If you are overweight, gained excess weight during pregnancy, had gestational or pre-gestational diabetes, read this. If your baby weighed more than 9lbs or less than 5lbs at birth, read this. These are all risk factors that increase your baby’s risk of developing obesity, diabetes and cardiac risk factors earlier in life. But you can improve your child’s health now, when he’s newborn.
Here are 8 easy steps to help your baby have a healthier life: Continue reading →
Fiber is important for lowering your cholesterol, keeping your blood sugar normal, helping you feel full between meals, and keeping your digestion regular.
Try these tips to eat more fiber:
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Fruits are a good for getting vitamins and minerals, fiber, and even your daily water intake. Because different fruits contain different vitamins, it’s important to eat a variety of them. Here are some benefits of different fruits:
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Protein is important for your body cells, hair and nails, for healing an injury, and building bones, muscles, skin, and blood. You need protein in your diet along with carbohydrates and fats, and vitamins and minerals. Getting enough protein from your food is not usually a problem. But getting protein from better sources is.
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Vegetables are nutritious, colorful, flavorful, and can be prepared in lots of ways. They are naturally low in calories, fat, and sodium, don’t contain cholesterol, and are good sources of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Continue reading →
Carbohydrates, are they good? Are they bad? Low carb? No carb? Eat your grains. The contradictions are endless. The truth is, your body needs carbohydrates for energy! You just need to make sure you get the right kinds everyday. Continue reading →
Protein is important for your body cells, hair and nails, for healing an injury, and building bones, muscles, skin, and blood. You need protein in your diet along with carbohydrates and fats, and vitamins and minerals. Getting enough protein from your food is not usually a problem. But getting protein from better sources is!
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Food labels can be totally bewildering. Just because something says “low fat” doesn’t mean it’s not fattening. Confused? You’re not the only one. We’ve put together a tip sheet on how to shop smart so you go home with groceries full of healthy, nutritious ingredients.
- Start with the serving size. See how many servings are actually in the container. For example, an Arizona iced tea bottle usually has 2 ½ servings in it. Would you drink less than half the bottle and then put it away for another day?
- Calories. Check how many calories are in each serving. Let’s say there are 100 calories per serving in the drink you are about to drink. But there are 2.5 servings in the container. Multiply 100 by 2.5, and you’ll see that there are actually 250 calories in the container. This can be tricky! 1 container does not mean 1 serving.
- Fats. Try to make sure the foods you eat are low in total fats, saturated fats, and cholesterol. The Trans fat should say zero. Saturated and Trans fats raise your risk of heart disease.
- Sodium. Even though the food or drink might not taste salty to you, it can still be full of sodium. Sodium raises your blood pressure and you should not eat more than 2400 mg total in a day.
- Carbohydrates. Carbohydrates (or “carbs”) are important for giving your body energy, but try to limit the amount that comes from sugars. Sugar makes your blood sugar level rise, and turns to fat when you don’t use it. Check for anything that ends in “-ose” in the ingredients- that means sugar! Dietary fiber should be high. Fiber helps move your digestive system along and prevents heart disease and cancer.
- Protein. Most of us don’t have to worry about not getting enough protein, but try to have your protein come from foods like skinless chicken, turkey, fish, and beans, and not red meat like beef and pork.
- Vitamins and minerals. The goal is to get to 100% of what is recommended for each.
It’s all the things going on in your body that use up energy and cause you to burn calories quickly or slowly. When people say they have a “fast metabolism” that means they burn calories fast, and can lose weight fast.
What can you do about it?
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A healthy lifestyle starts every morning and lasts all day long. It’s about eating right, exercising more, and taking good care of your body from morning to night. Here are 10 ways to get started.
- Get plenty of sleep. A good night sleep is extremely important. Your body recuperates during sleep. Between 7 and 8 hours is most ideal.
- Never skip breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It revs ups your body’s engine to keep it fueled well all day. Make sure to eat a healthy breakfast with whole grains or protein. This will keep you fuller longer and help with digestion throughout the day.
- Walk to school. Many children live within 1 mile of the school that they attend. This is a great time to get in 15 -30 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Make sure half of your plate is filled with vegetables when eating any meal. This will help in digestion, as well as, keeping you full longer. Pick the vegetables that you like, or that are in season, steam them or gently stir fry with minimal olive or canola oil.
- Stay hydrated. But not with juice or soda! It’s important to drink throughout the day, but what you drink will determine your weight and your health. Drinking lots of sugary juices or sodas add lots of calories. Many times it could be 100’s of calories that just wait to be snug around your belly, thighs or buttocks. Pick up a nice cold water or seltzer. Make homemade tea at home with just some fruit tea bags, ice and a big jug of water.
- Mind your friends. You are known by the company you keep. If you surround yourself with negative people there is a very good change you will pick up negative thoughts and behaviors. This is not a recipe for success in health. Keep yourself surrounded by positive thinking people, with you being the ring leader!
- Make dessert a physical activity. Nothing wrong with having a little ice cream once in a while. However, why not make yourself and your family exercise for it. Walk together to the local grocery story and pick out a dessert that you could all share within the correct portions. Then walk back home and enjoy!
- Turn off the TV, phone, DVD, IPad, Blackberry, IPod. When eating any meal try and eat as a family. Bonding together will help cure some of the mindless eating that tends to occur when family members are focusing more on their electronics than their eggs.
- Xbox, Wii – no problem. You just want to sit on that couch and play video games? Why not turn your gaming into a healthy activity. On your next purchase, instead of the newest shoot up game why not try bowling, dancing or baseball as your next game. You can play the game as a family and you’ll be exercising and bonding at the same time.
- Learn to cook healthy. Check out a local community center and see if there are any low cost or free healthy cooking classes for you and your children. Empower your children to take control of their own health destiny by educating them about healthy cooking. Many times local parks and recreations centers will offer these types of classes. Be proactive about your health. The best way to start is in your own kitchen.