Are Poor Food Choices Ruining Your Sleep?

Over the weekend I was at an event being held in a mall. I got a chance to talk to a lot of people and one of the biggest complaints I kept hearing over and over was how hard it was for them to get quality sleep. Or sleep of any kind, for that matter. So I thought I would spend a couple of days giving you some tips to help you get to sleep and stay asleep.

Sleep and a healthy diet are just two of the elements that contribute to better health in your life. Several others are stress relief, lifestyle habits, and exercise.

Sleep and a healthy diet actually work in conjunction to help your body’s natural repair process at a cellular level. And together, they provide the energy you need to enjoy a better quality of life during your waking hours.

Sometimes, the food choices you make, can help or hurt the amount of sleep that you get. You have to make the right choices so that you’re fully rested when you wake in the morning.

If you’re not getting enough sleep, the first thing you want to do is ensure you have proper sleep hygiene. Is your bed comfortable in terms of the mattress, pillows, sheets and blankets?

Is your room cool enough and have you turned off any and all electronic gadgets that might interrupt your slumber? If your routine is intact, then you might want to analyze your food choices as something causing the problem.

Start with portions. Some people eat so much at dinnertime that it makes it hard for them to get (or stay) asleep. A stuffed stomach makes you feel miserable, so learn to listen to your hunger cues and stop eating when you’re no longer hungry – not when you’re full.

Eating too much (or the wrong thing) can also result in acid reflux, which occurs in the night when you lie down and the food rises into your throat. This can be an irritating, painful and dangerous experience.

Have you ever heard of drinking warm milk before bed? To many, this sounds unappetizing, because we’re used to ice cold milk. But it does have its sleep-inducing benefits – similar to how turkey has that effect on you. But it might not be because of the tryptophan. It could be a warm, comfortable habit that does the trick.

Walnuts are the perfect snack before bed because they carry natural levels of melatonin. So do cherries, so a bowl of fresh cherries can help you drift off to sleep faster also. Another nut that works in your favor is the almond. It helps your body get more sleep because it’s rich in magnesium.

Recently, I have found Essential Oils. A little lavender oil rubbed on the bottom of my feet and maybe a little more on my pillow really helps make me relax and fall asleep.

5 Tips for Getting Your Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

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Do you ever feel like you are fighting a losing battle trying to get your kids to eat healthy foods? I was a very lucky mom. My kids loved vegetables. I started my children as babies eating a lot of different kinds of  vegetables. I even fed them beets cooked and mashed up before they had teeth. Most of my grandchildren love their vegetables also. But then with a grandmother that’s a health coach, they’ve gotten healthy food given to them since they were babies also.

Sometimes, however a mom tries, getting kids to eat healthy foods is like trying to herd cats. Kids can come up with so many different reasons why they shouldn’t eat said foods. They don’t want to, shouldn’t have to, it doesn’t taste good – even though they have never tried it –right down to the fact that they think they may be allergic to the food in question, and will very likely keel over dead if they have to take a single bite of it. Kids are masters at dodging the proverbial ball of health food. There are, however, a few ways to get your kids to try new foods. After all, they have an arsenal of reasons why not to eat it, why not keep your own stockpile of weaponry to get them to eat the food they don’t want to.

  1. Start Early

If you have very young children, start offering them healthy alternatives. Make sure they try a food before they say they don’t like it. My husband and I loved Brussel’s Sprouts, our children on the other hand, not so much. So every time I made Brussel’s Sprouts for dinner, we made the kids eat one little “cabbage ball”.  Our daughter would sit and cry, but our son would put it in his mouth, chew it up and when no one was looking would spit it out into the paper napkin. I truly believe that while he was pretending to eat them, he was at least getting the flavor of them and this is why he has grown to like Brussels Sprouts and our daughter, to this day, can’t stand them. 🙂

     2. Be a Role Model

Children’s minds are like a piece of bread, soaking up all of the oil surrounding it. Being a role model and continually trying new foods in front of and with your child can help to shape their ideas about trying new things. It’s important to let your kids see that it’s ok, and even fun, to try new things from time to time. Demonstrating the adventure and intrigue of trying new foods will stick in your child’s memory for the rest of their life.

     3. Meal Plan and Implement Together

Kids are more apt to eat something if they made it, or at least planned to make. Letting your kids help plan, some or all of  the weekly meals, and even help cook the meals increases the chance that they will try and like foods you are preparing.

Children are stimulated and become completely engrossed when they have the opportunity to get into a hands-on position. I think one of my grandchildren’s favorite things to do is help me cook or bake. Even the three year old loves to help, and by allowing them to help plan the meals and to prepare and cook the food, they are seeing exactly what goes into the pot and there are fewer surprises for them to come up with the excuse that they don’t like what is in it.

     4. Make it fun

Let your kids play with their food. Get creative, remember ants on a log? Go on Pinterest to get ideas if you can’t come up with any on your own.

     5. Keep Healthy Options

There is nothing worse than having your kid come in from playing, look for a snack, finding nothing healthy and heading right for the potato chip bag, or the pretzels or what have you. Children learn from, and rely heavily on the ability to make their own decisions, whether it is on what clothes they want to wear, or the types of foods they want to eat. It is important to offer a wide variety of choices to your kids.

My daughter works full time outside of the home. Although her kids love fresh broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, peppers and celery, she just didn’t have time to go to the grocery store, buy all those vegetables, cut them up and have them ready for the kids to snack on when they got home. So she goes to Sam’s Club, buys one of their vegetable trays and sets it out on the table for the kids to snack on while she is preparing dinner. The kids are happy because they are eating snacks that they love, my daughter is happy because she is able to supply healthy vegetables to her kids. It’s a win/win situation. Just remember to respect your childrens likes and dislikes and change the different options up frequently so they don’t get bored.

Conclusion

Getting your children to eat healthy is as simple as letting them get involved. When they interact with all of their senses, suddenly, trying new foods becomes fun and intriguing. Allowing children to help out in preparing the meal builds a sense of pride and accomplishment. If all else fails, throw some new fruits and veggies in the blender with a little honey and they will never know the delicious smoothie they are drinking is actually good for them. Hiding the foods they don’t like, inside of foods they love, is a great fail-safe weapon to keep locked and loaded.

Let me know in the comments section if this has gotten you thinking, or you come up with any other ideas of your own to get your kiddos eating healthier foods without whining.

Delicious Homemade Fruit Sorbet

Strawberries

You can make this sorbet with any of your favorite fruits. Sliced strawberries, peaches, kiwi, bananas and mangos all work well, but, really, you can use just about any fruit of your choice.

Ingredients:

4 cups fresh fruit
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1 pinch  salt
sugar to taste

Instructions:

Spread sliced fruit in one layer on a baking sheet. Freeze, uncovered, until frozen solid. Once the fruit is frozen, let thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes. Place in a blender with the orange juice and process until smooth. Add a small pinch of salt and a little sugar to taste. Actually, if you fruit is very sweet, you can skip the sugar all together!

10 Tips to Help You Eat More Heathily

So here we are, March 20th, the first day of Spring. The days are getting longer, and it won’t be long before we are thinking about that bathing suit we will be taking with us on vacation and all the skinny clothes we’ll soon be wearing. Typically, at the start of a new year everyone has the same goal – to lose a few pounds or to eat more healthfully. We start out with a heart full of zest and wind up falling short, or worse, not even beginning.

There are ways to incorporate more healthily eating into your lifestyle that do not have to be cumbersome or require too much compromise either.

#1: Focus on Adding New Things In, Not Taking Away Things

Sometimes for many individuals that are considering eating healthy, the first thought is one of taking away many things from their diet. If you begin your new healthy eating endeavor by adding new and different things to your diet, you will find yourself fuller and less apt to eat unhealthy foods.

#2: Try New Things

Start trying something new every other day of the week. For example, you may wish to add a fruit or vegetable that you have never tried before, or you may want to try whole-grain bread as opposed to a plain white bread. By trying new things, you open the possibility up of finding something that is not only healthy for you, but that you truly enjoy, as well.

#3: Be More Colorful

Take a look at the different food groups and see if you can incorporate foods of different colors into your daily eating routine. For example, peppers come in a variety of colors and if you have never tried a yellow or orange pepper, now may be a great time. If your theme color of the week is orange, try a tangelo.

#4: Get Your Co-Workers Involved

Incorporate your office friends to join you on this new adventure of eating healthier. Have everyone contribute by bringing in a new food, fruit, or vegetable once a week. Take turns and make it fun. At the end of the week, take a vote and give out a small prize or incentive for the most creative and tasty food or healthy treat.

#5: Start Where You Shop

The old adage that if it is in the house, you will eat it could not be any truer. If you buy cookies, ice cream, and cake, you will have easy access and less willpower. Do not buy large quantities of these items and you will be fine when you find out that you have run out of that gooey treat.

#6: Do Not Deprive Yourself

One of the worst things you can do is to deprive yourself from a treat or a snack. Some individuals crave chocolate treats while others crave salty snacks. Whatever the case may be, there are so many alternatives to high-calorie snacks, which will still keep you completely satisfied. Peanuts are just as salty as potato chips, but are better for you.

#7: Use More Healthy Substitutions

If you are looking to eat healthy but want to keep some of your favorite items in your meal plan, think about substituting. Try grilled chicken breasts instead of fried chicken wings. Or go for natural plain yogurt instead of sour cream. Use honey in recipes instead of sugar.

#8: Pictures for Inspiration

By posting messages about what different healthy foods can do for different parts of the body, for example the heart and the brain, you will have more incentive to eat right for excellent reasons. Place photos of beautiful skin, hair, nails, and a healthy heart on your fridge. This way, you will be reminded constantly of what you are doing for yourself and for your family as well.

#9: Call a Meeting

Call a family meeting and ask others to be respectful of your newfound decision for eating healthy. Tell them that they are not forced to join you, but it would be nice. Also, let them know that they are to support and encourage you by not eating unhealthily in front of you. This has a double bonus in that your family may just notice your good habits without being forced to do so.

#10: Host an Eating Healthy Event

Invite friends and families over at the beginning of your new decision. Have everyone bring a healthy dish to a potluck style dinner. Have them place index cards with the recipes on it that so others can take them home.

Think about buying new cookbooks and placing index cards around the kitchen showing the difference in calories between a heavy cream and a low fat yogurt in a recipe, that way, you will also have a visual of how you are helping your body keep healthy by eating healthy, as well.

Once you can see on paper that the results of eating healthy are numerous, you are more than likely to stick to the plan. Eating healthy helps your body and your mind. Important nutrients contribute to health benefits such as lower cholesterol, a healthy heart, and even a sharper memory. Besides losing weight and feeling great, these are all great bonuses in the desire to eat more healthfully.

 

7 Day Challenge – Day 5

 

DigestZen TerraZyme Digestive Enzyme Complex is a blend of whole-food enzymes and supporting co-factors that help strengthen the body’s production of enzymes which is important in the process of healthy digestion of food nutrients and cellular metabolism of nutrients to energy.*

  • Supports healthy digestion and metabolism of enzyme-deficient, processed foods*
  • Supports conversion of food nutrients to cellular energy*
  • Promotes gastrointestinal comfort and food tolerance*
  • Supports healthy production of metabolic enzymes*
  • Proprietary blend of 10 active whole-food enzymes
  • Contains the doTERRA tummy tamer blend of Peppermint, Ginger, and Caraway Seed
  • Sodium lauryl sulfate-free HPMC vegetable capsules
  • Safe and effective

DigestZen TerraZyme Digestive Enzyme Complex is a proprietary blend of active whole-food enzymes and supporting cofactors that are often deficient in cooked, processed, and preservative-laden foods. The powerful combination of digestive enzymes found in DigestZen TerraZyme supports the body’s constant production of enzymes critical for healthy biochemical functions, including healthy digestion of food nutrients and cellular metabolism of nutrients to energy.* DigestZen TerraZyme includes a variety of whole-food enzymes that help with the digestion of proteins, fats, complex carbohydrates, sugars, and fiber.

Here’s a recipe to help you eat at least one healthy meal today. 😉

Tired of regular and common ways of preparing chicken breast? Need a low carbohydrate gluten-freechicken recipe that’s full of flavor and easy to prepare? Then you’re in luck with this recipe for grilled honey lime chicken! Imagine juicy chicken breasts that go well with a sandwich, can be served as an entrée, and can even go on top of your salad! Chicken breast is boring no more!

 Grilled Honey Lime Chicken

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 lb chicken breast, sliced into half inch steaks with no skin on
  • Juice of 1 lime (You can also substitute Lime Essential Oil if you don’t have a lime.)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • A pinch of salt

 Let’s Get to Grilling Some Chicken!

  1. Make sure that all ingredients are at room temperature. This allows the marinade to soak into the chicken meat nicely.
  2. In a bowl, combine the chicken, honey, mustard, lime juice and salt. Allow to marinade for about 15 minutes.
  3. For extra tender and juicy chicken, you can marinate the meat for up to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  4. When ready to cook, preheat your grill so that gives off medium heat. Both stove top grills and outdoor grills works well. Grill chicken at about 3-4 minutes on each side.
  5. Make sure to check the caramelization on both sides to not burn or overcook your chicken.
  6. This chicken can be eaten as is, or served with some salad. It also makes for a great sandwich meat.
  7. To bring this dish to the next level, you may sprinkle with some chili powder for an extra kick. This recipe serves 3-4 persons depending on portion sizes. Enjoy!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

7 Day Challenge – Day 3

Our increasingly busy lifestyles both in and out of work are placing more and more demands on us than ever before. All this extra strain can really take a toll on our bodies and more people are complaining of low energy levels in ever increasing, record numbers.

Today’s product, Mito2Max, addresses those feelings of low energy.

Mito2Max contains safe ingredients that support mitochondrial function for natural energy production.* Regular energy drinks often contain stimulants with unwanted side effects and high amounts of sugar. Taking Mito2Max can provide you with the energy support you need without the withdrawal symptoms or energy “crash” later in the day.*

  • Take a pill when energy levels are down*
  • Use before studying to help increase mental energy*
  • When tired, use for an extra energy boost*
  • Supports healthy cellular energy production*
  • Supports healthy mitochondrial function and aerobic capacity, and improves stamina naturally without the use of harmful stimulants*
  • Promotes healthy circulation*

You can read more on Mito2Max at the link below.

https://doterra.com/US/en/blog/spotlight-mito-2-max

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

7 Day Challenge Day 2

So today’s challenge is a pretty easy one, and one you should be doing before every exercise session. Stretch before your workout today. And today’s doTERRA product is Deep Blue Polyphenol Complex. This product has patent pending, fast acting boswellia extract shown to help supportmuscles and joint comfort and function* It also includes proprietary, standardized extracts of ginger, curcumin, resveratrol, and other polyphenols to soothe aches and discomfort.*

And after you do all that stretching and exercising, I have a very healthy chicken recipe for you.

Harness the flavor of sesame in this Asian inspired dish.

Sesame Noodles with Chicken

Ingredients – Make sure that you check the labels of all of your ingredients. There are gluten-free varieties of all of these ingredients, but there are also glutenous varieties as well. Always check labels! 

  • 1 bag Japanese buckwheat soba noodles
  • 5 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp honey mustard
  • 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 5 scallions

Directions

  1. Cook noodles according to package.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together next 6 ingredients to make dressing.
  3. Cook chicken until cooked through. Shred and add to peanut mixture.
  4. Add drained noodles, scallions and toss until combined.

(Makes 4 Servings)

Calories Per Serving: 208

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

7 Day Challenge – Day 1

Today starts day 1 of the 7 day challenge. As a reminder, go here to see how you can get entries into my drawing atthe end of the week.

The products that are being highlighted are products used by athletes, but these products are not just for athletes.

Here is the link to the doTERRA article mentioned above, doTERRA for Athletes.  After you’re finished reading it, come on back here and let me know what you did for yourself today to help you get/stay healthy, or show yourself a little self-love, and I’ll have a recipe for you.

Did you enjoy the article? Great! Here’s the recipe I promised you.

DIY Yoga Mat Spray

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup distilled water
  • 1/4 cup alcohol-free witch hazel or white vinegar
  • 5 drops Lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops Melaleuca essential oil
  • Glass spray bottle
Directions:
  1. Combine all ingredients in glass spray bottle.
  2. Shake until combined.
  3. To use, spray on mat and wipe dry with towel.

*As a precaution…since not all yoga mats are made out of the same materials and are not all the same, please test a small area of your yoga mat to make sure it won’t affect it.

Don’t forget to comment below to be entered for a chance to win a special doTERRA product!

 

National Nutrition Month and a 7 Day Challenge

In honor of March being National Nutrition Month, I am running a fun little 7 Day Challenge, featuring doTERRA Essential Oils. Over the next 7 days, I will be sharing some doTERRA products how they can help support your overall health and wellness as well as I will be offering up tips and recipes for that particular days product.

Every time you comment below that day’s post, telling me something positive you did for yourself that day, you will be entered into a drawing that I will be holding at the end of the 7 day challenge.

You can enter every day, and you will also get an entry for every share you do over on Facebook. Here is a link to the Facebook post: 7 Day Challenge  Just post a link to your share in the comments section of the  Facebook post.