The summer has nearly ended and the school year is beginning. What can you do this year to stay healthy? I know I have written before about healthy snacks and healthy breakfasts to get the kids ready and provide energy for them to succeed in school. But I want to elaborate on those thoughts. It is important to continue adopting healthy behaviors for the whole family.
Let’s start with diet soda; it has been all over the news that diet soda is terrible for us, but what about regular soda? I say all soda is bad for us and there are so many healthier alternatives. It has been part of our culture to consume beverages containing sugar and that is most likely part of the cause of the obesity problem in our country. For both adults and kids alike decreasing the consumption of soft drinks leads to decreased weight. You can always substitute soda with very healthy alternatives. Let’s discuss a few:
— Sparkling water: Many different flavors can satisfy any taste preference
— Iced or hot tea: Surprisingly refreshing and some iced flavors are so delicious you wouldn’t miss soda at all
— Kombucha: I have to admit it has a strong taste but does come in different flavors and is so healthy because it contains probiotics that promote healthy gut flora
— Coconut water: Contains electrolytes
— Fruit-infused water: My favorite. Make a pitcher of water with sliced-up fruit of your choice. A refreshing combination I like is cucumber lemon.
It is important to stay hydrated to be healthy but also very important to start your day by eating.
The typical breakfasts like bagels, donuts and breakfast pastries don’t give you any real nutritional value other than fat and calories. It is best to start off your day with protein and fiber. That will ensure you will have energy that will last several hours and keep you satiated. You can always add hemp seeds or flax seeds to oatmeal or yogurt as a way to add protein. Below are some good breakfast alternatives:
— Greek yogurt and berries
— Cottage cheese and fruit
— Whole-grain toast with avocado
— Whole-grain toast with nut butter
But if you really want a decadent breakfast and still want to be healthy, try this recipe with flaxseeds. Flaxseeds are a good source of fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids. They can help to lower cholesterol, lower blood sugar, are an anti-inflammatory, provide antioxidant properties, aid in digestion and are very versatile.
Whole Wheat Flax Pancakes
- 3¼ cups whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/8 cup sugar
- 5 teaspoons of baking powder
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 4 eggs
- 3½ cups milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Mix all dry ingredients together.
Add wet ingredients and mix completely.
Make into waffles or pancakes.
By Jamie Feit