Adult Acne: How Food Transformed My Biggest Insecurity

Food has transformed my life. When I say this aloud it sounds a bit strange, but it is no exaggeration. From making me realize what is truly important to feeling the healthiest I have ever felt in all of my life, real food is truly powerful. Some of the changes that occurred when I changed the way I ate were expected – the lost of pregnancy weight and healthier eating habits. What I didn’t expect was that my new diet would eventually heal my adult acne. Read more

Unhealthy Adults are made from Unhealthy Children

Most of us don’t want to believe that food and health go hand in hand. I know I didn’t want to. Yet, when we see someone who is grossly overweight or extremely unhealthy we automatically assume that he or she eats too much. In other words, we believe that his or her weight and health issues are directly related to their food consumption. Alternatively, some believe that these people are simply too lazy to take care of themselves.

Both of these assumptions could not be further from the truth. People do not just wake up one day and appear obese. The weight gain is a result of years and years of unhealthy eating and living which primarily starts in, you guessed it, childhood. This is the reason why I am so passionate about feeding children properly. Read more

Learning About Real Food Through Lunch

As a society we have become so disconnected with our ability to identify and eat real food. It is no wonder that despite our advances in technology and medicine we continue to face a host of illnesses and diseases. What I have learned through my food journey, is that the industrial food revolution has made food such a complicated matter. With most “foods” found in grocery stores containing 10 ingredients or more, most of which are unrecognizable to the average person, it’s no wonder children (and adults) today have such a skewed view of what actual food is.

In Sarah Wu’s Fed Up With Lunch, she stresses the power of lunchtime as a time to learn. Wu states that “By ignoring lunchtime as a legitimate learning opportunity, Americans are paying a cost. We don’t know good food, we can’t prepare meals ourselves, and our health is suffering.” Read more

Recommended Reading: Fed Up With Lunch

Most of us ate school lunch at one time or another in our lives. Some of us may have fond memories of the meals we ate in our youth and some may have horror stories. No matter which group you belong to, could you imagine eating school lunch everyday as an adult? In Fed Up With Lunch: How One Anonymous Teacher Revealed the Truth About School Lunches and How we can Change Them, that’s exactly what author Sarah Wu (aka Mrs. Q) did. Read more

Schools, Companies & Organizations who are Changing School Lunch

Despite the recent relaxation of school nutrition standards granted by U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, I am hopeful that states and schools will still strive to follow higher standards.

Things never work as one intends when the motive comes from a place of fear. Operating from fear that our children will starve unless we give them processed, sodium-filled, sugar-laden meals is not the answer. This will only mold their taste buds to crave more of these things as they get older.

Since the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act was put into place in 2010, many schools and organizations have made tremendous strides to change school lunch. Food has the power to transform lives. I have seen it first hand in my own life and in my children. With that said, here are some schools and organizations that are positively changing the way we feed the next generation.   Read more

Relaxing School Lunch Standards: My Thoughts

Image source: Howstuffworks.com

Earlier this month, Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue, signed a proclamation, relaxing school lunch standards in relation to whole grains, salt and milk. After watching Perdue’s video regarding the changes and reading the actual proclamation, I am appalled. My blood boils thinking about the subject.

The good that can be taken from all of this is that according to the proclamation, it is still up to each state and each school as to whether they actually relax the standards or not. I would hope that with enough parents pushing for better nutrition in school lunches, Perdue’s standards won’t actually go into effect.

With that said, here are my top three issues with the reasoning behind and the changes themselves. Read more

Recommended Reading: The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook

If I had to anything over in the way I have raised my kids so far it would be to introduce them to food through baby-led weaning (BLW) instead of through purees and mushy food. With Kuya I had never even heard of BLW and every mom I knew started with purees. With Sissy Boo I had planned on doing BLW, however she was ready to start right around the time of our cross country move and therefore it just wasn’t convenient.

However, with most things, it’s almost always better late than never. This is the case with BLW. Around the time Sissy Boo turned 11 months I decided I wouldn’t put baby-led weaning off anymore. I watched YouTube videos to learn more and I was amazed at how good these BLW babies were. One YouTube mom recommended reading The Baby-Led Weaning Cookbook by Gil Rapley and Tracey Murkett, so I did. For all of new and expecting moms I would also highly recommend reading this book and following BLW instead of traditional baby food. Read more

Five Healthy Foods My Picky Eater Loves

Kuya’s picky eating habits used to be the source of a lot of frustration in our house. Now, instead of seeing his pickiness as a detriment I take it as a challenge to discover what he will eat. I also try to create dishes so tasty that he doesn’t realize he’s eating something healthy and wholesome.

There are plenty of foods that are still on Kuya’s “will not touch or eat” list. However, I am confident that with time and continual reintroduction of the same foods, the scale will begin to tip in our favor. It already has.

If you have a picky eater, and you want him or her to develop the habit of eating well at a young age, these five foods may be a good place to start. I believe that I have one of the pickiest eaters. So, if he’s willing to eat these foods, chances are that your child may find these healthy options delicious as well. Read more

How I Raised a Picky Eater

I am a first generation American and grew up with five other siblings. Money was always an issue in our house, so when it came to food we ate whatever was available. Therefore, I never understood how people could be so picky about food. To be honest, picky eating is one of my biggest pet peeves.

When I say picky, I am talking about downright won’t touch or eat a dish if it contains an ingredient on someone’s do not eat list. Picky to me does not mean you won’t eat exotic foods like octopus, rabbit or frog legs or that you won’t eat meat if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. Picky means someone who will not eat a number of fruits, vegetables or herbs just because they don’t like or think that they don’t like the taste of it.

Given my feelings, imagine my horror when around one year, my own child decided that he (Kuya) was going to be a picky eater. This issue has been the source of so much frustration in our home. At first we gave into Kuya’s picky eating habits by giving him what he would eat. Like all parents, we didn’t want him to starve. What I have learned through books and through trial and error, however was that I was the reason he was a picky eater. Read more

Recommended Reading: Into the Magic Shop

Every once in awhile I will come across a book that moves me and speaks to my heart so deeply that I wish I could buy a copy of it for everyone I love. Today’s recommended reading Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon’s Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart by James R. Doty, MD is that book.

I initially checked the book out because I wanted to read more New York Times Best Sellers. It had actually been sitting on my ‘to-read’ shelf for a couple of months. One day out of boredom, I decided it was time to get to it and see if it was worth reading all the way through. After 3 days of not being able to put the book down, I finished it and began to tell everyone about it.

As I began to share my love for this book, I realized that I could not give the book the proper justice it deserved. Therefore, if this review, does not push you to read Into the Magic Shop, do yourself a favor and pretend you didn’t read this and get the book instead. I’d be surprised if you don’t become captivated after the first couple of chapters.

Format I Read: Hardcover

The Good

There are so many good things about this book that I couldn’t possibly list them all in a concise review. The book is a biography of Dr. Doty’s life. However, it is written in a way where you sometimes feel like you are reading a fictional story. The emotions you experience for the author range from empathy and sadness to shock and contempt. However, in the end it all comes together and you realize what a magical journey he has been on.

Into the Magic Shop mixes science with phenomenons that can only be explained through the belief of a bigger universal force. It is about mindfulness and meditation and the power, both good and bad, that these two things can have in a person’s life. If you have ever felt sorry for yourself or had a dream that you didn’t believe would be achievable because of your circumstances, this book will give you the inspiration to chase those dreams and believe that a fulfilling life could be yours.

The best thing about the book is the connection it makes between the brain and the heart. Most of us believe that the brain is the most powerful organ we have. However, through science and through real life examples, Into the Magic Shop demonstrates that our hearts are the true leaders of our bodies. One of my favorite quotes from the book is: “a heart ignored for too long will always make itself heard.”  

The Not-So-Good

The only unfavorable thing I could say about this book is that it will consume you. I literally read it every chance I got. I woke up early to read it, I read it while eating, while doing my business in the bathroom and if I was out I couldn’t wait until I was home so that I could continue reading. I was sad once I finished the book, but also glad because I could go back to living life normally and paying proper attention to my family.

Conclusion

I haven’t always understood the connection between the heart and the mind, but as I’ve been on this journey to live life more intentionally the connection has made itself more and more clear. Similar to Dr. Doty, I had ignored my heart for quite some time. My mind was telling me that I needed to make money and that that was the ultimate goal in order to live a successful life and take care of my family. Because my heart could no longer take the deception my mind was telling me, it spoke up and my life will never be the same again.

If you are ready to learn what it takes to follow your heart, to ignore the doubts and fears you have, to rediscover yourself and your passions, read this book.