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October 4th Is Walk And Bike To School Day


Times Do Change

As a parent have you ever heard your grandmother or grandfather say to you, “Why when I was a kid, I walked to school every day, all year, in the rain, blizzards, and hot sun and it did not kill me?”

Walking or biking to school is excellent exercise and good for the kids to do at least once in a while.

This October 4th is not a new idea. This idea formed over 20 years ago with the sole purpose of celebrating health and the benefits of walking or biking to and from school for individual students. Instead of using a vehicle to and from school, students are given a chance to participate in active transportation to and from school on this day anually.

At any rate, October 4, 2017, is now set aside internationally, yes internationally, as a day where children are encouraged to walk or bike to school. This event is recognized globally by over 40 countries including the United States and Canada. Check with your school to see what events and surprises your school planned for October 4th.

So parents, if you do not trust the world we live in, and with good reason, maybe you can fulfill this day by walking or biking along with your child to school. If your school has individual plans, you will not want to miss the excitement with your family in attendance.

After all, this event is set in place for some reasons, such as,

  • Good exercise
  • Parents get outside with their children and teach children about pedestrian and bicycle safety
  • Reduces the amount of cars on the road and at schools
  • Helps to bond families, children, the community, and the school together
  • Preserves the environment
  • Enhances healthy lifestyles

It is a proven fact that children who walk or ride a bike to school and are physically active before the bell rings for classes are better prepared for class, they perform better in class, behaviors improve, and attention is improved.

Jump On Board and Enjoy This Special Day

Some schools plan to have students register for this event and inform parents, students, and the community through banners, flyers, information sent home, and in local newspapers.

There are many different things various schools do such as planning photo shoots with students, parents, and school staff.
Some dedicate the whole day to fitness and wellness. Schools may host bar-b-ques, picnics, or potlucks promoting nutritious food choices.

Some schools designate the whole month of October with weekly activities set aside

Thousands of school districts report that every year, there is an ever-growing interest and participation on October 4th by parents and children from a 20-year-old idea, made possible by school principals, physical education instructors, and teachers gladly promoting this event every year.

How do Communities Participate?

  • Children travel to and from school in groups or with parents
  • Choosing safe routes to and from school
  • Walking or biking on designated crosswalks
  • Utilizing crossing guards
  • Walking or biking on streets where speeds set lower
  • Walking or biking on sidewalks where there is less busy traffic
  • Instituting frequent information to the community so people who are diving can be made aware of the importance of October 4th and be ever-mindful of more children walking or riding bikes on that day

Set October 4th aside on your calendar to get outside with your child and get some fantastic exercise in the crisp and lovely fall colors. October 4th is the day you leave your car at home and walk or bike to school with a family.


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Getting Active With The Whole Family


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Balancing Work and Family Fitness

In today’s society, both parents work. The reason for this comes out of the necessity to bring in an adequate amount of money to meet debt demands. A mother and father are the first to express concern about making the time to balance the needs of the family while balancing the budget and having the time and energy for both.

Set a Good Example for Your Kids

If you are a parent, you need to remember that your children learn by the example you set. Children are keen on observation and follow what parents do and say.

For example, if you are a couch potato in any spare time you have, your children are going to spend more time sitting, gaming, watching television, and take up more inactivity outlets.

This generation is full of electronics that grab the interest and attention of children everywhere. It seems as though all kids want to do is play with their electronic gadgets.

These sedentary activities do bodies no favors. Learn to limit your children’s time on television, kindles, iPhones, computers, and gaming consoles. Children these days love to be told to “Go to your room.”

Everyone Has 24 Hours in a Day

If you are a parent, you are the ones to instill in your kids the importance of physical fitness. Everyone has 24 hours in a day. The clue to making the time for physical fitness with the kids is how you schedule your time.

Allowing one hour out of 24 hours a day for moderate to vigorous activity every day helps all family members remain healthy and keep weights within a reasonable range. This time also allows for bonding time for parents and children.

This one hour allows for your kids to learn how important physical fitness is to you and your spouse. The kids may not want to comply, but once they do they will not know where the hour went and wanted more.

Do as much as you can outdoors. The fresh air is invigorating and gives parents and children a healthy appetite for all of the healthy foods you fix.

If you are at a loss for ideas, there are plenty of ways in which you incorporate one hour of fitness with the kids.

Some Family Activity Examples

  • Hiking on a nature trail
  • Biking
  • Team sports
  • Walking
  • Go bowling
  • Play a game of tennis
  • Play tag
  • Take the kids for a game of miniature golf
  • Fly a kite
  • Go sledding
  • Cross-country ski
  • Take the family for a swim, winter or summer
  • Play ball
  • Jump rope
  • Lawn care, garden, and pulling weeds
  • Rake up leaves and jump in the piles
  • Plan a room where you can, and your kids can build a workout room on inclement weather days.

Do not allow your children to form bad habits for exercise and eating.

When there is something as important in your life as physical activity for one hour a day, many things can obstruct your plans. These obstructions can come in the form of,
emergencies, work, deadlines, and unexpected visits from family and friends to mention a few.

You must meet your unique obligations so just rearrange your schedule and fit it in or spend extra time the next day doing what everyone loves to do in the way of exercise such as biking two hours instead of one hour.

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Healthier Eating


Your Health is Your Responsibility

Deciding to eat healthier and making wiser food choices is a personal choice you alone must make as no one else can make this decision for you.

Never before has America seen the level of obese people as there are in today’s society. If you are over 30 your ideal body weight you are considered obese, a hard word to admit. If you are over this 30, your weight you are considered to be “Morbidly Obese.” There are many reasons for our obesity problem, but the bottom line has to do with making the right food choices for the rest of your life, a lifestyle change.

To eat healthier means to eat all the food groups in appropriate amounts and leaving the table feeling sufficiently full, meaning you do not exit the table with a “stuffed” stomach.

  • Eating healthy has absolutely nothing to do with any diet.
  • Eating healthy is a healthy state of your mind.
  • Eating healthy is a lifetime is your commitment for lifestyle changes
  • Eating healthy never constitutes eating even healthy foods until your seams split in your clothes.
  • Eating healthy means eating appropriate amounts of healthy foods.
  • Eating healthy never ends as long as you live

Eating healthy means a better blood pressure, decreasing risks for heart disease and diabetes. You reduce the chance of other diseases due to obesity. You have better chances of keeping your weight within an appropriate range for your body type and age. Keep your weight healthy by eating properly size meals.

What Does Healthy Eating Constitute?

  • Whole grains
  • Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Fresh chicken, turkey, fish, eggs
  • Eat less red meat, two to three times a week
  • Dairy
  • Fats
  • Natural sugars
  • Avoid eating white such as white flour, white sugar, and too much salt

Necessary Food Groups Every Day

Whole Grains

Whole wheat bread, pasta, and cereals without sugar content. Make sure the label reads, “Whole.”

Fruits and Vegetables

These foods add many vitamins, minerals, and fiber to your diet. Eating these groups is better than drinking 100% fruit juices


Healthy proteins include limited red meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, soy


Adds needed calcium to the body for healthy teeth, bones. Examples include low-fat yogurt, cheese, and milk


The body requires some fat each day. Avoid saturated fats and turn to unsaturated fatty foods, for example, oily fish, and avocados. Healthy fats are necessary for healthy joints, hair, and skin.


Sugars are contained naturally in some foods like fruits. Avoid white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and anything that relates to sugar (read food labels.) Too much sugar will help you gain weight; increase the risk for heart disease and diabetes. Too much sugar puts you at risk for other diseases.

You Can Manage Your Food Groups

Control your meal portion sizes depending on your age, and activity levels.

Eat fresh or fresh frozen foods and avoid canned foods that contain hidden sugars, and hidden sodium.

Eat foods by baking, broiling, grilling, steaming.


  • Avoid processed foods
  • Avoid frying foods
  • Avoid overcooking foods
  • Avoid candy, cookies, cakes, pies, ice cream
  • Limit alcohol
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid salt and replace with herbs and spices

It takes a bit of common sense to eat healthier. Eating healthy is not a complicated matter or restrictive. If you eat foods from mostly plant sources like fresh or frozen vegetables, fruits, whole grains and strictly limit your processed food choices, and red meats, you are feeding your body healthier.

Add to your healthy lifestyle, eating a doctor approved, daily exercise routine.


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What are Whole Grains?

Organic Whole Grains

Image is from HuffPost

Scientifically speaking, a whole grain is any grain from a cereal product that includes the bran, germ and endosperm of the product. Consumption of whole grains is important as they have a lot of nutritional benefits that contribute to lowering blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, balancing blood sugar and more. Refined grains are a bit more processed and contain only the endosperm of the product. These products are not as beneficial due to their deficiencies in amino acids which occurs during processing. There are a number of different whole grains that you can add to your diet; each with their own nutritional benefit.

Bulgur Wheat

Different than the traditional wheat that you will find in store-bought loaves of bread, bulgur wheat is more like a rice product. It takes just a few minutes to cook with a bit of hot water and you can use it in a variety of salads or even as a breakfast food in place of oatmeal.


This whole grain has a corn-like taste and consistency and is actually used frequently in bird food mixtures. It is perfectly acceptable for humans to eat as well though. It works in place of rice in many dishes and comes packed with healthy fiber.


This is one whole grain you probably haven’t heard about before and that’s because it is relatively new to the supermarket scene. Freekeh is whole wheat that is harvested prematurely and it is then roasted and cracked before being used in a variety of recipes.


A commonly used whole grain, barley works well in recipes like soups and stews. It is about the size of a grain of rice but when cooked becomes very soft, almost like a very fluffy noodle. Barley is rich in B vitamins, fiber and can reduce cholesterol numbers.

Wheat Berries

This product is the wheat kernel in its whole form and can be consumed at this state. Very high in fiber, wheat berries take some time to cook. It is well worth it though thanks to the nutritional benefits that come with consuming this whole grain. The process of cooking the wheat berries is simple though, you just simmer them on the stovetop.


Not an actual whole grain, buckwheat is usually grouped into the whole grain family even though it technically is a seed. Very fibrous, buckwheat is usually turned into a flour and then used in products like noodles or bread.

Benefits Of Whole Grains

There are countless benefits of eating whole grains each day as part of a healthy diet and unless you are someone who is sensitive to gluten, there is no real reason to avoid them. Not only do whole grains provide you with plenty of fiber to keep your digestive system working properly, whole grains pack a ton of energy that will keep you going all day long. For those people who are trying to lose weight, skipping the carbs and grains isn’t necessarily a great idea. You just want to make sure that you leave the processed grains at the store and opt for healthier, whole grains. You can actually lose weight (especially in your mid-section) thanks to whole grains as they help re-distribute fat in and on the body.
When shopping for a whole grain product you will want to thoroughly read the label to find out more about the product and what it contains. A product that is minimally processed and contains whole grains will say so and you should stick with these brands. You may also want to look closely for words such as unbleached, unprocessed, natural, etc.


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Benefits of Breastfeeding


Some mothers decide to breastfeed their babies when they are born while others would rather not embark on this journey. The topic of breastfeeding tends to be a pretty sensitive one as there is a big divide amongst women who breastfeed and those who do not. While there are plenty of benefits to both mom and baby when it comes to breastfeeding, it is not for everyone and that’s ok too. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that a mother breastfeeds her baby for the first year of life and there are many benefits of doing so.

Nutrition Basics
Breast milk is made up of all the right amounts of vitamins, fat and protein that a baby needs to thrive. This milk comes in a much more safe and natural form whereas store bought formula can be based off of not so great ingredients such as corn syrup solids and sugar. Not to mention that there is a perfect form of antibodies that help a baby develop a really strong immune system. This can be beneficial in helping fight off bacterial and viral based illnesses.

Breastfeeding benefits are not just nutritionally based. There have been studies that show children who were breastfed for at least the first six months of like had higher IQ scores than those that were fed solely from formula. This isn’t just due to nutrition but also thanks to the physical contact a baby receives while they are nursing. Eye contact, skin to skin contact and being held can all help a child’s emotional and intellectual development. Babies that are breastfed are at a higher risk of sudden infant death syndrome as well.

Immune Support
The benefits of breastfeeding occur during the period of time that a baby nurses but these benefits can often last a lifetime. Breastfeeding has been proven to reduce a lifetime risk of allergies and asthma. There is a decrease in ear infections, illness and stomach upset when breastfeeding takes place. More research will be done in the future to determine other benefits, but it is suspected that breastfeeding can reduce a number of cancers, diabetes and also obesity later on in life.

Benefits For Mom
In addition to breastfeeding being beneficial for the baby that is receiving the mother’s milk, nursing can also benefit the mother as well. With all of those extra calories being given to the baby, those post partum pounds can be shed quite fast. Oxytocin is a hormone that is released during the nursing process and the uterus reacts by shrinking faster than normal. As for long term benefits, breastfeeding can decrease the risk of ovarian cancer and breast cancer throughout the rest of the mother’s life, not just the months where breastfeeding occurs.

The benefits of breastfeeding far outweigh the benefits of formula feeding is nursing is something you can accomplish. It’s not an easy journey to embark on but it is worth the work that you put into it. Utilizing the services of a trusted and reputable lactation consultant can help you address any issues that might be going on whether it be an issue with latching, staying latched or milk production. It is important to remember that only you can decide what is best for your baby. You may want to enlist the help of your medical professional as well when determining what is best for you and baby. Certain prescription medications can be harmful to a baby if passed through the breast milk, so always check with your doctor regarding this fact as well.


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Importance of National Breastfeeding Month


Spectrum Health Services, Inc

August is National Breastfeeding Month and people are joining together all over the world to promote this natural and beneficial way of feeding one’s child. Not every mother chooses to breastfeed and not every woman is able to due to medical issues but mother’s milk is beneficial to both mom and baby and is recommended for the first year of like by the American Academy of Pediatrics as well as The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Promoting Health Benefits

Not all women receive optimal health care during their  and because of this, they may not be aware of the benefits associated with breastfeeding. With breast milk being comprised of all the perfect amounts of fat, protein and vitamins that a baby needs, mother’s milk is the way to go for the majority of infants. These days, many store bought formulas contain some really nasty ingredients like chemicals, corn syrup solids, refined sugar and more. Breast milk contains ingredients that the mother is consuming but if mom is taking care of herself and eating properly, then breast milk is beneficial.

Immune System Development and Care

Breast milk contains antibodies for a host of different illnesses and once consumed, the baby will form a resistance to these illnesses. Both bacterial and viral illnesses can be completely prevented thanks to breastfeeding and even if they are contracted by the infant, their duration can be much shorter. Some preliminary research is showing that breast milk can prevent certain cancers, diabetes and developmental delays as children grow. Ear infections, the flu and RSV can all be prevented or shortened by consumption of breast milk. Allergies and asthma are on the rise in children under the age of five but breastfeeding can also help prevent these things as well. These facts are easy to access when looking into the benefits of breastfeeding but for those who are not aware of it, national breastfeeding month can be a good time to get these facts out there and reach the masses.

Proper Child Development

Not every child will walk and talk at the exact same point in their lives but there is a general age where children are expected to meet certain milestones. Breastfeeding has been shown to help children reach these milestones on time or earlier than normal. When breastfeeding takes place for the first six months of a child’s life, they tend to have a higher IQ score than those children that were fed formula on a consistent basis. Keep in mind, this is largely in part to all of the great things that are in breast milk, but one of the benefits of breastfeeding that is promoted during national breastfeeding month is the bonding that occurs between the mother and the baby. Skin to skin contact is beneficial for development as is eye contact and being held and soothed.

The mother of the baby, whether baby is born yet or not, is the person who will make the final decision regarding whether they will breastfeed or not. National breastfeeding month can bring mother’s together to help educate and inspire women to nurse their babies. All other conflicts aside, including whether or not to breastfeed in public, breast is best in the majority of situations and national breastfeeding month can help get the facts out into the public so women can make an educated decision on what is best for their baby. Utilizing the services of a lactation specialist can help make this process simpler and more enjoyable for mom and baby. It is recommended that nursing continue for the first year of life.


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What to Avoid: Gluten Allergy


Do you or a family member suffer from frequent or infrequent brain fog, lethargy, painful stomach maladies or a combination of each? The struggle is real. The acknowledgement of gluten allergies in the last decade has recently illuminated the often debilitating symptoms that affect upwards of 18 million people in the United States. One grain of wheat could make the difference between a better quality of life and barely getting by. So what can you do to stop something so seemingly insignificant from negatively impacting the way you live? Discover what to look for and what to avoid in your day-to-day routine to avoid needless pain and suffering.

Show Me the–Ingredients

When going gluten-free, consummate foodies may find the “food lifestyle” change a little daunting. It doesn’t have to be. Here are a few ways you can satisfy your taste buds and avoid the dangers gluten allergies can bring to your everyday nutriments.

1. Be vigilant. It’s simple, read the nutritional information! Do this and at the very least you will be aware of the possibility of gluten in your food choices.

2. Don’t just read the ingredients, read by the asterisk. For gluten sensitive stomachs, cross contamination of food items in factories that also process nuts, soy and wheat products can affect the most sensitive of stomachs. Many packaged products have additional information marked by an asterisk at the beginning or end of their ingredient list. If the product is produced in the same building as wheat products, you may want to set the food item back on the shelf.

3. Know your trigger words. Dextrin, barley, bleached flour, bulgur, beer, brown flour, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, various malt products and yeast products in food can cause the troubling and debilitating symptoms of a gluten allergy attack. If you see any of these in the ingredients, it’s best to steer clear and opt for a clearly marked “gluten-free” substitution.

4. Stay positive and look for options. The more options you find to replace gluten-rich products with gluten-free delicious alternatives the less tempted you’ll be to indulge in that little bit of tainted decadence that can bring on fogginess, cramping, nausea or shooting pains.

5. It is best to abstain. If you can’t find the information you need to determine without a doubt that what you put in your mouth is untouched by gluten, don’t bite. If there is a snack you just can’t live without, do the research. With gluten allergy awareness quickly becoming a must-have for food-producing companies in the current market, food companies post gluten information on their websites for quick and easy answers.

6. Expect nothing. What you may think as naturally gluten free, may be contaminated in processing and packaging. Gluten-free products are not guaranteed to remain gluten-free. Some companies may change the ingredients they use at their own discretion. Many companies engage in their own comprehensive food-testing and may have discovered gluten contamination in the process. If you peruse the numerous gluten-free food lists online that are periodically updated online, what was once gluten free could now be off the list.

Gluten isn’t just found in various foods. Shampoos, cosmetic products, medications, vitamins and even stamps and envelopes may all contain a form of gluten. From hot dogs to precooked flour dusted French fries, gluten is an ingredient that continues to find its way into our lives, but it is possible to avoid it. Thankfully as awareness grows, so does the list of food alternatives. Protect yourself by never making assumptions and you’ll be able to exemplify what it means to live a gluten-free life!

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Celiac Disease


Image is from Gastroenterology Consultants Orlando

Celiac Disease: Patient Guide and Treatment Information

For people with celiac disease, going gluten-free is a medical necessity rather than a choice. Celiac disease is a serious digestive disorder that is triggered by the protein gluten. When people with celiac disease eat foods that have gluten, such as barley, rye and wheat, their immune system responds by damaging the intestine. Over time, this results in the body being unable to absorb nutrients. Celiac disease leads to a host of problems, including:

  • Malnourishment
  • Osteoporosis
  • Thyroid Disease
  • Cancer

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Here are some of the symptoms of celiac disease. If you have these symptoms, check with your doctor for an official diagnosis. There are many other diseases that could be causing these symptoms, as well.

  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Swelling in the abdomen or feeling of fullness
  • Foul-smelling, pale stools that float
  • Nausea
  • Gas
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

How is Celiac Disease Diagnosed?

Celiac disease can be diagnosed by your physician. They will ask you for a complete family medical history. Then, you physician may order a physical exam and other tests, such as genetic tests, blood test or a biopsy.

Treatments for Celiac Disease

There is no cure for celiac disease. The only treatment is to remain on a gluten-free diet. Following a gluten-free diet will significantly reduce the symptoms of this disorder and may eventually end the symptoms altogether as the villi of your intestines are healed. Eating any gluten at all will restart the damage to your intestine. Therefore, you will have to remain on a gluten-free diet for the rest of your life.

In some cases, the damage to the intestines is so significant that eating a gluten free diet will not help. If this happens, the only way to get nutrients is intravenously.

Living with Celiac Disease

Living with celiac disease requires a big change in your diet. A true gluten-free diet will limit what you can eat. You cannot eat many of the staples, including:

  • Cereals
  • Pasta
  • Crackers
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Ice cream
  • Instant coffee
  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Yogurt
  • Pizza
  • Processed foods

Read food labels carefully before eating any food to be sure that it does not contain wheat or any other type of gluten. Some patients with celiac disease can eat oats and others cannot. So, if you have celiac disease, ask your doctor whether or not you should consume oats. Just be aware that packaged oats are sometimes contaminated with wheat.

It is also a good idea to pay close attention to over-the-counter capsules, vitamins and tablets as many of these contain wheat starch, which is used as a binding agent in capsules and tablets. Gluten is present in barley so avoid beer. Brandy, whiskey, wine and other alcohols are fine as they do not contain gluten.

It is always a good idea to work with a dietitian, who can provide you with more information about a gluten-free diet.

When eating in restaurants, you will have to ask what the ingredients are in each dish that you order. Eating just a small amount of gluten will cause some people with celiac disease to vomit or have severe diarrhea that lasts for hours.

Even though you have celiac disease, you can still enjoy a healthy diet. You can get pasta and bread that are made from other types of flour, such as rice flour. In addition, many food companies have significantly increased their gluten-free offerings over the last couple of years as gluten-free has become quite popular. In addition, you can enjoy fresh vegetables, fruits, fish and meats, as long as they have not been artificially processed.


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Understanding Celiac Disease


Image is from Dr.Starpoli

Celiac Disease is a genetic, digestive, autoimmune disorder that is characterized by damage to the small intestine when you consume gluten. Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, and wheat. If you have Celiac Disease and ingest gluten, your body reacts with an immune response that attacks and eventually damages the villi in the small intestine. Villi are tiny, finger-shaped projections that line the small intestine and promote nutrient absorption. Malfunction of the villi can lead to malnutrition.


Celiac Disease is diagnosed symptomatically, along with a blood test to look for a high level of certain antibodies and a biopsy of the small intestine. An estimated 1 out of every 100 people worldwide have the disease. It is also hereditary, so if you have a first-degree relative who has been diagnosed with it, your chances of developing the disease increases to approximately 1 out of 10.

Symptoms of Celiac Disease include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Fatigue
  • Itchy skin rash
  • Weight loss

While Celiac Disease cannot be cured, it can be managed, so that you can go on to live a long, healthy life.


There is only one treatment for Celiac Disease and that is to eat a gluten-free diet. Fortunately, there are many foods that are naturally gluten-free such as:

  • Fish
  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Eggs
  • Nuts

There are also a growing number of gluten-free products that are being developed by manufacturers.

There is, however, a little bit more to managing Celiac Disease than just eliminating gluten from your diet. You also have to make sure you are getting the proper amount of nutrients and vitamins including:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Thiamin
  • Fiber

Weight gain can also be a problem for you if you are treating Celiac Disease, because you are now absorbing more calories from your gluten-free food.

Life with Celiac Disease

There are several steps you can take to live more healthfully:

  • See a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) – He or she can help you to understand what foods are safe to eat and what you should avoid. An RDN can also help you with meal planning and what to do when eating in a restaurant. They will also ensure that you are receiving the proper vitamins and nutrients from your gluten-free diet and help you maintain a healthy weight.
  • Try Alternate Grains – There are several grains that can be used in place of grains with gluten. These include: corn, rice, amaranth, sorghum, millet, quinoa and teff. There is also a large variety of plant foods and starches you can consume, such as: potato, buckwheat, flax, lentils, soy, tapioca, yucca, wild rice, and Indian rice grass. You can also speak to your grocer and ask for some of these alternatives to be put in stock. Most grocers will do their best to accommodate you.
  • Learn about Ingredients – Many foods contain gluten even if they are barley, rye, and wheat-free. For example, soy sauce, malt, and modified food starch all contain gluten. Most processed foods and condiments contain gluten, as well. If you have Celiac Disease, it is critical to start reading ingredient lists on labels.
  • Look for Gluten-Free Labels – While manufacturers are creating more and more gluten-free foods, if it doesn’t say gluten-free on the label, don’t purchase it. Something as seemingly innocuous as a rice mix can have traces of gluten in it.

While it may seem overwhelming at first, it can actually be fun to create your own gluten-free recipes. After awhile, you will know exactly what products you can enjoy to live a healthy, happy, productive life.


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Immunity-Boosting Foods


Image is from Fitness World

When it comes to your immune system, getting proper nutrition cannot be underestimated. The antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals you receive through your food are what keeps your body strong enough to fight off infection. It is important to make the following foods a part of your diet to ensure a good defense against colds and flu.


Beef will boost your immune system, because:

  • It is a good source of zinc, and zinc aids in the development of white blood cells.
  • These white blood cells improve both immune function and response.
  • It’s protein supports the building of antibodies to fight off infection.

Oily Fish

These types of fish include salmon, mackerel, and tuna. Rich in omega-3 fatty acids, these fish:

  • Help reduce harmful inflammation in the body.
  • Control chronic inflammation that can keep your immune system from working properly.
  • Can prevent cold, flu, and more serious diseases.

They also contain Vitamin D, and as daylight hours decrease during the colder months of the year, your Vitamin D stores are depleted. Vitamin D:

  • Is critical to fighting off colds and flu.
  • Reduces the frequency and duration of colds and flu.

Leafy Greens

Dark, leafy greens such as kale, spinach, arugula, and Swiss chard, all contain significant amounts of Vitamin C which:

  • If consistently taken, they will shorten the duration of a cold or possibly prevent it altogether.
  • If cooked, they will shrink in size so you can consume more of them.
  • Increases white blood cell production.

Carrots and Sweet Potatoes

These vegetables are rich in beta-carotene. Our bodies convert beta-carotene to Vitamin A that:

  • Keeps the mucus membranes that line your nose, throat, and gastrointestinal tract, along with your skin, healthy.
  • By keeping these membranes healthy, it builds your first line of defense against colds and flu.

Chicken Soup

You really should eat chicken soup when you’re sick, and when you’re not. It combines many elements that boost your immune system. Hot chicken soup:

  • Raises the temperature in your airways, which loosens mucus secretions.
  • Releases cysteine, an amino acid that resembles a drug used to treat bronchitis.
  • Contains a high concentration of vegetables and protein that provide many different vitamins.


According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, garlic contains allicin, which has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Garlic has been shown to:

  • Cause you to experience fewer and less severe colds.
  • Promote balanced gut flora, which rids the body of viruses, bacteria, and toxins.
  • Contain the most antioxidants when eaten raw.


Yogurt contains microorganisms, or “good bacteria”, that keeps you healthy. It:

  • Is a probiotic food that replenishes this good bacteria.
  • Promotes digestive health.
  • Helps prevent stomach ailments.
  • Lowers the risk of upper respiratory infections.


While a hot cup of tea can soothe a sore throat and break up chest congestion, it also provides other benefits. All tea, green, black, or white contains catechins, which:

  • Are a group of antioxidants that contain flu-fighting properties.
  • Protect you from cancer and heart disease.
  • Increase your metabolism.
  • Boost your overall immunity.

Dark Chocolate

The nutritional benefits of cocoa are often overlooked, because many chocolate treats contain sugar and saturated fat. However, chocolate:

  • Contains polyphenols that are disease-fighting antioxidants.
  • Also contains a high concentration of zinc.
  • Can be consumed daily if you stick to 1/4 ounce servings.

The following foods are also recommended:

  • Oysters
  • Anise Seeds
  • Citrus
  • Milk
  • Mushrooms
  • Skinned Turkey Breast
  • Blueberries
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Oats

With this abundant selection of immunity-boosting foods, we can enjoy better health during cold and flu season and all year around.

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