Brussel Sprouts
My husband and I went out for dinner last night at a fantastic little Bistro not far from home, Solo Bistro for those of you in the Bath area.

The seasonal accompaniment with nearly every dish was....Roasted Brussel Sprouts.  Ugh!  I can still recall being a little girl and eating was NOT tasty at all.  Never had them since, my husband recalled a similar childhood experience with some ill-prepared sprouts.  We were hesitant but we both got them figuring everything at this Bistro was so yummy, surely they wouldn't serve them if they didn't taste good.

They arrived at the table, we looked at each other...I said "You first".  He tried it and smiled..."These are delicious!"  I was still a little hesitant thinking he may trick with me, but I tasted one....and what a surprise.  It really was delicious.  We both cleared our plates, very proud of ourselves.

This got me thinking....nutritionally what's the benefit of eating Brussel Sprouts?  Here is what I found out:
                    1.  4 Brussel Sprouts is about 60 calories
                    2.  Especially high in Vitamin C 120% RDV
                    3.  3 grams of Fiber
                    4.  2 grams of Protein
                    5.  Good source of Folate
                    6.  Contain Sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anticancer properties
                    7.  Contain indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair and blocks the growth of cancer cells.

Believed to be cultivated from Ancient Rome and are the same species as broccoli, cabbage, collard greens, and kale.  They are in season at this very moment.  Check your local farmers market and don't be afraid to cook some for dinner tonight.

Eat Frozen Yogurt
I love frozen treats in the middle of summer.  I was raised on Root Beer Floats and Ice Cream both of which are loaded with refined sugars and other junk...this is not a good thing. 

I was on the hunt for a yummy frozen yogurt treat for the girls with NO REFINED SUGAR that my happy helpers could easily make with me AND be palatable for picky eaters. 

I modified a recipe from the Chobani website: 

Frozen Yogurt
   1 Cup of plain greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
   1 Cup of organic frozen berries 
   1 Tablespoon of Raw Honey

Put all into a blender.  I had to let the ingredients sit out and thaw for about 15 minutes before blending.  But I don't have the best blender, so you may be able to blend right away.  

Zoku Frozen Treats
Then I poured the mixture into my instant Popsicle maker, and in about 7 minutes we were eating treats!  I just got this for my birthday last weekend and this was my first time using it.  It's pretty awesome!

However, if you don't have one of these don't worry!  You can buy the Popsicle molds anywhere; it will just take about 6 hours to freeze them so plan ahead.  Or you can use little plastic cups, insert Popsicle stick, and freeze.

These are very healthy foods for your body.  Not only is there no refined ingredients, but it will give you 6 grams of fiber, protein, vitamins, antioxidants, phytonutrients, live cultures, and lots of other good healthy benefits.

Disclaimer: Never feed honey to a child less than 1 year of age.

Lemon.  It may cause you to think; Dud, or reject.

I'm going to show you why it's no such thing!  In fact, the Ancient Egyptians believed that eating a lemon or drinking the juice protected them against various poisons.  Studies show that they were not too far off from that belief.

Lemons give us citric acid, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Calcium, Bioflavinoids, and Pectin.  They also contain limonene which is important as it helps fight infection and promotes immunity.  It's an incredibly strong antiviral, antibacterial, and promotes digestive tract health and cleaning of the liver (which as an added bonus aids in weight loss!)

Because of the citric acid, it’s excellent at getting rid of acne.  If you are feeling stress or full of anxiety, breath in some lemon oil...this naturally relives fatigue and anxiety and increases focus and alertness.

It's also effective if you are suffering from a cold.  It supplies your body with Vitamin C, AND the anti-viral properties attack and destroy the mucus in your nose and throat.

Lemon oil stimulates the brain.  If you feel tired, add some lemon oil or some fresh squeezed lemon juice to some water.

Lemons can also provide relief with gout and rheumatism.  It provides relief with kidney stones and bladder issues as it acts as a diuretic.

I hope the next time you think about a lemon, you will think about all these amazing benefits and nutrients it provides!

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How To "Get" Your Kids to Eat Fruits & Veggies (And Have Them Asking For More!)

Healthy Food for Kids
I get this all the time from parents, “Well, I WOULD feed my children more fruits and vegetables…but they won’t eat them.  To be honest, I cringe a little every time I hear that.

It’s not up to the kids.  It’s up to you.  What you decide to feed them now will shape what they will want to eat the rest of their lives. If you teach them the importance of healthy foods now they will automatically eat healthier when they go off on their own, and they will live a much healthier life. 

The statistics are grim.  If your child was born after the year 2000 they have a one in three chance of becoming diabetic, if you are a minority it’s 1 in 2.  Aside from that, kids will also live much shorter lives than we will.  This is mostly due to diet and lack of exercise.  Two things that you as a parent have complete control over.  I know you don’t want to be responsible for their poor health later, so you need to start paying attention today.

Ideally it should start young.  When they are first learning to eat.  It should be all vegetables and fruits with fish and lean meats, that you prepare! None of that jarred stuff.  The jarred stuff is processed with preservatives and it tastes nothing like what the actual veggie or fruit tastes like.  It’s so much easier than you think.

Hopefully they get slightly more vegetables than fruits.  When my girls started on solids I gave them only vegetables for the first 2 months then slowly gave them fruits.  Now at ages 1 and 3, they always eat their vegetables first.  Other parents gasp when they see that, “How did you get them to do that?”  They ask amazed.  The answer is easy, “They eat what you give them.”

If you didn’t start young there is still hope!  It’s a more gradual transition.  First they have to see you eating it and enjoying it.  Even if it’s not your favorite thing they have to see that you like it. But don’t over do it.  Like “MMMM this is soooo good!  Johnny you have to try it, YUM!”  Kid’s will see right through that. 

Start with one new food every week and make it a game.  Have them help you choose at the grocery store, then let them help you prepare it.  They will be more likely to try it if they helped make it.  If they flat out refuse to try it at dinner, do not make them something else.  If after 3 bites or so,  If they honestly don’t like it, then don’t force it, but do not make them something else.  Keep in mind it can take up to 12 times of introducing a new food before they decide they like it.

If they are not eating it to assert their independence let them know this is what is for dinner, breakfast, etc and you are not going to make them something else.  Also let them know there will not be any snacks after dinner.  And stick to it!  Don’t worry; you are not going to starve them.  The lesson here is so huge.  I can speak from experience with my 3 year old.  Every 4 months or so she will test us and will refuse to eat anything at dinner.  I can tell you she eats a very good breakfast.

I make sure my family gets 7 to 13 servings of healthy fruits and vegetables everyday so that we protect our health, avoid illness, and enjoy happy healthy lives.  You can too!

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