Raising Healthy Kids…

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Hey friends!

If you are a mom of elementary age (and up) kiddos, I would love your ear…or I should eyes?…for a minute. 🙂 This is a sensitive topic but I have felt like I wanted to write about it for awhile. Maybe it’ll be helpful to someone out there.

Selah came to me the other day and said, “Mom, when we were at the pool, this girl in the bathroom was looking at herself in the mirror and she asked her mom if she thought she was fat. The mom said, ‘No, honey’ and the little girl said, ‘But I think I am…’ The mom replied, ‘Well…maybe we could change some things we eat?’ (in a non-committal tone). The little girl was crying, and it made me really sad.” She had tears in her eyes relaying this conversation to me…

And goodness, I could relate to that little girl! To a young girl, it’s all relative. Even if she is not overweight, if every child around her is petite, she feels big. And the fact is that these days, an overwhelming amount of kids actually are at an unhealthy weight and size. When a child starts worrying about this, everything they do is affected. Any failure or rejection they think has to do with their size, even though it has nothing to do with it at all. They feel less than others and that leads to unhealthy relationships as they go into puberty. No one should have to strive to feel equal with their peers, but I can tell you one thing: Most kids who struggle with their weight are in that unending predicament and most of them would really like help getting out.

As a parent, we may feel comfortable with how our bodies have turned out. We’re perhaps at peace with where we are…but we’re no longer in that super sensitive time of life and while our kids need to be taught and shown that looks are not what matters most, they live in a world where it does matter. And it isn’t just the emotional and psychological effects that matter here anyway. We are at an extreme disadvantage if we go into our 20’s with the extra baggage weighing on our systems and raising our risk of disease. It gets harder and harder to get healthy and fit as we get older!!

There’s not a magic solution, but here are some thoughts, if this resonates at all with you:

1-If your kids ask for help about weight, take it seriously. Listen with sensitivity, without over-reacting or glossing it over. Whether they are truly overweight or just going through a hormonal change that has brought on a few inches and pounds, let them know you care and will help. If they seem unaware or unworried about their weight but you sense a problem, I would keep those thoughts to myself, but still do the following…

2-Depending on your child’s personality, find a way to put physical activity as a higher priority in the schedule. If they are a little unmotivated or simply enjoy group goals more than individual goals, make family hikes and bike/scooter riding or team sports a part of your schedule at least 3 days a week. Make it fun! If they are the type that likes crossing off tasks or being alone, or there isn’t time in the family schedule for sports, they might enjoy an exercise routine that includes a video, or a place and time to walk or ride their bike alone.

3-It’s time to get smart and serious about nutrition. I wouldn’t make huge blanket announcements like “We shall never eat sugar again in this house!” (Learn from my mistakes, haha!) But I would cut certain foods out, replacing them with other foods without making a big deal of it. For example, my first changes would be cutting out things like full-fat dairy products, all products with wheat flour in them, and as many products as possible with sugar or high fructose corn syrup in the ingredients list. Instead, each meal and snack should be based on a protein (like eggs, all natural peanut butter or almond butter, raw nuts, low fat cheese, greek no-sugar added yogurt, meat) paired with a healthy carbohydrate for energy (think half of a plate of raw veggies and fruit, baked tortilla chips, 1/4 cup of brown rice or quinoa, rice cake). If this is the food you have in the house, this is the food they’ll eat, at least until they have the opportunity to drive themselves to the grocery! Yes, this will take more energy from you. I say with much love and kindness: Deal with it. 🙂 At the beginning of the week, chop up a large tupperware of veggies, buy several types of fruit (some that spoil quickly like berries and others that can hang out a while like apples), and buy a couple bags of raw nuts or seeds, put handfuls in baggies, and when you’re on the go or need a quick meal/snack, this is just as easy as chips or processed snacks all week long.

4-Save sweets for one family movie night or campout or get together per weekend. Let that gradually become the norm. Of course it’s better to make more nutritious sweets with ingredients like honey, coconut oil, dark chocolate or carob (look up Paleo desserts!) but my kids do have regular candy and wheat free cookies sometimes. They are allowed to eat what they want at parties and weddings…but they certainly know its a treat. We have told grandparents that they can have these kinds of things only on the weekends. There’s such a balance we pray to find–to not freak them out with rules and make them want to hide and binge, but to teach them a 90%/10% lifestyle. That just means that 90% of the time you do what you research to be genuinely best for your body and 10% of the time (like a couple meals a week at the most) you just don’t worry about it.

5-Be a good example: Not perfect, not obsessed, but making an effort in a balanced way. We have been entrusted as good stewards of these tents while we’re on earth. Our bodies are temporal, so that puts body image into perspective, but also knowing we have only one body to be God’s hands and feet in while we’re here brings another angle to that perspective.

It’s a sensitive topic even as an adult, so just imagine how our kids and teens feel. I hope this post will be helpful and give you a few ideas on how to assist your kids in making lifelong healthy choices.

 

Holistic Nutrition Bootcamp

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June 17, 18, & 19, 2014

7-8:30 pm each evening

I’ll be teaching a Holistic Nutrition Bootcamp at Coworking of Elizabethtown, KY (5 Public Square)!

This is a 3 evening event for people who are looking to improve their health through better nutrition! This year I became certified in Holistic Nutrition, and while I am by no means an expert, I have some insight and information to pass on. It helps me stay on track to share it! I will be teaching on both the heart and mind behind making changes for wellness (your motivation!) as well as the day to day details of it (your plan!)

I’m passionate about nutrition because of the difference all this information and changes have made in my life. I have a chronic illness and once I started on the therapies I will share in this class, I became functional again and truly believe that food and other lifestyle choices can make all the difference.

I want to live in all the fullness God has for me, and I want you to as well!

We’ll talk about:
“Green light” foods
“Red light” foods
Super foods
Antioxidants
Sample meal plans
Pairing proteins, carbs, fats for weight loss
Healthy fats
Warding off, even healing, diseases
Recipes
What sugar is doing to our bodies
Exercise
Breaking addictions

The cost of the 3 sessions is $40 per person, and will be collected in full at our first session. Hopefully everyone can come to all 3 sessions, but if not, the cost is the same regardless. 🙂 All funds will be going toward our adoption process.

Nutrition Group!?!

I am really excited about an idea…

And it feels do-able…

So here’s the details:

 

Over the past couple of years, I have come across a good bit of pretty life-changing information about food. When you have kids, you typically start looking into the health of what they’re eating (since they eat so much and so often!), plus I wanted to lose weight, plus I was dealing with fatigue, insomnia, and just illness in general. As stones were turned over and I put things in practice, I began to see long term change in each of these areas. Now, the real issue is do I follow all the good advice and do all I should now that I know what I know? Unfortunately, I can’t always say I do…but when I do, I absolutely see results and I know that if I can see results on the outside, then there are definitely results on the inside. (Plus, blood tests have proved it anyway.)

 

So, what I want to do is start a nutrition class/support group, and share what I have learned (and am still learning!) I want to cover what to eat, what not to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, and the biggest thing: the why behind it all. I want to talk about issues like good fats that you need to cook with/eat vs. ingredients that you should really never put in your body. I’d also like to talk about weight loss stuff (I’m always drawn to this topic because it’s always been an issue for me) and using food, supplements, and natural medicine to deal with many illnesses that especially women deal with. After the “teaching” time is done, (maybe four sessions) we could continue to see each other once a month just for support. I could personally use that. It is hard to stay on the straight and narrow!!!

 

I do sometimes wonder if everyone else already knows this information and I was the slow one…If that is the case, we can at least be a support group for each other even if no one learns anything new!

If you read this blog and are interested in joining the group, respond by answering some of these questions:

*Would you rather come to a one-time seminar or 4 meetings (once a week for a month)?

*Would you be interested in continuing as a support group for a few months after the teaching?

*Would you want to come mornings or evenings?

 

*Would you like to be notified when I write a nutrition blog?

Thanks! I really believe there is a lot of unnecessary suffering–sometimes even in things as serious as insomnia, depression, fatigue, diabetes, obesity–due to lack of knowledge. I have SO much to learn and what I have learned, I want to share!