Keep Kids on Track Over the Summer

By Laurel Sterling, RD

MotherDaughterGardeningSummer time is a time of the year that schedules change for many of us, and it is easy to get off track in many areas of our lives. We stay up later with the sun being out longer so our sleep is off. There are wonderful parties, picnics, and BBQs that we attend and as a result our eating is not as optimal as it could be.

For our children, we tend to have them involved in activities and camps over the summer to keep them busy and out of mischief. I feel this also is a perfect time to get them more involved in things like gardening, cooking, juicing, etc.

My 6-year-old daughter Lily LOVES to help out in the kitchen; so I bought her a small Island bamboo cutting board to use for cutting up produce when we are prepping for grilling or juicing. This is a great time of year with all the fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables to get children more interested in juicing and cooking. At my house, we have cilantro, basil, and several mints growing in our herb garden right outside our kitchen door. Lily loves to make up her own juice recipes. Some are amazing and others….well…..let’s just say we are still experimenting with them!

Using more fresh herbs, fruits, and vegetables from your own gardens really gets kids connected to where there food comes from. They can see the entire “Farm-to-Table” process right in their own backyard! My daughter picks blackberries from the bushes in our yard, and we use the berries to make smoothies with the Lifeway Keifer and a protein powder. Vega French Vanilla and Lifetime Life’s Basics Plant Protein Mix Natural Vanilla Flavor are my two favorite protein powders to use. They are loaded with so many vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, fiber, and more! These are a great way to sneak in additional nutrients that may be lacking from your child’s diet. You can also add Nature’s Way Liquid Coconut oil to your smoothie for some healthy additional fats, which are great for increasing cognition. Don’t we all need some of that?!

So let’s keep those kids on track, get them more involved with cooking, and make them healthier at the same time! All of the supplemental products I’ve mentioned are available right here at Natur-Tyme.

More great tips are available on www.kidseatright.org.

Rejuvenation Through Juicing

By Lilia Mykytyn134253142

Spring is the season of rejuvenation and renewal where we peel off the extra layers of clothing worn all winter long—especially this winter with the many polar vortexes we have lived through! We do the same with food, peeling away the heartiness of our winter comfort food to something lighter and fresher like fruits and vegetables. Most of us try to incorporate more fresh produce into our diets, but find that it can be a very daunting task to eat the recommended amount everyday.

One way to get more veggies and fruits in our diets is through juicing. There are so many powerful nutrients found in plant foods and juice is the quickest and easiest way to get the high concentrations of these nutrients in your body. Scientific research has suggested that these nutrients increase metabolism, lower body weight, and promote overall good health. They also reboot the body to help lose the addiction to processed foods that are high in sugars, salt, and fat.

The documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead reveals that you can turn your life around through juicing. I highly recommend that you watch it. Joe Cross, the star of this documentary, realized that he would have to change what he ate, or rather what he drank, to save his life. The movie reveals how Cross changed his relationship with food through juicing. Cross put nothing in his body except the juice of raw fruits and vegetables for sixty days. Cross admits that this was pretty extreme, but he needed to heal his body from the inside out. He relied on the natural enzymes and antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables to help reset his body to decrease the cravings of processed foods and caffeine.

What is important to point out from Cross’ experience is you can improve your nutrition through drinking your fresh produce. You can break down your addiction to caffeine, sugar, and salt just by eating vegetables and fruits. Think of juicing as a reboot, a renewal, like springtime. You don’t have to jump right into a juice fast like Joe Cross did, but incorporate one juice daily to allow your body to absorb the nutrients from fruits and vegetables more efficiently. Include juicing as part of your diet and focus on non-processed foods. Look at juice as the ultimate convenience food that will boost your immune system and have you feeling lighter and rejuvenated just like spring!

The Greatness of Green Drinks

By Laurel Sterling, MA, RD136706785

It’s a New Year! One of the best ways to ramp up your nutrition is by consuming green drinks. Typically, many of these green drinks contain spirulina, chlorella, barley grass, and wheat grass. These greens alone are packed full of nutrients! Spirulina is a microalgae. It contains 60-70% protein, B12, iron, essential amino acids, and chlorophyll. Chlorella is an algae with a high amount of chlorophyll. It contains B vitamins, amino acids, and trace minerals. According to Dr. Anne Wigmore, founder of Hippocrates Health Institute, one pound of wheatgrass is equal in nutritional value to 25 pounds of standard vegetables. Wheatgrass is a good source of protein and is beneficial to the body for its detoxifying properties. It protects lungs and blood from air and water pollution. Wheatgrass contains vitamins B, C, and E, as well as high amounts of chlorophyll, which further assists cleansing the blood and keeps it at high alkaline levels.

There are all sorts of green drinks out there. Some are just the individual greens, and others are mixed with berries and/or electrolytes. Some are organic; some are raw and/or organic; some have added electrolytes. How do we choose??

The benefits of eating raw are that the food is easily and quickly digested in 24-36 hours (vs. 48-100 for cooked foods), and enzymes and nutrients remain intact.

We live in a sea of chemicals, so reduce exposure where you can by choosing organic. Refer to the Environmental Working Group’s list of the dirty dozen and be certain to choose organic for those items; if the green drink you are spotting is not organic and contains a Dirty Dozen item, I’d go with another choice.

When you exercise, you lose electrolytes (particularly sodium and potassium) in your sweat and these must be replaced to keep the balance. Minerals come from greens, and some of these drinks have additional minerals. Green drinks with electrolytes are great for athletes! Also, minerals are so important because our bodies are made of 70% mineral water.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of choices as far as greens drinks go. I prefer the ones with the berries and fruit added. Whatever your preference….choose green!!

Celebrate Spring

By Carol Blair BS, DiHom, CNC

GardeningAs spring appears, we think of flowers, green lawns, cleaning up the winter debris, gardening, and maybe composting?

This is an excellent time to start a compost pile if you haven’t already.  By returning nutrients to the earth, you improve your garden by producing healthier soil with more minerals.  Like a healthy body that requires fewer prescriptions, healthy soil nourishes the plants so they require fewer pesticides.

If you don’t have a garden, this is a good time to think about growing a few vegetables or fruits.  If you don’t want a full-fledged garden, containers can house tomatoes, green or red peppers, or even a few strawberries.  This is a wonderful way to get the kids to eat healthier as they are always so proud of food they grow themselves!  It’s also nice to be able to share a couple of fresh, organic tomatoes with a favorite neighbor or perhaps even get a few neighbors to try growing different varieties.  Then you can share to see which tomatoes you like best. You might even like the results of getting to know your neighbors better.

And what’s nicer than having a few fresh herbs like chives and parsley growing on your deck? Have you ever thought about planting a fruit?  With the prices of food rising so dramatically and no relief in sight, this might be the time.  There are many dwarf varieties available as well. Get some advice as some might need a “partner” tree for pollination.

It’s spring, one of my favorite times of the years, so let’s start composting, growing, and developing a sense of community.

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