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This post a reprint of a post by AnneMarie Colbin. The author suggests the following tips for  a healthy school year. I would take this one step further and recommend these steps year-round for happy and healthy children. Annemarie has been on the forefront of educating people on how to eat healthily through her books, articles and seminars.

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Here are my four top tips for helping your children to stay healthy and avoid illnesses in the new school year. The foods that make kids the sickest are sugar and dairy.

 

 

1. Avoid dairy.

If you can possibly raise them without milk products, you will prevent the most common mucus conditions, especially colds and ear infections. Milk is a great mucus producer; bacteria love living in it, and casein, the protein in milk, is commonly used in laboratories to set up bacterial cultures. Cheese is just as much of a problem, and yogurt is little better. And it’s not because of the fat – in fact, butter does not bring on infections, according to my observations – it is the protein and the calcium, which in cow’s milk are intended to help baby cows become big cows (or steer), and are excessive for humans.

 

2. Don’t reward them with sugar.

If you can avoid giving your kids sugared foods – including sugared breakfast cereals, cookies, cake, candy, and ice cream – you will allow their immune systems to do a better job of keeping them healthy. Sugar is known to depress the immune system, and what is worse, it is really addictive. According to a recent study at the University of Bordeaux, France, it appears to be more addictive than cocaine. I know that we tend to reward the children with sweet goodies, but that habit is perhaps best reconsidered – crayons, balloons, comic books or nuts and raisins might be a better idea for rewards.

 

3. Give them lots of protein.

To keep the kids healthy, they also need to eat sufficient protein (some in each meal, such as fish, chicken, meats, or beans and legumes), with lots of vegetables both cooked and raw, as well as good quality fats (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter). See my post on protein breakfasts for more advice. 4. Make sure they get plenty of rest Most importantly, they need enough sleep and rest, which will allow their bodies and their brains to recuperate and restore, as well as grow. Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of stress and illness. So there you have it: feed them well, keep them off the ice cream and sweets, and make sure they sleep enough, and they will avoid many illnesses.

 

4.  Make sure they get plenty of rest

Most importantly, they need enough sleep and rest, which will allow their bodies and their brains to recuperate and restore, as well as grow.  Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of stress and illness.

So there you have it:  feed them well, keep them off the ice cream and sweets, and make sure they sleep enough, and they will avoid many illnesses.

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The subject of weight loss has gotten to be nauseatingly boring. It’s everywhere. It’s bursting with plans , solutions and of course, products. Yet people don’t seem to figure out how to lose weight safely and keep it off for good.

So, I decided to give you my simple “healthy mama” way of losing weight. It doesn’t require you to buy any new products ( well, maybe some groceries) and it is remarkable unscientific. All it asks you to do is listen to you body and listen well.  And your body will never ask you for candy ( your brain will, so learn to distinguish between the two.) A lot of my clients have shed dozens of pounds and kept the weight off, using  my method. Here’s the plan:

Exercise for at least 45 minutes a day, 6 days a week. There is really no way around it. Humans aren’t meant to sit on chairs all day -this is how we get old, sick and obese. If you don’t have time to exercise, make time. Wake up an hour earlier. Don’t watch TV: most of it is full of pizza commercials, anyway. Go to bed an hour later, but do exercise! You can go for a brisk walk, a jog, go to the gym or do one of my YogaPulse yoga DVDs.  Get your body moving often.

Now, the diet part. Cut out everything man-made. Eat only natural, unprocessed foods. Before it goes into your mouth, ask yourself: “Did it grow on Earth?” For example, whole grains grown on earth. Crackers do not. Even whole wheat crackers. If you choose to eat meat, limit yourmeat or fish portion to a palm-size amount: even a big strong man or a growing teenager does not need more than that at a time. Limit meat consumption to three times a week. The rest should constitute of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and grains. Limit nut and seed consumption to one palm-size amount a day, since they contain a lot of fat. Limit your legumes to one palm-size amount a day as well. Use only high-quality, cold-processed oils for dressings and sauces.  Drink only pure water. And….

Here’s the most important part:

Make sure that 60% -70% of your diet is made up of green vegetables.

The percentage correlates with how fast you want to lose the weight. If you need it off for your bikini time next weekend, keep it at 70%, I you have a few weeks to spare, 60% would do just fine. Green vegetables are exceptionally high in vitamins and minerals and also are exceptionally low in calories. If you dislike their taste, steam your green veggies, sprinkle them with extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Add some sea salt. Or, juice your greens, but keep in mind that in this case, your green juice should constitute 60-70% of your diet: plain and simple.

Good luck for your upcoming bikini season! Let me know how this system works for you.

Image: Ambro

When a friend gave me a pair of Happy Feet insoles,  I was skeptical: I really didn’t need my feet to feel better. With all the yoga I do they feel pretty close to amazing. However, a pair of  Happy Feet was now in my closet, so I gave the insoles a quick try.  Having Happy Feet in my  shoes made me feel lighter and more balanced, like I feel after a good yoga class.  Pretty soon I was wearing my Happy Feet everywhere, from the supermarket to my stroller walk ; and  looking for ways to stick these insoles into my flip-flops ( yes, you can do it.) The insoles are great if you spend a lot of time on your feet or would like to have your joints better protected while you are exercising. They would also feel  amazing for pregnant women, because they work wonders at redistributing your weight in the most optimal way.  Happy Feet insoles also relieve Plantar Fasciiatis, corn and calluses, heel spurs, foot ulcers, Morton’s neuroma, back and knee pain and more! And they are machine washable.

note: This review reflects my independent opinion of Happy Feet. It was not endorsed in any way and I was not paid to write it.

And the best news is…. Healthy Mama Info is having its first giveaway!

Two lucky winners will recieve a pair of Happy Feet insoles absolutely free. Here’s what it takes to enter:

Here’s how to enter this giveaway:

Mandatory Entry: 
 Become a public follower of  Healthy Mama Info Blog  ( the link is on the top left corner) and tell me you did so in a comment.

For more entries:

Subscribe to Healthy Mama Info Blog and comment about it. (1 entry)

Blog about this giveaway and link back to this post.(2 entries)

Like Healthy Mama on Facebook. Make sure you write your facebook name in the entry for this one. (2 entries)

The deadline for this giveaway is April 30th at 11:59 pm EST, at which time a winner will be randomely chosen. Make sure that you are a PUBLIC follower and include your email in your comments because if I can’t get a hold of you, you can’t win! If you are chosen as a winner, I will email you, asking you for your shoe size in order to ship you the right pair of insoles.

I do this simple breathing exercise whenever my three kids under three years old make me tired. Or whenever I need more energy. It’s great after being on the internet for too long: it clears you mind of clutter. This exercise is also wonderful for stress relief. It provides enough oxygen to your cells, so that they can function to their optimal capacity. It also detoxifies the body and cleanses the blood of  unneeded toxins.

You can teach the exercise to your kids: it will give them an easy tool to deal with their emotions and with the feeling of being overwhelmed. My two year old can do it or a about a minute now.

Make sure you are seated comfortably, with a slight curve in your lower spine. Draw your shoulders down and your shoulder blades towards one another. Practice this for a minute or two. A simple change of posture can  bring a complete shift of mood and energy. Of course, you can sit cross-legged on the floor, but sitting on a chair is fine. Really.

Close your eyes and inhale through the nose, allowing your ribcage to expand and your chest to rise. Lift your belly button up. Exhale and let your chest fall and your ribcage to contract. The belly can relax. As you inhale, visualize a bright ball of light going up your spine, towards the top of your head and as you exhale, visualize this ball of light descend through your chest and belly, eventually landing on your tail bone. Repeat eight times.

image: Sujin Jetkasettakorn

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