5 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

My family is trapped in a vicious cycle.  Going on a month of sickness now, we've been sharing (and apparently re-sharing) flu and cold germs amongst ourselves.  It's frustrating to say the least.  I feel like we've just spent the first 1/3 of winter at home, coughing and feeling generally miserable. Tis the season for contagious germs being spread.  Between that and the colder weather outside, it's a good idea to try and bolster your body's defenses.  These tips of foods to boost your immune system caught my eye, and will definitely be something my family tries to muscle through and feel healthy again soon! 5 Foods to Boost Your Immune System Sara Siskind, Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy has come up with 5 of her favorite immune boosting foods you can add into your diet to help you feel your best all winter long. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables rich in vitamins and minerals.  Reach for red and pink grapefruits, oranges, kiwis, and … [Read more...]

6 Tips for Staying Healthy In Winter

This season my family and I had dodged the sickness bullet thusfar, until my kids came down with a cold the past week.  Those are pretty manageable, so if that's the worst we see I'll be very grateful.  Gratitude aside, there are steps you can take to help minimize the sickness in your household this winter.  Always good to have a reminder this time of year, so take a look at these tips for staying healthy in winter. Get a Flu Shot I used to go back and forth on this  one.  And frankly, I'm the only one in my family that gets a flu shot.  But I'm also the one who has TWICE dodged a bad round of the flu that my entire family had... except for me.  It's not rocket science, and I feel like that's sufficient evidence of their effectiveness for me to continue to get one. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate I've never really understood why winter is a "dryer air" season?  Static in your hair, dry flakey skin, and waking up with a dry, parched throat are all symptoms. It's why this time of … [Read more...]

Sqord Helps Families Play Together, Win Together [Giveaway, Ended 11/25]

I’m excited to introduce you to Sqord, a family fitness platform that makes healthy, active play more fun for kids by allowing them to compete and earn points for everyday activities.   Sqord wrist bands are an accelerometer worn to record your activity level, and provide a visual reminder to encourage movement. One part social community, one part fitness tracker, one part game.  The brand’s first product:  the Sqord Pod and Game App that encourages kids to get out and play with others - building camaraderie and friendship through exercise-related activities. How does it work?  The Sqord Activity Pod tracks movement in the real world and converts it into Sqord Activity Points that kids can use in the Sqord App. Available for Android and Apple, the Sqord game app enables players to wirelessly sync and upload their points, and increases engagement and interest from kids by adding an element of friendly competition. The more Sqord Activity Points they earn, the more and … [Read more...]

Control Diabetes Risk With These 8 Tips

Did you know that diabetes causes more deaths than AIDS and breast cancer combined?  This disease is becoming ever more prevalent, between our processed high carbs foods and sedentary lifestyles. Fear not, there are easy measures we can all take to prevent this serious illness.  The bonus being... they are also great overall fitness tips to follow for good health.  And even more critical when heading into that time of year where platters full of fattening treats are lurking around every corner. (By the way, do you hate me for using that photo of cupcakes??  I know, how annoying.  And luscious.  Hey, per tips #1 & 7  - go for it!  Just wash it down with some water and fiber...) 8 Tips to Control Diabetes Risk Increase Fiber and Water - Eat more fiber and drink more water during the holiday season as this will keep you feeling full and lessen the chances that you’ll overeat on goodies! Set an Alarm - While at home or work, set an alarm clock to sound every 45 minutes … [Read more...]

5 Clever Strategies for Packing School Lunch

It's official:  my Little has started kindergarten!  Among other things, this means I am now packing two school lunches every day. Oh joy. So when I received these clever tips on packing school lunches, I actually read them.  Written by Certified Nutritional Health Counselor, Sara Siskind, she makes some great suggestions here. #1 ~ Breakfast is the most important meal of the day Focus on fresh fruit, purified water, protein, and fiber while kids are in the comfort of their home. Fuel them up with a simple smoothie that is quick to make and satisfies their nutrient needs. I like blending yogurt, banana, strawberries, milk, baby spinach and touch of honey. If smoothies aren’t their thing, try a snack plate with cut up cheese, berries, wholegrain crackers or bread. This wakes their bodies and brains up in a healthy way and will sustain them for the long day ahead. #2 ~ Who Say’s Leftovers Are a No No? Whole grain pancakes for lunch? If it’s good enough for breakfast, why … [Read more...]

8 Tips for Getting Your Child On a Back-To-School Sleep Schedule

With a new middle schooler in our household, who will have a tardy bell ringing at 7:20 a.m. .... I have a strong concern in the school year sleep schedule department.  With school starting within days here in Western Colorado, I went in search of some tips. 8 Tips For Getting your Child On a School Sleep Schedule Although I can't say that we'll implement all of them (that "NOT sleeping in on the weekend" is killer!) I found some pretty helpful tips from the National Sleep Foundation. About two weeks before school starts, work with your child to return to a school appropriate sleep schedule . Every night, set an incrementally earlier bedtime, and every morning, an incrementally earlier wake-up time. Make sure that when school starts, they'll wake up with the amount of sleep they need for their age-group. Maintain sleep schedule – Once your child's sleep schedule is established, stick with it! Don't use the weekend to "catch up on sleep." Establish a relaxing bedtime routine. … [Read more...]

Personal Wellness Time is NOT Being Selfish

This post was sponsored by Massage Envy as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.  I recently had a conversation with a friend, where we compared notes on paying attention to our personal wellness.  She commented, "I need certain things to take good care of myself - to reduce stress, and to keep myself feeling well and happy. It took me until my 40's to not feel guilty about that, but to just embrace it.  Boy, is it liberating!" As I've gotten older, I'm finally reaching this stage myself.   And I've learned a thing or two about how important total body care is.   I work hard.  And that daily emotional and physical wear and tear needs some wellness counter balance. Without guilt.   Without feeling like I'm being selfish.  It's time I invest in myself, in order to stay happy and healthy... for both myself and my family.  Everybody wins. We all have our routines that help us feel better.  Be it exercise, eating healthy foods, having some quiet "me" time,  … [Read more...]

What Teens Need To Know About Marijuana in Colorado

As all Coloradans are likely aware, this state now has the distinction of being one of the few locations in the US where retail use of Marijuana is legal.   This has brought about numerous changes to Colorado in recent months, including an influx of new residents. And a whole new ball game for parents to be prepared for. My kids are still quite young, but I’ve heard firsthand from Colorado moms about the new challenges that legalized use of marijuana has presented. One Denver area mom lamented to me how the primary argument she used to use with her son over recreational marijuana use, “it’s against the law”, has now become null and void, leaving her unsure of what else to say. His arsenal bolstered, he now enjoys pointing out to her, “See mom… it’s NOT against the law – there’s nothing wrong with using marijuana.” Especially for impressionable teenagers, you can see how this development has opened the way for the mentality: “Since it’s not illegal, it must be harmless”. New Free … [Read more...]

Back To School With ZBar Protein [Giveaway, Ended 8/12]

  Here in Western Colorado, the kids have already headed back to school.  You read that right, the first week of August.  (Disgusting! Don't even get me started...that's a whole other topic. )  At the top of my "Hooo-boy, here we go" Mom Angst List is this:  Trying to pack healthy lunches, in a hurry, each morning for my daughter to take to school. That's one of the reasons why I dearly love Clif Kid ZBars.  My kids devour them, they are quick and easy snacks to throw in a lunchbox, and the ZBar Protein bars contain even higher levels of protein to keep them fuller, longer. And in a stroke of genius (you polled a bunch of kids, didn't you Clif??), all three flavors of ZBar Protein contain CHOCOLATE - Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Mint, and Peanut Butter Chocolate. They think they're getting a treat.  Meanwhile, you're sneaking into their diet: 5g of Protein 3g Fiber Organic Whole Grains No high fructose corn syrup, synthetic preservatives or artificial … [Read more...]

Healthy On-The-Go Snacks Roundup!

Yeeehawww!  It's time for a snack roundup!  I know many of my readers live active, busy family lives and like myself are always on the lookout for healthy on-the-go snacks.  This past few weeks I've conducted a roundup of some great options, and am ready to pass along these tasty, healthy ingredient product ideas to you. Healthy, On-The-Go Snacks Roundup Sometimes we get in a food rut around my house, so it's been nice to have some new snacking choices available.  For me and my family, I prefer things with no preservatives, low sugar, and protein to keep hunger away longer.  If it's nutrient rich and helps fill a food group quota for the day, even better. What sounds good to you? NOKA Superfood NOKA Superfood pouches are made from awesome, organic ingredients like fruits, veggies, and superfoods.  Each pouch is 110 calories, and does not need to be refrigerated.  They have some interesting flavor combinations available, such as blueberry beet and mango coconut.  Their goal … [Read more...]