ummer is here, the kids are out of school, and most of you have planned out your summer fun—vacations, swimming lessons, sports, library story time, music lessons, and maybe vacation bible school. But wait!! Have you thought about what your kids are going to eat this summer?
As most of my friends can tell you, I am hungry all the time and very particular about what I eat and what my boys eat. As kids move into junior high and high school their appetites increase dramatically and some days it seems like they want to eat every two hours!! This is very normal, but can be a big problem if they are eating the wrong things. My solution is to plan ahead. Just as you are intentional about what activities you put your kids in, please be intentional about what food you provide them for snacking.
HERE ARE SOME EASY WAYS TO KEEP IT HEALTHY:
When you get home from the grocery store, clean and place your fruit and veggies in individual snack bags. Place the baggies in a bin marked “SNACKS” in a location everyone can see in the fridge.
Put individual containers of hummus, ranch, tzatziki sauce, and salsa in the bin. Kids are more likely to grab an individual bag of veggies and individual container of hummus or salsa than to prepare their own snack—sounds crazy but it’s true.
Pickles are also a great healthy snack-put them in individual bags in the bin (again, sounds crazy since the jar is right there, but everyone loves to grab a bag and sit down and snack-hate to say it but teens can be kind of lazy!!)
Put some full fat string cheese and full fat sliced cheese in the Snack Bin in the fridge.
Keep individual containers of milk in the snack bin. You can do mostly plain milk but strawberry, chocolate or vanilla milks make a nice treat.
Yogurt makes a wonderful snack if it is healthy. Recent studies are showing that full fat dairy is the way to go (I know, just when we think we know something things change—skim milk is good and eggs are bad, but wait , eggs are now good and whole milk is better than skim, yikes!). I now am convinced by recent studies that full fat dairy in small to moderate quantities has higher quality fats that are beneficial to our hearts and brains and actually may help prevent diabetes. In addition, the fat keeps us satiated longer-meaning keeps us full longer. However, you want to eat healthy fats like what is in full fat dairy, avocado, and nuts, not what’s in fried foods. Anyway, make sure the yogurt is whole milk yogurt or soy or coconut milk yogurt and that it does not have food dyes and preservatives.
Make some “ants on a log” by cleaning and cutting celery, filling with peanut butter and putting raisins on top. Cream cheese is also really yummy in celery-full fat of course.
Fill individual BPA free water bottles and keep them in the fridge at all times. I know it sounds crazy, but kids will drink more water if it is already ready for them and they can just reach in, grab and drink. Avoid keeping sodas and juice in your house. There is too much sugar in the juice (even if it is 100% juice) and no fiber in the juice thus increasing the glycemic index which can lead to obesity and diabetes. Soda is horrible for your teeth and kidneys. If it is a birthday party or special occasion then make an exception but only once in a while.
Create a snack bin in your pantry and fill it with individual servings of the following: Skinny Pop Popcorn, nuts, dried fruit, Kind bars, Larabar bars, tortilla chips, gluten-free and regular whole grain crackers, edamame crackers, yogurt-covered raisins, and apple chips. Make sure you put everything in individual single serving containers.
Family Meals and Why They Are Important
Did you know that teens of families that share three or more meals per week together have less chance of using drugs
and alcohol, lower rates of eating disorders and
teen pregnancy, and perform better in school?
In my book, I devoted an entire chapter to the family meal. Why? Studies show that families who eat at least three or more meals per week together are at reduced risk for being overweight and having diseases related to being overweight. Studies also show that family meals build healthy relationships and that families who share a meal usually eat more nutritious foods with more consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
So with our busy lifestyles, how do we get this done? The answer as always, just do your best. It does not have to be a gourmet meal to be healthy. This week we are featuring a super easy, quick healthy recipe. The point is to try to sit together, shut off all the electronics, and try to eat healthy. Even if you are at a restaurant try to make healthy choices and spend good quality time together. Here are a few tips that may help:
Shut off the television! Studies show that families who watch television as they eat, eat unhealthy foods and too much of it. We have a rule in our house: no TV, phones or electronics during dinner. The only exception to this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Super Bowl!
Try to eat dinner about the same time every night. This is really hard when you have kids in sports and you work late. Just try. Even if you bring home Chipotle or Subway and then eat together. Just make as healthy a choice as possible. Check out the chapter in my book, “Going Out to Eat” for more tips.
Try to have things ready ahead of time. Have your produce cleaned and ready to use right when you get home from the grocery store. This helps speed up meal preparation during the week. If both parents work late, cook a few meals on the weekend and have them ready to reheat.
Make it a family event. Even small children can help in the kitchen. Chores like folding kitchen towels, taking drink orders, filling up water glasses and setting the table are easy for children over five. For older kids, cleaning and chopping vegetables and fruits, tossing the salad and mixing and pouring are easy. Older school-aged kids can empty the dishwasher, take out the trash and wash dishes!
Eliminate food wars by having a strict policy of no substitutions. Cook one meal for everyone with many different things - a protein, whole grain, fruit, vegetable, salad and a dairy product (milk, cheese or yogurt for instance).What your kid eats is what they eat, and if they don’t want something that is ok. Trust me, meals will be much less stressful and healthier for everyone.
No media at the table! Have one of your children collect everyone’s phones, i pads, i pods or whatever gadget they have and turn them off - that means parents too. Yes, I already mentioned this, but it is so important that I had to say it again. Sometimes it is hard to get kids, and especially teens, to talk. If they are texting, playing a game or watching television at dinner then there is no way they will talk. Enjoy the meal without media.
Whatever your religious preference, meal time is a great time to give thanks, say grace, or just take a pause and appreciate your blessings. It is also a great time to teach your kids some table manners. Have your family wait to eat until everyone sits down. Teach young children to say please and thank you and to wait until people are finished talking to ask for something. Meals should be a relaxed fun time and a time for teaching in a positive, non-stressful fashion.
Get the conversation going! Some nights everyone is tired and really not talking much. The following are a few dinner time games that seem to get everyone talking, laughing and really enjoying the meal.
“Best and Worst” In this game you go around the table and ask each person what the best thing that happened that day was and the worst thing. Some nights it is very surprising what we hear.
“Twenty Questions” Another favorite dinner game of ours is to go around the table taking turns answering the following questions: “If you were an animal what kind would you be and why?” or “If you could live anywhere, where would it be and why?” “If you were a superhero which one would you be?” Why doesn’t anyone ever pick Aquaman?
Spring is Here and Summer
is Fast Approaching:
Tips on Staying
Hydrated and Healthy
as You Go Out and Play!
Spring in Arizona means bipolar weather—in the morning it can be 50 degrees and by two in the afternoon 90 degrees. Most of us know this means dressing in layers and packing lots of water to drink everywhere we go. The emergency rooms and urgent cares are constantly treating out of towners for heat illnesses, but sometimes heat illness can even happen to us locals. Here are some tips for keeping hydrated and staying healthy as the weather heats up.
Pack more water than you think you will need. Don’t forget to pack plenty of water for your kids and for your dogs!
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Drink water before, during, and after exercise. One to two hours before you exercise or have your outing, drink eight to sixteen ounces of water. During exercise drink eight to ten ounces of water every twenty minutes. Make sure you also drink plenty of water after you exercise.
If you will be exercising for more than an hour or it is extremely strenuous exercise or very hot, drink eight ounces of Gatorade or Powerade every hour. I prefer avoiding the artificial sweeteners in the electrolyte drinks and just buy the regular. If you are working out that hard, you need the sugar.
Make sure everyone carries their own water. Often people get separated on hikes and if you get lost or separated for too long, it doesn’t take long to dehydrate.
Go out in cooler parts of the day, either early morning or evening.
Wear hats, sunglasses and sunscreen. Reapply sunscreen every hour.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Both caffeinated drinks and alcoholic drinks have a diuretic effect which stimulates urination, depleting your body of water. This can lead to dehydration especially if you are outside in the heat.
Eat hydrating foods such as watermelon, oranges, berries, iceberg lettuce, tomatoes, radishes, cucumbers, celery, yogurt, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and smoothies.
Enjoy your time outside, be SAFE, and stay HYDRATED and HAPPY!
featured in Spring 2017
Ok, we all ate too much during the holidays and probably didn’t exercise enough. Now with the thought of shorts, sundresses, prom dresses and …… yes, I’ll say it, swimming suits, right around the corner many of us will go into a panic and try some crazy diet or scheme to shed the extra weight. DON’T DO IT!!! Crazy diets, pills, powders, drinks, or simply starving yourself is an extremely dangerous thing to do and in the long run will not work.
The definition of a fad or crash diet is any diet that promotes quick weight loss by using diet pills, supplements, or extreme calorie or food group restrictions. This is hard on your body for many reasons. Many of the “diet pills” or supplements are not tested since they are considered a “food” product and not a medicine. In fact, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) does not have to regulate them or guarantee their safety. So basically, you don’t know what exactly you are taking and what it will do to your body. Many of these products can cause liver, kidney, gallbladder or pancreas problems.
A major problem with extremely low calorie diets is that the diet deprives people of essential nutrients needed for day-to-day body function and for preventing disease. These diets can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalance that can lead to heart problems. Calorie and/or carbohydrate restriction can cause your body to metabolize your muscles, not just your fat, as you hope, which can lead to decrease in muscle mass. Restricting calories and food groups can also cause low vitamin, mineral, and phytochemical levels which then can lead to immune system problems causing more frequent infections and illness.
The worst part is that many studies have shown that the majority of people who lose weight quickly on a “crash” diet, ultimately regain all the weight they lost and often weigh even more than when they started. Why? I believe the reason crash diets, pills or supplements do not work is that they do not teach you how to eat in a healthy fashion and exercise so that you can create balance and maintain a healthy weight.
So here is the big message that I want all of you to remember: LIKE WHO YOU ARE RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW! Too big, too small, just right, it doesn’t matter. True beauty comes from inside of you and seeps out like rays of sunshine. You were all made wonderfully and uniquely perfect. However, it’s your responsibility to nurture and care for yourself and part of doing that includes keeping a healthy weight. Please pay attention to this next piece of advice! A healthy weight does not necessarily mean being thin. In fact, many of us do not need to lose weight and just need to get in better shape, meaning working our muscles through exercises like yoga, dance, sports, or lifting weights and working our heart and lungs more through exercises or sports that involve walking, running, hiking, biking or swimming. Shoot for thirty minutes every day or every other day and work your way up to one hour a day. Find something you enjoy doing and you will have much better success.
Many of us also need to eat healthier. Eating healthy does not mean suffering! It does not mean eating a diet solely of lettuce and carrots. The goal of a healthy “diet” or what I prefer to call the goal of a nourishing diet means to take in foods that are real foods, not processed foods. Real foods provide your body with essential nutrients it needs such as protein found in fish, poultry, meat, beans or tofu; carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains such as rice, pasta, or quinoa; healthy fats found in olives, olive oil, avocado, dairy foods, and nuts; and of course water. Try to make half your plate vegetables and fruits and the other half a healthy protein and carbohydrate. Watch your portion size. A serving of meat or protein should be about the size of your palm, a serving of cheese the size of your thumb, and a serving of fruit or vegetables your entire fist. Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water a day. Avoid sodas, juices, and sugar drinks. Dink water or milk instead. Limit sweets and treats to once a week.
So as you start your new plan of eating healthier and exercising more, please remember, you don’t have to be perfect. Do the best you can and love yourself right here and right now just as you are. Being happy in your own skin is true beauty!
Let’s Do This! A Doctor’s Guide to Your Family's Healthiest Year
We’ve all been there. The holidays are over and we realize that we’ve overindulged, gained some weight, gotten out of shape, are sleep deprived, and feeling kind of crummy. Now is the time for New Year’s Resolutions but the kids will be back in school soon, after-school activities will be starting in full force, and work demands are still pressing in on us. What are we to do?
Take a breath, stop beating yourself up, and keep it simple. Even small changes can provide big results. Let’s focus on three things: sleeping a little more, exercising more, and eating a little better.
Sleep: We all know sleep is important for good health. Focus on increasing the quality and quantity of sleep with the following tips:
Shut off everyone’s electronics at least an hour before bedtime. By doing this the brain has a chance to slow down and relax and hopefully everyone will get to sleep a little more quickly.
Get the electronics out of the bedroom. Electronics that are turned off but still plugged in can emit a blue light that disrupts your sleep cycle.
Avoid caffeine for at least a few hours before bedtime. This tip is for you adults, children and teens really shouldn’t have caffeine.
Exercise: Even 30 minutes a day can give you huge results. Try to find something you love to do and do it every day. It’s fine to break up the exercise into 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes at lunch or in the evening. Just do something. Try to incorporate cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise that gets your heart pumping with anaerobic exercise or exercise that strengthens your muscles. Do the best you can and don’t get discouraged if you miss a day. Just jump back into it the next day.
Nutrition: Be intentional about what you are buying for your family and what food items you keep in your house. Focus on doing the best you can and know that you don’t have to be perfect. The following excerpt from my book will help you clean out your refrigerator and pantry and then restock it with foods your family should be eating. Just as we tell our children to avoid friends who are “toxic” or bad influences on us and surround themselves with friends who are good influences or good for them, we should also avoid foods that are “toxic” and bad for us and surround ourselves with foods that nourish us and are good for us.
Pantry and Refrigerator Makeover:
I hope this information is helpful to you and brings you good health. For the full “Pantry and Refrigerator Makeover” and more tips and recipes, check out my book An Apple a Day the Doctor’s Way available for purchase through this website, Amazon, and at my office. Be sure to check out our January special!!
Nourish, Exercise, Sleep... Spread Joy
Have you ever felt like you were riding a Tsunami from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day and barely getting by?
We run ourselves ragged “enjoying” the holidays-- running errands, buying the perfect gift, gift wrapping, parties, volunteer work, oh, and don’t forget finals, school work, work, and extracurricular activities. At some point, our health seems to take last place. How in the world can we break this cycle when we have so much to do?
Take a breath and remember the reason you are “celebrating.” Most of us are celebrating either our faith, cultural traditions, or just the pure fun of getting together with family and friends. Whatever the reason, here are a few things you can do to stay healthy and truly enjoy the holidays.
Tip #1 Take Care of Yourself: I’ve found in my day to day work as a doctor, if I take good care of myself, I do a much better job of caring for others.
Tip #2 Nourish: The goal of eating is not only to nourish our body but to nourish our mind and spirit. Beyond sustaining us, food has great cultural, religious, and social importance. So eat!!! It’s ok to have Aunt Megan’s amazing apple pie at Thanksgiving, Aunt Iris’s potato latkes at Hanukkah, or Grandma Sharlene’s famous Christmas cookies in December. However, make sure you add in some nourishing food like fruits, vegetables, and healthy carbohydrates such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain pastas; healthy protein and fatty foods like eggs, turkey, tofu and nut butters; and plenty of water. As you run your errands be sure to pack healthy snacks like nuts, cheese, and whole grain crackers, or sliced apples, peanut butter, and water. When you go to a party, be intentional about what you put in your mouth. Drink plenty of water, and make sure you load your plate with salad, vegetables, fruit, cheese, nuts, whole grains, and any other “healthy” option you see. Then grab a dessert or two, but don’t overdo it! By making good choices, you will feel better and suffer from fewer colds and flus.
You will also feel better and stay healthy if you balance your “input” (calories eaten) with your “output” (calories burned). This leads us to my next tip.
Tip #3 Exercise: My motto has always been, “the more I exercise, the more I can eat” and boy can I eat! Seriously though, I could talk all day about the benefits of exercise which include: stress relief, maintaining a healthy weight, keeping your body strong, and improving your immune system. Find something you enjoy doing that involves exercise and try to do it every day, even if it’s just 15 minutes in the morning and 20 or 30 minutes at night. Over the years, I’ve found running to be a cheap, easy exercise that I can squeeze in at different times of the day depending on my schedule. I’m not particularly good at it, calling myself a “slogger” or slow jogger, but I enjoy it and it makes me feel strong and healthy. The most important thing is to do what you love and try to do it daily.
Tip #4 Sleep: This one is a little tougher during the holidays. Did you know that as we sleep our brain gets rid of toxins that if left to build up can cause anxiety, depression, and a poor immune system which then leads to infections and illness? Cold and flu season peaks during the holidays, so make sure you get at least eight hours a night.
Tip #5 Be Present in the Moment: Make sure to be “present” in the world around you. Say hello to people, open the door for someone with lots of packages, stop and chat with your neighbor even if it’s only for a few minutes. Even though your head is filled with all the things you need to get done, put down your list, put down your phone, and look your friends and family in the eye. Listen to what they are saying to you. A few minutes of intentional listening is a great way to say, “I care about you and I love you.” It’s a perfect way to spread the joy and love of the season!
Finding Balance at Thanksgiving:
Tips for Having a Yummy and Healthy Holiday
We all know the story of the first Thanksgiving feast shared by the Plymouth colonists and the Wampanoag Indians. In 1863, President Lincoln made Thanksgiving a national holiday. Americans have celebrated this harvest feast ever since, gathering family and friends and chowing down. We all talk about the “turkey coma,” “food baby belly,” and jokes about going up a pant size after one meal, but it doesn’t have to be this way. How can we enjoy all the Thanksgiving treats and not feel like we have to make up for “cheating” for weeks after?
I am by no means perfect in this area and have experienced my share of the “food baby belly”. However, I feel that in the past 20 years I have “cracked the code.” Here’s some tips that have worked for me:
My motto since high school has been “the more I exercise the more I can eat.”
My basic advice is this, first thing in the morning get everyone outside doing a Turkey Trot Race or go for a hike or a bike ride. Anything to get a little exercise. For the past twenty years my best friend from medical school and her family spend Thanksgiving with us.Thanksgiving morning my friend and I go for a run, while our kids have a huge football game outside.One year my oldest son Jacob set up an elaborate Turkey Olympics with a football game, obstacle course, bean bag toss, and street hockey for some of the events. It doesn’t matter what you do, just move!
Of course you should have a small serving of the traditional turkey, stuffing, and mashed potatoes, but what about all the other sides. Trade your white dinner rolls in for pumpernickel, rye, sourdough, or gluten-free ancient grain rolls. Instead of green beans loaded with cream, butter, and condensed soup try my green bean recipe made with pine nuts and Parmesan found in the archives of our recipe section. Serve a huge salad, (check this weeks featured recipe) and fresh fruit. Instead of candied yams try roasted yams tossed with extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. And for the love of God, eat some pie!! I’m not crazy. Have your favorite apple or pumpkin pie but there’s no need to eat an entire pie.
Don’t be a Couch Potato:
After dinner go for a family walk, go to a park, play some yard games like bean bag toss, badminton, or horseshoes. STAY OFF THE COUCH AND AWAY FROM ELECTRONICS (other than football of course). Keep moving and have fun. When everyone is worn out get the cards or board games out. Take away everyone’s phones and talk and laugh and interact with each other. Life is short and you want to make sure the people you love know you love them.
Make up your own traditions and have fun. Food is meant to nourish and sustain us, but it is also meant to be thoroughly enjoyed! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Reflect on what you are thankful for and cherish your time with family and friends!
As I was struggling to keep up with my friend during a morning bike ride, she commented that she didn’t consider herself an athlete since she didn’t play sports. When I caught my breath, I asked her what she called someone that bikes 120 miles a week.
In my mind, an athlete is anyone who participates in physical exercise on a regular basis. We all think of soccer and basketball players as athletes, but what about dancers, gymnasts, swimmers, cyclists, and cheerleaders. Clearly, these ladies are athletes as well.
Why is it important to talk specifically about nutrition for female athletes?
Women athletes who do not pay close attention to their nutrition, are subject to menstrual issues, stress fractures, fatigue, growth delay, impaired immune system, and poor athletic and school performance. A woman’s menstrual cycle can deplete her of iron and nutrients, setting her up for problems. In addition, many female athletes, especially those in activities that promote leanness such as dancers, gymnasts, and cheerleaders consume less than 70% of their recommended daily caloric needs.
What does the female athlete need?
Carbohydrates: “Carbs” get such a bad rap, but they are absolutely necessary for energy. 55-65% of daily calories should consist of healthy carbs such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain breads and grains, oats, and beans. Avoid processed and high sugar foods.
Protein: Protein is essential for building and repairing muscle. 15-20% of daily calories should come from protein foods such as turkey, chicken, lean beef and pork, fish, eggs, beans, nut butters, dairy and tofu. Avoid synthetic protein bars, shakes, and powders.
Fat: Fats are necessary to help us repair our cells and absorb vitamins. Limit trans-fat and saturated fats, but include 25-30% of daily calories from healthy fats such as: protein foods, nuts, seeds, nut butter, fish, avocados, eggs, and olive oil.
Vitamins and Minerals: By eating a well-balanced diet you should get enough vitamins and minerals. However, many of our diets are lacking, and many female athletes are iron deficient due to menstrual blood loss. Try to eat iron-rich foods daily such as meat, fish, dark green leafy vegetables, soy products, dried fruit, and beans. Talk with your doctor to see if you need a multivitamin with iron.
Water: This is the most essential nutrient of all! Do not wait until you are thirsty to drink. By then, it’s too late. One to two hours before exercise drink 8-16 ounces of water. During exercise drink 8-10 ounces every 10-20 minutes. If you are working out longer than 60 minutes or it is hot, drink an electrolyte solution containing sodium, potassium, and chloride, such as Gatorade or Powerade, in addition to water.
Pre and Post Work-Out: Make sure to drink plenty of water and eat a healthy snack that includes a carbohydrate and a protein food such as whole grain bread with peanut butter and fruit.
Take Home Points:
Eat real food and avoid processed, packaged, or boxed foods
Eat when you are hungry
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise
Drink electrolyte solution on hot days or for workouts over an hour
Avoid dehydrating substances such as alcohol, caffeine, and energy drinks
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables
Talk to your doctor about vitamins or supplements you may need
Nurture and nourish your body well and treat it wisely. You are an athlete, and you are amazing!
Featured in the Summer Issue of Luca Magazine
Check out this great list my friend and partner Dr. Shepherd made. She works full time as a pediatrician, has tons of kids (last I counted 8 or 10-ok 7), and still found time to put together this amazing list of things your family can do in Arizona! Enjoy!
Is My Child Overweight?
by Dr. Karen Prentice
I can’t tell you how many times a day I hear, “Doctor, I’m worried my child is overweight.” It is very normal for parents to worry, in fact, I think when our babies are born we get injected with a big dose of worry with a capital “W”! It’s our job to love our kids, feed them, make sure they are safe, and yes, to worry about them.
Since childhood obesity has tripled in the past 20 years and now 1 out of every 3 children in the U.S. are overweight or obese, this concern is on everyone’s mind. Most all of us know the risks to being overweight which include diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver disease, and orthopedic issues. Overweight/obese children also can suffer from social discrimination and bullying.
The best way to figure out if your child or teen is overweight is to schedule an appointment with their doctor. Their doctor will measure their weight and height then calculate their BMI. BMI, or body mass index, is a calculation which gives us a sense as to how severe, if any, a weight problem is. A BMI of 5 to 85% or 18.5 to 24.9 is a healthy range. Less than 5% or 18.5 is underweight. Between 85-95% or 25-29.9 is considered overweight and a BMI over 95% or over 30 is considered obese. However, BMI has its limitations. If someone has large bone structure or muscle mass, the BMI calculation may indicate they are overweight or obese when in fact they are perfectly healthy. Another factor to consider is that many children go through an awkward stage right around puberty putting on 10-20 pounds especially around the middle then shooting up in height. This can be very normal as long as the weight doesn’t stay around the middle for too long. Talk to your child’s doctor and see if there is cause for concern.
What should be done if your child is overweight or obese? First, your doctor may choose to run some labs namely thyroid studies, basic kidney and liver panel, diabetes screening, and a lipid panel. They may just suggest that you try to increase your child’s exercise while improving their nutrition. They may have you see a nutritionist or join Weight Watchers. Weight Watchers is an excellent program and with a doctor’s prescription allows children and teens to go for free with a paying family member.
How can you help your child or teen achieve a healthy weight or stay at a healthy weight?
Get the whole family involved! Have everyone participate in a make-over of your families’ nutrition. This will prevent your child from feeling singled out and the health benefits will help everyone.
Get refined sugar out of your house. If it’s not there then there is no temptation. What does this mean? Get rid of all the sugar drinks such as soda, juice, Kool-Aid, Capri Sun, and sugary sports drinks. Get rid of the cookies, sugar cereals, and pop tarts. Now, does that mean you can’t eat dessert or enjoy a sugary treat? Of course not. Enjoy a treat occasionally, but not every day.
Change all your grains to whole grains.
Clean out your pantry and refrigerator. Check out Chapter 1 in my book.
Increase the produce. Try for at least five a day meaning 3 vegetables and 2 fruits per day. Ideally we all should have 4 vegetables and 3 fruit servings per day. Make baby steps and do your best.
Limit the processed foods.
Watch portion sizes. I don’t believe in calorie counting but rather increasing the healthier food options and decreasing the unhealthy foods. However, try to make half of your child’s plate fruits and vegetables and the other half a small portion of lean meat or protein food and whole grain.
Always eat breakfast.
Carefully plan meals and snacks. Pack lunches and snacks and always have water for everyone.
Limit screen time to 1-2 hours per day.
Exercise. Try for 1 hour a day.
The number one rule: Don’t get discouraged. If you or child has a bad eating day, so what. Everyone deserves treats and should enjoy them, but then you should start back up again with intentional, healthy eating! For more ideas, check out my book, An Apple a Day the Doctor’s Way.
Eat Healthy on the Road
by Dr. Karen Prentice
What to Pack
for your Trip:
Water or BPA-Free Refillable Water Bottle
Bananas and Apples
Skinny Pop -comes in single serving bags
Pirate's Booty-comes in single serving bags
Gluten Free Crackers
For more snack ideas, check out my book, An Apple a Day the Doctor’s Way!
The last time I flew I was traveling to L.A. to run the Tinkerbell Half-Marathon at Disneyland. As most of my friends can tell you, I am hungry all the time and very particular about what I eat. I am also particular about what my boys eat. My solution while on the road has always been to pack our snacks for travel and vacation. So, for my recent trip, I packed a big Ziplock bag of Kind Bars, Larabars, nuts, and fruit. Apparently, TSA is really cracking down on “organic” material-meaning food items. My luggage was flagged and I had to have all my bags searched, everything taken out of my luggage, and get a pat down! As the TSA guy was opening my little
suitcase, he started pulling everything out. I was so embarrassed when he pulled out my Tinkerbell wings and big green tutu. People were walking by staring at me like I was the
biggest criminal or freak-I have no idea what they were thinking. The TSA guy looked at me quizzically and I quickly explained about the half-marathon I was doing. The mood then changed and he told me he had just run a Mud Run in Phoenix. Yeah-another runner! We chatted about the runs we had done as we waited for a female TSA to do my pat down. He told me in the future to put all my “organic” or food material in a clear baggy and place it separately in the bins, then I won’t get searched. So there is the big tip after my long, embarrassing story. Things ended well, I got to keep my food, and made my flight.
Here are some tips to help you stay safe and healthy while traveling
Carry your own snacks from home (check out the list beside the article), but if you are flying, be sure to put them in a Ziplock bag and put them in the bins for TSA to clearly see.
Carry your own BPA free water container. I fill up my container everywhere I go. The airport now has water bottle fill up spots (not sure if that’s the official name). This not only encourages us to drink more water but really helps the environment since we aren’t buying bottled waters.
When you get to your destinations go to a grocery store and buy some fruit, veggies, nuts, dried fruit, and popcorn. If you fear the water isn’t safe to drink at the hotel, buy a few gallons of drinking water.
Check out my article on “Eating Out in a Healthy Fashion” for some great tips on what you can do at restaurants. My book, An Apple a Day the Doctor’s Way, has a chapter devoted to eating out.
Have fun on all your adventures and travels this summer, pack plenty of water for everyone, and be safe!
YOU SCREAM, I SCREAM, WE ALL SCREAM FOR ICECREAM !!
This is going to shock everyone that knows me and it sounds crazy coming from a doctor who is super health conscious and who wrote a book about nutrition, but I love dessert, especially chocolate. I mean really love it! I rarely eat dessert and I rarely bake or make desserts, but when I do, I really enjoy it.
I always serve fruit with everyone’s meal
and consider this dessert. My boys are not
huge milk drinkers, so as they got into their
preteen and teen years, I had to come up with
some way to get more calcium and "Vitamin D"
into their diet. Kids between the ages of nine
and twenty years old need four servings of
calcium/vitamin D/dairy foods per day.
The answer: Frozen Yogurt!!! I buy the
fat-free frozen yogurt and almost every night
before bed everyone gets a small bowl.
Aside from that, I have a few desserts that I will make on occasion. For birthdays, I make or buy whatever cake the birthday boy or girl wants. Boston Cream Pie for Jacob, Cold Stone Creamery Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream Cake for Zack, and AJ’s Chocolate Fudge Cake for me.
Why in the world am I telling you all this? I have heard the complaint that I am a little militant about what I eat (after all, I am vegetarian and gluten-free). So, for the next few weeks, I thought I would share a few fun and healthy dessert recipes with you and let you know that there is a time and place for everything. Dessert certainly has its place in my heart (and stomach)! I hope you enjoy the recipes. For more great recipes, check out my book, An Apple a Day the Doctor’s Way.
Check out previous articles below! Print them, save them, share them!
Most of us enjoy eating out. The thing I especially like is that I can let someone else do the cooking and clean up giving me the opportunity to just sit and enjoy time with my family and friends. Oh, and did I mention I love to eat? I love exploring different types of foods and different ways food can be prepared and served.
There is the downside of going out to eat--cost and nutrition. Most restaurants, even the nicer ones, use way too much salt on their food and have limits when it comes to healthy options. Salad is nice, but I get hungry, I mean really hungry! Over the years, I have found ways to enjoy eating out and still maintain good nutrition. Here are a few things that have worked for me:
Substitute: Instead of fries, order coleslaw, a salad, fruit, cottage cheese or a baked potato. Make sure to get baked potato toppings on the side and use them sparingly.
Breakfast: Instead of hash browns and greasy breakfast meats, choose fruit, cottage cheese, sliced tomatoes, or avocado. Ask for vegetables in your families’ scrambled eggs.
Meats: Choose lean cuts of meat such as chicken, fish, or turkey. Avoid breading, frying, or blackening your meats. Consider tofu, tempeh, or beans in place of meat.
Salad: Start your meal with a salad. Choose greens such as spinach, kale, or other dark greens. Use dressings sparingly and choose options such as balsamic vinaigrette.
Grains: Choose brown rice, whole grain pasta, quinoa and whole or cracked grain breads.
Portion control: Most restaurants serve ridiculously large portions. Have your kids share a meal and consider doing the same for yourself. If that is not an option, have your server bring a “doggy bag” when your food comes out and put half the meal in the doggy bag.
Kid’s Menus: If the kid menu consists of the following--cheese pizza, cheese crisp, mac n cheese, or chicken nuggets--skip it and have your kids share a healthy adult meal.
That’s the quick list! For more details, tips, and answers to why I gave the advice above, check out my book, An Apple a Day the Doctor’s Way.