Three Reasons Why Breakfast is the Most Important Meal for Growing Children

Our bodies need fuel 24/7. Have you send your child to school without a “healthy” breakfast? Have you started a day without eating a nutritious breakfast? This is like trying to move a car with an empty gas tank.

If getting healthier was one of your new year’s resolution, it is still a good time to start shifting to healthier habits since we are still in the first trimester of 2017. The most important habit to develop is to wake up ahead of time in order to be able to enjoy a nutritious breakfast with your family. This practice also helps build family bonds and start your day in a happy attitude mode around your loved ones.

Here are the top three benefits you and your loved ones will get from having a daily healthy breakfast:

#1 Breakfast promote better moods and behavior because you are nurturing your body with the right fuel to think and act in harmonious ways. It is hard, specially for school age kids, to sit, focus or concentrate at any activity if they are hungry and their blood sugar is dropping rapidly. When blood sugar its a roller coaster with ups and downs, the same will happen to our body and mind.

#2 Breakfast helps keeping you and your children lean because it sets the nutritional tone for the day. Research has shown that people who skip breakfast or eat junk-food breakfast are more likely to be over-fat. When we start the day with a healthy breakfast, our body is more likely to stay on track all day long plus several studies have shown that we would also be more likely to eat healthier food throughout the day.

#3 Healthy breakfasts help building and maintaining brighter brains by activating the metabolism which plays a big role in the brain function. Our brain needs steady supply of good nutrients to function at its best and if we eat junky food to start the day off this automatically decrease our ability to think and concentrate. After a couple of hours of eating a junky breakfast or meal, we may experience hunger, lack of energy and consequently the inability to focus and think clear.

Incorporate healthy and nutritious ingredients into your daily breakfast plate. Add protein in order to activate your brain, fiber-filled carbs to provide steady supply of nutrients to your body, omega 3 oils which build smart brain cells, minerals such as calcium and iron to help your brain biochemistry to work better.

Here are some of our favorite breakfasts:

  • Whole grain waffles or pancakes topped with blueberries and peanut or almond butter (if not allergies)
  • Oatmeal (non-instant) with blueberries and yogurt
  • Whole wheat banana-nut bread and yogurt
  • Whole wheat tortilla wrapped around scrambled eggs and diced tomatoes, purple onions and spinach
  • Veggies omelet, whole wheat toast and fruit
  • Zucchini pancakes, add a cup of shredded zucchini to whole wheat pancakes
  • A glass of almond, flax, or coconut milk, peanut butter and sliced bananas on whole wheat English Muffin ( I love Ezequiel brand commonly found at the frozen organic department of grocery stores)
  • Healthy Cereal with milk or non-dairy milk substitute such almond, flax, or coconut milk. My daughter loves the brand  “LOVE GROWN”  “Original POWER O’S”and it has become our favorite cereal at home. This is an unsweetened, gluten & corn free cereal, non GMO, made out of navy, lentil and garbanzo bean. Its ingredients list are very safe and the nutritional label is compliant with our 3-6-3 guidance for nutritious cereals we posted in our earlier blogs.

Thank you to Dr William Sears, as his books and researches are one of the bests I have known so far!

by Karla Leal

Certified Health & Wellness Coach

How to Help your Family to Keep the Body in Inflammatory Balance

Inflammation is the cause of blood vessel disease, joint problems and neurological problems which are more common to appear as people get old. Luckily, diet and lifestyle can a have tremendous positive impact.

First of all, stay lean. Excess fat is not only extra tissue sitting around your body and making it look fatter. In reality, these cells are constantly pumping out pro-inflammatory substance (into the blood stream) When the body tries to fight these cells as a defense mechanism, inflammation occurs. Studies have shown that the higher the person’s excess of body fat, the higher the risk of inflammation.

Eat high quality fish oils. Cold water fish like salmon, trout and herring are the most effective anti-inflammation food you can have. These oils help protect your body specially blood vessels from damage. They keep the arterial lining smooth and the blood flowing. For optimal health have the right ratio (as close as 1:1) balance between anti-inflammatory oils, Omega 3’s like DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) & EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and Omega 6’s pro-inflammatory oils, AA (arachidonic acid) Typical standard American diet is 20:1

Feed your family grow foods which contain nutrients that promote healthy tissues, strengthen the immune system to fight germs, and repair damage tissue. Some of these type of foods are chili peppers, cold water fish, flax-seeds ground and oil, fruits, olive oil, nuts, sesame oil and spice like turmeric, cinnamon and ginger, vegetables, whole grains and wild game meats.

Stabilize your insulin levels by eating healthy carbs and grazing on small meals rather than eating big meals. Junk carbs tend to promote inflammation, cause high insulin levels which triggers the release of some of the body’s most powerful pro-inflammatory substances.

A good reminder is not to forget to exercise regularly which helps your body burning fat, stabilizing insulin and curving appetite. Being active promotes the body production of prostaglandins and nitric oxide, which are anti-inflammatory medicines for our body. Also, stress levels are reduced with physical activity which help keep cortisol levels balanced in the body. Too much cortisol can also produce inflammation.

Last but not least, smile and keep a positive attitude. Being happy helps healing any illness of the body and the soul 🙂

Thanks to The Healthiest Kid in the Neighborhood Book by Dr William Sears, for ideas and help into this topic!

By

Karla Leal

Certified Health Coach

 

 

 

 

10 Protein & Snack Time Ideas

Mommy are you looking for healthy snacks ideas for your family? Here is a list of 10 simple snacks rich in protein and nutrients for your kids:

  1. Peanut butter on whole wheat/grain crackers
  2. Carrot and celery slices dipped in Hummus
  3. Cut up apples, bananas and strawberries, add a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle Chia some seeds on top
  4. Greek yogurt and berries
  5. Cherry tomatoes and hard boiled eggs
  6. Nuts (if no allergies)
  7. Air popped pop-corn
  8. Garbanzo beans eaten as peanuts
  9. Cheese slices on whole grain crackers
  10. Cottage cheese and celery sticks

 

Karla Leal

Certified Health Coach

3 Simple Ways to Feel Unstuck and Experience a Life Full of Blooming Opportunities.

 

Have you experienced times in which you have probably felt stuck, projects stopped, moody, lack of energy, relationships not working very well, and so on? You have probably blamed the stars, the Sun, Mercury or Saturn and even your mom? Certainly we have all been there done that plenty of times. The real question is not why, is how can we help ourselves to reprogram our minds and lives to avoid the “feeling” of being stuck.

These very basic tips will help you start your reprogramming journey,

1# Love yourself.

By cultivating self-love you will start appreciating more all aspects of your life. No matter your limitations, talents, intelligence, just believe that you are right who and how you are meant to be at any specific moment. Only by loving us and others unconditionally, we are really capable to live in appreciation of the present moment and who we really are. Once you stop judging yourself and others, your brain and body start to relax and experience life differently and with a more positive attitude.

2# Present is priceless, for everything else you can use your credit card!

We see this every day in every single self-development book, magazine, shows, movies. “Live in the present” YES it sounds really easy and simple to do, but just the same way our hearts are made to pump the blood throughout our bodies, our brain is made to continuously create thoughts. There is nothing bad about having thoughts, actually thoughts and cerebral activity mean we are alive and healthy. The conflict can begin when our thoughts are constantly making us to live from our past or planning and predicting what is coming next. In my own personal experience, the more I can be present, the more I appreciate my life, things and people around me. I believe this appreciation help us live in gratitude. Once you shift your energy to a gratitude mode, situations, things and feelings start moving effortlessly towards the right direction.

3# Be proactive

The free will of doing something before somebody else asks or pushes us to do so. Write a to do list, set goals and start taking the necessary steps to achieve them by getting things done just because you decided to do so. By being proactive you are setting the attitude of moving yourself towards a specific action or goal which automatically make you feel more in control of your life.

 

Mindfully living in self-love and proactively in the present we automatically shift our mind and bodies towards the energy of co-creation, creativity and loving kindness. All these wonderful experiences will continuously set the moving stones for change. Positive energy shifts have been proven to unstuck our minds and souls, helping us live more freely in alignment with the acceptance of what it is available to us.

 

Keywords: Attitude, Lifestyle, Positive Power, Change, Shift your Vision< Empowerment

 

How to Choose a Nutritious Cereal

The grocery store aisles are full of different type of cereals options. As moms, we often want to get our kids the best tasty cereal, the more colorful box or the one which looks more appealing to our children eyes and we sometimes forget to pay more attention to the nutrition information of cereals. The reality is that as there are plenty of healthy cereals, there are even more unhealthy ones which we sometimes buy thinking we made the best shopping choice.

Here is a simple and easy list of tips to remember when shopping for cereals at the grocery store. Choose a nutritious cereal which:

  • It’s made  of whole grains not only whole wheat,
  • It has 3 grams or more of protein per serving,
  • It has 3 grams or more of fiber per serving,
  • It has maximum 6 grams of sugar per serving.

Read carefully the Ingredients List which is normally located at the bottom of the food label and COMPLETELY AVOID cereals which contain:

  • Hydrogenated oils
  • Artificial Colors or preservatives,
  • High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

 

by Karla Leal, Certified Health Coach