It's a great time of year to make a plan for starting your day out right - for both you and your kids!
When spending time in my kid's schools, some of the challenges that children and teachers face are obvious: bodies that can't sit still, bounding energy that can't be managed, sleepy heads struggling to stay awake, eyes moving unable to remain focused on the topic at hand. This is not only a challenge for the teacher, but what about for the child struggling to pay attention and not get in trouble, again?
"It costs too much money to eat healthy!" This is commonly what I hear about nutrition and healthy eating.
Yes, it is not hard to spend big bucks when going to the grocery store, but it doesn't have to be that way with a bit of planning. According to the most recent data from the USDA, the cost of feeding a family of four a healthy diet can range from $146 to $289/week. These numbers are based on preparing all meals and snacks at home for 2 adults and 2 school-aged kids.
I was diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) the summer after my freshman year in college. At that time, I was not pursuing education in nutrition and didn't know much about how food impacted my health. I was 18 years old and certainly was not a good example of someone eating a nourishing diet. After testing to rule out a more severe medical condition, the doctor suggested I add a fiber supplement to my diet and manage the symptoms with over the counter medications. Even at that time, I knew this was a vague diagnosis with no attempt at understanding the cause. I felt simply dismissed with no answers.
One of my "happy places" is the Mill City farmer's market in Minneapolis. I love the fresh produce that changes throughout the season, the fresh cut flowers for my table, the frozen wild-caught Alaskan salmon from Wild Run Salmon, the flour from Sunrise Flour Mill, and fresh prepared foods from Spoon River or Chef Shack. The smells, the flavors and the people all make a visit to the market one of my favorite things to do on a summer Saturday morning.
Do you hear about inflammation from your doctor or in the news, but not exactly sure what it means for your health? Acute inflammation is your body's natural response to an injury (a cut or break) or an infection (a virus or bacteria). This inflammatory response is crucial for your body to heal. Unfortunately, chronic inflammation is inflammation that persists over a longer period of time and plays a role in heart disease, Diabetes, Alzheimer's, some types of cancer and obesity.
Do you feel bloated after every meal or even when you wake up in the morning? Do you constantly go back and forth between constipation and diarrhea? If so, you are not alone. According to data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 63 million people have chronic constipation and more than 15 million people have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. The cause of these symptoms is often overlooked, but rather symptoms are managed with chronic medication use, leading to side effects and additional health challenges.
We took a short vacation this spring and with travel comes lots of eating out. It is a pleasure - not having to cook or clean it up, finding restaurant gems in an unfamiliar city. In many ways it is simpler than at home - meal planning, shopping and cooking. I do enjoy those things when I am not feeling time pressured, but it does get tiresome - 3 meals/day, 7 days/week. Vacation is a time to relax, and being more relaxed about eating naturally happens too.
Weight loss is as simple as eat less and exercise more, right? That is certainly the messages we hear in the media. And it sometimes may seem like an easier solution. But unfortunately, it doesn't always work.
I was recently at the grocery store and took notice of how the struggle for weight control is failing miserably in our culture. There was a lovely woman who was very overweight and struggling even to walk across the store. If you saw her from the waist up she looked like a healthy weight, but from the waist down she would be considered obese. It was a reminder that the simple formula of calories in vs. calories out does not work for many women and men who have been fighting this battle for years and years.
I see clients every day who have struggled for years to achieve a healthy weight. They have tried every diet on the market with at best minimal results. And so often they also live with chronic digestive issues. Their stories almost always include some or all of the following: a history of the Standard American Diet, regular antibiotic usage as a child or into adulthood, a period of time on the birth control pill, over-the-counter or prescription medications for reflux, constipation or diarrhea.
If your gut is out of balance, it will have an impact on nearly every system in your body. It really is that important. You probably don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your gut, unless it is causing you discomfort.