Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Frozen Grapes Make A Great Treat, But So Does This.....

Take several ripe bananas, peel them,  put them in individual sandwich baggies and place in the freezer. (If you like, add a pop sickle stick prior to freezing.) The quality of the fruit remains, yet the sweetness is slightly intensified. PLUS, there is so much you can do with these delicious frozen treats, i.e. dip in peanut butter, cover with melted chocolate or caramel, and roll in nuts or sprinkles.  But from a healthy standpoint, if you or your family members enjoy breakfast drinks, milkshakes or protein drinks, you can drop a frozen banana right in the blender with the other ingredients. It is the equivalent of adding banana flavored ice cubes! Bananas, because of their potassium content, help control blood pressure and lower cholesterol levels.  See our Archive Posting dated October 20, 2010 for more important information about bananas.

P.S. Just in case you haven't tried frozen grapes yet, there's no time like the present. You'll love 'em.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Do You Eat An Elephant...One Bite At A Time. Helping Our Children To Tackle School Projects (& LIFE actually)

Well parents, its back to school time! OMG, I canNOT believe that summer is technically over but there is a blessing with each new day, right? Right! As homework, special projects, after school activities, etc. approach our children, starting out with a positive attitude really helps and we can lead by example.

Many times we ask our children, "How was your day?" And the response is not what we hope to hear. "Fine"..."OK"..."Good" are some of the average responses. Digging deeper may help sometimes but it may be best to designate a specific time and place to sit down with your child/children each day, regardless of their age(s) at a designated place (i.e. kitchen table) and ask specific questions like, "What projects do you have coming up?" or "What tests/quizzes are scheduled for this week. Then you can shock and amaze them by pulling out a trustee wall calendar and a few dry erase markers. This is the perfect time to talk to them about steps he/she can take to prevent being overwhelmed. Calendaring, etc. will help them to grasp and explore time management, as well as, breaking projects into small manageable segments.

Select a calendar that is reusable and one that has spaces large enough to write in. Depending upon how you wish to handle the documentation, you can have a different color marker per child or have a different color marker per event, i.e. tests in red, bookreports in blue, etc. Find out what the due dates are for each and show your child how to work on studying, reading, or gathering information a bit each day, creating benchmarks. Have them prepare a rough draft several days before the final and arrange for them to be ready before the actual due date if possible. Planning and preparing in segments takes the pressure off.  

This works for budgeting, housework, vacation planning, etc. and will keep you and yours from pulling your hair out. Lol.

Small steps lead to big accomplishments! 

Touch bases with them along the way and offer suggestions and encouragement but let them actually do the work. Put the calendar in a convenient place for all to see, keep the calendar updated and initiate a reward system for jobs done well! May you and yours have a year filled with blessings!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Are You Suffering with Joint Pain?

This year I noticed a difference in my ability to keep my daily pace of a 3 to 6 miles, walk-run, due to joint discomfort. Two weeks ago, I saw something at my local pharmacy that I have been using and it has made a HUGE difference; actually eliminating my discomfort completely. It is called Osteo Bi-Flex and is in a liquid form. It is a Glucosamine/Chondroitin mixture with 300 mg of Calcium and 2000 iu of Vitamin D3. I drink one 8 oz. container a day and noticed a difference after the first 6 pack!  It tastes good too.

There are several supplements one can take and several food choices to increase joint lubrication per the Arthritis Foundation as well (see below). I am an advocate of supplements and do use them daily, however, the addition of the Osteo Bi-Flex gave me the extra boost I needed to get back on the trail and I feel great once again.

Don't let joint pain slow you down. Fight it! Read more recommendations below and I hope you too will be getting out more often to enjoy this wonderful weather.

Food for Fighting Osteoarthritis

Following the Food Guide Pyramid can be one of the best ways to prevent osteoarthritis. The following foods provide the body with nutrients that can keep bone and cartilage strong:

Vitamin C (no more than 1,000 mg per day as a supplement)
  • juices: orange, grapefruit, cranberry, strawberry, pineapple
  • all citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, tangerines, clementines, grapefruit, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • best vegetables: green peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, cabbage
Vitamin D (most people are deficient especially during the winter months)
  • milk or yogurt
  • cheese
  • fortified cereals, egg yolk
  • sunlight
Calcium and Phosphorus
  • milk or yogurt
  • cheese
  • molasses (calcium)
  • beans
  • garlic
  • seeds
  • nuts (phosphorus)
  • fortified orange juice or cereals (both)
  • oysters and canned salmon containing bone (calcium)
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (great naturally - supplements may cause blood thinning)
  • flax seed oil
  • walnuts
  • soy and canola oils
  • fish: North Atlantic varieties such as cod, ocean perch, haddock, flounder, pollock and sole (very little fat but what they do have is loaded with omega 3s) along with higher fat fish such as tuna, salmon, mackerel (two to three 4 ounce servings per week)