Top Five Energy Boosters for Dreary Days

Family Wellness | February 21, 2014 | By

1. Be intentional about getting a good night’s sleep and, if needed during the day, take a short power nap.That coffee with dessert might have boosted your mood after dinner, but the caffeine likely disrupted your sleep. Lack of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep can make you feel sluggish and less motivated while decreasing your ability to focus. Try to maintain a regular sleep cycle and if your eyelids are dropping during the day, take a short nap. You’ll be energized and ready to concentrate after your zzzzzzs!

2. Eat a healthy diet and avoid skipping meals. Missed meals cause our bodies to crave sugar and eat more to resolve our slump than to prevent it. Don’t rely on excessive caffeine (over 500mg) and sugar to treat this problem. Their promising energy surge guarantees an energy drop later and you’re back where you started. To avoid this crazy cycle, choose nutritious snacks full of fiber and nutrients such as nuts, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and granola bars such as ‘Kind’ or ‘Larabar’.

3. Fill up on water. Even mild dehydration can alter your energy level, mood, and mental well-being. Have a water bottle handy where ever you go. To keep it interesting, add fresh squeezed lemon, lime, or other fresh ingredients.

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Healthy Snacking

Family Wellness | January 3, 2014 | By

boy_peeling_orangeDream Dinners has you eating homemade meals at dinner time, but we want to help you avoid ‘famished-overeating’ by incorporating healthy snacks into your diet.

Why healthy snacks?  Because sugary snacks make you crave more sugar causing your blood sugar levels to vacillate like a yoyo.  Low blood sugar makes you feel hungry and therefore eat more.  That’s why you can eat a muffin and feel so hungry in only a couple of hours.

Fiber, protein, and unsaturated oils will slow digestion and help keep your metabolism stable. Fiber rich foods include whole grains, raw fruits and vegetables, beans, peas, and lentils. You can find protein in lean meats, fish, jerky, low fat cheeses, nuts, eggs, and beans. If you eat something sweet, pair it with these other food that will slow its digestion.

You can stop the yo-yoing cycle by wisely choosing healthy snacks. Here are some of favorites from our Dream Dinners Home Office staff.

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Every little bit helps – lower the risk of type 2 diabetes

Frequent breaks to stretch and stand may lower the risk of type 2 diabetes for desk workers, couch potatoes and other people who sit for long amounts of time.

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10 More Ways to Be a Fitter Family

Family Wellness | February 3, 2010 | By

  1. Devise a healthy snack list with your child. Post on the refrigerator.
  2. Teach your child to cook.
  3. Involve your child at the supermarket by assigning a list of nutritious foods to find.
  4. Start each day with a nutritious breakfast. Not only will your child pay attention at school, breakfast plays a role in healthy weight regulation.
  5. Encourage your child to play outside whenever feasible. Adults can play too! You’re it!
  6. On the weekend, live life instead of watching it on TV. Find a new place to hike, bike, cross-country ski or run.
  7. Find an indoor swim center that you can use all year long.
  8. Discuss food advertising with your child. Write letters to the advertisers that inundate children’s programming with low-nutrition food and beverages ads.
  9. Teach your child how to read and understand the information on food labels.
  10. Be a role model! Show your child how much you enjoy nutritious foods and fun, physical activity.

 

by Connie Evers, MS, RD

 

Connie Evers MS, RD, is a specialist in children’s health and nutrition education and the author of “How to Teach Nutrition to Kids”, a book which is used in thousands of schools throughout the world as a framework for nutrition education.  She also is author of  “Feeding Kids” newsletter.

We have obtained permission to reprint this list. If you would like to share or post this list on your site please contact Connie Liakos Evers at reprint@nutritionforkids.com for details and rates.

Twenty Ways to Become a Fitter Family

Our Company | January 18, 2010 | By

  1. Eat more meals together. Kids who eat family meals are better nourished, do better in school, and even get into less trouble!
  2. Overhaul your kitchen. Take a close look at pantry shelves, cupboards, the refrigerator and the freezer. Do you see mostly high calorie, low nutrition easy-grab foods or are there plenty of nutritious choices? Can you look around your kitchen and easily find the ingredients for four or five healthful meals? Make a list of staple ingredients needed to stock a healthful kitchen and head to the store.
  3. Not every activity needs to be fueled by food. Eat at home before heading off to a movie, sporting event or amusement park.
  4. Make better choices when eating out. Start by saying “no” to super-sized portions.
  5. Avoid telling your child to “take one more bite” or “clean your plate.”
  6. Be the sports parent who speaks up about the “treats” typically served after games and practice. Offer to put together a list of nutritious snack and beverage choices.
  7. Limit access to sweetened drinks. When thirsty, drink water.
  8. Teach your child about agriculture by visiting local farms and farmer’s markets. Choose locally grown produce when available. Plant a vegetable garden with your child.
  9. For short errands, walk or bike with your child.
  10. Limit total “screen time” (video games, computer, TV, etc) to a maximum of 2 hours daily.
  11. Devise a healthy snack list with your child. Post on the refrigerator.
  12. Teach your child to cook.
  13. Involve your child at the supermarket by assigning a list of nutritious foods to find.
  14. Start each day with a nutritious breakfast. Not only will your child pay attention at school, breakfast plays a role in healthy weight regulation.
  15. Encourage your child to play outside whenever feasible. Adults can play too! You’re it!
  16. On the weekend, live life instead of watching it on TV. Find a new place to hike, bike, cross-country ski or run.
  17. Find an indoor swim center that you can use all year long.
  18. Discuss food advertising with your child. Write letters to the advertisers that inundate children’s programming with low-nutrition food and beverages ads.
  19. Teach your child how to read and understand the information on food labels.
  20. Be a role model! Show your child how much you enjoy nutritious foods and fun, physical activity.

by Connie Evers, MS, RD

Connie Evers MS, RD, is a specialist in children’s health and nutrition education and the author of “How to Teach Nutrition to Kids”, a book which is used in thousands of schools throughout the world as a framework for nutrition education.  She also is author of  “Feeding Kids” newsletter.

We have obtained permission to reprint this list. If you would like to share or post this list on your site please contact Connie Liakos Evers at reprint@nutritionforkids.com for details and rates.

What does Dr. Brent say about garlic?

Our Company | January 13, 2010 | By

Throw out the garlic supplements and pick up a clove.

The sulfur containing compound in garlic that gives it the pungent odor is called allicin.  Allicin promotes anti-oxidant activity and gives garlic natural anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties.

Chopping or mincing the garlic and then letting it sit for 5-10 minutes before cooking enhances it health benefits. When garlic is cut, cell membranes are ruptured, bringing certain enzymes in contact with one another and producing more allicin (this is why garlic doesn’t smell until you start to cut it).

While garlic supplements purport to contain allicin, they certainly don’t contain the array of other nutrients and enzymes that work together to make this vegetable one of the healthiest foods.

To learn more about eating well and living the good life, visit www.beekman1802.com

Setting SMART New Year’s Resolutions

Our Company | December 31, 2009 | By

As a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator I have seen many individuals over the years set themselves up for failure with big health goals  (New Year’s resolutions) which they can’t achieve.  The result usually plays itself out by the first weeks of February when they can no longer keep up, or don’t see progress being made, and end up abandoning the whole “self-improvement” concept. The unfortunate consequence of this type of unrealistic goal setting is that people inevitably end up feeling worse about themselves in the process.

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Holiday Weight Management Tips with Brian Wansink

Our Company | December 14, 2009 | By

We all know that we eat more during the holiday season and there is no shortage of news stories telling us about holiday weight gain. It was refreshing to find a video by an expert in eating behavior that actually offers some advice about how to cut down rather than doing without.

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Diabetes: A taboo subject during the holidays

Not many people want to talk about diabetes during the holidays. This is likely because we have enough stress in our lives without having to worrying about blood sugars or maybe it is because food plays such a central role in activities this time of year. Most people do not realize that keeping blood sugars on target helps you have more energy and feel better – it may even improve your mood.  Here are some ideas you may find helpful if you have made a commitment to keeping your blood sugars under control this holiday season.

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