Blog http://redwingymca.org/blog en Happy Holidays from the Red Wing YMCA & YMCA Camp Pepin http://redwingymca.org/blog/2016/12/30/4511/happy_holidays_from_the_red_wing_ymca_ymca_camp_pepin <span>Happy Holidays from the Red Wing YMCA &amp; YMCA Camp Pepin</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/%40mx_740.jpg" width="740" height="437" alt="Happy Holidays from the Y" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/44616" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Camp</span></span> <span>Fri, 12/30/2016 - 12:57</span> <p>I wanted to reflect back to something that happened a week ago when I was working at a dinner for another organization, and a woman asked me, "Is the Y doing anything for kids this weekend?"</p> <p>Sometimes the Y staff and I are so busy teaching, supporting and connecting the community, that we forget to share the incredible, life-changing stories that are happening each and every day at the Y. Here is a glimpse of a Saturday in December:</p> <ul><li>Youth Basketball: We started with a bang with Youth Basketball early Saturday morning,  hundreds of children and their families enjoyed a rollicking morning of roundball, the joint YMCA- Red Wing Association collaboration is rounding into a real success.</li> <li>Swim Lessons: Then we swung into a full morning of swim lessons - did you know we have 253 kids in Swim Lessons this session? That pretty much means those pools were full on Saturday. I like that!  I've gotten some very strong positives from mothers on improved lesson quality these last few sessions - that really feels good.</li> <li>Youth In Government: Then at 10 o'clock we commenced bagging groceries at both Econo Foods as a Youth In Government fundraiser - We've had 40 some kids work on that fundraiser to drive the cost down a bit. And it's fun too!</li> <li>YPals: At the same time 'Shop with a Cop' led by our own Katie Bystrom , Y Pals leader got rolling out at Walmart. 20 kids were able to Christmas shop for their Families courtesy of The Police Benevolent Association, Bob Behrens, The Kiwanis clubs, Walmart, and Purina. The cops do the shopping support with the kids and it's great to see them looking at the Christmas season through the kid's eyes - the Kiwanis club wraps the gifts - it's quite a production. Bob Behrens has really driven this project for the last few years and we appreciate his leadership and investment.</li> <li>Breakfast with Santa at Camp Pepin: And at the same time Breakfast w Santa unrolled at Camp Pepin in a quite display of concentrated cuteness and wonder for the little ones. This was Steve Heiny, our new Camp Pepin's Executive Director's first full scale public event and he did great.</li> </ul><p>So we sure did have a lot going on for kids Saturday, and this is just a snapshot of what happens every day at the Y. Lives are changing, people are connecting and the community is working together to create a better us.</p> <p>This holiday season, as we take stock of the many gifts we have to be thankful for, we count your friendship among our greatest blessings. We are truly grateful to have such caring and dedicated volunteers, staff, members and donors in our shared journey to create a more welcoming and inclusive community for all. Take time to enjoy the company of your loved ones. May the coming year bring all of us closer together in peace and harmony.</p> <p>Happy Holidays,</p> <p>Mike Melstad</p> Fri, 30 Dec 2016 18:57:56 +0000 Camp 4511 at http://redwingymca.org Artificial Sweeteners are not the Answer http://redwingymca.org/blog/2016/02/18/2871/artificial_sweeteners_are_not_the_answer <span>Artificial Sweeteners are not the Answer</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/2016-03/Artificial-Sweeteners-tn.jpg" width="185" height="120" alt="Artificial Sweeteners are not the Answer" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Thu, 02/18/2016 - 09:28</span> <h3>Tip: Minimize artificial sweeteners, which may have negative health effects. Reduce your sugar intake and substitute small amounts of natural sweeteners like honey or real maple syrup when you want to sweeten something.</h3> <p><img alt="Artificial Sweetners" height="230" src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/default/files/Artificial-Sweeteners.jpg" width="230" />by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group</p> <p>Recent USDA recommendations to eat less added sugar may have you considering artificial sweeteners as a replacement. While they do not directly add to your caloric intake, artificial sweeteners may not be as benign as previously thought. Research suggests they may be associated with weight gain, development of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and increased sweet cravings. Minimize artificial sweeteners to avoid these unintended side effects and curb your sugar intake naturally. The more you avoid sweet food, the less you will crave it, and the better you will feel.</p> <p><strong>Weight Gain</strong></p> <p>It seems logical that substituting artificial sweeteners for sugar would help you lose weight – you get the sweet taste without the calories, right? While some people do lose weight after switching to artificial sweeteners, others actually gain weight. Artificial sweeteners trick the brain by providing sweetness without the sugar the body expects. And since they do not stimulate the pleasure centers of the brain like real sugar does, you are left unsatisfied and craving more sweets. As a result, you may overcompensate for the lack of calories in artificial sweeteners by consuming even more calories than you would have.</p> <p><strong>Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 Diabetes</strong></p> <p>Our guts are host to trillions of bacteria that are integral to digestion, a healthy immune system and metabolism. Recent research suggests that consuming artificial sweeteners alters the composition of gut bacteria in a way that makes you more susceptible to increased body weight, higher fasting blood glucose levels and impaired glucose tolerance. These changes are associated with metabolic syndrome and development of type 2 diabetes – two of the very things you are trying to avoid by cutting out sugar!</p> <p><strong>What About Stevia?</strong></p> <p>Stevia is marketed as the ‘natural’ non-caloric sweetener since it is derived from a plant. However, commercially prepared stevia is highly processed, and the little stevia it contains is usually mixed with other chemicals and flavorings. The only truly natural stevia is stevia you grow yourself. Stay away from commercially prepared stevia and choose honey or real maple syrup when you want to add sweetness to your food.</p> <p><strong>Curb Your Sugar Intake</strong></p> <p>Cutting back on added sugar will help you feel more energized and healthier, but using artificial sweeteners as a substitute may sabotage your efforts. Instead, try removing added sugar from your diet for two weeks – you will stop craving it and foods you used to enjoy may even start to seem ‘too sweet’. When in the mood for a sweet treat that is low in sugar, try our <a href="http://www.ymcamn.org/blog/2016/02/18/953/berry_ginger_oat_smoothie/">Berry Ginger Oat Smoothie</a> – it will provide the sweetness you crave from berries and just a touch of honey with the added benefit of high fiber from the berries and oats. It is also an excellent way to use that leftover oatmeal from breakfast for a healthy snack that will sustain you through the day.</p> <p>You will love the way you feel!</p> <p><strong><img alt="Chef Marshall O’Brien" height="116" src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/default/files/chef-marshall-obrien.jpg" width="163" />The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group</strong> is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives. </p> Thu, 18 Feb 2016 15:28:07 +0000 Yadmin 2871 at http://redwingymca.org Getting the meal on the table http://redwingymca.org/blog/2016/01/25/3036/getting_the_meal_on_the_table <span>Getting the meal on the table</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/2016-03/Getting-the-meal-on-the-table.jpg" width="230" height="160" alt="Getting the meal on the table" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Mon, 01/25/2016 - 10:00</span> <h3>Tip: Weekly planning, prepping in advance and “cooking once to eat twice” will help you get nourishing family dinners on the table quickly and without stress.</h3> <p><span>by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group</span></p> <p><img alt="Getting the meal on the table" class="alignright" height="160" src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/default/files/Getting-the-meal-on-the-table.jpg" style="margin: 0px 0px 15px 15px;" width="230" />You’ve made a commitment to cook nutritious meals for your family, but when you return home from a long day, your family is hungry and you are exhausted. With no time to prepare a meal, you pull out a frozen pizza or order take-out – again. Simple planning, prepping and efficient cooking can free you from the “no time to cook” slump and start you on an easy routine of serving delicious, nutritious home-cooked meals on weeknights.</p> <p><strong>Create a Weekly Meal Plan</strong></p> <p>Planning ahead is essential to successful weeknight home-cooked meals. Over the weekend, consider the activities you have scheduled for the coming week and make a plan for each night. Meals that are simple and quick are best for busy nights. If not all family members will be eating together, you’ll need a meal that can stay hot and be served when needed. Save complicated recipes for evenings when you have more time.</p> <p><strong>Assign Each Day a Theme</strong></p> <p>Create an outline that stays consistent from week to week - for example, meatless Mondays, taco Tuesdays, chicken Wednesdays and fish Thursdays. Collect recipes that fit these themes and rotate through them. With this method, you avoid repeating the same recipes each week, but don’t have to reinvent the wheel every time you put together a new week’s plan.</p> <p><strong>Prepare Foods Ahead of Time</strong></p> <p>Veggies, such as onions, peppers and other favorites, can be prepped ahead of time for use in roasts and sautés. Precook beans and grains, like rice and quinoa, and freeze them in pre-portioned bags. Meats, soups, stews and slow cooker meals all freeze well and are easily thawed for quick meals. Pull items out of the freezer the night before you intend to serve them and thaw thoroughly in the fridge before cooking.</p> <p><strong>Store Salad Fixings In the Fridge</strong></p> <p>Salads are a quick and easy way to get greens onto your plate. Rinse, spin and store greens such as spinach, romaine and arugula in a salad spinner so they are ready to go. Top off the greens with cut-up raw vegetables you prepared ahead. These can also be used to accompany lunches or as crunchy midday snacks.</p> <p><strong>Cook in Bulk and Transform Leftovers </strong></p> <p>One of the best ways to get healthy meals on the table quickly is to cook in large batches and use the leftovers in new ways. <a href="http://www.ymcamn.org/blog/2016/01/25/932/hearty_slow_cooker_roast/">This Hearty Slow Cooker Roast</a> is an excellent example of a recipe that can be transformed into a variety of new dishes. Here are some ideas for additional meals from the pot roast:</p> <ul><li>Portion meat into pita pockets with chopped romaine, a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes and a dash of hot sauce</li> <li>Make burritos with avocados and jalapeños</li> <li>Serve with scrambled eggs or in an omelet for breakfast</li> <li>Serve with crushed red pepper flakes and a side of warm corn bread</li> </ul><p><span>When you consistently and easily feed your family home-cooked meals, you will love the way you feel!</span></p> <p><strong><img alt="Chef Marshall O’Brien" height="116" src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/default/files/chef-marshall-obrien.jpg" width="163" />The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group</strong> is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.</p> Mon, 25 Jan 2016 16:00:18 +0000 Yadmin 3036 at http://redwingymca.org Creating Sustainable Behavior Change http://redwingymca.org/blog/2016/01/18/2446/creating_sustainable_behavior_change <span>Creating Sustainable Behavior Change</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Creating-Sustainable-Behavior-Change-tn.jpg" width="185" height="120" alt="Creating Sustainable Behavior Change" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Mon, 01/18/2016 - 09:35</span> <h3>Tip: Sustain your New Year’s resolutions through the whole year by setting motivating goals, planning for unsafe zones, revising your plan when needed, and having compassion for yourself.</h3> <p>by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group</p> <p> </p> <div> <img src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Creating-Sustainable-Behavior-Change.jpg" width="230" height="344" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></div> <p>The start of a new year inspires many of us to make smarter food choices so we can feel our best. Come January 1, we create a plan and embark on it with enthusiasm. By late January, we frequently hit a roadblock – life gets busy, we catch the flu, whatever the reason – we abandon our plan and return to our old habits, feeling defeated. Sound familiar? Resolutions need not fall by the wayside come February. Small shifts in the way we approach change can help sustain that change until it becomes our new “normal.”</p> <p><strong>Envision Your Goals </strong></p> <p>Imagine in detail what it will feel like to have reached your goals. What will life be like when you have constant energy throughout the day, when your body feels its best, and when you are feeding your family nourishing food that will help them reach their full potential? Write it down or draw a picture to keep this feeling of success at the forefront of your mind. When you are having a rough day, this vision of your best self will remind you of why you are making these changes and will help keep you motivated.</p> <p><strong>Plan for Unsafe Zones</strong></p> <p>At home, you have control over what you feed yourself and your family, but sticking to your food plan is more challenging when you are at restaurants or parties. Set yourself up for success in these potentially unsafe zones by having a plan. Preview a restaurant’s menu to select nourishing options before you dine there. When going to a potluck, bring a dish that fits within your plan. Your host will love <a href="http://www.ymcamn.org/blog/2016/01/11/910/grilled_chicken_with_kale_apple_and_cranberry_salad/">our sweet and zesty Grilled Chicken with Kale Apple Cranberry Salad</a>, and you will love that it provides lean protein and is brimming with nutrients and fiber.</p> <p><strong>Revise Your Plan To Fit Your Style</strong></p> <p>As you progress along your journey of change and learn more about yourself, you may find you need to revise your plan to better fit you. Are you succeeding in some ways but consistently falling short in others? These stumbling blocks can help you understand your triggers and further refine your plan. Be honest about whether you can do things in moderation or if you need to abstain in some areas. Your best plan is one that you will stick to!</p> <p><strong>Allow Yourself a Do-Over When You Need One</strong></p> <p>Changing behaviors that you have formed over decades won’t happen overnight, and if you are like the rest of us, you will likely encounter some bumps in the road toward change. Don’t be discouraged! Be compassionate with yourself. Feel empowered by the steps you are taking to live a happy, productive, healthy life. You get as many do-overs as you need, as long as you learn from them. Remember, changes don’t need to happen only in January – every new day is an opportunity to bring yourself closer to feeling your best.</p> <p>You will love the way you feel!</p> <p><strong>The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group</strong> is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives. </p> Mon, 18 Jan 2016 15:35:11 +0000 Yadmin 2446 at http://redwingymca.org Roasted Curried Sweet Potatoes http://redwingymca.org/blog/2015/12/22/2447/roasted_curried_sweet_potatoes <span>Roasted Curried Sweet Potatoes</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Roasted-Curried-Sweet-Potatoes-tn.jpg" width="185" height="120" alt="Roasted Curried Sweet Potatoes" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Tue, 12/22/2015 - 15:56</span> <p>by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group</p> <p> </p> <div> <img src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Roasted-Curried-Sweet-Potatoes.jpg" width="230" height="153" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></div> <p>This sweet and savory recipe for sweet potatoes is seasoned with cinnamon and curry powder, which help fight cancer and reduce inflammation in your body. Easy, tasty, and good for you--what more could you ask for?</p> <p><strong>Serves 4</strong></p> <h3>Ingredients</h3> <ul><li>1/4 cup olive oil</li> <li>4 1/2 cups sweet potatoes</li> <li>1/2 cup onion, quartered </li> <li>2 teaspoons curry powder</li> <li>1 teaspoon cinnamon</li> <li>1/2 teaspoons salt</li> </ul><h3>Directions</h3> <ul><li>Preheat oven to 350 degrees.</li> <li>Wash vegetables thoroughly; peel and cut into bite-sized pieces. </li> <li>Toss sweet potatoes and onions with olive oil, spices and salt.  </li> <li>Place on foil- or parchment-lined sheet pan.  </li> <li>Cook until tender and golden brown, about 30-45 minutes.</li> </ul><p><strong>The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group</strong><span> is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.</span></p> Tue, 22 Dec 2015 21:56:36 +0000 Yadmin 2447 at http://redwingymca.org Stick to your resolutions with a fitness buddy http://redwingymca.org/blog/2015/12/21/2438/stick_to_your_resolutions_with_a_fitness_buddy <span>Stick to your resolutions with a fitness buddy</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Stick-to-your-resolutions-with-a-fitness-buddy-tn.jpg" width="185" height="120" alt="Stick to your resolutions with a fitness buddy" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Mon, 12/21/2015 - 10:37</span> <h3>Find strength in numbers with five tips for working out with others to help you meet your fitness goals</h3> <p> </p> <div> <img src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Stick-to-your-resolutions-with-a-fitness-buddy.jpg" width="230" height="173" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></div> <p>Having a fitness buddy can make a big difference in reaching your weight loss goals. Exercising with friends builds instant motivation and support into your routine. Bonus: It gives you time to catch up with each other.</p> <p>Finding the right workout partner is key to staying on track. Here are some tips to consider: </p> <p><strong>1. Decide what kind of support and motivation you want.</strong></p> <p>Your BFF might not be your best fitness buddy. You’ll have to get a little choosy if you’re serious about your health.</p> <ul><li><strong>Discuss your goals.</strong> Take time to <a href="http://www.ymcamn.org/blog/2014/01/10/603/this_year_make_a_smart_new_years_resolution/">set smart goals</a> that challenge (but don’t overwhelm) you. Compare your goals with those of your potential partner and see whether both of you feel you can support each other all the way to the finish line (and beyond).</li> <li><strong>Consider communication style.</strong> A positive attitude is hugely important in sticking with a fitness routine. Make sure you choose a buddy who can ride out the rough patches without resorting to negativity or judgmental language.</li> <li><strong>Be ready for tough love.</strong> Staying positive doesn’t mean you’re not supposed to push each other. Agree to be the voice of reason (and good health) especially when the going gets rocky!</li> </ul><p><strong>2. Get realistic about logistics.</strong></p> <p>You’ll be pushing yourself in your workouts, so there’s no need to make life more difficult by working against conflicting schedules.</p> <ul><li><strong>Obey your body clock.</strong> Some people love a morning workout, while others prefer to sweat out the day’s stress after quitting time. If you and your workout buddy don’t share the same body rhythms, make sure you swap the schedule frequently so neither person has to work against nature all the time.</li> <li><strong>Scan your routine for patterns.</strong> Is there a coworker or parent in your daycare who always seems to be on the same schedule as you? Even if you’re not close friends, you might make great fitness partners since you can plan around the same daily commitments. </li> <li><strong>Minimize your commute.</strong> Don’t forget to factor travel time into your workout. If a favorite gym, class or trail is too far out of range for someone, sticking to a routine could get tricky. Pick somewhere central, or be ready to switch off workout venues to accommodate schedules.</li> </ul><p><strong>3. Add a little friendly competition to the mix.</strong></p> <p>There’s nothing like a healthy dose of adrenaline to kick a workout into high gear. You can be on the same team while pushing each other to new heights in your routine. Don’t forget the high-fives.</p> <ul><li><strong>Seek out a high performer.</strong> Depending on your exercise goals, finding a workout buddy who’s just a little faster and stronger than you can be a great way to take your performance to the next level.</li> <li><strong>Try an online or app fitness tracker. </strong>Many apps with calorie and heart rate data also have built-in “social” functions that take the guesswork out of comparing your results. You can “compete” throughout the day, even outside workouts. </li> <li><strong>Build rewards into your routine. </strong>If you both reach your monthly goals, treat each other to a sports event, the spa, or a nice dinner. You can also compete against each other by letting the winner “collect” his or her reward from the other person. Make sure to keep things light: Health is the real endgame, here.</li> </ul><p>4. <strong>Incorporate nutrition into your fitness routine.  </strong> </p> <p>You know the drill: Health isn’t just about burning calories through exercise. It’s about making sure those calories contain the right kind of nutritious fuel for your body. You can make eating well a team sport, too.</p> <ul><li><strong>Trade happy hour for healthy hour.</strong> Instead of heading to the pub or café after a long day, meet a colleague or friend for a stress-reducing workout. Pick an activity like jogging or speed walking that will let you catch up while you’re on the move.</li> <li><strong>Take turns bringing healthy post-workout snacks.</strong> Bananas and apples are great treats following a class or training session. Or try a mix of almonds and dried fruit. Make sure you replenish all the fluids you lost while exercising with plenty of water.</li> <li><strong>Host a healthy potluck for the group.</strong> Challenge your teammates to a healthy cook-off. Assign courses, nutritional requirements (e.g., “Bring something with loads of Vitamin A!”) or just have everyone bring their favorite. The only rule is that it must be healthy. Here are some <a href="blog/nutrition/">nutritious noshes</a> to get the ball rolling.</li> </ul><p><strong>5. Can’t find the perfect fitness pal? Go with the group!</strong></p> <p>You might not find the right teammate right away, but you can still benefit from the social aspect of fitness by taking a <a href="health__fitness/free_group_exercise_classes/">Group Exercise class</a>. Who knows—you might wind up meeting your future exercise BFF.</p> <ul><li><strong>Build your own class sampler.</strong> With more than 60 class types to choose from at the Y, you can emphasize a specific kind of movement (cardio, strength, stretching, etc.) or just pick something that looks interesting. Classes are drop-in; no registration required.</li> <li><strong>Talk to the instructor before class begins.</strong> If you’ve got specific goals for a class, let the instructor know. Especially if you’re new to a class or to an exercise routine, they can help you get the maximum fitness and fun out of the session, and offer helpful pointers throughout.</li> </ul><p><strong>Book a Personal Training session.</strong> Our <a href="health__fitness/personal_training/">Personal Trainers</a> can give you a fitness assessment, help you define realistic goals, and recommend classes that fit your lifestyle and schedule. </p> Mon, 21 Dec 2015 16:37:57 +0000 Yadmin 2438 at http://redwingymca.org The Gift You Give Your Child http://redwingymca.org/blog/2015/12/21/2419/the_gift_you_give_your_child <span>The Gift You Give Your Child</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/The-Gift-You-Give-Your-Child-tn.jpg" width="185" height="120" alt="The Gift You Give Your Child" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Mon, 12/21/2015 - 10:36</span> <h3>Tip: The first 12 years of your child’s life are so important to who they are and what they become! Make sure you give them the special gift of Smart Nutrition.</h3> <p>by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group</p> <p> </p> <div> <img src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/ymca_redwing/files/The-Gift-You-Give-Your-Child.jpg" width="230" height="170" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></div> <p>Every parent wants to give his or her child the best chance for a happy, healthy life. While body and brain development continue through their mid-twenties, most of your child’s development is complete by age 12with birth through age five as a critical phase. The food you feed your child fuels their growth and development. When children receive inadequate nutrition their bodies and minds do not reach their full potential. Helping your child thrive and mature into a successful, healthy adult by providing good nutrition during these crucial early years is that special gift you can give your child.</p> <p><strong>Encourage Children to Try New Foods</strong></p> <p>In their first year, 60 percent of all nutrition your child receives goes towards brain development. Feed your baby breast milk, or a high quality formula, if breastfeeding is not possible, for up to a year. When they are ready for solid foods, provide your child with a wide range of healthy, whole food choices. Don’t be dismayed if your child rejects a food – it can takes several attempts for children to enjoy new flavors. The more variety of taste and texture your child is exposed to, the more open they will be as they get older.</p> <p><strong>Minimize Unhealthy Ingredients</strong></p> <p>Check the nutrition label on all new foods to minimize added sugar, excess sodium, trans fats and artificial ingredients in your child’s diet.  An occasional treat is fine, but eating them on a regular basis fills your child’s body with empty calories and prevents real nutrition from whole foods. This often leads to excess weight gain and long-term health risks. This includes sweetened beverages and most fruit juices. While juice provides more vitamins than soda, it lacks fiber and the added sugar leads to low nutrition and probable weight gain. Drink water and offer them apple slices instead!</p> <p><strong>Eating Habits Are Learned Early</strong></p> <p>Eating habits your child learns in their first 12 years stay with them for the rest of their life. When your child sees that you making smart eating a priority in your life they are more likely to make it a priority in their own lives as they grow into adulthood. Research shows that children who have frequent family meals (five or more per week) are at lower risk for adolescent substance use, depression and delinquency and have higher rates of psychological well-being.</p> <p><strong>Make Nutritious Foods and Family Meals a Priority</strong></p> <p>Like all parents, you want to do everything in your power to provide the best opportunities for your kids. One of the easiest ways to do this is to provide them with smart nutrition that fuels them and allows them to grow physically and mentally to their fullest potential. By making nutritious foods and regular family meals a priority now, you are forming patterns that will lead them to a lifetime of healthy eating. It is never too late to start giving your child the gift of nourishing eating.</p> <p>You will love the way you and your family feel!</p> <p><strong>The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group</strong><span> is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.</span></p> Mon, 21 Dec 2015 16:36:50 +0000 Yadmin 2419 at http://redwingymca.org Nourishing is Different Than Eating http://redwingymca.org/blog/2015/12/14/2417/nourishing_is_different_than_eating <span>Nourishing is Different Than Eating</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Nourishing-is-Different-Than-Eating-tn.jpg" width="185" height="120" alt="Nourishing is Different Than Eating" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Mon, 12/14/2015 - 15:49</span> <h3>Tip: You have a choice in what you eat. Make sure that your meal plan is built around nourishing your body and not just feeding it. </h3> <p><span>by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group</span></p> <p> </p> <div> <img src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Nourishing-is-Different-Than-Eating.jpg" width="230" height="153" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></div> <p>We must all eat to survive, but nourishing differs from merely eating. Nourishing involves eating foods that help us perform, feel and look our best, and helps our children develop, both physically and mentally, to their full potential. Sometimes, what we think of as “eating” involves consuming foods that actually make us feel worse, put our emotions and energy level on a rollercoaster, and eventually make us sick. Since most of us in the United States are fortunate to have access to a wide range of plentiful foods, why not choose the foods that nourish us and help us be our best?</p> <p><strong>Where Are Nourishing Foods Found?</strong></p> <p>Nourishing foods provide the vitamins, minerals and fiber that help your body work well and feel great. Most grocery stores do you a favor by placing these nourishing foods in an easy to find spot. Take a walk around the perimeter of your grocery store and you will find them: fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, dairy, eggs, fish, poultry and lean meats. Fill your grocery cart with these delicious, unprocessed foods and you will be nourishing yourself and your family.</p> <p><strong>A Colorful Variety of Fruits and Veggies</strong></p> <p>Challenge yourself to choose fruits and vegetables from every color of the rainbow! Not only will you have a beautiful cartful of food, you will be ensuring that you are providing your family the full range of vitamins and minerals they need to grow and reach their full potential. When your refrigerator is filled with a rainbow of nourishing foods, you will be more likely to reach for snacks that sustain your energy through the afternoon slump and help you feel buoyant throughout your busy day. Meals made from these delicious ingredients can be simple and more cost-effective than their processed alternatives. And your body will feel better than ever!</p> <p><strong>Avoid Processed Foods, Which May Be Falsely Labeled “Healthy”</strong></p> <p>Processed foods are filled with added sugar, unhealthy fats and preservatives, and excess sodium, causing many of the problems you face each day. It is easy to identify the usual suspects that fill this category, but many others are marketed as “healthy”, hiding ingredients that will inevitably drag you down: heavily refined carbohydrates, breads labeled “whole wheat” that do not contain a single whole grain, hidden sugars and trans fats, and huge amounts of sodium in canned foods and broths, to name a few. These processed foods tamper with your emotions and your energy level, can lead to inflammation and pain in your body, and over time result in chronic illness. To preserve your wellbeing, minimize or eliminate these foods.</p> <p>When you nourish your body<ins cite="mailto:Sarah%20Sullivan">,</ins> you will love the way you feel</p> <p><strong>The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group</strong><span> is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.</span></p> Mon, 14 Dec 2015 21:49:15 +0000 Yadmin 2417 at http://redwingymca.org Slow vs. Fast Carbs http://redwingymca.org/blog/2015/12/07/2418/slow_vs_fast_carbs <span>Slow vs. Fast Carbs</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Slow-vs-Fast-Carbs-tn.jpg" width="185" height="120" alt="Slow vs. Fast Carbs" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Mon, 12/07/2015 - 15:56</span> <h3>Tip: Fill your meal plan with slow carbs, like fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They contain the fiber that helps you maintain a steady stream of energy throughout your day.</h3> <p>by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group</p> <p> </p> <div> <img src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Slow-vs-Fast-Carbs.jpg" width="230" height="153" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></div> <p>Despite the media hype that warns us to avoid them, carbohydrates are an important part of a balanced diet. However, not all carbohydrates are created equal. There are two types of carbohydrates: “Slow” carbs are high in fiber and deliver a steady stream of energy to your body. “Fast” carbs are the low-fiber foods that digest quickly, temporarily raise your blood sugar before it plummets, and leave you feeling drained. Feel vibrant and energized throughout your busy day by eating more slow carbs and limiting your intake of fast carbs.</p> <p><strong>What is a Carbohydrate?</strong></p> <p>Like many other people, you may be unsure of what a carbohydrate actually is. More than just bread and pasta, a wide variety of foods makes up the carbohydrate group: fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, dairy and foods with added sugar, such as pastries, candy and sweetened beverages. While all carbohydrates break down into sugars in our bodies, fiber helps to slow the absorption of these sugars. Slow carbs are high in fiber content and, thus, do not raise blood sugar levels as rapidly as fast carbs. This keeps your energy more consistent so you can avoid the mid-morning and afternoon slumps, and minimize weight gain.</p> <p><strong>How Do I Spot Fast Carbs?</strong></p> <p>You will find most fast carbs in the processed foods sections of your grocery store.</p> <p>These low-fiber foods include white bread, pasta, white rice, crackers, cookies and baked goods. Added sugars are also fast carbs and are found in around 80 percent of processed foods. These sugars are abundant in sweet treats and sweetened beverages, but are also found in unexpected places. Foods that are “low-fat” or “fat-free” are often higher in added sugars. Fat imparts a lot of flavor to foods; when it is removed, food companies often add more sugar to help improve taste. If a food is in a box or a bag, chances are it’s a fast carb.</p> <p><strong>Where to Find the Best Slow Carbs</strong></p> <p>Slow carbs are whole foods, including fruits, such as berries, apples and pears; vegetables, such as sweet potatoes, winter squash and broccoli; legumes, such as chick peas, lentils and beans; and whole grains, such as whole wheat, oats, barley, quinoa and wild and brown rice. When choosing a food made with grains, make sure it contains “whole” or “cracked” grains as the first ingredient on its nutrition label to ensure it is actually high in fiber and not a fast carb in disguise.</p> <p><strong>What Fast Carbs Do to You When Stressed</strong></p> <p>When tired or stressed, we commonly crave fast carbs. But the boost of energy these low-fiber foods provide soon plummets, putting us on an energy rollercoaster that ultimately leaves us feeling exhausted. Instead, choose slow carbs, which contain the fiber your body needs to feel great and keep up with your busy day.</p> <p>You will love the way you feel!</p> <p><strong>The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group</strong><span> is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.</span></p> Mon, 07 Dec 2015 21:56:56 +0000 Yadmin 2418 at http://redwingymca.org Using Food to Reduce the Stress in Our Lives http://redwingymca.org/blog/2015/11/13/2416/using_food_to_reduce_the_stress_in_our_lives <span>Using Food to Reduce the Stress in Our Lives</span> <div> <img src="/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Using-Food-to-Reduce-the-Stress-in-Our-Lives-tn.jpg" width="185" height="120" alt="Using Food to Reduce the Stress in Our Lives" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <span><span lang="" about="/user/1" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">Yadmin</span></span> <span>Fri, 11/13/2015 - 15:40</span> <h3>Tip: Learn which foods help lower your levels of stress and anxiety and build them into your daily meal plan. It will leave you feeling calm, energized and less depressed.</h3> <p> </p> <div> <img src="http://redwingymca.org/sites/ymca_redwing/files/Using-Food-to-Reduce-the-Stress-in-Our-Lives.jpg" width="230" height="153" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /></div> <p>by the Chef Marshall O'Brien Group</p> <p>Stress is an unavoidable part of modern life. While a low level of stress can energize and propel us, chronic stress actually damages our bodies, leads to disease and depression, and hampers our performance. You may be surprised to hear that what you eat can help manage your stress, but, in fact, foods have a powerful effect on how your body copes. Choosing the right foods can help lower your levels of stress and anxiety, while eating the wrong foods actually increases them.</p> <p><strong>Natural Food Choices to Help You Relax</strong></p> <p>Many foods contain natural compounds that help you relax and deal more effectively with stressors. Turkey and other lean proteins contain the amino acid tryptophan, which is a precursor to the natural feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Dark, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, avocados and dark chocolate are high in magnesium, which can help calm your nervous system and relax your muscles. High vitamin C foods, including red peppers, strawberries and broccoli, help prevent the release of the stress hormone cortisol, allowing you to better cope with stressful events. B vitamins are helpful in reducing stress and depression and are found in many natural foods. Avocados and bananas are high in potassium, which helps maintain normal blood pressure. Raw vegetables are an excellent choice for snacking while stressed – crunching on these nutrition powerhouses eases jaw tension and leaves you feeling more revitalized than traditional high-sugar snack foods.</p> <p><strong>Some Foods Work Against You</strong></p> <p>While stress-reducing foods can help you regain your sense of calm, avoiding stress-inducing foods is equally important for effective stress management. We often crave sugary foods when tired or anxious; however foods with excess sugar actually tax our bodies further by causing a temporary spike in blood sugar followed by a crash, leaving us even more depleted and stressed. Caffeine increases the already high levels of stress hormones in our bodies. Drink caffeinated beverages in moderation - or better yet, switch to decaf coffee or tea, which has less caffeine and contains the calming amino acid theanine.</p> <p>Many of us turn to alcohol when stressed. While low levels may help ease tension and anxiety, chronic use or overuse of alcohol exacerbates these feelings, as alcohol interferes with the neurotransmitters in the brain that help us feel calm and content. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation – no more than one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men.</p> <p><strong>Choose Smart, Stress-Reducing Foods</strong></p> <p>Though it is unlikely we will ever rid our lives of stress entirely, we can reduce its negative effects by choosing smart, stress-reducing foods and avoiding foods that exacerbate it. Meal times are built-in moments of respite in our day. Sit down to a plateful of stress-reducing foods and enjoy a period of relaxed enjoyment that will leave you revitalized.</p> <p>You will love the way you feel!</p> <p><strong>The Chef Marshall O’Brien Group</strong><span> is a dedicated assembly of professionals based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, committed to the goal of using nutrition to get kids and families to lead happier, healthier lives.</span></p> Fri, 13 Nov 2015 21:40:31 +0000 Yadmin 2416 at http://redwingymca.org