All Posts in Category: Diet

Grade school kids eating lunch at a school cafeteria

School Lunches: Healthy Options in a Hurry

Now that school is back in full swing, routines are re-established for the school year, and the weather is getting cooler, what are you packing for lunch?  I know the routine of packing school lunches can get old pretty quickly, so right about now you may be looking for new ideas.  Let me help!

Consider these options when you (or your kids) are tired of the same old thing:

A thermos with heated dinner leftovers: this can include meat and potatoes, stew, soup, pasta, Mexican food, or sautéed veggies with beans and rice.  It’s so nice to have a warm meal at lunch.

Make it into a pancake: lots of healthy foods can be cooked into a patty-style packable pancake.  Sweet potatoes, rice, beans, veggies – can be mixed, mashed, and then pan-fried in ghee or coconut oil into a delicious lunchtime creation.  Check out these ideas or experiment with your own.

Fun shapes: it’s amazing how a new twist on an old favorite can make kids eat their food!  Cut sandwiches, cold cuts, or cheese into shapes with fun cookie cutters and revitalize lunchtime favorites.  Add a dip in a small container for extra fun and nutrition.  Prep these the night before and let your kids do the cutting – often when they are involved in food prep they are far more likely to eat it!

5 Minute Health Hacks

How Naturopaths Pack School Lunches

Need some visual inspiration for lunches? Check out my colleague Dr. Kristen McElveen’s blog for some great photos of naturopathic doctor-approved school lunches!

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A variety of food choices (including chocolate)

My Journey to My Perfect Diet

I know it says “diet” in the title, but I’m actually not going to talk about weight loss. I’m just using the term “diet” to refer to what I ingest each day. I learned a long time ago to separate the foods I eat from a goal of shedding pounds!

During the early years of my health journey, I got a lot of advice about what to eat. I tried it all, hoping that the next eating plan would swiftly resolve my health issues. I cycled though vegetarian, vegan, raw-foods, blood-type, food-combining, and macrobiotic diets. I began each one with high hopes and new cookbooks, purging and refilling my pantry with foods acceptable on each new eating plan.

I lost and gained many pounds over the course of my dietary explorations—but none of them “worked.” Finally, I realized I had to find the diet that was right for me, rather than just adopting a plan espoused by some cookbook author or celebrity. But figuring out what worked for me was a challenge. It required I be honest with myself about how food affected my body—how I felt when I ate too much sugar or too few vegetables. I also had to give up my obsession with weight because when I was very thin, I didn’t feel as well.

To tell the truth, my very favorite food is chocolate. But when I eat sugar, I crave more and more, and I’ve learned that cravings, as opposed to real hunger, control our minds. So, when I finally got tired of being controlled by my sugar cravings, I gave up sugar, entirely. It was hard work! But I learned I actually like the bitter taste of chocolate better than the sugary sweetness. In fact, I enjoy 100% chocolate more than the sweeter dark chocolate I had been eating. And I don’t need to eat much of that 100% chocolate to get the kick I like.

So, do I still eat sugar? Yes, once in a while. But after getting it out of my system for a while, the cravings are gone. I still have chocolate every day, but now it’s a small piece of 100% chocolate or a tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder stirred in hot water for my favorite hot cocoa drink. Try it. You might like it!


Dr. Jennifer’s Blended MochaDr. Jennifer's Favorite Homemade Chocolate Drink Recipe

  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 Tablespoon butter, ghee, or coconut oil
  • Blend for 20 seconds until frothy

 

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