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Do you have Work/Life Balance?

More than ever it can be hard to balance the demands of your worklife with the commitments and interests of your personal life. If your balance is off there will be a ripple effect through all areas of your life. 

The Canadian Mental Health Association has a free, online quiz that you can take to see how balanced you are. Along with the quiz there are also a number of free resources to help you find your best balance.

Staying Motivated

Changing your behaviours is tough. Whether you are trying to eat healthier, be more active or get more sleep, changing our behaviours is tough.

When we track what we are doing and reflect on what worked well, what didn't work so well, we are much more likely to be successful with the behaviour change that we are working on. 

Here is a fantastic tracking tool from ParticipACTION that you can download and use right away to help keep yourself moving forward toward your goals.

Recipe: Thai Curry Chicken

It can be hard to find recipes to make when you have family members (or friends) with various food sensitivities or food preferences. This recipe satisfies the gluten free, dairy free, whole food crowd.

The Anytime Anywhere Workout

We get it, you're busy. Life is busy. And with that busyness often comes increased levels of stress and less time to take care of ourselves. And, the ironic part is that when we are busy, when we have higher stress levels, that's the most important time to be physically active. 

Here is a fantastic video from Kinesiologist and Personal Trainer Gillian Goertzen. She demonstrates a series of movements that require no equipment, that will train your entire body.

Don't let the busyness of life stop you from taking care of your most important asset, you.

Recipe: Chocolate Pudding with a Twist

I know in our family it's sometimes a challenge to find receipes for desserts that actually are healthy and don't require a whole bunch of ingredients that we never use. With just 5 ingredients, this chocolate chia seed pudding from Weelicious is fantastic and really easy to make.

Click here to watch how to make it.

Butter Coffee Buzz

You've likely heard of the latest coffee craze.....adding butter and MCT oil to your morning beverage to infuse it with all sorts of health benefits.

But wait, do you know what MCT oil actually is? Do you know why these ingredients are thought to have health benefits?

Before you jump on the butter coffee bandwagon, take a few minutes to read this post from Functional Nutritionist, Michal Ofer, where she explains the ins and outs of this latest health trend.

Sleep and Weight Loss

In this blog post, from Personal Trainer Irina Almassan, she summarizes the key findings and some cool facts from the book 'Why we Sleep" by Mathew Walker.

Here are a few to pique your interest:

  • A human needs 8 hours of sleep. Anything less than that (even 1 hour) has serious health consequences.
  • The human brain needs a reset after 16 hours. If you are awake for longer than 16 hours, your brain starts to fail
  • When you are not getting enough sleep, the body is particularly reluctant to give up fat

Click here to read her full post, including part 2 of this series.

Recipe: Kale Chips

Making Kale Chips is an extra fun way to eat veggies, and a great recipe for getting kids involved in the kitchen by having them rip or massage the leaves!

Kale is also easy to grow and is a fun gardening activity for home to get kids involved in learning about growing food.

This recipe comes from Appetite to Play.

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches kale
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of salt and paper

Instructions

  • Wash and dry kale thoroughly. Remove stems.
  • Rip kale into bite-sized (approximately 2 inch x 2 inch) pieces (not too small that they’ll become crumbs).
  • Spread evenly on baking sheets then drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Using hands, massage oil evenly into all piece of kale.
  • Bake in a 325 F oven for 15 minutes checking occasionally but not stirring, until lightly golden and crisped.

Safety Tips

  • Help your child to wash her hands with soap and water before and after preparing food. 

  • Supervise your child when using knives or other kitchen utensils. 


Exercising Your Hands and Wrists at Your Desk

We often use our hands and wrists while we are at our desks, especially when we use computers. When we keep making the same movements, we could strain or even injure our hands and wrists. This video will help keep your hands and wrists strong and flexible.

This information is from the Alberta Centre for Active Living.

Recipe: Apple Sauce

Homemade apple sauce is really easy to make! This can be a delicous and nutritous snack to share with your family, pack in lunches or simply have when you're craving something sweet. If you're family is anything like ours, sometimes we have apples for a bit too long and no one wants to eat them. Those are perfect for making apple sauce. This recipe comes from Appetite to Play.

Ingredients:

  • 9 large Apples (any variety)

  • 1 cup (250 mL) Water

  • 1 Lemon (juiced)

  • 1 tsp. (5 mL) Cinnamon

Instructions

  • Wash and dry the apples, then peel.
  • Chop apples into bite-size pieces. Remove core and seeds.
  • Place chopped apples, water, lemon juice and cinnamon in a large pot
  • Stir with a wooden spoon.
  • Heat on medium-high until mixture comes to a boil. Stir frequently.
  • Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until apples are very soft and mushy, stirring every few minutes for about 10 minutes.
  • Turn off stove and remove from heat. Stir to cool or refrigerate.

Optional: Add raisins or rhubarb (in season).

6 tips for keeping kids active on long road trips

This information comes from Active for Life.

When it’s time to hit the road for family vacations, the idea of spending endless hours in the car can feel intimidating. Don’t get discouraged. There are things that you can do to get kids to burn off some extra energy on road trips. Last year, I spent the entire summer on the road with my three kids (6, 8, 10) and we drove 14,000 km across Canada. But even on the biggest drives, my passion for the outdoors leaves me with a deep-rooted desire to keep the kids active.

Many times, I’ve been asked how do I do it? So here are some of my tips and tricks:

  1. Stop at provincial parks for lunch
  2. Pack an outdoor recreation bag … and keep it handy
  3. Have a proper bike rack
  4. Play “Find the Monkey”
  5. Save your recycling for creative time
  6. Let the kids help set up camp

For more on specific things to do in each of those tips (or instructions on how to play "Find the Monkey", click here to read the full article.

Recipe: Grilled Cheese - A Healthy Twist

In this 4 minute video from Weelicious, you'll learn how to make cauliflower crusted grilled cheese sandwiches.

 

Active Play for 3-5 Year Olds

This resource from LEAP BC gives parents and garegivers ideas on how to help children (3–5 years) learn through active play.

Each activity outlines how it benefits the child. The directions include necessary equipment, location, safety tips, and notes on additional resources – all in an easy-to-follow format.

The Cost of Winning

Do you have children in competitive sport? If so, this is a must watch video. It's only 12 minutes long and opens our eyes to what we need to do as parents and coaches to ensure that our children have a life long love of sport.

The Cost of Winning from Potential Pictures on Vimeo.

Is it time to become an adult with regards to your nutrition habits?

It is finally the time to become an adult around your food choices and eating habits.

In this blog post from Michal Ofer, she gives insight into the reality of our adult lives with simple ideas on how to make positive changes in some key areas:

  1. Not cooking for yourself when you are alone
  2. Overindulging because you are on vacation
  3. Not being mindful about your eating
  4. Fighting your healthy weight

Click here to read her post.