Super Foods really are super! Super foods have this big fancy word called phytonutrients in their chemical make up. In fact, super foods have a high content of this element, which is critically important for our bodies. Phytonutrients are noted to have disease-fighting qualities and it is these qualities that help to reduce the risk of cancer infection. In addition, they help to boost the immune system, and to reduce inflammation in the body. Pretty super, right? Well, I love super people and super foods, which is why I'm bringing super foods to my super students this year.
This year my 5th grade students will come to understand that super foods are high in antioxidants. They will learn that antioxidants help to keep the body disease free and they also help to reduce many side affects in the aging process. Basically, they help keep us "young." I want my students to understand that food is medicine and medicine is food. For instance, some super foods can be eaten raw, like blueberries, and we can get their full benefits. Others, like cocoa powder, need to be eaten in a prepared way, like in hot cocoa or in coffee (which is also high in antioxidants) or in smoothies. I want for my students to understand that super foods are fun to eat, cook or bake with, and most importantly that they taste great.
This year I'm bringing super foods out of my house and kitchen and into my classroom. My students and I are going to create a super foods wall calendar. Each week a different student will focus on a different super food and teach the other students about the benefits of that particular food. All the foods will be either a fruit, vegetable, grain or nut in order to respect my vegetarian students. This school year, not only are my students extending their nutritional register and world view on food, but they are also expanding their few of health and personal health care. My favorite part will be seeing the kids recognize the science connected to eating.
Each month we will have a super foods feast, where I will bring in the super foods that were discovered. This is going to be a super foods journey and we'll be eating well the entire way!
Would you like to join my class in our super foods journey? If so, check out what we will be eating and learning about each month.
Spinach, chard, collard greens
Almonds, walnuts, pumpkin, edamame
Quinoa, chia seed, steel-cut oats, flax seed
Lentils, pomegranates, wheat germ
Carrots, sweet potatoes, beets
Brussel Sprouts, mustard greens, spirulina, cauliflower
Bell peppers (red), hot peppers, avocado, kiwi
Blueberries, strawberries, papaya, mangoes
Grapefruit, lemon/lime, peaches, watermelon
Food is one of the most important things in life. Food is most likely on your mind constantly. I guess I make that assumption because I think about food all the time. Did you know I eat every 3 hours? Talk about food on the brain. Frequent, small meals is something I just love. Why? Eating small, frequent meals makes me feel amazing. All day my energy is sustained and my blood sugar stays level. I got into eating small, frequent meals when I got into weight training and bodybuilding. Prior to the bodybuilder's lifestyle, I would have 3 large meals a day. Before being a personal trainer, I never really thought too much about what I was eating or how my body would react to food. I also would sometimes go beyond my hunger zones and bonk out! When I went past my hunger zone was also when I would reach for a sugary fix, "fast food," and even worse: over eat. Does this sound familiar to you? Do you have these habits or once did? Well, I'm here to share with you a tip on how you can get ahead of the food game, blood sugar game, and busy life game. The way to do that is to PREP FOOD. And I do it every Sunday!
Every Sunday I prep my meals for 4-5 days in advance. I cook up various lean proteins: boiled eggs, chicken, fish, and ground turkey patties. I also prep my healthy carbs, like sweet potatoes, yams, brown rice, or quinoa. I sometimes even prep my veggies. I like my veggies to be as fresh as possible, so prepping veggies is optional. What I do prep fits into my meal plan(s) and I pack the food in Tupperware, so that I have quick, easy, healthy meal options. I have found that this has saved me not only time, but money too. I do not need to eat out as much, which saves lots of cash. It is also how I have managed to stay a healthy weight, have a stable blood sugar level, and feel like I have some power and control in my life.
Food prepping could add a huge health value in your life as you start to better manage your caloric intake, especially if you are really trying to change your physical body or fiscal life. According to Wellness Letter from the University of California, Berkeley, two-thirds of customers at fast-food restaurants underestimate their calorie intake, often by HUNDREDS of calories. And if you do like to train, and know exactly what and how much you are eating, then fast-food eating is going to hinder that.
A recent study in the journal BMJ found that adults consumed 836 calories per meal in fast-food settings, and those adults underestimated how much they were actually eating by over 175 calories. According to the Wellness Letter, twenty-five percent of people underestimate how many calories they are eating, when they eat out, by more than 500 calories. This type of behavior daily, or several times a week, will contribute to not only weight gain, but feelings of frustration when fitness goals are not being met.
Likewise, teens consume about 756 calories per fast food outing, contributing to a misjudged caloric intake by more than 259 calories. Ever wonder why many teens face obesity issues today? Many teens struggle with the obesity epidemic because they are not educated enough about what is going into their mouths. The weight gain teens experience trickles into their overall self-esteem, which then creates many emotional and mental problems for them once they become young adults. As an educator, I know this all too well, and I see it daily.
The good news for those of you afraid to prep or not sure how, the Affordable Care Act now requires calorie labeling at fast-food restaurants. The problem, however, is taking the time to know, read, and decide if the calories that are being consumed truly are nutritious and serving your intentions for healthy living correctly. In my opinion, there should be no anxiety, stress or worry about food prepping. We change this cycle of unhealthy living by getting back into the kitchen and making our own food. It is free health care if you think about it.
If you or your family need help with food management then message me for my beginner's guide to food prep. In the ebook it includes all my essential kitchen items, and how I approach the kitchen in an efficient, organized manner. The best part of my ebook are my large batch recipes. These recipes are simple and please an entire family!
Are you as big of dreamer as me? Do you daily imagine a life richer, fuller, and lived with more meaning? If so, how do you act out these dreams? Do you have a calendar that you fill up with a to-do-list? Post-it-notes perhaps? Or do you just dream? Well, believe it or not, when we take the time to sit down and write out our dreams magic happens. Suddenly that dream becomes a goal. And goals give us direction and provide purpose to our daily living.
Goals generally have an end result; something we reach. Then when we reach that goal we are filled with satisfaction and the desire to do more and reach an even higher calling. If you are struggling to figure out a way to reach a particular goal in mind, especially a big goal, like starting a business or where to go next in life, then try this exercise.
I got this idea from one of my role models, Erin Stern. Stern is a figure competitor, Ms. Olympia and personal trainer. The exercise that she gave was so inspiring for me that I knew I had to share it. This exercise requires no money. All you need is something to write on and with.
First, think of your core values. What core values do you live by and guide your life by? For instance, some of mine include honesty, fairness, communication, fitness, love, hard work, compassion, and dedication.
Second, think of your contributions to the world. What do you currently give to our world? How do you, as you are, enrich our planet?
Third, combine the first two parts to craft a goal. Also, write this goal in present tense, so that it is already coming alive. For example: "I am ___________" followed with concepts from your core values and contributions.
I found this exercise beneficial and mind blowing! I ended up doing this exercise on post-it-notes and then stuck them to my computer screen. By placing my goal somewhere that I am engaged, I get a daily reminder of my life's intentions, which only provides me with direction and a way to live out a dream.
May your dreams become your next attainable goal!
I am a new mother who has her hands full! I juggle not just my coaching business, but I am also a full time educator. I also teach yoga in the Bay Area, and I mentor first generation college students.