How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Dr. Pete here from Cool Springs Chiropractic just finished writing a very detailed guide about How to Eat Healthy on a Budget because food can be expensive. He writes that there’s no doubt about that. However, it doesn’t mean that only healthy food is expensive. Surprisingly, junk foods are costlier at most times than healthy options. You may not agree with this if you’ve never taken time to consider healthy options that you can take on a budget. It all boils down to two key things; preparation and decision-making.

You have to prepare to only buy healthy options. You also need to be decisive on what you plan to buy on a budget. This not only saves you money but your health too. The primary source of defense for your body is the food you eat. So, the healthier your options are, the healthier your body is likely to be. Having said that; here are 10 steps to eating healthy on a budget:

Step 1 – Create and Stick to a Healthy Meal Plan

We’ve already mentioned planning as a critical point. To get you started, you need to establish your budget. Out of it, make a grocery list that features healthy food items. Ensure that it’s indicated how much you are willing to spend on every item on your grocery list. You should never visit a store on a budget if you are not decided on what to get.

Though it’s tempting to buy fancy foodstuffs when you visit a store, it’s paramount that you stick to your meal plan. In case you are left with some money after you’ve bought everything on your grocery list, you can buy the fancy stuff. But make sure they are not unhealthy. Read more

Childhood Obesity

Krista Harper is a freelance writer and yoga instructor in Southern California. She regularly covers lifestyle, mental health, and nutrition topics and has a passion for helping people create balance in their lives.  Kris’s ta shared with Healthy Lombard that despite receiving a lot of media attention, childhood obesity remains a problem in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 14% of children age two through five are obese, and its prevalence jumps to over 18% for the 6 to 11-year-old demographic, and over 20% for ages 12 through 19. And with U.S. obesity continuing to grow, the disease shows no signs of slowing anytime soon. Obesity is contributing to health problems not usually seen in children, such as high blood pressure and diabetes.

What causes obesity, and what can parents do to prevent it, or help an overweight or obese child? Read on to learn more.

Causes of Obesity

Some researchers believe that genetics and hormone imbalances are contributing to childhood obesity. While these two factors can certainly affect weight, there are many things about modern society that make it difficult for children to maintain a healthy weight. These include:

An Unhealthy Diet

An unhealthy diet that contains a lot of fast and processed foods is a leading cause of childhood obesity. A 2017 survey found that many U.S. children go days without eating any vegetables. Parents should strive to feed their kids balanced meals that contain enough servings of produce, lean protein, and dairy products while limiting sugary foods and drinks.  Read more

10 Yoga Poses to Keep the Kids Fit and Healthy

John Linden, Editor @ shared with Healthy Lombard that yoga, an ancient art, is great not only for the mind but for the body as well. Along with adults, even children can benefit immensely from this therapeutic practice.[1]

In fact, the yoga is tremendously beneficial for children as it promotes neuromuscular development,[2] improves body awareness and offers basic stretching and strengthening.[3]

In addition to this, yoga also helps maintain flexibility, strengthens a growing body, enhances concentration,[4] cultivates a relaxed state of body and mind, helps with stress management, sparks creativity in young minds, and teaches discipline and responsibility.

If you plan to teach your children yoga, then do not worry about practicing it perfectly. You need to focus more on helping them practice gentle movements that feel comfortable and help them increase their body awareness.

You also need to teach your children that yoga is not a destination; rather it is a lifetime journey that can help them lead a healthy life in the coming years.

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Why doctors are increasingly prescribing nature

As rates of chronic disease among children have skyrocketed over the past few decades, pediatricians have increasingly looked for solutions beyond the clinic. Sometimes that means actually prescribing time outside. Special correspondent Cat Wise reports from Oakland on the medical evidence that indicates escaping modern urban life, even temporarily, can yield health dividends.

Special correspondent Cat Wise has a story from Oakland, California. It is part of their regular series on the Leading Edge of science and health.

Her report features primary care doctor Nooshin Razani who prescribes an unconventional prescription for the great outdoors. At the clinic run by UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland, Razani and her colleagues check on time spent outside nearly as much as they check their patients’ pulse, weight, and blood pressure.

Their goal is to write outdoor prescriptions as often as they prescribe pills — and to keep the dosage high.

Depression, anxiety, and obesity rates in America have spiked in recent years, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now estimating that nearly one in five children is obese.

Read more

5 Reasons Kids Need Enough Sleep

Erika Long is a freelance health and wellness writer who shared with Healthy Lombard that it can be difficult to get kids into a consistent sleep routine. With increasing pressure at school, hyperactive minds, and distractions such as televisions and mobile devices, it’s hard for kids to calm down enough to relax and sleep. When children resist sleeping, it is easy to throw in the towel and just say, “They’re kids, they’ll be fine.” But several studies show that sleep deprivation is detrimental to their health. Here are five benefits to creating healthy sleep habits in your kids.

 1. Boosts Immunity

If your child regularly struggles with the flu and other infections, it may be time to look into their sleep patterns. Fighting infections requires a strong immune system and although most kids are born with good immunity, chronic sleep deprivation potentially weakens the immune system as they start growing.

Studies show that in both children and adults, sufficient sleep is mandatory to release enough amounts of cytokines in the body. Cytokines are proteins that help manage inflammation through cell-to-cell communication through the body’s immune system. They also fight physiological stress caused by infections, producing a drowsy effect in the process. If your child is unwell and wants to sleep longer, let them. It is their body’s natural defense mechanism working hard to restore their health.

Research carried out in recent times also shows that sleep apnea in children is caused by disrupting the body’s natural defense mechanism, causing vulnerability in terms of contracting short-term, frequent illnesses.

2. Promotes growth hormones

One of the reasons behind the rapid growth in infants is the secretion of human growth hormone during their long hours of sleep. Growth spurts tend to decrease as children grow older, yet most young children in their growing years tend to wake up taller some mornings because of the growth hormones released during their sleep the previous evening.

Conversely, if sleep is disrupted, production in childhood growth hormone could be sufficiently reduced to make children grow into shorter adults.  Being tall depends on many factors, including genes, but children have the best chance at growth when they get adequate amounts of sleep.

Recent studies have shown growth hormones are at their peak just after the onset of sleep, especially in infants. Hence, the first sleep cycle is extremely important for the healthy growth in children. Read more

Children Don’t Like Nature as Much as Adults, UChicago Study Finds

Alex Ruppenthal reported from WTTW in Children & Nature News that a love of nature doesn’t necessarily come naturally, according to a new University of Chicago-led study exploring how kids develop a relationship with the outdoors.

Numerous studies have shown that adults prefer nature to more developed or controlled environments, like those that make up a majority of cities. But little is known about how children, especially those under 9 years old, develop preferences when it comes to nature.

As they set out to learn more about kids’ affinity for nature, a group of UChicago psychologists had a strong idea about what they would find.

“We hypothesized that the kids would prefer nature because adults overwhelmingly do,” said Kim Lewis Meidenbauer, a UChicago doctoral student and the study’s lead author, in a statement. “We were incredibly surprised to find evidence to the contrary.”

As it turned out, children in the study preferred urban environments much more than adults, suggesting that a passion for nature might develop gradually throughout one’s life, rather than being inherent at birth or a young age. Read more

Dozens of Northwest MDs Prescribing Nature

TOM BANSE / NW NEWS NETWORK reported that dozens of Pacific Northwest doctors are teaming up with a national nonprofit to write a different kind of prescription. Their “park prescriptions” direct patients with obesity, anxiety, depression or certain chronic conditions to spend more time outside.

Physicians already routinely counsel patients to exercise more, as you may know from personal experience. This takes it one step further — by writing actual prescriptions specifying how long and how often to recreate in named parks. Dr. Atoosa Kourosh, a pediatrician and allergist in Seattle said a written prescription makes a stronger impression.

“If you do that, then people take it more seriously than you’ve told them to get outside and be active,” Kourosh said in an interview.

Kourosh is one of 63 health care providers in Washington state and 12 in Oregon who have signed up with the nonprofit Park Rx America to “prescribe” parks. Washington State Parks recently joined the national group, which provides clinicians a template to prescribe nearby green spaces with address and amenity details.

Nature immersion could be suitable to treat a range of conditions in children and adults, say Kourosh and the state parks department. Obesity gets a frequent mention, as well as hypertension, diabetes and attention deficit disorder.

“Children with both attention problems, behavioral problems, and psychological problems seem to very much benefit from these experiences,” Kourosh said.

She said patient reactions to getting a park prescription tend toward “delight,” although she also has seen some skepticism. Read more

Taking Steps to Address Childhood Obesity

Dr. Darius Radvila, Pediatrician at Edward-Elmhurst Health shared that childhood obesity is on the rise. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in five kids ages 18 or younger is obese. Furthermore, the number of kids affected by obesity has tripled since the 1970s.

Many factors contribute to childhood obesity:

  • Sedentary lifestyles
  • Lack of sleep
  • Poor diets high in processed foods
  • Genetics
  • Social environment

It’s often a combination of these factors that lead to excessive weight gain. However, the biggest culprits seem to be sedentary lifestyles and poor diets.

The advancement of technology has been incredible in the last 20 years. However, it seems to be coming at the price of far less physical activity. Smartphones, tablets, streaming services, and video games pose the largest risk with urging children to sit for hours at a time, instead of being outdoors and being active.

The second biggest culprit is a diet that is high in calories and low in nutrients. Children are eating too many processed foods loaded with added sugars, including juices, sodas, energy drinks, and fast foods. Children who eat fast food consume on average 150 more calories per day than children that do not eat it.

When children are obese, they have an 80 percent chance of staying obese their entire lives. Over time this can lead to health conditions including:

  • Diabetes
  • High blood pressure
  • High cholesterol
  • Heart disease

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