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Category Archives: Nutrition

Mindful Eating with Berry Kabobs

We do mindful eating in every class and kids love making berry kabobs!

Berries are loaded with vitamins and minerals, making these kabobs a healthy and delicious snack for kids. To add an extra dose of calm, play ambient music while your child loads his skewer.

Benefits

Threading the berries on the skewer builds eye-hand coordination and focus. Mindful eating helps the body digest food better. Berries are a powerful super food that are important for brain and immune health.

What to Say

  • We are going to make berry kabobs. Did you know that eating a variety of berries keeps us healthy and can help us remember things better? Eating a variety of colors is even healthier than eating just one color.
  • Pick eight berries from these bowls. While we are making our berry kabobs we are going to notice every detail of it. Notice the different colors, textures, and smells.
  • Thread the berries onto the skewer. Can you make a pattern with your different colored berries? Listen to the music and be mindful while making your kabobs. Notice what you see, hear, smell, and taste.
  • Eat your kabob slowly, noticing each bite. What did eating silently and mindfully feel like? Did you notice anything that you haven’t noticed before?

What’s the Deal with Bone Broth?

making-bone-broth

BONE BROTH

Bone broth is a trendy food that is being touted for it’s amazing health benefits.  Chicken soup has been the “go to” meal when your feeling under the weather for ages.  Since sipping broth is nothing new, why all the hype?

HOW IS IT MADE?

Animal parts (bones, ligaments, and tendons) that can’t be eaten are boiled and simmered over several days causing the bones and ligaments to release health compounds such as collagen and glutamine.

WHY BONE BROTH?

Bone broth contains minerals in forms that the body can easily absorb: calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulfur and others.  Bone broths also contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which are sold as expensive supplements to decrease inflammation and joint pain.  This mixture of nutrients can’t be found in other commonly eaten foods.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

  • Reduce leaky gut syndrome. Bone broth is a source of collagen, gelatin, glutamine, arginine and proline.  These amino acids and minerals help seal openings in the gut lining, which, in turn, reduce leaky gut syndrome.
  • Improve allergies. Allergies can be a byproduct of leaky gut syndrome.  When the gut is sealed allergies improve.
  • Enhance immune system. Gelatin enhances probiotic balance and growth. Healing amino acids such as arginine are essential for immune system functioning.
  • Boost joint health. Collagen helps to restore cartilage, which diminishes as we age.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?

I did several exhaustive searches to find scientific evidence of the benefits of bone broth.  Currently, there is limited information to support or refute these health claims. Most of the evidence comes from the studies completed on collagen, gelatin, and the other minerals found in bone broth.  Therefore, it is assumed that since bone broth is high in these minerals and amino acids it is an all encompassing healing elixir.   Research demonstrates bone broth is full of nutrients that enhance the immune system, which means it is highly likely it does have health benefits.  However, these benefits are based on the research for the individual components, which make-up the bone broth, not on the actual bone broth itself.

WHERE CAN I BUY IT?

It is important to buy bone broth from a reputable source. Bone broth should be made from organic grass fed animals.  Bone broth that is bought in stores is not the “real thing” and will most likely not have the healing benefits of homemade bone broth. Stephanie McGuirck, doctor of acupuncture, makes delicious bone broth.  Visit her website, planetacupuncture.com, to learn more.

 

Scrambled Legs. Kids on the Run.

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Kids were born to run, but whether they’re joining you on a run or participating in a sports program, they require guidance to ensure  they remain lifelong runners. These simple steps can help kids go the distance.

  • Yoga! It improves strength, flexibility, breathing capacity, and balance.
  • Make it Fun!  Sign up for races that glow, use color, or require a costume.  Running doesn’t have to all blood, sweat, and tears.
  • Juice Plus. Little bodies need nutrients to power through those agonizing miles.  These nutrients come from the food you eat.  Juice Plus contains 20 different fruits, vegetables, and grains.  Call me for more information.
  • Model it.   Parent’s actions have a profound effect on their children’s behavior.  Children who see their parents exercising will be more apt to engage in the same behaviors. So get moving!
  • Hydrate.  Skip the colored or sugared drinks.  Water is all you need to power through a run.  Make water fun with lemons, limes, or cucumbers.
  • Healthy Habits for Life. Track your progress and set healthy goals for everyday of the week.  The more you engage in an activity the easier it gets…

Gut and Psychology Syndrome

Intestines Sketch with Words

 “The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”

-Voltaire

The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself, given the right help.  The downside is nature is super slow.  Correcting nutritional deficits can take months if not years. Dr. Campbell-McBride has developed a nutritional treatment for psychological disorders based on the assumption that the association between physical and mental health, nutrient intake, and the condition of our digestive system is conclusive. This means that by fixing the child’s diet, hence the gut, cognitive and social impairments can be significantly improved.

WHAT IS GUT AND PSYCHOLOGY SYNDROME (GAPS)?

Antibiotic use has a serious damaging effect on the good bacteria in the gut.  This coupled with a diet filled with processed and fast foods give nourishment to pathogens or bad bacteria, which then grow into big colonies and take over areas of the digestive tract.  Yuck!

Gut flora is needed for appropriate digestion and absorption of food.  If the child’s gut flora is not balanced then the child will not digest or absorb foods appropriately, which will result in nutritional deficiencies.  Since gut flora is needed for a good immune system a cycle of infections and antibiotics follow resulting in further damage to the child’s digestive and immune systems. This results in allergies, asthma, and eczema. Additionally, without the good bacteria balancing out the bad bacteria the bad microbes begin to digest food in their own way making vast amounts of toxic substances, which are absorbed into the blood stream, carried across the blood-brain barrier, and into the brain.  Thus, the child’s digestive system becomes a source of toxicity.  This toxicity establishes a link between the gut and the brain forming the Gut and Psychology Syndrome.

HOW IS GAPS TREATED?

Dr. Campbell-McBride holds degrees in medicine and post-graduate degrees in both neurology and nutrition.  Dr. Campbell-McBride has a developed a diet to heal the digestive system.  She stresses eating foods in the form that nature made them.  No processed foods, please! Many of the chemicals in processed foods contribute to hyperactivity, learning disabilities, and psychological disorders.  The appropriate diet for GAP syndrome is one that avoids sugar, lactose, processed foods, grains and starchy vegetables.  In her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Campbell-McBride goes into great detail about diet and provides wonderful recipes. This book is a little technical, but a fantastic resource for parents.

Campbell-McBride, N. (2004). Gut and Psychology Syndrome. Natural Treatment for autism, ADHD/ADD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, depression, and schizophrenia. York, Pennsylvania; Maple Press.

 

Juice Plus+ For Improved Health

Fruits market

WHAT IS JUICE PLUS+?

Juice Plus+ is whole food based nutrition, including all the amazing antioxidants in 30 fruits, vegetables, and grains just minus the water. Juice Plus is available in chewable and capsule form. Both forms deliver the same healthful benefits.

 HOW DOES IT IMPACT HEALTH?

Juice Plus+ contains multiple antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate, which strengthen cells involved in immune functioning. This is important because antioxidants do exactly what the name implies; they prevent oxidation reactions in the body. Oxidation causes “free radicals” which damage cells and cause aging. It’s okay to have oxidative reactions in the body, but we don’t want the by-products, free radicals, wreaking havoc and making us sick. Oxidative stress has been associated with many diseases including, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, and Parkinson’s disease.

WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?

  • Researchers conducted a 6-month study on Juice Plus+ to determine the preventive effects on common cold symptoms (Roll, Nocon, & Willich 2011). Juice Plus+ led to a 20% reduction in common cold symptom days in healthcare workers exposed to patient contact.
  • A Florida study found significantly increased antioxidant plasma levels in a group of stressed out law students who took Juice Plus+ for 77-days (Nantz, Rowe, Nieves, & Percival, 2008). This means that despite their stress the law students had increased antioxidants in their bloodstream.
  • Research demonstrated increased immune functioning and improved inflammatory markers in a 28-week period in police special forces trained men (Lamprecht, Oettl, Schwaberger, Hofmann, & Greilberger, 2007). Thus, men who are physically fit and active have reduced inflammation and higher antioxidants in their bloodstream.

Juice Plus+ has been researched by leading hospitals and universities. There are over 30 research studies that validate the benefits of Juice Plus+.   Therefore, it is a great way to enhance health and prevent disease in children and adults. Order yours today by clicking on  this link.

References

Lamprecht, M., Oettl, K., Schwaberger, G., Hofmann, P., & Greilberger, J. (2007). Several indicators of oxidative stress, immunity, and illness improved in trained men consuming an encapsulated juice powder concentrate for 28 weeks. The Journal of Nutrition, 2737 -2741.

Nantz, M., Rowe, C., Nieves, C., & Percival, S. (2008). Immunity and antioxidant capacity in humans is enhanced by consumption of a dried, encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice concentrate. Journal of Nutrition, 136: 2606-2610.

Roll, S., Nocon, M., & Willich, S. (2011). Reduction of common cold symptoms by encapsulated juice powder concentrate of fruits and vegetables: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. British Journal of Nutrition, 105, 118-122.

Research Participants Needed

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WHY PARTICIPATE?

Mental health disorders are rising in children and being referred to as an epidemic. Numerous studies have shown micronutrient deficiencies and poor diet quality are suspected of playing a contributory role in the escalation of certain disorders such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and autism.   Conventional treatment for social emotional disorders in children typically involves medication, including stimulant medication and antidepressants. Medications only treat the symptoms of the disorder and not the cause. Parents are increasingly turning to complementary and alternative medicine to treat their children with a method that is individualized and holistic. Thus, the relationship between diet and mental health has become of increasing interest in recent years.

WHAT DOES THE STUDY ENTAIL?

I’m conducting research on the link between social emotional functioning and nutrient intake in children ages three to five-years-old. The information gained will offer an alternative or supplemental treatment modality to psychotropic drugs. Participants will be asked to complete a personality test and 3-day diet record.  If you are interested in being part of this study and learning more about your child’s nutrient intake and social emotional functioning please contact me as soon as possible at Tracy@mindfulchildwellness.com.

Green Tea; A Cup of Calm.

Green tea

Did you know the calming effect of green tea actually comes from the amino acid, theanine? Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Proteins help the body grow, breakdown food, and repair body tissue. Good stuff.

HOW IT WORKS

Theanine increases the brain’s levels of alpha waves, which, in turn, produce a combination of relaxation and mental sharpness, almost like a meditative state. OM.

HEALTH BENEFITS

  • Mental sharpness. Alpha waves, which theanine increases, have been linked to mental acuity and improved learning.
  • Stress protector. Studies show college students who took 200mg of theanine before tests had significantly less stress than those who didn’t.
  • Relaxation. Theanine leads to more alpha waves, which leads to relaxation and best of all no drowsiness.
  • Insomnia. Theanine can improve sleep quality – while keeping the mind sharp and energized.

Sensational. Green tea increases mental sharpness, relaxation, and helps with insomnia. Put the kettle on the stove – let’s drink to that.

Reference

Challem, J. Brechka, N. (2007). L-theanine the calm in your cup of tea, Better Nutrition, 32, 34-35.

 

 

 

 

Action for Healthy Kids

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Action for Healthy Kids is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fighting childhood obesity, undernourishment, and physical inactivity by helping schools become healthier places. The development of lifelong habits that promote health and learning is of the upmost importance with the current rise in obesity rates. It is a significant concern, especially in children due to the higher risk of not only medical issues, but psychiatric problems as well

Action for Healthy Kids guiding document, Commitment to Change, provides schools with a blueprint to transform schools into healthier environments by:

  • Ensuring schools have an updated wellness policy
  • Providing all students, with physical activity and healthy eating educational programs
  • Ensuring children and adolescents get at least 60 minutes of physical activity daily
  • Making sure all school foods meet nutrition standards

I ran the Chicago marathon with Action for Healthy Kids in 2012 and 2013 and have been a volunteer and fundraiser for this organization since 2012.  Without the help of Action for Healthy Kids, 1,000’s of children would not have a nutritional breakfast, lunch or physical education program, which would, in turn,  hinder their physical and mental development.

On December 6th, Mindful Child Wellness will host an 80’s yoga fundraiser along with a silent auction at Radiant Yoga + Wellness, 4431 W. 119th Street, Leawood, KS 66209. Please consider joining us for this fun event benefiting Action for Healthy Kids.  Unable to attend, consider making a donation to support this amazing organization. Ready?…

 

 

Top Five Ways To Have Radiant Skin

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Teenagers have a multitude of things to worry about. Teaching them these simple, healthy habits will reduce stress and improve self-confidence.

  •  Eat fruits and vegetables. Phytonutrients or nutrients derived from plants are important for your body to not only feel great, but look great as well. To have healthy looking skin it is important to get at least 90% of your daily calories from phytonutrient rich plants, especially fruits and vegetables. Busy, and not able to eat a smorgasbord of plants, then consider taking Juice Plus+. Clinical trials have shown Juice Plus+ improves the immune system, cardiovascular system, reduces inflammation, and enhances antioxidant status in the blood.
  • Drink Water. Water is an essential part of remaining healthy. Dehydration can cause skin to become dry, which makes it more prone to wrinkles. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day will not only give you radiant skin, but aide in overall health by helping with circulation, absorption and even digestion.
  •  Use a night cream. Why at night? Nighttime is when the body restores itself so what better time to restore the skin. Nerium offers a fantastic night cream that is proven to reduce pigmentation, fine lines, and improve the overall look of your skin.
  • Exercise at least three times per week. When you sweat the body cleanses from the inside. Hot yoga is an OMazing way to gently detox and cleanse your skin. Sweating increases circulation and opens pores; therefore, sugar, salt, alcohol, and other toxins may be eliminated from the body just by attending a heated yoga class or going for a run. Okay, I’m a little biased since I’m a marathon runner and hot yoga instructor. In fairness to other forms of exercise – any vigorous activity that causes you to sweat for 60 minutes or longer is going to help the skin look younger and be a terrific detox.
  •  Get at least 8 hours of sleep. We all know what we look like when we’ve not gotten enough sleep. As stated above the skin repairs, restores, and rebalances at night. Not getting enough sleep can result in tired looking skin. So get those ZZZZ’s.

The Feingold Diet For ADHD?

Food additives prohibited

The concept that diet may be affecting children’s behavior gained public attention in the 1970s. In 1973, Feingold, pediatrician and allergist, created controversy at a medical conference by asserting that 50 percent of children he treated improved following an elimination diet of all artificial food colors, flavors, preservatives, and salicylates (Tomlinson, Wilkinson, & Wilkinson, 2009). I bet that was one hell of a medical conference!

Feingold reported food additives, including dyes and salicylates, which are chemicals that occur in some fruits, were the cause of behavioral problems in children. Since then, research has attempted to determine the validity of his claims in various ways. Studies have compared restrictive diets to regular diets or put children on restrictive diets and then gradually introduced food dyes or additives into the diet. Thus far, the studies have been inconclusive and leave multiple important questions to be answered.

 This is what a few of the researchers have reported. Mattes, Kavale, and Forness reviewed a slew of research pertaining to the Feingold diet and determined it was of no value and only helped a few children decrease hyperactivity. However, other researchers disagree (Rimland, 1983).   Reportedly, such a conclusion is not acceptable and an arbitrary negative conclusion. Rimland asserts that the studies reviewed had very small dosage levels of colorings and failed to recognize the role of the subject’s nutritional status. It is acknowledged that the Feingold diet may work for some children; however, it is not a cure all and does not work for all children. Additionally, most studies have only excluded a small number of colorings instead of the 3,000 additives in the Feingold proposal; therefore an actual legitimate comparison has not been made.

To some researchers, Dr. Feingold is considered a pioneer, for recognizing the nutrition and dietary sensitivity connection to behavioral problems. However, other researchers report his findings have not been replicated and lack reliability. Being a researcher, myself, I believe it would be extremely difficult to replicate Feingold’s findings. However, after studying hundreds of journal articles on diet and social emotional functioning, I consider him a pioneer and believe there is merit to his findings.

References

Feingold, B. (1976). Hyperkinesis and Learning Disabilities Linked to the Ingestion of Artificial Food Colors and Flavors. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 9 (9), 19-27

Rimland, B. (1983). The Feingold diet: An assessment of the reviews by Mattes, by Kavale and Forness and others. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 16(6), 331-3.

Tomlinson, D., Wilkinson, H., & Wilkinson, P. (2009) Diet and mental health in children. Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 14(3), 148-155.

 

 

 

Teaching fun, therapeutic, aerial yoga and mindfulness to children