Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label healthy. Show all posts

February 20, 2013

Importance of healthy breakfasts for daily life and sports: Recipe for Fruit and Honey Oatmeal breakfast

My four year old son loves to play hockey and other sports, but I haven't yet put him into anything other than preschool programs so he can get a feel for different sports.  I wanted to share the story and tips from Linda Staal, an expert mom of four professional hockey players.  Many hockey families will find this information to be very helpful as they try to make tournament weekends to work smoothly for everyone.

Linda emphasizes that we make time for family meals so we can stay connected i.e. preparing oats in the slow cooker overnight so it is ready for breakfast.  Encouraging our children to have fun and feel good about their accomplishments without judging success by the scoreboard is important, and this is something that we as parents need to take to heart so we can keep our children motivated in everything they do.  Linda suggests that families should pack a hockey survival kit that have snacks like Quaker granola bars and fruits for everyone to snack.  Her children pack their favourite pillows and blankets for long car rides, which is something my family does as well so we feel comfortable.  I agree with Pearle Nerenberg, a sports dietitian's idea of packing a cooler and kettle along with oatmeal packages, dried fruits and nuts when we travel.  These make it convenient for us to make nutritious meals and save money when we are on the road by avoiding fast food and hotel food expenses.

Linda's children started playing hockey since they were four and she found that being organized was very useful so she can manage everyone's schedules.  Like Linda, I too believe that having a healthy sleep and a nutritious breakfast makes a good start for our day.  I think Quaker Oats is one of the healthiest meals we can have to kick start a functional day.  
Linda and her family is committed to being balanced and healthy that they have recently established the Staal Family Foundation to support families in need that want to provide recreational activities for their children.      

A little more about the 130 year old trusted Quaker brand that helps people get the best start to their day.  Quaker brand is focused on the power of whole grain oats to provide a nutritious energy that will help all of us have a productive day.  Quaker products are made with 100% Canadian oats and their major production location is in Peterborough, Ontario.  Quaker brand produces honest and pure products.  Over the years they have pursued unique milling methods that provide wholesome nourishments that are convenient.  Quaker supports ONEXONE and Breakfast for Learning and Food Banks Canada has they believe that every Canadian has the right to access a nutritious breakfast.  The 2010 Health Canada study shows that oat fibres helps us reduce cholesterol, risk factors for heart diseases and have other benefits such as lowering cholesterol.  For example 1/3 cup Quick Quaker Oats or Quaker large flake oats provide 40% of the daily amount of fibre we need.
Here is a healthy Fruit and Honey Oatmeal breakfast idea that serves four, from Quaker.

2 cups oats uncooked
3 1/2 cups water 

1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 peach or other fresh fruit

Bring water, dried cranberries, honey and cinnamon to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to medium and add quick oats.  Cook the oats for 1 minute or until most of the liquid is absorbed, stirring occasionally.  Let stand until desired consistency then top with sliced peach or other fresh fruit and serve hot.

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January 14, 2013

Eating healthy and making goals with Special K

In the beginning of the New Year, if you are like me then you would have made some resolutions around eating healthy, exercising and maintaining a healthy weight.  
To help us with our journey we can use this free personalized plan from Special K.  When we start our plan we will be automatically entered to win a pair of New Balance shoes.  They will pick 3 people to win every day until March 3rd.  I found their site easy to use and track my progress.
This online program offers personalized meal and fitness plans to reach our goals.  There are lots of information such as recipes, fitness ideas, fashion and beauty, so we can maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. 
I like the Special K quick portion controlled snacks such as cracker chips, granola bars with dark chocolate and fruit crisps, which are fabulous when we are on the go.
Everyone in our home likes the fruit crisps with strawberry flavour and chocolate flavour, here is a more about these snacks that I posted before.
My daughter liked the dark chocolate flavour granola bar more than my son, as I am not a fan of chocolate so I passed.  We really like the cracker chips bar-b-q flavour, which tasted wonderful.  These cracker chips are also available in orginal, cheddar and sour cream & onion.  
The Special K low fat cereal such as the granola, red berries cereal, oats and honey multigrain flakes make a wonderful breakfast.  If you are allergic to nuts and dairy, make sure to read the labels as most Special K products have these.  

Look for specially marked Special K products to win a fabulous New Balance Lightning Dry tank top.  I like wearing this tank top, as it is light and comfortable to do exercise.  
The plan, resources and Special K products are motivating me to stay positive and healthy, I hope it will do the same to you.  

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August 24, 2012

My Food My Way: Getting students to think healthy

A new campaign from TDSB and CUPE local 4400 strives to change the culture of food in schools, homes and communities.  This initiative of Healthy Living Healthy Learning approach doesn't tell young people what to eat; instead it educates then and allows them to make their own choices.  

The campaign aims to shed light on factors such as atmosphere, peer pressure, cost, taste and nutrition.  Sometimes it is hard for people to make good choices in selecting healthy food when their experiences are limited; so these types of campaigns promote a love for food, which is the best way to teach our future generations.  

Many schools have already started after school programs and clubs that initiate healthy eating by showing children how to make simple, tasty healthy meals by themselves with little help from parents or adults.  Susur Lee, a chef and restaurateur will be leading teaching kitchens in Toronto schools and will have cooking competitions.  The winning dishes from the competitions will become part of the school cafeteria menus.  This is a good idea because even with a diverse food culture in Canada, there are still unhealthy sugar filled oily food a big part of the cafeteria program at schools.  If there are vegetarian based food available in TDSB cafeterias that are tasty and healthy it would benefit people from all types of diverse backgrounds. 

I would prefer if all TDSB schools would remove the unhealthy pizza program (that offers mostly pepperoni or cheese pizza) that many schools are part of.  I don't allow my children to be part of this pizza program.  This pizza day program is costly for the parent, depreciates the value we put on healthy eating, pulls children into peer pressure and is most of all unhealthy.

So as parents, I think we can encourage our children to eat healthy and live healthy by supporting teaching programs about food in our home, schools and communities. 

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July 30, 2012

Healthy living General Mills green banner cereal

Summer is full of goodness, we find ourselves being more active without planning as we run around, go to the park, for bicycle rides and walks.  We also eat healthier as we can find fresh local produce and organic vegetables from our garden.
General Mills under their green banner is promoting healthy living.  This green banner General Mills products honey nut cheerios, regular cheerios and the new oatmeal crisp cereals have oat fibre on top of their whole grains and nutrients.  Here is a variety of ways we can use these delicious cereals.

It is important for us to eat food that has lower cholesterol levels, which will protect us from the risk of heart disease.  Heart disease is the 1 in 3 leading cause of death in Canada.  9 in 10 Canadians have at least one risk factor for heart disease, one of these being high cholesterol.  Eating a healthy balanced diet and having a good lifestyle is important for us to lower the risk.

Whole grain food with fibre has antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that will help lower the risk of heart disease.  3 grams of oat fibre everyday helps reduce 5% of our total cholesterol and 8 % of LDL cholesterol, which is the most important type of cholesterol that we need to reduce.
It is important we choose salmon or light tuna 2 to 3 times a week.  It is better to use olive or canola oil for cooking and dressings.
A small handful of almonds or walnuts daily will be helpful.  It is healthier for us to choose beans, chickpeas and lentils instead of meat.  And importantly 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity daily will benefit us, we don't have to do the exercise all at the same time rather spread it out during the day.
Check this link for more information on cholesterol.

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June 21, 2012

The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy Giveaway

Should pregnant women sleep on their left side?

Dr. Linda Burke-Galloway is a board-certified ob-gyn.  She is an advocate for quality healthcare, patient safety and author of The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy.  In her book she says that sleeping on the left side or right side is fine, but that sleeping on your back should be avoided.  Here are some information from the book, which is sold in bookstores and Amazon.

“Our organs and tissues require oxygen to function. Without it, they essentially die. Blood from the lower part of our body flows back to the heart where it receives oxygen, compliments of a large blood vessel called the Inferior Vena Cava (IVC). The inferior vena cava is a large, thin-walled blood vessel located near the spine. As the pregnant uterus becomes enlarged, it can press against the IVC and reduce the amount of its blood flow. Why is that not good? Because it reduces the circulating blood flow in the body that is commonly known as our cardiac output (CO). When the pregnant uterus squeezes the IVC and reduces cardiac output, a woman might feel dizzy and even faint. Her blood supply of oxygen is reduced and the unborn baby’s is as well. When a pregnant woman in her early or late third trimester feels faint after lying flat on her back, the syndrome is called Supine Hypotensive Disorder. Her blood pressure has dropped because her cardiac output has dropped. The heart can only pump out what comes into it, so less blood into the heart means less blood going out of the heart and the patient feels faint. How is this avoided? By encouraging pregnant women in their third trimester to sleep on their left side.”

“What happens when a pregnant woman sleeps on her left side? The uterus is no longer compressing the thin-walled IVC but lies against the thick-walled aorta instead. The aorta brings oxygenated blood away from the heart and to essential organs and tissues. Because of its thickness it’s not affected by the weight of the pregnant uterus. What if you can’t sleep on your left side? Then sleep on your right side but avoid sleeping flat on your back.”
Although medical studies have allegedly not proven that sleeping on the left side reduces stillbirths, it is still sound advice to avoid maternal and fetal complications.”

We at home practice the Islamic etiquettes of sleeping.  Sleeping on the right side applies to everyone not only pregnant mothers.  First, we remove things that are not safe off the bed, make sure all things hazardous is removed or put away i.e. candles.  Then we ask God to protect us from the evil by saying a prayer and sleep on our right side facing the the direction of pray Mecca (Qiblah).  It is known to be unhealthy to sleep on the stomach so we don't sleep on our stomach.

You can receive a copy of this book, The Smart Mother's Guide to a Better Pregnancy by leaving a comment on this post.  The giveaway is open world wide (Hard copy of the books to winner in Canada and USA and e-book to every where else in the world).  Giveaway ends on the 15th of July.
Update: Congrats to Sarah

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March 8, 2012

Made from Earth

Made from Earth body prodcuts
I am very careful when I choose products for the body. However I didn't have any hesitation with "Made from Earth" products because the ingredients used are natural herbs.

The honey body lotion is rich in vitamins, it increases skin elastin, promotes cell renewal and enables anti-aging. Even my three year old son found it better than his regular cream because he didn't feel like there was any cream on his body after applying it :) We found the faint natural smell more appealing.

The organic olives and olive butter found in the Olive night cream helps elasticity, moisture and smooth fine lines of wrinkle. The pH balanced cream helps combat dryness in the face because of it rich source of antioxidants.

Tea and protein shampoo is fabulous for all types of hair as it removes impurities from the scalp without drying the hair. I felt the difference after the first use; the hair was volumized, fresh and gave a beautiful feeling of fluffiness. There was no smell from the product, which is the biggest bonus.

The peppermint herbal conditioner cleans and purifies hair from root to tip. The hair feels silky, soft and refreshing. It also helps improve elasticity and strengthen the hair. The peppermint relieves stress and has a cooling effect. The conditioner leaves a waxy coating to protect the hair.

The lip balm is also chemical free made from nut extracts, organic and vegetable oil. The blueberry lip balm was a little unusual for me I didn't like the oily feeling and smell.

Made from Earth also carries a variety of soap made with natural ingredients i.e. oatmeal, cloves etc. I like to use the soap as facial exfoliates because it helps acne and problem skin.

I found it is important to avoid contact with the eyes and is better not to leave the soap on the face for a long time because it may dry the skin during the cold weather.

All the products are herbal, feels good to use without fearing the unknown chemical and animal product. The products are all gentler in the skin, won't clog pores, less irritant, unscented, not heavy or greasy and a good product for people with sensitive skin.

Follow their tweets and Facebook to get to know about occasional sales, helpful information to protect and care for your skin with products found around the home
i.e. strawberries help to tone skin, papaya to remove pimples, almond oil for dry skin, apple juice as a toner, avocado to keep skin moist and prevent wrinkle and many more....
Made from Earth body prodcuts 
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February 26, 2011

Boiled egg for a quick breakfast

Sometimes simple is best... what you need for this quick healthy breakfast.

Ask an adult for help when using the cooker or cutting.

2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups of water to boil
1 cup of cold water to cool the eggs

Boil the egg for about 10 to 12 minutes with water. After offing the cooker leave the eggs for 5 minutes. When it is cool and safe to handle put the boiled eggs in a bowl and put a cup of cold water in it.
When it is cold enough, roll the eggs in-between your palms so the hard shell comes off easily.

After removing from the shell cut the egg with a butter knife. Sprinkle a little bit of pepper and salt. Eat while it is warm with toast or all on its own.

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