Try harder

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Today I was reading about the case of a 3-year-old, 77-pound Houston girl diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.  Three years young!!!!  I know there are many things in this world that build us up and many others that break our heart.  I am heartbroken. 

As I wonder about the circumstances that landed an innocent toddler in this predicament I need to speak up.  I need to say those things that are taboo in parent world.  And for the sake of our kids I hope some will listen up.

What we put in our children’s plate, lunch box, schools, sight, hands and ultimately in their mouths will make or break them.  I know it can be difficult but we need to try harder.  We need to make this a priority.  We need to stop with the excuses and try harder.

It is not harmless to allow your child to have sodas or juices every other day.  It is not harmless to offer donuts for breakfast on a regular basis.  It is not harmless to celebrate every milestone with a buffet of sweet treats and junk food.  These things have a very negative impact in our children’s well-being.  And these are the things we are teaching them.

I know every child is different.  I know every family is different.  I know it is up to each parent or care giver to raise their child as they see fit.  But I also know we are grossly underestimating the impact a poor diet has on our youth and their future.  I am reminded of this everyday by cases like the one of this toddler who suffered from type 2 diabetes and the many children that are about to follow suit.

If you think your children are exempt from this fate, think again.  We are in the brink of watching this generation suffer from poorer health and shorter lives than the previous.

As I look at my two beautiful boys my heart if filled with love, joy, hope and sadness.  Sadness for all the things I won’t be able to protect them from.  Sadness for all the times they will suffer and I won’t be able to prevent it.  I am sad because I can not guarantee their lives will be without pain.  Yes sometimes looking at my children I feel sad, but you know what else I feel?  Determination

I am determined to take charge of the things I can take charge of in order to give then a leg up.  I am determined to help them build a healthy body, mind and spirit.  I am determined to show them they can also take charge.  I am determined to be the adult they need me to be so they have a chance to become the adult they are destined to be.

Today I respectfully and lovingly urge you to do the same.  Because you can.  Because it is worth it.  Because it matters.  All the frustration, headaches, preparation and  time will pay off.  For all the effort you relentlessly put every day of being a parent I applaud you.

So when you feel like you just can’t do anymore, do more.  When you feel you just can’t do it, do it.  When you think it’s a lost battle, try harder and fight for your child.  Because nothing is worse than the heartbreak of a sick child.

 

Nourish our minds, nourish our bodies

Nutrition is one of those subjects that always seem to lead to debate and controversy. I think that is wonderful. Because, and this has nothing to do with nutrition perse, it is important that we question ourselves and others in order to grow and learn.

It is important to know nutrition is a field of constant discovery. New nutrients are found all the time and their effect in our bodies is an ongoing learning process. Having said that, there is no question that nutrition plays a crucial role in our health. Without proper nutrition health is not possible, at least not in an optimal way.

Nutrition is important to all of us, but it is especially important to children. Why? Because it is intrinsically involved in every aspect of their growth and development. From a strong immune system to brain development our cells need nutrients to function properly.

 

Lucas teaches Marcos how to juice.

Lucas teaches Marcos how to juice.

For this reason education about nutrition is pivotal to our kids overall wellbeing and future health. Here are a few simple aspects of nutrition that you and your kids can share and explore.

The food our kids eats now will have a lasting impact on their health now and as adults. Eating well is a learned habit. So be mindful of the foods your child is exposed to on a regular basis. The choices they are offered are important because, not only will they provide or not provide proper nutrition, they will learn to eat based on those choices.

Nutrients work in synergy. Protein, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants can only work in certain combinations. A whole food contains in itself the nutrients required for the use of those specific nutrients. So in order to get the best out of your foods it’s important to eat a variety of whole foods.

A calorie is not a calorie. What I mean by this is that depending on the source, calories will have a different effect on our bodies. Calories coming from nutrient rich sources help us stay healthy and satiated. For example a banana contains about 100 calories, just like one of those 100 calorie packs of cookies. But unlike that 100 calorie pack a banana is also a natural source of potassium, magnesium, folate, vitamin a and vitamin C.

 

The nutrient content of food is linked to that foods source. So questioning where our food comes from is a healthy thing to do. Whether is was cultivated in nutrient rich soil or raised in a factory farm, knowing were our food comes from not only gives us a better idea of how nurturing it is but will also help us form a connection with it. This is very important.

 

Preparing our own meals is an important tradition. In our fast food nation it can be rare to prepare meals from scratch. Loosing this tradition would be of great detriment to all. It is important we teach our younger generation to keep it alive. Preparing a meal from fresh ingredients is not only beneficial to our health but to our family values and traditions. Sharing recipes and teaching our kids how to prepare them will help strengthen your bonds as a family and will create a deeper connection to what we eat.

 

 

Nutrition is not only about its scientific components but about nourishment. And nourishment is the root of health.

 

Green Smoothie

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My two year old Marcos is not as much a lover of the green veggies as Lucas is.  I won’t lie it has been a little frustrating  but with a little experimenting I found a way to introduce him to these flavors and nutrients.  Today I would like to share the recipe for a super simple green smoothie that has become a staple in our home.  This 4 ingredient smoothie is rich in antioxidants and a good source of potassium and calcium.

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Ingredients:

1 banana

3-4 cups of spinach

juice of 1 lemon

1 cup of water

 

Throw all  in a blender and done.  It makes about 2 1/2 cups.  The perfect amount to share with your little :).

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A better way to lunch

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It’s that time of the year when we send our minions back to school.  Many things are done in preparation to this day.  Shopping, packing, counseling…the list is different for each family :).

What ever your family’s ritual is there is one thing almost no parent can escape, the lunch box.

On average a child’s packed school lunch produces 67 lbs of waste a year.  That’s a colossal 18,000 pounds of waste a year for one school!  It takes  a lot of  money and resources to clean that mess up.  This has a huge impact.    We are filling our land with junk and making it difficult for our and future generations to enjoy this planet.

 On the positive side making a huge impact, in a good way, is as simple as using reusable gear. One little act of kindness to good old mother earth is as easy as using a reusable sandwich bag instead of a disposable one.  It’s not hard, it’s not expensive, it is responsible and it is kind.

I did a little research and found Reuseit.com . This website has lots of alternatives, from stainless steel containers to silicon bento boxes it is not hard to find the eco-friendly vessel that suits your family’s budget and needs.  If you are into removing as much plastic from your day-to-day as possible Life Without Plastic has some good options, plus a lot of information about green sourcing.

And if you need some ideas of how to fill that bento box with some tasty and healthy treats check out http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/school-lunches/

Talk to your child about how this simple act creates a positive ripple effect.  Share the Green Quiz Q and A.

Let’s show our kids that our actions matter and that a simple act can have monumental impact.

 

 

 

I’m Baaack :)

It has been a long time since my last post.  It seem’s like as soon as I got a little glimpse of summer I had to drop everything and devote myself to the promise of warm days in the sun.

So let me catch you up.  I have been studying a lot, celebrating my children’s birthdays (by the by they are growing way too fast), enjoying family visits, soaking in the sun, freezing my bum in forever-cold kiddie pools, staring at the ocean, driving myself crazy trying to entertain and educate the boys, loving, stressing, making plans, changing my mind, driving myself crazy 🙂  and breathing inn every bit of warmth I can.

It has been a wonderful summer and I am suffering from severe attachment to it.  “Hello my name is Ixiana and I am a summerholic.”  I am dead serious, if I get a caressed by a breeze lower than 80 degrees I’m afraid I will go into full panic mode.  I know, I know that is ridiculous.  I know nothing lasts for ever (except my love for my kids and there is no way you can convince me otherwise), I know letting go is the only way to live in peace.  I know all these things, and more yet here I am freaking out.

This made me think of all the things we know yet can’t seen to apply.  Like if we don’t fold the laundry as soon as it’s done it will sit there for a week or until some one runs out of underwear.  Yet I can’t bring myself to fold it when that annoying drier alarm goes off.   So what’s the point of knowing so much if we can’t bring ourselves to action?  As a stubborn, fairly educated, strong woman I can’t use ignorance as an excuse, at least not today.

So in the midst of this irrational fear of saying good bye to summer I have decided to start using my knowledge for good.  Today I am challenging myself to live in the moment; a challenge I am constantly challenging myself with :).  I am challenging myself to let go of things I can’t control (like the seasons) and take control of those I can.

I am going to go about my precious life studying a lot, celebrating my children, enjoying family, soaking in the sun, freezing my bum in forever-cold kiddie pools, staring at the ocean, driving myself crazy trying to entertain and educate the boys, loving, stressing, making plans, changing my mind, driving myself crazy 🙂  and breathing inn every bit of warmth I can.  After all, there is the promise of summer every year.

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