Archive for category: Nutrition

Don’t fall off your resolutions ~ Healthy Winter Breakfast You’ll Love

hearty, healthy breakfast

Health and fitness are one of the highest areas of concern as people face their New Year’s resolutions, commitments, issues, or interests.  By whatever name you use, let’s face it, sticking to it past the first week or month can be a challenge.  Having go-to solutions that work and are delicious is a huge help in being successful when we’re adding or changing habits.  So in support of your health, here’s a delicious, hearty, healthy breakfast.

Here’s one of my favorite wintertime recipes ~ no instant mush here; we only go for the real thing! When I opened the pantry, I saw orange flavored dried cranberries I’d picked up last week and a jar of Blue Agave sweetener a girlfriend turned me onto and was inspired.  If you’re like me and not a fan of raisins, you’re in for a treat.

Since we eat first with our eyes, presentation is key, especially when feeding kids.  This breakfast delights the senses, is delicious, and will keep you going all morning!

For more ease on school mornings, set ingredients out the night before, measured and ready to go.  Cooking and assembly is a snap and the kids are out the door with a warm belly and a delicious nutritious treat to fuel their morning.

Amazing Oatmeal -1 serving

1 cup water
½ cup Old Fashioned Whole Oats
dash salt
2-3 tsp finely ground flax seed
4-6 walnut halves, chopped or broken
1 tbls dried cranberries (orange flavored add a delicious pop and variety)*
Maple syrup or raw Blue Agave (at Trader Joe’s)
warmed almond milk (or other milk of choice) – ditch the microwave and use stove top pan
warmed bowl – turn upside down on lid while oatmeal is cooking or warm on low in toaster oven

* try any other fruit of choice; small apple or pear chunks, bananas, blueberries etc.

Bring salted water to a boil; add oats and simmer till thickened, approximately 4-5 minutes.  Stir in flax seed.  Transfer to warmed cereal bowl, top with nuts, cranberries and drizzle with syrup.  Add warmed milk (stay away from the microwave and use your stove top) and enjoy!

You can’t go wrong with whole grains and blood sugar-steadying fiber so this makes oatmeal an easy and ideal breakfast.  Additional benefits: it’s whole grain, gluten free, walnuts are brain food and much more, flax seed provides omega 3 oils and more, and cranberry provides antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits.  It’s wholesome, beneficial, and nutritious so get ready for a deeply gratifying delicious meal and welcome to the New Year!

For more tips, solutions, and strategies for healthy eating, see our other blogs www.MomsHealthZone.com/blog, join our community, and share your wisdom.

The Best Fall Fruits and Vegetables

One of the best ways to stay healthy in any season is to incorporate fresh produce into your daily diet. Help your family eat healthier this fall by picking up some of fall’s best produce options. Use the resource link on our site to locate farmer’s markets or Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s) in your area.  http://momshealthzone.com/resources/ or check for local produce at your grocery store for these fresh fall fruits and vegetables.

The Best Fall Fruits

Apples: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. This is probably because apples are high in vitamin C and fiber, and are packed with antioxidants, which may help prevent chronic illness and slow aging. Apples come in a wonderful variety of flavors, textures and sizes, so this fall fruit is a great quick treat for anyone on-the-go. One of our favorites is the Honey Crisp; check it out!

Cranberries: A fall fruit most commonly found dried, juiced or canned, cranberries have a number of health benefits no matter how they are consumed. Fresh cranberries are at their best October through November. According to Kelly Fitzpatrick, “Research suggests cranberry concentrate can help prevent urinary tract infections and fresh cranberries can prevent oral diseases and slow the growth of breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancers.” We just found a delicious recipe using yams and we substituted dried cranberries for the golden raisins and it was absolutely delicious! We didn’t toast the pistachios either so the green color adds to a beautiful presentation. We eat first with our eyes so putting attention on presentation adds to the enjoyment factor at mealtime. http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2012/10/roasted-yams-with-citrus-sauce?printable=true

Pears: These sweet fall fruits hail from either Europe or Asia, although the European varieties like Bosc and Bartlett are most common in the U.S. and grow on the west coast during fall. “Pears are high in soluble fiber, which helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol, or LDL. To get that daily dose of fiber or to satisfy a sweet tooth, incorporate pears into anything from savory entrees to creative cocktail recipes,” says Fitzpatrick.

The Best Fall Vegetables

Beets: While beets may be available year-round, they are at their best in the fall. Look for firm, smooth bulbs and bright, crisp greens. Be sure to trim these right away though, since the green, leafy part can leech the beets’ nutrients including betaine, a compound that may help prevent heart and liver disease, and nitrate, which may increase blood flow to the brain and potentially reduce risk of dementia.

Brussels Sprouts & Cabbage: Both of these fall vegetables are packed with vitamins C and A. They’re also packed with a high concentration of cancer-fighting glucosinolates.

Pumpkin: Pumpkins aren’t just for decorating anymore. Their sweet flesh makes a wonderful soup and is also good in risotto. The pumpkin flesh is also high in vitamins A and C in addition to folate. Pumpkin also offers a wealth of alpha- and beta-carotene, which can be converted into retinol to promote healthy vision and cell growth.

At Moms Health Zone we’re dedicated to helping you keep you and your family healthy. Check out our other blog posts to see what we’re all about.

Lactose Intolerance in Teens – What You Need to Know

Lactose intolerance is extremely common in people of all ages. According to MedlinePlus, approximately 30 million Americans have some degree of lactose intolerance by the time they reach 20. People with lactose intolerance do not produce enough lactase, a natural enzyme that helps the body digest lactose. The only way to prevent the symptoms of lactose intolerance is to live a dairy-free lifestyle. This means avoiding traditional pizza, ice cream and more, and for most teens this can be incredibly difficult. It’s very important to find foods that lactose intolerant teens will love to eat.

The symptoms of lactose intolerance, while not life-threatening, are very uncomfortable and easily preventable. “The most common symptoms of lactose intolerance include diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, bloating and gas,” according to Livestrong.com. “The severity of symptoms may differ among individuals, based on sensitivity to lactose.” These symptoms usually begin within 30 minutes of consuming lactose. Luckily, substituting products containing dairy with lactose-free products easily prevents these symptoms. Read more →

Portion Control for Your Family

In the last ten years, portion sizes have gotten much bigger, which makes having a healthy diet even more difficult. This makes portion control even more important. One of the keys to a healthy diet is good portion control, and the key there is knowing how much of which foods you should be eating. My goal in creating Moms Health Zone was to provide other moms with easy ways to improve the health and well being of their families. A critical way to improve your family’s health is to encourage a healthy diet. These portion guidelines will help you do just that.

One great way to make sure you have the correct portion size is to change the size of your plate. Smaller plates lead to smaller servings. Medicine.net has put together a great set of guidelines to help guide. “A serving is a specific amount of food, and it might be smaller than you realize. Read more →

Back to School Breakfasts, Lunches and Snacks

Now that kids are back to school, how do you prepare for faster breakfasts, lunches and snacks? As I shared in my meal planning post, The Mommy’s Coach and Wildtree are fantastic resources for busy moms to check out, and a lot of their suggestions and insights can be folded into breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

What are some general guidelines to keep in mind when planning meals for your kids as they head back to school?

  1. Keep it simple. Boy, this could be a mantra for just about everything ☺. You’re not doing yourself any favors by making breakfasts, lunches and snacks complex. Make meals and snacks as close to their base form as possible, such as a banana and yogurt or a piece of leftover chicken in a whole grain pita pocket. Read more →

Pasta con Zucca from Spring Warren’s “Quarter-Acre Farm”

Butternut SquashHere’s a delicious pasta recipe I found that I absolutely love!

My modifications or suggestions are in pink, though our rule of thumb with first time recipes is to make them per the instructions, see what we think and then modify according to our preferences.  So check it out and let us know what you think.  It’s from Spring Warren’s “Quarter-Acre Farm” cookbook.  Enjoy! Read more →

Grocery Store Tips: Healthy Eating Begins with Your Shopping Cart

An important step to healthy eating is stocking your kitchen and pantry with good quality food. As FoodMatters.tv reminds us, you are what you eat, which is why it’s important to limit your shopping cart to food that will provide your family with whole, natural nutrition. What should you keep in mind during your next grocery store trip?

I’ve summarized advice from Reader’s Digest below and added my own 2 cents in italics:

  • Buy fresh food! Pick up fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, juices, and dairy. The local farmer’s market is your best friend this time of year. The picture in this post is from one of many produce choices from my market on Sunday. What a thrill for the senses! If you do frozen, make sure it’s just the food and nothing but the food. Many times frozen can be more nutritious than ‘fresh’ in the store because it’s frozen soon after harvest and locks in the nutrients. Avoid canned whenever possible. Although Eden Organic brand is the only one I know of right now that has BPA free linings for their cans. You can find them at Whole Foods or check online for other locations. Read more →

Meal Planning for Busy Moms

Meals are a fantastic opportunity for families to get together and enjoy each other’s company. Sometimes, though, meal planning can be stressful for many of us Moms. It can be daunting to plan healthy meals for the family seven days a week. One of my more laughable but oh-so- real moments was when I realized, “4:00 surprises me every day!” How does that happen? Well for me, it’s a busy schedule and no planning. That frustrating feeling of ‘it shouldn’t be this difficult’ is one of the reasons I created Moms Health Zone. I’m committed to having a rich family life that isn’t chaotic, so here are resources I’ve found and used to help plan quick and healthy meals our family enjoys. When the stress of meal preparation is gone, not only can you enjoy more quality time together, but the quality of your meals in significantly improved. Read more →

Healthy Summer Snacks

Summer is a magical time for children. No school, no homework, no gross cafeteria food. But for moms, summer presents a whole new set of challenges, the biggest of which is feeding your children. I know you want to feed your kids healthy snacks, but I also know you don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. I’ve put together a list of some great resources for recipes. These snack ideas are delicious for the kids, and healthy for all.

Bohemian Bowmans list of five easy and healthy summer snacks is a great place to start. Her children love almost anything frozen as well as fresh fruit, so she makes them apples and peanut butter or bananas with cinnamon and fun frozen treats. Read more →

Antioxidants Packed in MonaVie MX Keep You Healthier

Antioxidants are all the rage lately, and for good reason. There are many health benefits of antioxidants. Dr. Richard Cutler, former Director of the National Institute of Aging, Washington has said, “The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.” A diet high in antioxidants has been proven to help prevent heart disease, improve your immune system and even to slow the signs of aging. MonaVie has formulated MX (pronounced MAX), which has the punch of more than two-dozen antioxidants in their purest form and is equivalent to 30 servings of powerful fruits and vegetables. For those moms out there struggling to get their kids to eat fruits and vegetables, this is an effective, absolutely delicious, fun, and highly nutritious way to give them their 10-13 servings a day. Yes, you read that right: 10-13! Most kids are lucky if they’re eating 1-2 servings (and in the US, that usually means most of those are lettuce, ketchup, potatoes and pickles). Read more →