Parents are always juggling many priorities. However, in times when obesity, diabetes, food allergies, and picky eaters are so prevalent, the most important priority is the health of their families. With everyone’s busy schedules, it’s hard to provide healthy foods all the time and not reach for the wacky mac or frozen pizzas. But it is possible with a bit of planning and organization. Below are my best tips that can help your family get on the right track.
Be Organized! Create a shopping list at the start of the week. Take into account each family member’s food preferences. Make a tentative meal plan early in the week so you can buy all the ingredients you will need in advance. Try to prepare one main meal for everyone so you’re not a short order cook.
Cook Ahead! Pick a day at the beginning of the week that you’ll have available time (hard as it may be!) to prepare and store items in the fridge or freezer. Slice up fruits and vegetables and keep them in the fridge. This will help save time when preparing salads during the week and make grabbing healthy snacks easier. Read Full Post >
Author Dara-Lynn Weiss’ airs her dirty linen in public in a controversial new memoir, “The Heavy: A Mother, A Daughter, A Diet.” She shines the light on a most important topic: How can we prevent our kids from becoming overweight? The Heavy chronicles the journey of a mother’s struggle to help her young daughter to get healthy. We first met Dara-Lynn and her daughter, Bea, last April in a Vogue essay from the overbearing mom’s point of view. Bea was deprived and publically shamed. It wasn’t pretty. The blogs condemned mom.
For sure, we need extensive interventions to curb the childhood obesity epidemic, but does the solution lie in a rescue by mom as the food police? The research does not agree. Dietitian Evelyn Tribole, co-author of the bookIntuitive Eating, outlines the studies nicely in this video, Warning Dieting Causes Weight Gain.
She shows how the act of dieting, independent of genetics, is a cause of overweight. Deprivation diets can lead to food obsession, binge-eating, and more weight gain. Dieting is passed down from mothers to daughters. Dara-Lynn had strange practices of her own with frequent weigh-ins and juice cleanses to keep the numbers in line. Studies show that a mother’s over-concern about her own size is later expressed in her daughter’s negative body image and feelings of low self-worth. Read Full Post >
The world has watched either in awe or in horror as Katie Holmes and six-year-old daughter Suri eat their way through restaurants of every genre and price point. While she and her daughter have private chauffeurs and don the cover of tabloid magazines, the duo aren’t unlike many Americans. Katie is a newly divorced mom with a hectic career and a daughter she dotes on. While Katie can seemingly give young Suri anything she wants, a home cooked meal isn’t one of them.
“I’m a terrible cook,” she told Us Weekly. That would explain the revolving door of restaurant excursions for the new New Yorkers. Katie paints a devastating picture of piles of pans and burned food that would make anyone want to grab a take-out menu. But maybe Katie, and a lot of moms like her who also feel overwhelmed with this domestic duty, should take a step back, breathe, and get a little help.
Cooking doesn’t have to be overwhelming, hard, or tragic. With a few simple ingredients, a little patience with yourself, and some thoughtful planning, there isn’t any reason you can’t make one of these easy dinners in your home. We think Katie could pull these dishes off too if she wanted to. Besides, she could enlist Suri to help for one more mother-daughter bonding moment.
It might sound fancy, but it’s perfect for novice cooks thanks to the slow cooker. With this tool the meal practically cooks itself. You do some minor chopping of lean beef, onions, mushrooms, and carrots, and use some basic herbs and spices from your pantry. When you return six hours later you’ll find a ready-to-eat meal. Read Full Post >
What do you do when you live in an apartment, don’t belong to a gym and have a hectic schedule? How do you find time to workout? As a working mom with two young boys, it’s often a struggle to find the time to fit fitness into my day between work, school drop-off and pick-up, client meetings and other responsibilities.
Over the summer, I was introduced to theJCORE Accelerated Body Transformation System – a 40-day program that claims to work around these constraints and transform your body. It was created byJay Cardiello, a celebrity fitness trainer and wellness expert. I mean, he trains 50 Cent so his plan must work, right?
I will admit that I was highly skeptical before starting this program. Generally I try to workout for an hour, 4-5 days a week, mixing cardio with strength training. For JCORE, all you need is a 4×4 space, no weights, and 20 minutes a day/4 days a week. Was 20 minutes going to be enough?
I opened the calendar and found 40 days of workouts, rest days, and fit tests. Literally, I did not have to think about a thing. There are five different workouts, each fast-paced and comprised of 20 minutes of 30-second intervals of body-weight exercises. While 30 seconds might not seem like a long time, believe me, it can be intense. I was breathing hard and a sweaty mess by the end of the workouts. The exercises largely focus on your core, which helps build overall strength and stability. Think lunges, squats, planks, and fire hydrants. I modified many of these moves to make it easier on my knee. JCORE also starts with a Fit Test that allows you to gauge your progress week-to-week. Read Full Post >
If you’re a mother, you can certainly relate to first-time moms as they dream their dreams during pregnancy. We all did it. We dreamed of the new little face we’d soon meet, the blissful hours of snuggling, and we planned all the amazing ways we were going to educate, feed, and rear our baby.
I feel it’s fair to say I’m not alone in having most of those dreams dashed. Don’t hear me wrong, I fell in love with my son deeper than I thought possible. Our time together during his first few years was the most gratifying experience in my life. But it came with lots of tears (his and mine) lots of laundry, so many messes, lots of sleep-deprivation, so much poop, and a lot of saturated fat.
You read that right, saturated fat is part of the new-parent routine, unfortunately. According to a recent study, this chaos that hits new parents like a ton of bricks has lead to a trend in increased saturated fat consumption. CNN reported on a study from the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Jen Christensen interviewed the lead author of the study, Dr. Helen Laroche. Essentially, the study revealed that parents eat more saturated fat than adults without children, especially within the first seven years of becoming parents. Laroche pointed to the fact that busy and tired parents tend to have more convenience foods in the home and many of these types of foods are high in saturated fat. Read Full Post >