this book Smoothie making was so much easier absolutely no brain work….
This book is excellent in regards to enforcing the importance of consuming wide variety of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet. We are well aware of the fact that our diet should include rainbow colored fruits and vegetables but the way this fact is stressed in ‘What color is your diet’ is splendid. Author has divided all fruits and vegetables in 8 color groups and explained their importance in very appealing way.

whatcolorofdiet-book-Red Group
Tomatoes, pink grapefruit, watermelon all contain lycopene. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals, especially ones derived from oxygen. Lycopene may help prevent cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis.

Red/Purple Group
Grapes, red wine, Grape juice, prunes, cranberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, red apples contain anthocyanin, which is powerful antioxidant. Anthocyanin has beneficial effect on heart disease by inhibiting blood clot formation.

Orange group
Carrots, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe, pumpkins, acorn squash, winter squash and sweet potato contain alpha and beta-carotene. From information provided by Mayo clinic Alpha, beta, and gamma carotene are considered pro-vitamins because they can be converted to active vitamin A. The carotenes possess antioxidant properties. Vitamin A serves several biological functions including involvement in the synthesis of certain glycoproteins.

Orange yellow group
Orange juice, tangerine, peaches, papayas, and nectarines provide Beta-cryptothanxin. It helps in cancer prevention and targets prevention of heart disease.

Yellow-green group
Spinach, Collard, mustard and turneep greens, yellow corn green peas, avocado and honey dew melon provides lutein and zeaxanthin. They are good for eyes and contribute to eye health.

Green group
Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, bok choi, kale provides sulphoraphane, isothiocyanate and indoles which stimulate the genes in liver to turn on production of enzyme that break down the cancer causing chemicals in the body.

White-green group
Garlic, onions, celery, pears, white wine, endive and chives – contains antioxidant allicin, which has shown to have anti tumor effects. They also contain flavonoids – quercetin and kaempferol.

Apart from these color groups author has provided some interesting facts about few herbs.

Mint – Peppermint aids digestion by relaxing the sphincter muscle between esophagus and stomach, relaxing trapped gas after a big meal. It can be used as a garnish and flavoring drinks, soups, salads and desserts.

Parsley – Used as a garnish and flavorings for sauces and soups. Parsley is rich source if vitamin C and can be used to cover up the flavor of garlic.

Rosemary – Rosemary has distinctive taste due to its content of phytochemical called ‘carnosic acid’. This phytochemical has been shown in laboratory experiment to combine with other phytochemical such as lycopene from tomatoes to kill cancer.

Thyme – A Solution of thymes most active ingredient thymol is used in cough drops and vapor rub for colds. It can also be used in soups and sauces.

Authors have also included discussion on nuts; following are some highlights:
There is definitely no doubt that nuts can be fattening. They are high in calories and fats, more than 75% of calories from nuts are from fats. Most of the fats in nuts is mono saturated and poly saturated. However, in countries where nuts are major part of diet, it tends to e rich in plant foods and low in calories, unlike in American diet where high fat, high calorie and processed food rules. Best way to incorporate nuts in an American diet is to substitute them for something else rather then simply adding them to the regular diet.

Some nuts are good source of thiamin, niacin, phosphorus, zinc and folate and excellent source of selenium, copper, magnesium, manganese and vitamin E. Plant compound ‘flavonoids’ is found in all nuts. This powerful antioxidant helps reduce the formation of substance in the body that may contribute to cancer or cardiovascular disease. Relative to their size nuts are also among the best plant source of protein. Walnuts and Almonds are rich sources of Omega 3 fatty acids but beware of too much of good thing.

Overall book is extremely informative and useful.