Three Ways to Harness the Renewing Energy of Spring

April 17, 2014 by Roxanne | No Comments | Filed in Holistic Lifestyle

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This year it seemed like Spring would never come, but it’s finally here! Spring is a welcome season after a long, cold, and snowy winter. Most of us are delighted with the longer days, the awakening of plants and animals around us, and sunshine. The seeds planted last Fall that have germinated over the winter become buds beginning to break through the ground. This energy of renewal is all around us and it effects how we feel and how we live.

New beginnings feel great, and why not use the strong energy of nature to create that for ourselves? A sense of renewal gives us the vision and inspiration to bring our goals and creative energy to fruition. Most of us already feel this energy, that’s why we have the desire to clean out the house, de-clutter our workspace, or follow a cleanse diet.  There are a few ways that you can maximize the power of this energy.

Recreate Order

Spring is the perfect time to clean out a space in your home that is overrun with stuff you don’t need. Too much stuff and too much clutter creates chaos internally as well as externally. Clear out things you don’t need to make space for new to come into your life. Personally, we started the winter off with a empty garage and it slowly filled up with things we don’t need over the Winter. It feels terrible to have that clutter in my life so I will be harnessing this Spring energy to have a garage sale and clear out the unnecessary stuff that’s causing me to feel stuck and neatly organize the things we will keep.

Clean up Your Diet

 

Spring is the perfect time to start a healthier diet and flush out the toxins so that the Liver can do its job effectively. Begin by eliminating foods that stress the Liver, such as fried foods and unhealthy fats (continue to eat healthy fats like coconut oil and un-heated olive oil). Sugar and white flour should be eliminated or minimized, and foods with chemical preservatives and food coloring should be avoided. Add some lemon juice to your water, sip on dandelion tea, and eat some raw garlic to start cleansing your liver. We are about to launch our new Family Spring Cleanse Program to help clean up our diet for spring. This program is a fast easy way to get started cleaning up your diet with a step by step plan.

Move Your Body

 

The Liver needs movement and so do you. Get outside and take long walks (in nature, if you can) observe the changes going on around you and invite the change in.  Take a yoga class or buy a yoga video and do it at home. As a busy parent sometimes it’s hard to find time to go to a class so doing it at home is often a more realistic alternative. Download a video on your ipod (I happen to like Bethanny Frankel’s yoga video pictured above), take a yoga mat out in the backyard, and practice yoga while your children play – or better yet invite them to join you!

What will you do to harness the energy of Spring this week?

 

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!

Roxanne


Four Ways to Get Your Kids Off Junk Food

April 8, 2014 by Roxanne | 2 Comments | Filed in Nutrition

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Most children are around processed junk foods quite often. These foods are in their friend’s lunches, they are advertised on TV, they are in the vending machine at their gymnastics gym, and they see adults eat them. Anything would be interesting to a child if it were around as much as these foods are around. To add to it, processed junk foods are in colorful fun packaging and have sweet and sugary or salty and crunchy taste.

We all know that processed junk foods like chips, crackers, cookies, white bread, sugary jelly, and candy are not healthy. They do not promote overall wellness and do not support the growing bodies of our children. As a child, this is not an easy concept to understand so as parents it’s our job to minimize or eliminate these foods from their diet.

My children (ages 4 and 8 months) have had very little processed junk food in their lives. Their exposure to these foods is much more limited then most children. My 4 year old attends a school that does not have any junk food, she watches little to no television, we skip most of the inner isles at the grocery store, and her parents don’t eat it. There was one day last summer, she was being watched by a family member who had the television on in the background and there was a commercial for Honey Nut Cheerios – a food item she has never seen before. The next time we went grocery shopping, she saw Honey Nut Cheerios in the shopping cart of another customer and she started saying she wanted it. I explained that we don’t buy cereal because it is not nutritious – and then came the tears.

Out of Sight Out of Mind

Children pick up on everything, they are so impressionable. If junk food is all around them all the time it is nearly impossible to keep them from eating it. It might not be possible for you to limit their exposure to these foods at school but you can limit the exposure at home.

  • Don’t purchase foods that you don’t want your children to eat.
  • Even more importantly, don’t eat the foods you don’t want your child to eat. If you are eating junk food, they will eat junk food. If you eat healthy foods, they will be more inclined to do so.
  • Avoid the inner isles at the grocery store as much as possible. Most of the healthy foods are on the perimeter of the store.

Make Healthy Versions of Their Favorites

If your children are already hooked on junk it will be a slow process to get it out completely. A great way to start that transition is to start making healthier versions of foods they already like to eat.

  • Make homemade pizzas with organic ingredients
  • Make homemade granola bars
  • Make a healthier peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Buy healthy bread or make your own bread, use organic almond butter, and sugar free fruit preserves or apple or banana slices in place of sugary jelly.
  • Bake homemade muffins with natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup

Add in Some Nutrient Dense Foods

Sometimes children crave junk food because they are not getting enough nutrients in general. If a child eats a lot of refined carbohydrates and other processed food, they are getting very little healthy nutrients like vitamins and minerals from those foods. It might seem like a child is always hungry for more food but they are really hungry for more nutrition. Add in some highly nutrient dense foods into your child’s diet like leafy greens, root vegetables, healthy oils (like coconut oil) and proteins from plant and/or animal sources. The cravings for all the junk food may subside if they receive more of the nutrients their growing body requires.

Make Healthy Foods Fun

Part of the appeal of processed foods are that they are fun. They are packaged with bright colors, the commercials are interesting, and the foods might come in animal shapes. Healthy food can be just as fun as those junk foods.

  • If your child loves pizza, start a family pizza night tradition and make homemade pizzas together. Let the children put on their own sauce and veggie toppings or make their own individual pies.
  • Cut vegetables into animal shapes with these shaped vegetable cutters.
  • Make homemade granola bars or protein bars like these into fun shapes with cookie cutters or baking molds

Getting rid of junk food completely takes time. Try some of these ideas to start the process and ease your way into it slowly. Going cold turkey is no fun for you or for them. In a few weeks, I am opening up sign ups for my new program, The Family Spring Cleanse, which is a program for families who want to get rid of junk food and start on a path towards a healthier diet and lifestyle. If you are struggling with junk food, this program will be a great fit for your family. I encourage you to join us!

What is the hardest junk food for you to get out of your life? and What do you think you can do to start minimizing it now? Please share in the comments.

 

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!

Roxanne


How to Safely Re-heat Food & Three Things to Avoid

March 28, 2014 by Roxanne | 6 Comments | Filed in Nutrition

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An essential part of eating healthy is making enough food to have leftovers. It’s the easiest way to minimize the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. Cook once, eat twice – or three times – depending on how many people you have in your family and how much food you can make at once.

I have written before about how I don’t own a microwave and the question I get in response to that is – how do you heat up leftovers?

Last week I made two large batches of soup in the crock pot. I had a lot planned for the week so it was perfect to have a nice amount of leftovers. After getting home at 5:15pm from taking my daughter to one of her activities with two tired children, having some food already made for dinner is a life saver. I poured two quarts of soup in a sauce pan, set it to medium and dinner was ready in 15 minutes.

Two Easy Ways to Re-Heat Food (That really doesn’t take THAT long)

Stove Top

Heating food on the stove top is easy and doesn’t take very long. It’s also possible to use only one pot to minimize cleaning. Foods that are ideal for stop top heating include soups, stews, rice,stir fry, o any other skillet type meals.

Toaster Oven

Shallow tempered glass food storage containers like these work perfectly for heating food in a toaster oven. I often use this method for heating vegetables and meats for a fast lunch or dinner. It usually takes 10 minutes or less.

Three Things to Avoid When Heating Food

Don’t Use a Microwave

Microwaves heat food by causing water molecules in it to resonate at very high frequencies and eventually turn to steam which heats your food. While this can rapidly heat your food it also causes a change in your food’s chemical structure. Read more about why Microwaving food is not ideal here.

Avoid Plastic Containers

When using a microwave it is common to heat things in plastic containers. This is a bad idea because of the toxins that are found in plastics. BPA is a well known toxin in plastic and recent news exposed other substances that may even be worse. Heating plastic may make these chemicals leach into your food at higher levels so its best to avoid this. Obviously if you are using an regular oven, plastic containers are not an option anyway.

Avoid Aluminum

Using aluminum foil or aluminum cookware is not a healthy choice. Heat causes aluminum to leach into foods at unsafe levels. Aluminum toxicity has been linked to a number of problems such as Alzheimer’s disease, weakening the bones, and more.

Do you use any of these three things to avoid? What challenges would you have if you gave them up? and Why? Please share in the comments below.

 

Thank you, as always, for reading and commenting!

Roxanne


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