Bounce Caution!

I know we usually talk about how to feed our children so that they grow into healthy adults.  Of course, we also try to protect them from physical harm in the form of broken bones and bruises.  After seeing this segment about the dangers of the ever popular “bounce houses”, I thought I’d share.  I’ve always hated these giant germ houses in the winter when the cold and flu virus is bouncing right along with them, but I had given a little less thought to the other issues.  I’m filing this under “worth knowing”…

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/49903205/ns/today-today_rossen_reports/t/rossen-reports-more-kids-getting-hurt-bounce-houses/

 

Play Safe!

Melissa

Tips and Tricks for a Healthy Holiday

We are so thankful for all of you who have supported Sprouting Souls this year!  Your encouragement and kind words mean the world to both of us.  As we prepare to celebrate with friends and family tomorrow, we thought we would throw out a few tips and tricks to have a wonderful day without feeling like a bloated turkey on Friday!  If you have been working hard at making healthy lifestyle choices, eating whole foods, and exercising ’til you feel the burn, there is no need to toss it all away for one day or one meal!

  • Have a healthful, filling breakfast (think warm oatmeal with berries or scrambled eggs with whole-grain toast).
  • If you are having a late Thanksgiving feast, eat a green salad and/or soup for lunch (if you are cooking and can’t take the time, at least have a piece of fruit).
  • If the feast starts with appetizers, seek out the veggies, go light on the dip. Offer to help in the kitchen or take some family photos to keep your hands busy.
  • Take part in the local Turkey Trot or have a post-dinner stroll through the neighborhood with whomever you can drag along.
  • ENJOY your Thanksgiving dinner!  Have everything you want, don’t super-size the portions, SLOW DOWN and savor every bite, every sight and smell.  No one has ever gone up a dress size because of one meal!
  • Oh, and one last thing, absolutely NO pulling the elastic maternity pants out of the attic to wear to dinner!  In fact, wear a belt:)

 HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO YOU!

XO,

MELISSA and ANDREA

Good Nutrition = Happy Feet!

Really interesting article!  Honestly, do we need yet ANOTHER reason to stay away from sugar?  Well, some days I DO need another reason….I guess I will tuck this one away for the next time I’m in search of a cookie!  Thanks to Eric Metcalf for writing such an informative article!

How Nutrition Affects Your Feet

Some foods, like those with lots of sugar, can cause inflammation. And inflammation can impact the health of your feet.

Medically reviewed by Lindsey Marcellin, MD, MPH

When most people think about nutrition and their health, they have no trouble associating the foods they eat with weight loss or heart health, says Sherri Greene, DPM, a podiatrist in New York City who practices holistic foot care. However, your diet affects many other parts of your body, including your feet.

“When I explain to people that your feet are connected to the rest of your body, and what you put into your body is what makes up your body, they’re like, ‘Wow!’ When they feel better after they change their diet, then they get it,” she says.

Feet and Nutrition: Fighting Off Inflammation and Pain

One problem linked to nutrition that can affect your feet is inflammation, Dr. Greene says. Certain foods can increase chemicals in your body that cause tissue inflammation. This inflammation could appear in your foot as plantar fasciitis, which causes pain in the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot, in your heel, or elsewhere in your foot.

Many common foods in the American diet encourage inflammation, such as the refined grains, sugar, and trans fats in many baked goods and junk foods; the saturated fat in red meat; and the omega-6 fats found in many commonly used vegetable oils, such as corn, soybean, and sunflower oils.

In addition, some people may have increased levels of inflammation in their bodies due to chronic allergies to common foods such as wheat, Greene says. Another factor that can contribute to inflammation is eating too many foods that cause your blood sugar to rise quickly, such as sweets, white flour, and pasta.

As a result, the nutritional approaches Greene discusses with patients to reduce inflammation include:

Eating more omega-3 fats. Fatty fish such as salmon, as well as fish oil supplements, are good sources of omega-3s, Greene says. Omega-3s help reduce inflammation, and nutrition studies suggest they should be properly balanced in the diet with omega-6s. Most people’s diets provide far more omega-6s than omega-3s, and a fish-rich diet can address this imbalance.

Doing a general diet makeover. Following an overall healthier diet can provide anti-inflammatory benefits to your feet and your total health. This includes eating more green vegetables and other fresh plant foods, and cutting out refined grain foods and sugary treats, Greene says.

Feet and Nutrition: Other Health Connections

Two common conditions that affect millions of Americans’ feet are peripheral artery disease and diabetes. Each of these conditions can harm your feet by damaging arteries that bring blood to your lower extremities.

Good nutrition can also help protect your feet from these conditions. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, and sodium and rich in fruits and vegetables can help reduce your risk of peripheral artery disease. A 2008 study in the Journal of Vascular Surgery specifically found that omega-3s were associated with a lower risk of peripheral artery disease.

If you have diabetes, a healthy diet can help protect your feet from complications of that condition, too. In general, the NIH recommends a diet rich in whole grains, beans, vegetables and fruits, lean meats, and a limited amount of fats and sweets for people with diabetes.

Whether you eat more healthfully to counteract a medical condition or to avoid one, following the NIH’s recommendations will help ensure that your feet, along with the rest of your body, continue to serve you well.

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

Sounds a bit strange but it’s actually really yummy!  I realized when I fell in love with pumpkin pie frozen yogurt last winter that a cold pumpkin smoothie was worth a try.  Pumpkin is packed with fiber and Vitamin A and is a good source of Vitamins C and E, magnesium, and potassium.  Beta-carotene is the amazing component that gives pumpkin its bright orange color and helps to ward off several cancers and protect the heart. Pumpkin is also low in calories; just 49 calories in a cup, yet has enough fiber to help fill you up.

Go on, you know you want to try it!!

Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

1 c  canned pumpkin puree (NOT pie-filling)

1 c plain low-fat Greek yogurt

1 frozen banana

1/2 t nutmeg

1 1/2 t cinnamon

1 c almond milk or milk of your choice

1 T maple syrup or agave

8 ice cubes

Blend, Sip, Smile

 

Peace and Pumpkin,

Melissa

Losing It The Old Fashioned Way

I love to hear stories of people who have lost weight the old fashioned way.  Do you remember Marissa Jaret Winokur from the Broadway Show Hair Spray?  She was also on Dancing With The Stars and in one of my favorite movies, American Beauty. She was the girl working the drive thru at Mr. Smileys, one of the best scenes ever!  She has a bright, smiling personality that is fun to watch and has always embraced her big girl curves. But after hearing some concern from her doctor regarding her cholesterol, she decided to lose weight “the old fashioned way”.  I watched an interview with her this morning on Good Morning America and she talked about how eating right, exercise and prepping her day is what made it happen.  What does it mean to prep your day?  Leave the house prepared!  Whether you’re planning a day at the office, running errands, or getting on an airplane, have your meals planned ahead. Know what you are making for dinner that night when you get home, pack a lunch or snack and take it with you or try not to leave your house hungry.  Now that Marissa has made this part of her life she talks to her son about food and all of the good things it does for his body.  Love it!  Sometimes all we need is someone to motivate, educate and support us onto the path of wellness and we can do the rest.  Sprouting Souls believes that true and lasting health and happiness is something that has to start within you and over time grows into the way you move through life.  It’s a feeling, a way of being.  I guess that’s why I love this story.

To find out more about how Sprouting Souls can help you get on your path, check out the Sprouting Souls Approach, the Programs we offer, or contact us as andrea@sproutingsouls.com or melissa@sproutingsouls.com.

Have a great day today. -Andrea

Farmer’s Market Butternut Squash Soup

Sprouting Souls is back at the Western Wake Farmer’s Market today from 8AM until noon. Stop by to say hello and taste our warm and yummy butternut squash soup!

Winter squash is abundant at the farmer’s market and grocery stores now. Everything from Butternut, Acorn, Spaghetti, and then some, are easy to find, easy to fix, and chock full of nutrients that will help your whole family stay healthy this season. Did you know that squash has 214% of our daily allowance of Vitamin A? That’s a whole lot of good for the peepers! The most recent studies show that squash is an outstanding source of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories; key components to preventing cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Here’s a really simple way to make butternut squash soup. For even faster preparation, Trader Joe’s is selling frozen sliced leeks and most grocery stores are offering pre-cut chunks of squash. You can add your favorite herbs and spices or a splash of white wine for a little extra flair or a dollop of Greek yogurt for extra creaminess. I love it just like this and so do the kids!

Butternut Squash Soup

2 butternut squash

4 cups chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup sliced leeks

2 t grated ginger

salt and pepper to taste

Wash, dry and slice butternut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds. Line one or two cookie sheets with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Pierce skin with fork a few times and place cut-side down on cookie sheet. Place in 400 degree oven for 60 minutes or until very tender. Let cool until easy to handle and then scoop the squash out of the skin and set aside. Heat 1 T olive oil in dutch oven or soup pot over low heat. Add sliced leeks and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add grated ginger and saute a minute or two more. Pour in broth, add squash, salt and pepper and blend until combined. Cover and cook on medium low for 20-30 minutes longer. If you want a thinner soup, add extra broth or water. Allow to cool a bit and then puree with an emulsion blender. (You can also place small batches in a regular blender, just be sure to let it cool first)

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Banana Walnut Steel Cut Oatmeal

Are you looking for a breakfast to get you through till lunch time?  Then you’ll go bananas over this oatmeal.  I often make this if I know I have a day full of errands and I know I won’t be home until later in the afternoon.  I hate being on the road and hungry, it only leads to grabbing something to sabotage my day of healthy eating.  I love to save up the 20% of my “badness” for something I really want to eat or drink instead of something because I’m ravenous.  This is also a great breakfast for the days that I run or take one of my crazy workout classes and I need a strong, grounded energy that is sustainable for a longer period of time.  Steel cut oats do take a little longer to cook than regular oatmeal so I have to make sure I put in on the stove as soon as I come down to the kitchen to start making the kids lunches.

 Banana Walnut Steel Cut Oatmeal

4 cups of water

1 cup steel-cut oats

1 banana

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon raw honey

Prepare oats as directed.  Top with sliced banana, chopped nuts, sprinkle cinnamon and stir in the honey to enjoy!

Whats in it for you?

Steel Cut Oats:  Fiber, protein an iron

Walnuts: Brain health with Omega 3

Bananas: potassium, vitamin C, manganese

Cinnamon:  Live longer, regulate blood sugar

Raw honey: Energize with B vitamins and a little fiber

Go Faster, Stronger, Longer with this energizing and satisfying breakfast! – Andrea

Find out more about the Sprouting Souls Philosophy about wellness and how we can help you!