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Is it the candy or the costume that is causing him to ‘blast off?’

At family birthday dinner a few months ago, my then-toddler excitedly shoveled spoonful after spoonful of colored frosting directly off the birthday cake into his mouth.  As the rainbow of colors smeared across his face, my father-in-law whipped out his video camera and everyone else laughed and snapped pictures.  The only child at the dinner table, all eyes were on him.

Once Brady realized he had everyone’s undivided attention he jumped from the table and sang the “happy cake” song (his version of happy birthday) when his crowd erupted in applauds, he began to run, literally, in circles around my in-laws living room.

My mother-in-law laughed and said, “well, there goes that sugar kicking in!”

But I wondered, was it actually the sugar, or was he just hamming up the undivided attention he was getting?

A quick google search confirmed my suspicion.  Although generations of parents have blamed their child’s banshee-like behavior on too much sugar, scientific research says otherwise.  In no less than 20 clinical, double-blind research studies, sugar was found to have no affect on children’s behavior or their ability to concentrate.  In fact, the evidence is so conclusive; experts say the link is a “non-issue” in the science world.

So what does cause kids to climb the walls after a dose of the sweet stuff?

Chances are it’s actually the situation in which sugary snacks are served that causes the amped up behavior.  For kids, excitement breeds more excitement.  Most parents wisely limit the amount of sugar their kids eat, so when they are in a situation where they get that piece of candy…the thrill of the special circumstance leads to the excited behavior.  So it is most likely not the birthday cake that is sending your child into a frenzy, but the excitement of the birthday festivities and the 10 other 5 year-olds that is so stimulating.

Also, parents’ perceived expectations of behavior really come into play as well.  In one study, two groups of moms were told their child either received a sugar drink or a non-sugar drink, in reality all the children received the non-sugar drink.  Moms who thought their kids had the sugar, rated their child’s behavior as more hyperactive.

Now of course, there are plenty of reasons not to skip the peas all together in favor of jelly beans.  High sugar foods often replace more nutritious choices in the diet and high sugar intake is linked to obesity and tooth decay.  But, this Halloween when your little ghouls and goblins are bouncing out of their costumes, it probably has more to do with the costumes than the candy.

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Are you ready for the “Season of Change?” Start with your geography.

Guest Post by Life Coach, Sharon Lincoln, PCC

Have you ever felt like you were in a rut?

You craved some big change, but making a big move simply wasn’t doable at the time? So often this feeling leaves us believing it may be time for a new job, or a new relationship, or even a big physical move to get that feeling of newness and excitement back.

When the day-to-day routine of life gets stale, it’s time to change your geography.

Changing your geography doesn’t have to be about picking up and moving to a different city, or quitting a job that you’ve been in for a long time. It’s about changing your routine and doing something different that may open up your world to new possibilities.

This month, I challenge you to “change your geography” in your own city. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Find a cafe in a different part of town, sit outside and people watch.
  • Join a different mommy group for a play date.
  • Literally become a tourist: join a wine tasting tour for the day, or a sightseeing trip in your city
  • Find the thing that you’ve been yearning to try, and do it…even if it means doing it solo.
  • If you are in a relationship, plan a “Happy Hour Date.” This means hiring a sitter to come around 3 or 4 in the afternoon allowing you and your significant other some time to enjoy daylight hours together without having to worry about getting the kids ready for bedtime! Go have a drink by the water, or see a movie and then do dinner after. The benefit to this kind of date is that you get home around 8 or 9 and the kids are asleep leaving you to enjoy the rest of your evening together.
  • If you are single, step out of your comfort zone. Perhaps you’ve been internet dating with no results. If so, try a different site or join an events club. By doing something unfamiliar you are simply opening yourself up to new possibilities.

By changing your geography, you are simply seeing your life through a new set of lenses. So often, we get stuck in our routine, or frankly, other people’s routines and fear stepping out of our comfort zone. By doing so, you are not only reacquainting yourself with the place you love, you are also opening up your world to new opportunities and experiences.

Read Sharon’s last article on Creating Space for Change  here

Sharon Lincoln, PCC, is a Certified Personal and Professional Coach. She is a mom of a two year old boy, and one month old girl and can be reached at sharonlincoln5@gmail.com

Brady and his PB&J

My husband gives me a hard time that I am not sentimental.

My husband grew up in a family with many traditions. My Mother-in-Law is the Queen of the holidays.  They made annual pilgrimages to pumpkin patches, wrote letters to the Easter bunny and my Mother-in-Law decorates her house from nook to cranny with Christmas decorations.

My family’s 12 months of holiday decorations fit in one drawer.

But I have amazing memories of my childhood and the special things we did together as a family.  As the holidays approach and as my own kids get older, I wonder what traditions they’ll remember from their childhood.

Sometimes it’s not the planned traditions, but the littlest things that stick with you into adulthood.

A few weeks ago, I sat on the grass with my kids and our picnic lunch.  As I bit into that familiar combination of peanut better and my mom’s homemade strawberry jam, I was instantly “home.”

I think about times in my life that these simple sandwiches have meant so much to me.  In college, when my budget, time and cooking skills all meant I was eating a lot of pb&js, pulling out that jar with the handwritten label and sitting on a yard sale couch with my sandwich, I could feel my mom’s love there with me.

My dear friend writes a food blog called “Eat the Love” (check it out, he’s amazing).  He tells the story of his blog’s name, about how a vegan friend of his puts aside his strict eating guidelines when he goes home to the South to visit his grandma.  When he is there, he eats all the meatloaf, fried chicken and buttermilk biscuits she puts in front of him “because when you eat the food that someone makes for you, you are eating their love. You are eating the love.”  This quote gives me the happy chills every time I read it.

Now, as I feed my kids that same jam that my mom makes every year, I am feeding my kids my love for them and her love for them and her love for me.

So, I may never have a mantel full of tiny nutcrackers, but one day, my kids will be at the park with their kids and eating sandwiches with homemade jam that I made for them.  And they will know how much I love them.

And I get sentimental just thinking about it.


 

I think breastfeeding with my baby has come to an end.

And I’m pretty bummed.

Let me start by saying I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding, but I am a bigger advocate of mothers’ doing what is best for HER family.

I have never been a huge ‘producer’ and Rylan had some trouble gaining weight so around 5 months, we started supplementing with formula.  At that time she was still getting probably 80% breast milk.  But as the weeks went on, she was getting less and less from me, and I was feeling more and more stressed about my supply, her weight, everything. One day I only pumped 2oz first thing in the morning, before leaving for work and I knew it was time to call it quits.

Now, I know that I could have more actively tried to continue breastfeeding.  Fenugreek to increase production, extra pumping sessions to build my supply, more rest, more water, etc, etc.  I have horrible ‘mother’s guilt’ that she did not breast-feed as long as my first child.  But ultimately I took my own advice that I have given others and decided that the stress being able to breastfeed was not worth it.  Rylan got lots of breast milk, she is healthy and thriving, and this was the right decision for us.

I still feel sad that we are done breastfeeding.

I have, however, noticed a few perks of being done.  So rather than beat myself up about stopping, I have decided to focus on those perks.  The silver lining of ending breastfeeding sooner than I thought I would.  Here they are;

  1. I can buy new bras (have you checked out Meghan’s article on bra fitting?)
  2. My husband can’t use the excuse; “wouldn’t it be easier for you to get up with her in the middle of the night?”
  3. I can sleep 20 extra minutes before my early work mornings (since I don’t have to pump).
  4. No more “leaking”
  5. I don’t have to feel guilty about a glass of wine
  6. I don’t have to plan my outfit each day around ‘easy access’
  7. I don’t stress over a few ounces of left over formula. Formula might be expensive, but breast milk is liquid GOLD!
  8. I don’t have to take my pump on an upcoming business trip.
  9. I don’t expose my self to the entire playground while Miss Distracto is eating
  10. Dad gets to do more bedtime routines with her.
  11. Have I mentioned I can pack up my pump…man I hate that thing.
  12. I can spend extra time snuggling and bonding with her at bedtime, not forcing her to nurse longer.

As mothers, we put so much pressure on ourselves and on the job we are doing as parents.  But at the end of the day, we just have to do the best we can and be proud of that.  And if your children are loved, and warm and fed, we all should be proud of the job we are doing.

Now, I am off to buy new bras.

Green Herbal Smoothie

I can’t believe we are on the last week of our month long Green Smoothie Challenge!!  I can’t believe I haven’t had a coffee house pastry for breakfast in 3 weeks!  I also LOVED last week’s Fruits of Autumn smoothie, did you??

If you have missed any of the past smoothie recipes, check them out here;

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 1- Garden Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 2- Radiate with RED

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 3- Fruits of Autumn 

Lets get on to Selena and her wonderful recipes.  This week she has TWO smoothies to send us on our way!

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Welcome to the last week of the Green Smoothie Challenge!  This week you have two choices, either step it up a notch with the greens and herbs, or give yourself a treat with something more like dessert.  Before we head over to the recipes, I want to address a few questions I’ve been getting about the smoothies.

Why green smoothies?  I’ve written a post about this entitled,  “Why Go Green” Smoothies.

What are the smoothies supposed to do for you?  The idea is to change up your breakfast (and/or snack) utilizing foods we just don’t eat enough of and are power packed with nutrients.  For some, this type of breakfast (pulverized fruits and veggies), will bring great energy and a more lifted spirit.  For others, it may just leave them hungry.  It is very individual.

I’m still hungry!  You always have the option to add in almond butter or a high quality whey protein to your smoothie.  My post-workout smoothie usually includes one of these.

I can’t stomach the kale, chard, collards, etc.  Use spinach or dark leaf lettuce.  These are more delicate greens and have a much milder taste.

What can I add to make it sweeter (more palatable!)?  The best way to add some creamy sweetness to your green smoothie is to add a banana.  Next, a touch more honey or even some stevia.

My flax seeds get stuck in my teeth.  Blend your flax seeds FIRST!   Flax seeds need to be opened up to create flax meal.  This is the only way to activate and digest this food.  The alternative is chia seeds that can be eaten whole (however, better if soaked for 10 minutes first).

Do I have to do this forever?  If you have taken the challenge, notice how you have felt after your smoothies and a few hours afterwards.  If you had a positive change, then you can decide if you want to use smoothie sporadically or daily.  As we roll into winter, smoothies may be too cold for comfort.  Winter is a time for warmer foods!

If you had a less than amazing experience during this challenge, I suggest trying different concoctions from time to time.  You may stumble upon something you (and your kids) will love.  Check out the morning milkshake post that was a winner with my kiddos!

On to the smoothies!

This week we are going “top shelf” by adding some herbs!  Parsley and cilantro make an appearance.

Parsley health benefits:

  • Aids in digestion
  • Has been used to help reduce tumors
  • High in Vit K, Vit A, and Vit C
  • Anti-inflammatory powers
  • Great source of folic acid!
  • **contains oxalic acid – not recommended for those who have kidney and gallbladder disease

Cilantro health benefits:

  • Helps cleanse the blood of heavy metals
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Helps regulate blood sugar
  • Fends off free radicals
  • Helps improve cholesterol levels

Green Herbal Smoothie

8 oz water
1 large leaf kale, collards, or chard OR 4 -5 beet greens OR 1 huge handful of spinach
½ carrot*
½ apple*
small handful of parsley
smaller handful of cilantro (start small and work your way to larger quantities)
½-1 TB raw honey
1 TB flax meal or chia seeds
½- 1c ice

Optional add-ins:

1 TB coconut oil, ½ tsp brewer’s yeast, 1 tsp lemon juice (gives it a great kick!)

*remember to grate or dice these veggies if you don’t have a high powered blender!

Want to see how I make a smoothie?  Watch THIS!

Iron Women Gingerbread Smoothie

Your second choice is a great addition in taste and nutrients.  You will get a kick of Iron into your diet with blackstrap molasses and chia seeds.  I love this smoothie and sometimes freeze it and eat it like ice cream for a dessert!  Credit for this smoothie goes to the great blog:  Oh She Glows!


1 c milk or milk alternative (I like almond milk or a ½ c of canned coconut milk to make it REALLY thick!)
1-2 TB blackstrap molasses
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 frozen banana
1 TB chia seeds (soaked for about 10 minutes to activate – optional)
½ c ice

Blend everything except the molasses.  Stir in the molasses 1 TB a time.  It is a little overpowering, so start of small!

YUM!

I would love to hear your experiences with the smoothies!  Please leave a comment below.

If you are interested in learning more about nutrient dense foods and how they can improve your energy, your weight, and your life, please visit my website at www.RadiantLifeHealthCounseling.com or email me at selenamoffitt@gmail.com

And, as always, visit my blog :  www.1MomsMission.com

Vicks SpeedRead Digital Thermometer (Oral, Rectal, Under Arm)

Nothing is more heart breaking than when one of your children is sick, especially a baby.

My sweet little thing was sick this weekend and it is so hard to know what is going on when they are too young to tell you.

Like so many of us these days, I turned to the internet for some advice (plus, why do kids ALWAYS get sick outside of your doctors hours?)

On this site for familydoctor.org, I found a great flow chart for diagnosing illnesses.   I found it very helpful for deciding what to do for my daughter’s low-grade fever.  I think this would be hand to bookmark or print for future illness as well.

I could’t cut and paste the whole document, so see the original chart here

In addition to the chart, here is more information on how to take a baby’s temperature, when to medicate, when to call the doctor and other tips for dealing with a fever in a baby.

While on the site, I saw that they have all sorts of flow charts for adults and children’s symptoms.  Here is one on nausea and vomiting in children that could also come in handy!

The good news is everyone is feeling better this morning….until next weekend!

These smoothies are not only nutritions, but are a super easy way to keep my healthy eating on track

I had a good reminder why I need these quick, easy, nutritious smoothies in my life this weekend.   Every single person in my house is sick. So plans this weekend got a little derailed.  But being able to grab my “smoothie packs” out of the freezer, throw them in the blender and get back to taking care of everyone was so great this weekend. (of course, the sick mom is still taking care of everyone else, right?!?)

Smoothie Packs you ask??

RED smoothie packs ready for the freezer

Before I started my challenge, I got idea from the blog, The Tidy Nest,  to make packs with all my smoothie ingredients ahead of time.   Each Sunday, I did my shopping, washed, chopped and measured out all my ingrediaents into ziplock bags for the week and put them all back in the freezer.  Then each morning I just grab out a bag, put it in the blender with water and I am on my way!

But this weekend, with everyone sick, including me…I still haven’t gone shopping for this weeks ingredients, or made my smoothie, and I MISS IT!!

BUT I am so excited for this weeks smoothies.  I was secrethly hoping Selena would come up with something with apples and cucumber….and guess what??  Thats what it is.

So I am off to the store (missed the farmers market this weekend too) for my WEEK 3 Smoothie goodies!

How is everyone else doing??  I am LOVING this challenge! I even liked the beet smoothie!

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This week I wanted to give you two seasonal smoothies.  Eating with the seasons is a practice that is promoted in most of the dietary theories of the world.  When we go against the natural order of things, we go against our own body and how it thrives.  In today’s world, this is tough, since we have food at our fingertips, from all over the world, all the time!

Let’s make an effort this week to enjoy the Autumn harvest:  Pears and apples.

Pears are a treat in God’s own package.  We love them because they are sweet, crunchy, but soft enough to not cause any eating problems for my kids.  They also have some great properties that should encourage you to give them a try:

  • High in vitamin C – great for your immune system and helps fend off free radicals
  • A good source of copper – helps activate an enzyme that helps eliminate superoxide free radicals
  • Fiber – we know what fiber is good for *wink*

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  You’ve heard it and it’s true!  The apple has amazing health benefits and pairs nicely with almond butter. YUM!  Keep in mind that variety is key, so an apple one day, a pear the next, an apricot the next, and so on will also help you stay out of your MDs office.

The amazing apple and its benefits:

  • Phytonutrients can help you regulate sugar
  • Keeps you satiated – This is true if you eat the WHOLE apple vs. applesauce and apple juice
  • The pectin in the apples, in combination with those phytonutrients, protect your heart
  • The high antioxidant properties of an apple has been shown to reduce asthma and protect against some types of cancers

For more information on the apple, check out Whole Foods.

Some of you may feel that smoothies don’t keep you as full for as long as you would like.  For this reason, I am adding a version that has a little more protein.  Enjoy!

Fruit of Autumn Green Smoothie

8-12 oz water : more water=thinner smoothie

½ med pear

½ small-med apple

1 Kale leaf

2 inch section of a cucumber

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ – ½ tsp honey: use more if needed

1 TB chia seeds: soak in water for 10 minutes and then stir to get “chia gel”*

½ – 1 c ice

Optional:
1 tsp lemon juice – gives it an extra zing!

*You can use flax meal instead of chia seeds

Don’t forget to chop up well if you don’t have a high powered blender!

A Nuttier Version

8-12 oz water

½ med pear

½ small – med apple

2 TB almond butter (or almonds soak in water overnight)

¼ tsp cinnamon

¼ -1/2 tsp honey: add more as needed

1 TB chia seeds:  soak in water for 10 minutes and stir to get “chia gel”*

1 c ice

Optional:

1 Kale leaf: I found this a little tastier without the kale

Almond milk instead of water:  gives it a creamier texture

*You can use flax meal instead of chia seeds

This recipe was adapted from the Cinnamon Pear Smoothie recipe created by my friend Julia Sarver at Glow Health Coaching.

The above statements are not intended as a cure to disease.

If you would like to find out more about the importance of seasonal eating, please visit my website at www.RadiantLifeHealthCounseling.com.
Join me for an upcoming FREE Teleseminar:  Inflammation: What you Can’t see CAN hurt you

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Want to read all the smoothie posts now?

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 1- Garden Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 2- Radiate with RED

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 3- Fruits of Autumn 

Green Smoothie Challenge -Week 4- 2! Herbs and Dessert

 

 

Do Your Finances Need a Check-Up?

Welcome to this week’s guest blogger; Marin Financial Planner- Katy Song.  Katy talks about what we should all be doing to make sure our finances are in tip top health.  Read her tips below and contact her for more personal advice.

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As moms, we are diligent about taking our children to the doctor for their check-ups, benchmarking their progress on weight and height charts, and listening to the doctor when it comes to development progress.  I recommend conducting a Family Financial Health check-up! You can do this yourself by following the simple steps below or consult a professional financial planner for advice.

Inoculations = Emergency Fund. Just like getting inoculated against polio or chicken pox, you can prevent succumbing to a devastating financial situation if you are prepared. The rule of thumb is to keep between three to six months of liquidity (cash or CD) in a separate account to cover expenses in the event of an unforeseen job loss or true emergency.  If you don’t have this account set up yet because you do not have the cash to spare, I recommend that you open a high yield savings account anyway and put $50 in it. By opening this account, you are at least setting the intention that you will build the account up over time when you have the resources.

Benchmarking weight & height = Spending Plan. How are you doing with your average monthly spending compared to other families in your area? There are a few rules of thumb when it comes to spending. First, spending on housing should be 28-31% of your gross income. This includes principal, interest, property taxes and homeowner’s insurance (PITI). This is hard for most families in the Bay Area given real estate prices, but it is important to look at ways of keeping your largest expense as low as possible. Rates are still at historic lows. Have you tried to refinance to lower your payments or improve your terms? Second, auto & transportation should be less than 10% of your gross income. This includes car payments, gas, repairs, etc. Third, food expenses typically rank 2nd or 3rd as a percentage of total expenses. Nationally, families spend between $500-1,200 on groceries each month.

Developmental Progress.  While this can be a more subjective category that depends on your personal financial situation, it is still important to not neglect your progress when it comes to your longer term goals such as retirement savings. For example, if you are 35 years old and plan to retire at 65 (and live until you are 90), have $150,000 already saved for retirement and need $6,000 of net income per month in retirement for living expenses, you will need to have saved $4.5million by the time you retire. This equates to saving $46,000 per year for retirement (assuming you can earn 6%) or earning between 7-9% on your retirement savings and maximizing annual contributions every year until retirement. While lots of variables go into the analysis of how you are progressing towards retirement, it is better to know where you stand now than to wait another 10 years and let the power of compounding slip by!

There are numerous online calculators that can help you assess your family’s financial health, including many onwww.bankrate.com. However, having a professional give you a check-up is the best way to get a comprehensive assessment of your family’s financial health.

Katy Song, CFP®,is a fee-only Marin financial planner and owner of Katy Song Financial Planning in Mill Valley. She specializes in objective and customized financial plans for families with young children and couples starting their lives together. Katy lives with her husband and two children in Mill Valley. You can reach Katy at katy@katysong.com or www.katysong.com.

Becoming more healthy, 1 step at a time (Larkspur stairs)

At every meal, I try to make sure my son has a plethora of fruits, veggies, organic meats and whole grains.

But, up until a week ago, I found myself subsisting on caffeine, luna bars and candy corn. And that’s with a framed degree that reads “NUTRITION.”

Like I said a week ago, sometimes it’s the cobbler’s children who have no shoes.

Why, as mothers, do we take such good care of those around us, but put ourselves at the bottom of the list?

I think for most of us, it comes down to time and mommy-brain bandwidth.  While trying to balance work and motherhood, a pastry at Peet’s at 5am seems to be the easiest breakfast.  If I have an hour free to workout, I usually realize I need to run to the grocery store instead.  By the time I get both kids fed and down for naps, its often 2pm and triscuts and the couch seem like the only choice for lunch.  And after the frantic bedtime routine, dessert with my husband can turn into a nightly treat.  I can’t be the only one, right??

Last Monday, with the help of my friend Selena Moffitt, I started my own “Green Smoothie Challenge.”  My goal was to start my day with a better breakfast, but I found it was the catapult I needed to make some other changes.

Here’s what I noticed;

  • Each smoothie is between 3-4 servings of fruits and veggies that I was not getting before.
  • Although I did not cut out my morning coffee (that was not a main goal for me), I did not have a second afternoon coffee all week.  I just never felt I needed it.
  • I slept better (Probably because of the lack of caffeine in the afternoon)
  • I made better choice at lunch and added more veggies to our family dinners.  (I was just more inspired to ‘keep it up’)
  • I practiced what I preach to my personal training clients and got in a few short workouts, when I otherwise would have thought I didn’t have time.  (3 times up and down those super steep stairs in Larkspur, 20 minutes and I was DONE)
  •  I was more conscious about my sweet treats. I didn’t cut out sugar, but thought about my choices, made the portion size smaller and made sure I really stopped to enjoy the treat.
  • I took more time in the evenings to plan my day.  Not only my food, but everything.  This left me feeling more in control and not quite so frantic.
  • I felt my mood and my attitude were better
  • I liked that my son saw me taking better care of myself

Another favorite quote of mine is “slow and steady wins the race.”  I feel that I took the first small steps to improving my health this week without feeling deprived or frustrated or guilty.  I just made better choices more often.

As a mom, I try to always make good choices for my kids.  But I really want to embrace the idea that making better choices for MYSELF is ultimately the best choice I can make for my children.

So join me!  This week, what is one “better” choice you can make?  Maybe for you it is getting to bed 30 minutes earlier, or spending a little less time on facebook, or getting out for a walk in your neighborhood, or reconnecting with an old friend.

Try it out, I was amazed the trickle down affect one change had.

Want to read all the Green Smoothie Challenge Posts?

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 1- Garden Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 2- Radiate with RED

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 3- Fruits of Autumn 

Green Smoothie Challenge -Week 4- 2! Herbs and Dessert

Brady helping make our garden smoothie

I have completed my  first week of green smoothies and I have to say….I think I am hooked! (if you missed the recipe, here it is)

I feel healthier, I’ve been taking better care of myself in other areas of my life, and I actually enjoyed my smoothie routine! In fact, I want to say so much about it, I decided to write a whole post just about taking better care of ourselves as wives and mothers.  Stay tuned TOMORROW for that post.

But for today…Lets turn it over to Selena and this week’s smoothie.  I will admit, when I saw the name of this smoothie, Radiate with Red, I was afraid it was going to be beets..and I was right.  I am not a huge fan of beets.  Selena offered to change the recipe, but after reading all the health benefits, I decided to dive in and try it!.

Read below for all the details.

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This week’s green smoothie is actually RED.  It will make for a prettier drink that may stimulate your senses visually!  The main ingredients are beets and carrots.  Why?  Let me tell you!

Beet benefits:
Red beets are a great carbohydrate/protein blend and are an excellent source of folic acid.

They are full of antioxidants that have been used for as preventative and treatment for heart disease, certain cancer treatments, and birth defects.

The pigment that gives beets their red color, Betacyanin, increases the oxygen-carrying ability of your blood which can give you more energy.

It also contains nitric oxide, which dilates arteries to improve blood, alleviate high blood pressure, and help prevent varicose veins!!

The fiber in beets helps reduce serum cholesterol.

Beets are known as powerful blood cleansers and blood builders.

Beet juice is highly alkaline which is very beneficial in our “processed nation” acidic bodies.

Red beets have also been known to help with the following:  Constipation, headaches, toothaches, menstrual issues, and skin problems.

And don’t forget the beet greens! Those leafy greens can be thrown in your smoothie too!  They are rich in beta-carotene, folic acid, chlorophyll, potassium, vitamin C, and iron.

Here are the benefits of our orange friend, the carrot:

Carrots are known for their high level of beta-carotene, but they also have a great blend of carbohydrate and protein, and vitamins C, E, and K.  Remember that vitamins in WHOLE FOOD work completely different than mega-dosed vitamins in your daily multi.

Carrot can enhance the quality of breast milk.

Carrot can improve the appearance of the skin, hair and nails.

Carrots have been shown to lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and regulate blood sugar.

Carrots have a great antioxidant – betacarotene.

Carrot can help improve eyesight.

The fiber in carrots can promote colon health.

On to the Smoothie!!!
RADIATE WITH RED

12 oz of water
¼ c beets shredded**
3/4 c carrots shredded
2 large lettuce leaves or 3 small beet greens*
1 cup frozen strawberries
1 TB chia seeds (or ground flax)
1 TB honey (or more if needed)

Extra add-ins:
½ tsp Brewer’s yeast or 1 tsp nutritional yeast (they are NOT the same thing)
1-2 TB coconut oil (I used 1.5 TB)
½ tsp stevia – if you need it a little sweeter
2 large ice cubes – if you like it really cold!

*beet greens and swiss chard are the more bitter of the greens.  Using delicate greens like spinach or dark green lettuce can help you transition to the “garden taste” of these smoothies!
**I added in the shredded amounts for those of you who do not have a high powered blender.

You might also notice a red tint to your urine- totally normal with beets!

For more information on how to eat for energy using the foods you may already have in your home, please feel free to visit my website www.RadiantLifeHealthCounseling.com.  And, of course, join in on my mission:  surviving motherhood, growing Godly children, and being great stewards of the planet at www.1MomsMission.com.

Statements made are not promising the cure of disease.

********

Want to skip ahead and read all the smoothie posts now?

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 1- Garden Green Smoothie

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 2- Radiate with RED

Green Smoothie Challenge- Week 3- Fruits of Autumn 

Green Smoothie Challenge -Week 4- 2! Herbs and Dessert

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About Bump Life

Bump Life is a place to support moms and families across all aspects of our lives. A place for tips, expert advice, parenting resources and entertainment. A great place to come for information, support or just a break from our crazy lives. From fitness to finance, from diaper bags to diaper duty, for everything bump, babies and beyond, you'll find it all here at BUMP Life!