Back to School – Setting up for a Healthy Year

Schools all across the country are starting back this month. And while most families are busy getting school supplies ready and buying new clothes, how much thought is given to making sure kids are healthy enough to learn? Here are some steps to make sure you are setting your family up for a healthy year.

Steps for a Healthy Year

1. Eat breakfast – We’ve heard it for years, but eating breakfast sets your child up for success for the day. Without breakfast, kids are going 15-16 hours without something to eat. I know when I’m hungry, I’m cranky and can’t stop thinking about my next meal. If your child is thinking about food, he or she is not paying attention to the teacher or test in front of them.
2. Get enough sleep – Sleep is so important and it’s sometimes difficult to see that kids don’t get enough sleep, because instead of slowing down, they wind up. In fact, sleepiness can look like symptoms of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Sleep is required for the mind to process what happened the previous day and to allow the body to rest. Check out this table for the recommended amount of sleep by age.
Recommended Sleep Schedule
3. Add more fruits & vegetables – Besides the fact that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may help reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure and some cancers, fruits and veggies are rich in vitamins and minerals that help you feel healthy and energized. But it’s hard to get kids to eat those veggies, and even some fruits. That’s why I love Juice Plus+! It gives me the piece of mind that they are getting the nutrients of 30 different fruits, vegetables and grains every day! And kid’s orders are free under the Children’s Health Study.
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Shred10 Day #1 – How Did I Do?

Guidelines

Over the next 10 days, I’ll be following the guidelines of the Shred10 program and sharing my journey here. What aspect of the program would be most difficult for you? For me, exercise will be a challenge since my husband is out of town and I have 2 small children. I also struggle to drink enough water, so I’ll be focusing on that aspect as well.

Shred10 guidelines

Breakfast

I prepared the Mango-chia overnight oatmeal from Sun Basket Sunday evening in preparation for Shred10 starting on Monday. The recipe used almond milk and gluten free oats, making it fit the Shred10 guidelines, and honey is any acceptable sweetener too. The recipe made 2 servings (picture shown is 2 servings – filling 1 pint sized mason jar).

 

I also started my day with the Juice Plus+ trio and Omega blend. I love how easy it is to get 30 fruits and vegetables, and start my day off nutritionally sound.

I also take the Doterra probiotic and TriEase, as seasonal allergens are on high right now in St Louis.

Lunch

I’m lucky to have access to an amazing cafeteria at work, with lots of healthy options. Today, I went with the salad bar and choose mixed greens with mushrooms, egg, broccoli, grilled chicken, and sunflower seeds.

It was hard for me to stay away from the cheese and roll, but I did it!

 Cafeteria salad

Snack/Dinner

I started drinking my 2 shakes around 3pm and continued working on them until the 6pm cutoff, counting as a snack and my dinner. I made my shakes at home before work and left in the fridge during the day. My favorite preparation is to shake the Juice Plus+ Complete powder with unsweetened almond milk and chia seeds. The chia seeds take on some of the milk and make the shake more like a milk shake. Delicious!

Water

I drank 60 oz, just short of my 70 oz goal. I like the Hydra Coach app to track my water. It breaks down your goal during the day, so you can see if you’re on track and will give you notifications if you’re falling behind.

Sleep / Movement

I use my Garmin Vivoactive to track my sleep and steps. I did very good on sleep, going to bed early Sunday night. But fell short of my step goal and didn’t do any organized fitness activity.

Conclusion

Day #1 went pretty well, just need to find a way to add more movement during the day.

Shred10 Tracker - Day 1

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Taste of the Shred – A Shred10 Potluck

Thursday evening, my friend Sherry hosted a Taste of the Shred event, to highlight food that is approved during Shred10 (see my post here for more information on the Shred10 program). She asked each guest to bring a dish that fulfilled the Shred10 guidelines of no dairy, no gluten, no added sugars, no caffeine, no processed foods, and no alcohol. We had a large spread of fresh fruits, vegetables, and prepared dishes.

As people gathered, we snacked on hummus with gluten-free crackers and asparagus, and grapes. Sherry had prepared a beautiful lemon-lime infused water, along with a decaf peppermint tea.lemon-lime infused water

Many children were in attendance as well, and they enjoyed snacking on the Juice Plus+ gummy chewables.Juice Plus+ gummies

One of my favorite dishes was a mixed greens salad with a variety of toppings to choose from, including peas, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, white beans, tomatoes, walnuts and radishes. Sherry also made a home made dressing of vinegar, olive oil and honey. Most store bought dressings have added sugars, which we are avoiding during the Shred10. If you haven’t tried making your own dressing yet, it’s very easy. Sherry learned her recipe directly from the White House chef and it is delicious.

Other popular dishes were a butternut squash dish baked with onions and tomatoes, a Mexican fruit salad (recipe here) and Chocolate Complete Energy Balls.

Chocolate Complete Energy Balls
Juice Plus+ Chocolate Complete can be purchased here.

After enjoying dinner, we all went around the table introducing ourselves and sharing our health goals. Many people were looking for improved health and more energy. It was a great variety of guests and an event that we plan to host monthly during the week prior to each new Shred10.

Stay tuned for my posts sharing my journey on this month’s shred.

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May – What’s In Season?

Whether shopping at the grocery store or farmer’s market, it pays to shop what’s in season. You’ll get the most bang for your buck and nutritional value when the produce you seek was just harvested out of the field.

Here’s what’s in season during May in the United States.

Plus,

Arugula
Brussel sprouts
Lettuce
Peaches
Spinach

What is your favorite dish to make with what’s in season this month?

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6 Easy Ways to Eat More Greens

Go Green

March is traditionally thought of as a green month, given St Patrick’s Day and spring coming soon, but greens are not always our favorite or easiest thing to eat. Given that kale, spinach, chard, and other greens  provide a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and K, iron, magnesium, potassium, and folate and other B vitamins, it’s time to cycle them into our daily routine. Read below for some helpful tips on easy ways to eat more.

Go Green

  1. Add to your smoothie – Add spinach or kale to your smoothies. Whether making a green smoothie or adding to your fruit and protein, a little green adds a lot of nutrition without affecting the flavor much.
  2. Add a small salad to every meal – No matter what you cook for dinner, throw together a quick salad with spinach, kale, mixed greens, broccoli, nuts and your favorite dressing. When dining out, ask for a small house salad. You’ll start your meal off right and get some greens in too.
  3. Add to your breakfast – Spinach or bell pepper can be added to your morning scrambled eggs or omelet.
  4. Top your pizza – Whether making your own or heating up a frozen pizza, throw some spinach on top.
  5. Swap bread for lettuce – Make any sandwich into a lettuce wrap.
  6. Buy bagged – If rushed for time, buying bagged greens can reduce the time it would take to wash and chop.

 

What is your favorite way to add some extra greens in during the day?

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