3 Small Healthy Changes That Have BIG Impacts

3 Small Healthy Changes That Have BIG Impacts

Anyone else feeling a little overwhelmed with all their typical parenting duties? …Taking the kids to dance, karate, or school (and getting there on time!) …Prepping meals and packing school lunches (especially ones that are balanced!) …Cleaning up after the little ones…multiple times a day. …Oh, and my personal favourite…trying to rationalize with a tantruming 2 year old. And on top of all this, trying to function at work/home and find time for self-care. Ha!  I struggled with low energy and anxiety too.  But I didn’t want to be a mom who dragged her feet through the day.  I put myself and my health on the back burner, yet my family took the brunt of it.  I was irritable, had little patience, and no motivation to cook or get off my butt. Until I dove into my books and studied what it takes to thrive as a busy and exhausted parent.  What I learned was life-changing.   I consolidated these changes into a step-by-step protocol for busy parents - to boost their health, energy and sanity.  I share 5 of these eye-opening yet simple solutions in the Free Mommy Survival Kit starting soon.  Click below to get on the wait list for 2 minute tips that you can actually stick with! Small healthy changes that have a BIG impact   Thankfully, I’ve been able to strike a balance with healthy habits and feel sane as a busy parent.  It took time to figure out how to make simple changes that had lasting impacts. The key was starting with the basics - small actions that are doable, but still create that ripple...
7 healthy foods I ALWAYS have in my kitchen (and on my grocery list)

7 healthy foods I ALWAYS have in my kitchen (and on my grocery list)

Prepping meals can be a royal pain in the ‘you-know-what’ when you have a family.  So I try to simplify for my own sanity when hunger strikes.  One of my sanity saving strategies is to always have a few key healthy kitchen staples on my grocery list, and in my cupboard or fridge. I can easily throw these foods into some of my favourite recipes when our selection is running slim, and I can’t make it to the grocery store.  It helps that these healthy kitchen staples also have a long shelf-life, so there’s no food waste. A win win! When the food supply is running thin for families, that’s when they are more likely to get convenience foods, like a frozen pizza, french fries, or takeout.  But because these staples are also nutrient-rich, you can throw most of them together and have a healthy meal. Even as a last resort, we are still getting a dose of vitamins, minerals, etc… everything you need to ensure you have the energy to go grocery shopping tomorrow! Without further adieu, meet my must-have family foods… My 6 healthy kitchen staples:   Tahini and sunflower seed butter (other butters) Because we use ‘butters’ almost daily on our rice cakes/crackers, in smoothies as an alternative to protein powder, in energy balls (a perfect grab-and-go snack that can also be school-safe), baked goods (mmm….paleo pumpkin cookies), and even some of my favourite meals (like this noodle-free pad thai)…I try rotate my nuts/seeds to avoid intolerances/gut issues. There are 3 reasons I love sunflower and sesame seed butters (tahini) in particular: Great alternative as I...
3 reasons why you are tired (with SIMPLE solutions)

3 reasons why you are tired (with SIMPLE solutions)

Ever wish mornings would be as magical and cheerful as you see in commercials? You wake up feeling well rested…and the remainder of the day you’re smiling, skipping down the street, while the birds are chirping and you’re oozing with energy.  {sigh} That would be a DREAM for many of us, but our reality goes more like this.  We wake up feeling groggy and muster up the little energy we have to get our crazy day started.  Even though we’ve had our 7-8 hours of sleep, we’re still exhausted and left wondering: why am I so tired? While feeling fatigued after a decent sleep may be our normal, we shouldn’t accept it as normal.  Nor should we feel this way so often.  That’s why I recommend these 8 energy-boosting foods. Let me share 3 foundational reasons why might feel like you’re dragging your feet.  We tend to overlook them because we’ve heard similar advice time and time again.  That’s because sometimes simple changes is all you need.  So let’s start here!  I’ll also give you some quick tips that you can incorporate despite a crazy busy life with kids. 3 Reasons You Are Tired (plus SIMPLE solutions) #1 - Drink to Your Health Coffee is a regular part of many morning routines. It gives us a jolt in the morning and helps us keep up with kids during the day.  Although coffee and other caffeinated beverages are promoted as energy-enhancing beverages and aid in alertness, they also have the crash effect. Within a few hours of consuming the beverage, its effects begin to wear off making many us tired...
6 Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives: which one is best?

6 Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives: which one is best?

I’m sorry but dairy is damn delicious.  Every time I am pregnant (currently 7 months pregnant with Baby Binns #3), I crave dairy like it’s nobody’s business.  For someone who NEVER drinks cow’s milk, RARELY eats dairy-based yogurts (just sheep and kefir), and SOMETIMES samples cheese and sips wine with my Italian family (oh and the odd ice cream too), I am a changed person when there’s a babe in this belly. I could eat high-fat, creamy dairy all day long.  I could but I don’t for a number of reasons which we will save for another post. So instead I trick myself, and this dairy-loving baby, with dairy-free milk alternatives.  Thankfully there are a few to go around!   The question is, which dairy-free milk is the best for us?  Let’s take a peek! 6 Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives to Cow’s Milk Soy Milk When reviewing a client’s food journal I get goosebumps every time I see “soy milk” jotted down with their cereal, or in their smoothies, or…anywhere else.  From a macronutrient perspective, soy milk is the closest to cow’s milk; however it has its disadvantages.  Chris Kresser talks about the dangers of soy in detail here, but at a glance here’s what you should know: Most soy is genetically modified. It is one of the most heavily sprayed crops with high levels of pesticides The phytoestrogens in soy may cause hormonal changes. One study illustrates that some phytoestrogens have been linked to problematic stimulation of the reproductive systems of animals and humans.   It is a common allergen, so if choosing an alternate milk due to allergy concerns, soy is not...
Is coconut oil good or bad?

Is coconut oil good or bad?

I had a relaxing evening planned last night.  Just myself, daddy, and an episode of House of Cards while snacking on these treats packed with good ol’ coconut oil (or is it as healthy as we thought?).  I just had a bit of work to do, launching our 6-Day Picky Healthy Eater Challenge and setting up new families for the summer session of the Picky Eater Protocol.  Then I was looking forward to some downtime.  But when this article landed in my inbox and this one popped up in my Facebook Group suggesting coconut oil is unhealthy, my plans changed. Health-minded parents were now doubting whether coconut oil was good or bad for them, and for a very good reason. These articles did a good job of sounding alarm bells.  After all, how can we ignore a heading like “Coconut Oil - as unhealthy as beef fat…” or dispute statements like this: According to the AHA, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated. That’s more than in butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%). And, like other saturated fats, studies show it can increase “bad” cholesterol. So as soon as I finished my “picky eater” work for the night, I immediately switched into defense mode, consolidating my research to provide peace of mind for families (and my own!). Here are my reasons for continuing to consume coconut oil DAILY (despite the fear mongering happening around us).   A few quick terms first: CVD = Cardiovascular Disease SFA = Saturated Fatty Acids (in coconut oil, butter, meat, etc) PUFA = Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (in corn oil, soybean oil, etc)...
40 Healthy Crunchy Foods for Kids

40 Healthy Crunchy Foods for Kids

I was just working on a family’s protocol offering up recommendations for healthier “crunchy” foods, and thought “I need to share this!”   I was going to squeeze it into my Free Picky Eating Webinar coming up, but it’s already a full hour of useful tips, there wasn’t much room/time left.  So here I am with my list of 40 healthy crunchy foods for kids! Most kids do very well with crunchy foods.  Especially picky eaters. When Sienna went through her earlier phases of extreme picky eating, crunchy foods were a staple.  If I steered into the territory of mushy foods (like muffins) or slimy foods (like yogurt) it was anxiety-provoking.  I had to prepare myself for a lot of gagging, and even vomitting.  Nope…those days were not fun. But here we are today, with a little girl who had my homemade pumpkin seed & zucchini crackers for breakfast, with hazelnut butter, and some coconut yogurt.  No gagging and no tears.  I NEVER thought things would change, but with some tweaks and the Picky Eater Protocol we completely turned things around.  She is a different child at meals and stress is long gone. Why children crave crunchy foods? SENSORY PREFERENCES Picky eaters like my daughter in her earlier years, tend to be selective with food because of their sensory preferences.  For instance, a child can be under sensitive  or over sensitive to sensory input like smell, taste and texture.   When we are under sensitive, we can’t process sensory input from food properly or feel softer textures in our mouth (think of it as if the sensation in our mouth being numbed).  When sensations are numbed, we would avoid foods like yogurt, bread, etc. and instead develop a preference for crunchier foods.  Sienna...

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