Healthy eating habits start early

Posted on September 15th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Healthy Living | Read 1 Comment - Add Your Own »

gardeningI grew up eating healthy. My parents and grandparents had vegetable gardens, and I became accustomed to eating whole tomatoes picked off the vine, slices of lemon cucumbers with a sprinkle of salt, even sweet ears of corn from my grandparents’ rows of stalks. My mom was a good cook and I don’t remember ever not wanting to eat what was on the table. I believe healthy eating habits start early. I know I am lucky that my family was able to sit down to dinner together almost every night to eat a delicious balanced meal, and that my parents made it a priority. I strive to do this now for my family.

Now you’d think I would have been a label-reader all my life, making certain that I was eating healthy. Nope…

To find out why I became a label-reader, read the rest of my article on the Attune Foods blog!


Healthy (and food allergy friendly) snack options for kids

Posted on August 18th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Babies & Kids, Food Ideas, Healthy Living | Read 5 Comments - Add Your Own »

I love to snack and I guess I’m pretty good at making healthy snack choices for myself. Kids, on the other hand, require a bit of coaching as to what constitutes a healthy snack. Pre-dinner time is the worst, when kids turn into beggars looking for handouts! So, to stave them off before they reach for the chips and treats, I try to put a variety of snacks out before kids ask for them — you know what they say: be one step ahead of your kid. Sometimes I set them out in a high-traffic area and don’t say a word. They discover them and sure enough, they are eating the healthy snacks and not rifling through the pantry.

Coconut Yogurt and CerealNeed kid-friendly snack ideas? All of the snacks on my list are gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free and nut-free… also minimally processed and healthy! Even kids with food allergies can overload on packaged carb-heavy snacks and sugary treats, so it’s important to not fall into the deprivation syndrome (letting them have as much as they want of the allergen-free treats because you feel they are deprived enough already).

These are snacks that my kids, ages 5 and 7, will actually eat, plus they double as great lunch box items!

  • Coconut yogurt sprinkled with gluten-free cereal, like Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal or Erewhon Cocoa Crispy Brown Rice Cereal for a special treat
  • Homemade granola
  • Snap peas – blanch and then serve or refrigerate and save for later
  • Carrots and hummus or rice crackers and hummus
  • Olives – who can resist putting them on fingers?
  • Sliced cucumbers or cucumbers sliced into sticks – it’s good to change it up with kids
  • Pickles
  • Garbanzo beans, or roasted garbanzo beans — take a can of beans, rinse, pat dry, toss with olive oil, salt, and other spices if desired, and roast in oven at 350 or 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes until crunchy
  • Kale chips
  • Homemade sweet potato chips – peel and slice sweet potato into rounds, toss with olive oil, salt and other spices if desired and bake in 400 degree oven, flipping them once.
  • Fruit – this is an easy one, but don’t forget to try new ones!
  • Avocado sprinkled with salt or guacamole with organic tortilla chips
  • “Cheese” crackers – rice crackers topped with Daiya non-dairy cheese o other non-dairy cheese toasted in toaster oven or oven
  • Rice cakes with melted non-dairy “cheese” – toaster oven or microwave
  • Organic popcorn tossed with oil and salt
  • Healthy muffins, or better yet, mini-muffins – next time you make a batch, double it and freeze. Pull one out and thaw or microwave.
  • Chunks of turkey or salami (make sure it doesn’t contain milk) with rice crackers to make mini-sandwiches
  • “Turkey rolls” – just rolled up slices of turkey!
  • Apples slices spread with Sunbutter
  • Leftover pancakes
  • Pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds
  • Smoothies with spinach
  • Smoothie pops – take your leftover smoothie and put it in a popsicle mold. Now your kids are eating frozen spinach!

Happy and Healthy Snacking!


The Body and Its Wisdom – Don’t Accept What’s “Normal”

Posted on June 9th, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Asthma, Emotions, Gluten Intolerance, Healthy Living | Comments Off on The Body and Its Wisdom – Don’t Accept What’s “Normal”

Our own physical body possesses a wisdom which we who inhabit the body lack.  We give it orders which make no sense. ~Henry Miller

attunefoodsbrandam_buttonWhen did we become a society of people who think it’s normal to have discomfort and pain? We take medications for everything, without questioning whether we are really solving the problem or simply masking the symptoms. It seems like the more that people are affected by daily health issues, the less likely we are as a society to figure out what’s really wrong.

For most of my 20s, I suffered from stomach problems. One night in Boston, after I enjoyed some clam chowder, I wound up in a stall of the restaurant’s bathroom clutching my stomach. My friend suggested that I was lactose intolerant. I had not heard that term before. I wasn’t a picky eater – in fact, I enjoyed just about any kind of food, and I had never done any dieting of any kind. This was the first time I considered that there might be something I could not eat. Lactose intolerance made sense because it was fairly common as I was to learn. After all, they sold Lactaid (lactose-free mik) in the stores. My friend was wrong about the lactose intolerance diagnosis, but I believed it for 10 years. My body continued to tell me that something was wrong, but I didn’t listen – lactose intolerance seemed normal so I stuck with that idea, avoiding a lot of dairy and taking Lactaid pills.

To read more about not accepting what’s considered normal, go to my post at Attune Foods.


Lifefactory Glass Bottle Winners and Discount Code

Posted on May 3rd, 2011 by Alison | Posted in Giveaways, Healthy Living, Products, Saving Money/Sales | Read 13 Comments - Add Your Own »

I have picked the winners of the glass bottles from Lifefactory!

lifefactory-bottles-16-ozFirst, let me say that it was totally random. Second, I want to tell you that since there were so many entries (153!) I just couldn’t stop at four bottles, so I decided to add two more winners! Yay!

Even if you aren’t a winner, you really still are, because

a) now you know about my favorite water vessel, and
b) you get a special discount of 20% online, using code surefoods20 until June 30, 2011 (UPDATE: The discount code was terminated on May 31st because it was posted on coupon sites – I apologize). By the way, these make awesome gifts. Check out the baby and kid bottles and safe teethers. We use everything in our house (well, not the teethers — but I give them to friends with babies. I wish this stuff was around when mine were babies).

And now, for the winners:

#141 Cori, who according to her blog is on a weight-loss journey. This bottle full of clean water should help! Cori said “I would love the 22 oz midnight blue!!”

#103 Shirley, who is one of my gluten-free blogging buddies! I can’t believe you won Shirley. I’m so glad you get one! Shirley said, “I actually got to see some of the Lifefactory bottles being used by folks at the Expo. Loved them! :-) I’d love the larger size in midnight blue.” She was talking about the Gluten-Free Allergy-Free Expo by the way.

#24 Michelle, another one of my blogging buddies! She is one of the cleanest, greenest gals around, so I know she will appreciate this bottle! She said, “Hurray for safe bottles! Either size is great – I love spring green :-)

#110 Venessa, who said, “I currently rotate between a couple of metal bottles, but I would love to try this one. It has an awesome look too. I’d like the 22oz. bottle in RED. Thanks! so much for this opportunity.”

#98 Lynette Harris, who said, “Would LOVE the 16 oz in Graphite! We are always on the go with sports activities, and this would be awesome! How fun!”

#33 @mpv61 (Melanie) who said, “I would love a 22 ounce Spring Green! I’ve never seen these before; they’re very stylish. And we could all use more hydration!”

Thanks everyone for entering and many of you for your nice comments about my blog. And thanks to Lifefactory, for this giveaway and for making these amazing products!