Archive for the ‘Health & Wellness’ Category

What Favorite Foods are You Packing in Lunches?

“Snack size hummus (from Whole Foods [ and Costco]) with veggies. Also, edomame.” – Lisa Copeland

“Reese loves carrots and Ranch dip and surprisingly enough…she barely touches the Ranch.” – Melissa Maddock

“Make your own uncrustables – using whole wheat bread and mostly peanut butter (make a lot on the weekend and freeze them, they will thaw out by lunch time.” – LaDonna Goodwin

“We pack cucumber slices, snack-size hummus, different fruits and beef jerky, pita chips, celery, yogurt frozen overnight.” – Jill Byrd

“Whole wheat sandwich rounds, with light veggie cream, cucumbers, bell peppers, and sprouts….delicious! “ – May Tolson

“Catie really loves couscous. Sometimes I throw in dried fruit and pine nuts; other times I add diced tomatoes & green onion. Couscous is very versatile and can be served hot or cold! I mix up the pb & j together in a bowl before spreading it on the bread for Jake’s sandwiches. It saves on trying to get jelly stains out later. I also do pb & honey, pb & nutella, and pb & fruit.” – Cleette Harrison

“Apples, Yogurt, turkey and cheese!” – Karin Klemm

Entree Tips

  • Use whole wheat tortillas to make wraps.
  • Use whole wheat bread without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors; and high fructose corn syrup (i.e. Nature’s Own).
  • Select meats that are nitrate and nitrite-free to avoid harmful chemical preservatives.
  • Select healthy peanut butter (hint: very short ingredient list without added sugar or oil), and 100% fruit spread for pb&j’s.
  • When the weather cools down, send hot leftovers in thermos containers, to offer variety.

Side Ideas

  • Greek yogurt s are a good source of protein (usually 13-20 grams, while standard yogurts average 5-10 grams).
  • Standard yogurts have their plus, too: they have two to three times the calcium of Greek yogurts (which lose some calcium in the triple straining process).
  • Snack-size hummus
  • Choose pretzels or baked chips over regular chips.
  • String cheese (tasty and full of calcium)
  • Boiled egg (package in insulated lunch bag next to frozen drink to keep cold).
  • Almonds
  • Grapes
  • Baby carrots
  • Bananas (seal in plastic baggie so its smell does not permeate other foods)
  • Oranges,  quartered and bagged
  • Apples
  • Unsweetened apple sauce
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Kiwi (slice it in half, and send a plastic spork for the child to eat it out “bowl-style”)
  • Melon
  • Clementines
  • Cherry tomatoes

For Fun

  • Organic fruit snack chews made with real juice and not containing artificial coloring (i.e. Annie’s)
  • Organic granola bars without artificial preservatives, flavorings, etc. (i.e. Clif bars, KIND bars) Select whole grain granola bars that are low in fat and sugar – take a look at the food label and choose the ones that contain less than 1g of saturated fat per serving and are no more than 35% sugar by weight. To figure the percentage of sugar per serving, divide the grams of sugar by the gram weight of one serving and multiply this number by 100.
  • Kettlecorn (again, look for a short ingredient list).

What should I buy organic?

According to the Environmental Working Group, produce pesticide exposure can be greatly reduced by buying organic in the following twelve foods, termed “the dirty dozen”:

  • apples
  • celery
  • strawberries
  • peaches
  • spinach
  • nectarines – imported
  • grapes – imported
  • sweet bell peppers
  • potatoes
  • blueberries
  • lettuce
  • kale/collard greens

For more detailed information on the dirty dozen and produce’s “clean fifteen”, see http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary/.

*This is not a sponsored post.


Read Full Post »

Talk about healthy. Three types of pure wheat goodness for flavor and nutrition are yours with this great-tasting whole wheat bread.

 1 pkg. yeast
1/8 tsp. ginger
2 ½ c. bread flour
1 ¼ c. whole wheat flour
½ c. wheat germ
1 tsp. salt
3 T. honey
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
2 T. salad oil
½ c. cracked wheat
½ c. boiling water.

Cover the ½ c. cracked wheat with the boiling water in a small bowl. Stir and let cool. Put eh rest of the ingredients in the order recommended for your breadmaker, then cooled wheat. Select white bread and press “start”.

Read Full Post »

This is a great recipe to use that too-ripe banana in. Fast, easy, healthy, and yummy.

 2 tsp. yeast
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
3 ¼ c. bread flour
2 T. nonfat dry milk powder
1 tsp. sugar
¼ c. applesauce
1 banana
1 ½ c. water
1/3 c. cranberries (or craisins)
1/3 c. raisins

Add ingredients in the order recommended by your breadmaker, select white bread, and press “start”.

Read Full Post »

From the October issue of my Coach Mom eNewletter:

Dear Brenna,

I’m a new mom with a toddler and a newborn baby. I see all my friends’ children coming down with a variety of illnesses this year and I’m wondering what I need to do to combat the sicknesses that come our way.



Dear Courtney,

You are wise to think about this now. I recommend putting together some basic healthcare items to save you time and lower your stress when you are dealing with sickness. I like to keep the items in a shower caddy up on a shelf in the bathroom, both first floor and second floor bathrooms for convenience. Stock it with some basic supplies. These are a few of the things you will find in my kid care caddy:

Bandaids (a variety of sizes)

Triple antibiotic ointment


Acetaminophen (for fever, pain, or swelling)

Ibuprofen (for ages 1+)


Dramamine – to stop nausea during flu (can also be used for morning sickness)


SinuCleanse Kids mist (for allergies and other sinus problems)

Chest Rub (i.e.Vicks VapoRub)

Insect repellent


Be sure to always read the labels and talk to your doctor before administering any medication to children. Two of my favorites in the caddy are the SinCleanse to clear out allergens from the sinuses and Vicks Vapo-Rub to stop a cough. Rub the Vicks on the pads of the child’s feet and cover with socks. It stops a cough almost every time! Also, mark your September calendar with a reminder to get flu shots.

Read Full Post »

Hydrogen Peroxide (3%) is an inexpensive, non-toxic cleaner. Buy a small hydrogen peroxide spray bottle at WalMart, then refill it with larger bottles from Sam’s Club or Costco.  If you using your own spray bottle, make sure it is opaque like the brown bottles it comes in, as it reacts to light.

Use hp to clean almost anything in the house, from walls to carpet, cutting boards to showers and toilets. It is said that following the hp cleaner with a spray bottle of vinegar and water cleans as good as bleach. Remember to disinfect whatever gets touched: doorknobs, keyboards, faucets and toilet flushing levers.

* 1 cup hot water
* 1/2 cup baking soda
* 1/2 cup hydrogen peroxide
Mix ingredients. To use on clothes, soak the clothing in it for 20
minutes to overnight; then wash as usual.

Warning: sugar inhibits the immune system!

Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of one 12-ounce can of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion and may last for five hours.

 Source: http://www.elc.org.uk/pages/healthimmunesystem.htm


 Helpful Tips for Preventing the Flu

 1. Frequent hand-washing.

2. “Hands-off-the-face” approach. Resist all temptations to touch any part of face.

3. Gargle twice a day with warm salt water (use Listerine if you Don’t trust salt). H1N1 takes 2-3 days after initial infection in the throat/ nasal cavity to proliferate and show characteristic symptoms. Simple gargling prevents the virus from spreading.

4. Clean your nostrils at least once every day with warm salt water. Blowing the nose hard once a day and swabbing both nostrils with Cotton buds dipped in warm salt water is very effective in bringing down viral population.

5. Boost your natural immunity with foods that are rich in Vitamin C. If you have to supplement with Vitamin C tablets, make sure that it also has Zinc to boost absorption.

6. Drink as much of warm liquids as you can. Drinking warm liquids has the same effect as gargling, but in the reverse direction. They wash off viruses from the throat into the stomach where they cannot survive, multiply, or do any harm.

Read Full Post »