SalmonBerry

Posts Tagged ‘water’

Healthy Lunches for Kids

In Nutrition on October 21, 2015 at 4:20 am

“Time’s fun when you’re eating flies.” – Kermit the Frog

healthy lunches

Nobody likes packing school lunches. I used to put way too much pressure on myself to make it balanced even though my kids would rather run around during lunch time than eat (they consistently tell me they “don’t have enough time” to eat lunch). I am fine with this BUT kids do need nourishment to make it through the long school days that, honestly, seem pretty intense compared to what I experienced during my childhood. I wish they had more time for both playing AND dining. I find these two things to be most essential to life and wouldn’t it be nice if our schools could reinforce that? To that end, at my home, I’ve focused more on providing a solid, balanced breakfast than putting all my energy into lunch but that’s another post.

For some guidance in packing a healthy, balanced lunch that a kid might actually eat…see below:

  1. Three main elements to a healthy meal: protein, healthy (plant-based) fats, carbohydrates (mostly from fruit & vegetables). Proteins: tofu squares, hard-boiled eggs, lunch meat (nitrate-free), leftover meatballs, breakfast sausage, grilled chicken, hummus, edamame/other beans. Fats: olives, nuts, seeds, avocado, cheese, hummus. Carbs: whole fruits, raw or roasted veggies, whole wheat pasta spirals, mini whole wheat pitas, whole grain crackers, hummus, edamame/other beans.healthy snack
  2. Aim for fruits and vegetables making up 1/2 the meal.
  3. Evaluate the “healthy-ness” of the lunchbox, by noting the ratio of pre-packaged foods to whole foods that you have packaged yourself. Skip almost any food labeled “kids” or specially packaged for kids as they are usually loaded with sugar (think yogurt squeezers and fruit chews) and/or heavily manipulated to not resemble the whole food’s origin.
  4. Dip It! Besides ranch, try smashed avocado alone or mixed into mild salsa, nut butters with a drizzle of honey or mixed with fruit-sweetened jam, or hummus (do some taste-testing to find a hummus your kids will love!). Hummus covers all 3 healthy lunch elements so it’s worth finding a favorite brand.
  5. Easy on the candy bars masquerading as granola/energy bars. Good choices are salmonberry barLarabars, Kind Bars (without chocolate), and GoMacro Bars. These bars are both heavy on the nuts which provides plenty of protein and satisfying fats as well as fiber which is important for regulating blood sugar and energy. Kind and GoMacro have added sweeteners but sugar grams are reasonable and are balanced by the high fiber content.
  6. Facilitate the eating of less popular fruits & veggies by combining them with favorites that you know they will eat. Examples: pineapple & blackberries, carrots & apple slices, cucumber & orange slices, bell peppers & sliced grapes. The flavors mingle making veggies more palatable. Obviously, this strategy won’t work on the “separatist” children!
  7. WATER, WATER, WATER. A hydrated child is focused and calm within a healthy and cooperative body. There are no good reasons to give your child a juice box or even milk. If you must pack milk, give them whole, plain milk. Flavored, as well as low fat or 2%, milk, is piling on the carbs. Whole milk is more satiating and allows for a balanced metabolic response.
  8. Resist packing your child a dessert (at least not daily). Yes, sweet is one of the five flavors that, if included within a meal, will lead to palate satisfaction; however, this flavor can be addressed using fruit as opposed to a cookie. The habit of needing something sweet after every meal contributes to a life-long sweet addiction, potential future weight issues, or other health concerns such as an imbalance in the gut microbiome affecting mood, hormones, and nutrient uptake.

For accessible, evidence-based nutrition guidance that is current, check out The Nutrition Source by Harvard School of Public Health. Great resource website and they have a better version of the Healthy Plate (a graphic your kids may be familiar with…).

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Watermelon-Cucumber Salad

In Nutrition, Recipe, Yoga on August 22, 2013 at 6:01 am

watermelon-cucumber saladI recently returned to hot yoga after swearing it off (for all of eternity) years ago. I optimistically bought a 10-class series (does anyone want to buy the remaining 5 classes?). In August. And I consistently went to late evening classes after long summer days. I honestly don’t remember thinking too deeply when I made these decisions. Shocked, right? After class I would find my dripping wet self, standing at my kitchen counter, chugging water and shoving blue corn chips in my mouth like I’d been lost in the desert for 3 days. And, I thought, there must be a better way to recover from this torture. As opposed to, you must never go back to those classes (for a hilarious account of one’s first hot yoga class, read this).

Anyway, when you sweat to the extent that most people do in hot yoga or football practice in Southern Florida or watermelon juice on beachcinder block-laying in Mainland Mexico you lose a TON of water AND salt! Coconut water and Kombucha will not properly rehydrate you under these circumstances, people. You must drink a lot of plain water and replenish your sodium and chloride stores (with actual salt!) thus rebalancing your electrolytes and your blood pressure. That’s what Gatorade is – salty water with a bunch of sugar to cover the saltwater flavor – and harmful food dyes. Contrary to popular belief, coconut water is not “Nature’s Gatorade” as it lacks (in large enough quantities) the two electrolytes actually lost during sweating – sodium and chloride.

This quick recipe is exactly what you need to rehydrate and refresh after a long day in the sun or an ill-timed, hot yoga class. Watermelon and cucumber are two of the highest water-content fruits and paired with some salt, crunch, and spice…you can’t go wrong.

Combine the following:

1/2 mini watermelon, cubed

1 english cucumber, peeled & cubed

salt and lemon1/2 lemon, juiced

1-2 TBSP olive oil, drizzled

Himalayan salt (pinch or 2)

Pepitas (tamari toasted are even better!), tossed on top

Cayenne (shake or 2)

OR – to simplify and tone it down the heat – substitute Seaweed Gomasio for the salt, pepitas, & cayenne

A little bit of fat and protein but mostly water, sugar, fiber, and salt. Serves 2-4 people depending on dehydration levels!

Chakra Salad

In Nutrition, Recipe on April 18, 2013 at 11:34 pm
photo (42)

Chakra Salad

Springtime is the perfect time to gorge on fresh, sun-soaked vegetables. Raw veggie salads are high in fiber, water, and antioxidants, especially colorful ones like this salad of purple cabbage, red peppers, and carrots. It’s important to dress your salads with healthy monounsaturated oils which allow fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) to be fully absorbed and utilized by your body. The fats in this salad come from a perfect combo of nuts, seeds, and avocados. High fiber will keep you feeling full and fats will keep you satisfied. Don’t be shy with the dressing. Its only 30 calories per tablespoon so dress it up and enjoy this power-packed salad that is perfect for hot weather. Sweet, nutty, crispy, crunchy…YUM!

Peanutty Dressing

chakra salad dressing

Sesame oil, tamari, apple cider vinegar, peanut butter.

Whisk together:

1/4 c raw peanut butter + 1/4 c coconut water + 1/2 c apple cider or rice vinegar

Then add:

3 T honey

1 t salt

1 T tamari or Bragg’s liquid aminos

1 T raw sesame oil

Raw Shredded Salad 

(high in vitamins A, C, K, B6, and folate and manganese and phosphorous)

chakra salad ingredients

Purple cabbage, red pepper, green onion, orange carrot.

Toss together:

4 cups purple cabbage – finely shredded

1 red pepper – thinly sliced

5 scallions – green parts, chopped

2 carrots – grated

Top salad with:

raw sunflower seeds

unsweetened coconut flakes

avocado

2 cups salad mix + 1 T coconut + 1 T sunflower seeds + 1/4 diced avocado + 3 T dressing

= 295 calories, 19g of fat, 9g fiber, 16g sugar, and 9g of protein.

Lemon Water

In Nutrition on March 31, 2013 at 2:16 am
Filtered water with lemon. First thing every morning.

Filtered water with lemon. First thing. Every morning.

Implementing this simple and totally un-original morning habit still seems to elude most people. The first thing to do upon waking is hydrate (then eliminate, but that’s another discussion!). Before you put anything else in your mouth…this means coffee, tea, green juice…chug some warm or room temp lemon water first.

At night, I place a 16oz bottle of filtered water on my kitchen counter next to my French press pot. I wake, stumble to the kitchen, turn on the tea kettle, squeeze 1/2 a Meyers lemon (any organic limes or lemons will do) into the water bottle and down at least 8oz while I prepare my coffee. Done. 

How: Squeeze 1/2 Meyers lemon into a bowl, scoop out seeds, combine with 16oz filtered water, drink ALL of it.

Why: To rehydrate body after 8+hrs of fasting, to encourage morning elimination, to replenish vitamin C (water-soluble vitamin that requires daily ingestion), to purify the breath, and to increase production of bodily fluids.