junk food junkies

Have you ever heard of The Fast food Song?  Apparently this song used to be taught to kids in school.  Yikes!  Clever?  Yes.  Catchy?  Yes.  Horrible for teaching our children about health and nutrition?  Absolutely.  Thank goodness schools have since abandoned this mind-numbing song, but marketing unhealthy foods to children remains a stronghold in advertising today.  Catchy commercials  and ‘superhero’ product endorsements are widely and greedily used tactics by big corporations to target our children.  These companies spend millions upon millions of dollars in advertising.  They pay BIG money to bait our children with popular cartoon characters and bright colors.  They pay BIG money hiring scientists to manipulate and chemically alter foods to get our kids wanting more and more and more.  I get it.  It’s not a conspiracy.  These companies have an agenda and their agenda is to sell their product.  Bottom line.  Children are the perfect target.  They are gullible, easy to manipulate, and have the potential to become customers for life.  Cha’ching!

Are these companies to blame for intentionally creating habits that will condemn our children to a lifetime of ill health, including but not limited to obesity, diabetes, and mood disorders?  Or should our focus be put solely on us as parents?  Have we become a nation of brainwashed fools who aren’t educated enough to understand the difference between whole foods full of nutrition and over-processed junk?

Are we being outsmarted by these big corporations?  Are we raising an entire generation of junk food junkies?  Shrek sells.  Spongebob sells.  Scooby-doo sells.  But who’s buying????

Over-processed foods make-up eighty to ninety percent of our supermarket shelves.  The odds are stacked against us, but it is the consumer who dictates the market.  It’s as simple as supply and demand.  Every time a product you purchase is scanned at the check-out, you become an advocate for that particular food or beverage.  Think about it.  What have you been advocating lately?

Our children still have a chance at a healthy life, but it’s up to us as their parents to give them that chance.  If five year-olds are incapable of making proper food choices without the guidance of an adult, how is it that these corporations are WINNING over our kids?  It is in fact the adult that is purchasing this crap, correct?

We need to STOP being a victim of the food industry.

And honestly, the Shrek Twinkies make me want to gag just looking at them.

Advertisements

5 Steps to Mainstreaming Your Children’s Health

5 Steps to Mainstreaming Your Children’s Health:

1.  Educate yourself as a parent.  Do your due diligence.  Research.  Ask questions.

We have become a nation of slackers and frankly it’s getting quite old.  We need to start taking a pro-active approach when it comes to  health.  How can you be pro-active?  You can start by educating yourself.  We have oodles of information at our fingertips and yet we are still a country of obese, diseased, prescription drug addicted individuals.  How is this possible?  Start reading.  No excuses.

2.  Make conscious and informed decisions regarding food, exercise, spiritual well-being, and the environment.

This goes hand in hand with #1.  There has been such a disconnect in regards to our present day food choices.  The American way has led us down the path of “who cares.”  Who cares where your food comes from when it’s readily available and waiting for you just around every corner.  Gone are the days where you actually had to grow your own food or milk your own cow.  Let’s start caring about the impact we can and undoubtedly will create when we make informed choices in all areas of life starting with what we put in our mouths.

3.  Step outside the box.  Change the health landscape.

Have you ever asked yourself why pizza and cake are staple birthday party food items?  Think about it.  We are celebrating a beautiful event by stuffing our faces with processed sugars, artificial additives, etc.  All the things that can cut a life short.  Kinda ironic if you ask me.  I guess it would be okay if it was just one day a year, but it’s happening much more often than that in the average American household.  Will there ever come a time when broccoli and carrots are considered celebratory foods?  If we want to change the landscape, we need to start at HOME.  This is a grassroots movement.  One family at a time.

4.  Implement.  Teach by example.

In my opinion we are only as good a teacher as we are a doer.  Does that make sense?  All I am saying is to live the healthy lifestyle yourself.  This will undoubtedly have the greatest impact on your children’s health.  Children learn by observation.  Think of all the wonderful things you can teach them about life and health through your own positive actions.

5.  Make health a priority.

After all, it’s life’s greatest asset.  By making health a priority you are laying a strong foundation for your children’s continued wellness.  And that, my fellow mommies, is something we can all agree on.

Have a happy, healthy weekend!

philosophies and politics and motherhood – oh my!

All this TIME magazine hoopla got me thinking about the philosophies and politics of mothering.  Simply put, how do we discuss or share our parenting philosophies with others without looking opinionated and judgemental?  Is it possible?  Did Jamie Lynne even stand a chance given the chosen cover photo or that controversial headline?  Is holding a view that is different from some of your mommy friends automatic grounds for tension?  Can we agree to disagree on subjects that we hold so dear?

We all have different ways of nurturing, nourishing, and raising our children.  We all make choices about how to live our lives – What we eat, how we exercise, if we exercise, how we love, who we love, what we learn, how much me learn, where we go, where we work.  We have different sets of priorities.  Most of which we are extremely passionate about and for good reason.

This is me…

My priority is health.  Health for my children, health for my family, health for myself, health for others, health for the planet.  Every single day I ask myself how I can contribute to keeping my children healthy and happy.  Every single day I try to educate myself on a topic whether it be agriculture, politics, chiropractic, health care, pharmaceuticals, supplements, yoga, etc.

From the food we eat to the products we buy to the relationships we build to the love we give – all of the choices we make affect our lives and the lives of others, especially children.

In America today, the rate of chronic disease among children has more than doubled in the past two decades from 11% in the 1990’s to over 25% in the year 2006 according to the Journal of the American Medical Association.  And it’s only getting worse.

According to the 2010 Drug Trend Report, prescription drug use among American children rose by 5% in 2009.  The highest of any other single demographic for the second year in a row.  The report found that more than 1 in 4 insured children are now taking at least one prescription medication to treat a chronic condition such as diabetes, asthma, autism, ADHD, cancer, and arthritis.  The most significant increases over the past 9 years have been seen in the use of antipsychotic, asthma, and diabetes drugs.  There was a HUGE increase (over 150%) in diabetes over the decade seen especially in girls (a 200% increase).  Higher rates in obesity, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), autism, and ADHD have all contributed to significant increases in drugs approved for younger patients.

Bottom line: Our kids are sick.

We need a grassroots movement to change the health landscape in this country.  It needs to start with the foundation and core of our society – OUR FAMILIES.  We NEED to educate ourselves and do all we can to stop this insanity.  We have the POWER to take back our children’s health.

The dilemma…

How do we as moms encourage such debates with our mommy friends?  Or do we avoid them simply to not look like know-it-all’s?  Should our passion for health and wellness be put aside to keep the peace?  Isn’t it about time we engage adults and children in topics relevant to living healthy, happy lives?

If our American way of life fails the child, it fails us all. ~Pearl S.Buck.

What do you think?

lisa

Own it then OM it: part deux

Today has been one of those days.  I have been ‘Owning then OMing‘ my way through motherhood this fine Thursday.  What the heck am I talking about?  I’ll explain.  You know those days that go completely wrong?  You can’t catch up (or a break) no matter how hard you try?  Your babies (while so freaking cute) are driving you bonkers?  You’re throwing together a healthy meal only to find out the chicken isn’t fully cooked (eeew) and your kids WILL NOT eat black beans or chicken anyways?  (Who knew?  They ate it last week.)

These are the times where instead of pulling my hair out, throwing things, and screaming at the top of my lungs – I remind myself to breathe.  Yes, breathe.  I bet you’re thinking, “Ha ha ha, yeah right loony toon.”

No really, I’m dead serious.  When the world is against me (I swear it is sometimes!) I challenge myself to rise above the chaos that is consuming me, recognize where I am, then pull it together.  In other words, “Own it then OM it.”  Does this mean I never get angry?  No.  Does this mean I never raise my voice or get completely frustrated?   Hell no.  It means instead of sinking into the frustration, angst, and anxiety that seems to rear its ugly head routinely in motherhood – I try to own those feelings as they occur and then do my best to let them go.  OMmmmmmmm.

It works, I swear.  It also has the tendency to backfire in certain situations.  I’m not gonna lie.  Example: Sometimes my husband will see me on the verge of going ballistic and utter the words, “Own it then OM it Lisa.”  I look at him in disgust.  Really?  Seriously?  You’re gonna start with that right now?  As our child is knee-deep in toilet water?  Never mind why I was ready to go crazy before,  now all I want to do is kick your ass.  But then again, I know he’s right.

Some more ~Own it then OM it~ times in my life:

When my purse is overflowing with yogurt and goldfish and crayons and Lego’s and stray noodles and cheese sticks and pony tail holders and all I really want is to find my damn wallet and keys –

Own it then OM it.

When my little one thinks that 4:00 am is ‘wake up for the day’ time and my daughter “can’t” go to school because there might be sharks in the fish tank (thank you daddy for introducing our five year-old to Shark Week) and the house is a mess and all I want is the baby to go to SLEEP NOW –

Own it then OM it.

When I finally have date night and I forget how to carefully walk in heels amongst a houseful of toys and I trip and fall flat on my face in my pretty new dress –

Own it then OM it.

When my daughter goes in and out of the house 100 bazillion times in ten minutes and keeps asking me for the same thing and my fire alarm is going off because I’m a terrible cook and my little one is eating cake off the floor –

Own it then OM it.

You can read part 1 here.

Share some of your ‘Own it then OM it’ moments below.

lisa

divine drops: a magic pose for calming fussy babies

Sleep is something I haven’t had in about five years.  More nights than not, I’m bouncing from room to room at 3am.  Cuddling, shoosh-ing, escorting to the bathroom, and getting annoyed that the husband snores right through it all.  Hello.  You’d think he would join me and the kids on our middle of the night escapades.  Honestly though, my kids become “mommy kids” at night.  Anyhow, I can’t say now that it’s all that bad.  Ella knows that on school nights 8pm is bedtime and she’s usually pretty compliant.  She has her snack and reads her books and off to dreamland she goes.  Ethen is three years-old, he goes in at 7:30pm and he’ll usually sleep right on through until 7am. (Although daylight savings has been keeping him up a bit longer.  I think he gets confused when I rally him up for night night and the sun is blazing through his bedroom window.)

Not too long ago though, I was a mom of two kids under two and night-time and nap time and any other time involving fussy, crying babies was always a challenge.  That was, until I discovered a great yoga technique for getting my wee little ones to zonk out.  It’s perfect for newborns through about one year.  So if you’re a new mommy and are having a difficult time getting your precious one to calm down and go nighty night, pay attention.  Divine Drops Pose might just be your saving grace.  It was definitely mine.

An excerpt from one of my absolute favorite mommy and baby books, Itsy Bitsy Yoga by Helen Garabedian:

A Magic Pose

Divine Drops

(Newborn version)

Divine Drops activate my calming reflex and soothe me in a jiffy!  Divine Drops are easy to do with me at anytime and almost anywhere – especially when I am fussy or in a colicky mood.

  1. Stand with your feet more than hip distance apart.
  2. Hold your baby facing you with her legs pressed into your abdomen.  Place your right hand underneath her hips and lower back, and use your left hand to support your baby’s neck and the back of her head.  Her legs are being fully or partially supported as they snuggle into your body.
  3. Turn your toes out to the sides at a 45 degree angle as you prepare to squat.
  4. Inhale, filling your lower abdomen, chest, and arms completely with breath.
  5. Exhale as you bend your knees and quickly drop down into a wide squat while continuing to hold your baby.
  6. On your next inhale, press your feet into the floor and lift yourself and your baby back up into the starting stance.

Repeat 3-10 times and as often as needed throughout the day and night.

Divine Drops
(Older baby version)

photo by: Fit Pregnancy

Variation pose: If your baby becomes addicted to this pose and you become too tired doing it (like at 2am), you can try holding and supporting your baby as you gently bounce on an exercise ball.  I used to do this with Ella as well and it worked!

 ***Always remember to keep your baby’s head in place and supported at all times!***

I hope this works for you!

Here’s to a good night’s sleep.

dr. lisa

Vegan is L❤ve

As a mom who writes children’s books on veganism, Ruby Roth is on a mission to help change the way we see food and the world.  While Roth has recently drawn criticism for her new book ‘Vegan is Love,’ I really believe the overall message she is sending to moms and dads and families across the globe is invaluable.

The harshest criticism this book is receiving according to registered dietician Nicole German:

“...it could easily scare a young child into eating vegan, and without proper guidance that child could become malnourished” and “…children are impressionable and this is too sensitive of a topic to have a child read this book.”

I agree that children are impressionable, but I also believe that it is our responsibility to convey truthful messages to our children without guilting them or instilling fear.  Furthermore, any diet that is not properly overseen by a responsible parent has the possibility or tendency to become unhealthy – not just veganism.  It’s the lack of supervision, not the diet in this case.  Why does the media tend to forget that WE are RESPONSIBLE for raising healthy, well-adjusted kids?

In a video book trailer (below) for ‘Vegan is Love,’

Roth says:

“If we want to move towards an era of solutions where the planet is healing, people are fed and healthy, there is good in the way we do business and a reverence in the world for all living things, then all we have to do is live that life ourselves.”

Whether you are vegan or vegetarian or omnivore – we ALL need to become more connected to our food and to Mother Earth.  As parents we need to teach our children about proper nutrition, why healthy eating is a must, and how every decision we make influences our world.  The best way to do this is to live that life ourselves!

Your children will become what you are; so be what you want them to be.~David Bly

Remember to get your Earth Day on this weekend!

dr. lisa

bunny love

 

I went shopping for my kids Easter baskets this week.  They are beyond thrilled that the hoppity hoppity bunny is on his way!  There is much bunny love going on at our house right now.  Except for the fact that neither of them wants to actually go see the Easter bunny.  Cracks me up!  I get so excited living vicariously through them.  Remember how fun holidays were when we were kids?  I do.  Easter was especially fun with all that yummy goodness I found in my basket!

Instead of mounds of chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, or marshmallow Peeps, I aim to live out a healthier Easter tradition with my kiddos.  A bit different from the way we celebrated Easter as a kid.  I try to be creative and avoid putting tons of candy in their baskets.  They each get one chocolate bunny sucker and that’s pretty much it for sweets.  Instead of sugary treats, I might bag up some healthy snacks or throw some organic fruit gummies in there.  My kids love when they get little ‘gifts’ for Easter and they don’t even notice the amount of candy in their baskets is practically zilch.

Ideas for healthier Easter basket treats:

  • Organic Granola
  • Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies*
  • Organic Trail Mix
  • Homemade oatmeal cookies
  • Organic Raisins*
  • Annie’s Gummy Bunnies*
  • Dark chocolate covered pretzels or raisins
  • Yummy Earth* lollipops, gummy bears, sour worms

Ideas for themed Easter baskets or Easter bags or Easter pails:

  • Garden Basket- Fill the basket with all things gardening!  Gloves, garden tools, seeds, small pots, sun hat, garden mat.
  • Dress-up Basket- Fill it with a tu-tu and wings, superman shirt, batman mask, lady bug costume, etc.
  • Outside Play Basket- Jump rope, chalk, jacks, beach gear, sunglasses, shovel and pal, sunscreen, etc.
  • Arts and Crafts Basket- Paints, crayons, coloring books, art pads, markers.
  • Doll Basket: You can buy a small doll or fill the basket with accessories for a doll your child already has. There are so many doll clothes, shoes, hats, bottles, and bags to choose from.  If you have a daughter, you already know this.
  • My Favorite Color Basket- Use your child’s favorite color for inspiration and fill, fill, fill!
  • Sports/Hobby Basket- Chess lover, make-up artist, dancer, singer…endless possibilities.
  • Book Basket- Your child’s favorite author and an array of new books to read.

There are countless ideas to make this Easter happy and healthy for your family!  All you have to do is think outside the box!

What are you putting in your kids Easter baskets this year?

dr. lisa

*A little FYI:
  • Yummy Earth is certified organic, gluten-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, and has no chemical colors, artificial flavors, or high fructose corn syrup.
  • Annie’s Gummy Bunnies are certified organic and made with 100% daily Vitamin C, no added preservatives, vegan, gelatin-free, gluten-free, and absolutely NO artificial colorings.
  • Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies are non-gmo and no sugar added.
  • Newman’s Own Organic Raisins are USDA certified organic  and high in antioxidants.