Saturday, August 21, 2010

Healthy Food Substitutions & Healthy Skin

As a busy mom, I used to thoroughly enjoy the Kraft Foods "Food & Family" magazine but not so much anymore mainly because the ingredients they promote almost always have HFCS. Some of the recipes are still good but substitutions are required. 

I have an upcoming wellness talk on "Beauty Becomes You" and will be serving healthy refreshments. I found a recipe in the magazine titled, "Mediterranean Stacker" and it looks pretty good; however, I will be using Back to Nature crackers and nitrate-free chicken breast. The other ingredients are hummus and cucumbers. For meat-free stackers, I'll add shredded carrots. 

Hummus is a healthy food and very tasty! It actually made two recent lists on what foods your [kids] should eat and what foods are best for healthy skin and they are as follows.  Happy Eating!!

5 Foods Everyone Should Be Eating by Joy Bauer, Nutritionist of the TODAY show:

1) Seafood - cold water fatty fish (ex. Salmon), 2) Beans (try Hummus), 3) Oats (use instead of bread crumbs), 4) Eggs and 5) Spinach.

6 Best Foods for Healthy Skin By David Zinczenko of Men’s Health, Aug 16, 2010.

1)      Salmon (Omega 3s). Why? “[They] are the essential fats that, along with bolstering the cognitive powers of your brain, concentrate in the walls of your epidermal cells to help lock in moisture.”  Other Omega 3s: Sardines, Walnuts and Flax Seed.

2). Carrots. Why? You’re inviting beta carotene “to nestle into your skin, fill in blotches, and give you a healthy glow." Other beta-carotene foods: red bell pepper, sweet potato, and red grapefruit.

3). Avocado. Why? They have […] B vitamins, which also help to keep your skin looking vibrant and smooth. Other natural B vitamins found in: olive oil, almonds, and peanut butter.

4). Beans. Why? They have “isoflavones—potent antioxidants—concentrated in the beans resulting in 20% fewer wrinkles over time (paraphrased, Zinczenko). Other isoflavone potent foods: tofu, alfalfa, and tempeh.

5). Grapes. Why? They have antioxidants called “polyphenols […] keeps middle-aged skin from sagging. That’s because polyphenols improve skin’s elasticity by strengthening collagen, the primary protein in skin’s innermost layer." Other polyphenol enriched foods: grape juice, blueberries.

6). Water. Why? “Water is the strongest weapon you have against lifeless skin; all the body’s processes rely on hydration, and it creates a measurable increase in the capillary blood flow to your body’s outer layer.” Other water rich foods: Watermelon, peaches and celery.

Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Thursday, August 19, 2010


This post is a tribute to my grandparents. May they rest in peace. Both passed this month and although I'm sad to not have them here anymore, I am happy that they are together again. My pops passed on the 7th and my grams passed away today, the 19th. They lived a full life. They were married 59 years this past June and left behind 4 children and 9 grandkids and 2 great grandkids. My son being one of the great grands met them last month for the first time. What a blessing! I have such fond memories of my grandparents.

Family is important. Spend time with your family and if you cannot because you live out of the state/country then call them, email them, send them a 'just because' card. Do something to show them you care and do it often! Time waits for no one. Be well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Chicken, Tomato, Mushroom Pasta #Recipe

A quick dinner recipe using tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and chicken. I think you'll enjoy it! 


Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Whole Wheat Pasta Blend, Rotini
Grass-fed, Hormone and Antibiotic Free Chicken Tenders
Organic Diced Tomatoes (Canned or make your own) 
Panko plain bread crumbs seasoned with various Italian spices
Parmesan Cheese
Medium Yellow Onion

Combine bread crumbs, your choice of seasonings and parmesan cheese. Dip chicken in egg lightly beaten and then into heated frying pan with EVOO. Cook 5 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Boil water for pasta (or use rice, quinoa, etc in place of pasta). In separate frying pan, add EVOO, onion, mushrooms and tomatoes. Sprinkle dried rosemary and heat until thickened.
Drain pasta, add chicken and cover with sauce.
Buon Appetito!!

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Extended #Breastfeeding

This is late but I while I was on the East Coast I received comments and looks while I nursed my toddler son in public. Nothing was rude just curious. Some asked why I still do it after 12 months. One said her pediatrician told her she could stop at the year mark. I'm guessing most think there is no more benefit to the mother or the child after twelve months. I'm thankful that I live in California (being that there are many attachment parents here, holistic families, natural ways of living) and there are plenty of resources and people who say shoot for 12 months minimum and stop when you and the child want after that. 

My recommendation: Link arms with like minded families so that you don't feel alone in your decision to nurse past a certain time. 

I'm enjoying the ability to nurse my son because I understand the health benefits for both of us. Breast cancer runs in my family and I know extended nursing helps decrease the risk that I will develop it. I also know that my son will have less ear infections, will get sick less, will fight many infections, will reduce childhood obesity because of the antibodies found in the milk - yes... even now. My son will be 23 months old in a week or so. We are happy. He is "easy like Sunday morning" most of the time. His cool, calm and collected personality I trace back primarily to his dad but also to the amount of bonding we have done because of the breast feeding relationship. I have no idea when we'll stop. I've always said that I'll let him decide. I'm sticking with that for now. 

Breastfeeding comes in handy on the days he doesn't want to eat much other than drink cow's milk. At least I know that he's getting more nutrients through my milk because I eat healthy. I hope that this post will offer you some encouragement as you make the decision to breast feed or not and how long you will nurse. I applaud you for trying. I am happy for your little one if all you decided to do was offer your baby the colostrum that comes right after you deliver your bundle of joy. That's liquid gold. Lastly, don't let someone else help you make the decision to no longer nurse. There are many families that aren't supportive... I can say that I didn't have 100% support from many people around me but I knew in my heart it was the best thing for my son. 

Edit: After I posted this I logged into Facebook and saw a dear friend post a thread about World Breastfeeding Week - Virtual Celebration. Belly Laughs Doula & Baby Services owner, Maggie Jennings, wrote the following: "Breastfeeding gives babies all the nutrients for the best physical & mental development. The AAP recommends babies be exclusively breastfed for 6 months, then continue (w/food) for 12 months minimum whereas the WHO recommends babies 2 years minimum! Both organizations say breastfeeding should continue for as long as mom & baby want."

If you want to see what else Maggie is talking about visit her Facebook fan page or her personal website.

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Choose, eat, and live well! =)