Real Mom Nutrition

Real Mom Nutrition

Like most moms, good nutrition for your kids is important. It’s not always that easy to do, but certainly can be done by following a few steps. The first and most important is to have healthy foods in the house and ready to snack on and eat at meals. If you don’t have junk available, all your kids will know is healthy food. If you’re making a switch from junk food to healthier eating, it’s more of a challenge, but still can be done.

Don’t force kids to eat healthy food.

The minute you force kids to eat new foods, automatically, they know they won’t like it. If you’re introducing new food to a child, you can put some on their plate and see if they’ll try it, without the hassle and tears of just one bite. Some parents don’t give their child any of the newly introduced food, but serve it to themselves, saying they don’t think they’ll like it because it’s for adults. That alone makes kids want to try it. Smart moms make food look appealing and fun, so there’s no doubt kids will love it.

Make eating healthy more fun with meals kids will love.

If you want kids to enjoy their meals, make them fun. Make your own taco or burrito night can be one way to do it. Have plenty of healthy options ready to pile on the taco or burrito, like the traditional lettuce, tomato, onion, taco meat and cheese, plus other options, such as avocado chunks, sweet potato squash filling—instead of refried beans—mixed mushroom sauté and Greek yogurt. There are fun recipes that kids will love that combine fruits and vegetables with flour, eggs, a small amount of sugar and spices for fruit and vegetable muffins. Smart mom’s even let kids help make these, so they see how delicious fruits and vegetables can be.

Real mom nutrition includes what the kids drink.

You may think that you’re doing your child a favor by providing fruit drinks, but you’re not. Neither are sugar drinks and soft drinks appropriate. Smart mom’s make sure the fluid is as healthy as the food. One problem with fruit juice is that it’s missing important fiber and far more calorie laden than eating the fruit. Instead, have bottled water on hand for the kids. Frozen fruit or ice cubes with fruit in can add a cold treat while adding flavor. A tiny refillable bottle also makes it easier for kids to drink. Even adding some juice or berries to make it more flavorful will boost their desire to drink it.

  • Make healthier French fries in the oven from sweet potatoes. You can even make sweet potato chips and kale chips for snacks.
  • Homemade trail mix in individual single serving baggies, popcorn, and fun treats like ants on a log—celery with nut butter topped with raisins—can make kids look forward to healthy treats.
  • Never give kids junk food as a special treat or reward. It makes it look far more appealing and desirable. When eating in restaurant, choose healthy several healthy options and let your child pick from those.
  • Teach your children to make their plate a rainbow. Each colorful fruit or vegetable contains specific nutrients that often relate to the color it is. When you have a plate filled with a rainbow of colors, you’re more apt to have all the nutrients you need.

Eating Simple

Eating Simple

One of the benefits of eating whole foods is that they’re often the easiest to make. I have clients in Louisville, KY that love eating simple and reap the benefits from that whole food diet. Eating simple doesn’t mean eating boring. In fact, you’ll be amazed at just how flavorful the food can be. It doesn’t mean that you can’t use herbs and spices, either. It simply means that you don’t eat complex foods created in the lab by food manufacturers.

Slicing and dicing is part of eating simple.

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is certainly part of the program. A simple meal can include a huge salad with a variety of vegetables, nuts, herbs, spices and even some fruit. A salad composed of romaine hearts, cherry tomatoes, olives, baked chicken or tuna, hard boiled eggs and green beans cooked until tender, yet crisp and topped with a vinaigrette is simple, well balanced and simply delicious. You can combine dried cranberries with quinoa, thinly sliced Brussels sprouts, pecans and an orange vinaigrette for a delicious and nutritious salad that’s perfect for lunch.

Eating simple can be quite inexpensive.

When you eat simple, you choose fruits and vegetables that are in season. That can cut the cost of meals considerably. To avoid those with pesticides, choose organic versions for food on the Dirty Dozen list. That’s the list of fruit and vegetables shown to have the highest amount of pesticides. They include strawberries, spinach, kale, nectarines, apples, grapes, peaches, cherries, pears, tomatoes, celery and potatoes. This year it’s a baker’s dozen, since it also includes number 13, hot peppers. For all other fruits and vegetables, eating non-organic is safe.

Let’s steam, roast, grill, broil, slow cook or boil the food.

Eating clean and simple means cutting out the breading, pan and deep fat frying. Air frying has become a popular alternative to deep fat frying, but it never should replace the other cooking techniques. It does use only a fraction of the oil used in frying foods, but still creates compounds in the foods, some of which can cause cancer. You’re better keeping it simple by throwing the lean steak on the grill or roasting a chicken.

  • When eating simple, always remember portion control, particularly on meat, nuts, cheese and starchy vegetables.
  • Eating simple means having snacks readily available for mid morning and mid afternoon. Slice and cube fruits and vegetables and store in the refrigerator as soon as you get home, so they’re ready for those times you need a snack. If you buy nuts, store in individual serving size bags or containers.
  • Don’t forget to make soup, especially with leftovers. You can use the left over vegetables at the end of the week to create a delicious soup. The bones from the meat or poultry can be used for bone broth.
  • Add a little extra to every salad or meal by sprinkling herbs, ground flax seed, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds or leftover roasted vegetables.

Why Some People Call Alzheimer's Type 3 Diabetes

Why Some People Call Alzheimer’s Type 3 Diabetes

One of the reasons I became a personal trainer in Louisville, KY was to help people stay healthier using natural methods, including exercise. Lately, there’s been a lot of promotion on food as medicine and rethinking about serious conditions like Alzheimer’s. Several studies are now considering Alzheimer’s as Type 3 diabetes. While most studies are in their infancy, there are links to insulin use in the brain and Alzheimer’s disease. It all starts with genetics in this particular case and shows that serious conditions occur from a variety of causes, not just one. It reminds us that we all are different and have different needs.

Your genes determine your risk factor.

There’s a study produced by Mayo clinic in both Jacksonville, Florida and Rochester, Minnesota that identified a specific type of the Alzheimer’s gene APOE4 (approximately fifty percent of people with Alzheimer’s have the APOE4 gene.) that affects the brain cells use of insulin, causing them to starve to death and leading to the dreaded Alzheimer’s symptoms. Since it involved the brain’s use of insulin, they called it Type 3 diabetes. People with that genetic factor pose a ten to fifteen times higher incidence of Alzheimer’s than those that don’t.

The study had a hopeful outcome.

The study first identified those they believed would be helped by delivering insulin to the brain, then created an intranasal mist to provide the insulin. The results were excellent and a great start. The decline of brain functions slowed in some patients and reversed in others. The next step is a bigger trial backed by the National Institute of Health.

What you can do until there is a cure.

If you’re at risk for diabetes, have insulin resistance or have diabetes, the best preventive measure you can take is keeping your blood sugar levels under control. One study showed that people who used medications, like Metformin, for four years, had only one fourth of the risk of dementia and Alzheimer’s. Animal studies show GLP-1 receptor agonists—newer diabetes drugs—also improved memory. Even if you don’t take medication, laying off donuts and high glycemic products and eating a healthy diet can help.

  • Just like controlling insulin resistance and diabetes 1 and 2, exercise is also a boost in brain health. Not only will it help reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, it also helps prevent dementia and other brain diseases.
  • Besides eating a healthy low glycemic diet, eating probiotic foods, those with omega-3, vitamins D, B12 and folate can help. Lowering your carb intake and including healthy protein and fat in your diet boosts your resistance.
  • Adding foods like blueberries and spinach to your diet can also reduce the potential for Type 3 diabetes.
  • Control stress in your life. One of the best ways to burn off stress and enjoy that great feeling is a hard workout. Learning meditation or deep breathing can also help. My favorite, after exercise, is to be thankful. Wake up every morning and go to bed every night thinking of something you’re thankful for that day.

Changes To Improve Your Energy

Changes To Improve Your Energy

There’s a lot of ways to improve your energy level that help maintain a high level. While some people automatically reach for a sugary treat, it may help for a short time, but it won’t take long and you’ll be right back to dragging around, trying to stay awake. Instead of grabbing a sugary treat, try a bottle of water to give yourself a boost. Sometimes, even mild dehydration can drain you of energy, which is often why coffee doesn’t do the trick—it dehydrates you. Water also can be helpful if you think you’re hungry. Often the body confuses the messages and sends a signal of hunger when you’re really thirsty. At those times, you’ll often find yourself craving watermelon, sodas or other foods that are filled with fluid.

Get daily exercise.

Of course, you should expect that to be on the list. I constantly tell people how much working out regularly boosts your energy level. You can get some instant help if you’re tired at work where a pushup is really inappropriate. Take a brisk walk up and down the stairs. For those with a private area, deep knee bends, jumping jacks without the jumping and even doing windmills can boost your circulation and get you back on track to feel great.

Eat healthy.

Yes, we already covered snacking on sweets, but you should consider cutting out sugary foods at every meal. Making sure you have adequate proteins, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates will provide energy throughout the day. You’ll also improve your health, which means another boost of energy and keep off extra pounds. If you’re overweight, that’s important. Being just ten pounds overweight is like carrying a ten pound weight everywhere. That certainly can sap your energy reserves. Make sure you don’t restrict your caloric intake too much. It saps you of energy and can be counterproductive for weight loss.

The no brainer is to get more sleep.

In our country, people pride themselves on burning the candle at both ends, working long hours and basically abusing themselves to achieve their work goal. In truth, it may actually harm them and impede their progress. Lack of sleep affects everything. It negatively impacts your energy level, weight loss efforts and cognitive functioning.

  • When you sleep, make sure the room is dark and you have all electronic devices turned off. You’ll get the most benefits from your sleep that way.
  • Build a social network or stay connected with the one you have. Socializing will help get you moving even when staying in bed or watching television would otherwise be your endeavor.
  • Move more. Park further from the store, take the stairs or make an effort to get up and walk for a few minutes every hour. It keeps your circulation going and boosts your energy level.
  • If your energy level is low and you’re doing everything right, get a checkup. Sometimes, feeling dragged out is a sign that something is wrong.

Ways To Boost Your Exercise Benefits

Ways To Boost Your Exercise Benefits

Taking time out of a busy schedule is commendable, but finding ways to boost your exercise benefits is just plain smart. Exercising isn’t normally part of every American’s day. Most people have jobs that are sedentary, so getting adequate exercise means scheduling it into their day. Those with more physical jobs often don’t get a complete workout. They may have strength style movements or endurance ones, but seldom flexibility movements. That leads to injury unless they also schedule a workout time. Here are a few ways to maximize that time and give you better results.

Use HIIT, circuit and interval training.

With the right type of workout, you can have it all in one, strength, endurance and flexibility training. Interval training is one way to do it. One type of interval training is HIIT—high intensity interval training. The difference is the intensity at the high end. Both types of training give you more benefits in less time. Circuit training uses different types of exercises, but when done with alternating intensity, becomes interval training, too. The type of exercise you use makes the difference in whether it adds strength and flexibility. Getting more for your workout time is a huge boost.

Make strength training part of your workout.

Strength training has so many benefits. It burns up calories quickly, while also burning more calories for hours even after the workout. Unlike cardio training that burns calories from both fat and lean muscle tissue, strength training builds muscle tissue. The more you have, the more calories you burn, since muscle tissue requires more calories than fat tissue does. You’ll get benefits in the gym and afterward by including strength training.

What and when you eat makes a difference.

Drink a cup of coffee before a workout, especially if you workout first thing in the morning. Studies show it boosts performance. Eat some of your daily carbs before going to the gym. Your body needs fuel for a workout and you’re far better off giving it that fuel before a workout than afterward, where the calories can go to fat. Eating your carbs ahead of time increases your overall effort and calorie expenditure, too. It also helps muscle growth.

  • Exercise with a friend. You’re more likely to push a little harder when you have a friendly competition and keep on working out even if you’re tired. It’s one reason trainers help get the best results. They hold you accountable, just like an exercise buddy does.
  • Don’t do strength training every day. Give your muscles a chance to heal. If you do too much without that rest, you won’t get the results you hope to achieve. In fact, it actually negatively affects building.
  • Make sure you hydrate frequently. Water is your friend. I have an older client that calls it her magic elixir. Since the older you are, the quicker you dehydrate, she is absolutely right!
  • Get the right amount of sleep. No matter whether you’re going to the gym or going to work, a good night’s sleep is important to keep you focused and less apt for injury. It helps you boost your intensity, too.

Working Out Lifts Your Mood

Working Out Lifts Your Mood

Everyone has those days when you want to scream at the store clerk, kick the dog or knock off everything on the counter. It’s often created by an extremely stressful situation that occurred earlier, but sticks with you for a long time. You can get rid of that bad mood by working out. It doesn’t take long before you feel the mood lifting back to your normal, relaxed self.

Exercise burns off the hormones of stress.

Why do you feel so much better? It’s easy. When you’re under stress, your body creates hormones for the fight or flight response. In the days of the caveman, it was extremely important. It sent the blood to the extremities, raised blood pressure, increased breathing and got you prepared to run from the danger or stay and fight. Today, stress comes from many places, yet the body still prepares as though it’s a physical threat, not the boss screaming or a traffic jam. By working out, you’re mimicking fighting or running, so you burn off those hormones that make you feel bad and replaces them with ones that make you relaxed.

Exercise helps with anxiety.

Trying something new, talking in front of a group or even worrying about your children can cause anxiety. It’s a normal part of life, unless it happens constantly and takes over your entire life. That’s when you have to take action. When it’s mind-numbing and stops you in your tracks, then it becomes a problem requiring professional help. Many therapists are now using exercise as part of their therapy for clients suffering from severe anxiety. It helps you to relax and even sleep better. You don’t have to wait until it’s out of control to start, you can use it as part of your mental wellness program. I have a client that runs up and down the stairs until she’s tired when she starts to get anxious and she says it really works.

You’ll love how you feel after you workout.

Not only does the body burn off hormones created by stress, it replaces them with ones that make you feel at ease and relaxed. When you consider that early man who had to run or fight when stress occurred, you probably already realize he or she didn’t always come out unscathed. Providing the body with a pain blocking endorphins that bind to the opioid receptors of the spine and nervous system, any injury wouldn’t be nearly as devastating. Endorphins also trigger the release of dopamine, which gives you that great feeling often called the runners high.

  • If you’re going to a stressful meeting, consider walking there or parking further from the meeting place to walk more. That brisk walk can help you improve your mood.
  • Learning breathing techniques and meditation can also help reduce stress immediately when you’re faced with it. That helps minimize the stress you have to deal with until you can workout.
  • Exercise increases serotonin, that hormone that helps you sleep and regulates your appetite. It also helps neurons grow by increasing brain-derived neurotrophic factor.
  • When you workout in the gym, it not only reduces the feeling of isolation, it takes you away from most of your problems, at least for a short period. You can get lost in your workout, relieving you from worry at least for a while.

Reduce Your Risk Of Diabetes By Exercising

Reduce Your Risk Of Diabetes By Exercising

Losing weight is important if you want to avoid type 2 diabetes, but you also can reduce your risk of diabetes by exercising. Exercise provides other benefits too, including heart health. It helps lower LDL and triglycerides, while raising the healthy cholesterol, HDL to make your cholesterol profile healthier. It builds strength and improves your mood. The benefits it offers to your body also helps you reduce your diabetes risk by regulating your blood sugar levels, aiding in weight loss and increasing insulin sensitivity.

Exercise helps you lose weight, but you have to eat healthy, too.

No matter how hard you workout, if you’re eating a high calorie diet of junk food and sugar, the impact exercise makes on reducing your risk for diabetes will be small. Good health begins in the kitchen, but exercise puts those nutrients to work for you and boosts the calories you burn to make you lose weight faster. Cutting out sugary products helps reduce insulin production and levels out blood sugar.

Exercise increases insulin sensitivity.

Insulin is a hormone necessary for many bodily functions, including helping the cells use glucose as a source of energy. When there’s a problem with insulin sensitivity, the cells become less and less receptive to effects of insulin, so the body has to produce more. The more it has to produce, the worse the problem becomes until there’s a high amount of blood sugar and full blown diabetes. Stress, excess weight, pregnancy, illness and inactivity can cause it. When you exercise, you burn the glycogen stores in your muscles and it’s replaced with the glucose in the bloodstream. By doing that, it gets insulin sensitivity back on track.

Exercise regulates blood sugar levels.

Just as exercise helps with insulin sensitivity, it also helps regulate blood sugar levels. When you’re exercising, it burns off the excess sugar levels by using more for the muscles. In fact, it can lower blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours after working out. In fact, your muscles can take up glucose to use for energy even when there’s no insulin available.

  • If you want to keep diabetes at bay, you have to watch not only what you eat, but what you drink, too. Switch off soft drinks and choose water instead.
  • A healthy diet to reduce the risk of diabetes should include insoluble fiber, like fresh fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains and leafy vegetables. The insoluble fiber in these foods help prevent type 2 diabetes.
  • You need all types of training to help prevent diabetes. Strength training works muscles to increase your base metabolism. Even something as simple as walking more can help.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes, exercise with care to avoid too much of a drop in blood sugar levels. One study found that people who did strength training first and then aerobic training had a less severe drop in blood sugar levels that lasted longer than doing aerobic first and strength training last.

Exercise Lowers High Blood Pressure

Exercise Lowers High Blood Pressure

There’s a lot of clients in Louisville, KY that ask for help from a personal trainer to help shed weight. They also know that exercise lowers high blood pressure in the process. When you participate in a program of exercise, you’re heart pumps hard, making it stronger. That means it pumps with less effort and causes the force exerted on your arteries to be less. Lowering that force means lower blood pressure.

Exercise helps you lose weight.

Losing weight is often recommended when a person has high blood pressure. That’s because the more you weigh, the higher your blood pressure tends to rise. In fact, often just losing as little as 2.2 pounds can lower your blood pressure by one millimeter of mercury. If the weight loss was in the abdominal area, blood pressure dropped more significantly. That’s because visceral fat, the fat that collects around the middle, crowds organs and is far more dangerous than regular fat that accumulates other areas. Taking waist measurements is as important as weighing in. Women with waist measurements higher than 35 inches and men with measurements higher than 40 are more at risk to higher blood pressure.

You’ll reduce the hormones of stress when you workout regularly.

When you’re under stress, the body sends out hormones to prepare it for the fight or flight response. I makes changes like sending more blood to extremities and temporarily raising your blood pressure by making your heart work harder. It narrows the blood vessels, while also making the heart beat faster. Exercise burns off the hormones of stress that causes the changes, lowering the blood pressure and reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.

It’s more than just working out, it’s also a healthy diet.

If you want to lose weight or just want to see your blood pressure come down without the aid of medication, you need to switch your diet. Eat more whole foods, cut out salt and increase foods that are high in potassium. You can’t out exercise an unhealthy diet when it comes to losing weight, so changing your diet is important, particularly if weight loss is part of your goal.

  • Regular exercise can help you sleep better at night. A good night’s sleep can help you lower your blood pressure.
  • Get active and enjoy it. Working out in the gym is a start, but living an active lifestyle is the key to a healthy body. Start doing active things you love and spend time with family and friends doing them. It adds to a healthy social life that also lowers blood pressure.
  • If you smoke, quit. Working out can help you through the nicotine withdrawal. It helps improve your mood and makes quitting far easier.
  • A program of regular exercise can help prepare your body for life events that come along. Whether you find you have to lift something heavy or need to maintain balance and flexibility for something, you’ll be ready.

A Teenager's Nutritional Needs

A Teenager’s Nutritional Needs

A teenager’s nutritional needs are different from their parents and even different from younger children in the family. I see so many teens in Louisville, KY that are consuming junk food for their primary meals and wonder whether they even know what constitutes a healthy meal. It wouldn’t be unusual to find they don’t, many adults don’t have that knowledge either. As a parent, you probably have very little control over what your child eats when he or she is away from home, but you can control what they eat at home.

Help your teen with an outline of a menu that will guide him or her.

Don’t over complicate things with a specific menu. Make it general. Teach your child about portion size and how much they need of each type of food. For teens, three meals a day and two snacks a day are important. It should contain two servings of fruit and three of vegetables with three and a half servings of dairy, which includes cheese and milk—throughout the day. The amount of protein necessary for teens is based on age, body weight and activity level. You can estimate it by multiplying the body weight by 0.43 to get the number of grams. A 100 pound boy would need about 43 grams a day. It should also contain whole grains and healthy fat. The more active the teen, the more protein is necessary.

Help the teen develop healthy habits when it comes to what they drink.

Too often soft drinks are a big part of a teens daily calorie intake. These are loaded with sugar and slightly acidic, so they cause damage to the teeth. Don’t have soft drinks available in the house. Instead, have bottled water. An active teen needs about 9 to 14 cups of water a day to help keep joints lubricated, keep a healthier complexion—pimple free—and regulate body temperatures. It’s a huge beauty aids for teenage girls and can help with weight loss, improve skin and hair.

Focus your encouragement on things that are important to the teen, rather than just good health.

There’s a lot to gain from eating healthy. The ability to think clearer and get better grades, a better complexion, improved athletic performance, weight loss and silky smooth hair. Find what’s important to your teen and identify healthy foods that will be beneficial to what they think is important. Staying healthy and living longer isn’t what most teens are concerned about, but a pimple free complexion is.

  • Keep fresh fruit and vegetables in the refrigerator, cut up and ready to eat. If it’s easy and right in front of them, most teens will opt for healthy food.
  • Keep junk food out of the house. There’s no reason you need potato chips and cookies in the house. Not only will your teen eat them, you will too.
  • Add family activities that get everyone moving if your teen is sedentary. Regular exercise is important for everyone. It builds confidence, improves coordination, endurance, strength and transforms a body.
  • When your teen starts eating healthier, you’ll not only notice a difference in how they look, you’ll notice a difference in their energy and mood.

The Role Stress Hormones Play In Health And Illness

The Role Stress Hormones Play In Health And Illness

When man lived in caves, stress hormones were extremely important for to remain alive. They prepared early man to flee or fight if necessary. Today, stress hormones also play a role in good health, but they also play a major role in illness when left unattended. Blood pressure increases, the flow of blood to extremities and away from non-essential smooth muscles like the digestive system occurs. Returning the level of stress hormones back to normal would involve running or fighting, but today’s stresses don’t call for either, so they remain causing damage to the body.

Stress and the change caused by stress can affect your health dramatically.

Most doctors now recognize the symptoms of diseases and conditions caused by stress. In fact, it’s estimated that about three fourths of all doctor visits come from stress related ailments. If you had statistics on all the people in America, you’d find that about half of the adult population has a stress related disease. Some of those conditions or diseases would include high blood sugar levels and high blood pressure. It increases the risk of diabetes, obesity, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, asthma, headaches, backaches and gastrointestinal problems. It causes aging to accelerate and premature death.

The hormones of stress are necessary if you’re in real physical danger, but you need to burn them off if you have only mental stress.

You need the hormones of stress, but if you don’t run or fight, you also need to burn them off and get back to normal. If you don’t, it can shut down your immune system or damage it, leaving you open to all illness and disease. It can leave an opening for cancer and bacterial or viral disease, since the immune system plays a role in fighting it.

It’s not always easy to get rid of stress, but you can do something about burning off the hormones and getting back to normal.

When you workout hard, your body is often mimicking the things you might be doing if you were running or fleeing. The changes that were made by the hormones start to return to normal when the workout is near the end. Not only that, your body starts to produce hormones that make you feel good, adding another benefit to the list for exercising. You can learn ways to help control stress, like meditation and deep breathing exercises, but for most people working out regularly provides the biggest benefits.

  • If you’re under stress, you may gain weight. Ancient stressful times often included food scarcity. We may be internally wired to eat as much as possible even when not hungry because of that. One study showed people who were under stress ate 40 percent more than normal.
  • Stress shortens the telomeres that protect chromosomes. That means fewer replications and earlier cell death. It leads to premature aging and affects muscles, skin vision and all other parts of the body.
  • Stress can trigger tension movements, like tooth grinding. That’s linked with broken or worn teeth and periodontal disease.
  • Stress leaves you with a sickening feeling in the pit of your stomach. It can lead to anxiety and depression, beside putting you in a bad mood. Taking a walk or working out can break that cycle.