The other day I saw a father give a baby a sip of soda. A baby! I try not to judge other parents and how they raise their children, but I couldn't but help feel that it was some form of child abuse. As the baby looked at her father he smiled back, reassuring her that this sugary drink is really good and tasty. The father then gave the baby a bottle of milk (which seems like the more appropriate thing to do), but the expression on the child's face was clearly disappointed and confused.
Yesterday, I read this interesting article on boingboing. A psychologist Walter Mischel left pre-schoolers alone in a room with a marshmallow as an experiment (see video below). He gave them a choice between eating one marshmallow right away, or resisting temptation (for a few minutes) to receive two marshmallows.
It turned out that 20% of the children who resisted would go on to get higher SAT scores, have more friends, and have fewer anger issues. The article was mainly about the possible links between pollution and crime (and marshmallows), but I am interested in this kind of 'self-control' as it relates to consuming less sugar. I know that I want to teach my children the benefits of having restraint - especially when it comes to sugar.
Tags: santa barbara, nutrition, health, marshmallows, soda
To make this tasty healthy snack, grab Trader Joe's frozen Wild Alaskan salmon patties. From frozen, heat in a pan with olive oil (and squeeze some fresh lemon). Then, just add whatever fixings you like on your bun and your done!
I was recently over at my friends house and she was putting together a plate of food for her 1 year old. As you can see, this plate of food is not the typical 'kid' dish you see parents giving their children for dinner. The varity was amazing!
I know this may not be possible to make such a spread of food on a regularly basis, but if you could do this once a week, your child will have a well rounded diet full of healthful nutrients. It may just be easier to chop up some veggies and fruit, than to create a cooked meal.
Tags: food for 1 year olds, nutrition, health, santa barbara
I suggested to one of my friends that she try cutting milk from her diet, thinking that she might be lactose intolerant . She was having trouble with gas, bloating, digestion, and allergies - typical symptoms if sensitive to dairy products. Two weeks after giving it a go, her trouble happily stopped.
Of course, it's not always so simple, but it is true that over half of the adult population has difficulty digesting milk. As we age, our bodies lose the ability to produce the enzyme, lactase, which is needed to help break down the lactose (milk sugar) found in milk.
In the first part of the video below (Dr. Katherine Pollard) discusses how certain cultures developed (evolved) the enzyme that is needed to digest cow (and goat) milk. Her research has led her to believe that - depending on our genetic lineage - some of us have retained that ability. Those of us who aren't so lucky just have to be more selective about dairy products.
If you are a milk or dairy lover, I would recommend getting your dairy products at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods or Lazy Acres. They have a wide selection of organic brands. Or if you can't for whatever reason there are always alternatives; see below:
Yogurt and Kefir - the bacteria help digest the lactase enzyme in our bodies
Lactaid Milk - adds the lactase enzyme back in to milk
Cheese - has only .5 grams of lactose ( in moderation it may be tolerated as a treat )
Just have to say this...please stop eating this garbage!
This customer was buying diet cherry 7-up and fudge brownies. Diet sodas in general crack me up. Don't fool yourself. Chances are you will end up getting cancer from the aspartame sweetener then loose weight. I probably mentioned this before, but soda leaches the calcium out of your bones too. Also, you would be better off having a drink that your body can recognize on a molecular level, as in 'real' sugar than a processed man made sweetener. Bad!
Tags: diet soda, brownies, health, santa barbara, nutrition
Since it's a new year, I thought it would be a perfect time to start looking at what and how much food we eat. I'd like to share with you an alternative food pyramid I found recently.
Imagine the below content is shaped like a pyramid:
Clean Water 6-8 Glasses
Fats 2-3 TBS.
Calcium Foods 2-5 Servings
Whole Grains 2-5 Servings
Protein Foods 5-8 Ounces (1 cup)
Fruits 2-4 Servings & Vegetables 3-5 Servings
They USDA'S food pyramid has Bread, Cereal, Rice and Pasta as 6-11 servings, which is located at the bottom of their food pyramid. It seems a bit strange because most Americans consume bleached flour products, pastas and breads, white rice and highly processed sugared cereals all of which have very little if any, nutritional value. It's no wonder why 1 in 3 are over-weight or obese.
Anyway, it just makes me think a little more about what we're told to believe in. I think it's time to watch what we eat and start reading the ingredients in our food. By the way, if you don't know what 'enriched' flour or noodle means, then look it up because chances are the foods you consume are not nutrient dense and may cause illness in the future. Perhaps, use the above food pyramid as a guideline to healthier eating habits.
Good luck and be well!
Tags: food pyramid, nutrition, health, santa barbara health, new year
Yeah, the holidays suck! Wait, I sound like a 12 year old boy yelling at his parents because he has to sit next his grandma at Thanksgiving. The kind of grandma who tends to play with her food a little too much at the dinner table. Those darn sweet potatoes try so hard to escape the corners of her mouth, but never find refuge back on her plate. Needless to say we all have that person in the family that takes a little extra patience.
Of course I'm not here to talk about family dynamics (or am I?). I guess what I'm trying to say, and failing miserably, is that it's difficult resisting all the tempting foods durning the holidays. In my family, we have the usual fattening temptations; turkey, stuffing, potatoes, pumpkin pie, custards - and darn near everything else you can think of (and no, I wasn't meaning to channel Sarah Palin's voice there, sorry about that, it just came out.). Anyway, I'm sure you know these temptations all too well and perhaps fear the holidays because of it.
So I'm just going to say it. Eat whatever you want this holiday season. And don't feel guilty about it. Strange logic, I know, but sometimes it's healthier to avoid the emotional stress of eating well.
When you're stressing about food, you're essentially feeling fear. Fear of getting fat, fear of a heart attack or whatever. Fear triggers a chemical rush of adrenaline, which is good for when you need that flight-or-fight response to avoid a large predator (like those T-Rex's we have here in Santa Barbara), or a speeding motorcycle. But when your body undergoes stress as a constant part of our everyday life, it's not really good for our overall health. Our thoughts are powerful, and well connected to the body. Too much adrenaline can result in many symptoms and diseases. I know people who get insomnia from worrying that they don't do enough for their family, or diarrhea from worrying about a job interview.
There are a million thoughts that effect us mentally, physically, and spiritually everyday, so it is important to keep a healthy attitude towards those stressors. And sometimes, that means letting your hair down and just enjoying Thanksgiving.
Obviously, I'm notsaying go ahead and eat unhealthily all the time, but if you are going to have something that you know is not nutritious for you, is it not better to really enjoy it and not feel guilty? Tell yourself you will do better tomorrow. I say, enjoy the holidays and be kind to yourself. Or a healthy looking Santa Claus will come a put your least favorite veggie in your stockings. Ho, ho, ho!
Tags: enjoy the holidays, health, santa barbara, nutrition
It can be frustrating not having the energy you're used to having. Here are some quick and easy ways to help you get energy levels up!
1. Drink a cup of green tea in the morning. You will feel calm and relaxed from the amino acid theanine. If you hate the taste, you can buy L-theanine in supplement form to get the same effect. Green tea does have caffeine, which can be good for those who need a jump start in the morning, but without getting the jitters or headaches. It's great for reducing anxiety, increasing energy, fighting cancer, stimulating the immune system, and even helps you lose a little weight by boosting your metabolism.
2. Take a hot shower and use a body exfoliator. Use a salt or sugar scrub to exfoliate dead skin and then end the shower by turning on the cold water for just a few seconds then back to warm again. You will feel energized, refreshed and awake. The idea is to stimulate the lymph and circulation system to help you get moving. A dry brush can work just as well if you don’t take showers in the morning. Brush the soft bristles toward your heart and follow with your hand.
3. Take a brisk walk. Even if it's just around the block, get out there and exercise! Call a friend to help you get motivated. Having a 15 min walk can help energy levels, but shooting for 30-45 min per day is ideal.
4. Eat fresh fruit and vegetables daily. Eating 5-9 servings daily of each will help you get important vitamins, minerals and enzymes everyone needs to function at optimal levels. Keep in mind a serving size is only 1/2 cup and their low in calories and fat.
5. You have the power to be happy and healthy. It's difficult to gain physical and mental energy when you don't have it at the ready. Taking a gentle yoga class will allow quality time for yourself. With deep breathing exercises and meditation you may open up new brain pathways, changing and helping your mental and physical well being.
6. Take Supplements. Even the healthiest person can't get all the daily nutrients from food alone. Some important energy supporters are; vitamin B Complex, folate acid, omega-3 fatty acids, ginseng, ginkgo, and garlic. Think of supplements as your insurance!
7. Water. Often times lethargy and even sleeplessness is a result on not consuming enough water. It's recommended to drink 1/2 your body weight in ounces, so if your 140 pounds, drink 70 ounces or about 9 cups of pure drinking water. If you don't like water, try slicing the following together or separate; lemons, limes, cucumbers, berries, and even mint to add flavor to your water.