Keeping Your Kids Healthy

The struggle has never been as real as it is today to keep our children healthy. There is an oft-quoted study that claims that this generation of children have a lower life expectancy than
their parents. And it is easy to understand why this would be the case. Junk food is cheaper and more available than ever before, cars are everywhere, and schools are less active. So in the fight to keep your child healthy, where are you supposed to even start the battle, let alone guarantee a win? Many parents face such a dilemma, but it is actually easier than you might think. Our children may be young, but they are smart and instinctive, and if you give them the opportunity, you will find that many of them actually want to be healthy. So here are a few tips and tricks to help them to realize it.

Make Healthy Food Fun

Many parents soon fall into the early trap of forcing their children to eat boring food, and it soon becomes a chore, then a daily battle, to get them to eat good food. Make healthy food fun for them in whatever way you can. Dress vegetables up with a nice dip, and allow them to dip it themselves. It might be messy, but it will get them the vitamins they need! Most kids love milk, but if they don’t want to drink it, add some food coloring to make it more fun. You can even make each meal a game by coming up with creative ways to plate your food. One idea is to pull out an ice tray and place healthy, bite-sized bites in each square for them to pick from. Healthy food should be something that they look forward to, rather than something they avoid.

Healthy Habits

Start teaching them the basics of healthy living while they are still young, and help them to understand why they must do each thing. Washing their hands after going potty and before meal times, brushing teeth, and taking vitamins. A lot of manufacturers have developed fun ways for children to do each of these things with brightly colored soaps, flavored toothpaste, and chewy vitamins available in just about every store.

Dealing with Seasons

It is good for kids to be outside. There might be dirt and grime and all sorts out there, but it is much healthier for them to be exposed to the outside air, than cooped up inside. Even the bad things will boost their immune systems. In the summertime particularly, you want your kids to be outside under the sun for as long as possible, soaking up that vitamin D. In the winter, the same thing applies, but be sure to keep them wrapped up and warm to avoid cold-related illnesses.

Find their Favorite Activity

By the time you reach adulthood, most people already see regular exercise as a chore. But if you cultivate a love for fitness at an early age, your child won’t feel this way. Of course, this does not mean shoving your child on a treadmill and watching them run. This means finding something that they really love to do and encouraging it. It might be riding their bike, a certain sport or game, anything at all. If they show a passion for it, sign them up for classes, let them cultivate that passion, pressure free, and they will thank you in the future.

The Doctor is Our Friend

Perhaps most importantly of all, make sure that you have a pediatrician for your child, and that they are someone with whom your child becomes acquainted. We are not talking about hypochondria, rather the regular necessary check-ups and routine vaccinations. Make sure that your child knows that the doctor is a friend, not a foe, and make going to the doctor a positive, rather than negative, experience.

Protect Their Eyes

Parents forget this one like no other. I believe in drinking more water to protect eyes. When the eyes are fully hydrated the UV rays from the sun don’t pass through. Truth is your kids eyes will not always be hydrated. In those situations I believe in getting sunglasses like the TR90 glasses which are super intense with blocking out all bad UV rays. I wouldn’t wear these religiously. Your child needs to have vitamin D naturally from the sun.

Staying Active in the Workplace

walkers!

It can be difficult to stay active at the best of times. On a list of “things I like to do,” working out comes somewhere near the bottom for most people. And when you add a busy work-schedule and a family or social life to the mix, keeping your lifestyle active might just be one of the hardest things for any person to do. Most of us do not have jobs that allow for regular movement, let alone proper exercise, and when you come home after a long day, usually the last thing that you want to do is work out. So when you want to keep healthy, but simply don’t have the time, you have to find clever ways to stay active in the workplace. Here are some suggestions to get you started.

Standing Desks

The people who design office equipment have come up with one simple solution to this sort of problem, which is to stand while you work. Sitting at a desk all day has a lot of negative health implications that extend beyond a lack of exercise. Of course the restricted movement is a bad thing, but it can also affect your posture, give you back problems, carpal tunnel, and a number of other ailments. A desk that allows you to stand as you work would help to alleviate or even prevent a lot of these issues.

Treadmill Desks

Some office supply companies have taken it one step further and invented a desk that allows you to walk as you use it. A treadmill desk is exactly what it sounds like, and although it would probably be quite difficult to sprint while trying to type, a casual walk for an hour or so could really transform your fitness.

Walk When You Can

Driving a car to work everyday is most people’s default option, but it doesn’t allow for much exercise. Are you able to walk to work? Is there a bus or train station near you that you can walk to, and get public transport the rest of the way? Even if you cannot do either of these things, perhaps try parking further away than you normally do for work everyday. Many of these things will save the environment and save you money at the same time.

Exercise at Lunch

Most people get an hour for lunch on a regular day. That gives you easily enough time to go for a quick jog, shower or rinse, and finish in time to go back to work. If jogging is not your thing, perhaps visit a nearby gym or find something else that you like to do.

Take Walks

Your exercise doesn’t have to be limited to lunch breaks. Take regular breaks during the day, and go for a five or ten minute walk around the building. This will not only help you to stay physically healthy, but it will help to clear your head and keep you mentally fresh.

Eat Well

One of the most important aspects of maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to eat well. This will help increase your energy levels and feel good, even when you don’t have time to exercise in the traditional sense. And as with everything else on this list, it might help you to live longer too!

Author Bio:

Sandie Johnson is a Nu Skin Enterprises distributor and a member of the Force for Good Foundation, which is a charitable organization that improves the lives of children around the world. She enjoys her many roles as a business woman, and health advocate.

Creative Ways to Include More Fruits & Veggies in Your Life

fruit store

It’s no secret that many people are looking for healthy eating habits, but eating right is a lot easier said than done. Two categories of food that most people seem to have the most difficulty including in their meals is that of fruits and vegetables. In fact, a Nu Skin article reported that, “9 out of 10 people do not consume the recommended two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables each day. In fact, 2 out of 3 people reported that they consumed less than one serving of fruit per day – and that included orange juice as a serving of fruit!”

We all know how crucial the nutrients in fruits and vegetables are to our health, so if you currently fall into the 90 percent not getting enough fruits and veggies, here is your complete guide to success:

Breakfast

It’s the first meal of the day and one of the most important. Many people are in a rush to eat, which means they’ll often grab almost anything as they leave the house. Take a bit of extra time to make a nice breakfast by adding a little something extra into your meal. If you enjoy a bowl of cereal, try putting some chopped fruit, like a banana, on top. If omelettes are more your thing, it’s just as easy to sneak some peppers or onions in there. Not only will these additions add some nutrition, they can also add lots of flavor.

Lunch

Sandwiches are usually the main course when it comes to lunch, so why not add some fruits and veggies into the mix? If you’re looking at a deli sandwich, include some peppers, carrots, or celery. Don’t forget to throw a tomato in there as well. Avocados can also be used in place of mayonnaise. Include some raw vegetables on the side. You can dip them in low-fat salad dressing or a bean dip like hummus.

Dinner

The last meal of the day presents plenty of new ways to include fruits and vegetables. If you’re a fan of spaghetti, try mixing some grated carrots or zucchini to the pasta sauce. It’s a sneaky way to include some vegetables if you’re not thrilled by their taste. You can also prepare some vegetable juice for your drink. And if you’re not afraid to try something really new, mashed up cauliflower can make for an excellent nutritional substitute for mashed potatoes. Vegetables can also be hidden in some of your favorite meals, like pizza or tacos.

Salads

The versatile nature of salads makes them go great with almost any meal. You can either have them for the meal itself or as a side dish. Salads should be made of leafy green vegetables while also including other nutritious options like tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, chopped up apples, raisins, grapes, and broccoli. Make sure when you go the salad route that you stay away from fatty dressings and other toppings. Salads can also be eaten before lunch or dinner as a way to reduce your appetite before the main course.

Snacks

An overwhelming number of snacks are salty or sugary examples of junk food, so keep away from them. Luckily, fruits and vegetables can fill the void quite nicely. Keep a bowl of fruit in an easy to reach place in your kitchen, dining room, or office. Not only does it serve as a pleasant reminder, but it makes for a quick and easy snack whenever you work up a craving for food. Smoothies are also good snack options for the middle of the day. Fill them up with tasty fruit but also add in a few vegetables to give your smoothie that extra bit of nutrition. Dried fruit can also be prepared or bought if you’d like to snack while on the go.

Smart Choices

Fruits are easy to make into a fun dessert. Try dipping fruit like strawberries or kiwis into chocolate. Or try sprinkling some cinnamon onto some baked fruit. It’s the perfect way to end the day. If you’re going out to eat, order the side salad over the french fries. You may also want to look at the vegetarian menu that many restaurants provide.

There are certainly many more ways to include fruits and vegetables into your daily diet. Being a little creative and finding what works for you is part of the fun of crafting the perfect meal plan. Once fruits and vegetables are a normal part of your routine, you’ll feel much more healthy and energetic.

The Connection Between Antioxidants and Weight Loss

Losing weight begins with making the right food choices. By choosing foods that are richer in antioxidants and phytonutrients you make the right food choices. Why Antioxidants matter is because they protect your body’s cells from being damaged by free radicals. By protecting the cells you protect the DNA inside the nucleus of every cell. This all leads to better functioning cells, which leads to better and more efficient energy production within each cell. Which is increasing the quality of the metabolism, the body’s ability to convert fats and sugars into energy.
Fruits and Veggies
Making the wrong food choices can slow down antioxidant production in your body, which can lead to more free radicals damaging cells. Which will not only slow down the energy production each cell offers but eventually leads to more fats being stored. When this happens in large quantities of cells it leads to inflammation, a lack of energy overall, and weight gain.

Free radicals aren’t bad, they are good for your body and your body actually produces them. They’re just reactive elements that steal electrons from what they come in contact with. It’s just when they come in contact with your cells they’re bad. Free radicals serve a purpose to take down viruses and bad bacterias that enter into the body. Antioxidants protect the cells from free radicals so the free radical can take out negative elements in the body.

This is why it’s vital that we eat foods and drink liquids that we know our filling our bodies with nutrients that consist of antioxidants. Our body is truly defined by our cells, since our body is the combination of trillions of cells and if we don’t take protect them we’re not taking care of ourselves. As we take good care of ourselves, we’re taking care of them and this helps our metabolism – which is a successful key to healthy weight loss.

Energy is Our Metabolism

All of our living cells create energy off of the food we eat. They receive their fuel for energy from carbohydrates. Our body is constantly using and burning energy. This is apart of the metabolic process that’s going on in the body. Our food is broken down into incredible small molecules so that our cells can feed off of the glucose and fat they offer. Our cells then convert the food into energy, so we can function and operate in our everyday lives.
Energy Metabolism
How Your Body Gets Antioxidants

Our body naturally produces antioxidants enzymes, the production this is controlled by our genetic make up. Our bodies ability to internally produce antioxidants but our body relies heavily on external forces to give it more antioxidants. Those influences are the food we eat, the rest we receive, and the environment we live around. Living in high polluted areas will not give us more antioxidants. Over a lifetime of being exposed to negative external influences our cells begin to slow down and eventually die. Eating plant based foods that are high in phytonutrients will not only will naturally add more antioxidants to the body but it will help in the production of antioxidants, this is the ideal state.

Foods Rich in Antioxidants and Other Benefits

There are several benefits to focusing on antioxidant-rich foods as opposed to just losing weight. First, foods high in antioxidants are typically lower in calories anyways. It’s unlikely that you’ll go over your daily limit unless you’re really eating a massive quantity. Secondly, antioxidant-rich foods are generally very high in nutrients. You will get a wide variety of vitamins and minerals from incorporating a nice selection of antioxidant-rich foods into your diet. By getting a sufficient amount of nutrition, you will lower your risk for disease. You could achieve the same weight loss by counting your calories and eating foods that are less nutrient-dense, but you’ll surely miss out on the health benefits. Next, research has indicated that antioxidants may be responsible for lowering blood triglycerides. Phenolic acids and flavonoids, in particular, inhibit an enzyme required to produce triglycerides. Finally, antioxidant-rich foods are typically high in fiber as well. Foods high in fiber tend to make you feel fuller, and that means you likely won’t be eating as much. In the end, antioxidants don’t literally melt the fat away, but they do just about everything else to make excess weight come off.

Calorie Counting vs. Focus on Antioxidants

Calorie counting for weight loss can be dangerous because low calorie diets may not provide the rich nutrients that offer high amounts of antioxidants. Focusing on eating foods that are very high in antioxidants can speed up the metabolism.

Foods High in Antioxidants

Plant-based foods normally contain the most significant levels of antioxidants. Antioxidant levels can be measured using a scale known as the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity scale, or ORAC scale. There are now scanners that can show you the antioxidant level count in your blood before and after – when you eat these foods. This will help you measure your antioxidant success. Pharmanex and Monavie are the only two competing companies that offer the technology. More technology should be coming along soon by other companies.

Weight loss expert Keri Glassman, recently wrote a book called the O2 Diet. In it she strongly pushes that every day we should have over 30,000 ORAC points in our diet.

Some common foods that score big numbers on the ORAC scale include:

Goji Berries – 13,600 points/serving
Artichokes – 7,900 points/serving
Lemon Water – 3,200 points/serving
Red Grapefruit – 1,900 points/serving
Figs – 2,900 points/serving
Beans (most) – 7,900 points/serving
Cherries – 3,500 points/serving
Dark Chocolate – 5,900 points/serving
Blueberries – 9,700 points/serving
Cinnamon – 7,000 points/serving
Plums – 4,100 points/serving

Metabolic Syndrome and Antioxidants

Diets very low in antioxidants can lead to metabolic syndrome. The combination of risk factors that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and other disorders are referred to as metabolic syndrome. The metabolic risk factors include a large waistline, high triglycerides, low HDL, hypertension, and high fasting blood sugar. People who exhibit any three or more of these factors are said to have metabolic syndrome. A diet high in antioxidants can prevent or cure metabolic syndrome by helping people lose weight, minimizing triglyceride levels and more. Combined with regular exercise, the diseases above don’t stand much of a chance.

berries rich with antioxidants

What Makes a Superfood a Superfood?

Understanding Superfoods

There’s one word that’s talked about everyday inside the health world that’s hardly ever mentioned outside of it. If you’re not reading health articles everyday chances are you probably have never heard of this word. This word was developed by the super intense raw vegans of the world. In my opinion, they’re right on. The word is ‘superfood’ and if you haven’t heard of it, it’s time to familiarize yourself with the word. It will change your life physically, literally.

So Really, What is a Superfood?

A superfood is a food created in nature, so it is known as a “whole food.” Whole foods require the least amount of processing. Raw superfoods are ideal for ones health because of the enzymes and nutrients in them offer value to the body. This is what gives them that ‘super’ name. Nothing has been added to them, and they do not contain artificial substances. For this reason, a superfood must be organic because organic produce is not grown with pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, ionizing radiation or genetically modified organisms. Superfoods that come from livestock are organic if the animals weren’t given growth hormones or antibiotics.

The other component of a superfood is its nutritional content. Superfoods receive this label if they are rich in phytochemicals or vitamins and minerals. They may have a high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids. Others may have a large amount of fiber and are low in calories. Even if it’s a high content of vitamin C it’s powerful. Basically, a superfood has a reputation for being extremely beneficial to the body.
Berries in the wild
What Foods Are Not Superfoods?

Along with not being organic, non-superfoods aren’t served raw. This is where large companies deceive consumers, they believe and consider processed superfoods to still be super. A vegetable may be very nutritious, but cooking it at high temperatures removes between 15 and 30 percent of the vitamins.

Some foods are known to contain several vitamins and minerals, but they will not receive the “superfood” label if they do not have at least one of these vital nutrients in high concentrations. On the other hand, a food may contain a significant amount of a vitamin or a mineral, but if the food will cause toxicity if you eat too much of it, it is disqualified as being a superfood.

Other foods are extremely nutritious but are not considered to be superfoods because they are fattening. Some foods high in a certain vitamin or nutrient have been rumored to be unhealthy for cancer patients, so these foods cannot be recommended as superfoods.

What Are the Current Superfoods?

The current superfoods include the following:

Watercress
• Chinese cabbage
• Chard
• Beet green
• Spinach
• Leaf lettuce
• Romaine lettuce
• Collard green
• Turnip green
• Mustard green
• Endive
• Kale
• Dandelion green
• Arugula
• Iceberg lettuce
• Fat-free or low-fat plain yogurt
• Eggs
• Nuts
• Kiwis
• Quinoa
• Beans
• Salmon
• Broccoli
• Sweet potatoes
• Berries

What Are the Current Non-Superfoods?

The following products are non-superfoods:

• Wheatgrass
• Brazil nuts
• Avocado
• Goji berries
• Soy
• Pomegranate
Beautiful Superfruits
What Benefits Do the Superfoods Provide?

Watercress contains vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, K and E, zinc, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, calcium, iron, protein, fiber and potassium. It is also low in calories. Watercress tops the list because it offers so many essential nutrients with the fewest calories, but the other greens and lettuces provide these nutrients in high amounts as well.

Yogurt contains calcium, protein and potassium that are essential for a healthy body. People obtain high-quality protein from eggs. This encourages brain development and helps maintain memory. Pistachios, walnuts and peanuts contain large amounts of protein, antioxidants and fiber that help lower blood cholesterol levels and promote a healthy heart.

Kiwis are high in the antioxidants that are excellent for fighting free radicals in the body. They also contain a significant amount of fiber that works as a laxative. Large concentrations of zinc, selenium and Vitamin E in quinoa decrease a person’s chances of contracting diabetes and heart disease while the high level of fiber decreases a person’s cholesterol. Antioxidants help fight more than just free radicals, but that’s the most important aspect of their mission in the body. It’s important to frequently measure your antioxidant levels (pharmanex) to make sure you’re getting the most out of your superfoods.

The fiber in beans keeps your heart healthy by lowering your cholesterol, but these superfoods also contain omega-3 fatty acids that are also good for the heart. They are a low-fat food that contains protein, magnesium and potassium. Salmon is another superfood rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Salmon’s low calorie content makes it a great source of protein and iron for those who are watching their weight. It is also high in vitamin D that promotes strong bones and teeth. Vitamins A, C and K are plentiful in broccoli as is fiber, so it is a great food for helping dieters feel full.

The high levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium and potassium in sweet potatoes make this treat a superfood that help keep the blood pressure low and decreases the risk of osteoporosis. Berries are superfoods because they benefit the body in several ways. For example, they are a low-fat option that gives people an abundance of antioxidants. The best source is the blueberry that has the highest content level of these extremely important substances.

We Need More Superfoods in Our Stores

It has become very clear that our grocery stores need to carry more superfoods because consuming them on a daily basis is the best way to keep our bodies healthy. Besides, eating more blueberries, salmon, spinach, walnuts, kiwis, yogurt and sweet potatoes also leads to glowing skin and healthier hair. Because there isn’t one superfood that has everything, we need a wide variety of superfoods in our diets, so it is time for the stores to give our health-conscious society what it is seeking.

Foods that Offer those Beautiful Tricks – Literally

A lot of people take a great deal of care when deciding which food they should and should not put into their bodies, and it is true that the kind of food that you eat can dictate a lot of other things about your general health. However, did you know that there are certain foods that have other benefits when used as beauty products? Here are some of the coolest beauty superfoods.

Honey

Honey is one of the world’s oldest natural sweeteners, but it is also one of the oldest moisturizers. It is often used in hair and skin products, such as moisturizers, shampoos and conditioners, it can fight infections and acne, and it can also be used to make natural face masks.

Avocado

Avocado is a great natural sunscreen for both your skin and hair. Because they are so oily, avocados can also be used to help alleviate sunburn pain. Adding avocados to a diet can also have multiple beauty benefits, such as eliminating wrinkles, and clearing away dead skin cells.

Cucumbers

We always see them in those movie makeover montages, but do cucumber slices actually do anything for your eyes? Well, the perhaps surprising answer is yes, they do! The main reason for this is that cucumbers are filled with water, which is the number one way to reduce puffiness under the eyes.

Lemon Juice

With multiple benefits for both your skin and hair, lemons really are a unique superfood. Among other things, lemon can heal dry skin, soothe chapped lips, freshen breath, revitalize hair, and even clear up acne. You can even use lemon juice to give your hair some natural highlights.

Strawberries

Strawberries contain vitamin C as well as antioxidants and exfoliants, all of which make them great for skin. If your face needs to be cleansed of dead skin or if you have a lot of blackheads, rubbing mashed strawberry on it can be an effective solution.

Egg

If you can stomach the thought of egg on your face, you might find that it has great benefits. The yolk will provide moisture, and the whites will help to make your skin more firm.

Brown Sugar

Another useful exfoliant, brown sugar is the perfect thing to use when you need to revitalize sensitive skin and regular exfoliants are just too harsh.

Oats

Oats relieve dryness and restore the natural balance of moisture in your skin, which is important if it needs healing. There are a lot of natural face masks that you can make using oats and honey or other foods.

Olive Oil

If you do a lot of swimming, you probably know the harsh effects that chlorine can have on your hair. You can create a hair mask using olive oil, and perhaps some eggs if you want a little extra moisture, and it will give your hair a new lease on life.

Banana

A lot of these foods make excellent masks when combined with others, but if you mash up some banana and leave it on your face for about 20 minutes, rinse, and dry, you will find that it gives you the desired results with a fraction of the effort.