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Archive for the ‘health’ tag

May 9th, 2014 at 9:34 am

Conquering Diet and Exercise Hurdles

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One thing that plagues me day after day is weight loss. What I have realized is identifying the biggest hurdles helps you gain control, so you can actively acknowledge and work on them.

Only eat when you are hungry.
You don’t have to eat just because food is in front of you or the rest of your family is eating. Pay attention to whether you are really feeling hungry or if you’re just craving taste. If you aren’t really hungry at dinner but want to eat with the family, choose vegetables with low carbs, low calories and low fat.

You aren’t respecting your portions.
Watch how big your plate is and how much food you are putting on it. Use a scale or measuring cup to see how much an actual portion is. Check out food labels to determine the portion size. As a rule, your plate should be half vegetables or salad, a quarter carbohydrates, and a quarter protein.

Watch what you drink.
Watch what you have in your cup. Remember that things like alcohol, juice, and soft drinks all contain calories and sugars. Sometimes a cup of these things may be as much as an extra snack.

You have no motivation.
Set some goals to give you something to work towards. Keep track of your food in a food diary, get up and move by using a pedometer, or even reward yourself for working out.

Failure isn’t your enemy.
A day of failure or even a moment of failure doesn’t mean that you should quit. Start over and tell yourself that you will do better next time.

What do you feel are some of your biggest hurdles?

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March 6th, 2014 at 1:28 pm

The Paleo Diet

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The “Paleo” (paleolithic) diet has risen in popularity over the past few years. According to ThePaleoDiet.com, it involves eating only foods that our ancestors from the Paleolithic era ate, which includes meats (poultry, beef, lamb, pork, etc.) fish and other seafood, fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and natural oils such as olive, coconut, avocado, etc. Things like dairy, cereal grains, refined sugars, legumes, and any type of processed food are not included, as the hunter-gatherers of that age did not have the tools and knowledge to cultivate or create them (although some variations of the diet do include eggs and beans). Overall it’s a type of low-carb diet. Advocates of the paleo diet believe it aids in preventing certain diseases and ailments, including acne, obesity, some types of heart disease, diabetes and others. If you’re interested in trying this diet, you should consult your doctor first. The are skeptics who don’t find this diet to be as effective as others in terms of balanced diet and weight loss, so it’s important to do your own research and determine if it’s something that’s right for you. Here are some great Paleo resources for information, recipes and more.

Have you tried the Paleo diet? Share your experiences here and on our Facebook page!

Photo Credit: http://8bitreally.com/category/nutrition/

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February 7th, 2014 at 6:27 am

Helping to Keep Germs Away

imageI had the worse case of strep throat last month. My bed was my best friend for an entire week and it took all my strength to just pick up my kids from school. Since then, each of them have been treated for the same thing. It doesn’t help that the outside temperature  is so cold that we barely ever get fresh air. You hear it all over the place – the stomach flu, influenza, strep throat, and mysterious fever illnesses.

I am becoming more and more aware of where we can contract illness. The counter at our favorite fast food restaurant, shopping carts, the computer room at school, and the list goes on and on. So, what do we do to try to be proactive and prevent catching things?

My first defense is washing of our hands. I am constantly bugging the boys to wash your hands. Some soap and water along with scrubbing your hands while singing the alphabet song twice is the best way to do it. Don’t just bug the kids, do it yourself also!

If soap and water aren’t available, then use hand sanitizer gel and rub your hands together until the gel evaporates or about 20 seconds. I know, it feels like forever, but a week in bed isn’t worth it.

Disinfect your house to help prevent germs from spreading. Wipe off some of the highly touched surfaces with a disinfectant. Think about doorknobs, tables, light switches and handrails. If the sickness means a lot of bathroom time, then be sure to disinfect the toilet, floor and bathroom sink. Don’t get crazy obsessed, just work this into your cleaning schedule a little more than normal. Think about things that people may share in your house. Do your kids sip out of the same cup sometimes, is there a whistle in the toy box they play with? Think about these things and limit their use when there are sickies in the house.

It never can hurt to get your vitamins. We can’t get enough orange juice here, since that is our sickness fighter of choice. Pack meals with veggies, fruit, and even chewable vitamins so immune systems are extra strong. Also make sure you get adequate amounts of sleep.

It’s not fun to take care of a sick child or to be sick yourself. Hopefully it can make it a little less likely with the tips above!

 Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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January 16th, 2014 at 10:30 am

Simple, Healthy Snacks for Kids

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Frozen Banana Pops

Nutritionists suggest that eating multiple small, healthy meals throughout the day is better for your body than three square meals, so snacks are an important part of your child’s nutrition. Processed snacks from the food store tend to have a lot of unnecessary fillers, high sugar or sodium levels, or are high in fat and calories. Get some piece of mind and take full control of what your little one eats by making your own healthy snacks. Here are some great ideas:

What healthy snacks do you make for your kids? Share with us here or on our Facebook page!

Photo Credit: www.ohsweetbasil.com

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January 9th, 2014 at 3:36 pm

Mommy and Me Exercises

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Pregnancy is synonymous with “change.” When you have a child (especially your first), everything changes…and that includes your body! Once new moms settle into a routine, one of the most common sentiments is, “Now, how do I get my body back??” When you have kids, especially young babies, it can be difficult to find the time or opportunity to get a decent workout in. Here are some “Mommy and Me” exercises you can do with your little one!

*Keep in mind, you should always ask your doctor what types of exercises you’re allowed to do (depending on the type of birth you had, your personal health, etc.) before starting.

Other great ways to exercise with your baby are jogging/walking with the stroller, dancing, and hiking with the baby in a carrier.

Share your postnatal exercise routine with us on our Facebook wall…what worked for you?

Photo Credit: Parenting.com 

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January 6th, 2014 at 5:00 am

Momsomnia

timeThere are nights I sleep like a baby, and then others I lay awake. At night is when all the things I’ve tossed aside during the day creep into my head…

Schedules

To Do Lists

What’s for Dinner?

Problems at school

Financial worries

Replay of conversations

Why my skin is so dry

Marital issues

Baby’s sleep schedule for tomorrow

and the list goes on and on for all of us…

It doesn’t help that when I can’t sleep I turn to my phone to “help” me fall asleep. A little game of candy crush, catching up on some favorite blogs and Pinterest. This doesn’t help…now I am thinking about some great crafts I would like to make, how I can redecorate my house on a budget, and what I can do differently to beat that level that I just can’t get past. Before I realize it, I have been up for 2 hours in the middle of the night and I know that I am going to feel it in the morning.

As I get older this this happens more frequently, but how do you shut the brain off and really sleep?

I have noticed a few things that help -

  • Cutting back on caffeine. I used to be able to drink caffeine up to the minute right before bed, but now I notice if I have it too late in the afternoon or evening that I just don’t sleep the same.
  • Exercise. 
  • Letting things go. Try to deal with your stressors instead of saving them for the quiet of night.
  • Getting rid of distractions. Instead of grabbing my iPhone when I wake in the middle of the night I know am just trying to fall back asleep. Typically this works and I don’t stay up for an hour or two.

What tricks do you have to cure insomnia?

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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July 16th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Let a Teen Show you How to Eat Healthy

Are you looking for gluten free food ideas? Perhaps you’re considering going paleo. Or maybe you’re just looking for some healthy food recipes to liven up your family menu. If so, you definitely want to check out the Yes to Yummy blog.

Written by a smart and funny 14-year-old named Abby who is, full disclosure, the daughter of a good friend, Yes to Yummy is chock full of excellent recipes and ideas for great tasting gluten- and grain-free food that is healthy and delicious and helps you go paleo with a smile.

Dietary restrictions can be a real roadblock to eating great tasting food. Admit it, gluten-free is a hardship (oh how we love our carbs), and gluten-free products, well, they’re not usually on the high end of the taste charts.

So Abby has put together lots of great recipes that run from hearty dinners to delightful desserts that make you forget that you’re eating right. Her blog is clearly written, with great photos and easy to follow instructions, peppered with colorful commentary that will make you feel like you’re chatting with a good friend. She’s got a great story of her own personal transformation that came about when she changed her diet. Now’s she’s the head chef in her home and her family is reaping the rewards. Lucky them!

Follow the Yes to Yummy blog or like her (along with 4000+ others) on Facebook to participate in the dialogue .

Well done Abby!

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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June 7th, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Allergies and Kids

Some of us see spring and early summer as a magical time as the flowers bloom and leaves suddenly appear on the trees. Others wish the season was over before it even begins. As beautiful and magical as the early growing season is, it can be a real pain for kids who deal with seasonal allergies. Those of you with seasonal allergies or parents of kids who have them, know the signs – watery eyes, constant sneezing, and even asthma symptoms with trouble breathing. It can be so miserable for kids, but here are some ways to keep them happy.

Stay Inside  - It’s a bummer, but the best way to avoid all the allergens in the air. You will need to turn the air conditioner on in your home and car, plus keep the windows shut.

Drink Lots of Water – You should always stay hydrated but when constant sneezing and nose blowing is occuring extra water helps to keep the body working right!

Add Humidity – A little humidity helps easier breathing.

Take care of Sinus Pressure – None of us like sinus pressure, but it can be relieved by rinsing your sinuses with saltwater, sitting in steam from a warm shower or bath, gargling with saltwater, and applying warm compresses.

Be sure to buy the best tissues for those little noses. The ones with aloe or lotion help to soothe the redness from constant rubbing. Also, think about things you may bring inside. If you dry your laundry on a line, when you bring it inside it can often bring the in the allergens you are trying to avoid!

Last, but not least, snuggle your little one. A hug and snuggle is one of the best ways to make them feel a little better!

Remember if allergies ever get bad enough to effect how your child is breathing you should make sure to consult a physician.

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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March 1st, 2013 at 5:00 am

Sometimes You’re Forced to Slow Down

The last month, I wasn’t just forced to slow down, but to physically STOP!  I fell on the ice in late January and hurt my back which ended up being a three week recovery. The first week I could barely leave my bed and the second week the recliner. For those two weeks a lot had to be put aside. Sitting at the computer was a struggle, so if I couldn’t do it through my iPad then it wasn’t going to get done.

Any mom knows that we barely have time for a cold, yet being grounded for over two weeks. I find the hardest part was the guilt. Early on, when I could barely move from my bed my youngest came home from school, looked at me, and said,”You’re still in bed?” I was in bed when he had left for school that morning. My kids aren’t used to seeing me that way. I don’t spend days, or even hours in bed. I had guilt for missing school obligations, not being able to help the kids, and even having my husband pick up my slack.

I learned some lessons while I went on my “vacation” as I called it. I learned that if we ended up buying Valentine Cards instead of making them… life still went on. My goal date to be back to normal was my son’s eighth birthday party. I knew that it wouldn’t be my normal party with homemade decorations revolving around an elaborate theme. I was able to make it through the whole party. It was a simple affair at the local pizza place, and the funny thing was that my son said he loved that birthday. I have to admit it was nice to not have all the stress… sometimes, you can take a step back and do things more simple. This was a huge lesson for me because I tend to think I need to go all out. I laughed, because I didn’t even make goody bags for the kids. I just gave them a sandwich bag filled with a couple dollars in quarters to play the video games. My youngest son is now begging to have his birthday there!

I learned a lot during my little “vacation.” Sometime you just need to slow down and take some time to look at how you do things and if you don’t you just might be forced to!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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November 29th, 2012 at 5:00 am

Holiday Health

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The holiday season is officially in full swing, and while we are busy shopping and preparing for the next month, it can be easy for our own physical and emotional health to fall to the bottom of the priority list.  We make it a point to take care of everyone else, but it is so important to take care of yourself – not just for the sake of your family, but for you too.  Here are a few tips on how to stay healthy during the holiday season:

  • Exercise This one is tough but it is important to try to fit it into your day – all you need is 20 minutes.  Something as simple as pushing a stroller around the neighborhood can make you feel more energetic during an exhausting month. Sounds great, doesn’t it?  An added bonus to exercise is that it also is a great way to control your weight.
  • Hydrate Drink lots of water!  Sometimes we confuse being thirsty with hunger, which can lead to some unhealthy choices.  The next time you feel hungry, try having an 8-oz. glass of water and see if that makes you feel better.  There’s no such thing as “too much” when it comes to drinking water – you’ll stay hydrated AND be guilt-free since you chose not to have that snack instead.
  • Make some “me” time.  This is a tricky one for moms, but let’s face it, we need to recharge more than anyone. Don’t allow yourself any excuses.  Find the time, even if it’s only 15 minutes, and do whatever you want for that block of time.  Read a book, sit down with a cup of coffee, take a bubble bath – whatever!  This is your time to recharge.
  • Be realistic.  You’re going to cave and indulge in those delicious holiday sweets occasionally.  And you’re going to be stressed out because you want to have the perfect holiday with your family.  It’s okay to not be “perfect”.  If you can accept this you’ll have a much more enjoyable holiday.

Happy Holidays!

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