Monthly Archives: June 2016

Finding Healthy Foods for Kids

Knowing about the list of healthy foods can give parents an idea of what can be included in nutritious meals for kids. It is discussed below:
Dairy Products

Milk is a powerhouse of essential nutrients. In fact, studies show that milk contains as many as 9 nutrients including vitamin A and essential minerals like calcium, zinc, and potassium. For healthy bones and to keep eye problems at bay, kids must drink two cups of milk everyday. Apart from milk, kids should be given homemade yogurt, which is an excellent source of ‘good’ bacteria. Dairy products like cheese and butter are also excellent sources of calcium.

Besides, being a rich source of proteins, fish is found to be high in omega-3 essential fatty acids. For optimal brain function, including sources of omega-3s is necessary. No wonder, fish is regarded as a brain food. There are different varieties of fish but doctors recommend those that have low mercury levels. Choosing salmon is a better option, when it comes to preparing meals for kids. Parents can enhance nutritional value of kids’ lunch by adding few servings of sushi, twice a week.

Protein-rich foods like eggs are essential to keep the kids healthy. Proteins play a key role to build strong muscles as well as promote hair growth. However, as eggs are high in cholesterol, children should not be given eggs everyday. Therefore, adding one boiled egg at lunch or breakfast on every alternate day is recommended.

Lean cuts of meat that include skinless chicken and turkey are low in fats and excellent sources of proteins. Meals consisting of chicken with vegetable soup, baked potato with salmon or a salmon sandwich are some of the healthiest foods to lose weight.
Other healthy meat choices for kids are given below:

  • Chicken meatballs
  • Chicken breast with a roll
  • Chicken sandwich containing small amount of mayo
  • Rice containing lean cuts of chicken
  • Fish sticks

Vegetables and Fruits

Green leafy vegetables have long been hailed as a primary source of vitamins and minerals and are an integral part of a healthy diet. They can also help to reduce fat and combat obesity in kids. Dishes made from vegetables like spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are indeed good for health.

Fruits can also contribute to boost vitamin intake in kids and promote weight loss. Few servings of papaya, avocado, guava, mango, orange, and strawberries provide ample nutrients. Fruits like pineapples, apples, and peaches are good for the intestine and can help to prevent painful bowel movement in kids. Steamed broccoli or cauliflower and slices of cucumber and carrots or a green salad can be a great addition to kids’ lunch. Salad for kids are not only delicious but also provide plenty of health benefits. So, be it lunch or dinner, a salad recipe must be an integral part of kids’ meal.
Whole Grain Products

Whole grain products that include brown rice, oat bran, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and whole grain cereals, are high in complex carbohydrates and fiber as well as contain substantial amount of magnesium and potassium. Carbohydrates are the main energy sources for the body. So, your kids’ morning breakfast should specifically consists of high energy foods, derived from whole grain products. This will ensure that your kids do not experience fatigue and remain energetic and active throughout the day.
On the whole, healthy foods help to enhance intellectual capacity and grasping power of kids, thus enabling them to face the competitive world without any reluctance. Also, children getting health foods on a daily basis seem to be more cheerful and happy, thereby making it easier for parents to handle them.

Ways to Make Sprouts

Sprouting edible seeds, dried beans, and pulses is a common and inexpensive way to ensure good health. Sprouting is basically a process of soaking and draining seeds, beans, or pulses until they germinate. For those who are new to sprouts and its health benefits may wonder why sprout to germinate the seeds and pulses to consume, when one can just cook them the way they are.
Why Prefer Sprouted Beans and Lentils Over Normal Ones?

The process of germination is marked by significant nutritional changes; breakdown of complex compounds into a more simple form, that makes digestion of protein, carbohydrates, and fats more easy and quick, combined with its heightened enzyme activity during the germination period making sprouts extremely enriched with vital nutrients. Commercially produced sprouts are known to carry allergies associated with food.
Making Sprouts at Home

Before you start the process, choose the type or types of sprouts you want. While there is a vast variety of seeds or pulses that can be sprouted, the commons ones include mung bean, chickpeas, clover seeds, fenugreek, and alfalfa. Besides these, one can also use adzuki bean, amaranth, annatto seed, anise seed, basil, brown rice, pinto bean, lima bean, buckwheat, canola seed, celery, cilantro, clover, cress, dill, fennel, green lentils, pearl millet, rye, sunflower, and wheat berries. Kidney sprouts are mostly never made as they get toxic, and have to be cooked completely to eliminate the toxins.

  • Choose the seeds, and clean them well. Discard all the broken or damaged seeds; they will not germinate.
  • Wash the seeds under running water well.
  • Stand the seeds in a bowl of water for 5 minutes. Dead seeds, along with dirt and left over husk will float atop, while healthy seeds will settle to the bottom. Discard all such waste.
  • Wash the seeds again, and soak them overnight or for 6-8 hours in room temperature water. Adequate soaking will soften the seeds or pulses exterior shells, and the enhanced metabolic activity of the dormant seeds will increase as soon as they are hydrated. Soaking is also beneficial to activate the plant’s digestive enzymes.
  • After 6 to 8 hours of soaking, drain the water completely.
  • Rinse the seeds once again.
  • Spread a muslin or a cheesecloth over a large strainer, and tilt the bowl full of soaked seeds into it, and hold for a couple of minutes. This will help you get rid of all excess moisture from the bowl.
  • Fold up the cloth like a pouch and place it in a bowl with a lid, or tip the contents from the strainer into a clean dry jar and screw on the lid.
  • Place the sprout container in a warm dark place, leave it undistributed for 24 hours in a warmer climate, while for 36-48 hours in cold climate.
  • Once the sprouts are ready, rinse them once again under running water, drain, and store in a jar in the refrigerator.
  • The germinated sprouts should look white or slightly green, and must not smell.

Sprouts can be eaten raw or can also be steamed or cooked in hot water. Making a sprout salad is easy. Slice some cucumber, tomatoes, and toss it with sprouts, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Sprouts can also be added to soups or rice casseroles. Use them as a sandwich filling or stir fry with some vegetables. It takes some time to get used to the taste of sprouts. Whichever way you eat them, it is just health all the way!

Best Tips For Beginners To Yoga

If you’re beginning your journey into the practice of yoga, it can sometimes feel pretty daunting. From the new Sanskrit terminology, to the poses and practices (which can look deceivingly easy, or difficult), there’s a lot to become acquainted with. Here are some tips for beginners to the practice of yoga, which you can implement over the entire course of your yoga journey as you advance. Yoga is ultimately rewarding for the body and mind, so prepare yourself to find a new source of energy and wellbeing, with these top five tips.

1. Define your practice for yourself.

Nobody else can do the yoga for you, and the routine you create will be the one that makes the difference. Define you-you want to practice; how much time you have available, the movements or focusses you’d like to work on- such as certain poses, or improved flexibility or strength-, and if you would like to complement your practice in other areas, such as attention to nutrition, or meditation. Use this to form the overarching premise of your yoga, then pay attention to see how the smaller pieces fit together. Find ways to gain momentum towards your goals, with a disciplined approach. Break down any poses which intrigue or challenge you, and find ways to use this in your practice to perfect your technique.

2. Find space for your practice.

Whether it’s at a health club studio, at home, at the beach, or all of the above, find a space where your mind allows you to retreat into the state of mind which yoga brings. Your mind will recognize the space and use it to further your practice, and it will help you to define the routine. A class is highly recommended, especially for beginners, to make sure that you’re familiar with the movements, and aren’t at the risk of injury, while in a safe and supportive environment.

3. Keep a practice journal.

Yoga instructors are dedicated yogis, who are new sources of inspirational insights for the students. Find yourself contemplating new spiritual awareness, or just use the little comments or phrases to help you find more peace in the moment. Better yet; write it down. Throughout your yoga journey there will be poses which challenge you, people that inspire you, and ways of thinking that you had never thought of before- and all of this can easily get forgotten, like every other little part of your day. A practice journal can help you to preserve these thoughts, so you can continue to develop them.

4. Find the mental, spiritual, and physical balance.

Some yoga classes may not even include any relaxation or meditation in their routine, which is overlooking a huge part of yoga. Find a class which incorporates these, or offers specialized meditation with alongside classes. Yoga is more than physicality- it is awareness of movement and breathing, and achieving inner peace and balance. This can only come from a practice which equally calls on a centering mindfulness and asana practice.

5. Give yourself the chance to learn

Very few people were born into the practice of yoga. At some point, everyone else started off just like you are, so relax and dive in. Give yourself the chance to make mistakes, to learn, and to progress. You might topple over, or not quite get a couple of the movements- the reward is in the journey more than the destination. Your yoga journey will continue to challenge you, and you will always find a pose that would stump you. Be grateful for each moment of yoga, and trust that each movement is based on the value of that moment- not just where it will lead you, but where you are.

If you’re looking for a supportive, calm space to introduce yourself to yoga, come to KAYA Health Clubs, with yoga classes across Melbourne. Our yoga classes are perfect for beginners, and we offer a variety of styles of yoga -from Yin, to Hatha, to Vinyasa, and more- with deep relaxation and the options of meditation.

Ways to Diagnose Yourself

There are different reasons why you may want to diagnose and treat yourself. Sometimes it may be an embarrassing health problem that you are not comfortable confronting, or perhaps the lack of finances that may prevent you from visiting a professional to find the root cause of the problem. Another reason why you tend to diagnose yourself is because you may fear visiting a doctor, and may fear discovering something that may be more serious than you can imagine. Whatever the reasons, you must know that diagnosing yourself can do you more harm than good. In some cases, you may be right, but in some, what you may assume is the problem, may actually be something else. This is particularly true of those who resort to the internet for all their health information, as there is a lot of contradictory information that is present online. In any case, if you are looking for information on how to diagnose yourself, here’s a very basic way to diagnose minor conditions.

Steps Involved

Before you read this method of diagnosing yourself, you must understand that it is not a sure shot way of putting a finger on the problem. Secondly, these methods might work for smaller conditions such as allergy breakouts. It cannot be used to diagnose more serious health conditions.

  • Understand the Symptoms: Check for your normal vital signs before you attempt to diagnose yourself with symptoms of the problem you think you may be suffering from. This could take some time. For instance, if you suddenly have an allergy break out, you have to take time to understand the triggers of the symptoms. What is it that is causing an allergy? Is it food, or something you are exposed to? This is going to take a couple of days to understand. This will probably help you come up with an answer to your problem.
  • Understand Family History: In some cases, a gene that runs in the family may be the reason why you are facing a particular problem. For instance, a condition such as a back problem may be one that your mother or father’s side is prone to. This however, does not mean that the condition cannot be controlled. Though you may be prone to it, you can definitely reduce the intensity with which it affects you.

Diagnosing yourself will take some time. You must diligently maintain a diary and note the changes that are taking place as and when you are trying to treat it. This will help you get to the bottom of the problem.

The Dangers of Diagnosing Yourself

In many cases, what you consider to be a small problem may be a symptom of a bigger problem. For instance, a headache could be a symptom of a condition of the brain, mild pain in the left arm may be the symptom of a heart condition or heart disease, and a rash on the skin may also be a symptom of the development of skin cancer. The point here is not to scare you, but to make you realize the potential dangers of diagnosing yourself, because you may tend to overlook the seriousness of the condition.

When you ignore certain symptoms, or take medication to eliminate them, you are not treating the root cause of the problem; you are just eliminating the problem temporarily. This problem can further go ahead and become severe, and if you don’t prevent it, curing it may become difficult. For instance, one of the common symptoms of diabetes is tiredness and exhaustion. When you diagnose yourself, you may assume that the exhaustion is from not getting enough sleep, not eating right, stress, etc. You will try to correct all of these, but you are not aware of the fact that you ‘may’ be diabetic. This will cause the condition to worsen, and diabetes has the ability of slowly affecting all other organs of the body such as the eyes, the kidneys, the brain, and several other body parts. Though a lot of websites enable you to diagnose yourself online, it should be avoided for the reasons mentioned here. In fact, online diagnoses can sometimes be misleading in that they may overlook a bigger condition, or may directly point to a bigger condition when the problem may be minor.

In short, there are more dangers of diagnosing yourself than benefits. It is common to overlook smaller signs and assume they will just pass by taking over-the-counter medicine. However, it is best to get professional consultation and ensure that you are getting the right treatment for the condition in question, irrespective of whether it is minor or major.