Thursday, July 8, 2010

This Blog has Moved.

Please view my new blog at

See you there!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer Vacation Family Goals: Improve Eating Habits

Summer vacation is a great time to work on improving your family's eating habits. It presents a break from the school routine and gives us opportunities to teach younger family members good nutrition habits.
  • No meal skipping.  If you have late sleepers, make sure they still eat breakfast, even if its a small one.  A glass of 100% fruit juice, a small bowl of cereal or a waffle with peanut butter will prevent less nutritious, convenient between meal fillers and overeating at lunch time.    
  • Drink more water.  Keep a pitcher of water in the refrigerator at kid, eye level.  Have them experiment with orange citrus, lime, lemon or combinations of flavors to encourage better hydration.  
  • Include 3-4 food groups/meal.  Counting out the food groups at each meal is a positive lifestyle habit that will help your child maintain a healthy weight, strong immune system and long term health. 
  • Basic Meal Preparation.  Kids need to feel comfortable in the kitchen assembling ingredients, using cooking equipment and experimenting with different flavors.  It's important they learn how to cook beyond opening a box, can or freezer bag.  Last summer my kids learned how to make macaroni and cheese from scratch and favor their homemade version over Kraft. Now if they could only favor using less equipment...
  • Enjoying the taste of a meal & conversation with family.  The average school lunch is over and done with in 7-8 minutes, that's not even long enough to eat an apple!  Try expanding meal period sit down times for longer periods.     
  • Clean up.  It should be a part of every meal, what's the song "Everybody do their share"?


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Are Triathletes Smarter?

Ha, I got your attention and yes of course we are! Research linking optimal brain function to exercise continues to mount. More importantly, exercise that is aerobic in nature like running, biking, hiking, aerobics classes, and swimming shows greater improvement in stimulating brain activity than stretching, toning and weight lifting. According to Henrietta van Praag, PHD, a lead investigator at the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute of Aging, activities such as strength training don’t activate the brain in the same way and may be more restricted to the muscle itself. However, don’t underscore the importance of strength training, Pilates or yoga. Strong muscles and flexibility are critical requirements for independence and mobility as we age.

Aerobic activity has been shown to improve cognitive function in the areas of learning, memory and multitasking. While this research is still in its early stages, the results have been consistent throughout the life span, regardless of age. Furthermore, the type of activity does matter! Positive growth in cognitive function occurs only when the blood gets pumping. Children who have higher fitness levels score higher on standardized achievement tests, particularly math and reading. Older adults show a 39% reduction in developing cognitive impairment such as dementia and Alzheimer’s. Some research even suggests that women have a greater cognitive response to exercise then men, who am I to dispute science?