Dec 31, 2008

Obesity and Weight Management for Children and Teens

Some time ago, I overheard a news report on TV about the problem of obesity in children, not a new concern, but one that seems to be growing. Here's some helpful information for you, and your children. Interesting studies that reveal a lot about the kind of exercise that is most beneficial for your children.

A study of 5,500 children who agreed to wear a motion sensor device showed that those who exercised more were less likely to be obese and that short bursts of intense activity seemed to be the most helpful.

Children who did 15 minutes a day of moderate exercise, equivalent to a brisk walk, were 50 percent less likely than inactive children to be obese; the research was reported in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine in March, 2007.

Andy Ness of the University of Bristol and colleagues wrote - “Our data suggest that higher intensity physical activity may be more important than total activity,”

Chris Riddoch of Britain’s Bath University, who worked on the study commented - “This study provides some of the first robust evidence on the link between physical activity and obesity in children. We know that diet is important, but what this research tells us is that we musn't forget about activity. It’s been really surprising to us how even small amounts of exercise appear to have dramatic results.”

The less the children exercised, the more likely they were to be obese, the study found. These associations suggest even a modest increase of 15 minutes moderate and vigorous physical activity might result in an important reduction in the prevalence of overweight and obesity,” the researchers wrote.

Small changes made now can make a big difference in the lives of your children – teach them healthy habits that can last a lifetime. A quick game of catch, a short bike ride or shooting a few hoops everyday is all it takes. A little more activity and some healthy Wholefood Farmacy
snacks can make all the difference in the world.

If you have a child or teenager who wants to lose weight, we encourage you to consider treating them to a Wholefood Farmacy Tri-Decathlon Delux. This wonderful 13 day program of whole foods, water and walking can get them started in the right direction. This is also great for adults as well!

Updated 3/18/16

Dec 28, 2008

Getting a Comfortable Sleep and Heart Health

How well do you sleep at night? I know that in the past year, I am happy if I get 7 hours of sleep, it seems like 6 gets me through the day, anything under that, and it affects me mentally and physically.

Last week I saw a headline indicating that there is a link between not getting enough sleep and heart first thought was that it makes sense, because often a cause of lack of sleep is stress, which is generally unhealthy. I was able to pull up a New York Times article with more details about the study that was done, and how it appears to show that less sleep may increase the production of calcification in the arteries, but it doesn't appear that there is anything entirely conclusive as to why.

But the bottom line is, we do need to get enough sleep. For most, that is 7-8 hours. If we are not getting enough sleep, there could be many reasons, maybe one as simple as not sleeping in a comfortable beds.

Make it one of your New Year's Resolutions to get enough sleep this year, in fact, why wait until the New Year, if your sitting here surfing the net and your conscience is telling you "you really should be sleeping" then let this be the last post you read and visit the links on...and may I say, "good night".

Updated 3/18/16 

Dec 24, 2008

Avoid Eating Healthy During the Holidays

I was just emailing a reply to someone yesterday that I had lost 13 lbs since this time last year, and was "holding" during the holidays, then was going to lose some more over the coming months, AFTER the holidays.

Then I got the following email from a friend, Teri Dempski, that is sure to put a smile on your face! This is my last post before Christmas (I think?), may I wish you a very happy Christmas, in our home this holiday has deep significance as we remember the birth of Jesus Christ, and all that means to us.

Now read on, and be sure to follow these tips, at least until the New year :-)

1. Avoid carrot sticks. Anyone who puts carrots on a holiday buffet table knows nothing of the Christmas spirit. In fact, if you see carrots, leave immediately. Go next door, where they're serving rum balls.

2. Drink as much eggnog as you can. And quickly. It's rare… you cannot find it any other time of year but now. So drink up! Who cares that it has 10,000 calories in every sip? It's not as if you're going to turn into an eggnog-alcoholic or something. It's a treat. Enjoy it. Have one for me. It's Christmas!

3. If something comes with gravy, use it. That's the whole point of gravy. Gravy does not stand alone. Pour it on, make a volcano of your mashed potatoes and fill it with gravy.

4. As for mashed potatoes, always ask if they're made with skim milk or whole milk. If it's skim, pass. Why bother? It's like buying a sports car with an automatic transmission.

5. Do not have a snack before going to a party in an effort to control your eating. The whole point of going to a Christmas party is to eat, drink and be merry.

6. Under no circumstances should you exercise between now and New Year's. You can do that in January when you have nothing else to do. This is the time for long naps, which you'll need after circling the buffet table while carrying a 10-pound plate of food and that vat of eggnog.

7. If you come across something really good at a buffet table, like frosted Christmas cookies or pralines, have as many as you can before becoming the center of attention. They're like a beautiful pair of shoes. If you leave them behind, you're never going to see them again.

8. Same for pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Mincemeat. Have a slice of each. If you don't like mincemeat, have two apples and one pumpkin. Always have three. When else do you get to have more than one dessert?

9. Did someone mention fruitcake? Granted, it's loaded with the mandatory celebratory calories, but avoid it at all cost. I mean, have some standards.

10. One final tip: ENJOY! Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"

Dec 23, 2008

Teach Children about Bone Health when They are Young

There was a lot of snow on the ground at the time that this post was first written, and Christmas was only a couple of days away...I should have been posting Christmas recipes, but instead I have a little something for you related to bone health and your children. 

I just saw a report today somewhere in my travels on news sites that bone health in adulthood is established in childhood.

Helping children build healthy bones is an important job that all parents should know how to do. Children build half of their bone mass during adolescence and reach their peak bone mass by age twenty. The three most important factors for building healthy, strong bones in your children are calcium, vitamin D from exposure to sunlight and exercise.

Poor nutrition, lack of outdoor activities and lack of exercise have health experts very concerned as cases of Rickets in are rising fast in American children. Rickets is a childhood bone disease that is typically seen only in third world developing countries. It causes the bones to ache and to become deformed starting at a young age.

According to Dr. James Beaty, President of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, "There's some early data showing that even a 10 percent deficit in your bone mass when you finish your adolescent years can increase your potential risk of having osteoporosis and fractures as much as 50 percent”.

When it comes to American children, the experts believe that poor nutrition combined with too much TV, internet and computer game time is an issue that parents need to address immediately. "This potentially is a time-bomb," says Dr. Laura Tosi, bone health chief at Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C.

What’s the solution? Good nutrition, sunshine and exercise! Calcium is the building block of healthy bones. Foods which are good sources of calcium include fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, canned fish with bones, nuts, fruits, vegetables, dried beans, rice beverages, molasses and some leafy greens.

The best source of vitamin D is natural sunlight, that’s why getting outdoors is so important for your children. When the kids are playing outdoors they are getting both exercise and vitamin D.

Updated 3/18/16

Some of the article content and the image used with permission of Wholefood Farmacy, a source of unique foods and more. 

Dec 13, 2008

Teaching Children About Healthy Fats

It is never to early to learn what fats are healthy, and what fats are not. Such things were part of our way of eating as my children were growing up, and now they have the tools to know what is healthy and what is not. All we can do is provide the tools, and when they are under our roof, make sure the meals we serve set them on the right course. It is up to them to decide whether to stay on that course or not, but whatever good you do for your children now is helping their bodies at a time of rapid growth and change.

Teaching children from a young age to eat healthy fats can have lifelong health benefits according to a new study published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation in August, 2007.

The study focused on over one thousand children in Finland who were followed from the age of 7 months through age 14. The researchers found that children who were taught to focus on the healthy fats found in fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils had slightly lower cholesterol levels compared to children who ate an unrestricted diet by the time they reached the age of 14.

Dr. Art Labovitz, cardiology director at Saint Louis University School of Medicine pointed out that even a small decrease in cholesterol levels can have a big influence over the course of your child’s life. “If you study large numbers of people, the small increments result in a significant change in heart attacks and cardiac deaths,” said Dr. Art Labovitz.

Dr. Harri Niinikoski, lead author of the study done at the University of Turku in Finland, said children begin forming their eating and lifestyle habits in childhood. “We think that this lifestyle change can be started early,” he said.

Dr. Sarah Blumenschein, a pediatric cardiologist with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, said the study shows that early intervention is the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. “The earlier you intervene, the more likely you are going to be successful,” she said.

The key is to teach your children, starting as young as possible, to appreciate the healthy fats found in fish, nuts, seeds, and plant oils. By eating a little less meat and avoiding the saturated fats and trans fats which are in most processed foods, fast foods and junk foods – your children will lower their total fat intake and enjoy more of the benefits that healthy fats have to offer. As your children grow into their teens and begin eating more meals away from home, their healthy habits will guide them towards healthier food choices when unsupervised.

We encourage parents everywhere to read the nutrition information on the foods that their children eat. The healthy fats are listed as unsaturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. The unhealthy fats are listed as saturated fats and trans fats.

Article and image brought to you by The Wholefood Farmacy, with permission.

Updated 3/18/16

Dec 3, 2008

Soil, Life Source from the Source of Life

Last month my husband and I watched a show that we enjoy called "Day of Discovery" and they spent a few weeks presenting a beautiful series about dirt, soil, which plays such an important role in providing us with a source of life for both man and animals; fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and herbs.

I am not being compensated for this post, I was so impressed with this series, that I wanted to share it with you, it is in keeping with the "green" thinking many of us are embracing, and so peaceful to listen to.

The series is called "The Wonder of Creation - Soil". In fact, there is a chance you can find the series if you visit this link and look for the title on the page, you can watch the series online, there is more than one part.

An organization called ECHO was featured at times, they work to discover ways to help underdeveloped countries learn self-sustaining farming techniques. It was amazing to see how they found ways to use things such as tires, and even soda cans, as part of some of their gardening methods. You can visit the site, and their "global farm" and other interesting links.

In the words of the late and wonderful Francis Schaffer on caring for creation, "If I love the Lover [God], I love what the Lover has made".

Image from, a nice site to visit.

Updated 3/18/16