Antioxidant Rich Red Wine and Chocolate – Oh How They Stain

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One of the key dinner parties of the year is Christmas dinner. This year, I had two lovely friends and my two daughters to cook for. I went all out and cooked Beef Wellington (as a non beef eater, this was big), the perfect roast spuds, greens, made our usual profiterole tower, served gorgeous (antioxidant rich) red wine and bubbles. Everything was just perfect.

Lianne's OxiClean Experience on SproutRight.com1

Bear with me as I turn back the clock to a week or so before, when I was at a friend’s house for a holiday gathering. Cocktails and vino were flowing. We were all standing around chatting, and somehow the hostess managed to pour red wine down herself without really knowing how it happened. It splattered on her new suede boots, her pure wool sweatery jacket and of course all over the floor. Someone grabbed what they could find and mopped it up with her fave tea towels, without thinking.

As we all stood there looking at the hostess, covered in red wine, everyone had a suggestion for how to deal with her boots, gorgeous sweatery jacket and tea towels. Someone said use white wine, someone said use soda, someone else said use OxiClean. Someone in the background said to just drink more wine! That got a chuckle and raised the worried mood for a moment.

Outside we went, with white wine and soda in hand. We started with the soda water, and can you believe it? Every last drop came out of her suede shoes and the wool of her jacket. We were amazed. I had heard that soda water worked well on red wine spills, but the proof was so cool to see.

Back in we went and showed everyone how well she cleaned up. Then we looked at the tea towels and decided that they were worth saving. (They were a One of A Kind show purchase the previous year).  After some discussion amongst the guests, the verdict was to get out the OxiClean. The experts said to make a bucket of warm water, add the powder and put the tea towels in to soak. Those of us who hadn’t experienced either a red wine spill (mine makes it in my mouth) or OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover, were eager to see how it worked. About half an hour and an After Eight cocktail later, we all decided that we needed to see if it was as good as what the TV commercials showed.

We went to the bucket – cocktail in hand – and were blown away by what we saw. Or didn’t see. All the stains were gone. The tea towels were totally back to their original state; except a stain or two that were already there. So we decided to put them back in the bucket and see if the rest would come clean. I left shortly after that so heard through the grapevine that they ended up looking better than before the red wine! I was impressed.

Back to my Christmas Day: after preparing the Beef Wellington, and having my daughters creating (and learning how to create!) the profiterole tower, just about every one of my tea towels were either covered in fat, chocolate or other kitchen stains. I wasn’t happy, but that’s the price to pay for having my kids create what I’ve made myself over the years. I wasn’t about to start complaining in the middle of the festivities.

Lianne's OxiClean Experience on SproutRight.com2

After all the plates were licked clean (the Wellington was outstanding), games were out and ready to play, I nipped downstairs to my laundry room and did as we had done a couple of weeks before. I got a bucket, filled it with warm water and poured in a scoop of OxiClean powder. I swirled it around until bubbles formed and put all my dirty, dirty tea towels in to soak. I felt like I should be filming it, as it was my own experiment.

I forgot about them until the next day. I thought I’d come back to some of the colour stripped too. Low and behold, all the white stripes were white, the turquoise strips as they should be. All the chocolate stains were gone. As with my friend’s towels, they were in better shape than before they were used to mop up chocolate from all surfaces, including small hands.

I’m hooked.

And will now have stain-free everything in my house!

Lianne's OxiClean Experience on SproutRight.com3

If you have stains to remove (and seriously, who doesn’t?) you can find OxiClean Versatile Stain Remover at Walmart and Shoppers Drug Mart locations across Canada, and be sure to check out the OxiClean Facebook page for more stain-fighting tips.

 

This post was brought to you by OxiClean Versatile Stain remover, however the images and opinions are my own. For more information please visit http://oxiclean.ca/.

Should I eat fish during pregnancy?

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Should I eat fish in pregnancy? The answer on SproutRight.com
I get this question a lot: is fish safe to eat while I am pregnant (or breastfeeding) and my short answer is … YES! Not only is it ok to eat fish in the prenatal period, it is also highly beneficial to your baby’s developing brain.

Fish, in particular oily, fatty fish like salmon, is rich in DHA. Your baby needs DHA for the development of her brain and eyes. You need DHA to safe guard your memory, concentration and mood during the exhilarating and  exhausting 9-months of pregnancy.

Now, I know you have heard and read about facts and rumours about contaminants in fish, and this has you asking: but is all fish safe and should I be limiting my intake? Here are a few things to note about fish consumption in pregnancy:

- Some studies have revealed levels of mercury in fish. These levels are highest in big fish, you know the ones highest on the fish food chain. Big fish include tuna and shark. It is best to limit your consumption of fish that have greater levels of mercury;

- A recent study suggests that the beneficial nutrients in fish may safe guard the developing brain from any ill-effects of mercury consumption. This is a very important finding, as it suggests that even if there are small amounts of mercury in the fish we eat, the beneficial nutrients actually counteract any effects. Again suggesting we need to be eating fish;

- The study found no link between mercury levels and a child’s intellectual development. Studies like this may urge governments to revisit the rule: only eat 2  servings of fish a week, and I certainly welcome this change. In this video for The Loop, I talk about the importance of fish in pregnancy, including that an ideal amount of DHA for the developing body is around 3lbs of fish a day! Don’t worry, a supplement works well too;

- It is still best to avoid raw fish in pregnancy, as this may contain contaminants. If you are a sushi lover like me, reach for the cooked fish instead;

- If you have little ones at home, or as your baby grows into a toddler, you might find that a picky eater won’t touch a nice piece of grilled salmon. That’s ok. Try fish cakes or fish pie instead! And always involve your kids in the process of making dinner. This is my number one tip for getting kids to eat what’s in front of them. If they helped make it, trust me, they are more willing to eat it.

So the bottom line: eating fish is important. Choose well and eat 2-3 servings a week of oily fish like salmon, or a lake-caught white fish. And supplement with a good fish oil, like Super DHA Liquid to really ensure your DHA levels are optimal for brain development.

Check out our fish cake recipe here or in the book Sprout Right Nutrition from Tummy to Toddler.

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5 Ways with Oats

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5 Ways with Oats on SproutRight.comA recent study out of Harvard supports what we’ve known for decades––a bowl-full of oatmeal each morning does you good. Although, we’ve always regarded oatmeal as a healthy breakfast, this study is the first of its kind to look at the long-term effects of eating oats.

The study followed 100,000 people for 14 years, measuring various health outcomes and variables. Participants were healthy at the start of the research, in 1984, but by the study’s end, 26,000 had died.

Researchers found that those who ate a diet rich in whole grains – including oats, quinoa and brown rice – seemed protected against many diseases, including heart disease.

The bottom line: for each ounce (28g) of whole grains eaten each day, the risk of death reduced by 5% and heart disease-related deaths by 9%. Previous studies have shown that whole grains (not their refined counterparts), boost gut flora and lower blood pressure. A particular substance in oats has also been shown to lower cholesterol. Very good and promising results are very good, very promising indeed.

So you know eating your oats is good for you! Here are 5 tasty ways to get the beneficial nutrients in, while not getting bored with the same old breakfast.

Gluten-Free Coconut Oat Pancakes

These small cakes cook up to a rich golden-brown. The coconut flour makes them dense, protein-rich and filling.

1 ½ cups ground oats*

1 tsp baking powder

¼ cup coconut flour

1 ½ cups non dairy milk

1 Tbsp coconut sugar (Optional) or honey?

Coconut oil

Begin by mixing together ground oats (*grind whole flake oats in a food processor for a few minutes until a flour forms) with baking powder. Stir in coconut flour. Add non-dairy milk of your choice (try coconut milk!). Add an optional tbsp of coconut sugar. Mix lightly to combine. The batter will be thick.

Drop in small batches on a hot skilled greased with coconut oil. Cook until golden-brown and set.

Soaked Oats (two ways)

Did you know you can also soak whole flake oats overnight in water for a healthy, fast warm- and-go breakfast option. This is particularly good in the warm weather months when you want your oatmeal, but don’t want to cook it every day. Make a large batch on a Sunday or Monday and keep in a container to warm through–with some added  milk, the rest of the week. Try adding chia seeds and frozen blueberries for an extra nutrition kick.

A soaked Swiss style muesli keeps well for about five days. Make on the weekend and eat straight from the fridge or container at work. Mix up the recipe below and prepare for the whole family.

Lovely Soaked Muesli 

(From Sprout Right Nutrition from Tummy to Toddler)

1 cup oats

1 cup quinoa flakes

½ cup mixed seeds (flax, sunflower, pumpkin)

¼ cup chopped dried apricots

¼ cup chopped raisins

Handful chopped dried fruit, nuts or seeds that you like.

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer.

To prepare, put a handful of dry mixture into a bowl. Grate in some apple and cover with milk of your choice. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. Add extra fresh fruit and milk before serving.

Go Faster Granola Bars

(From Sprout Right Nutrition from Tummy to Toddler)

Our Go Faster Granola Bars combine oats with brown rice syrup for a quick and easy breakfast that you can take with you to work. Enjoy with your favourite fruit or smoothie. You’ll be full for hours!

Smoothie

Add a heaping tablespoon of cool, cooked oatmeal (from above) in your morning smoothie. It’s said oatmeal sticks to your ribs, and this smoothie will too! It’ll keep you fuller for longer easing your afternoon cravings for the usual munchies.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy oatmeal?

Photo
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What’s Lurking in Your Fridge?

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Foods lurking in your fridge. Time to throw them out!

What's Lurking in Your Fridge? Understanding Best Before Dates on SproutRight.comLurking at the back of the fridge can be jams, jellies, mustard and other condiments that you’ve had around for the past year. As we start the new year, why not clear out those back corners and see what’s there, what can be thrown out and free up some important real estate. Make way for the new… and the healthy!

Below are some guidelines for different refrigerated foods, and how long they last once opened.

Eggs – can be kept up to 3 weeks after sell by date

Milk – 1 week after sell by date

Almond, soy or rice milk – 7 – 10 days after opening

Cheese – 3 – 4 weeks after sell by date

Cream Cheese – 1 – 2 weeks after sell by date

Yogurt – 7 – 10 days after sell by date

Butter – 1 month after sell by date

Jam – 1 year after opening

Mayonnaise – 2 – 3 months after sell by date

Store bought broth – 4 – 5 days after opening

Salsa – 1 month (if sold unrefrigerated) after opening

Tomato or pasta sauce – 7 – 10 days after opening

Pickles – 1 year after opening

Mustard – 1 – 2 months after opening

Horseradish – 3 – 4 months after opening

Ketchup -  1 month after opening

Salad dressing – 6 – 9 months if sold unrefrigerated and 6 months sold refrigerated, after opening or sell by date

Lunch meat – 3 – 5 days

Most best by or use by dates are the manufacturers estimated time where the product will remain at peak quality. It may last longer than noted above! If you see mould, it’s a good idea to pitch it.

Use a permanent marker to note down open dates on bottles and jars. That way you’ll know what to pitch this time next year!

What’s the oldest food you’ve found in your fridge?

Check out Lianne talking about this same topic on CTV’s Canada AM. Watch the video!

Dealing with Post-Holiday Binge

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Detox from the Holiday Binge on SproutRight.comSo you’ve overindulged on holiday treats. Haven’t we all?! Your clothes may be fitting too tightly, or you are experiencing that insane sluggishness that comes along with all that extra sugar, wheat, dairy and alcohol. What’s worse for you?

First, look at what you have been eating over the last few weeks: those extra chocolates, cookies, festive coffees and drinks. All those extra calories add up and you can start by avoiding as many of them as you can. That’ll be a great start to getting back into your jeans without leaving the top button undone!

Don’t forget though, the pounds go on faster than they come off. Be patient. When your jeans don’t feel baggier in a week, don’t get discouraged (especially if you’ve just started working out). Give yourself at least a month to really notice results, or for others to see and comment. Within six weeks, you should really notice clothes fitting better, and you may even drop a size or two.

To Cleanse or Not to Cleanse

What is a cleanse anyway? There are many variations of the same concept. But the main objective is to take the crap out of your diet: ditch the sugar, gluten, dairy (not that it’s all crap), refined and processed foods. Basically, unless you can trace where it came from, peel it, wash it or cook it yourself, it’s off the list of cleansing foods.

You may come across supplements that induce a ‘cleanse’ of your kidneys and liver, which won’t work unless you make changes to what you are eating.

Cleansing can jump start weight loss, forcing you to follow the rules of the cleanse. But as you start anything, think about what your plans are for when you finish: what happens when the five or seven day cleanse comes to an end? It’s hard on the body to restrict, go through withdrawal, and then go back to where you were before you started. That three-day headache from giving up coffee is worth leaving caffeine alone for longer than a week.

Our cleanse recommendation: Dr Junger’s Clean Diet. The diet includes eating a shake in the morning, and a meal for lunch and dinner. The book has been updated, thankfully, and there are many more recipes to choose from online. It’s a three-week “cleanse” (or you can choose to do it for longer) with food and some supportive supplements. We like that.

Detox, Detox, Detox

Does your body need to detox?

Your body detoxifies every minute of every day: both during the day and especially overnight. All that extra wine, beer, sugar and holiday fare that you ate won’t just come out of your body with a juice detox for three days. Yes, such a detox gives your body a rest from refined foods, grains and meat. But, hormones, waste products, food additives, medications, chemicals like BPA and all that come from your daily bodily processes must be broken down into a form that can be safely eliminated.

There are specific vitamins and proteins important for the two phases of liver detoxification. Think laundry: first wash = phase 1, then drain and spin = phase 2.

Phase 1 needs B vitamins, folic acid, vitamins A and D, antioxidant rich nutrients like C and E, the herb Milk Thistle, calcium and glutathione. These help to up-regulate phase 1.

Phase 2 needs protein: specific amino acids glycine, taurine, glutamine, cysteine and sulphur. Amino acids can come from bone broths that also contain gelatin, from eggs and also from fish. Sulphur is found in eggs, onions and garlic. To take these out of your diet could mean that phase 2 can’t keep up with what phase 1 is passing on.

I wanted to touch on “cleanses and detoxes”‘ because many people seem to think that’s the easy way to lose the weight or “make up” for a few bad days of eating.

So Now What?

Sit down and think about what you want to achieve and the time that you have to put into it. For some, making food every day to follow a cleanse doesn’t fit into their 24-hours. Or that’s the perception. Getting home late from work, dealing with the family, sitting down to your fave TV show swallows up the time that you do have at home. Plan and prep on the weekend to the best of your ability and think about the importance of nourishing food vs that TV show. You may have just freed up another hour. Decide what the foods are that creep in daily–usually sugar, alcohol, wheat and gluten and dairy. Reduce or eliminate those and you’ll be well on your way.

For some of my clients, they make a shake or smoothie every morning. It’s a fast way to get in three fruits, a green veg (kale or spinach), essential fats (flax or hemp oil), and protein in the form of a powder (Complete is our favourite). Then they either have another shake at lunch and a full plate of veggies and protein for dinner. This keeps their blood sugar stabilized and gives their bodies the building blocks for balanced detoxification. You may be different. Let us know if we can help you figure it out.

Take that first step

It takes one step. This seems easy but know that changing anything can be uncomfortable. Change pushes you out of the cozy and comfy spot that you are in, so do expect to feel crappy, crabby and off for maybe three days. The good news is that it won’t last. Depriving yourself of your wine, comforting sweets and indulgences can feel like you are cheating yourself, but hang in there. Don’t buckle and distract yourself with something else. Exercise would be ideal. It will pass and you’ll feel nourished after eating all the good food that you are taking the time to make.

So what is your first step? Contact us and we can help you to make it.

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How to Finish 2014 Healthy and Strong: Part 2

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Resolutions 2015 - SproutRight.com2014 has been an exciting year for many of us; as we achieved new health goals, watched our children grow and enjoyed career and business success. The last few weeks of the year are now here, and in the busy-ness of the holiday season, we are looking for ways to keep healthy and strong right into the final minutes of 2014. We’ve been helping all week long by posting health tips on our Facebook page. And last week, we posted Part 1 of this blog series, all about how you should get plenty of rest each night (including what good sleep hygiene includes) and steering clear of calories at the coffee shop.

Many of us are peering into 2015 with resolutions in the back of our minds; what will this new year bring and what do you hope to achieve? Charting your wellness course for the new year is not only a productive way to focus in on your goals, but it can be a fun activity for the whole family.

Starting around age 7, children can grasp the concept of self-improvement and are old enough to talk with you about what their goals for the new year might be. Children at this age are likely still very visual, so here is a fun activity to do together:

Resolution Collage

Tools

  • Stack of glossy magazines, full of pictures;

  • Scissors;

  • 1 Sheet of large bristol board per participating person;

  • Glue stick;

  • Pen or markers (optional).

Your child can create a title for their pictures, such as “Goals for 2015” or they can choose to not use markers on their piece. Each person goes through the stack of magazines and cuts out pictures that correspond with a particular goal, mood or idea they want to explore in the new year.

Have your child arrange the pictures on their bristol board. They can add drawings if they’d like. Glue the pieces down.

Proudly display your piece somewhere in the house for a continual visual reminder of 2015’s ambitions.

Children of all ages can celebrate the end of the year with you and here is a fun way to capture who they are in this moment. Here is an All About Me printable; fill this out with your little one to capture what she or he is thinking right now. This becomes a wonderful keepsake of their goals, ambitions and likes in 2014.

And continue to check out our Facebook page this week as we post more health tips, like this one:

Slow down! Take 5 minutes each day to just sit in stillness and quiet (up to 15 if you can). With so much happening at this time of year, a moment of rest will give you a chance to find the energy inside of you. Feeling overwhelmed? Try deep belly breathing, expanding your lungs and belly. See your breath reaching your belly button before you exhale.

 

Resolution Image Copyright: feverpitched / 123RF Stock Photo

Finish 2014 Strong with These Health Tips – Part 1

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Tired Around the Holidays? See Sprout Right's Sleep Tips!With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, you may not be thinking about your health. But with so many holiday buffets in our present and near future, and the stress of too much to do, this is exactly the time you should be mindful of how to stay well. I have been talking to many of you lately; and you’ve been asking for healthy tips to end the year strong. Over the last few days we have been sharing these tips on our Facebook page. And we will continue to do so, as well as talking one-on-one with clients about how they can care for themselves and their family (did you know we offer one-on-one consultations and custom meal plans so you can stay on-track, or tackle a tough health problem)?

Stay tuned for more great health tips, and read below for info on the ones we’ve shared so far.

Sleep

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of hitting the sheets early each night so that you wake up feeling refreshed. You log your best shut-eye between the hours of 10pm and 2am. Are you getting that?! Plus, our bodies need at least 7 hours of sleep in order to work optimally. There are many consequences to not getting enough sleep: tired people eat more, crave sugar as a quick energy fix and retain more belly fat, a lack of sleep can contribute to feelings of stress when awake, and your body’s natural fighting ability is compromised, leaving you vulnerable to nasty cold and flu bugs. So get to bed!

Some good sleep hygiene principles you should always follow:

  • Shut-down all computers and devices – ahem, iPads included – several hours before bed. The blue light electronics emit mess with your body’s release of melatonin, the hormone that helps you fall and stay asleep;

  • Sleep in a completely dark room. If you are extra sensitive to light, turn alarm clocks away from you or face down;

  • Avoid heavy meals before bed; all that work your body needs to do to digest it can keep you awake.

  • Don’t consume caffeine past 3pm in the afternoon. Those extra sensitive may need to cut the habit at noon;

  • If you suffer from insomnia, either can’t fall asleep or wake in the night, you may be deficient in certain minerals. Reach out for suggestions.

You are what you drink

And speaking of caffeine … are you drinking too much of it? Now, we don’t want to suggest you give up your cup of joe around the holidays – maybe that’s best left for the New Year – but we do want to make sure you aren’t drinking too much of the stuff. Try to limit your intake to 1-2 cups a day and remember that coffee can be very dehydrating so drink plenty of water to balance. If you need the fix, but want more nutritional bang for your cup, consider a matcha latte instead! Matcha is a whole ground green tea powder, which you mix with hot water. It is rich in antioxidants and has 10x the nutrients of already nutrient-rich bagged green tea. Steam some almond milk to go with your matcha powder and hot water for a tasty treat. You’ll get the same kick you get out of your morning cup of coffee.

And if you’ve succumbed to too many treats or alcoholic beverages the night before, be sure to give your liver a little break the next day: start your morning with warm water and lemon first thing upon rising. A little Vitamin C (try Ascorbate C) – 1000 – 2000 mg – before bed will also help make up for past sins.

The holidays is a time to celebrate! So take care of yourself and your holiday cheer. Follow our tips for a little extra healthy karma to end the year strong. Stay tuned for more tips on our Facebook page.

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Herbs that Heal and Herbs that Harm During Pregnancy

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Herbs That Are Safe for Pregnancy on SproutRight.comBy Kate McMurray, CNP

Pregnancy can come with a host of symptoms – excitement, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, gas, bloating, insomnia, and information overload! You can feel challenged by knowing what to eat, and drink, in pregnancy. Before you throw out everything in your kitchen out of fear that it will harm your baby, check out the information below. Some of the teas in your cupboard may be just what you need to support your body through this amazing and demanding time. As always, you know your body best. Trust your instincts and consult a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Peppermint – a classic helper, this carminative herb (herb for digestive troubles) alleviates gas and bloating discomfort. It’s also a great refresher, giving you a lift when you are low on energy, and helping with headaches. Brew a pot of peppermint tea and enjoy hot or cold.

Ginger – known particularly for providing nausea relief, ginger is also a great immune tonic. If you’re feeling under the weather, try boiling some slices of fresh ginger root. Add a cinnamon stick for a little sweetness.

Nettle – a less known herb, nettle is considered a full body tonic. High in vitamin C, iron, calcium and potassium, nettle is a wonderful herb to support the body during pregnancy. If you aren’t fond of its slightly ‘earthy’ taste combine it with peppermint or rooibos tea.

Chamomile – another carminative herb, chamomile is useful for indigestion and gastrointestinal discomfort. It is also anti-inflammatory and can help with sore throats and nasal congestion. While peppermint can be stimulating, chamomile has a calming effect on the nervous system. If you are feeling anxious or are having trouble sleeping, this may be your tea of choice.

Raspberry – a superstar herb when it comes to pregnancy, raspberry leaves help to tone and strengthen the tissue of the uterus, assisting contractions and helping to prevent hemorrhaging. A cup a day during the last trimester of pregnancy is recommended.

Herbs to Avoid in Pregnancy

Some herbs, known as emmenagogues, can stimulate the uterus and are therefore not recommended during pregnancy. These include Autumn Crocus, Barberry, Golden Seal (I think it’s Goldenseal), Juniper, Male Fern, Mandrake, Pennyroyal, Poke Root, Sage, Southernwood, Tansy, Thuja and Wormwood.  These herbs are unlikely to be in your tea cupboard but may be present in herbal tinctures.

Brew yourself a warm and comforting cup of tea; it is a great remedy for a tired body, and to calm the nerves of providing for a growing, little body. What is in your cup?

*Note this is not a comprehensive list of herbs.

Kate McMurray, CNP works as a holistic nutritionist at The Big Carrot Natural Food Market in Toronto and offers workshops, consultations, lectures and cooking classes throughout the city. Find her at www.katemcmurraynutrition.com

photo credit: Nomadic Lass via photopin cc

Probiotics to Beat the Cold and Flu Season

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Probiotics and Cold and Flu Sprout RightIf your throat is tickled and your nose a little stuffed, you are well aware that we are at the beginning of cold and flu season. I am often asked about cold and flu treatment and prevention because the best nutrition and supplement support can really help you get through the winter feeling great. So do you want to know my secret for staying well while everyone coughs and sneezes around me? I’ll give you a hint, it starts in my gut.

Gut health is absolutely paramount in living well and that brain-stomach connection so very important (and fascinating): we manifest emotion in our gut, feel stress with digestive disturbance. Overall imbalance in there can cause a whole bunch of different ailments. So why are we talking about gut health and not cold and flu prevention? Because a healthy gut full of beneficial bacteria is the key to a strong immune system. A recent study showed these incredible results in children who took 12.5 billion (as in HMF Powder)  CFU probiotics plus 50mg vitamin C (like Ascorbate C) a day:

• 50% reduced duration of cough and cold symptoms;

• 30% reduced incidence of coughs and colds through the year;

• 30% reduced absenteeism from school;

• 50% reduction in coughs and cold medications;

• 40% minimum reduction in visits to the doctor and use of antibiotics.

This now proves my secret for staying well: probiotics.

This isn’t a blog post about cold and flu remedies, though there are a lot of supplements that can really help. This is a round-up of everything probiotic so that you don’t have to get to the treatment phase!

So what are probiotics? And what do I mean by beneficial bacteria? Click here to read all about it.

Not convinced that you need probiotics? Here I am on SunTV talking about why probiotics are so important.

Want to boost your immune system with probiotic-rich foods? Here I talk about the benefits of fermented foods, rich in those good guy bacteria. And here you can learn how to make your own yogurt. I make my own all the time! And it is fun and easy to do (get your kids involved).

Convinced you? Click here to purchase probiotics from our store. I will connect with you after purchase to help you with dosage or see me for a one-on-one session to learn which one is right for you!

I am off to have my probiotic powder, and eat my freshly made yogurt. Have you stocked your gut with bacteria today?!

photo credit: Akane86 via photopin cc

Five Ways to Get your Kids to Eat Fruits and Vegetables

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How to Get Your Kids to Eat Fruits & Veggies- SproutRight.com

Hands up, who struggles with getting their kids to eat fruits and vegetables? Without being able to really see your hand up, I know it’s a large portion of the parent population.

Many of my clients come sit in my office asking how to get their child to eat fruit, veggies or both. While some kids gravitate one way or the other, that doesn’t mean you give up on either food group. The diversity of nutrients from various foods offer a plethora of antioxidants, phytonutrients, minerals, vitamins and components that haven’t been given a name yet.

Here are my top 5 ways to help fruits and vegetables get into your kid(s):

1. Lay the groundwork.

Does your child know why they need to eat fruits and vegetables? Often the missing link is that they really don’t know why they are important to consume every day. Teaching them about the different food groups is essential and the earlier the better. For instance; broccoli is high in calcium and so strengthens bones and teeth. Show a full body x-ray, from a book or online, of a child and adult. Explain how their bones will grow just like in the pictures and the good stuff that’s in broccoli (and many other leafy greens) is what makes them strong for faster running, better climbing, speedier skating and award-winning tumbling and gymnastics.

2. Take them to the market or supermarket with you.

I know it’s faster to get it done on your own, but make a date with your child to do some shopping without a particular time frame. Spend some time in the produce section looking at the colours, textures, shapes and sizes and how each fruit and veggie smells and feels. Base your exploration on your child’s age and for some, they can tell you the colours of the food, count how many oranges or pears are going into your cart, or ask what’s next on the shopping list.

3. Make a plan.

Meal planning makes your life easier! If your child is old enough to help with planning, have them suggest fruits or vegetables to include with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Make up a chart for the fridge or bulletin board. Have homemade or printed photos of fruits and vegetables on magnets or double-sided tape. Have a meal plan chart and ask your child to put the pictures where they want to eat that veggie or fruit. Be sure to include any they don’t like so much and talk about how these can be tried again. Tell them, sometimes foods tastes better than they remember and share any stories of foods that you once chose not to eat, but now love.

4. Get them in the kitchen prepping with you.

If you haven’t noticed, they love to copy what you do. When you spend time in the kitchen mixing and stirring, they want to do the same. I used to keep a chair in the kitchen that could be pulled up to the counter at almost every meal. My kids could see what was going on, and nibble away on what I was prepping. You may find your child will eat what’s on the chopping board more often than when it is served on their plate! Teach your child how to chop with a paring knife first with a soft veggie like mushrooms. Then make a big deal about how he chopped it as you serve dinner to the family. The more they contribute, the more likely they are to eat it.

5. Stop the vicious circle.

When kids are low in nutrients, their appetite can be low they don’t crave or have a taste for healthy foods. I’ve used both tissue salts of 12 different minerals and Juice Plus+ chewable or capsule fruit and veggie powder. A Children’s Heath study from Juice Plus+ has collected data that shows that there’s a 61% increase of kids eating more fruits and veggies, 60% were missing less days at school, 71% were drinking less water and consuming less fast food and soft drinks and 56% were taking less over the counter and prescription medicines. I’ve seen kids in my practice who, after three or four months of taking Juice Plus+ actually wanting to eat fruits and vegetables. Parents report they ask for them instead of sweets or junk food. The feedback I’ve had has been tremendous. Contact us to learn more about JuicePlus+.

It may seem like an endless uphill battle, getting your kids to try new foods and eat more of the good stuff, but it really is an investment of time and energy. While some days may be less than perfect, look for the little improvements and celebrate those!

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