How to Help Your Kids Eat Healthy

Most parents and caregivers can agree that getting kids, especially young ones, to eat healthy can be a constant challenge. They don’t want to try new things and when they do, they can be put off by the texture or the taste, or even something else. Here are some tips that have worked for me or a family member:

Rule #1: Don’t force them to eat certain things! It doesn’t get you anywhere and may even backfire.

Rule #2: OFFER all foods by asking them if they want it and/or placing a small amount on their plate. The more the food is mentioned, the more likely they are to at least say yes at some point.

Rule #3: Make the food appealing or attractive in some way. Entice them. For example, with broccoli, I told my nephews that it looked like a little tree that they could eat. It still took a while for them to try it but the tree thing intrigued them and helped them get used to the idea.

Rule #4: If they really don’t like a certain food, don’t force them to eat it. They may learn to like it later on and you can certainly keep offering it to them, but if they’ve already tried it and say they don’t like it, don’t force them to eat it.

Some other ideas:

  • Hide the healthier foods in the less healthy food that they like. Go with this age-old idea of hiding it in their other food. You can mix small pieces of veggies and meat into scrambled eggs, macaroni and cheese (or other pasta dishes), spaghetti or other kinds of sauces, breads/muffins that you make yourself, etc. The ideas are endless. Now, I realize that you’re not going to “fool” all kids this way but it’s an idea for some that are picky but not super picky.
  • Put it in front of them without saying anything. Serve their veggies on their plate along with their other food without offering it or mentioning it beforehand.
  • Tell them that they need to at least take a bite of it. This can go hand-in-hand with the previous idea. Say they need to try it before they make a decision about it. If they finish the rest of their food and want more of those, make a deal with them that if they eat their veggies, they can have seconds of the other dishes.

Children will learn to view it as their choice which makes them feel as if they have more control over what they are eating and is usually more constructive long-term as well. Sure, it may take longer for them to even try a food let alone actually eat it, but it gives them a much more positive view of healthy eating… particularly regarding vegetables.

I have used these tactics with my four-and three-year-old nephews for at least a couple years now and have much better results than when forcing them to eat certain fruits and vegetables. My mom also did this with my siblings and I when we were younger and I fully believe that it helped us enjoy healthy foods more. My sister and I especially like a variety of fruits and vegetables. My brother likes a few too, just not as much as us girls. I know for sure that what my mom did helped me and now I love all kinds of healthy foods that even she doesn’t particularly like.

My opinion is that the better a view of healthy eating that your kids have, the better it will serve them and your whole family. So teach them about healthy living and simply encourage them to live a healthier life. Most of the time it doesn’t have to be rocket science to teach our kids good habits!

What do you do with your own children to get them to eat healthier, drink more water, or exercise?

 

~Bonnie~

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8 Tips to Manage Thanksgiving Stress

Thanksgiving, well any holiday really, can just get so chaotic and crazy that we forget that we still need to take care of ourselves and keep ourselves as sane as possible. I have put together some tips that I have found helpful in times of chaos in my life and hope they help you during the holidays!

Some of these are geared towards weight loss and healthy living:

  1. Find time for yourself. Put yourself first, first, so that you are better equipped to handle the rest of the holiday. So get up early and decompress before the day even starts if you feel you might need to! Do it before you need it so badly that you end up exploding later.
  2. Run away. If at all possible, find a place to hide in the middle of the chaos. A quiet room, outside, even the bathroom might do the trick. Take the time to just take a deep breath and think, or just exist for a moment! We all need a breather once in a while.
  3. Pace yourself. Realize that you don’t have to do all or be all to have a good holiday. Just focus on doing your best.
  4. Plan ahead. Prepare food ahead of time if you can. Think ahead today and figure out what you can make the day or two before Thanksgiving so that you don’t have to cook it all at once. That way it isn’t as frantic when the time comes.
  5. While you’re at it, make a game plan for your meal. Stick with veggies or fruit for 1/3-1/2 of your plate. Then turkey or other meat 1/4-1/3 of your plate. Then a little bit of each of the foods you really want to have such as mashed potatoes, a roll, and/or a small piece of dessert.
  6. Estimate calories. Make educated guesses on anything you don’t know the exact calorie content of. Google how many calories in whatever Thanksgiving dish it is. Do your best to stick to that. This way you can plan the rest of your meals and snacks around it for that day.
  7. Don’t expect to be in your calorie range. You almost definitely won’t be in your calorie range… and that’s totally okay! Do your best to minimize the damage but just enjoy the holiday and time with family without worrying about it too much.
  8. Do not deprive yourself! I repeat, do not deprive yourself of your favorite Thanksgiving foods. That is almost a sure fire way to sabotage yourself. Pick the things you really want to eat, for example what Thanksgiving wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without, and have a small helping of it!

If you’re not already, sign up for the weekly newsletter: Be the Best You: The Insider for more stress/emotional eating tips. Click here to subscribe: Be the Best You Newsletter. This time of year can be really hard. Why not arm yourself with action steps to use when you really need them! Subscribe to the newsletter and you will automatically be emailed download information for The Blast Emotional Eating Guide (#TheBEEGuide)! It’s completely free and lists nine great ways to combat stress and other emotions that may make you feel like you want to eat everything in sight!

~Bonnie~

Now Open for Personalized Coaching

Officially announcing that I am open for Personalized Coaching!

Do you find it hard going it alone? Do you want personalized help from someone who’s been there, done that and is still moving forward with their own weight loss and healthy living goals?

I have been there, done that with a lot of things in my year and a half of healthier living. I don’t know all the answers and I am not afraid to admit that but I can help you achieve your goals and live a healthier life. Providing consistent support, encouragement, advice and tips, as well as feedback are my passions!


What can you expect?

What you can expect from me: I will be there to cheer you on, provide personalized advice and tips, give much needed support and encouragement, and even be there as a listening ear. Whatever you need!

It’s like having a coach and an accountability partner rolled into one! While we will have “live meetings,” you will also have the ability to contact me via email or text message any other time as well. So if you have one scheduled meeting with me per week you could use it to ask me for specific tips or tell me about your week ahead so I can help you find ways to prepare and/or cope with upcoming events. You can also tell me about the week leading up to the meeting, to report your food, exercise, or water intake to me as well to help you stay on track or anything you want.

Then the rest of the week you could send me an email or text message here and there, as needed to help you stay accountable or to ask for help in the moment. Knowing someone is there to answer questions or give advice as needed can be invaluable to you. I had someone in my house that I could do that with most of the time, or call my sister. However, sometimes our family and friends aren’t the most supportive of our goals even if they are well meaning or they are supportive but give in to your whims because they love you. It can be a great tool to have someone who is objective to help you along the way.

Personalized Coaching can be anything you need: video support, messaging by text or through an app, or email chatting. It could be a mixture or just one of those options. We can figure out what will work best for you after your initial consultation.

Please sign up for a free personalized coaching email consultation if you’re interested. You have nothing to lose as it’s FREE and there is no commitment until you’re ready. Click this link: Be the Best You Scheduling to set up your free consultation. You can set up a time frame that works for you for the consultation but I recommend at least 30 minutes to get the full benefit of the consultation.

Note: Prices on coaching packages vary, we will get into that once I know what you need and want. I will do my best to work with you for what you can afford. My hours can vary as well for live chats (whether it be video, text messaging, or email) but again, I will do my best to work with you to suit your needs. This is about making it work for you.

~Bonnie~

Be the Best You Fitness Challenge

Be the Best You Fitness Challenge #BTBYfitnesschallenge
Be the Best You Fitness Challenge
#BTBYfitnesschallenge
Hey everyone, I’m starting a challenge with you all… Use the tag: #BTBYfitnesschallenge if you want to participate. You can tag on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The challenge is pretty simple:

  1. For the rest of the month we will challenge ourselves to meet our exercise goals. We all have different ones so I’m going to challenge you to create one you can stick with!
  2. Set an exercise goal for yourself (public or private) for how many minutes each day, or whatever your goal is for your exercise.
  3. Use the hashtag above to post to social media.
  4. Tell us whether you met your goal or not, in any shape or form you feel like! You can say exactly what you did such as how many minutes and/or what type of exercise you did. You can also simply say that your goal was met.
  5. You can also post pictures or screenshots of your exercise! Sometimes that makes it more fun! (For example, I might personally do screenshots of my Fitbit stats).

I will also be posting for my own goals as well as checking in on yours on a regular basis to see how everyone’s doing. Have fun with it. Challenge yourself and push to meet your goals.

Feel free to tag my page in your posts as well, but only if you want to. As long as you’re using the hashtag above, we can all see how each other is doing!

Remember that you are strong and powerful, and you can conquer your goals!
My goals: 7500 steps and 30 min exercise minimum each day except for rest days.

~Bonnie~

Going Back to Basics

You know when you’re going along and things are smooth sailing, but then you hit a big bump in the road and everything goes haywire? Yeah, we all know how that goes!

Going back to basics

Sometimes it is completely necessary to take a step back and view the big picture again. We continuously need to reevaluate our goals in order to move forward. Sometimes it is also necessary to go back to the beginning, or another time when we were more successful before we hit a bump. Those times are when you try to pick up where you left off and move forward at the same rate but your body and mind fight you every step of the way. You’re not going to be successful if your mind is standing in your way or if you go too hard, too fast.

This is why we take a step back, start over, or simply go back to basics by employing the strategies and habits that helped us in the beginning. When were you the most successful with your weight loss, fitness, or healthy eating? What were you doing then? Take what you were doing and start doing it again now. You may have way more knowledge and abilities now, but if you take a step back it can help tremendously!

It kind of goes along with that saying, “Never forget where you came from.” We have to remember where we started when we’re losing weight and improving our health. Sometimes we just get so caught up in what we’re doing that we forget. The struggle is so all-consuming that we have tunnel vision, or we’re so wrapped up in the results that we forget that we need to focus on the other important stuff as well.


Now I’m going to share with you a bit about my life lately, because I have come to the point where I need to heed this advice. It is a little disappointing but exciting at the same time because I know it worked for me in the past.

October was a bad month for me. Sure, it got off to a great start with my 27th birthday and an absolutely wonderful one at that, but it went downhill fast from there.

The night before my birthday I started feeling sick, like sneezy and congested sick. Still my birthday itself was awesome, I spoiled myself and let myself eat basically what I wanted, and I was also spoiled by others. I received quite a few gifts, more than I had on my birthday in a long time!

However, letting myself basically eat what I wanted on my birthday and being sick at the same time resulted in me having bad cravings for carbs in the following days. It took me quite a while to get back to normal. Then I kind of took a lax approach with my eating the week after that because I was still sick and stressed out, and I didn’t want worrying about my eating to add to my stress.

The following week, just when I was getting back on track and had 3 good days under my belt, my uncle died unexpectedly and that hit me really hard. I wasn’t super close but he had always been such a positive role model in my life and it hurt so bad that he was gone. I let myself eat more again because I still didn’t want to add to my stress. It took a good week as well as a visit with my therapist to return to some sort of normalcy, emotions wise.

Now it’s been about five days since I started feeling more positive again. I have had two days where I went over my calories, but not by much. I have had three days where I was within range. I’m doing my best to stay on track and refocus. I also need to baby step back into working out and building muscle consistently again… because due a whole month of no strength training, and not much cardio during that time either, I have lost a majority of the muscle I worked so hard to gain.

So my goals for November:

  • Go back to what worked for me in the beginning with my eating: When I first started out, I made it a goal to be in my calorie range 5 days a week minimum, with two days a week where I could go over my calories by 300-500. This time I will keep it to 300 or less over my calories on those two days but the principle is the same… if I have those days to look forward to, eating within my range the other five will be easier and less overwhelming. It worked well for me before so I know it will help me now.
  • Baby steps to exercise and build muscle again: My plan is to take it easy on the elliptical at the gym, start slow with my half marathon training plan that I set up for myself, and to continue walking or doing walking videos but taking it easy with those too.
  • Exercise sessions/time:
    • Strength training will be 2 times a week, with two rounds of each exercise. I am going back to 3lb dumbbells, which makes me feel like a wimp because I had been using 5lbs and doing well with those, but today’s strength training session made me sore even with the smallest dumbbells available at the gym so it’s definitely necessary!
    • Elliptical will be 20 minutes to start with and 3 times a week, focusing on changing the resistance levels and not pushing too hard because that has caused me bone/joint pain when I try. I will step back up to 30 minutes on the elliptical when I know my body is ready.
    • Half marathon training will be 2 times a week to start: 15 seconds maximum jogging at a time, walking to warm up a minimum of 1 mile before doing the first jogging interval because I feel that’s what my muscles and feet need to ease into this.
    • Walking/walking videos will be 2-3 times a week with a goal of 30-45 minutes outside maximum, or 30 minutes maximum indoors with videos.

So there you have it, I still need to go back to basics sometimes. This isn’t necessarily all “basics” for me but you get the idea!

What are your goals for November? It will be a busy month for a lot of us but we are strong and powerful, and we can stick to our goals!

~Bonnie~

How to Beat the Motivation Slump

Everyone deals with that motivation slump from time to time. I know I personally deal with it at least once a week. It’s those days where nothing sounds appealing and you just can’t get motivated. It is especially tough when your bed is more appealing than going about your day. This type of day can be frustrating beyond words as you know that you have many things to do, and some of them are even desirable, but you can’t get yourself started with any of it.

motivation slump

Here are some ways I have found to beat that all compelling motivation slump:

  • Take a moment to drink coffee: Use your morning coffee as a chance to wake up and get motivated. Drink it a little slower to enjoy the moment and revive your mind after a night’s slumber. Read something you find motivational while you drink, such as a magazine, part of a book, uplifting news stories or articles, etc.
  • Fake it till you make it: Have you heard of this saying? Sometimes simply going through the motions of the day helps you find motivation to move forward again. Eventually something clicks and you feel better again, rejuvenated even!
  • Do something simple that brings you joy: A way to baby step your way into your day… find something simple and easy to do that also helps you move toward your goals. You can’t find the motivation to workout? Go on Pinterest and look at all the healthy living pins or read some blogs on the specific topic. You can’t find the motivation to work? Make a list of something related to your work that makes you happy.
  • Blog/Journal: Sometimes blogging or journaling helps as well, just working through your thoughts and emotions can help you process whatever has put up a “motivational roadblock” in your mind. Other times it brings to light a spark of interest in doing something you need to do because you thought of something completely new!
  • Listen to upbeat music: Listening to upbeat music, or simply your favorite music, is uplifting and inspirational! Try it sometime when your motivation is down the drain.
  • Go for a walk or exercise: Take a walk outside. The fresh air and sunshine will do you tons of good. All other types of exercise as well can help revitalize your body and mind at the same time.
  • Let loose: Act like a kid again, or simply let yourself be carefree. The release is amazing and can remind you why it’s worthwhile to just take action and live life!
  • Post on social media: The moment you post on social media that you don’t feel like doing something, you either get feedback that helps motivate you… or you feel motivated because you feel relieved, taking the pressure off. Sometimes even finding something positive to post on social media can help ignite a fire within you.

What do you personally do to get yourself motivated on a day where nothing seems appealing? I’m sure we could all use a whole arsenal of ideas to spur us to action on those days!

~Bonnie~

Best Way to Cook Chicken

Okay so it’s not the best way to cook chicken per se, but it is my favorite way to cook it in a healthy way, which is simply to bake it in the oven. This way is so healthy, easy, and tasty at the same time!

Here’s what I do:

  1. First I preheat the oven to 350˚F.
  2. Then I rinse the chicken and cut it up into whatever size piece works, unless I use tenderloins which don’t need to be cut.
  3. Place the pieces on a baking sheet that has been sprayed with non-stick spray.
  4. Season the pieces with whatever I want to use, usually pepper, garlic, or Italian seasoning or a combination because that’s what we have on hand here.
  5. Throw it in the oven once I’m sure it has adequately preheated.
  6. Cook for 15 minutes, sometimes 20 minutes depending on the size but they are always ready by then!

They always come out juicy and tasty, without using any oil or marinade. This way won’t work for everyone and I don’t have fancy tastes, but it works for moments when things are crazy and we need a healthy home cooked meal!

juicy baked chicken

Now, here’s some of the dishes I love to eat with my chicken:

  • Chicken salad with whatever veggies we have: lettuce, cucumber, and tomato is my favorite. I use light ranch dressing because I prefer it over all else and it’s only 80 calories for two tablespoons.
  • Brown rice + baked chicken + veggies: I love putting cauliflower, broccoli, and/or corn in this dish! You could even stir fry it in a skillet.
  • Noodles + baked chicken + veggies: This I can use any veggie and it tastes good: green beans, broccoli, carrots, corn, etc. Preferably you would use whole grain/wheat noodles if you chose to do this, but sometimes when we don’t have that I’ve been known to cook half a package of Ramen noodles plain, no seasoning. Now I know they aren’t healthy at all but it works in a pinch. This could also be cooked as a stir fry with the right noodles!
  • White chicken chili: I need to find and share this recipe with you all because it is so tasty. You could do a search online and find one too but I will be posting this in a future post!

There are countless other dishes to mix the chicken with as well, like a ton of chicken casseroles or other recipes, but these are my favorites!

~Bonnie~

Inside Look at the Goals E-Course

It’s time!

I promised you all a sneak peak for the e-course I have coming up for setting effective goals and the time has come. I have decided to share a bit of the outline with you all:

goals e-course 2

goals e-course edited

Ignore the title in my pic, the official course title is: “Goals to Become the Best You.” This e-course will cover goals, starting with how to make fitting goals for yourself, how to deal with disappointment, how to move on and set new goals, and how to empower yourself to follow through with your goals.

One of the best parts about this course… You get access to each lesson a certain amount of time after you personally enroll in the course, so no playing catch up on all the information. The whole course is designed to serve YOU and help you be your “best you.” I will be there every step of the way, answering questions and guiding you as you go along.

Follow my blog or one of my social media pages (by clicking on the icons to the right) to be the first to hear when this course will debut! Stay tuned for more sneak peaks in the coming days!

I can’t wait to give you all the tools that have helped me set and reach goals myself!

This course includes a 15+ page Goals workbook/guide, additional resources, and a BONUS lesson all for the introductory price of $30!

~Bonnie~

UPDATE: Here it is, the goals e-course is live: Goals to Become the Best You. It is a step-by-step guide with my help and assistance to make and pursue goals in a way that works for you! We have all felt discouraged or unmotivated to meet our goals. The trick is knowing how to go about your goals in a manner that can fuel you to move forward! Included is a 16 page workbook + guide, separate resources, and personal help through the community in the course. All this for the low introductory price of $30!

Weight Loss Support Group

weight loss support group

This is a survey of sorts for a “service” I would like to provide to others on their weight loss journeys. Please leave me a comment or email answering the questions or simply stating if this would be of value to you. The online support group for weight loss would be either in video or chat form. I have to figure out where to host this service but already have two or three ideas, and will be keeping you up-to-date as I figure it out!

I would also provide healthy living tools and/or challenges each week to keep incentive and motivation as high as possible. Ideally I would provide at least two meeting times each week for this support group to meet up online, such as at least one morning and one evening time, but maybe even a weekend meeting.

  1. Would you find value in an online weight loss support group hosted by someone who has successfully lost weight themselves?
  2. What kind of tools or features would you like to see in such a service? For example, a virtual weekly weigh-in (either posting the weight or posting a picture of the number on the scale), weekly check-ins with calories or exercise logs, etc.
  3. What time of day would work best for you personally, and weekday or weekend? (This information will be used in determining the best times each week to set up this group).
  4. How much would you be willing to pay each week or month for membership fees? Other groups charge a monthly or yearly fee for a similar service. Mine would be kept low because I believe in keeping things affordable, but am interested to hear how much you would think would be reasonable per week/month. I will likely make the first meeting completely free so people can try it out before paying.
  5. BONUS: Which would you prefer: conference type video or live chat with/without photos?

typing coffee

All information will be used to best serve you! If you use the contact form below, the information will also be kept confidential.

You don’t need to answer ALL of those questions, you can answer whatever you feel like answering or none at all of course! Thank you in advance for any feedback! Here is my contact form so you can email me directly if you prefer that over leaving a comment with your answers:

~Bonnie~

P.S. Check out my goals e-course: Goals to Become the Best You. It is a step-by-step guide with my help and assistance to make and pursue goals in a way that works for you! We have all felt discouraged or unmotivated to meet our goals. The trick is knowing how to go about your goals in a manner that can fuel you to move forward! Included is a 16 page workbook + guide, separate resources, and personal help through the community in the course. All this for the low introductory price of $30!

Join the Be the Best You: Behind the Scenes weekly newsletter mailing list here for exclusive content and behind the scenes information!

or

Visit my direct website for two free downloads: Be the Best You website. One is a vacation weight loss tips and the other is a Getting Started Weight Loss Workbook which will help you get off to a great start with your weight loss journey. Check them out!

FREE Weight Loss Workbook (Improved)

A couple weeks ago I released a free Getting Started weight loss workbook. I have now improved it by adding even more helpful information and am re-releasing the new version. If you are just getting started or are having a hard time continuing in your own weight loss journey, this workbook is for you. Even if you’re far along in your journey and just need some guidance, you could find exactly what you need right here!

Sometimes it’s hard to get started or to simply get moving in the right direction. Life throws us for a lot of loops, and constantly challenges us. This workbook will help give you something to think about and look back on when the going gets tough! It solidifies your resolve in your mind and will help you document your progress in more ways than one.

weight loss workbook

Download directly from my website: Be the Best You website and click on the green button under the workbook title! I hope you like it and find it even more helpful than the first version! There is also my free Vacation Tips as well if you want to download that as well.

Coming Next Week: I will be starting a mini course about setting and keeping goals for the low price of $30. Keep your eyes open for that if you want to join. If you download this workbook and let me know what you think via email, I will give you a code for 15% off the course when it comes time to enroll!

You can also sign up for my weekly newsletter mailing list with this link: Be the Best You Newsletter or click on the link in the sidebar! The newsletter will be filled with behind the scenes information and tips, as well as free exclusive email surprises once a month! I will be releasing the newsletter in November, join now so you will receive it when it comes out!

Edited to add:
It seems that WordPress or my website are having glitches, so if you want the download and can’t get the link above to work, use this contact form to send me an email and I will email it directly to you.
Thank you for your patience!

~Bonnie~