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10 Healthy Breakfast Ideas to Help your Kids Do Well in School

In our house, the look of pure joy when my kids discover that we have made “special breakfast,” as they call it, is similar to the look when they realize that summer vacation is quickly approaching.  Just knowing that we took breakfast up a notch from the ordinary helps start the positive momentum leading to an all-around great day.

Why is breakfast important? Breakfast is the meal that fuels the beginning of the school day.  After a rejuvenating night of sleep, the brain and body need fuel to operate.  Studies have shown that kids who eat breakfast perform better academically than kids who don’t.

  • Egg on an English muffin  This is such a great breakfast.  We use a whole wheat English muffin.  My kids love it, and the eggs can be made in advance and warmed.  You can add any desired topping too.  Two of my kids love cheese on their eggs, and one child just wants the egg without the muffin.  You can serve it so many ways, and you can add a side of fruit.  And it doubles as a great lunch.  My kids like it cold and sent to school for a special lunch!
  • Oatmeal.  Oatmeal is such a versatile breakfast because there are so many options.  One way that we recently discovered cooking it is in the oven.  That way, I can start it when I wake up and not have to hover over it to make sure it isn’t boiling over in the microwave or on the stove, which has happened to me way too many times!  I combine 1 cup of oatmeal, 2.5 cups of water, and a pinch of salt in a microwave-safe bowl that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Bake it at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.  I usually give it a stir midway through.  When I take it out of the oven, I stir in about a teaspoon of butter, then I let the kids add their own toppings.  Raisins, walnuts and pecans are the favorites in our house.  Another option is an oatmeal bar.  You may not have time to provide as many options, but pick one or two new options for your kids to experiment with different flavors when you can.
  • Muffins.  Muffins can be made ahead and frozen to use whenever you need them.  Whether they are the focal point of the breakfast or you serve a mini muffin as a side, muffins can definitely be packed with great nutrition for your family.
  • Toast.  The opportunities for creating a healthy breakfast starting with a slice of whole wheat toast are practically endless
  • Breakfast burrito–  A breakfast burrito can be anything you want it to be.  How about eggs, cubed ham, spinach and salsa?  Or maybe eggs, homemade bacon bits, cheese and chopped up peppers?  Let your on-hand ingredients inspire you.
  • Nut butter and banana roll up on a whole wheat tortilla.  And add other ingredients to change it up, like maybe a tiny bit of honey, or a sprinkling of mini chocolate chips, or some granola.
  • What about overnight oats?
  • Whole wheat pancakes served up with walnuts and fruit on top.   Pancakes can be made in advance and frozen to defrost as needed

6 Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore



Most aches and pains aren’t a sign of something serious, but certain symptoms should be checked out. See a doctor if you feel any of these things:

1. Weakness in Your Arms and Legs

If you get weak or numb in your arm, leg, or face, it can be a sign of a stroke, especially if it’s on one side of your body.

You could also be having a stroke if you can’t keep your balance, feel dizzy, or have trouble walking.

Get help quickly if you suddenly can’t see well, get a bad headache, feel confused, or have problems speaking or understanding.

“Caught early, it is often reversible,” says internist Jacob Teitelbaum, MD.

Don’t wait to see a doctor. Call 911. If you get a clot-buster drug within 4.5 hours of your first symptom, you can lower your risk of long-term disability from stroke.

2. Chest Pain

When it comes to chest pain, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“Any chest pain, especially accompanied by sweating, pressure, shortness of breath, or nausea, should be evaluated by a medical professional right away,” says Shilpi Agarwal, MD, with One Medical Group in Washington, DC.

Chest pain or pressure can be a sign of heart disease or a heart attack, particularly if you feel it during exertion or while being active. Or, chest pain may mean problems other than with your heart; for example, you have another serious condition, such as a blood clot moving into your lung, Teitelbaum says.

If your chest feels tight or heavy, and it lasts more than a few minutes or goes away and comes back again, get help. Don’t try to tough it out.

3. Tenderness and Pain in the Back of Your Lower Leg

This can be a symptom of a blood clot in your leg. It’s called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. It can happen after you’ve been sitting for a long time, like on a long plane ride, or if you’re sick and have been in bed a long time.

If it’s a blood clot, you may feel the pain mostly when you stand or walk. You may also notice swelling. The leg is usually red and tender, and it will be larger than the other leg.


It’s normal to feel tenderness after exercise. But if you also see redness and feel heat where it’s swollen or painful, call your doctor.

Teitelbaum says you can also check for what’s called the Homans sign. “If you flex your toes upward and it hurts, that’s also suggestive of a blood clot,” he says. “But don’t rely on that. If it’s hot, red, and swollen on one side, go to the ER.”

It’s important to catch a blood clot before it can break off and block your blood flow, which can lead to complications.

4. Blood in Your Urine

Several things can cause you to see blood when you pee.

If you have blood in your urine and you also feel a lot of pain in your side or in your back, you may have kidney stones. A kidney stone is a small crystal made of minerals and salts that forms in your kidney and moves through the tube that carries your urine.

Your doctor may take X-rays or do an ultrasound to see the stones. An X-ray uses radiation in low doses to make images of structures inside your body. An ultrasound makes images with sound waves.

Many kidney stones eventually pass through your body when you pee. It can be very painful. Sometimes your doctor may need to remove the kidney stone.

If you see blood in your urine and you also have an increase in feeling that you urgently need to pee, make frequent trips to the bathroom, or feel burning when you urinate, you may have a severe bladder or kidney infection, Teitelbaum says. Don’t wait to see your doctor, especially if you have a fever.

If you see blood but don’t feel any pain, it may be a sign of kidney or bladder cancer, so visit your doctor.

5. Wheezing

Breathing problems should be treated right away. If you’re wheezing, or hear a whistling sound when you breathe, see your doctor.

“Without urgent evaluation, breathing can quickly become labored, and it can be catastrophic if not evaluated and treated quickly,

It may be from asthma, a lung disease, a severe allergy, or exposure to chemicals. Your doctor can figure out what’s causing it and how to treat it. If you have allergic asthma, an allergist or pulmonologist (lung specialist) will create a plan to manage it and reduce flare-ups.

Wheezing can also be caused by pneumonia or bronchitis. Are you coughingup yellow or green mucus? Do you also have a fever or shortness of breath? If so, you may have bronchitis that’s turning into pneumonia. “Time to see your doctor,” Teitelbaum says.

6. Suicidal Thoughts

If you feel hopeless or trapped, or think you have no reason to live, get help. Talking to a professional can help you make it through a crisis.

Go to a hospital emergency room or a walk-in clinic at a psychiatric hospital. A doctor or mental health professional will talk to you, keep you safe, and help you get through this tough time.

You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). It’s free and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It’s confidential, so you can feel safe about sharing your thoughts.



Anti-Inflammatory Sweet Potato Chili with Black Beans, Cumin, and More

This article is shared with permission from our friends, Jenni + Mimi, Registered Holistic Nutritionists and founders of The Naughty Nutritionists! Join our Naughty Kitchen and Download your FREE copy of the “10 Naughty Secrets to NEVER Diet Again” … These are our juicy secrets for losing weight & feeling beautiful in your body without dieting ever again… Download here !Chili isn’t only for meat lovers, and meat isn’t only for chili lovers!

The truth of the matter is that chili lies in the eye of the beholder (or the nose of the beholder… or, the hands…) we don’t know how that saying goes and how we can apply it to chili, but basically, we’re saying that chili is to each his own.

If you are okay going meat-free, you can really make chili out of anything: sweet potato, carrots, chickpeas, eggplant (we haven’t tried the eggplant version, but we would totally be down for it). Chili is really all about the wonderful spices: chili and cumin!

We actually don’t know how many times we’ve been told that chili needs meat, oh but it’s not chili without ground beef they say. But, really, if you give a veggie loaded chili a try you will see that it can taste just as wonderful as if there were meat in it (and a bonus, you are basically eating a bowl of vegetables, so it’s a great way to not have just salad for dinner).


Veggie Loaded Sweet Potato Chili

This veggie-loaded sweet potato chili is flavour packed and incredibly nutritious for you. High in plant-based protein, fiber, antioxidants and just loaded with veggies, an amazing salad alternative.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
 Total Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: 6


  • 1 small- medium onion minced
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 2 large carrots minced
  • 2-3 pieces of celery minced
  • 1.5 large sweet potato diced
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans
  • 1 15 oz can of kidney beans
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 2 large peppers any colour chopped
  • 1 large jar of pureed tomatoes
  • 1 large can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups water
  • 1 organic vegetable bouillon cube we use yeast-free
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine


  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium.
  2. Add 1-2 Tbsp oil to pot.
  3. Add in onion, garlic, celery and carrot a dash of salt and pepper.
  4. Stir until soft, about 7-10 minutes.
  5. Add in tomato paste and red wine and cook down for about 3 minutes.
  6. Add in tomato puree, bouillon cube, water, diced tomato and spices. Stir and cook about 1 minute.
  7. Add in rest of ingredients (veggies and beans). Place lid on and cook over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes.
  8. Take lid off and cook another 15-25 minutes (reduce) until desired consistency.

If using crock pot:

  1. Add all the ingredients to your crock pot and cook on low for apx. 8 hours.

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Foods to Avoid If You Have Anxiety or Depression

young man drinking orange juice

Fruit Juice

The fiber in whole fruit fills you up and slows down how your blood takes in energy. Without that fiber, you’re just drinking nutritious sugar-water that can quickly hype you up — and bring you down just as fast. That can leave you hungry and angry — “hangry.” That won’t help anxiety and depression. Eat your fruit whole. When you’re thirsty, drink water.

cola in glass close up


Regular Soda

There’s no win for you here: It has all of the blood-spiking sugar of fruit juice with none of the nutrition. Sugar-sweetened drinks like soda have a direct link to depression, too. If you crave a pop, try seltzer water with a splash of juice instead. It’ll give you a bubbly fix without too much of the stuff you don’t need.

label on diet soda can

Diet Soda

No sugar, so no problem, right? Not exactly. You may not have the energy crash that comes with having too much sugar, but diet soda may make you depressed. In fact, it could make you feel more down than its sugary cousin would. Too much of the caffeine that many sodas have can be bad for anxiety, too.

slices of white bread toast


Wait, toast?! If it’s made from white bread, yes. The highly processed white flour it’s made from quickly turns to blood sugar after you eat it. That can cause energy spikes and crashes that can be bad for anxiety and depression. You can have your toast — and eat it, too. Just use whole-grain bread.

bottles of salad dressing

‘Light’ Dressing

You might know to avoid some pre-packaged dressings and marinades loaded with sugar, often listed as “high-fructose corn syrup.” But what about ���light” or “sugar-free” dressings? Many get their sweetness from aspartame, an artificial sweetener linked to anxiety and depression. Check the ingredients or, better yet, make your dressing at home from scratch.

pouring ketchup onto plate


It’s mostly tomatoes, right? Well, yes, and sugar, lots of sugar. Four grams per tablespoon, to be exact. And the “light” stuff may have artificial sweeteners that could be linked to anxiety and depression.  Try homemade tomato salsa instead. Want a little kick? Add a bit of cayenne pepper.

woman drinking coffee in cafe


If you’re not used to it, the caffeine in it can make you jittery and nervous. It could also mess up your sleep. Neither helps anxiety or depression. Caffeine withdrawal can make you feel bad, too. If you think it causes you problems, cut caffeine out of your diet slowly. If you’re OK with it, or drink decaf, coffee can actually help make you feel less depressed.

man opening energy drink can

Energy Drinks

They can cause weird heart rhythms, anxiety, and sleep issues. That’s because it’s not always easy to know the sky-high caffeine levels hidden in ingredients like guarana. These beverages often have loads of sugar or artificial sweeteners, too. Drink water if you’re thirsty. Want a sugar hit? Eat a piece of fruit.

glasses of scotch on ice


Even a little can mess up your sleep. Not enough rest can raise anxiety and cause depression. Too many ZZZs can cause even more problems. That said, a drink could calm your nerves and make you more sociable. That can be good for your mental health. The key is dosage: A drink a day for women, and two a day for men, is the limit.

wedding cake frosting close up


It’s the sugar, right? Well, yes, but that’s not all. It’s also loaded with around 2 grams of “trans fats” per serving. They’re linked to depression. Sometimes called “partially hydrogenated oils,” they’re also in fried foods, pizza dough, cakes, cookies, and crackers. Check your labels. If you do eat fat, make it the “good” kind you get from foods like fish, olive oil, nuts, and avocado. Those can lift your mood.

pouring soy sauce into bowl of rice

Soy Sauce

This one is only for people who are sensitive to gluten. In addition to breads, noodles, and pastries, it’s also in prepackaged foods like soy sauce. If you’re sensitive to gluten, it can cause anxiety or depression. It can also make you feel sluggish and not at your best. Check labels and try to steer clear.

sandwich with processed meats and cheese

Processed Foods

If you eat lots of processed meat, fried food, refined cereals, candy, pastries, and high-fat dairy products, you’re more likely to be anxious and depressed. A diet full of whole fiber-rich grains, fruits, vegetables, and fish can help keep you on a more even keel.

box of doughnuts


We all love them, and little treats now and then can help your mood. But just so you know: Doughnuts have all the wrong kinds of fats, snow-white flour with little fiber to slow absorption, and lots of added sugar. So, if you must, make them a treat, not a routine.


Great simple tips to healthy living:

The first step is knowing what we mean by healthy living. It’s not just eating right and exercising. Learning to live healthy means trying to incorporate “health” into all aspects of your life from the most tangible, like wearing your seat belt to the intangible like staying centered through the power of “om.”

Alright let’s get healthy? Follow these simple tips to healthy living and by next year, you will feel better than ever!

1. “Regular exercise. Exercise benefits every part of your life, from attitude to your cardiovascular system.”

2. Eat a Healthy Diet. “Use common sense. Avoid fad diets. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Moderation is a key — not just in eating, but also in all facets of a healthy life.”

  • Go Organic – organically grown foods have more nutrients. Healthy soil of organic farmland also provides more nutrients for growing plants. Studies are showing they have more vitamins and minerals, like vitamin C and iron.
  • “Eat sprouted whole grain foods (bread, or rice, or pasta) at least four times per week. Skip the gluten and go for grains like millet or buckwheat. This will reduce the chance of having almost any cancer by 40%. Given that cancer gets about 1 in 3 of us in a lifetime, that’s big advice.”
  • “Eat at least five portions of vegetables and fruit a day, and especially tomatoes, red grapes and the like, as well as salad all year. This protects against a whole variety of different nasty things: It reduces the risk of stroke dramatically, it reduces the risk of diabetes considerably and it will reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer.”
  • Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day. If you are not drinking water, you are not giving your body the resources it needs to stay healthy!
  • Enrich yourself consider taking a multi-vitamin. We don’t always eat the proper foods and even if we do we are not always getting everything we need. B-vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium are crucial nutrients needed by the body to maintain healthy functioning organ systems. When we are under increased stress, these vitamins and minerals help to promote endurance and maintain a healthy balance.
  • 3. “Don’t smoke. Just as exercise helps everything, smoking hurts everything.”
  • 4. “Drink in moderation — if it all.”

    5. “Get a regular medical check-up at least once a year.”

    6. “Always wear seatbelts. Just make it a habit. Use car seats for kids.”

    7. Do something for other people. Helping others is a healing act for both you and them. A little volunteer work is a great way to keep a healthy perspective on yourself and life.

    8. “Practice stress relief. Whether it’s exercise, deep breathing, a hobby, church, meditation find something that helps you deal with the pressures of life and work.” Consider the following suggestions:

    • “Smile and laugh. Spend some time watching a favorite movie or doing something you love. Laughter releases endorphins in the body which help us stay youthful.”
    • “Communicate and share. Getting together with loved and sharing how you feel is physically and mentally rejuvenating. Feeling connected and listened to promotes a healthy centered state.”
    • “Keep a Positive Mental Outlook. There’s a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You can’t be unhappy when you’re smiling or singing.”
    • Believe in yourself, listen to your voice inside. Honoring oneself and following your true passion leads to a healthy sense of self and wellbeing. Follow your path and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!
    • Say OMMMMMM….Om is not a word but rather an intonation like music. Saying “ommmmmmmm” sends a particular vibration through the body, which relaxes you…seriously, try it! When you are really stressed take a deep breathe and say Ommmmmmmmmmmmm!
    • Consider Meditation. What are the benefits well according to Dr. Oz several “things at once, at a hormonal level, studies have shown that meditation can counteract the fight-or-flight response that floods the body with the stress hormone cortisol and that also shuts down the parasympathetic system, which normally restores order after the alert is over. At a molecular level, meditation slows metabolism in red blood cells and suppresses the production of cytokines – proteins associated with the kind of heightened immune response often seen in stressed-out subjects such as students taking exams.”

    9. “Sleep on it. Get at least seven and a half hours of sleep every night. This is the only time our bodies have to regenerate and heal. If sleep is an issue, you can look into calming herbs such as valerian, hops, lemon balm and passionflower. A nice warm cup of chamomile tea before bed may also do the trick.”

    10. Remember to live in the moment! Life is meant for living not just completing tasks and running errands. The more you live in the moment the less stress and more joy you will get out of life. Theses simple tips to healthy living can be your first steps.

    References: althy-and-centered-holiday/


1. Drink a Glass of Water in the Morning

Wake up in the morning and drink one glass of room temperature water first off. You can put a slice of lemon or lime in the water, if you don’t like it’s natural taste. Water helps to clear our system, bring on metabolism rate and flush out the toxins. Some people even say, that it helps to reduce weight!


2. Sleep Enough

Lack of sleep makes you feel tired and angry, you can’t concentrate your attention. Lack of sleep can damage your physical health (especially heart) as well [1]. Some studies have shown that 8 hours of sleep per 24-hour period is the average requirement for adults. But all people are different and need for sleep can range from 6 to 10 hours. If you feel sleepy during 4pm and 6pm, you probably do not get enough rest. [2]



3. Stretch in the Morning!

Instead of snoozing in the morning, you can use your time more wisely. Stretch your back, your legs, your neck. It will wake your body from sleep. Stretching in the morning increases blood flow to your muscles providing an extra shot of oxygen and preparing them for a new day.



4. Snack the Healthy Way

Potato chips, salted nuts, candies, cookies and other tasty stuff are definitely unhealthy for your body. They contain lots of fat, salt, sugar. Choose raw nuts, fresh fruits or berries instead, they are rich in vitamins and minerals.



5. Eat Breakfast!

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for you weight loss seekers. If you skip it, you’ll get hungry long before lunch and will start snacking on foods that are high in fat and sugar, but low in vitamins. Researchers at the 2003 American Heart Association conference reported that breakfast eaters are significantly less likely to be obese and get diabetes compared with nonbreakfast eaters.[9]


6. Take a Daily Walk

We all know about the advantages of physical activity, but most of us have neither time, nor desire to exercise. Use the stairs as often as possible instead of the elevator, take a walk with your friends, walk your dog a bit longer, than usually – use any possibility to be more physically active. Researchers say, that people only need to walk up to 12 miles per week or for about 125 to 200 minutes per week to improve their heart health[3]