What are the signs of over-use of stimulants?
Calcium is critical for healthy, strong bones. When we are babies, milk and calcium are a huge part of our nutritional intake. It is an essential building block for growth.
Our calcium intake tends to decline as we get older. And, women tend to need more calcium, not less.
So, what happens when you stop getting the daily calcium required? Or, what happens if you are lactose intolerant and unable to take in the dairy products that supply you with Calcium?
Not getting enough calcium accelerates bone loss, regardless of age. Our bodies are not able to produce calcium. In order to get the daily nutrients, you must consume calcium from outside sources, such as supplements, dairy products and calcium-rich foods. It is recommended that we get 1000-1200 mg as the daily allowance of Calcium, depending on our age and sex. This will help maintain strong bones, preventing Osteopenia (Pre-Osteoporosis) and Osteoporosis.
Doctors are able to detect deterioration of bones through a test called a DEXA or a bone density scan. If detected early, adding in a daily calcium supplement can help prevent weakening or deterioration of our bones, which are vital for physical health during aging.
In addition to calcium, vitamin D is a good supplement to take because it assists with the absorption of calcium needed for bone health. If you are not sure if you are getting the amount of daily nutrients your body needs, check in with your healthcare professional for their recommendations.
Are family dinners a thing of the past?
When I was little, every evening at dinner time, my family would gather around the dining table. My mother put dinner on — no tv, no cell phones — just my family chatting, laughing and sharing the day.
The concern for what we ate was irrelevant. We ate whatever my mother made! We didn’t count carbs, fats, or even calories, but we did eat healthy foods. We also had lots of exercise, though. We were active kids, always in sports.
Fast forward to today. Do families still have dinner together? Without distraction? Does your family eat the same thing or does everyone eat something different? Are we too busy with evening activities, so we just grab “something to go?” Do we get enough exercise that we can ignore carbs, fats and calories?
I think the answers to these questions vary. However, there are more distractions and evening events that get in the way. There is not as much time or concern for what we are eating — our obese children tell the story.
Maybe its time for simple, again. Get back to everyone participating in dinner — as a family. A great way to encourage healthy cooking and eating is to cook and eat together!
With diabetes and obesity being such a huge issue for families, a few simple ideas for improving your family’s diet.
- Make Sunday meal planning time. What does everyone want to eat for the week?
- Look for recipes together. There are great apps out there!
- Get your kids involved in helping to prepare a healthy grocery list.
- Shop as a family, and talk about preparation time.
- Read food labels. What does all of it mean?
Even small changes can make a huge difference, and motivate the family to find time to eat together.
Breakfast! We hear repeatedly how important it is, but what is the truth behind this statement?
The reading and research I have done would confirm that this is a factual statement. Being in the healthcare field, I decided not only to research this subject, but I tried a few days of eating breakfast vs. going without. The conclusion I have come to, is that it is, in fact, a true statement.
A healthy breakfast in the morning is like putting gas in the tank of your car. A full tank of gas will get you to wherever you need to go that day. An empty tank won’t get you very far and can cause multiple problems for you. The same is true with eating breakfast. A good healthy and nutritious breakfast will get your metabolism going, help you focus and give you the energy you need to get through to lunch or throughout the day. Doctors recommend a combination of carbohydrates, fiber and lean protein for breakfast.
On the go and in a hurry? Consider protein shakes, a yogurt bowl with your cereal added on top, or pack breakfast for the car ride!
A healthy breakfast to start your day will help you get the nutrients that your body needs. Without it, you may have low blood sugar, feel sluggish and lack the energy you need to tackle your day, so don’t skip it. Make it a priority to start your day in a positive, healthy way!
There was a favorite book that I’d read to my children, “Love You Forever”, by Robert N. Munsch. In it’s playful story of the lifecycle of mother and son, it is a reminder of the precious gift of the parent and child relationship.
“I love you forever…I love you for always…as long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be…”
But, as the book points out, parenthood is stressful. Regardless of age and day activities, the world demands a lot from us.
We can’t eliminate the stress. We can’t hide from the world. The challenge is building a family environment…a family culture…ways and patterns for dealing with stress.
Remember the mantra encouraging “quality over quantity” in time with kids? But, sometimes quality can’t be achieved without quantity. Kids are not light switches, they don’t turn on and off on a schedule. In my endeavor to create “quality time” for my family, I tended to place an unreasonable expectation on all of us.
Then one day, I got over myself.
I knew that I entered every weekend tired and yearning for a little quiet time. My ears were over-stimulated, my mind was over-loaded and my nerves were on edge.
So, why wouldn’t I think my kids weren’t having the same issues entering the weekend?
Once I considered they were just mini-me’s, I focused less on what and more on how with my kids. It didn’t mean we became a picture perfect family, but it meant the bonds of our family strengthened.
The weekend is coming. Assess the calendar. What is the plan? How can you approach the activities with your kids – finding that balance in time and activities, talk more, do healthy and let down the protective force fields.
It’s less about the what and more about the how!
Why sunlight? There are several benefits that sunlight has on the human body. First and foremost, is the vitamin D that the sun provides. When out in the sunlight, the body absorbs vitamin D through the skin and is converted to a state that the body can use. A minimum of 30 minutes a day is recommended.
This is easy to do year round if you live in a warmer climate, but what about cooler climates? That’s where vitamin D supplements may be needed. If you are concerned whether or not you are getting your daily allowance of vitamin D, especially during the winter months, please consult your healthcare professional for more information.
People often ask themselves , “what can I do to keep my heart healthy everyday?” The obvious answers are exercising and eating healthy. While eating healthy is a big part of it, exercise is equally important. You don’t have to run out and buy a gym membership, especially if it’s not in your budget. There are cardio exercises that you can do in your own home for 20-30 minutes each day that will help you to stay active.
Walking is a great cardio workout! There are many benefits to walking around the block, around your neighborhood or if you’re lucky enough to have a path or trail nearby, even better! What if it’s cold outside and you can’t go out and walk? Walk around inside your house, up and down stairs or around the outer walls. There are many great floor exercises you can do that get your heart rate up, too. Consider yoga or other fitness exercises in your living room.
If that’s too confining, consider going to a shopping mall. As long as you are staying active, and getting that cardio time in each day, you will have more energy and will definitely feel better.