Family Health & Wellness Blogs
Meal prepping is important for the busy person (especially working moms and dads) that are trying to eat healthy. Here are a few tips to make meal prep day a little easier not only for you but for the entire family.
- Have your containers ready. Glass containers are our my favorite to use. If you have room in your budget, I highly recommend investing in them. There are other options as well, such as BPA free, dishwasher safe plastic containers.
- Schedule your prep day. For my family, Sunday is the big cooking day. My husband is the “chef” of the house, and will have several pots, pressure cooker and slow cooker all going at the same time. Pick what day will work out best for you and try to stick with it.
- Focus on meals that are full of nutrients, easy to digest and perfect to store in the fridge after cooked. Beans and grains are a great example of this. Beans are full of fiber and antioxidants. Cooking a pot of black beans (add in disease fighting onions, garlic, and cumin) as well as a pot of brown or white rice, will give you enough servings for 4-5 people (2-3 meals week). Grains and beans are a perfect protein when combined, and easy to add to any meal. Think tacos, burritos, brown-rice bowels, even salads.
- Begin with foods that need the longest time to cook. While these are cooking, you can start with prepping the veggies and fruits.
- Wash and chop up your leafy greens. Spinach, kale, broccoli and cabbage are some of our favorites. Add these healthy vegetables to any lunch or dinner.
- Wash and peel fruits. Gather your smoothie fruits in containers for use later in the week. Or use portion control containers for fruits that you like snacking on such as grapes, berries, and melon.
- Have fun! Always remember, how you cook these meals, is much better than any meal you can order at your closest restaurant in town. Nobody is going to put the love you put into creating meals with valuable ingredients you personally selected based on your family’s needs.
- Maday Labrador
- Tags: Meals
10 Tips To Reduce Stomach Bloating
We all know the feeling. Swelling and discomfort of the stomach. That uncomfortable feeling of being too full, that can last too long. Bloating can be caused by intestinal gas as well as constipation, gut sensitivity, and gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying). There are things you can do to help prevent and reduce bloating. Here are 10 tips to reduce stomach bloating quickly.
- Add anti-bloating food into your diet. Such as celery, ginger, papaya, pineapple, zucchini, watermelon, cucumbers, asparagus, green tea.
- Find out if you have a food intolerance. You may find that certain foods are harder for you to digest, such as food that contain lactose, fructose, or gluten. Keep a food diary. If you notice that your bloating is occurring after eating a certain food, remove it from your diet or take a digestive enzyme supplement that will help digest that particular food (see#5).
- Slow down when eating. Be mindful of what you are eating and really enjoy it. As a result, this will help you to not overeat.
- Don’t drink through a straw. You can avoid swallowed air that can cause gas and bloating.
- Take digestive enzymes. Enzymes help reduce occasional gas and bloating by supporting digestion of foods. I recommend taking enzymes at the beginning of a meal.
- Increase water intake. Carbonated drinks, sugars and artificial sweeteners in drinks can cause gas and bloating. Water is a much better choice! It helps flush out waste from the body. Even better yet, add a lemon to your water. Lemon water is a natural diuretic.
- Take probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can support a healthy balance of bacteria in the gut.
- Avoid greasy foods. High fat, greasy foods can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Plus many of these foods are high in sodium which can make bloating worse.
- Exercise. Try a walk after eating to help with digestion. Exercise can also help prevent constipation.
- Reduce salt intake. Too much sodium can cause the body to retain water therefore contribute to a swollen tummy.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.
- Maday Labrador
- Tags: Bloating
Unfortunately eating healthy can be more expensive but there are exceptions. Here is a list of tasty, superfoods that have a low cost per serving.
Lentils: High in fiber, plant-based protein and minerals like iron, magnesium and zinc. Also may help with digestion and gut bacteria. Easily add lentils to a salad or make a hearty lentil soup.
Kale: High in vitamin K and A, lutein and zeaxanthin. Besides using kale in soups and salads, you can add kale to your smoothie. Or sauté with vegetables as a side dish.
Red Cabbage: Part of the family of awesome cruciferous vegetable. Full of vitamins C and K, fiber, and detoxifying compounds. Contains anthocyanin, an antioxidant for heart and brain health. Great to add to a detox salad.
Chia seeds: Contains fiber, antioxidants, calcium, iron, a complete protein, high in omega 3 fatty acids. You must try chia seed pudding. You can also add them to yogurt or your favorite smoothie.
Broccoli: Similar benefits of red cabbage. Full of B vitamins, vitamin C and calcium as well as glucoraphanin – an antioxidant that supports your body’s detoxification pathway. You can buy frozen broccoli for extra cost savings. Easily add to any lunch or dinner, raw, steam or sauté.
Green tea: Delivers potent antioxidants, like EGCG. Also a natural source of l-theanine an amino acid. Sip on hot or cold green tea during the day.
Oats: Rich in thiamine, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese. The fiber in oats may also reduce your hunger by making you feel fuller longer and stabilize sugar levels. Easy to make for breakfast. Try to stay away from instant oats which are the most highly processed variety.
Sweet potatoes: Packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. One of the healthiest starches to include in your diet. There are lots of different sweet potato healthy recipes: oven roasted, soups, pancakes, and mash, to name a few.
Carrots: Rich in vitamins and minerals such as potassium, vitamin K, vitamin A. Easy to add to any meal raw, steamed or cooked.
Black beans: Like lentils, high in fiber and protein, black beans help with digestion and gut health. Also packed with antioxidants. Combine with brown rice for a complete protein meal. Can also be added to salads, and taste wonderful as a soup or bean dip.
Bananas: Provide not only potassium but a variety of vitamins and minerals. Great as a snack or an addition to a healthy dessert.
- Maday Labrador
- Tags: Meals
A Good Night's Sleep
A good night’s sleep can make a huge difference in how you feel and function during the day. Yet a third of US adults report that they usually get less than the recommended 7 hours of sleep a night. (https://www.cdc.gov/sleep/data_statistics.html).
Below is a list of top 10 things that can be done to improve your sleep each night (from the book Happy Cells Healthy You). These are easy, small changes that can be made, which could have a significant impact on how well you sleep and how great you feel in the morning!
- Get out into the sunshine as soon as you can. Exposure to natural light can reset your inner body clock and boosts your alertness and mood for the entire day.
- Cut the caffeine. If you drink caffeine, drink beverages early in the day to minimize their negative effects on your sleep.
- Exercise. The National Sleep Foundation reports that people who exercise regularly sleep better than those who sit on the couch! But there is one caveat: be sure not to exercise too close to bedtime as this could affect your sleep.
- Nap smart. If you nap, nap no longer than thirty minutes and get that cat nap in earlier rather than later in the day or you could risk interfering with your sleep.
- Turn off all your electronic devices. Your smartphone, your computer, your tablet, your wide-screen TV, are constantly emitting high energy blue wavelengths. All that blue light exposure is interfering with your brain’s production of melatonin which is vital to your sleep.
- Keep your room dark. A dark room will increase melatonin. If necessary, you can invest in blackout drapes or wear a soft eye mask which limits your exposure to light in your room.
- Eat light. Avoid ingesting a heavy meal just prior to bedtime. Your body is not made to be digesting food while you are sleeping.
- A warm soak or shower. Your body, as it gets you ready for sleep, already experiences a drop in temperature. You can kick-start this by getting warm in the tub or shower.
- Use lavender essential oil. In a 2005 study in Chronobiology International, lavender was shown to increase the amount of slow wave (deep) sleep in both women and men, with all subjects reporting increased well-being in the morning, underscoring the restorative nature of slow wave sleep.
- Give in. Occasionally, you may just have one of those nights where no matter what you try, you just can’t get to sleep. Getting up, sitting in a comfortable chair and relaxing by listening to some calming music, reading under soft lights, or meditating until you feel sleepy is probably best.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) supports a recommended sleep of 9 to 12 hours per day for children 6 to 12 years of age and 8-10 hours a day for teenagers. Children not getting enough sleep each night has been associated with injuries, obesity, and depression. Many of the above recommendations can also help with children who are having trouble getting a good night’s sleep.
- Maday Labrador
- Tags: Sleep