Wednesday, January 8, 2014

HEALTH MATTERS: Five Questions to Ask Yourself

HEALTH MATTERS


"Take care of your body.  It's the only place you have to live."
                                             ---Jim Rohn

Here are five questions to ask yourself:
  1. Am I getting enough sleep every night?
  2. Am I drinking enough water every day?
  3. Am I getting enough exercise every day?
  4. Am I eating too much added sugar, fat, and salt?
  5. Am I eating plenty of vegetables, fruits, wild fish, beans, and legumes (like lentils)?
A fresh salad we made recently with organic
treasures from a local farmer.


These questions address the elements of health.  

If you are not getting a good night’s sleep because you (or your kids) have a bedroom full of electronics, computers and digital clocks with red and blue lights on all night, it is time to change.  

If you go all morning on coffee and soda and don’t have a glass of water until the afternoon, it is time to change. 

If you routinely say, “I’ll take a walk this weekend” and always make an excuse why you can’t, it is time to change.  

If you have high blood pressure and think nothing of stopping by McDonald’s several times a week, it is time to change. 

If you eat steak and potatoes every night, it is time to change. 

To be a good role model for children starts with a look at our own habits.  With computers running our lives, we are getting away from the basics of good health.  Some people think they can download an app and it will take care of their need for exercise and do their vegetable shopping for them.  I grew up watching a TV show about the future called The Jetsons.  Well, people, we are not The Jetsons.  

If you value your health, and care about the health and future quality of life of your children, then please review the five questions above and stay tuned as we lead a meaningful discussion about HEALTH MATTERS. 

In gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH

Founder of the Growing Healthy Kids movement

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

HEALTH MATTERS: New Year's Resolutions

HEALTH MATTERS

"To keep the body in good health is a duty...otherwise we will not be able to keep our mind strong and clear."
                                                   ---Buddha

A new year is often filled with new resolutions for better health.   If we don’t have our health, everything else becomes less important; this is why my new year’s resolution for the Growing Healthy Kids’ blog is to write about HEALTH MATTERS for adults.  We will expand our investigative journalism to bring you information that might otherwise be buried. 

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement dedicated to halting, reversing, and preventing childhood obesity.  We educate parents and children by raising awareness about facts, research, recipes, tips, and resources that help us make better choices about food, physical fitness, and ultimately, our health.  For our children to know how to get to, and stay at, a healthy weight will take a nation of educated adults.
 
On a recent tour of a new hydroponic farm in Vero Beach, Florida
with older adults as part of the Growing Healthy Kids' initiative.
That's me on the right.

Our goal is to reach adults in all 50 states this year and expand our programs and services to parts of the country where there is an unmet need to improve health literacy and health outcomes.   There is so much joy in sharing good foods, great recipes, and powerful tips that you can use every day and we are well positioned to travel where needed to educate adults and kids.  We have seen life and health miracles occur when people learn that when you know what to do, it’s easy to eat right, stay active, and get a good night’s sleep every night. 

Start this year by taking 15 minutes right now with your family to write down 3 health goals you want to achieve, either individually or as a family.  Use the SMART goal formula:  Specific-Measurable-Achievable-Realistic-Time-Specific.  Here is an example of a SMART goal:  My children and I will walk together after dinner at least 15 minutes two evenings a week. Post your health goals someplace where everyone can see them. 

Be well, dear friends!

In gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder of the Growing Healthy Kids movement


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

BEST PRACTICES FOR PARENTS

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS

Wellness is a state of mind.  It starts with the conscious intention to be healthy and balanced.  To respect ourself and others. To live peacefully.  Everything we need follows from this intention. Be mindful of what you eat.  Exercise often.  LOVE LIFE.
                                                 ---Nancy L. Heinrich

What a great year for Growing Healthy Kids!  So many great kids have participated in our educational programs.  So many parents have asked questions, seeking answers for growing their own healthy kids. 

I am grateful to the children, parents, volunteers and supporters of Growing Healthy Kids, the businesses and organizations who have helped our programs to thrive, to everyone who has read Nourish and Flourish, and to all the farmers who grow the foods we need. 

As a gift to wrap up this wonderful year, I am sharing some “best practices for parents” from Growing Healthy Kids' projects, workshops, and lessons:

DO: 

  • Find your local farmers markets. 
  • Talk with your local farmers.
  • Read food labels. 
  • Buy foods with less sugar.
  • Buy foods with more fiber.
  • Eat more kale, dark chocolate, and blueberries. 
  • Teach your kids how to make 10 basic recipes.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Make cookies with applesauce or pumpkin instead of butter.
  • Schedule time every day to do nothing. 
  • Flavor foods without salt. 
  • Eat breakfast. 
  • Eat protein in your breakfast – it is brain fuel!
  • Drink water.
  • Buy cereals, breads and pastas where the first ingredient includes the word, “whole”, as in whole grains.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Eat wild salmon, strawberries, and walnuts.
  • Buy your kids a lemon squeezer. 
  • Take family wellness walks. 
  • Buy your kids a pack of basil or oregano to plant.
  • Buy a good quality extra virgin olive oil.
  • Eat dinner together most nights of the week.
  • Practice instant recess.
  • Buy vegetables and fruits from your local farmers.
  • Have naps.
  • Laugh every day.

DON’T:

  • Don’t eat foods containing food dyes. 
  • Don’t eat farm raised fish.
  • Don’t buy foods containing “partially hydrogenated” fats.
  • Don’t skip breakfast.
  • Don’t eat tilapia.
  • Don’t allow cell phones at your dinner table.
  • Don’t buy soda.
  • Don’t be mean. 
  • Don’t buy foods with more than 8 grams of sugar per serving.

A very Merry Christmas to all! 

In gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.