Talking Health with Teenagers

Health is an interesting subject. We’re living in a world where “health” is the new hit topic along with “organic,” “gluten-free,” “vegan,” “animal rights,” and “meatless Mondays.” With so much information going around, it’s sometimes hard to remember what the actual goal really is: to be healthy. 

Healthy-livin

But what does “healthy” actually mean? Does anyone really know? Is everyone’s definition of “health” different? Is it really just about being free from illness and disease or is it something more than if we’re a vegan, or if we’re a runner, or if we meditate. Is there something else that we need to focus on to really be “healthy?”

What Does it Mean to “Be Healthy?”

I was confronted with this question a few weeks ago when I was asked to speak in front of a group of high school students on the topic of health. As someone who thinks about health constantly, I took a step back to see just what makes someone “healthy.” Is it the food that they eat? The amount of exercise they get? Whether they’re stressed or not? How much television they watch?

Turns out, when I really think about it, health is an attribute that is directly effected by the countless decisions you make everyday, from the food you put in your body, to how you move your body, to what you’re thinking, and what you believe. At least in my humble opinion.

teaching-childrenSo as a jumping off point to my presentation, I asked the high school students what they thought health really meant. They replied with various answers: “well-being,” “not being sick,” “eating good food,” “exercising.” None of these answers are wrong. Health takes into account all of these factors and so many more.

I believe that that’s what’s missing from today’s “health talks.”

Yes, the food that you put in your body is an integral part of your body’s reactions, however even if you’re eating the best food possible, if you don’t have direction or aren’t moving your body or feel like you’re a part of something, then it’s not complete. You’re not whole yet.

Even though I only had 40 minutes, I touched on this subject lightly and then dove into nutrition, because I do believe that when you feed your body whole foods, you’re more likely to want to move your body, have a clearer mind, and want to live a fuller life. My goal was to reach the younger generation and get them to realize that good food is possible, it’s delicious, it’s affordable, and it will help them soar to greater heights, helping them play harder on the tennis court, be more focused in the classroom, and be a better sister, brother, son, daughter, friend, etc. 

abstrackt culinary backgroundDuring my short time with them, I was happy to see that I had the attention of the majority of students (I had tough competition with the iPhones), but I think it was my demonstration of sugar that really blew their mind, which I was hoping to do at least once in my presentation.

I didn’t want to shatter their lives, which in the end doesn’t let them change anything because their just so overwhelmed by the information that it’s almost like “oh well, it’s too much for me so I’ll just continue what I’m doing.” I wanted to give them another option, an option that allows them to take a piece of the information that I was giving them, for example that when you eat a lot of processed foods you also eat a lot of sugar and you don’t even realize it, and leverage it.

To just teach them how to read the ingredient label and nutrition label is something that they can use without telling them “don’t eat that, or this, or the other thing.” It’s impossible to change someone’s diet in a day. Well nothing is impossible, but it’s improbable that they will stick with it! 

When I entered that gym, I knew that my main concern was to get these young adults to think a little bit more about the food that they’re putting into their bodies. That it matters on so many levels. And as I stood at the table after my presentation, countless kids coming up to me to ask me questions, take home the recipe handouts and yogurt coupons and hoping to eat a fresh mango or pear, I smiled to myself. This is what a food revolution is about. This is where it’s going to stick. This is where the youth of America will take the reigns to demand fresh, nutritious, and affordable food. This is the home of the catalyst. And I just want to be there to help keep the embers glowing brighter and brighter.

To learn more, contact me below or at info@mbeewell.com

 

Stay healthy, happy, and focused and of course, “Bee” Well,

Melissa

 

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Two Very Quick, Healthy, and Easy Breakfasts

Who doesn’t love a quick breakfast? One that you can grab on the go, eat in the car (even though I don’t recommend it) or wait till you get to the office. (Wherever you land up, be sure to enjoy every bite, sip and taste!)

I know that I’m usually not that hungry when I first wake up so I try and drink as much water as possible. It really helps to reinvigorate my body (including the digestive system). Instead of feeling like a wilted plant that’s been out in the hot sun all day, I’m quickly reinvigorated from the inside out.

overnight oatmealBut, you still need to eat some food and that’s where having a healthy breakfast comes in! Of course, who has the time to cook eggs before rushing out to work? I know I’m never in the mood. I’d rather sleep the extra few minutes instead of making my favorite omelette. The best way to get your groove on in the morning without losing any sleep is to prepare your breakfast the night before. Then it’s just grab and go! No shut eye lost here!

Try out one of the below recipes during your next crazy week and you’ll be happy you did. Instead of scrounging for a bagel or whatever was within reach in your cabinet, be prepared and give your body the fuel it’s looking for first thing in the morning. Protein, fat, and complex carbohydrates.

Overnight Oatmeal 

This has become a go to breakfast and snack for me. I absolutely LOVE it! And it’s going to get even better with temperatures rising! 

1/2 cup rolled oats

1/2 cup liquid (I like almond milk but you can use milk, soy milk, or water)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon maple syrup or raw honey

1 tablespoon raisins (or other dried fruit – mix it up!)

Banana, berries, or whatever fruit you have on hand

Combine all the ingredients in a jar, mix it well, then put it in the fridge. Leave it there till the next morning, add some of your favorite chopped nuts and/or seeds and some fresh fruit, and there you have it! Overnight oatmeal – and you pretty much did nothing (you’re welcome!)

 

Very Berry Beat SmoothieVery Berry Beet Smoothie 

The key to making smoothies easy in the morning is to get all of your ingredients together the night or week before. Put all the frozen ingredients in a plastic bag, store it in the freezer, and all you have to do is empty the bag into the blender, add some of your favorite milk or water, and then you’re done! Easy-peasy! 

1 cup frozen berries

1/2 cup yogurt (frozen into cubes – put yogurt into ice cube trays, let freeze, then separate)

1/2 cup frozen spinach

1 beet

1 tablespoon cod liver oil (I promise you won’t even taste it!)

1/2 to 1 cup water or almond milk to blend

Blend and go! Seriously easy and delicious!

 

With these simple recipes, there’s no excuse to skip breakfast. Don’t cut yourself short in the morning and then eat WAY too much at lunch because you’re ravenous! It’s not worth it. Even with a minute, you can make yourself a breakfast fit for a superstar aka YOU!

Interested in learning more about how to optimize your body through nutrition? Send me an e-mail at info@mbeewell.com

 

Till next time, “bee” well,

Melissa

 

 

It All Starts with DIRT!

Dirt!The weather is finally starting to get warm. The sun is higher in the sky and staying out past it’s winter bedtime. The shades of winter are blossoming into the bright greens of Spring. All this means summer to me. Hot days (which I love), warm nights, and fresh produce.

What’s a better way to hang out with Mother Nature than to start your own garden in your backyard? You’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor while spending some quality time getting down and dirty.

So what are some of the things you need to know when you start an organic garden? Well, you need to know your soil. If you live near the ocean, you may have sandy soil or maybe it’s clay or silt (or loam). It’s best to understand what your soil needs to be in balance so you can grow great tomatoes, cucumbers, and one of my favorites – herbs, all types of herbs!

 

Soil TypeHere’s a quick tip on how to figure out what soil you have:

  1. Fill a quart jar with a third of topsoil, then top with water until almost full.
  2. Screw the lid on tight and shake until all of the soil has dissolved.
  3. Leave the jar alone and let the large particles begin to sink to the bottom.
  4. After a minute, the sand portion of the soil will sink to the bottom, mark it on the jar.
  5. Now go do something fun and leave the jar alone. As you’re out having fun, the finer silt particles will settle into the sand leaving you with an array of different colors indicating various types of particles.
  6. The next morning, check on your jar and mark the thickness of the next layer, which is clay. On top of the clay will be a thin layer of organic matter while the erst of it will be floating in the water. If there’s no organic matter in the water, you probably need to add some to help your soil out, but more on that later!

So now that you know what type of soil you have, you can be more prepared on how to balance it and make it the optimal home for your fruits, vegetables and herbs. In my next post, I’ll give the elements of a balanced soil and help you turn your sandy, clay or silt soil into a vegetable’s dream!