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Tips for Busy Moms on How to Lose Weight

By Rachel Hubbard

The word “diet” has such negative connotations that it is time to ditch it forever; but, with school starting, most moms cannot wait to develop some healthy new habits which might help them to lose a few pounds as well. Let the school year mark a new beginning and use these creative ideas to shape up and feel better in just a few weeks.

Make the Most of Movements

Movement burns calories whether it is called exercise or not. Through making the most of ordinary activities, we can ramp up our calorie burn rate without adding additional time to our days. The following suggestions may not seem like much when taken individually, but they can make a huge difference in the amount of calories burned in a week’s time.

• Lift weights or heavy cans or do deep knee bends while talking on the phone.

• Use resistance bands or weights when playing the waiting game in doctor’s offices, while on the phone, or when watching a child’s soccer practice.

• Always take the stairs, whether at home or while running errands; and, if time permits, run up and down two or three times.

• Use the weight of groceries as a means of building muscles by lifting them up and down as they are transported from the vehicle to the cabinet. Do the same with the laundry basket on the way to the utility room.

• Make a game of trying to increase the heartbeat when sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, or dusting by doing some speed cleaning – listening to some upbeat music will make this more fun!

• While playing with babies or younger children, use their weight to strengthen arms and legs by lifting and lowering them slowly from one position to another.

• Stretch for five minutes before even getting out of bed in the morning.

• Work in a visit with a friend by meeting at a local park to walk and talk, rather than meeting for a coffee.

Become a Food Fanatic

Food is not the enemy, but controlling food choices is sometimes difficult. It is important for moms wishing to lose weight to have healthy food available in a short period of time. The house should be cleared of snacks that are loaded with sugar, fat and calories to make food decisions easier. The following ideas will also help those trying to get their food consumption under control.

• Eat out of smaller bowls and plates to make portions appear larger.

• Portion out snacks of fruits and vegetables in plastic bags and keep readily available at all times.

• Try at least one new low calorie recipe out on the family each week.

• Buy no oil for cooking, and use only olive oil in small amounts for flavor.

• Slowly add more foods with high fiber content to the diet, especially whole grains.

By using a free weight loss calculator to set your personal targets, and setting a goal to work on these healthy habits during the next few weeks, the effects will be noticeable to everyone. Higher energy, a trimmer figure, and glowing skin will reward moms who make the effort to incorporate these small changes into their daily routines.

It is now easier than ever to stay healthy and vibrant as more and more companies find innovative ways to deliver the recommended daily allowance of essential vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids. “Mom” was recently introduced to three companies that will help you to stay on top of your game this summer and stave off that pesky summer cold, and you won’t have to swallow an oversized pill to reap the benefits!

Ascenta NutraSea DHA

Get your daily recommended dose of Omega-3 fatty acids in a liquid formula with NutraSea DHA, which can easily be added to smoothies or protein shakes! Recently launched, NutraSea DHA comes from the most eco-friendly and sustainable marine source: wild squid, which is typically caught for calamari. Much of the squid is not used for this, and has been regarded as waste, but actually contains 35% more omega-3 than wild salmon and 100% more than krill! Unlike most fish species, Pacific Squid has dramatically increased in numbers over the last 30 years, and is naturally resistant to overfishing due to an early reproductive age and a very short lifespan. NutraSea DHA is an ideal choice for pregnant and lactating mothers as well as seniors and individuals with cardiovascular and eye conditions. For more information on all Ascenta products, visit www.ascentahealth.com

alternaVites™
Turn taking vitamins from a chore to a treat! Originally developed as a multivitamin & mineral made specifically for people who have difficulty swallowing pills or prefer not to, alternaVites™ can be blended into smoothies, yogurt and even healthy pudding, creating a nutrition-packed snack. This unique alternative to taking a multi-vitamin pill makes it easy and even fun for anyone to make sure that they are receiving their daily vitamins and minerals – simply pour on your tongue and let it dissolve, much like a pixie stick but without the sugar!

Packaged in daily dose packets which makes an extremely portable option for those traveling or just on-the-go, alternaVites™ fit perfectly into a pocket, purse, backpack and more! alternaVites™ contains zero grams of sugar, no animal products or by-products, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It is also allergen-free! Learn more at www.alternaVites.com.

Cold-EEZE®

Cold-EEZE® reduces the duration and symptoms of the common cold including cough, stuffy nose, sore throat, sneezing, post-nasal drip and hoarseness. This zinc-cold remedy is taken as a lozenge that dissolves on your tongue with a pleasant-tasting flavor! It is easy to beat that cold, as the Cold-EEZE® proprietary (zinc gluconate) formula is believed by researchers to interfere with the cold virus’ ability to reproduce.

Recommended as the #1 pharmacist-recommended zinc cold remedy, it is offered in a variety of delicious flavors, such as Cherry, Honey Lemon, Strawberries & Cream, Tropical Orange, Lemon Lime, Mint Frost, and sugar-free options, as well! Cold-EEZE uses natural flavors and has no preservatives or colors. It is non-drowsy, non-agitating and does not affect blood pressure. Best part? No pill to swallow! Visit www.coldeeze.com for more information, or download their free informational booklet here.

*Companies included above generously provided samples and images for this article.*

“Mom” at Tiny Green Mom is excited to announce that the Winner of the Storyland Yoga DVD Giveaway is Natalie! We hope that your family enjoys this DVD, and yoga becomes an important practice for all! Thanks to everyone who entered this eco-fabulous giveaway!

*Image provided by Storyland Yoga DVD Giveaway.*

Yoga For Kids – Creating Health And Wellness For The Younger Generation

With today’s epidemic of childhood obesity, the medical profession is concerned for the future health and wellness of today’s youth. Getting enough regular exercise is important for the health of children and young adults. Choosing something fun, yet beneficial, is key when it comes to a picking a kid’s exercise group.

One of the most beneficial and well-rounded exercise programs for young people is the ancient practice of doing yoga. Unlike other sports activities, yoga is much, much more than just a way to exercise the body. It is a total lifestyle of health and wellness that children these days need so much of.

Children Learn A Healthy Lifestyle Practice Through Yoga Lessons

Lessons specifically made for children and young adults can offer them more than just a quick body workout. This practice teaches and trains the young child to control their thoughts, their body movements and their breathing. It helps them connect with the spiritual part of themselves and gives them the mental and emotional tools they need to grow up as grounded and self aware adults.

Yoga Teaches Kids Mindful Awareness

Poses that are used for children during class use creative methods to teach the child visualization and connectedness. Showing kids that they can stretch out their arms like a tree branch and imagine what it feels like to be cut down teaches true oneness with nature. It creates a thinking, feeling child who grows in awareness and empathy of the living things found in nature.

Poses are also fun for kids. The children stretch, reach, bend and become more flexible. Yoga helps them achieve fine motor coordination and muscle strength. Kids learn how to focus and develop self-control. They also learn how to relax. Focused, relaxed kids that can control themselves do better in school and will do much better out in the work force when they grow up.

Children Who Take Yoga Classes Learn Healthy Stress Relief Methods

Learning the healthy lifestyle practice of yoga is fun for children. They can release all of their pent up energy in a safe, fun environment. Classes may involve stimulating games and poses that teach them about nature and human anatomy. They learn an important lesson about stress relief and relaxation that can help ward off diseases caused by stress in later life. Kids who learn how to breathe correctly and calm themselves have a built-in buffer against some of the harmful stress relievers that many teenagers turn to like alcohol and cigarettes.

Kids Learn Lifelong Lessons From Yoga

Yoga is not only fun, it promotes self-discipline and inner strength. Children grow in character and self-respect. It promotes a feeling of well-being and confidence in a child. It helps them grow in respect for other human beings and for the life found in nature. This is much more than one could expect from any other kind of physical exercise program for young people. Yoga is more than just physical. It encompasses the whole person.

Not only do kids who take yoga have more stamina, balance, strength and flexibility, they will be able to control stress and anxiety better. Their minds will be clear and focused. Sleep will be more restful. That alone might get parents signing their kids up for classes as soon as possible.

Yoga can be practiced throughout their lives for maximum health and wellness. Classes of this type for children can create a whole new future generation of healthy, happy and well-rounded adults.

About the Author

Nicole Rodgers has been blogging for three years. In her free time, she likes to help teens study for their DMV test and, as a mom, she loves finding coupons at savings.com.

Making Time for Meditation
By Tom Von Deck, Corporate Meditation Trainer, Speaker and Author

It is becoming increasingly clear to most people that meditation benefits just about every aspect of life. Headline after headline
introduces us to new studies which say that meditation benefits brain function, heart health, circulatory system, productivity, stress levels and many other things. The list is endless. However, according to surveys, most people feel like they simply do not have time for meditation.

There is a way to make time for meditation without displacing other important activities. This is true regardless of how hectic your schedule seems. Making time for meditation does not require a huge amount of self discipline. It just requires a little bit of commitment.

A good starting point is to frame the idea of meditation with the right attitude. Meditation is a time saver and productivity booster. In fact, many companies have meditation rooms and offer employees two to three hours per week to meditate or pray on company time.

Tribe Inc., a company that designs employee engagement programs for corporate clients, offers three “wellness hours” per week for each of their own employees to slip out of the office and meditate in the meditation room or play ice hockey outside. Other companies such as Toyota, Apple and Nike also encourage meditation because they say that the investment saves them money by reducing absenteeism, illness and low energy days. Employees are more absorbed in work tasks, and they sleep better than employees who don’t engage in meditation and similar activities. The time investment that goes into meditation is actually a time saver because it helps you use your time more efficiently.

You may be a mom who always needs to be vigilant with the kids. You may also have a job that does not offer wellness hours. So, how do you find time to meditate and do it well? Start by making a list.

What do you find calming, grounding and centering? Maybe there’s a childhood memory of a waterfall you visited frequently. Maybe you enjoy reading poems by Rumi or Psalms by King David. You may also have a favorite spiritual or inspirational song. Put these meditation boosting activities on your list. Now, add some physical activity like stretching and something else that generates feeling in the body and grounds you in the present moment. These are all things which may facilitate your meditation while not taking up too much time.

Everyone has down times in the day. Retrace your previous day and think about all the times you had at least 30 seconds of down time. This can be traffic lights, grocery store lines, gaps between work tasks, trips to the bathroom, etc. Use all these times to do the activities on your list. If these in between times don’t exist, create some. Make sure it measures up to at least 30 seconds out of each hour. You may sometimes notice immediate effects of these activities, but that’s not the important thing. The important thing is the accumulation of peace that occurs below the level of consciousness. This will make meditation much easier by the time you begin a formal meditation practice. You will find that there is always time for meditation. You will also find that shorter meditation sessions take less time to “warm up” for because you’re almost in that meditative state of mind already.

Now it’s time to find your meditation technique. If you’re a beginner, you can learn a simple technique on many websites, audio programs or through a personal meditation coach or weekend retreat. Many simple meditation techniques have a very similar structure. What mainly differs is the object that you are focusing on. Make sure that this object is something that invites a state of deep, loving absorption. This can be the breath, a word, a phrase, a visualized image and many other things.

Set aside a particular time each day for formal meditation at least two hours after a meal. Declare it sacred time that you use for stopping to check in with yourself and your own mind. Aim for at least ten minutes for your time duration. If you have an hour each day to devote as your time investment for meditation, that’s even better. The important thing is consistency. Keep a good solid momentum of peace every day, and you will realize that there is always time for meditation.

About the Author

Tom Von Deck is a corporate meditation trainer, speaker and author of Oceanic Mind – The Deeper Meditation Training Course. Tom specializes in making meditation a much easier and more customized process for busy people and everyone else from all lifestyles and religious backgrounds. He is also the editor of The Ultimate Stress Blog. Tom’s website is www.DeeperMeditation.net.

Is Your Child a Picky Eater?

The way I see it, if your child restricts her food choices and is not getting a balanced diet that includes vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, and if at the same time she relies on sugary and starchy foods, then you may have a picky eater who needs to change her habits. Find out by answering the following questions:

  • Does your child lack vitality?
  • Does your child look sickly or unhealthy?
  • Is your child moody or overly sensitive?
  • Does your child eat a mostly “white” diet—bread, pasta, crackers, white cheese?
  • Do you find yourself wondering in the morning if this will be a “good” or “bad” day?
  • Does your child complain that many foods taste or smell funny?
  • Is your child unable to eat foods or dishes that are mixed, such as meat loaf, or
    salad with various vegetables included?
  • Are mealtimes stressful because of food negotiating/refusal?
  • Do you have to prepare a separate dinner for your child most nights?

If you answered yes to two or more of these questions, you likely have a picky eater.

What to Do

1. If you think your child is suffering from an irritant, consider these symptoms: pale, pasty-looking complexion; skin anomalies (eczema, hives, dermatitis, rashes); bowel issues, especially constipation, or frequent diarrhea (a sign of gluten intolerance); sick all the time; craving beyond reason dairy or wheat-based products.

2. Next, consult a health care professional such as a nutritionist, GI specialist, or allergist to discuss testing possibilities or questions that need answering. The best test, however, is simple: eliminating the food you suspect. That way you can see your child’s individual response.

3. Try a simple elimination diet for four to six weeks. Dairy is the most common food irritant, followed by sugar and gluten and wheat-based foods.

4. If you eliminate dairy, replace the calcium with 900–1,000 milligrams of calcium supplement, split into two doses. Don’t substitute soy milk for dairy, because soy has a similar chemical structure to milk, so half of kids with dairy issues have the same response to soy. The soy/dairy relationship is discussed further in chapter 5.

5. Then try the E.A.T. program discussed in the next chapter, along with a multivitamin that includes 15 milligrams of zinc if the child is three or older.

About the Author

Kelly Dorfman is the author of: What’s Eating Your Child? The hidden connections between food and childhood ailments (Workman Publishing, 2011). Visit www.whatseatingyourchild.com.

Study Links Health Benefits with Peppermint Oil

By Teresa Dahl

For centuries and centuries, many people have touted the health benefits of peppermint oil. Of the many different types of essential oils and natural remedies, peppermint has long believed to be a tonic for differing symptoms—from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) to memory loss. Even used as far back as ten thousand years ago, peppermint oil has always been more than just a nice scent.

While it is a scent and taste that many people enjoy, its medicinal purposes have always outshone its public taste approval. It wasn’t until just recently however that a new study by researchers at the University of Adelaide supports the health benefits that evangelists have been saying for years.

One of the first respected studies was performed in 2007, when Italian researchers analyzed the effects of peppermint oil in IBS. They found that 75% of patients reported a major reduction in their symptoms when they were taking the peppermint oil capsules. This was in stark contrast to the 38% of respondents who had taken the placebo. This study has been repeated several times throughout history.

This year, however, a breakthrough in research has specifically shown how peppermint activates a type of anti-pain sensory channel inside the colon, called TRPM8. The authors of this study point out how naturopaths have been prescribing peppermint oil for many years, but it was not until now that there was a scientific backing to the practice.

“This is potentially the first step in determining a new type of mainstream clinical treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome,” said Dr. Stuart Brierley.

IBS affects nearly 20% of the population, and while there is, as of yet, no cure, this study shows how peppermint oil can reduce painful symptoms. When this is paired with the article from the International Journal of Neuroscience on how peppermint’s aroma can enhance memory and aid in recall, there seems to be more scientific backing to what naturopaths have been saying all along. Peppermint Oil is indeed, a viable, natural cure for a few different ailments such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and should not be taken lightly, as it has scientifically been proven as a medicinal remedy.

Dish up healthy servings of hope with the HopeFULL Gift Pack! Originally created by two sisters who wanted to provide a dear friend with nutritious and delicious options that would not turn her stomach while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, the HopeFULL Gift Pack is truly special. Designed to be sent or brought to a loved one, the contents of the gift pack includes 20 easy-to-make recipes, BPA, PVC, and Phthalate-free HOPEfull Silicone Mold, 100 Birch-wood spoon-sticks, and 1 insulated neoprene cooler tote. The recipes are simple enough for any caregiver to make and freeze, and the frozen meal pops offer cooling relief as well as tasty nutrition!

Not just for those undergoing treatment for cancer or other illnesses, the frozen meal pops make a wonderful summertime activity and healthy treat for the kiddos, as well! Little ones will love to help Mom or Dad in the kitchen as they measure the ingredients, add them to the blender, and once blended, pour them into the silicone mold to freeze. What “Mom” loves is that these pops do not contain any added sugar or artificial ingredients, just delightful flavors and sound nutrition! With 20 unique flavors to make, you can choose from Greenie Pineapple Pops to Cocobanana Bean, and introduce your child to flavors around the world, as well, with the Taste of Thailand or Tropic Treat. Yum!

Mom” chose to make the Summer Fruit Pops with her daughter, pictured above, and they turned out marvelously! Measuring, blending, and pouring was easy, and the pops were ready in a little over an hour – just enough time to play outside!

Summer Fruit

Ingredients

1/4 cup vanilla soy milk (“Mom” used Vanilla Almond Milk)

1/2 cup silken tofu

1/2 cup fresh raspberries (“Mom” used 1/4 cup fresh raspberries and 1/4 cup fresh blueberries)

1/2 cup fresh strawberries de-stemmed and halved

1/2 cup vanilla whole milk yogurt (“Mom” used Organic Fat-Free Greek Yogurt)

Preparation

Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until completely smooth, scraping down the sides if necessary. Pour into HopeFULL tray, add wooden spoon-sticks and freeze.

The pops tasted smooth and creamy, like a creamsicle, and are perfect after a long day spent playing! They can also be taken out of the freezer, left to melt just a bit in a bowl, and then eaten with the wooden spoon-stick.

Whether you are enjoying the pops as a treat, or sending cheerful goodness to a loved one or friend, the HopeFULL Gift Pack is sure to make someone smile! To learn more about the HopeFULL Company, the inspiration behind their business, or to order, visit www.thehopefullcompany.com.

*Company generously provided samples, recipes, and images for this review.*

ADD ZEST AND VIGOR TO YOUR LIFE! GO VEGAN!

By Zel Allen

Delicious flavors, improved health, and a surprising boost in energy are nature’s marvels of feasting from the vast array of nutrient-rich foods of the plant kingdom. While it may seem impossible to make the switch from an animal-based diet to a vegan lifestyle overnight, gradually introducing new fruits and vegetables is a step in the can-do direction.

Plant-based foods are packed with energizing nutrients that boost vitality, raise the spirits, improve digestion, lower cholesterol, and invigorate your life. Weight drops quickly on a well-planned vegan diet, making it easier to continue on the path to better health.

By focusing on plant foods, you’ll be treating your body to plenty of fiber and added water, two features missing in animal-based foods. Fiber-rich foods help to fill you up and keep you satisfied until the next meal by stabilizing the blood sugar. The added fluids help with elimination and keep you well hydrated. You’ll also be eliminating excess fat and calories because they begin to burn off in the process of digesting the fiber-rich foods.

Protein and calcium are never a concern on a vegan diet because there are many excellent sources from legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and even fruits and vegetables. The bonus is that plant foods are voluptuously packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that protect us from the typical chronic ailments like heart disease, diabetes, digestive conditions, acid reflux, and even some cancers.

Vegans enjoy a healthy diet and find it an ideal pathway to weight loss. It’s easy to take off pounds and keep them off because plant foods are so low in calories and fat, yet high in needed nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are the staples of the diet.

Plant foods are naturally cholesterol-free. By adopting a vegan lifestyle you’ll easily and quickly be able to lower high cholesterol, especially the LDL or bad cholesterol. By shedding excess pounds and cholesterol, energy just naturally blooms.

Begin with your next shopping trip to the market. Spend a few extra moments in the produce department and choose just one new vegetable you plan to eat that day or the next. Chop, slice, or dice it into your salad. It’s as easy as that.

For breakfast, choose old-fashioned rolled oats that take only five minutes to cook. Oats are packed with soluble fiber that helps to lower cholesterol. Turn your bowl of hot oatmeal into a delectable sundae with toppings of raisins, chopped fresh fruits, and a tablespoon of chopped walnuts. Moisten the sundae with vanilla flavored soymilk, rice milk, or perhaps an almond milk.

Treat yourself to the delightful sweetness of a piece of fruit with every breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Fruits are powerhouses of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and high water content. Fruits come in nature’s most convenient packages–just wash and eat.

Starting with one dinner per week, enjoy beans as your protein replacement for the meat, chicken, or fish you might usually have. Use the same favorite herbs and spices you would for other dishes to enhance flavor. Beans make delicious veggie chili, homey sloppy Joes, and thick and hearty soups.

Instead of white rice, choose brown rice with its richer flavor, pleasant chewy texture, and higher fiber content. Leftover brown rice combined with chopped raw vegetables make a tasty and satisfying lunch salad.

Replace white bread and refined grains foods with whole grain products. Read the ingredient labels carefully to look for the words “whole grain” instead of enriched wheat. Whole-grain breads make better tasting sandwiches.

Enjoy a delicious lentil soup made from vegetable broth or water instead of with chicken or beef broth. Lentils deliver delicious flavor along with high fiber, protein, and minerals like calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and selenium.

Lower your cholesterol naturally with a just handful of delicious raw nuts a day. Numerous studies show the beneficial monounsaturated fats and antioxidants in nuts like walnuts, almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes by reducing total and LDL cholesterol. Enjoy a light sprinkle of chopped nuts over salads and cereals.

Treat yourself to an antioxidant boost with dark green leafy vegetables. Kale, collard greens, mustard greens, bok choy, turnip greens, watercress, and broccoli register off the charts with vitamin A, vitamin K,, lutein and zeazanthin, beta carotene, and omega 3 fatty acids, along with vitamins and minerals. Make friends with those green veggies and you’ll be protecting the delicate cells that line your arteries and protect you from a heart attack. These magical leafy vegetables are the secret to a power-packed salad.

Eat a fresh salad every day. Make sure to heap the salad bowl with veggies of every color. Eat the rainbow! Every color offers a different blend of antioxidants and phytochemicals, the plant soldiers that protect your health.

Most vegetables can be eaten raw, but it’s fun to include some lightly steamed vegetables in the salad for diversity. Don’t worry about eating too many vegetables. It’s impossible to overeat them because you’ll become full before overeating. Choose from this rainbow garden of health:

Red

Bell peppers, tomatoes, radishes, beets, red leaf lettuces

Orange

Carrots, bell peppers, winter squashes like butternut and kabocha, rutabaga

Yellow

Squashes like Hubbard and spaghetti squash, summer squash, yellow peppers

Green

Lettuce, cabbage, green beans, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, spinach, chard

Purple

Cabbage, purple onions, purple potatoes

White

Cauliflower, potatoes, icicle radishes, jicama, and turnip

Every step you take to feast from the garden of health will bring life-changing results. You’ll notice the difference quickly. Within days you’ll feel lighter and more energetic. That feel-good vitality will encourage you to continue exploring more plant foods. It’s that easy!

About the Author

Zel Allen is the author of The Nut Gourmet, a cookbook that touts the benefits of nuts with over 150 delicious recipes. She also co-publishes Vegetarians in Paradise, an online monthly vegetarian magazine that features recipes, book reviews, and vegan nutrition basics.

Boost your family’s fun level this spring with the GeoPalz activity tracker for kids. Bring the kids along on your daily walks, shoot some hoops in the driveway or kick the soccer ball around in the backyard.

With GeoPalz, the kids in your family will want to join in on the activity and stay active this spring. GeoPalz activity tracker is the first decorative pedometer and online game that tracks your child’s physical activity throughout the day. The GeoPalz easy-to-use pedometer sits on your child’s waistline and comes in several kid-friendly designs.

And the cool thing about GeoPalz is that the kids walk to win! For every mile your child achieves with GeoPalz, it counts as one pedpoint when you register your GeoPalz online. Your child can manually enter his or her steps online and once the points start to add up, he or she can use the points to redeem fun, activity-focused prizes, such as baseballs, Frisbees and gift cards to popular stores, such as Target.

For more information or to order, visit GeoPalz.

*Company provided images and information for this review.*