Moms With A Mission

November 1, 2011

 

 

 

Week #11:  Women and children are exposed to dangerous levels of mercury when they eat certain fish.

Eat small fish and use the mercury calculator at www.gotmercury.org.


A Handful of Reasons to Eat Breakfast

October 31, 2011

Breakfast

1. Fuel Your Body, Mind and Spirit: Your body is begging you not to deprive it of the nutrients it needs to help you run efficiently. When lunch is your first meal, your body has been running on empty for as long as 18 consecutive hours … sometimes more. Without refueling, your body has to work double-time to create usable energy from stored nutrients. This slows you down – despite all the caffeinated drinks – and makes it much harder to focus and perform. In short: Eating breakfast is an easy and efficient way to maintain a steady metabolism and to improve you concentration, problem-solving ability, mental performance, memory and mood.

2. Set an Example for Your Children: Although breakfast is important for adults, it is even more important for your kids. For them, a long period of semi-starvation can cause physical, intellectual and behavioral challenges. Plus, research repeatedly shows that kids who skip breakfast miss classes more often than their classmates who regularly eat breakfast.

3. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Many women voluntarily skip breakfast to eliminate calories, but this tactic usually backfires. In fact, skipping breakfast is strongly correlated with obesity, because breakfast curbs hunger and cravings. Breakfast skippers tend to eat more at their next meal and munch on high-calorie snacks. Alternatively, research shows that eating more in the morning can prevent overeating at night because breakfast calories are more satisfying and help to minimize calorie consumption for the rest of the day.

4. Get Your Daily Nutrients: Breakfast provides one of the best opportunities in the day to get important nutrients from common breakfast foods, such as fiber- and vitamin-rich grains, cereals and fruits; calcium-infused dairy, like milk and yogurt; and protein-packed eggs and meats. Many of our other meals and snacks don’t offer the same nutritional punch.

Many people – in fact more than 150 million Americans – use dietary supplements in part to help them bridge the gap between what they should be eating and what they are actually eating. Supplements play an important role in achieving good health, but they should be used to complement your diet, not as a replacement for food. A combination of a balanced diet and supplements that are right for you could just be the best approach to achieving your nutrition goals.

5. Treat Yourself: It takes less than five minutes to grab a banana, make some toast and pour a glass of juice, and the benefits you’ll reap will be well worth the time invested. You work hard so you deserve a few moments to take care of yourself each morning.


Pumpkin Recipe

October 25, 2011
Pumpkin Ginger Cupcakes Recipe

Pumpkin

Ginger Cupcakes

Prep Time:
20 Min
Cook Time:
20 Min
Ready In:
1 Hr 30 Min 
Original Recipe Yield 24 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 (3.4 ounce) package instant butterscotch pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger
  • 1 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin puree

Directions

  1. Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper muffin liners. Whisk together the flour, pudding mix, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ground ginger, allspice, cloves, and crystallized ginger in a bowl; set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. The mixture should be noticeably lighter in color. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Beat in the vanilla and pumpkin puree with the last egg. Stir in the flour mixture, mixing until just incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.

Moms With A Mission

October 25, 2011

 

Week #10:  Reduce your exposure to harmful substances in carpets.  Clear out the carpet and use washable rugs instead or install hardwood floors.


Snacking Do’s and Dont’s

October 24, 2011

Snacking

Lunch is hours away, but your stomach is already growling. You’re contemplating snatching a candy bar out of the machine, but the guilt is too much to bear. If you think that your best option is to avoid a snack altogether and wait for the next meal, think again.

One of the biggest myths about snacking is that it is an unhealthy habit. The truth is that it’s not snacking that is bad, but rather the type of food and quantities that people choose. In fact, snacking might be the missing ingredient that will help you reach your optimum health goal.

Healthy snacking can boost energy levels while providing the proper nutrients and also satisfying hunger. You don’t need to avoid snacks altogether. Instead, plan them with moderation and variety in mind.

The Benefits of Snacks

Although you may feel guilty about snacking, it can be beneficial to eat several small meals a day instead of large meals just a few times a day. Here’s how healthy snacking can help you:

  • More satisfaction from fewer calories. Snacking often can help people meet their nutritional needs without gaining the added calories.
  • Prevent overeating. Snacking between meals can actually reduce your overall caloric intake by controlling the feeling to binge at your next meal.
  • Boost of energy and nutrients. Healthy snacks provide fiber and nutrients your body needs to keep you energized throughout the day.

Make Snacks a Healthy Part of Your Life

The challenge with snacking is not when or how often you snack. The real challenge is what kind of food you eat and how much. There are many easy ways to incorporate snacking into a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips to make snacking work for you:

  • Avoid consistent snacking of foods that are high in sugar, salt and fat. Snacks such as candy, potato chips and soda tend to have little or no nutritional value, but they can be okay, once in a while.
  • Eat slowly and make the first bite count. Research has shown it takes approximately 12 minutes for food satisfaction signals to reach the brain of a thin person, and roughly 20 minutes for an overweight person. Eating slowly guarantees that these messages have time to reach the brain in order to prevent overeating.
  • Be aware. Avoid eating snacks in front of the television, computer or while driving. When we are distracted our brains tend to not recognize the food we have eaten.
  • Moderation. The key to healthy snacking is to eat more frequent, yet small portions. Buy small packages of food to avoid binge eating and don’t snack out of the box. The temptation to polish off the package is just too great.
  • Always have snacks available. Keep healthy snacks like dried fruit or raisins in a desk drawer, carrots or fresh fruit in the kitchen refrigerator at work or even nuts in the car, so when cravings arise you won’t visit the candy machine.
  • Only snack if you are hungry. The point of healthy snacking is to quench hunger while being health conscious, so don’t snack if you aren’t really hungry. A leading cause of overeating happens because of boredom or social eating, so be careful not to fall into this trap.

With proper portions and healthy food choices, snacking can enhance, rather than hurt your diet.


Moms With A Mission

October 18, 2011

 

Week #9:  Toys made out of PVC plastics/vinyl often contain other chemicals which can leech out increasing your child’s risk. Purchase toys made out of wood or cloth.


Exercise Like A Kid

October 17, 2011
Go Bac

At one point exercise was simple — our only mode of transportation was a bicycle, a skate board or roller skates, and our social time was spent playing physically demanding activities like tag and kickball. Even in middle and high school, organized extracurricular sports complemented our scholarly aspirations.

But we all know exercise doesn’t fit so seamlessly into our schedules anymore. For some of us, playtime with children gives us time to exercise like a kid — and our bodies thank us for it. But for the most part, hectic schedules and stressful career obligations keep us off the streets and out of the yards.

While working out at a gym provides benefits, sometimes you just need to change things up and keep life interesting. Check out some of our ideas for exercising like a kid again — these workouts will challenge your muscles in familiarly fun ways, and will help keep your wellness regimen on track.

Get Back on the Bike

You never forget how to ride a bike. So assuming you’ve lost the training wheels at some point, bicycling is a great way to exercise on your own or with family and friends. It’s easy on the joints and it’s great for enjoying and exploring the sights. Keep in mind, bicycling doubles as a healthy, green-friendly transportation option that can burn up to 563 calories*, so it’s also great for people with places to go and people to see.

Brush off your Dancing Shoes

There’s no question that dancing is hot right now, so it’s not too hard to find dancing classes that fit your interests. From Salsa to ballet, the options are endless. And while some may be more comfortable bringing a dance partner, most dance institutes offer classes for singles and will match you up with a dancing friend. Generally, dancing can burn up to 350 calories*,although that can vary with different dance styles.

Revisit Tree Climbing. The Adult Way

Do you miss the challenge of reaching new heights? Try rock climbing. Instruction is available for indoor and outdoor rock climbing, and it provides an excellent all-over workout that canburn up to 774 calories*. Plus, with the equipment you’ll use, it’s a bit safer than climbing your parents’ old oak tree.

Stretch it Out

Were you a former gymnast or cheerleader? Get acrobatic again with trapeze classes and burn up to 300 calories*. If airborne challenges aren’t really your bag, try out for an adult all-star cheerleading squad. These teams consist of former cheerleaders who want to keep the spirit alive — and can burn up to 255 calories* while doing it.

Tag Along

Recreate the fun of a wild game of tag by joining a flag football team (burns up to 563 calories*). Or try a jogging club that pushes you to catch the other members for up to 493 calories*. If you don’t want to commit to an entire season, you can simply gather the gang in the front yard for a game and reap some health benefits.

Play Ball

If your fondest childhood memories involve ball games like handball or four square, give tennis or racquetball a try and burn up to 493 calories*.

Jump In

Were your first steps toward the water? Consider joining an adult swim league. If you prefer staying a little drier, try kayaking or rowing instead. Either way, you’ll burn those calories: up to500 calories burned* in both sports.

To put all those numbers in perspective, check out the number of calories in some of the foods below.

 

Type of Food

Typical Calories **

Plain Hamburger (3 ounces)

286

Honey Roasted Peanuts (Two Tbsp.)

112

Medium Serving of Spaghetti (One Cup) with Marinara Sauce (Half a Cup)

230

One Packet of Plain Instant Oatmeal

108

Pretzels (One Ounce)

110

One Medium Apple

81

One Slice of Cheese Pizza

183

One Cup of Low-Fat Vanilla Yogurt

194

One Small Baked Sweet Potato, Without Butter

118

One Scoop of Light Vanilla Ice Cream (Half a Cup)

100

Source: (http://www.caloriecontrol.org/calcalcs.html)

Keep in mind that physical activity doesn’t offset a poor diet. To manage weight loss, make sure you’re expending more calories than you’re consuming. Also remember that when you’re exercising regularly, it’s even more important to eat foods that have a high nutritional value (i.e., nutrient-dense, while low in fat and sugar) to help propel you through tough workouts.

Here’s to feeling like a kid again!

* Calories burned based on a 150 pound woman performing the activity for one hour.

** Typical calories based on average estimates. Actual calories can vary by brand, serving size and toppings.