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Archive for April, 2009

Teaching Responsibility

April 30, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Children No Comments →

Responsibility is something that is taught and not necessarily inherent. A child learns the meaning of responsibility on a daily basis, but it is up to us as parents and home school parents to teach the meaning and importance of responsibility.

There are many ways to teach responsibility and one natural way is to learn by example. Our children watch our every move and we must be aware of this occurrence. It is not correct to tell a child to ‘do as I say, and not as I do’, for that will just completely confuse the child.

Other ways to instill responsibility are:

Chores – assigning specific chores will teach even the youngest child how to be responsible. The chores can be assigned according to age and stressed that they must be accomplished on a daily basis. These should consist of helping around the house such as taking out trash, sorting laundry, dusting furniture, etc.

Clean Room – Keeping their rooms tidy is another form of responsibility. This should not be considered a chore. Keeping their rooms tidy and picked up, should be done on a daily basis and not be considered part of their daily chores.

Saving Money – If your child is given an allowance, another way to instill responsibility is to have them put a percentage of money earned in a savings account. This will teach them the importance of saving money which will continue to adult hood and perhaps avoid credit problems in the future.

Caring for a pet – nothing instills more responsibility than when they are required to care for another live being. The animal can be as small as a fish or hamster or as large as a dog or cat. Either way, the fact that they must care for this pet by feeding, cleaning and walking or playing with it will help teach them responsibility.

Plant a garden or herb box – teaching your children to care for plants as well as growing their own herbs or vegetables will also instill responsibility. They will realize the care involved and not take for granted the work it entails. It will also increase their self esteem to know that they were able to accomplish something on their own.

Teaching a sibling or friend – by having your child help teach a sibling or perhaps help by tutoring a friend will also teach them the meaning of responsibility. Not only will they be reaffirming what they have learned by teaching but will also get a sense of worth by helping someone else and watching them succeed because of their aid.

Babysitting – when your child is old enough another great way to learn responsibility is to babysit another child. It can start with a sibling for an hour or two and increase to longer periods of time and then onto other children. They must be aware of caring for a child that will depend on them as well as other tasks such as feeding, bathing and entertaining the child.

Teaching responsibility is very important. It will not only enhance your child’s ability to do things on their own, creating a sense of independence, but it will increase their self esteem as well. The feeling of worth is unexplainable yet so important. The look on your child’s face when they have accomplished something on their own because of your guidance is one that is irreplaceable. Start today teaching the different ways to learn responsibility.

I am sure there are many more ways than those I described above, but the important part is to be aware of them and make it all a learning experience they will never forget.

For that main reason I recommend the Reserved Only program. It will help parents to teach their children not only Responsibility, but Respect and Renewal as well. Please visit Reserved Only for more information:

As always remember to keep learning fun.

Article by Dr. Mommy — Visit her at DrMommySays.com

Simple Ways Parents Can Nurture Kids’ Self Esteem

April 28, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

(ARA) – Most parents know that self esteem is important for a child’s academic, social and emotional success. However, when it comes to nurturing their child’s self esteem, empowering them to be themselves and encouraging them to follow their dreams, it’s easy for parents to feel a bit lost. A few simple and positive steps are all it takes to start your child on the path to confidence.

* Praise your child often and be descriptive
Parents are generally quick to tell their children when they’ve done something wrong, but may forget to give kids positive messages. Be descriptive in your positive praise — tell kids you like the way they completed a chore, applaud a hobby they show interest in and point out when they’ve made a good choice.

* Teach good decision-making skills
We all make decisions every day, but kids don’t often realize that’s what they’re doing. When you see your child in a situation where they need to make a decision, help them clarify the problem and the choices they can make. Discuss the possible solutions and the consequences of each. When your child chooses a course of action, respect his decision. If your child is unhappy with the results, you can discuss how he or she may have done things differently.

* Encourage kids to follow their dreams
Pay attention to what your child’s interests are and look for innovative ways to empower them to follow their dreams. If your child likes music, help him or her find their voice through a range of musical experiences such as listening to a Kidz Bop CD — a collection of their favorite popular songs, sung by kids for kids, which is available for a limited time in a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Sing along with them in the car to encourage them along.

* Take them seriously
While children aren’t little adults, their feelings, emotions and opinions should still be taken seriously. Listen to what your child has to say and avoid dismissing their thoughts or feelings as “kid stuff” or “just a phase.” Strive to have a real conversation.

* Be a good role model
When you feel good about yourself, your children know it. If you make a mistake, use it as a teaching moment. Accept responsibility and talk to your child about what you learned from your misstep.

* Be there
When it comes to spending time with your child, quality and quantity both count. Being there during the small, silly moments is just as important as being present for the big milestones. Occasionally encourage each other to play with your food at the dinner table, especially if it creates a fun, together-moment.

How to Help Kids ’Go Green’

April 26, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Uncategorized No Comments →

(ARA) – Kids are increasingly aware of the issues impacting their environment, and are even more engaged and excited about making their world a greener place. Parents can involve their children in “going green” with a few simple steps, and show them how they, too, can make a big contribution to Mother Earth.

Families can celebrate Earth Month all year long by turning everyday tasks into fun and productive steps for children that illustrate how they can help make our planet a greener and healthier place. It doesn’t take a lot of effort — helping your kids “go green” can happen at home, at school or even through play.

The first step is to learn about the issue and start a conversation with your child in a way that makes sense to them. Parents can utilize eco-themed toys or movies as a fun way to start a dialogue with their kids about the importance of protecting their planet. Look for a green theme in products, toys and shows they already love, like the new “Barbie Presents: Thumbelina” DVD. Thumbelina, the star of the DVD, harnesses the magic of nature to save her home in the wildflowers from developers, and sets out to prove that even the smallest person can make a big difference. The movie can ignite a conversation between parents and children about the small things they can do as a family to help give back to their environment.

“One of the most powerful ways my daughter Lola can learn about protecting the environment is through play,” explains Sophie Uliano, eco-expert, blogger and author of “Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life.” “’Barbie Presents: Thumbelina’ offers an inspirational message as well as an engaging product line that allows us to do green activities together, such as gardening and recycling in a fun fashionable way.”

Inspire your kids to start thinking “green” with a few of these simple eco-tips that can make a big difference:

* Plant a garden at home — Carve out a small patch in your yard just for your child to plant a garden. Incorporating toys like the Thumbelina Solar Garden Activity set are a great way to introduce kids to gardening.

* Turn recycling into a game — Turn this chore into something fun that the whole family can participate in by creating a fun sorting game or by decorating different recycling bins with recyclable materials.

* Choose reusable goods for everyday eats — Take a reusable water bottle to sports or dance practice and pack lunch in a fun reusable lunch box or bag.

* Conserve water — Talk to your kids about how much water they save by taking a shower instead of a bath and by turning off the faucet while brushing their teeth.

* Save electricity — Assign a “Power Captain” of the household — someone responsible for turning off the lights whenever the family leaves leave a room or the house; give the Power Captain points or small rewards for every light they turn off.

Before you know it, your kids will be on their way to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Encourage them to spread the word to other family members and friends to join the green movement. Together everyone can help preserve a green, clean and healthy Earth for generations to come.

For more eco-tips on how you and your family can protect Earth, visit www.epa.gov/kids.

Natural Solutions for Kids’ Summertime Allergies

April 24, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

(ARA) – For millions of adults and children, warm weather means it’s time to devote attention to nasal health. Just as you want to spend more time outside, the higher temperatures make greater attention to healthy breathing a must.

Parents are rightfully concerned about their children’s respiratory health. Add to that the recent concerns over the safety and effectiveness of children’s cold remedies and now many parents are thinking twice before opening the medicine cabinet to treat their little ones.

A new survey conducted in March 2009 by Harris Interactive shows that while 90 percent of parents claim to be at least somewhat knowledgeable about the possible dangers associated with over-the-counter cough and cold medicine for children, 62 percent still give these products to children when they are experiencing cough and cold symptoms.

“It’s very concerning to me that so many parents are still giving their children these OTC cough and cold products with the possible associated dangers and the question of their effectiveness in children,” says Marcela Dominguez, MD, certified family medicine physician, Orange County, Calif.

While the FDA is now recommending parents not give OTC medicines to children younger than 4, more parents than ever are looking for ways to proactively support their children’s respiratory health and immune systems. Keeping kids healthy has become the universal objective rather than awaiting illness and then attempting a rescue.

“Evidence shows that over-the-counter cough and cold medicines likely don’t work for very young children, and can, in fact, create potentially lethal side effects,” says Dr. Bob Sears, a noted pediatrician. “Overdosing and side effects of cough and cold medicines send about 7,000 children to the emergency room each year.”

Just last fall the National Institutes of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine released survey results that found 38 percent of adults and 12 percent of children were using complementary and alternative medicines. The new Harris survey shows that the desire to use these remedies is high and that the public might be using natural remedies more if the products had credible information (a proven track record and clinical testing) to support their claims.

Staying healthy is the safest approach and easier than you think. Here are some tips to keep your kids breathing easier, naturally this summer:

Tip 1: Use a saline solution to flush noses. Look on the Internet for directions on how to do this, or use a premade kit that includes a squeeze bottle or a Neti pot, available at many drug stores.

Tip 2: When your child plays outside, remove his clothing when he comes in. You might consider showering children to rinse pollen from their skin and hair. Close doors and windows at night or any other time when there are high pollen counts.

Tip 3: Use natural, non-drug remedies to keep kids healthy such as Sinupret for Kids. This helps promotes healthy drainage in the upper respiratory tract, improves airflow in the nose, and supports healthy mucous flow in the nose and sinuses.

Tip 4: Take a multivitamin to support overall health. There are many chewable options for children that taste great.

“While natural, herbal remedies have been in use around the world for generations — Sinupret has been a staple in Europe for 30 years — they are just coming into their own in the United States,” Sears says. This syrup is not a drug, but is a natural remedy for healthy sinus, respiratory and immune support in children ages 2 to 12. It does not contain stimulants, caffeine, ephedra, pseudoephedrine, codeine, steroids, narcotics or gluten.

“Parents are looking for a natural and safe approach to support their kids’ respiratory health, and they need to know if the herbal remedies they are considering have a long track record of effectiveness and lack of any harmful side effects,” Sears says.

Sinupret for Kids syrup is now available at more than 25,000 retail locations across the country, including Wal-Mart. Visit www.SinupretForKids.com to learn more.

Three Ways to Save Money With Coupons

April 22, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: About the Family, Freebies No Comments →

In this economy, people are looking to save money wherever they can. That means many are turning to an old favorite: coupons. There’s no question that coupons can save shoppers serious money at check-out, but grocery coupons have come a long way since the days when they could only be found in the Sunday newspaper.

Today’s shoppers can print coupons from the Web, add electronic coupons to their store savings cards and even use their cell phones to select coupons to be redeemed at check out. It’s easier than ever to cut that food bill in half thanks to coupons, and here are three easy ways to get started saving money in new ways.

1) Click-and-Print Coupons: There are several Web sites that compile grocery coupons so you simply click on the ones you want, then print and cut them out to take to the grocery store. You can also find printable coupons on the Web sites of your favorite brands, like Pillsbury.com and BettyCrocker.com.

2) Electronic Coupons: Online coupon sites like Shortcuts.com allow you to load electronic coupons onto your store savings cards. No need to print or clip. Just click on the coupons you need and they’ll be automatically redeemed at check out when you use your store savings card.

3) Mobile Coupons: You can now get coupons right from your constant companion, your cell phone. One service to check out is Shortcuts.com Mobile (go to www.shortcuts.com on any cell phone with a Web browser). Just click the coupons you want and within five minutes they’ll be loaded up on your store savings card and ready to use at check out.

It’s easy to save money at the grocery store, especially when you have the right tools, like your computer and your cell phone. In no time you’ll be saving serious dollars in the check out line.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

How to Create a Family Budget

April 20, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

For singles, creating a budget is relatively easy. They tend to have a good handle on how much money they have coming in, and when tracking expenses, they only have their own to think about. But creating a family budget is a whole new ball game.

Most families have multiple sources of income. And when there are multiple spenders, that makes things much more confusing. This is one of the main reasons that families lack a formal budget. But having a budget and sticking to it can greatly improve a family’s financial outlook.

Making a family budget may be tricky, but it can be done. Here’s how.

1. Take inventory of all income. If a certain source of income fluctuates from month to month, use the lowest amount or average it out.

2. Keep track of all expenses for a month or so. Keep all of your receipts, and ask all family members to turn theirs in to you each day.

3. Add up your monthly expenses. Be sure to include bills, debt payments, groceries, and everyday expenses such as lunch money and transportation costs.

4. Get the family together and discuss ways you can trim the budget. Getting input from other family members will help you determine which expenses are necessary and which ones could be cut down or eliminated. Maybe you or your spouse could start taking lunch to work instead of eating out, or maybe the kids can drop an extracurricular activity.

5. In addition to individual expenses, discuss how you can cut down on the electric bill, groceries and other necessary family expenses. Consider such things as carpooling or taking public transportation, buying more generic foods and adjusting the thermostat.

6. Estimate how much you can save on regular expenses, and cut the completely unnecessary items out of the budget. Then refigure it and see where you stand.

7. If you end up with a surplus, allocate a portion of it to savings. If you’re in the red, go back and rework the budget until you have more income than expenses.

Being Realistic

One reason that family budgets often fail is because they’re just not realistic. It’s great to cut down on expenses, but sometimes we tend to go too far. For example, cutting entertainment out of the budget completely might look good on paper, but we all need a little diversion every now and then.

Instead of cutting such things out of the budget completely, consider finding ways to lower the cost. Going back to the entertainment example, maybe you’ve been going to dinner and a movie as a family twice a month. But eating in and renting a new release would be much cheaper, and you would still get to spend quality time together.

Individual expenses can also be tricky. This can be resolved by allocating a certain amount for each family member to spend each week. If someone spends his entire amount before the week is up, reevaluate his expenses and adjust if necessary.

Creating a family budget can help keep spending under control, leaving more money to pay down debts and save for future goals. But in order to succeed, close monitoring is essential. Your efforts will be rewarded, however, with less financial stress and more money in the long run.


Living Within Your Means – The Easy Way – Learn Realistic Ways To Find $100, $300, $500 or More a Month In Your Paycheck You Can Use To Pay Your Bills and Quickly Eliminate Your Debt Or For Any Purpose You Choose”

Budget Living – Discover How to Live on a Budget & Save More Money Than You Ever Thought Possible – Without Giving Up All the Things That You Love!

Single Parents Cash And Sources Guide – Single Parents! Get the cash you need to relieve financial distress. 82 Page Directory of cash sources for single parents.

Groceries from the Backyard

April 18, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

The economy is tanking, grocery bills are climbing and food safety scares are on the rise. For the 43 million Americans planning a vegetable garden this spring, growing your own is a matter of dollars and sense.Food gardening will jump 19 percent this year over last year, according to a new survey by the National Gardening Association (NGA). Homeowners with shrinking household budgets are looking for help in their own backyards. Can planting a veggie patch really save you money? Government agencies and gardening organizations say yes.

Every $100 spent on vegetable gardening yields $1,000 to $1,700 worth of produce, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates. That’s a serious hedge against skyrocketing food prices, expected to jump another 5 percent this year.

You’ll get a half-pound of edibles from every square foot of ground devoted to backyard crops, NGA experts say. Even a modest garden (15 by 15 feet) can produce more than 100 pounds of garden-fresh tomatoes, salad greens, vegetables and herbs. Better flavor and bragging rights come with the harvest.

Planting a vegetable plot and keeping it productive isn’t that hard if you start small, keep the basics in mind and plant reliable varieties. Take it step by step:

Lead with Location – A sunny, well-drained spot close to a water spigot is ideal. Leafy greens tolerate some shade, but other crops want eight hours of sun daily.

Suitable Soil – Adding organic material is the key to an easy-care garden. It loosens stiff soil, helps retain moisture and nourishes important soil organisms. Good “ingredients” include manure, humus and chopped-up leaves. Spread a 4-inch layer of amendments on your plot and till into the top 9 to 12 inches.

Fertilize Faithfully – All edible plants remove some nutrients from the soil, and can quickly exhaust the soil without the help of a fertilizer. Always follow the rates given on the label when deciding how much to use.

Water Wisely – One inch of water weekly is adequate for most vegetables. Soaker hoses or drip systems deliver water efficiently and keep foliage dry, fending off leaf diseases.

Patrol for Pests – Monitor insect damage but try to keep your crops pesticide-free. Hand-pick pests or dislodge them with a jet of water, then let natural predators do the rest. If you must spray, do it late in the day when beneficial insects are less active.

Pick the Right Plants – Flower gardeners gravitate to the newest, showiest varieties, but smart food gardeners appreciate the tried-and-true. Bonnie Plants, available coast to coast, are time-tested varieties selected to suit regional conditions. For best results you’ll need to choose veggie and herb varieties suitable to your geographical location. Because Bonnie’s varieties are distributed regionally, you will automatically have suitable varieties available to you at retail locations in your area.

Look for Bonnie Plants in eco-friendly biodegradable pots that not only keep tons of plastic pots from ending up in landfills, but also reduce transplant shock. Just tear off the bottom, set the pot in the ground and water.

If you’re ready to try your hand at creating your own backyard grocery garden, here are 10 easy crops to plant:

Basil — Perfect with tomatoes. Choose sweet basil or the compact ”Spicy Globe.”

Beans — Bush beans like “Bush Blue Lake’”are easier to pick, but tall “pole” beans have higher yields.

Bell peppers — Harvest green or red, when vitamin levels are higher. Try “Bonnie Bell” or the new, hot bell pepper “Mexibell.”

Chard — This leafy green tolerates cool temperatures well. Varieties like “Bright Lights” have brilliantly colored stems.

Cucumber — Plant after the weather warms. Choose the mild Japanese cucumber or the old favorite “Burpless Bush Hybrid.”

Eggplant — A much-loved favorite, eggplant thrives in hot weather. Try “Black Beauty” or the white-skinned “Cloud Nine.”

Lettuce — Go for easy “leaf” lettuces like “Buttercrunch,” “Red Sails,” or Romaine.

Parsley — Pick curly types or flat Italian parsley. This herb is rich in vitamins and a breath-sweetener, too.

Summer squash — Squash are very productive plants and easy to grow. Try zucchini “Black Beauty” or yellow crook-necked squash.

Tomatoes — These crimson favorites are the most popular backyard vegetable. Choose disease-resistant “Better Boy,” “Bonnie Original” or the extra-easy cherry tomato “Sweet 100.”

For gardening tips and more herb and vegetable varieties, visit www.bonnieplants.com.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

Organization Leads to More Time

April 16, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Organization No Comments →

Moms wear many different hats – chef, taxi driver, maid, planner and organizer. It’s up to you to keep everyone organized. Moms are very busy, sometimes too busy. At times you may feel like you don’t even know if you are coming or going anymore. It gets downright hectic and can leave you wiped out and exhausted. Eventually you get to the point that something has got to give.

Did you know that life doesn’t have to be so stressed and hectic? All it takes is a little organization on your part and you’ll have your house and family running smoothly leaving you extra time and less stress. Sounds good doesn’t it? But maybe you don’t know where to start.

Start by organizing your home room by room. Don’t try to do it all in one day. Instead do it one room at a time. If the thought overwhelms you start with the smallest room and work your way up to the biggest most cluttered room of the house. If this concept is still overwhelming you will want to pick up your copy of Moms Talk Biz Guide to Organizing Your Life and Finding More Time. The guide will give you strategies on how to not only keep clutter to a minimum but how to stay organized as well.

You need to get your family on board no matter how reluctant they may be. Remind them of that old saying “When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy”. They don’t need to understand how important it is to get rid of the chaos and clutter (although it would be nice if they all did!) just let them know that it’s part of their responsibility as a family member to help keep things organized.

All this may sound overwhelming but you’ll soon find that once you get the clutter cleared and the disorganization destroyed you will have more time in your day and more time to enjoy your family. Pick up your copy of Organizing Your Life and Finding More Time for more tips and tricks on how to make the most of reorganizing your home, so you can have more time.Moms wear many different hats – chef, taxi driver, maid, planner and organizer. It’s up to you to keep everyone organized. Moms are very busy, sometimes too busy. At times you may feel like you don’t even know if you are coming or going anymore. It gets downright hectic and can leave you wiped out and exhausted. Eventually you get to the point that something has got to give.

Did you know that life doesn’t have to be so stressed and hectic? All it takes is a little organization on your part and you’ll have your house and family running smoothly leaving you extra time and less stress. Sounds good doesn’t it? But maybe you don’t know where to start.

Start by organizing your home room by room. Don’t try to do it all in one day. Instead do it one room at a time. If the thought overwhelms you start with the smallest room and work your way up to the biggest most cluttered room of the house. If this concept is still overwhelming you will want to pick up your copy of Moms Talk Biz Guide to Organizing Your Life and Finding More Time. The guide will give you strategies on how to not only keep clutter to a minimum but how to stay organized as well.

You need to get your family on board no matter how reluctant they may be. Remind them of that old saying “When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy”. They don’t need to understand how important it is to get rid of the chaos and clutter (although it would be nice if they all did!) just let them know that it’s part of their responsibility as a family member to help keep things organized.

All this may sound overwhelming but you’ll soon find that once you get the clutter cleared and the disorganization destroyed you will have more time in your day and more time to enjoy your family. Pick up your copy of Organizing Your Life and Finding More Time for more tips and tricks on how to make the most of reorganizing your home, so you can have more time.Moms wear many different hats – chef, taxi driver, maid, planner and organizer. It’s up to you to keep everyone organized. Moms are very busy, sometimes too busy. At times you may feel like you don’t even know if you are coming or going anymore. It gets downright hectic and can leave you wiped out and exhausted. Eventually you get to the point that something has got to give.

Did you know that life doesn’t have to be so stressed and hectic? All it takes is a little organization on your part and you’ll have your house and family running smoothly leaving you extra time and less stress. Sounds good doesn’t it? But maybe you don’t know where to start.

Start by organizing your home room by room. Don’t try to do it all in one day. Instead do it one room at a time. If the thought overwhelms you start with the smallest room and work your way up to the biggest most cluttered room of the house. If this concept is still overwhelming you will want to pick up your copy of Moms Talk Biz Guide to Organizing Your Life and Finding More Time. The guide will give you strategies on how to not only keep clutter to a minimum but how to stay organized as well.

You need to get your family on board no matter how reluctant they may be. Remind them of that old saying “When Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy”. They don’t need to understand how important it is to get rid of the chaos and clutter (although it would be nice if they all did!) just let them know that it’s part of their responsibility as a family member to help keep things organized.

All this may sound overwhelming but you’ll soon find that once you get the clutter cleared and the disorganization destroyed you will have more time in your day and more time to enjoy your family. Pick up your copy of Organizing Your Life and Finding More Time  for more tips and tricks on how to make the most of reorganizing your home, so you can have more time.

Cholesterol Lowering Diet

April 14, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

Finding an cholesterol lowering diet is key in keeping your cholesterol low.  Our body does need cholesterol to make bile salts, hormones and vitamin D. It is mainly produced by our liver. Cholesterol will build up on the artery walls when the level of cholesterol in the blood is too high. There are 2 main types of blood cholesterol: LDL (the “Bad” cholesterol) and HDL (the “Good” cholesterol).

High amounts of the bad LDL will deposit cholesterol on the artery walls forming plaques. More and more plaques will narrow the arteries lumen and may eventually block blood flow. Therefore LDL is considered the “Bad” cholesterol. Saturated fats and trans fatty acids are the most important factors that raise blood cholesterol, not dietary cholesterol! Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts and fish for instance, can lower the LDL level. In addition, soluble fiber found in fruits, oats, barley and legumes can also lower LDL.

The good HDL, on the other hand, takes excess cholesterol away and carries it back to the liver to be excreted. It can also remove some of the cholesterol already attached to the artery walls. Therefore HDL is considered the “Good” cholesterol as high levels of HDL in the blood can decrease the risk of heart disease. Physical activity can also raise HDL level.

If you want to lower your cholesterol levels, following a cholesterol lowering diet may be able to help you a lot. It has been known for a long time now that the food a person eats or is accustomed to eating daily can have a direct relation in the body’s cholesterol levels.

And it is important for people to lower their cholesterol levels because cholesterol has been associated with the development of coronary heart disease. The higher the level of blood cholesterol levels in an individual, the more likely it is that he will be developing heart disease later on. Aside from that high cholesterol levels can also put a person at risk of suffering from a stroke or a heart attack.

Aside from using drugs to lower cholesterol levels, following a cholesterol lowering diet is the next best thing to keep your cholesterol levels down. Eating more vegetables, soy products and other low cholesterol foods can be just as effective at reducing blood cholesterol as medication. A study has been able to show that a vegetarian diet can lower cholesterol by as much as one-third in just a month.

The best cholesterol lowering diet that you can follow usually includes a hearty serving of vegetables such as broccoli and red peppers. Soymilk and soy sausages, oat bran cereal and bread as well as plenty of fruits and nuts make up a complete low cholesterol diet. Soy protein, nuts, and fiber rich food such as oats and barley can effectively cut cholesterol levels by up to seven percent.

A cholesterol lowering diet also requires you to minimize your intake of saturated fat by seven percent and other fat substances by 25-35 percent. It has been discovered that the best diet for avoiding coronary heart disease includes consuming non-hydrogenated (unprocessed) fats rather than the hydrogenated variety. Increased consumption of omega-3 fats from fish, fish oil or plant sources such as flaxseeds is the suggested fat intake in a low cholesterol diet. With a low cholesterol diet, one should also limit daily sodium intake somewhere in the level of 2400 milligrams daily.

A typical day on the cholesterol lowering diet would include a hearty breakfast of soymilk, oat bran cereal with chopped fruit and almonds, oatmeal bread, vegetable-based margarine and jam. A typical low cholesterol lunch would comprise of soy cold cuts, oat bran bread, bean soup and a dessert of fruit. For dinner, stir-fry vegetables, tofu, fruit and almonds would be the usual low cholesterol diet fare. Following this type of low cholesterol diet religiously for long periods, it is possible for one’s cholesterol level to drop by as much as 29 percent in just a month.

Healthy Grocery Shopping on a Budget

April 12, 2009 By: RealLifeSolutions Category: Healthy Living No Comments →

American households are rediscovering the art of cooking at home. More than 35 percent of consumers are cutting back on their restaurant dining, according to a recent American Research Group study. As many of us make this shift away from our favorite eateries, you may be tempted to turn to fast food rather than your kitchen.

Sixty-three percent of Americans believe that healthy foods cost more than unhealthy, and almost half think it may be cheaper and faster to go for the drive-through than to prepare a wholesome meal at home, according to an October 2008 CIGNA Healthcare survey. So if you’re a little rusty at healthy cooking on a budget, you’re probably not alone.

It’s time to take a look at strategic grocery shopping and healthy meal preparation to better survive the recession and keep you and your family healthy in the process.

Plan Your Meals

As you begin to reduce costs by cutting out trips to restaurants, fill the void with a meal plan and a well- thought-out grocery list. A big concern for many busy families is having enough time to actually cook the meal before all of the ingredients spoil. One way to avoid this is to make a calendar of meals that will fit your schedule and to use ingredients that you can keep at hand in your pantry. Have the whole family help in planning and preparing the meal. In the end, you’ll be healthier and have more time together.

Choose Ingredients that Fit Different Dishes

Many of the key items that are used to create a host of meals are found in the canned and packaged food aisles of your favorite grocery store. These aisles provide a plentitude of ingredients for most of your favorite recipes, while offering both convenience and nutrition at a great value.

“A great way to make sure you maximize the value of your purchases at the grocery store is by going to Web sites beforehand that offer coupons and multiple recipe ideas for one type of product,” says registered dietician Stephanie Clark. “I like the BumbleBee.com Web site because you can stock up on their healthy, protein-packed seafood items and never run out of delicious recipe ideas. The site has a user-friendly recipe finder that allows you to search by meal type, ingredient, and even special dietary considerations. It is a great tool for planning out your shopping list.”

Use the Food Pyramid

The food pyramid has been a meal planning tool seemingly forever, and with good reason. The new MyPyramid food guidance system is another great way to help you identify how much to consume from each food group in order to achieve a healthy lifestyle that balances nutrition and exercise.

As a key building block of the MyPyramid system, proteins, particularly those like chicken and fish, can provide the basis for many healthy meals. A wide variety of these meals can be prepared for a couple of dollars. With just a few cans of tuna and a bag of whole grain pasta you can make meals rich in protein and heart-healthy omega-3s. When you add in a glass of milk, some vegetables and a side of fruit, you’ve got that trusty pyramid on the table in minutes.

Get creative. Lean protein, such as tuna, does not have to be limited to traditional tuna sandwiches, but can be played up into low-fat meals with a twist. Here is a recipe that takes just minutes to make and is fun to eat. Serve it with chopsticks to add some extra flare to your table.

Teriyaki Tuna Bowl

Servings: Serves 4
Course: Dinner
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Dietary Considerations: Good source of omega-3s, Kid-friendly, Low calorie, Low fat, Low sugar

Ingredients:
2 cans or pouches (5 ounces) Bumble Bee Tuna, drained and flaked
8 cups cooked rice
1 cup cooked julienned carrot
2 cups cooked broccoli florets
1/2 cup teriyaki sauce (to taste)

Directions:
Prepare rice according to package directions. Set aside. In sauce pan, steam carrots and broccoli in water about 10 minutes until tender crisp. Heat teriyaki sauce in microwave to warm. Serve rice, tuna and vegetables in small bowl with warmed teriyaki sauce drizzled to cover.

Nutrition Information for one serving (253 g): Calories 230 (from Fat 10), Fat 1 g (Saturated 0 g), Trans Fat 0, Cholesterol 30 mg, Sodium 1650 mg, Total Carbohydrates 33 g, Fiber 3 g, Sugars 5 g, Protein 22 g

Courtesy of ARAcontent