An Experts Tip of the Trade

 

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With the fall season and the new school year starting, LIFamilies.com thought now is the perfect time to grab some expert advice on healthy eating habits and fall kitchen strategies. For a local blogger’s expertise we turned to Gina over at www.skinnytaste.com for an article-interview collaboration on cooking for a reduced-fat fall!

How can families make it easier to cook healthy while managing their back-to-school this season?

The best way to make life less hectic is to plan ahead. Make a shopping list for the week when you are off and try to make some meals that can be frozen and reheated. I also think the crock pot is a huge help for busy parents.

How do you suggest parents help children learn the benefits of eating healthier and low-fat?

Talk to your kids about their eating habits and explain to them that they are what they eat; explain how the choices they make as kids will affect them as adults. Also, let your children help in the kitchen: take them along to the farmer’s market and always explain the benefits of the fruits, vegetables, and of the foods they are consuming.

Do you have any helpful,

Increasing the Benefits from Your Food With Healthful Spices

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You already know that there are specific foods that can contribute to better health. What you may not realize is that some of those spices in your cupboard may do the same. By spicing up your favorite foods with these superstar extras, you will boost your antioxidant and nutritional intake without adding any additional calories to the mix.

First, and my favorite, is ground cinnamon. Already a household favorite to add to breakfasts and desserts, sprinkling a little extra cinnamon into your day helps your body control the sugar that you ingest, acting almost like insulin. This is a great additive if you have blood sugar issues or if anyone you’re cooling for is diabetic. An extra way to add a little cinnamon to your day is to mix it in with your morning coffee grinds. It cuts the bitterness of the coffee and also flavors it nicely.

Another superstar of your spice rack is the ground ginger. In just a teaspoon of ginger you will find as many antioxidants as an entire cup of spinach, and for many the taste goes a lot further, too! For a great honey glaze for carrots, ham,

Updating A Thanksgiving Tradition

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One of the great debates for Thanksgiving chefs everywhere is whether to stand by tradition or move onto new ideals; to truss their thanksgiving turkey like their mother and grandmother before, or to leave the turkey be to roast naturally. For decades, turkey roasters have been trussing their birds to achieve that ideal grand finale that they’ve been working all day for; that picture-perfect, golden brown bird that looks like it belongs on an episode of Martha Stewart or a holiday movie. What you don’t realize, however, with that trussed-up bird, you may actually be making it difficult on yourself to cook a perfect turkey, if you can at all.

Tradition tells you, when trussing a turkey, to flip it onto its breast side, tie down its legs, and tuck in its wings. This way your turkey stays tightly together and neat, as well as keeps in the stuffing. When the bird is trussed, however, you’re adding on the cooking time for certain areas of your bird. When your turkey thermometer pops it is only speaking for the section of breast meat that it is typically in. With the legs tied tight to

Speedy Makeup Options for Hectic Mornings

There never seems to be enough time in the morning to accomplish all that needs to be done before heading off to work. Now add children, a spouse, and, most likely, pets of top of getting yourself ready for work for a recipe for instant havoc. With all that needs to be done it’s a miracle that most women make it out of the house dressed in the morning, let alone primped and polished. If you’re a wonder woman on the go, it’s very likely that one of your first morning chores that get sacrificed is your makeup regiment. We’ve found a couple quick tips that may help you complete your morning and wear your makeup too!

Looking for an all in one? One of the makeup world’s current favorites is beauty balms. These luscious creams combine primer and nutrients to create a multitasking cream to prime, brighten and protect all in one. These balms give your skin an instant glow to brighten your complexion in the morning. Add a layer ten minutes before you hop in the shower for a moisturizing mask perfect for dry, dehydrated skin.

For a fast, flawless look switch to mineral makeup. There is always a lot

Food and Medication Interactions

There are always findings about the worst and best foods for you; the food which help keep you healthy, and the foods which are horrible for anybody to ingest. There are always gray areas, however, which shouldn’t be overlooked. There are points in your live when ingesting healthy foods can actually have negative consequence. One such example is when taking prescription medications; whether you’re on a temporary antibiotic or a daily cholesterol medication, there are regular foods that should be avoided to ensure the prescription is allowed to fulfill its purpose. Below are some of the important interactions to be careful of.

Leafy greens, such as spinach and kale, should be avoided when taking blood thinners. The high levels of vitamin K counteract the effects of the medication by acting as a coagulant, increasing your bodies clotting capacity.

Dairy products should be avoided when taking antibiotics, unless otherwise stipulated by your physician. Often you’re told to have a yogurt several hours after taking a high-dose antibiotic to help keep the levels of active medication in your system level. If you wash your antibiotic down with a glass of milk, however, the calcium coats the medication and blocks your body from absorbing it,

Making Your Mornings Happier and Healthier

Everyone seems to have a preferred part of the day: some people are night owls, loving to stay up into the wee hours. Some people devour the morning, choosing to wake up extra early to embrace the day and start with a fresh outlook. These morning people can seem like aliens to the rest of us: how do they just get up and going in the morning, and why are they so darn happy? If you’re anything like me, there are times that you’ve become frustrated with the morning people in your life and their early morning vigor. What if they have it right, though, and we just need to figure out how to have our own “good morning?” As skeptical as you may be, starting your morning with a few new strategies may just make you a morning person too.

Start your good morning with a good night. You can deter sluggish, unhappy morning moods by ensuring a rested, peaceful evening’s sleep. You already know what will cause you to “not feel good at night:” maybe your stomach hurts if you get to bed full, or maybe you can’t sleep without a window open. Always know your own “optimal sleeping

Fighting the Winter Blues with Healthy Food Choices

Depression can hit anyone at any time, but there seems to be times of the year when it strikes hardest for most. In the winter time, depression can often sky rocket from a lack of light and sunlight, causing your levels of serotonin to plummet. There are many ways to help counter the effects; making sure to do plenty of outdoor activities no matter the temperature, invest in bright indoor lights, and make sure to eat as healthy as possible. Eating as healthy as possibly may be the easiest way to help keep your emotions in balance throughout the season. There are a couple important nutrients that will really help keep you going.

Protein will not only help you out of your midday slump, it may also help lift you out of depression. Protein contains amino acids that help increase the dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine in your brain. This makes you feel more energetic and alert. That’s why it never hurts to keep peanut butter, cheese, yogurt, or other good protein source around for when you’re feeling low.

Foods rich in vitamin B are a super power in the field of foods to make you feel good. Vitamin B is shown to

Farmer Best May Freshness May Produce and a List of 2013 Farmers Markets

As the season warms up and we all start heading back outside, most of us are also working on getting rid of the residual sluggishness and less than healthy habits left behind by a long, cold winter. One way to get your body and mind energized again is to ramp up your diet with all of the fresh fruits and vegetables you could desire! One of the major perks May, and the later Spring season, is that as we come back to life, so does the earth; allowing farmers markets and farm stands to offer an extended line of the freshest and healthiest product available.

Take a look at May’s produce list, and then check out the listing for the farmers market closest to you!
May Vegetables: okra, zucchini, rhubarb, artichokes, asparagus, spring peas, broccoli, and lettuce.
May Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, and nectarines.

2013 Farmers Markets:

Amityville Village: 9/11 Memorial Park, Route 110. Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Opens July 6.

Deer Park: Tanger Outlets at the Arches. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 1-Nov. 23

East Hampton: Nick & Toni’s lot, 136 N. Main St. Fridays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. May 24–Sept. 27

Elmont: Belmont Park, 2150 Hempstead Tpke. Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Opens May

Benefits of Napping

With fast paced lived and hectic schedules it hard not to wonder if the kindergartners and college students have it right: who’s to say it’s not a smart idea to take a break in the middle of the day for a quick nap. Contrary to popular belief, naps are not simply a lazy day treat. Studies have shown that even the most hectic schedule can benefit from a brief or power nap here or there during the day, and can even enforce a more productive work day.

A nap during the day can lead to increased creativity. Research shows that human minds are at their most creative after a good night’s sleep. A power nap allows the mind to refresh and reconnect loose associations enough to recreate a morning’s creative force. Stepping away from writer’s block or a plateaued project for a power nap may be just what you need to break the cycle and invigorate your artistic process.

A nap also revitalizes the cognitive process, allowing increased memory and learning skills in the afternoon. After a long morning’s worth of learning or continual cognitive processing, neurons and receptors in the mind become sluggish and can cripple an afternoon’s productivity; not allowing

Children and Medicine Learning from Common Children’s Medication Mistakes

Whoever said that being a parent was a walk in the park was definitely lying. There are so many different mishaps and struggles along the way that make being a parent a constant learning experience. One of the most challenging times for a parent is when their little one is sick. With the strong need to help them feel better it’s easy to make a mistake or two along the way. Here are a couple of the most common medication errors that parents make without even realizing it.

One of the major medication mistakes is over-medicating with certain ingredients. When you child is sick, it is suggested to just treat the major symptoms. Often, if you try to cover them all, you will accidentally give too much of an active ingredient. Take, for example, treating for a sneezing, cough, and fever; you may give your child a multi-symptom medication for the sneezing and cough, after giving them a dose of Tylenol for their fever. Often multi-symptoms contain acetaminophen, which is, for all intents and purposes Tylenol. This can lead to giving double the recommended amount. Stick with treating the worse symptoms and always check the list of active ingredients on your

Kitchen Remedies Using Kitchen Ingredients as Everyday Remedies

Although we keep the ingredients in our kitchen for the sole purpose of eating or cooking with, it’s amazing the beneficial properties that can be found in some of our favorite kitchen essentials. Looking for holistic remedies for some of your everyday troubles? Here are a couple examples of putting those kitchen ingredients to good work.

Chamomile tea can work for soothing more than just your nerves. If you have inflammation and irritation on your skin, brew a strong cup of chamomile tea. Let the cup cool down/get cold, and then press it against your skin with a wash cloth. This will relieve the inflammation and discomfort.

The next time you want a fresh face to…well, face the world, head to the refrigerator instead of your endless barrage of beauty products. You can use regular Greek yogurt as a quick and reviving facemask. The live bacteria found within the yogurt remove toxins from your skin, as the acidity of it helps to balance the pH of your skin. Let the yogurt sit for a few minutes and then wash it away, leaving your skin fresh and glowing.

Forget the spoon full of sugar; it’s amazing what a spoonful of honey can do! Dab

Preventing the Poisonous Itch Tip for Preventing Poison Ivy, Sumac, and Oak Reactions

One hazard of heading into the great outdoors is the possibility of spending a good part of your summer itch away, commonly due to poisonous plants you may come into contact with. Over 70% of the population is believed to be allergic to poison oak, sumac, and ivy. If you’ve ever had a reaction before you know that it’s not a fun experience. Here are a couple of tips to help you keep your sweet summer days poison ivy free.

To start, be sure to stay fully covered up when these poisonous plants are possibly going to be present. Wear long sleeves, long pants, thick socks and full/closed shoes (no sandals).

If you’re going to be doing yard work where they may be present or if you are removing the plants (which is suggested) wear the above and include plastic gloves. Keep extra gloves around for if they tear or break. If you’re able, you should also apply a barrier cream or lotion, such as Gardner’s Armor, which helps keep the plant oils from contacting your skin and starting allergic reactions.
Be sure to never burn any of the plants or any of your clippings if they are possibly mingled in. The

Fresh Beginning and A Fresh You Jump Starting Your Spring Weight Loss

Spring is a time of rebirth and inspiration. Animals come out of hiding as plants and trees come back to life. We, too, start to change our winter-hibernation ways and head back outside into the nicer weather and spring time activities. Now is the season to get back on track and start thinking healthy again. If you haven’t yet, this is the perfect time to rethink your own health and bring your own body and mind back to life. With the beautiful weather, starting a new health and weight loss routine for you should be a little easier, as should be reaching that beach-ready goal!

Start by spring cleaning your cupboards. When it comes to your spring weight loss, remember it’s not just calories burned that you need to keep in mind when getting on your own weight-loss track; you also need to worry about calories in. You can spend every waking hour that you have in the gym on cardio, but if your calories in surpass your calories out, you’re not going to get the results you are looking for. Clean out all of the snacks and processed, high calorie food. Replace some of the must stay stand-ins with their

Spring Cleaning For Your Home and Your Body

Spring is a time of rebirth and a time of inspiration. There’s a reason why it’s called “Spring Cleaning,” because the fresh start outdoors makes us want to bring that experience inside with us! Looking for a little extra incentive to start your spring off right this year? What about looking at your “spring cleaning overhaul” as the true workout it is!

Start on the lighter side. Reorganize and rearrange your closets. For some this will be nice, lite work; making sure everything is back on its hanger, shoes are pairs and arranges, and all of your clothes are arranged by season and color. For others, this may be a complete overhaul; carting out Tupperware tubes of seasonal items, trash-bagging unwanted clothes to donate to those in need, or building new organizational shelving units. The smaller the task the less you’ll burn, but even the lightest option burns are 85 calories for the task.

Next, make sure to vacuum clean all of your carpeted surfaces and beyond. Depending on the size of your home, vacuuming can be a real workout. Make sure to clip on your pedometer to get credit for all of your extra steps, and burn upwards of 120 calories

In March and In Season A Few Favorite Seasonal Veggies

One of our favorite aspects of living on Long Island is that there is still a farmer-rich culture rooted in the area, allowing for the best and healthiest options for our families all year long. Even in the frigid, late winter there are still fresh, seasonal harvests available to consumers to include in their weekly menus. Are you always looking for fresh ideas to liven up your menus and their nutritional values? Here are a couple of our March favorites.

Although a little intimidating to prepare, if you’re not used to adding them to your repertoire, one of our favorite fresh March options is the artichoke. Packed full of fiber,
artichokes also have many of the same nutritional properties of other green veggies, such as being full of vitamins C and K. What may be most appealing about artichokes, though, is that they are considered one of the top 10 most antioxidant-rich foods available, according to the USDA.

Being the zestiest member of the cabbage family, Radishes are another late winter/early spring healthy treat. Radishes may already be a favorite salad topper due to their flavorful crunch, but it’s also important to realize how beneficial those chopped up radishes can be. Low

Fresh and Ready Keeping Fresh After A Lunch Time Workout

So you have decided to make the most of your lunch time breaks by working out a bit and keeping fit. There are many great plans for you to follow; breaking down your 30 minutes allotted into very precise amounts of time for each part of your work out. 4 minutes to warm up: 16 minutes of aerobic exercise: 6 minutes strength training: 2 minutes to fly through the locker room in each direction. If you get this schedule down pat you’ll be on track for getting healthy and fit in a timely manner.

Just remember though, after the running pace of your speedy work out, you still need to end up back at your desk and on task for the rest of your day. It’s a guarantee that sitting at your desk feeling sweaty and uncomfortable is one sure-fire way to ensure a distracted afternoon. To go with your new workout routine you’ll want to start a new “beauty regiment” at work that will help you feel both revitalized and refreshed after a good lunchtime session.

Be sure to take care of any make-up situations before you work out. If you wear makeup daily that will streak and blotch from sweating

Keeping Your Favorite Nail Polish Thin

When you find the perfect shade of any kind of makeup, it’s almost like meeting your soul mate. You just want to hold on for as long as humanly possible; think of the times that you scraped the corners out of your favorite shadow for just one more application or nearly rubbed your lips raw because the lipstick is so far down you’re rubbing the metal tube. The same goes for your favorite shades of nail polish. You find the perfect shade and the next thing you know it’s so thick and clumpy that you can’t apply it properly. Here are a couple tips from the experts to keep the color coming longer!

Find a good nail polish thinner. When your nail polish first seems to thicken, add 4 or 5 drops of nail polish thinner to make it smooth again. You know that your consistency is ideal if you have a perfect drop at the end of the brush when you go to apply a coat. Nail polish remover will not work for this; it will break the pigments and formula.

Handle your polish with care for the proper consistency to apply. When you shake your polish vigorously (as is habit

Breaking Your Bad Habit

The human personality is something that can be hard to overcome and control. We are strong minded and become easily susceptible to bad habits and additions. This year, instead of starting the New Year with an arbitrary “New Year’s resolution,” do a little self searching. We all have bad habits that we would be healthier without; many of us are food addicted, live sedentary lives, drink a little too much, or still haven’t quite kicked smoking yet. Take the time this year to really start a healthier life by letting one of your destructive habits go.

Once you have identified your bad habit, and have decided that it’s time to change, you must now set the goal for yourself. One main aspect of setting your goal is to set a start date. If you want to quit binge eating or chain smoking don’t simply decide to start today; you’re setting yourself up to fail and become discouraged. Instead, set a goal starting date somewhere in the near future. Look forward to the day and psyche yourself up. Once you’ve reached the date, go for the gold! Hopefully you’ve set your goal date around a time of minimized temptation, to give yourself

Cold Weather Exercise Safety Tips

Keeping yourself healthy and in shape is an important part of improving both your mental and physical health. There is nothing better for a bad mood than a good endorphin rush! With winter around the corner with the cold weather sure to follow exercising outdoors can turn tricky. Exercising is to keep you healthy, so the last thing you want to do is put your health in danger. Before heading out for that early morning jog there are a couple extra precautions that you should take to ensure a safe, enjoyable run.

Wear many layers to keep your body heat in and the cold air out. For the layer closest to your skin, you want a lightweight, synthetic material that will wick the sweat away from your body. Try not to wear cotton against your skin because it will absorb and hold onto your body sweat, keeping you wet and increasing the likelihood of hypothermia. Cover the first layer with 1 or 2 layers of wool or fleece, insulating your body. Then cover with a light, wind and water resistant coat/jacket.

Make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water. Dehydration is difficult to recognize when dealing with cold weather exertion. Make

Fighting the Winter Blues with Healthy Food Choices

With winter here it’s the time of year when the windows are closed and the heat is turned up. Unfortunately, when you turn up the heat to keep your family warm you’re also creating an incubator for the germs that also make their way into your home. You disinfect all of your surfaces and wash your hands as often as you can, but sometimes the germs still find a way in. Instead of just worrying about the external environment, take some time to bulk up your “internal environment” as well. There are many healthy foods that we already enjoy that can help bulk up your immune system to keep those cold germs from getting you sick.

Mushrooms have many, beneficial health properties, one of which being they help to keep your immune system strong. Many varieties of mushroom, such as crimini mushrooms contain both zinc and copper. Both minerals work to protect and enhance your natural immune system. They are also rich in complex B vitamins, such as B2 and B5. To keep their vitamins and minerals active and viable, the mushrooms should be eaten raw whenever possible.

Salmon and other similar fish also help to keep your immune system healthy. Rich