Easy Ways to Eat Healthy

You already know that it’s important to eat healthy and natural foods. Eating right is an important part of a healthy diet plan, but unfortunately nutrition is not a level playing field. Most of the food advertising we see urges us to unhealthy processed foods. Overconsumption of fat, sugar, and salt, as well as artificial chemical additives, is rampant in the average American diet, causing obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol, and a variety of other health issues.

The choice is yours when it comes to healthy eating. Here are some easy ways to eat healthy.

Choose Slow Food, Not Fast

Although some fast food restaurants are starting to offer healthier options, drive-throughs aren’t known for promoting healthy lifestyles or weight management. It’s not even healthy for your wallet – believe it or not, fast food isn’t as cheap as it looks. By weight and portion size, most fast food prices are comparable to the markups at sit-down restaurants.

It’s much easier to make healthy food choices when you cook and eat at home. For one thing, you know exactly what’s going into your food – there are no hidden sugar surprises or chemical additives. It’s also easier to eat an appropriate portion size when you’re the one doing the serving. You can make sure that you and your family are eating enough of the right stuff, including:

1.Whole grains, nuts, and beans

2.Vegetables and fruits (locally grown is ideal)

3.Reduced fat dairy products

4.Antioxidant rich “super foods”

5.Lean protein

Keep It Simple

In the last few years, our diets have come to rely heavily on packaged, processed foods. Heavily processed foods not only retain very little of the nutritional value of their original ingredients, they also contain additives and artificial dyes, which are in no way nutritious. Some research has even found links between depression and diets that are high in fat and processed foods. If the list of ingredients is long and mostly unpronounceable, why eat it?

School Lunches

Does your child’s school have vending machines, and if so, what’s in them? Junky snacks or healthy ones? Get involved, and make sure your child is able to make healthy food choices at school with healthy and fun options in their lunch box like VitaRocks. Many schools now have organic gardening programs – it’s revelatory and empowering when a child realizes the rewards of being able to grow and then enjoy food.

Take charge of your eating by cooking at home and skipping the fast food this week, sticking with foods that have a short list of pronounceable ingredients you’ve heard of, and ensuring that your children know the importance and benefits of natural foods. When you develop good eating habits now, you’ll reap the healthy rewards for life.

Reducing Sugar Intake – A Guide To A Low Sugar Diet

Americans are addicted to sugar. It’s in most processed foods and present in nightmarish quantities in fast food, junk food, and “comfort food.” Continued over-indulgence of sugary foods greatly increases the chance of diabetes and subsequent heart disease. Taking the initiative to make healthy food choices by creating a low sugar diet plan before problems develop can mean avoiding health risks and major issues down the road.

Here are eight tips for reducing sugar intake.

1. Read the Label

When comparison shopping, it’s important to know how to read a nutrition label. Nutrition labels on food packaging list ingredients decreasingly in order of amount, so as a rule of thumb, avoid foods that have any form of sugar listed in the top three ingredients.

2. Desert the Dessert 

One of the worst characteristics of refined sugar that is added to foods is that it often leaves you craving more, so if you can figure out what triggers your cravings, you might just avoid an entire day of bad eating. Another great way to manage sweet cravings is to keep portion sizes down. In other words, you don’t have to deny yourself the snack (which might backfire with an overindulgence later), but always chose “fun size” over “king size.”

3. Drink More Water

Add more water to your day starting right now. Feel better? That’s because just plain water is what your cells need to replenish themselves. Our bodies are 50-75% water and just can’t function correctly without enough of it. Water also helps satiate thirst so that you don’t reach for a dehydrating beverage with loads of sugar or caffeine.

4. Drop the Pop

Sodas and energy drinks are some of the worst offenders when it comes to sugar content. Many popular 16-ounce energy drinks contain the sugar equivalent of a dozen donuts. Swapping out your daily regular soft drink for a plain iced tea, a natural low sugar powdered drink mix, or water can make an enormous impact on sugar consumption and daily caloric intake.

5. Reduce Cravings with Healthy Food Choices

If you eat balanced meals, your body’s digestive and endocrine systems can work correctly to keep your blood sugar level optimum. Eat a good balance of protein, fiber, whole grains, and complex carbohydrates, as well as copious amounts of vegetables and fruits. Between meals, get into the habit of satisfying your cravings by substituting something that provides more nutritional value.

6. Drop That Teaspoon

Reduce or eliminate that spoonful of sugar in your coffee or tea; in a short while, your taste buds will adapt and be happy with the complex natural flavors and sweetness of your favorite foods.

7. Keep Track of Your Grazing

Sometimes the worst food addictions are the ones we’re not even aware of. Food is everywhere, and we’re encouraged to eat for entertainment in movie theaters and at parties. Keeping track of everything you eat with a notepad or an online health management program is a good way to help focus your attention on your diet and to become more aware of your sugar daily sugar consumption.

8. Get Some Fresh Air

Staring at a computer screen all day can sap the life out of you and fatigue your brain, making your body yearn for a pick-me-up. Instead of relying on a candy bar for quick energy, take a walk around the block. The fresh air will refresh your head, and the exercise will oxygenate your blood and reduce sugar cravings. If you’re still hungry when you get back, snack on complex carbs like whole grains and nuts for a more even, longer lasting energy boost.

Recent studies indicate that with current eating and health habits, for the first time in several generations, future generations’ lifespans may actually be shorter than our own because of poor nutrition. Controlling and reducing sugar intake is a great start on the path to better health.

Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

Do you know the actual health benefits of fruits and vegetables or just that you’re supposed to eat them? Moms have been telling their children for generations to “Eat your vegetables!” and while we spend plenty of time reinforcing healthy food choices, we don’t spend enough time talking about why certain foods are better than others. Here are some answers to those questions.

Nutrients

Eating fruits and vegetables provides you with essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber that may help protect you from stroke, cardiovascular disease, and certain types of cancer. Your recommended calorie intake depends on your age, gender, and average daily activity level. In general, adults should eat five to nine servings (serving = ½ cup) of each every day. Single fruits and vegetables are usually not labeled, but packages of fresh produce often include nutritional facts labels, making it easier to figure out serving size and nutritional info.

Variety

The different colors that fruits and vegetables come in indicate that they each have something different to offer your body, so it is ideal to eat a wide variety of colors. Each color offers a certain range of nutrients such as fiber, folate, potassium, and vitamins A and C. Brighten up meal time by adding some green broccoli, orange carrots, black beans, yellow corn, purple plums, red strawberries and white cauliflower to your plate.

Diet

Substituting fruits and vegetables instead of higher calorie snacks throughout the day not only gives you more of the nutrients that you need, but is also great for weight management. One of the best benefits of fruits and veggies is having calories that work for you instead of against you. Fresh fruit such as apples and bananas make great between-meal snacks, and adding a leafy green salad to lunch helps fill you up.

In an on-the-go lifestyle, fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t always an option. Healthy To Go products, like powdered drink mixes, give you convenient access to antioxidant rich foods and are made from 100% natural ingredients, including fruits and vegetables.

How To Eat More Vegetables- 8 Easy Ways To Get More Greens

Everyone knows vegetables are important for a healthy lifestyle, but not everyone gets the recommended amount. The USDA’s Dietary Guidelines suggests that adults eat between 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day. This amount depends on factors such as age, gender and physical activity. Eating healthy is hard enough in a world full of fast food and sugar, but according to food psychologist Marcia Pelchat, while we’re born with certain cravings, there’s also evidence we start to crave whatever we eat in large quantities. This means the more fruits and vegetables we eat, the more we will start to crave them. Here are some helpful tips on how to eat more vegetables and fruits.

1. Sneak them

Pizza anyone? Instead of loading your pizza with sausage, pepperoni and extra cheese, add sliced tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Take it slow by replacing just one topping at a time with a delicious vegetable of your choice.

2. Sauce them

Dressing can be fattening and full of sugars, but can help entice you into eating veggies. Instead of full-fat ranch, opt for a low fat version, or make your own sauce with olive oil and lemon juice. Spice your veggies up with cheese or seasonings to make them more desirable.

3. Freeze them

Who doesn’t love popsicles? Make your own by blending up fruit and sneaking in some veggies then freezing it in popsicles molds. Or add the mixture to ice cube trays and add to your favorite beverage.

4. Soup them

If it’s too cold for veggie popsicles, try adding them to soups. Canned veggie soups are full of sodium and not-so-fresh vegetables. Make your own soup by adding leftover veggies, meat, rice and beans to a slow cooker with either vegetable or chicken broth.

5. Juice them

Juicing has become a huge trend for people who want to add more fruits and vegetables to their day, but don’t have time to actually eat them. Juicing is a great way to get antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients into your body quickly. Since you are not heating or cooking vegetables when you juice, you help preserve these important enzymes. Juicing does remove a lot of fiber, so don’t make juice the only way you get your fruits and vegetables.

6. Blend them

Smoothies are not only quick and easy, but they make a perfect meal. Keep some spinach or kale leaves in the freezer and toss a handful into your fruit smoothies to give it a veggie kick. Add a scoop of Go Greens or Extreme Berries for added antioxidants.

7. Swap them

Swap one meal a day for a meatless one. Instead of a chicken sandwich for lunch, try a grilled veggie sandwich with black beans. Replace your meatballs in your spaghetti with tomatoes.

8. Bake them

Did you know avocado can be used in place of butter? Swap avocado for butter or oil in cake, cookie or brownie recipes. You won’t taste the difference and you will be getting a serving of vegetables in your dessert, plus heart healthy fats. Go ahead, have two brownies!

While it may take a while to start craving fruits and vegetables, these little tricks will help you get more of these healthy nutrients into your diet.

Sources:

1. Cohen, Elizabeth. Train your brain to crave healthy foods. CNN.com. Retrieved February 15th, 2013 from http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/08/04/ep.brain.crave.cohen/index.html

2. Ko, Lisa. (August 11th, 2011). Juicing. PBS.com. Retrieved February 14th from http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/juicing/10814/

3. Magee, Elaine. Eat Your Vegetables: 15 Tips for Veggie Haters. Retrieved February 16th, 2013 from http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/eat-your-vegetables-15-tips-for-veggie-haters

Five Ways To Read Nutrition Labels

A nutrition facts label is designed to help you make healthy food choices, and knowing how to read nutritional labels gives you the power to quickly compare products and choose ones that have nutritional values that meet your needs as part of a well-balanced diet. The following is an overview about how to decipher the food labels you see every day.

There are five key components to nutrition labels: serving size, calories, nutrients, %DV, and footnote. Each of these parts offers valuable information about the food product and helps you determine how the food fits into your diet as you strive to meet your personal nutritional needs.

1. Serving Size

One of the most important healthy eating tips is portion control, and paying attention to a food’s serving size is the key to moderation. The serving size is listed at the top of the nutritional label and tells you what a standard serving size is for that particular product. This makes it easier to compare similar products and to keep track of how many servings you are consuming.

2. Calories

Calories measure how much energy you gain from a serving of food. Eating more calories than your body burns can lead to weight gain, so keeping track of calorie intake is important. In this section of the nutrition label, you will also find how many calories in the food are from fat content. Often, the more fat calories in the product, the less nutritious the product is overall. As a general rule, foods that have 40 calories or less per serving are considered low calorie foods, items with 100 calories per serving are moderate, and foods that have 400 calories or more per serving are high calorie foods.

3. Nutrients

This section of the label lists all of the nutrients that are found in the food and how much of each is found in a serving. The first three listed are always fat, cholesterol, and sodium. A healthy diet should limit all three, especially saturated fat and trans fat. The nutrients that follow these, including varying items like dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, and iron, are all nutrients that are a necessary part of a well-balanced diet and found in antioxidant rich foods. Care should be taken to get the proper amount of these each day.

4. %DV

These numbers in the column farthest to the right on the label indicate how much of each nutrient a particular food will supply in a daily diet of 2,000 calories. 5% of a nutrient is considered low, while the 20% range is optimal for vitamins and minerals.

5. Footnote

The footnote at the bottom of the nutritional information typically shows either how a diet with more or less than 2,000 calories would alter the %DV for key nutrients or compares the standard amounts of certain components for diets of 2,000 or 2,500 calories.

Take the mystery out of healthy eating by taking the time to read nutrition labels. A little research can go a long way toward good eating habits.

7 Green Superfoods You Should Know About

I love juicing my vegetables. For me, it’s the easiest route to get all the daily recommended servings into my diet. It is really challenging to get all the vitamins and minerals you need in your diet in order to be healthy and live a vibrant life. When your body isn’t receiving the nutrition it needs, it can lead to weight-gain, cravings, and low-energy. I find that by adding in one green juice made with green superfoods a day to my diet, I have more energy, it helps to stabilize my blood sugar and I feel more satisfied throughout the day. And if you are someone who typically depends on her morning cup of Joe to get moving in the morning, you’ll find that by starting your day with a green juice, you’ll have longer and more sustained energy!

There are certain SUPERFOODS that I add into my green juices that really pack a nutritional punch! Superfoods are nutrient-rich foods considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being. Leafy green vegetables are always high up there on the list

I want to share with you seven vegetables that are always on my weekly shopping list.

1. Alfalfa

If the thought of alfalfa conjures up thought of horse or cow feed, then think again. Alfalfa is great for human consumption because it is full of protein, chlorophyll, iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and a variety of other vitamins. It has been used in the past as a blood purifier and anti-ulcer remedy. I personally love to juice alfalfa with carrot and have that instead of coffee first thing in the morning!

2. Seaweed

Don’t be freaked out, seaweed is tasty and good for you! Plants like dulse, kelp and nori contain minerals present in the sea that we typically don’t get in our land-based plants. Seaweed contains iodine (which is crucial for a healthy thyroid) and is rich in protein and minerals.

3. The Brassica Family

This may sound fancy but it’s actually just the classification for vegetables you are already familiar with: broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens and more. These powerful veggies contain cancer-fighting compounds in addition to providing you with high levels of vitamin C and K, iron and zinc. Don’t be afraid to add these to your juices. They are easier to digest when they are juiced and if you typically don’t like cabbage or kale, this can be a great way to transform their taste into something you do like!

4. Spinach

Popeye was right! Spinach contains many vitamins and minerals which support total body health and strength! I find that when I juice spinach, it has a very neutral taste, so I can add it to most juices without it changing the flavor drastically.

5. Wheatgrass

Wheatgrass is a grain that is in its early growth phase. It contains abundant chlorophyll, amino acids, minerals, vitamins and enzymes. It helps to cleanse the blood. Be warned, however, a little bit of wheatgrass goes a long way. Aim for about an ounce of juice in your drink or you’ll be overwhelmed by the taste.

6. Chlorella

If you didn’t know it, chlorella is algae. But I think of it as an amazing superfood because it’s a blood cleanser, helps the body to break down toxins, especially heavy metals and it also boosts immune function. Adding chlorella to your juices on a daily basis is highly recommended. A little goes a long way. A teaspoon should do it.

7. Spirulina

This is another type of algae. Spirulina is a the highest plant-based form of protein and is a complete protein at that! It also contains essential fatty acids, beta-carotene, and plenty of other vitamins and minerals. Spirulina has a different taste than chlorella and once again, I suggest adding a teaspoon to your diet daily.

When I’m juicing, I mix a variety of fruits and vegetables together to obtain unique flavor combinations in addition to making sure I get all the vitamins and minerals my body requires to stay in tip-top shape. I have even gone so far as to do a 40 day juice cleanse. I drank only freshly prepared juice for 40 days!! I documented my journey and the results where fantastic!! If you’re looking for some new juicing recipes, check it out for yourself. Plenty of people are discovering the benefits of adding juices to their diet on a regular basis or even doing a 7 day Superhero Juice Cleanse!

(And of course To Go Brands has Go Greens which is more than 15 organic fruits and vegetables in one container. How easy is that?! I add a scoop to my water mid-afternoon when I need a pick-me-up and I’m good to go!)

If you don’t have a juicer, don’t fret. You can blend produce and make smoothies. You can also focus on adding many more raw vegetables into your diet in the form of salads and wraps. Radiant health doesn’t have to be challenging. There are small steps you can take every day!

Emyrald Sinclaire is a Holistic Nutritionist who specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Emyrald is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. For more information, visit PureRadiantSelf.com.

A Nutritionist’s Top 8 Ways To Get Dairy-Free Calcium

As a holistic nutritionist who also happens to enjoy a plant based lifestyle, I’m always more than happy to share with others how to get their calcium from plant based sources. Especially when the person is upset or frantic because they’ve just been diagnosed with a dairy allergy. And furthermore, unfortunately we do not have the best sources of dairy in the US and straying away from dairy products actually seems to help a lot of my clients with issues around digestion, IBS, constipation, allergies, and so much more!

Some of the best places to get calcium are from plants and they are even better absorbed and utilized by the body! What’s not to love!?

1. Sesame Seeds

Raw sesame seeds possess almost 1000 mg of calcium per 100g serving. Tahini butter, a popular sesame seed-based nut butter has 426mg per 100g serving.

2. Chia Seeds

A 3.5 ounce serving can provide about 631mg of calcium. I like to sprinkle them on my salads, mix them into my oatmeal and even add them into my smoothies.

3. Dark Leafy Greens (such as collard greens, kale, turnip greens, arugula, mustard greens and spinach)

Spinach ranks very high in calcium, with 56mg of calcium per cup. A 100g serving of collards packs a 145 mg calcium punch. One cup of steamed bok choy has around 158 mg of the mineral. Kale ranks in with 139mg of calcium and the spicy mustard green has 103mg of calcium per 100g serving. If you aim to have one large leafy green salad a day, you are easily meeting your calcium needs.

4. Flax Seeds

Not only high in calcium (256mg per 100g serving), flax seeds are also rich in omega-3 fats.

5. Quinoa

One cup of cooked quinoa offers approximately 60-100 mg of calcium, not to mention a high amount of potassium, zinc and protein.

6. Oranges

Believe it or not, one cup of freshly-squeezed organic orange juice offers approximately 72 mg of calcium. Not to mention plenty of vitamin c, which will significantly improve the amount of calcium your body absorbs.

7. Beans

Many common beans are high in calcium. Winged beans possess 442mg of calcium per 100g serving. Many white beans are very high in calcium having approximately 175mg of calcium per serving. Navy beans are also a great source of calcium, with 127mg per cup.

8. Dried Fruits and Nuts

Many dried fruits are high in calcium. In fact, eating five dried figs per day gives you 135mg of calcium. Almonds are also extremely high in calcium. Raw, or ground into nut butter, almonds hold 266mg of calcium per 100g.

How much calcium do I need?

Adults between the ages of 19 and 50 need 1000 milligrams of calcium per day, with adults aged 51 and over need to increase their calcium intake to 1200 milligrams per day. If you are taking a supplement to get your daily calcium make sure you are also taking magnesium with it. Magnesium is the transport that brings the calcium to your cells. The ratio of magnesium to calcium should be 2:1. In other words if you are taking 1200mg of calcium you should also be taking 600mg of magnesium for a complete solution.

So there you have it. They may say that “milk does a body good,” but you can know that plants do a body better!

Emyrald Sinclaire is a Holistic Nutritionist who specializes in detoxification programs, internal cleanses, and helping clients build strong immune systems. She also travels internationally to do raw food workshops, yoga retreats, and personal coaching. In addition, Emyrald is a Certified Power Yoga Instructor and a Certified Raw Food Chef from the SunKitchen. For more information, visit PureRadiantSelf.com.

Is Stress Keeping You From Weight Loss Success?

Are you eating right and exercising but still gaining weight? Stress could be the culprit! Our bodies react to stress both physically and psychologically. According to Prevention.com, every time you have a stressful day, your brain acts as though you are in physical danger and sends signals to your cells to release hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol. Cortisol can be holding your back from weight loss success.

So what’s the problem with cortisol? Cortisol tells our bodies to replenish energy, even if you don’t use many calories. This can make you hungry. According to researcher Elissa Epel PhD , when you are hungry during a cortisol rush, you aren’t craving healthy foods, but instead crave sweet, salty and high fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release chemicals that actually reduce tension. This can actually become addicting so we eat these types of foods in stressful situations.

As long as you’re stressed, cortisol keeps pumping. Excess cortisol production also stimulates glucose production, which ends up being stored as fat.

“Exposure to cortisol over the long term can lead to weight gain, as your appetite and insulin levels are continuously increased. If stress and cortisol levels stay high, so will insulin levels”, says Robert M. Sapolsky, Ph.D., a professor of biological sciences and neuroscience at Stanford University.

Cortisol also encourages our bodies to store fat, especially visceral fat. Visceral fat surrounds the internal organs and is harder to lose. Stress-induced cortisol weight gain is also seen around the waistline because cells in this area are more sensitive to cortisol. According to Project Aware, this is the most dangerous place to gain weight, since it can lead to metabolic syndrome, diabetes and heart disease.

Ashwagandha, also called Indian Ginseng, has been used for centuries to treat stress and other ailments. According to LE Magazine, researchers have studied the effects of ashwagandha on the negative effects of stress, including elevated levels of cortisol. Participants of the study reported increased energy, reduced fatigue, better sleep, an enhanced sense of well-being as well as 26% reduction of cortisol levels and a decline in fasting blood sugar levels.

Unfortunately stress is part of life, so when you have those stressful situations that could cause weight gain, try Trim Energy. Trim Energy contains the stress-less herb Ashwagandha to help control cortisol levels as well as SVETOL’s Green Coffee Bean Extract and metabolism boosting EGCG from green tea.

Sources:

1. Kalish, Nancy. Prevention.com. Why Stress Makes You Hungry. Retrieved November 27th, 2012 from http://www.prevention.com/weight-loss/weight-loss-tips/how-stop-stress-and-lose-weight#ixzz2DSiR4K1c
2. Spudich, Tiffany. (2007, January). Cortisol and Weight. ProjectAWARE. Retrieved November 26, 2012, from http://www.project-aware.org/Resource/articlearchives/cortisol_weight.shtm
3. Kiefer, Dale. (2006, June). Ashwagandha Stress Reduction, Neural Protection, and a Lot More from an Ancient Herb. LE Magazine. Retrieved November 27 from http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2006/jun2006_report_ashwa_01.htm

Healthy Lunch Ideas for Kids

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Did you know the number one food served in cafeteria is chicken fingers and French fries? More and more schools are serving healthier cafeteria options thanks to programs like Let’s Move, but this doesn’t necessarily mean your child will chose the grilled chicken over a the staple French fries at lunch time. If you want to make sure your child is eating healthy, brown bag it!

Here are 10 fun and healthy lunch ideas for kids.

1. Hide the veggies

You may never know if your child really eats that lettuce or tomato on his or her ham sandwich. Instead of placing veggies on regular sandwich bread, try making a wrap. Just use a low calorie spread, add the lettuce and veggies and then meat and cheese and roll. The veggies will be out of sight and out of mind- plus much harder to pick out!

2. Always include Dessert

Who doesn’t love dessert? Seriously! Kids especially love a sweet treat. Reward your child for eating a healthy lunch with a healthy dessert. Whip up some chocolate chip cookies using whole wheat flour, replace the eggs with flax and the vegetable oil with coconut oil. Add in some dried fruit or dark chocolate for a little extra sweetness.

3. Spaghetti Swap

Kids love slurping noodles. Why not make those noodles healthy? Zucchini noodles are healthy new take on classic starchy noodles. Make the noodles at home the night before by using a potato or julienne peeler. Top with pesto, marinara, or your favorite sauce. Add in some chicken for a protein packed meal.

4. Turkey Roll Ups

Make lunch fun by letting your child “create” his or her own lunch. Just include a few slices of turkey, cheese and veggies. Add in some whole grain pretzels to help spear the rolls together. This time, it’s ok to play with your food!

5. Breakfast for Lunch

Brunch isn’t just for weekends. Switch things up and pack breakfast items for lunch. Hard boiled eggs are easy to make and are a great source of protein. Bake some whole grain muffins or try a whole grain sprouted bagel with almond butter spread.

6. Make it Sweet

Protein packed and sweet all in one? We’ll eat to that! Try a strawberries and cream sandwich or bagel. Make a healthier spread by mixing light cream cheese with Greek yogurt. Top with sliced strawberries, bananas and a drizzle of honey.

7. Create A Recipe Book

If your child doesn’t like tuna, he or she is not going to eat tuna. Create a recipe book with your child of all his favorite things. This will make it much easier to chose meals you know he is going to eat and enjoy. No more wasted food or a hungry kid!

8. Fast Food Redo

We’re sure you wouldn’t have any problems getting your child to eat fast food chicken nuggets. Make your own healthy chicken “nuggets” at home by baking chicken strips instead of frying them. Just mix bread crumbs with your desired seasons, dip in eggs whites, and bake as you normally would. Your kids will get the crispy, chewy chicken nugget taste, without the added sodium and fat.

9. Include Your Kids

Have your child participate in making lunch the night before. Have he or she pick one of each of the food groups in include in his or her lunch box. Soup is also a great meal to make as family. Let you child pick out the vegetables for the soup. Kids love to help in the kitchen.

10. Freebie Fridays

We are a big proponent of the 80/20 rule. Why not use this rule for your kids as well? After a week of healthy meals, let your child pick what he or she would like to eat for Friday. One slice of pizza or a sub sandwich won’t ruin a perfectly healthy week.

Healthy lunches don’t have to be boring anymore. Give these 10 tips a try for more nutritious lunches and a healthier child.

Sources:

Christensen, Jenn. (September 29, 2010). Schools struggle to feed kids healthy food. CNN. Retrieved July 2nd, 2013 from http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/09/29/school.food.investigation/index.html

 

Whey Protein Isolate vs Concentrate

Whey protein has become an increasingly popular source of protein, but not all whey is created equally. There are two main types of whey protein used in supplements- whey protein concentrate and whey protein isolate. It should be noted that there are considerable differences in the way each is produced as well as the nutritional content of each.

So which one is better? Here are the facts:

Whey Protein Isolate

Whey Protein Isolate is produced from pasteurized whey and is a byproduct in the making of cheese. During this process, non-protein elements removed. Whey protein isolate has all the amino acids that we need in our daily diet, making it a complete protein.

Whey protein isolate has high levels of branched chain amino acids, which promote muscle growth since it can be metabolized directly into muscle tissue. Whey protein isolate also contains a high level of leucine, which also promotes muscle growth and loss of fat tissue. Whey protein isolate’s high levels of cysteine also helps to boost the immune system by elevating the body’s level of glutathione.

Whey Protein Isolate Key Points:

•Higher protein concentrate

•Less lactose, if any at all

•A complete protein

•50% more leucine than soy protein isolate

•High level of cysteine

Whey Protein Concentrate

Whey protein concentrate is much easier and cheaper to produce than isolate. Concentrate also retains more lactose per serving. Because there is more lactose, there is considerably less protein than in isolate. Whey protein concentrate also tends to have more fat than isolate.

Key Points:

•Cheaper

•Less protein

•More lactose and fat

Smoothie Complete is made with 10 grams of lean whey protein isolate. Many companies use a whey protein concentrate and add a miniscule amount of isolate, to keep the cost down and make it appear to customers that they are consuming a product with high quality whey protein isolate. Smoothie Complete offers an affordable and delicious way to get whey protein isolate along with 100% of Vitamins A through E, 500 mg of calcium, fiber, Omega-3 fatty acids and even the antioxidants of one serving of fruit in every scoop. Get your daily essentials with Smoothie Complete!

To learn more about whey protein, visit the Whey Protein Institute.

References:

1. http://www.livestrong.com/article/39242-benefits-whey-protein-isolate/#ixzz1zrZbvDqp

2. http://www.livestrong.com/article/74627-difference-between-whey-protein-concentrate/#ixzz1zraRuKda