Junk Food Compass

Navigating a family's way across the sea of “health advice” is easier said than done.

Today’s family life is more fast-paced and over-scheduled than ever.

As a result, general family health and nutrition often takes a backseat. When you’re racing from one event to another while juggling meetings, homework, deadlines, and all the unexpected challenges that pop up – health is far down on the list.

That is, until someone gets sick. Schedules halt and the realization that all-around family health has not been a priority rears its head. It's time to take action before illness sends life into upheaval, by creating habits and priorities that encourage and stimulate good health for the family.

To help you and those closest to you, here's…

Health Simplified: 3 Tips to Set Your Family Up for Health “Awesomeness”

Tip #1 – Drink MORE Water

As bizarrely simple as it may sound, water is very beneficial. What can water do for you and your family?

Drink More Water - 660x330

4 Simple Benefits to Water and why it’s essential for your family:

  1. Water regulates your bowels and prevents constipation. Consuming water with fiber will keep your system functioning correctly. It also keeps your body fluids in check, including saliva production, nutrient transport, body temperature stabilization, digestion and circulation. Low H20 consumption interferes with these functions.
  2. Calorie control is achieved by drinking water before a meal as it makes you feel fuller and reduces your chances of overeating. Try replacing sugar, salt and calorie-filled drinks with water during a meal and eat foods full of water such as watermelon, which offers up high fiber and water!
  3. Muscle strength is increased as water carries much-needed oxygen to the muscles. This helps delay muscle fatigue and allows you to use those muscles longer – resulting in an increase in stamina.
  4. Skin and hair are hydrated by water from the inside than out. Moisturizing is still important to the outer skin, but water helps hydrate and plump dry skin and dry skin lines.

How do you keep track of your water intake?

One suggestion is to hand out two water bottles, at least, per day to each family member and urge that everyone drinks them dry. Another option is requiring your family members to drink water at mealtime before any other beverage. It is also a good idea to throw a few water bottles in the trunk of your car – not just for emergencies, but for any time someone may be thirsty.

Tip #2 – Go Green

In this case, we’re not talking about recycling (although you should certainly be practicing environmentally friendly policies as a family!) Instead, going green means upping your vegetable intake to at least one serving per meal.

  • Try adding green peppers to your eggs or a breakfast burritos wrap stuffed with veggies.
  • Lunch can be a salad or sandwich with spinach leaves instead of iceberg lettuce.
  • Dinner is easier – add peppers or spinach to a pizza, or zucchini to lasagna, or a throw on a delicious side of asparagus. Before serving the main meal, place raw vegetables with a low-calorie dip on the table or baked zucchini with rosemary and parmesan. You can even get creative – try serving up chili in a hollowed out green pepper for the greatest edible bowl. Artichokes, green beans, peas, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, mixed green salad – there are so many easy combinations that will punch up your meals nutritionally and in terms of the taste.

However you do it, get those greens in.

Tip 2 - Go Green - lots of salads

The essential nutrients in these vegetables have so many incredible vitamins and antioxidants, as well as fiber. The health benefits are well worth any extra effort as vitamin A, C, D, and K, as well as fiber and antioxidants, are all found in high amounts in most green vegetables. This helps achieve fullness, proper nutrition, and bowel regulation – three very important things for health improvement.

smartypants_logoFit Hack: Utilizing the convenience of a high quality multi-vitamin, complete with omega-3 & 6 fish oils, vitamin-D, B12 and added fiber is a sure way to increase your baseline nutrition. To do this, our whole family leverages SmartyPants multivitamins at meal time. #TheGoodGummy #SmartyPants

Tip #3 – Make a Plan

As tiresome as it can sometimes be, especially with the breakneck pace most families keep, planning meals is ultimately a rewarding choice. A bit of effort once a week or even once a month, can take the stress out of meal planning during your busiest weeks. It also makes it easier to whip up something healthy, helping you avoid last-minute trips to costly and unhealthy fast food restaurants.

Make a Plan - tip 3Look for meal options that can be put in a slow cooker (stews, roasts, chili, etc.) for a hands off approach to getting dinner on the table, or try meals that can be made ahead and frozen (vegetable/beef lasagna, healthy casseroles, etc.) to take the rush out of meals on the busiest of days.

There are plenty of ways to take the burden of meal preparation off of just one person.

One day a week, choose one family member to plan the meal and make it. This gets them involved and excited about a meal together.

Another option to keeping away monotony is a ‘try something new’ night. Introduce new recipes or ethnic meals to broaden your taste buds and keep dinner fun and new.

You can also require everyone to have a hand in the meal – peeling carrots, chopping potatoes, browning meat, making sauces, etc. It promotes family bonding and everyone does their part to make it all come together.

Health Simplified: Now go forth and be AWESOME!

These three tips can not only get your family on track to good health, but make nutritional awareness a part of everyday life.

By practicing these strategies, you’ll instill better eating habits for all, boost essential nutrient intake and keep everyone’s body function at an ideal level. With a little effort, your family’s health can improve, plus you’ll see a boost in energy and positivity while strengthening the bond between you. You already put a great amount of effort into your job, family activities and your local community – now is the time to bring that effort home.

Health SimplifiedI'm very excited to announce my partnership with #SmartyPants the creators of #TheGoodGummy. The science speaks for itself — SmartyPants produces the only all-in-one multi that also has omega 3s and vitamin D. In the Complete + Fiber formula, they've ALSO added soluble fiber to the mix.

I had the opportunity to connect with their team at the Dad 2.0 Summit in San Francisco earlier this year and they absolutely wowed me. The company's vision for family health, giving back to local and global communities and the belief that everyone deserves good health was enough to put me over the edge… sign me up! How can I help?

Over the coming month, I've teamed up with SmartyPants to offer some fantastic info on the following:

Stay tuned and enjoy Health Simplified!

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you are awesome - reallyThis is my disclaimer, “Just so you know, I have been compensated to share my ideas on this topic. Sometimes it is in the form of products, or services or even money… But here’s the thing; I won’t  share anything with you that I don’t fully support. It doesn't matter what it is, or how much they are willing to give me, if I don’t believe in it, It won’t be on my site. Seriously. You’ll just have to trust me on this.” ~ Moose

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