Stress Fighting Food and Energy Gaining Treats

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Stress is one of the most damaging factors to our health. Stress does not discriminate and it can affect anyone of any age and gender. We all deal with stress at one point in our lives whether it’s mental stress, physical, or emotional. But we don’t have to let stress rule our lives. We alone have the ability to reduce the daily stress in our lives.

As a long time supporter of food as medicine, I can’t stress enough the importance of how food plays a critical role in our lives. Famous Greek physician Hippocrates was quoted:

“Let food by thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”

How true is that statement when even ages ago, food was revered as a main source of medicinal purpose. We are truly what we eat and what we eat should be beneficial to our health and to the health of our planet. If you’re finding it harder to find fresh and healthy food in your area, there are still many ways of getting healthy fruits, vegetables, and grains into your life. You can grow your own food, which, depending on the type, can actually produce a good harvest in a couple of months. Of course growing your food alone won’t sustain you, but keeping a readily available crop year-round is quite beneficial for you and your family.

Below I’ve listed easy to find food as well as food that you can buy online and grow your own. And in the next segment, healthy snacks and treats for kids that are beneficial and easier for them to eat at times of stress.

FOODS THAT FIGHT STRESS:

Vitamin C foods: Oranges, Broccoli, Papaya, Strawberries, Sweet potatoes, Cantaloupes, and Brussels sprouts.

Green Tea is rich in antioxidants and antibacterial properties. Due to its catechin called epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), catechins are natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and provide other health benefits. Plus, green tea is delicious and can be used in cooking as well.

Berries: Blueberries, Strawberries, Blackberries, Gogi berries, and Golden berries.

Nuts: Walnuts, Pistachios, Brazil Nuts, and Almonds.

Ginger.

Lavender.

Leafy Greens: Spinach and Kale are top leafy green Powerfoods!

Chocolate.

FOODS TO AVOID:

Excess caffeine. Too much caffeine can make us all pretty edgy.

Processed Foods. Processed foods are stripped of important nutrients that our body and mind needs.

Artificial sweeteners. Some studies show that artificial sweeteners affects our neurotransmitters putting our moods and bodies out of sinc.

Excess alcohol. Alcohol stresses our bodies and requires an immense amount of energy for our bodies to metabolize.

High sodium foods. High sodium foods can elevate blood pressure and bloating which just weighs our body down.

Excess refined sugar. Refined sugar greatly affects our blood sugar levels and produce that “high-low” feeling.

HEALTHY TREATS FOR KIDS:

Homemade ice treats. Make some iced treats at home using ingredients that you might already have at hand. Try making ice cream, popsicles, and refreshing smoothies. Use real fruits and vegetables for these ice treats and add in fruit juice and/or dairy (plant-based or animal protein). While most fruits and juices are already pretty sweet, you can also add in a teaspoon of honey (be sure your child is not allergic) to give it an extra boost of nutrition. Try this easy and nutritious fruit smoothie: https://www.marthastewart.com/332804/fruit-smoothie. Ice treats such as popsicles and smoothies give kids the power to choose what kinds of fruit they want in their treats. Help them choose by selecting fruits with lots of vitamins and minerals as listed above.

Granola. Whether granola is homemade or store bought, there are many benefits to this energy boosting snack. Granola is usually made from cooked oats, nuts, and some type of fruit, but if you do make them at home, you can add literally anything to it. Try sweetening it with cocoa nibs or chocolate chips, honey, or maple syrup. Include brain boosting ingredients such as chia seeds or flax seeds. Granola for kids can be easy or complicated. Choose ingredients that you know your kids will enjoy such as dried cherries, nuts, or chocolate chips.

Fruit Kabobs. Just like the traditional kabobs you find at restaurants or on your own grill, fruit kabobs are delightful sticks of freshly cut fruit. You can also dip the fruit in yogurt or chocolate beforehand to give it some uniqueness and extra flavor. Fruit kabobs are pleasing to the eye and palate. Kids usually associate food with their senses so make adorable fruit kabobs for them to hold onto and munch on. Check out this very unique fruit kabob with french toast: https://www.marthastewart.com/343289/french-toast-kebabs.

Popcorn. Popcorn is such an iconic treat for both children and adults. Just be sure to buy or make popcorn from organic and/or non-GMO corn. You can also sprinkle on some turmeric powder, low fat grated cheese, or drizzle with melted honey. Store bought popcorn tends to be full of salt and sugar so be sure to read the ingredients carefully. Plus, popcorn is a filling treat for kids to have afterschool or in between meals.

Dried fruit. If your kids love fruit, then have them try dried fruits. Dried fruits are packed with nutrients due to the method of drying fruit. And they’re easy to cart around when you’re on the go or need something that can be mixed into other recipes. Popular dried fruit for kids include, dried apples, dried pineapples, and dried mangoes.

As long as you remember that food closely associates to our health, then you can always make better choices. Take some time to evaluate what causes you stress or fatigue and check out your own refrigerator and pantry.

Happy Healthy Eating!

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please read the ingredients carefully when trying new products.

Please read the labels and ingredients carefully and follow all manufacturer’s instructions (if any). The products selected for the giveaway were generously donated by the companies/PR to help readers learn more about their products. The winner’s choice in using/consuming these products are entirely up to the winner and will not hold the author and her family liable nor the companies/PR liable. These products are made with non-toxic ingredients but always be safe with what you use and consume.

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You are what you eat – Foods that are rich in Vitamins

I look forward to Summer not because of the warmer weather, but mainly for the abundancy of sweet and delicious fruits that will be available. Watermelon, peaches, nectarines, corn, strawberries, and so forth. Sure, I can probably buy those fruits that have been shipped from other countries, but really, do I want to eat a piece of fruit that was sitting on a tree 10,000 miles away? No, I think I prefer fresher fruits and vegetables that were locally grown.

I was raised at an early age to eat lots of fruits and vegetables. My husband was not. So I try to teach my son to eat lots of fruits and vegetables so that when he gets older, hopefully he’ll continue with this good habit.  Thankfully, he loves his fruits and vegetables.  Now I’m not saying that we don’t indulge in the occassional “junk food” in our household, we just don’t eat them every day and I don’t buy them often so they’re not tempting us. And whenever possible, I try to buy healthier junk foods. Are there healthier junk foods you may ask? Well, they’re just not loaded with a lot of unnecssary ingredients like refined sugar, hydrogenated oils, trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and other health-depleting ingredients.

Have you ever heard of the saying, ” You are what you eat”? Well, I find that mostly true, especially in the U.S. where food is so abundant and accessible. But, are we all in danger of eating too much processed food and food ladened with hydrogenated fat and toxic chemicals? I believe we still are since obesity is still on the rise, and more so in children nowadays. After all, if you teach your children to eat and live a healthy lifestyle at a young age, most likely they’ll carry that trait into their adult years. Fresh fruits and vegetables are not only a staple in our household, but it’s a necessity. Besides being a vegetarian, I find that fresh fruits are really delicious and sweet! Some of them more so than a piece of candy or cake. We always have at least one or two varieties of fruit in our house, and when the warmer season comes, I’ll be buying a lot more yummy fruits at the local farmers market or natural grocery store.

Since I was raised to eat healthy and to be more conscious of what I eat, I try to teach my son that same lesson. And being raised in a family of doctors and health experts, I’ve also done my own research as well as learned from my family members. But it’s no mystery to know that eating foods rich in important vitamins and minerals is the key to living a healthier lifestyle and in most cases, prevent certain diseases and disorders. And to add icing on the cake, so to speak, eating foods that are organically grown enhances your chances of living a healthier life. Organically-grown foods are grown without the use of toxic pesticides, they’re not genetically modified, and they’re also grown in organic soil. Thus, they are providing a healthier product for the consumer and for the planet. However, not everyone has the means to eat organic food all of the time. Yes, it’s important to do so, but if it’s not possible, then eat as much locally and fresh or “raw” foods as possible. Below, I’ve listed the important reasons to eat food that are rich in vitamins and minerals and how they can help you live a healthier lifestyle.

* Green food such as kale, broccoli, bok  choy, spinach, collards, watercress, and arugula contain chlorophyll which helps eliminate environmental toxins in the body and protects the liver.

* Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C such as lemon, oranges, tangerines, cantaloupe, strawberries, tomatoes, kiwi, and red bell peppers help protect the cells from free radicals and is a natural detox vitamin.

*Garlic is excellent in antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal purposes and has been provent to prevent certain type of cancers. It’s also excellent in helping to reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure as well as fight certain infections.

*Ginger is best known for its assistance with stomach and intestinal problems. It also helps in flushing out toxins in the liver and kidneys. It’s also been known to shorten the length of the common cold and flu.

*Whole Grains such as brown rice, barley, and quinoa are full of soluble fiber which soaks up toxins in the body so that they’re more easily flushed out. Fiber also promotes easier digestion further down the road.

Below is a list of 12 common foods that contain the most pesticide residue even after careful washing or peeling. These are crucial in buying and eating organic:

1- CELERY   (THE WORST)                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

2- PEACHES   (THE WORST)

3- STRAWBERRIES   (THE WORST)

4- APPLES

5- BLUEBERRIES

6- NECTARINES

7- BELL PEPPERS

8- SPINACH

9 – CHERRIES

10 – KALE/COLLARD GREENS

11- POTATOES

12 – GRAPES (IMPORTED)

These are just guidelines on what is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. The math is pretty simple – you eat well, then you’ll feel well. Of  course as an individual, you should always do your own research before trying anything new or different.

Wishing you good health!

World Vegetarian Awareness Month in October

I’ve been a vegetarian for many years. I started when I was in 6th grade after I saw a dog catcher trying to catch a stray yet cute little dog and how he nearly strangled the dog in the process. I tried to help the dog by telling the dog catcher that he belonged to a neighbor. I remember the dog catcher looking at me skeptically and then decided to let the dog go. Afterwards, I ran home to tell my mom and I gave the dog a bowl of water and some dog food. For some strange reason, the connection with the dog catcher and the dog being so ill-treated led me to become a vegetarian. I remembered my mom just happened to be serving hot dogs for lunch that same day and I respectfully declined them not wanting to eat any “dogs”. From then on, I told my mom  that I no longer wanted to eat meat. My mom, who has a gentle soul, understood my reasonings but being a mom, was also concerned that I wouldn’t get enough protein or iron.

I stayed a vegetarian for many years after that but because my mom wanted me to be sure I got the proper amount of nutrition in my growing body, tried to encourage me to go back to eating meat. I think she was just  thinking of it more from a mother’s point of view and worried that her child wasn’t getting the proper nutrition. I was also a picky eater so that didn’t help the cause. So, I went to eating absolutely no meat to eating chicken only.

And then a few years after that, I realized that eating chicken only deviated from my original motivation in becoming a vegetarian so I decided to stop eating chicken and returned to being a vegetarian. I recalled some of my peers thinking I was strange because vegetarianism back then wasn’t a popular choice nor did people truly understand the reasons to being a vegetarian.

Well, nowadays more and more people are becoming more aware of the personal and social responsibilities in not eating meat and it’s no longer being held “strange” for not wanting to eat a cow, chicken, pig, or seafood. Their are many negative health ramifications to eating too much meat as well as the destructive impact it has on animals and the planet.

Please feel free to take a more in depth look at the reasons to becoming a vegetarian. Click on the link below for more information from the sponsors of World Vegetarian Day and you can enter to win up to $1000 for taking the pledge!

http://www.worldvegetarianday.org/

Go Veggies!

Earthbound Farm – Products worth reviewing

When I think of the name Earthbound Farm, it conjures up images of lush green fields and tall, elegant apple trees shading nearby farmhouses. It makes me want to kick off my shoes, sit on the porch at the farmhouse and sip ice-cold lemonade. Well, it seems that their company name actually does live up to it’s portrayal of a sprawling farm with an extensive selection of organic vegetable fields and fruit orchards. They even have a farm stand open to the public where fresh fare is prepared on the premises and opened 7 days a week.

I love organic produce (as you can probably tell by my other posts) and the fresher they are, the more nutritious and delicious they are. Earthbound Farm is the largest grower of organic produce in the United States and the largest producer of organic salad greens. You can’t get any fresher produce than Earthbound Farm outside of growing your own fruits and vegetables. And because they are certified organic and carries the USDA Organic label, you know that you can trust their produce to be of the finest quality, unsurpassed by any other organic farms in the nation.

Earthbound Farm has a charming background. It all started with a young couple migrating from Manhattan who fell in love with the beauty and the splendor of a small, quiet town in Carmel, California. Their modest beginnings with a tiny farm of just 2.5 acres growing organic produce later became the nations largest organic produce growers with over 35,000 acres. And their dedication in providing the public as well as their family and staff  with healthy, non-toxic produce remains steadfast.  Their promise to themselves and to their consumers is straightforward – avoid the use of toxic fertilizers and pesticides; does not use genetically modified organisms (GMO’s); avoid the use of petroleum-based pesticides; fight global warming by absorbing carbon dioxide; provide constant food safety standards; uses only post-consumer recycled plastic for their salad packages; shipping cartons are made from 99% post-consumer corrugate; uses biodiesel in their farming equipment; uses 100% post-consumer recycled office paper for all their copiers, printers, and plain-paper; planted trees with American Forests every year to offset greenhouse gas emissions from their energy use and many other assurances to guarantee the safety and integrity of the planet and its inhabitants. With these strict guidelines set in stone, Earthbound Farm remain unwavering in their excellent production of organic produce.                                                                                                http://www.ebfarm.com/AboutUs/EnvironmentalStewardship/index.aspx

The company who started out small believes in giving back big. They believe that being a “catalyst for positive change” is the best way to promote a positive and healthier future for everyone. Earthbound Farm believes in helping their communities by supporting organizations that support healthy lifestyles; organizations that work toward a clean and healthy planet; award academic scholarships to local high school students who will pursue an education in environmental stewardship; and donates to charities nominated by their employees, and award academic scholarships each year to college-bound children of their employees.

As an avid organic produce consumer, I was given some free product coupons to try so I decided to try their dried fruit. I’ve already tried most of their packaged salad greens so I wanted to try something totally different – and I love dried fruit because it’s a great way to get some natural vitamins and fiber in your body with the convenience of eating it whenever you want to. Their dried fruit products include dried mangos, cranberries, plums, dates, and raisins.  All of their dried fruit are ripened on their vines or trees to their maximum ripeness to allow an abundance of natural sweetness and 100% organically grown. There are no preservatives used and the flavors and textures are exactly what dried fruit should be – sweet and tangy and just the right amount of “chewiness”. They come in convenient ready to go packages and they can be used in almost any recipe. I thoroughly enjoyed their organic dried fruit and plan on using some of them for baking in the future!

So why would you buy packaged produce? Well, because they are more convenient and easy to carry around or even placed in your picnic basket or lunch bag. They stay fresher longer than just placing your produce in the fridge. They’re more sanitary (you don’t have to worry about a million hands touching the produce on the shelf at your local market). And organic produce are usually packaged in environmentally-friendly plastic rather than the store-provided plastic bags available in the produce section.

So the next time you’re at your local supermarket or natural food store, pick up a bag of Earthbound Farm’s fresh produce. With an abundant selection of high-quality fruit, vegetables, and salads to choose from, you’ll always end up with the right choice. Earthbound Farm products can be found at most major supermarkets and natural food markets. For more information about Earthbound Farm, please visit their website: http://www.ebfarm.com. You can also order certain products online.

 

Disclaimer: The product(s)were sent to the author for review by the manufacturer/PR. All reviews on “Happymomblogger” remain unbiased and unpaid and are the sole decision of the author. The opinions of these product(s) were not influenced in any way, shape, or form. As always, please  read the labels carefully before trying any new products.

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