fbpx

Month: March 2017

Healthier Lunches Improve Test Scores

I came across an article today talking about a study done showing a link between eating right,  and students doing better on test scores. It’s very intriguing,  and hopefully will put an emphasis on schools trying to serve healthier foods!

I included the link at the bottom of this post. Leave a comment letting me know what you thought of the article!

Have a beautiful day!

~Ashley

View the article here!

My Top Better For You Convenience Foods

Because let’s be honest, we don’t live in a world where we have time to cook every single thing we eat from scratch 24/7.

Here’s my list of packaged foods I don’t have to feel bad about.

Uncle Sam cereal, and Pacific unsweetened almond milk.  Ditch the lucky charms, and get yourself a box of this instead!  Less than 1gram of sugar makes for a guilt free breakfast!

Amy’s Freezer meals. 

Leave the typical cheese, pasta and additive ridden frozen meals at the store and opt for an Amy’s meals. With lots of options to choose from, these are quick, easy, and won’t undo your day!

Skinny popcorn.

It’s very important to watch out for foods that claim to be diet friendly, or are fat, sugar, or calorie free. These foods usually have something else bad added in it’s place to make sure it doesn’t taste like cardboard. But this skinny popcorn is actually a pretty decent snack replacement! I would eat this in place of maybe a bag of potato chips.

And lastly when I’m really  just needing something sweet, I go for this dark chocolate. While having a fairly high saturated fat content, it really adds up everywhere else. Even having 25% daily value of iron! Not too bad for a last resort treat.

And that’s all I can think of for now! Let me know in the comments what packaged foods you’ve found that align with your diet.

Have a beautiful day!

~Ashley

 

Categories: Blog

The Easiest Breakfast Ever

Being 4 days away from my due date for baby number 3, I don’t have a lot of energy left. But when I let our nutrition fall short, I always pay for it the next day.

So every morning I’ve been making these super easy smoothies. Or as my boys call them “super strength Hulk smoothies”.

To make you will need:

(Makes one serving)

1 banana

2 handfuls of spinach

Unsweetened Almond milk

A dash of cinnamon (optional)

I first put the banana in, then the spinach  (seems to blend the spinach better in this order. At least with how my blender is desgined)

Then I throw in a dash of cinnamon. And cover with the unsweetened almond milk. Blend until a beautiful green!

And ta-da! You’re done! I love this because my kids drink it up and I can guarantee no matter what the day brings, they’ve already had some greens! 

Some side notes, if you or your kids aren’t used to spinach, I would add some vanilla. It really helps things taste sweeter than they really are. (Although thanks to the banana, this smoothie in particular is pretty sweet!) Also I like adding a couple of ice cubes to mine, but my kids prefer it without.

And that’s all! I hope you have a beautiful day!

~Ashley

Healthy Easy Snacks on the Go!

Today I felt compelled to write a list of healthy easy snacks! As a mom of VERY active 2 and 4 year old boys, we have many days we relay on eating while on the go. While meal prepping is crucial to healthy food success, having fall back ideas can be just as important. Below is a list of foods I try to always keep in my diaper bag/car.

•Walnuts

•Peanuts

•Apples

•Small oranges

•Bananas

•Dried fruit (just make sure they don’t have added sugar, some might as well be candy!)

•Mini bell peppers

•Small bag of baby carrots

•Chopped sticks of celery (not my personal favorite but my youngest loves these. I eat them with peanut butter 😉 )

•Water

When buying prepackaged snacks, try to keep an eye on the nutrition label. And watch out for sugar! They don’t currently list the percentage of your daily value for sugar. I found out recently the granola bars I had been buying had more sugar than a candy bar!

I know how simple it sounds, but it really makes a difference for my day! Let me know in the comments of healthy snacks you use.

Have a beautiful day!

~Ashley

Improving Nutrition in Young Children

Hello again! I am currently studying to become a certified personal trainer through ACE (American Council on Exercise) .

I recently came across a really good chapter on nutrition and children, and thought I would share a portion with you!

This is an excerpt from ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals. Chapter four, Nutrition.

“While genes and environment both contribute to obesity risk, the increasingly prevalence of childhood obesity has occurred too rapidly to be explained by a genetic shift; rather , changes in physical activity and nutrition are responsible.” (Barlow et al., 2007)

The page continues.

“As with adults. Behavior- based weight loss and subsequent weight management prove to be extremely challenging for children. In fact, obesity in childhood, especially among older children and those with the highest BMIs, is likely to persist into adulthood. (Whitaker et al.,1997). Social marginalization, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and myriad other morbidities are real threats for over weight children during childhood and into adulthood (Lobstein, Baur, & Uauy, 2004). “

 Scary stuff!  And overwhelming as a parent to deal with, or try to prevent and or overcome. Luckily on the following page, the book includes a table of things to do. I’ll type them out below.

Improving Nutrition in Young Children

•Parents choose meal times, not children.

•Provide a wide variety of nutrient- dense foods such as fruits and vegetables instead of high energy-density/ nutrient -poor foods such as salty snacks, ice cream, fried foods, cookies, and sweetened beverages.

•Pay attention to portion size; serve portions appropriately for the child’s size and age.

•Limit snacking during sedentary behavior or in response to boredom and particularly restrict the use of sweet/sweetened beverages as snacks. (E.g., juice, sports drinks, soda)

•Limit sedentary behaviors, with no more than one to two hours per day of video screen/television and no television sets in children’s bedrooms.

•Allow self-regulation of total caloric intake in the presence of normal BMI or weight for height.

•Have regular family meals to promote social interaction and role model food-related behavior.

(American Heart association Inc.2006)

Although pretty basic info, it’s always a good reminder while in the fog that is parenthood! I’d love to hear the steps you are taking to improve your families health in the comments!

Have a wonderful day!
~Ashley

Healthier Traditions

I LOVE the holidays. Any reason to celebrate is a good reason to me!

Unfortunately after becoming a parent I realized 90% of any celebration is junk food. So I’ve been on a mission to find ways to keep the traditions and fun, but half the sugar!

Which is why I’m starting this mini series, blogging what our family does for each holiday. Today I’m starting with Easter!

Easter is probably my favorite holiday. As a Christian, it also feeds my soul on a level other holidays can’t.

But let’s cut to the chase. First things first are the Easter basket. Over priced and not what I want anyways, here is a list of what I put together for my son’s  baskets this year (ages 2 and 4) -pictures coming soon!

•Frisbee with carrot picture on top.

•Small book of prayers

•Plastic eggs filled with playdough

•Carrot shaped darts (the boys will love these!)

•Stickers

•Crayons and coloring book

•Soft balls

•Any healthy snacks they enjoy that they see as a treat (strawberries, box of raisins, baby carrots, baby oranges, baby bananas, …anything smaller than normal size haha)

And that’s it! I hope you got some ideas and feel inspired for your own baskets.I’d love to see pictures in the comments section of what you end up doing!

Have a beautiful day!

~Ashley