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Family First

 


 

Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, August 22nd, 2011,

 

As the school year begins we start racing around taking our kids to sports and other after school activities. So much for the pleasant family dinners you have been enjoying all summer right? Not so fast.

Eating together as a family can be a challenge for those with school- aged kids. But the benefits of this ritual make it worth holding on to. According to Joseph Califano Jr., President of the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, “ Family Meals are one of the most important ways for parents to be involved in their kids’ lives”.

Many studies have highlighted the benefits of sitting down together at a family meal. When families eat together: Everyone in the family eats healthier; kids are less likely to become overweight; They are less likely to smoke or try drugs; less likely to become depressed, and more likely to get good grades. And stress levels drop for everyone.

You can see the value of family meal time, now the challenge is how make it happen. Follow the simple Healthy Life principles. Take baby steps and plan ahead. Here are some tips to get you started.

  • Set a reasonable goal. How many family meals can you commit to implementing? Two times a week? It does not have to be nightly to make a difference.

  • Keep it Simple. No need to go all Rachel Ray. Cheese quesadillas and salad are a go to meal in my house. Even a stop at a sandwich shop is okay as long as you are sitting down together and talking.

  • Dust off the crock pot. When pressed for time it means less cooking and more family interaction.

  • Turn off the electronics. Make the most of your time together. Use it to talk about the day, school, work, upcoming events. Don’t waste it by checking Facebook.

As the parent in the household you set the schedule. Yes, football practice and guitar lessons are important too but make the effort to put family time first. Who knows what you might learn over a hot plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

 

 

Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Read it First


Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, August 12, 2011

 


The box says it is low fat so it must be good for you, right? Don’t be fooled by tricky marketing and pretty packaging. If you really want to know what is in that box, you have to read the labels.

Phrases like “High Fiber”, “low sodium”,” no trans fat” and “made with organic ingredients” only tell part of the story. Many of the foods you find in the grocery isle advertise healthy aspects to their product, but it is what they aren’t claiming that you need to watch out for.

When you go to the grocery store I always suggest you stay on the perimeter of the store, where the fruits, vegetables, meats and dairy are located. With those items it is a little easier to decipher what the healthy choices are. When you venture into middle isles of boxes and bags, plan a little extra time to read the labels, to ensure you are getting the healthiest choice on the shelf. Here are some things to look for on those labels:

Serving Size: This can be deceiving so pay attention. All of the nutritional info on the label is based on the serving size NOT the whole package. So out of a bag of potato chips a serving size is generally 1 oz or 15 chips and a serving of ice cream is ½ cup not how much you can fit in the bowl.

Calories: A calorie is a unit of energy. If a food is particularly high in calories, steer clear. When it comes to losing weight , you need to expend more calories than you consume. Know how many calories you should have in a day to maintain a healthy weight.

Saturated Fat: Many manufacturers have taken out much of the trans fat, but they have replaced it with the just as harmful, saturated fats. Saturated fat can raise bad cholesterol and increase a person’s risk for heart disease. Keep it at less than 10% of your total calories for the day.

Sugar: It is in everything. Sugar is a major culprit to our obesity epidemic in America. While it is naturally occurring in fruit and some dairy, it is often added to breads, cereal and yogurt at a very high rate. Sugar is also disguised as Corn syrup, honey, rice syrup, molasses, fruit juice concentrate, and anything ending in “ose”. And if it says High Fructose Corn Syrup, throw it back on the shelf and run.

Sodium: We should be consuming between 1,500 and 2,300 mgs a day but most Americans consume much more, leading to high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, and kidney damage. As an example, one pickle contains 1,900 mgs of salt so be extra mindful in this area.

The most important thing you can do when it comes to eating healthy is to be aware of what goes into your body. Read the labels. It may not be as entertaining as the gossip magazines at the checkout line but it is better for you.

 

Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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RX: The Famers Market

 

Camping , beach trips , hiking and lounging by the pool is what summer is all about. No time to get sick and miss the fun. All you need to stay healthy this summer can be found at your local farmers market.

Food from the farmer’s market in is not only fresh and delicious but so many of the summer fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamin C and antioxidants which can help ward off illness and maintain the energy you need. While it is normal to get sick once or twice a year, if you are experiencing digestive problems, fatigue, aching muscles and joints or food intolerances you may need to boost your immune system. Here are some summer foods you can find in abundance this time of year.

BERRIES: No surprise here. Packed with Vitamin C, an average serving of strawberries gives twice the recommended daily intake of this vitamin. One serving of Blueberries provides as many anti oxidants as 5 servings of broccoli (and it is easier to get you kids to eat them).

CORN: Yes, corn contains vitamin C and is an excellent fiber source that helps lower cholesterol. The most nutritious way to eat corn is right off the cob. Try it grilled with a little olive oil.  You can even cook it now and freeze it for later for a little hit of summer in say, November.

GREEN BEANS: Not only are they low in fat and high in fiber, they are a great source of B vitamins that give your body energy and protect it from the wear and tear of stress.

TOMATOES: There are over 7,000 varieties of tomatoes and they are all nutrient rich. They are chocked with vitamin C. Tomatoes are also a great source of lycopene, a cancer preventing carotenoid that is enhanced when the tomatoes are cooked.

ONION: A very good source of quercetin, an anti inflammatory, anti biotic and anti viral which has been shown to block to formation of cancer cells. Cooking does not destroy the amazing health benefits of this vegetable and may actually aid in the digestion for those who have trouble eating them raw.

My favorite way to eat many of the fresh summer foods found at the farmers markets are either raw or grilled . The most important thing is that you eat them. So grab your reusable shopping bag and hit one of the many markets in town for your daily does of vitamin C.

 

Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi on August 2nd, 2011

 

Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Healthy on a Budget

 


Cheap, Easy and Healthy

Think it is too expensive to eat healthy? Don’t let that old excuse hold you back from living a healthy life.

The fast food companies make it tempting to go for the cheap and easy. Dollar menus, five buck boxes, and supersizing make us feel like we are getting our money’s worth of food. (Unfortunately we make up for that by needing to buy bigger pants and cholesterol meds). Hard to believe that fresh produce and lean meats could even compare dollar for dollar but believe it or not, it can be done.

When eating healthy it is important to know where to put your dollars. For example, not everything needs to be organic. Save your money and buy conventional grown produce on things with thick skin like avocados, onions and bananas. Splurge on organic berries, nectarines, peaches, pears, apples, cherries, grapes and sweet bell peppers. Pests like sweet things so more pesticide is used to keep them away. Store brand organics are often cheaper than conventional versions on some items so keep an eye out for that.

Here are some other helpful tips on keeping the food bill down without hitting the drive through.

  • Frozen Seafood. Much of the “fresh” seafood you find at the grocery store has been previously frozen and that does not take away from taste or nutrition. Salmon, halibut and Tilapia are all great choices. Make sure it is wild and not farmed. Costco is a great place to find this.

  • Frozen fruits and vegetables. The nutrient levels in fresh or frozen are comparable to their fresh counterparts. It is much cheaper to buy a frozen out of season vegetable than it is to pay for those from far away lands. Save your money for peak in season veggies like vine ripe tomatoes of berries from the farmers market.

  • Go Bulk. Rice, quinoa, beans, legumes, and oats are a steal in the bulk food section. You can whip up a batch of beans and rice for just pennies.

  • Look Up and Down. Grocery stores place the most expensive name brand items at eye level. Look around for the generic or store brands (often found on the bottom shelves). They are often cheaper and taste just as good.

  • Stock Up. Who does not love a good sale? When you see some of your favorite items go on sale, buy a little extra. This works great for things such as pasta, sauces, canned meats and seafood.

  • Cook once, eat twice. When coking a meal, make extra and pop it in the freezer. Next time you are in a rush and tempted to grab some fast food, you can defrost the chicken casserole instead.

Times are tight for many of us these days and that makes it even more important to take care of ourselves by eating right. You can eat healthy on a budget and it can be lighter on your wallet, not to mention the scale.

Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi on July 22nd, 2011

 

Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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Fear or Habit?


Article Posted by Sherri Sacconaghi, July 11th, 2011

 

Boston was a place I’d always wanted to visit, so I was surprised that I almost turned down the chance to go there. But when given the opportunity, I was not sure I was courageous enough to take the trip.

I am seriously directionally impaired, or as my family would say, I couldn’t find my way out of a paper bag. It has become a joke, but on that has altered the way I live my life.

Through the years my propensity to turn left when I should turn right has kept me close to home in the comfort zone of the Portland/Metro area. Unless of course I am with a travel buddy. In those cases I have found myself in an avionetta over the Sierra Madres and lost on the train in Yugoslavia without a ticket. But by myself, I am not so adventurous. Given the choice I will meet friends on my side of town, sign my kids up for camps on my side of the river and I NEVER leave home without the GPS tucked in the glove box just in case. My comfort zone has shaped my habits and my lifestyle. So when faced to the thought of wandering around Boston, a strange city on my own I felt my fear kick in. It made me sweat. But still I wanted to go so badly.

I bought the ticket then came up with 49 reasons why I could not go. In the long run, I love a challenge. And for me this was a big one, so I went. And for two days I wandered aimlessly, got lost more times than I can count and had the time of my life. The world did not stop spinning, no one got hurt, and I came out of it with a confidence boost I would have never imagined.

Studies show that when you try something new your brain creates new neuropath ways, in other words, you can grow your brain. This helps you feel better and make smarter and healthier choices for yourself.

If you are ready to shake off a fear or habit that is keeping you in a lifestyle rut, here are a few tips:

  • Ask yourself, is this truly a fear or just a bad habit that keeps me from putting myself out of my comfort zone?

  • Face your habit head on. Recognize it is holding you back and commit to changing it.

  • Do something different. Anything. Take a walk after dinner instead of hitting the freezer for ice cream. Go somewhere new without the GPS or get your nails done instead of smoking a cigarette.

Fear or habit? Either way try dealing with it and watch what happens. You may just find yourself shoe shopping in Boston’s North End with nothing but a well used map to guide the way.

 

Article by: Sherri Sacconaghi
Certified Health Coach and Personal Fitness Trainer
www.themissionofnutrition.com
Ph: 503 621 7549
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it t

Bookmark with:

Deli.cio.us    Digg    reddit    Facebook    StumbleUpon    Newsvine
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