All Posts tagged healthy eating

Refreshing Minty Green Smoothie

Refreshing Minty Green Smoothie

This smoothie is refreshing and light, and a great way to start the day!

Ingredients:

  • handful of spinach
  • 5-6 mint leaves
  • 3 tbsp raw whole flax seed
  • 1/2 banana
  • 2-3 strawberries (frozen or fresh)
  • 1 1/2 cup water (for creamier version, replace 1/2 cup of water with milk of choice)
  • couple ice cubes

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender or NutriBullet, blend until smooth.

What’s your favorite green smoothie recipe? Share it by sending me a tweet or posting it on my Facebook page!

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How to upgrade your brown bag lunch with healthier foods

How to upgrade your brown bag lunch with healthier foods

If you’re packing your lunch, chances are you’re striving to make healthy choices. Good for you! But keep this in mind – not all brown bag lunches are equal. Just because you packed it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Here I offer some tips for creating a healthy lunch rich in WHOLE, FRESH and REAL foods, and free of unwanted ingredients like artificial flavors, artificial colors, preservatives, additives and sugar – all which I categorize as NON-food ingredients. (Check out my blog post “Packing your lunch? Find out what’s really in your brown bag” to learn what foods to avoid).

Here are some tips to help get you started:

  • Color: Where there is color, there is nutrition! Lunches full of color are lunches rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, which we could all use more of!
  • Package-free: More times than not, a food in a package has been processed and contains added ingredients. Therefore it’s a modified version of the original food. So…focus on foods that aren’t packaged – i.e., whole, fresh foods – and your diet will automatically be higher in nutrients your body needs. 
  • Minimal Ingredients: When picking out foods that are packaged, aim for options that contain only a few ingredients. The fewer the better because it will help ensure that there’s less stuff – i.e., preservatives, additives, artificial colors, artificial flavors, added sugar.  Also – make sure you can recognize the names of the ingredients. If you can’t pronounce something, it’s likely unnecessary for your diet.

Here are some of my favorite go-to lunch foods:

Apple
Fresh fruit: a great source of natural fiber, fresh fruit also contains natural sugars (instead of added sugar!) to   fuel our bodies with energy. Better to get your sugar here because it’s paired with the fiber which will ensure a slower absorption by your body, keeping you from experiencing quick spikes in blood sugar.

 

hardboiled egg

Slices of Pepper / Original horizontal border with water's drop and real reflection

Fresh vegetables: Fresh vegetables are loaded with nutrients and there are endless options out there to create variety and flavor for your lunch. Try carrots one day and greens the next. Dip grape tomatoes or sliced peppers into homemade hummus or guacamole.

 

 

eggs

 

Hardboiled egg: Skip the processed lunch meat and go for this delicious and easy-to-prepare source of protein. Make a batch of eggs at the beginning of the week so they’re on hand to grab and go.

 

 

chia seedsChia Pod: Cha-cha-cha-chia!! The Chia Pod is one of my favorite snacks! If you like pudding, you’re going to love this sweet treat! What’s even better – this version of pudding is free of added sugar and is gluten and dairy free! If you’re not familiar with the health benefits of chia seeds, check out this informative article by Dr. Oz – these little seeds are full of Omega 3’s, fiber, protein and more. Want to make chia seed pudding at home? It’s easy! Check out my homemade recipe. 

hardboiled egg

Plantain Chips: Need a little crunch but want to avoid the fried potato chips? Good idea! Look no further, plantain chips are the answer! Trader Joe’s plantain chips are roasted and contain just three ingredients – plantains, oil and sea salt. chips

 

Looking to incorporate healthy habits like these into your routine? Not sure how to get started? Contact me to schedule an introductory health coaching session and we’ll create your next steps!

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Three tips for mindful eating this Thanksgiving

Three tips for mindful eating this Thanksgiving

There’s no way to avoid food on Thanksgiving, but we can avoid overeating it! Try these tips to help you slow down and eat more mindfully on Turkey Day.

#1: Stay hydrated
Drink water throughout the day. You’ll feel less hungry when meal time comes, and you’ll automatically redirect some of your attention away from the food and onto a healthy behavior. Plus, even though you’ll still indulge in stuffing and pie, your body will benefit from this healthy decision all day long.

#2: Leave room for dessert
It’s unlikely you’ll skip dessert on Thanksgiving, so do your body a (healthy!) favor by leaving room for it in your belly! Eating when you’re too full does nothing positive for your health, so pace yourself at dinner so that you can enjoy every bite at dessert.

#3: Give Thanks!
This holiday is about giving thanks, so rather than taking the day for granted, take a pause and think about all you have to be thankful for, including your health. Something else to give thanks for? Your food! A moment of thanks before your first bite will help you slow you down during meal time and appreciate your meal.

New Year, Health You Special! Purchase any Joy to Wellness Health Coaching Service between now and December 31st, 2014 and receive 10% off! Then, schedule your service for the new year or start now. (It’s up to you!)

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Three tips to help you avoid post-holiday guilt

Three tips to help you avoid post-holiday guilt

Do you fall off the healthy wagon during the holidays? It’s easy to use the holidays as an excuse to make bad decisions, but this just leaves us feeling guilty when the new year arrives. This year get ahead of the holidays so that you can stay healthy and happy all the way through. Follow these three easy tips:

Tip #1: Find a Partner in Health
Two key ingredients for getting to a healthier place in life and staying there are ACCOUNTABILITY and SUPPORT. To help with these, find a friend, coworker or family member to do healthy activities with – walks during your lunch hour, yoga on the weekend or a healthy cooking class. Keep each other posted on progress via text or Facebook.

Tip #2: Start Menu Planning Now
We all have good intentions for making healthy meals, but without a plan it’s easy to just give up and return to our unhealthy staples like grilled cheese or pizza. Same goes for the holidays. If you want to make a healthier holiday feast this year, start planning NOW. Search for healthy recipes and test them out ahead of time rather than waiting until the week before which will likely leave you stressed for time and returning to your usual menu. Find healthy ideas on Whole Foods Recipe Page where you can search by categories like dietary type (ex “sugar conscious”) or type of dish.

Tip #3: Ditch the “next year I’ll do better” mentality
Your health cannot be put on hold based on what time of year it is.  It’s time to ditch the “I’ll start my workout routine after the holidays” or “I deserve this because it’s Christmas” mentality and commit to your health once and for all. This doesn’t mean you’ll never eat a cookie again or you won’t experience temporary set backs. What it does mean is A NEW VIEW ON YOU, which is a healthy, balanced and consistent you.

Ready to get healthy once and for all? Check out my 3-Month Wellness Program!

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Moms’ Wellness Event Provides Advice, Relaxation and Earth-Lovin’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 25, 2014, by k.o. kidz Corp.

The premier wellness event of the season kicked off on Thursday, September 18th with ‘Back to School, Back to YOU!’ at Chicago’s acclaimed non-toxic day spa, Noktivo, in support of the National Farm to School Network.

Health and Wellness

k.o. kidz Corp. Founder and CEO, Karen Orlich joined Joy Duginske, Owner of Joy to Wellness Health Coaching, Candice Wu, MA-Holistic Therapist and Bianka Hardin, Psy.D. and Owner of Centered Therapy Chicago to provide healthy eating (and eco-friendly) advice for school lunches and stress relieving tips and techniques for moms.

This team really “walked the talk” in wellness by offering raw, organic juices provided by Earth’s Healing Café, organic wines, healthy fruit/veggie trays, superfood chia shots from The Chia Co., and complimentary spa sessions with Simple Beauty Naturals and massages from Tennille Jones, MELT Massage. Additionally, this green themed event had zero disposable waste by utilizing reusable, dry-erase nametags from Florida Badges, cloth napkins, garden herb “flower” arrangements, and ‘magbag’goodie bags (magazines repurposed to gift bags) provided by k.o. kidz.eco friendly

Joy Duginske, Certified Health Coach, began the evening’s presentation with some nutrition information from our public schools’ cafeterias. “Fries are considered a vegetable according to published nutrition standards,” stated Joy. “And, the chicken fingers have more than 30 ingredients.”

She highlighted an ‘unhealthy’ lunch that many of us feed our kids – peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread,organic fruit yogurt squeeze pouch, multi-grain crackers, and pre-packaged trail mix (all packaged in plastic, disposable bags).These supposedly healthy sounding foods can be deceiving with sugar, salt, and preservatives in the top five ingredients.She emphasized the importance of eating whole foods (i.e. unprocessed food that is free from additives or other artificial substances) and reading food labels BEFORE you buy.

Karen Orlich, k.o. kidz, then shared her recommendations on eco-friendly back to school gear must haves for a truly healthy, ‘green’ lunch.

“20 million sandwich bags are thrown away every day in the U.S. It’s disgusting!” k.o. kidz researched and tested several reusable snack/sandwich bags and lunch boxes and found three U.S. based, mom owned and operated businesses that are committed to the environment. SnackTAXI, Bento-ware, and Dabbawalla were all highlighted for their exceptional, durable, and creatively designed products and were part of a give-away at the end of the night.

Aviary-Photo_130560723296248033-300x300Karen also added, “Over 2.5 billion disposable food and drink pouches are consumed every year in the United States.” The high cost and lack of recyclability of these pouches motivated Karen to design and develop a reusable, eco-friendly pouch for on-the-go use which she debuted at the event.

Bianka Hardin, Centered Therapy Chicago, continued the presentation with 7 tips to maintain a sense of calm in your family. Bianka began with ‘focus on yourself’ stating, “In order for us to be good parents and make good decisions,we need to take care of ourselves first. So, self-care is not selfish, it is the best thing parents can do for themselves and their families.” She emphasized that self-care is important for the whole family as well.

Bianka HardinAdditional tips included: ‘good enough is good enough’, ‘make regular and open communication a family habit’, ‘start small changes to make improvements’, and ‘get involved in community’. She concluded with ‘get support’ stating, “Anything that can help you feel
supported or better cope with stress will have a positive impact on your quality or life.”

Candice Wu, Holistic Therapist and Certified Yoga Instructor, closed the event with relaxation techniques and a meditation. “Mothers can be such a central and powerful force in the family, your self-care is essential” stated Candice. “Whenever we use the senses, energy goes outward, so when we bring the senses inward, we create renewed energy and bring healing to our bodies and minds.” She recommended several meditative and mindfulness exercises and/or a restorative yoga class to better cope with the stress of back to school.

Ohm to that!

For inquiries about this event, please contact Joy Duginske (joy@joytowellness.com) or Karen Orlich (korlich@kokidz.com ). 

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Packing your lunch? Find out what’s really in your brown bag

Packing your lunch? Find out what’s really in your brown bag

Unhealthy Foods

Unhealthy Foods

We all want to do our bodies good, especially at lunchtime when we’re hungry for energy to get us through the rest of the day! Packing your lunch is a great way to avoid unhealthy fast food, or if you’re packing it for your kids, a sure way to help them bypass the not-so-healthy cafeteria food at school. But are the lunches you’re packing like most typical American brown bag lunches? If so, they’re probably  loaded with foods that come from packages and contain unwanted “mystery” ingredients like additives, preservatives, added sugar, artificial colors and flavors.

Here’s a list of foods we commonly pack in our brown bags or kids’ lunch boxes. Take a read to learn about the unhealthy ingredients they contain. Then, check out my blog post, “How to upgrade your brown bag lunch with healthier foods.”Unhealthy Foods

Unhealthy Foods

Unhealthy Foods

Multigrain Crackers

“Multigrain” foods: Don’t be fooled by promises of whole grains in crackers, breads and cereals. Most of these packaged foods are made from FLOUR and therefore are NOT whole. This can be confusing, but what it boils down to is this: once a grain is ground into a powdery flour substance IT NO LONGER EQUALS A WHOLE GRAIN, which means the nutritional benefits have diminished.

Read what Dr. Andrew Weil has to say about true whole grains and why it’s best to opt for these instead of       packaged and processed versions.

 

low calorie cookies Processed sweets: There’s nothing healthy about added sugar, and packaged desserts – cookies, cupcakes, candy – are loaded with it! Nabisco 100 calorie Chips Ahoy cookies, for example, contain multiple sweeteners on top of enriched flour and artificial flavors. If you’re looking for something sweet, ditch the packaged versions and make some homemade treats instead. Though still not the healthiest choice, at least you’ll know what’s in your own cookies and cakes, and  you’ll be keeping yourself from ingredients that aren’t really food in the first place (like artificial colors, highly processed flours, etc.)

lowfat yogurt

 

Sugary yogurts: Be advised – while yogurt naturally contains sugar from lactose, most flavored varieties contain added sugar, especially those labeled “light”.

 

P B & JSandwiches: Yes, sandwiches are tasty, but our favorites like PB & J or turkey and cheese are usually packed with added sugar, enriched flour and preservatives. Typical ingredients like peanut butter and jelly contain multiple added sweeteners like sugar, molasses and high fructose corn syrup. Sliced deli meats aren’t usually just meat – in fact, most contain added sugar, anti-caking agents and preservatives. And don’t be fooled by the health promises of bread! Just like other multigrain products (see above), bread is not a healthy source of whole grains despite what the message on the packaged might say.

Looking to rid your diet of unhealthy foods like these? Not sure how to get started? Contact me to schedule an introductory health coaching session and we’ll create your next steps!

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Cilantro Pesto for Two (Gluten, Dairy and Nut Free)

Cilantro Pesto for Two (Gluten, Dairy and Nut Free)

This pesto is a nice alternative to basil pesto and tastes great on top of chicken and brown rice. Tastes great with a side of black beans too! Great for summer – it’s light and fresh with a citrusy undertone. For those of you avoiding pesto because of the nuts, this recipe calls for sunflower seeds instead! Free of dairy, gluten and nuts. Enjoy

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup (shelled) sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lime
  • sea salt (to taste)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in food processor. Pulse until ingredients are well combined and to your preferred texture. (I prefer a less creamy pesto, so keep the processing to only a few seconds).

Looking to incorporate more healthy recipes like this into your  food routine? Not sure how to get started? Contact me to schedule an introductory health coaching session and we’ll create your next steps!

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Let’s all agree that French fries aren’t vegetables

Let’s all agree that French fries aren’t vegetables

Google Facts _Fast FoodGoogle tweeted the “Google Fact” below this past weekend and it certainly grabbed my attention. As delicious as French fries can taste, never have I associated them  with the category  “vegetable”. This fact left me sad and confused!

Google Fast Food - French Fries

When I think of vegetables, I think of foods that nourish our bodies and exhibit the beautiful colors of nature. You can just tell by looking at them that they are GOOD for you! They also require little to no preparation before eating.

French fries, on the other hand, are a significantly modified version of potatoes that require added oil, a fryer and other unnecessary ingredients, so to classify them as a “vegetable” is BEYOND a stretch. And let’s face it, there is nothing beautiful or colorful about French fries, which is a not-so-subtle hint to us all that there’s nothing healthy about them either!

And yet, according to the USDA, french fries are indeed classified as such in this country, including in our nation’s public schools where they are deemed equivalent to 1/4 cup of vegetable.  You can see for yourself on this USDA Foods Fact Sheet for Schools & Nutrition Institutions.

This all reminded me of a great video featuring Michael Pollan. He talks about the difference between “real food” and what he calls “edible food like substances.”  I highly recommend you check it out for a little healthy-eating inspiration. His message is simple and is a nice reminder that healthy eating doesn’t have to be complicated. Enjoy!

Michael Pollan

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Crispy Baked Chicken Legs

Crispy Baked Chicken Legs

This month I welcome guest author, Tiffany Hinton, whose blog Gluten Free Mom Certified inspires moms everywhere to make delicious and nutritious gluten-free meals for their families. Today, Tiffany shares her most recent kitchen creation – crispy baked chicken legs!

Ingredients:
3-4 lbs chicken drumsticks or wings
1 tbs marjoram
2 tbs oregano
1 1/4 tsp smoked salt
1 1/2 tbs garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp dried chipotle ground
1 GF chicken boulin cube, crushed
2 tbs oil

Instructions:
When ready to bake, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place chicken in a large bowl, with all the spices, and then drizzle with 2 tbsp oil. Cover chicken completely with paste. Line a baking pan with foil; top with a wire rack. Arrange chicken legs out in a single layer. While the chicken legs are baking, oil will slowly drip to the bottom of the baking pan. Bake chicken legs until cooked through and skin is crispy, about 45-50 minutes. Rotate wings half way through – roughly 20 minutes. Rotate drumsticks and cook additional 30 minutes. Remove and serve with yogurt sauce or African pepper sauce.

About Tiffany Hinton
Tiffany started blogging in June of 2010, while going through treatments for fertility. Like many others, she struggled to talk about her experience, leading to an online journal for sharing emotions and heart. Following the birth of her first child she began to share gluten-free substitutes for her favorite family recipes on her blog, GFmomcertified.com. After three children in just three years, gluten free coking has become a necessity. Discovering she was not alone in the challenge to feed a gluten-free family opened the path to writing Gluten Free Mom Certified. She creates and shares recipes each week on her blog to help GF mothers meet the challenge of GF cooking.

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Teach your kids to eat healthy foods, part 2

Teach your kids to eat healthy foods, part 2

Last month I joined forces with Karen Orlich, CEO of k.o. kidz, a green-living and organic lifestyle company, to compile some of the best tips (mom and kid tested!) to help you empower your kids to engage in healthy eating. Our tips included “encourage and reinforce” and “hosting ‘Lazy Suzan’ dinners”  This month we’re at it again with even more tips!

Tip # 3: Have some fun at the grocery store with Grocery Store Games!

Getting our kids to eat healthy foods can feel like a chore, and so can grocery shopping! Yet it’s important we do both, so why not combine the two and make your next trip to the market both fun for the kids and an outing you can feel good about as a parent?

Yes, we know, it’s not always easy to keep your child calm in a crowded grocery store. But then again, it’s important to not disengage them from the process completely…kids need to learn about food!

So, rather than placing your child in the cart and handing him/her a box of cookies to snack on while you hurry through the store, think about the grocery store as a learning environment full of COLORS, PLANTS and READING materials! (It’s also a great place to learn manners when interacting with store employees!) It’s with this point of view you can challenge your child to engage in foods and learn about what’s healthy and what’s not. Try these games out the next time you’re at the store:

Search for the Colors of the Rainbow: Bring a picture of a rainbow to the store and ask your child to find fruits or vegetables for two or three (or all!) colors of the rainbow. With this game, teach your children that a healthy diet is a colorful diet. The more colors, the better!Organic Produce

Count the Ingredients: As Michael Pollan reminds us, when we shop for packaged foods, it’s important to choose options with minimal ingredients (he suggests 5 ingredients or less). For kids who can count or are learning, ask them to count the ingredient labels on food packages. If there are more than 5, ask them to put it back and then explain why. (As your kids learn  to read, you can also challenge them to search for unhealthy ingredients like “sugar”, “high fructose corn syrup” or “trans fat”).

Tip #4: Make the ‘Common’ Foods Healthy

This is a great way to transition your kids to healthier eating.  It’s helpful (and fun!) to include them in the food preparation while also teaching them what ‘healthy’ really means.

Gluten Free PizzaPersonal Pizzas: Pizzas can be made from 100% whole wheat (always check the label for ‘whole’ wheat) sandwich rounds or tortillas (for a gluten-free version, check out Amy’s GF sandwich rounds or use 100% corn tortillas) with grilled onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc.  Or, simply bake (we use our toaster oven) the veggies on the bread with tomato sauce.  Olive oil with fresh basil and/or oregano is a delicious alternative to tomato sauce and herbs can be cut from a plant grown in your kitchen or garden.

Hot Dogs: The all American classic!  Unfortunately, traditional hot dogs are loaded with sodium and fat.  Try Applegate Organic Turkey hot dogs, rated #1 turkey dog by Health magazine.  Avoid the salt and high fructose corn syrup, store-bought versions and have the kid help make homemade ketchup (and relish!) with these easy, 15 minute or less recipes from Wellness Mama and Eating Well.

Macaroni & Cheese: The ultimate comfort food for all ages.  Have you looked at the chemical additives and preservatives in that powdered cheese pack?  We know – you’re busy and don’t have time to make your own cheese sauce.  Au contraire!

Start with GF organic brown rice pasta (for gluten-free version) or whole wheat macaroni (yes, your kids will eat it!). Grab a block of fresh organic cheese, cut into thin slices, and add to cooked, drained, warm macaroni (or any small pasta noodle) in pot.  Add light coating of olive oil and mix well with pasta.  Broccoli (or other veggies) can also be added to the pasta for flavor and an added health kick.  We stand the broccoli up to make ‘trees’ and ‘stumps’ in the macaroni ‘field’.  It’s ok to let kids play with their food once in a while if it helps get them to eat it, right?!

Dessert: Every kid wants DESSERT!  So choose tasty alternatives like:

Greek yogurt (double the protein of regular) with fresh fruit, applesauce, baked apple with cinnamon and raisins (core apple, fill with cinnamon and raisins, add 2-3 tablespoons of water to microwave-safe bowl, and ‘bake’ in the microwave until soft), or fruit smoothies (easy to mix in veggies and the kids won’t even know it).  Try one of these recipes from delish.comGF Dessert

We also discovered several websites with recipes for homemade fruit and nut bars (similar to Larabars, which are great GF treat!)  These are a great substitute for brownies and cookies!  An extensive recipe list can be found here.  Delicious and nutritious!  Yum!!

Do you have any tips to share? Like these suggestions? Would love to hear from you! Send me a tweet or post to my Facebook page!

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