Friday, December 30, 2011

Stop Giving Kids Juice!

Note:  This is a dual post to Bright Weight Loss and Bright Love

Back in the 90's, when I first became "Mama," we all gave our kids juice.  We watered it down, of course.  Pepper didn't have full-strength juice until she got her first juice-box at a party when she was 3.  Kids got their 3 cups of milk and the rest of their beverages were juice.  It was an improvement over Kool-Aid or Soda, right?

Things have changed.  Now we realize that although juice has lots of vitamins and good stuff, it's also mostly sugar, even if it has "no added sugar."  Kids also need the fiber and chewing action of real fruit -- so that's the way to go. 

The Littles consider juice a real treat.  We give them juice on the rare occasions others would give kids soda; birthday parties, holidays, etc.  They get so excited about it!  I almost feel guilty.  Almost.

It turns out that kids who don't know better don't miss it.  Who'd have thought?  The Littles drink lots of water.  Lots.  It's inspirational.

Now I have one more reason to be the mean-juice-withholding-mama.  Turns out most of our apple juice -- my personal favorite in the 90s --  is imported from China.  Their laws regarding pesticide and safe food practices are far less stringent than ours.   It just seems like a bad idea. 

Please stop giving your kids juice.  They don't need it.  In 3 weeks, they'll stop asking.  Just, water, people, please.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Drastic Measures

Okay I give up, I surrender, I have officially waved the white flag.  There is no way I am going to fit 6 hours of exercise into my "waking hours" each week, especially when you add in the inevitable 30 minutes of prep time or travel each day..  I have tried a number of schemes and it just ain't happenin.'  The other day I sat down and took an objective look at what I really want to accomplish each day, how many hours are actually in the day and what I would need to give up. This was on a day on which I rose at 5:45 and took my first "break" from housework, childcare, cooking and paperwork at 9:30 p.m.  And guess what, the house was still pretty wildly out of control and I did not think any of the kids got the attention they deserved that day. 

The other issue is the Littles and their attachment issues.  They have been through a lot, this clan, but exercising away from them has meant checking them into the child care at the Y.  We have a great setting for kids at our Y but I really don't want to do that more often than once or twice a month.  They need to be with me.  They are so anxious away from me.  And with the weather growing more inclement, throwing them all in the jogging stroller is not always an option. 

My Grandma used to say, "drastic situations call for drastic measures."  I am taking drastic measures.  I decided to find the time in my "Sleep hours" (or at least everyone else's!)  Thanks to the inspiration of my good buddy Colleen, I am now rising at 4:40 to get to the gym by 5:00.  Weekdays, only; I'm not crazy, people!

I can fit in 50 solid minutes of cardio or strength training and still get home a few minutes before I have to wake The Captain.  If I am organized the night before, the little guy and I can even have breakfast together before his bus comes at 6:45; I'm normally not awake enough to want breakfast yet.  Dear Hubby and the rest of the gang are all still slumbering so no-one even misses me.  Truth be told, it's early even for an early bird like me, but it is worth it.  I am enjoying it so much; I have really needed some solid "me" time! 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Food Safety and other Tips, Tricks and Inspiration

It seems that there is always some food-borne illness in the news lately.  I have really been enjoying Food Safety's Newsletter  which helps me stay on top the issues.  In a similar vein, here another tip,  7 foods that experts think you should avoid.

Are we tricking ourselves with restrictive diets?  Decide for yourself; here is NPR's take on the popular Paleo diet.  Here is a review by US News;  it appears to be unbiased and based on nutrition science. I pondered this plan for a while but I thought it would be difficult to maintain for a lifetime. 

Since it's the season of parties, cookies, and other deliciousness,I thought we could use a little inspiration to stay on track.  Check out this mama on the move!

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Friday, December 2, 2011

First December Friday: Your Tips, Tricks and Inspiration!

Have we been tricked into avoiding peas?  Yes, they have more calories than some other veggies, but they also have a lot to offer, like half of our vitamin K for the day, 9 grams of fiber and 9 grams of protein!  This cleverly titled article has all the facts.

If you love honey for it's pollen induced benefits, I have a tip for you:  Know where your honey comes from and whenever possible, buy locally.  This may be harder than it sounds.  Yesterday I noted that a bottle labled "Texas Honey" contained honey from 4 other countries!  Here is some disturbing news about what you may really be getting.

Today's inspirations is what seems like pretty good advice on feeding kids;  I am doing some things well; and some --well -- not so much!  Check out the article for yourself.