Create change

Everyday a fourth grader would go home, sit on the couch, eat chips and watch TV.

Just like his dad.

His dog would bark and sometimes he would throw a ball for the dog to chase. Sometimes his friends would text and instead of TV, he’d join them on Xbox. When his mom came home he would call him in for dinner but sometimes she’d bring dinner to the couch. This wasn’t just happening every once in awhile it was every day.

This isn’t just one boy that does this. There isn’t just one family that makes this choice. There are many. Hundreds. Thousands.

It is one way of life. But it’s not the only way. In order for change to happen… for people to get up more often, outside and/or eating together as a family and having conversations, you can join the movement of change.

After being in a Healthy and Fun Choices® workshop, this boy tried a challenge. The workshop made such an impression on him because he had fun, thought of things from a new angle and had an opportunity to share and discuss new ideas. This boy went home and started taking his dog for a walk around the block and set up an agility course for his dog and him to do in the back yard.

He said he was laughing more and, well, living more. Soon his dad started walking with him and their conversations increased. They became closer and their family began eating together… at the dinner table. This one challenge changed everything. The boy felt more confident in who he was and he jumped at the opportunity to share his story with others.

Positive change begins with you.

You never know, as in this story, not only was it good for the boy and his dog, the boy’s dad increased his confidence which led to a new job!

Snacks for Living

A home-maker had a cake on her counter and sent a piece of the cake to work with her husband. As she sat their home alone the cake looked so appealing… so she had one piece. Which lead to another and another and another. Suddenly toward the end of the day she realized that when her husband came home he would expect to see a cake with only one or two slices gone. So off she ran to the grocery store to get another cake… and then home to quickly eat one more piece.

Heart failure and obesity are at all time highs in the United States. Heart Disease is the #1 killer of women. Obesity adds extra weight on our organs, bones, skin and how our bodies function. Obesity makes us work harder not smarter.

So why do we keep feeding and encouraging unhealthy snacks for ourselves and our children?

Why in 2016 did my daughter receive Gatorade, Cheeze-its and Oreos as a snack after a softball game? It’s not the fault of the family that brought it… it’s the fault of our society.

Maybe it’s easier to buy and give packaged treats? Maybe it seems like it is more fun? Maybe it’s because that’s what families before this one had done? Maybe it is because this family had extras in their house or saw a good deal at the store?

Regardless, kids want to eat the treats. Unhealthy or healthy treats. Kids will likely eat the snack or reward they are presented with unless they have an allergy or simply told no.

Change takes you. And conversations around this.

Are you ready to help make the change?

The story at the start of this blog hits close to home…because not only is it true, it is my grandmother. She was such an inspiring person with a big heart. And yet, she passed away at a young age due to heart failure specifically from being obese.

Yesterday I made a post on the Kirsten Klug Facebook page about our process of giving snacks out after athletic games. Go read it and see what so many people shared on there. This is an epidemic and change can only happen by you doing it.

 

Why Colorful Foods?

When I am not inspiring individuals about their healthy choices, I create logo designs and am a professional writer. I remember one year a client of mine was looking through a color book with me on selecting their color for their logo. He kept picking out pinks and browns. It wasn’t until a conversation started about colors that he discovered he was colorblind.

So remember, even though you may like the color red or blue, or you are colorblind, it’s a good idea to have conversations daily with your friends or parents to talk about the colors of food and drinks that you are consuming.

avacado-tomato

Eating by colors is an important part of having a healthy diet. Many people that have attended my workshops, hear me talk about choosing colorful foods.

Why Colorful Foods?

Colorful foods bring in all the nutrients, minerals, proteins and herbs that our bodies need for enjoying and digesting our foods. Colorful foods keep your body well nourished.

So remember, even though you may like the color red or blue, or you are colorblind, it’s a good idea to have conversations daily with your friends or parents to talk about the colors of food and drinks that you are consuming.

Are you eating a good combination of foods? Try this for one day:

List all the foods you eat by each color and take note if you missed any colors. If you did, add a food in that color tomorrow. Remember we can always make adjustments. Every day you should be eating whole grains and greens to keep your digestive system working properly and reducing the toxins in your body.

RED:

ORANGE:

YELLOW:

GREEN:

BLUE:

PURPLE:

BROWN:

BLACK:

WHITE:

For more questions or to schedule a workshop with Kirsten Klug, please email her at kirsten@healthyfunchoices.com.

Healthy Living

Healthy living is a way of putting your health at the top of your priorities.

Healthy living includes making conscious choices and having conversations with others throughout your day on what choices are best for the moment and your overall health.

Healthy living choices include daily:

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1. Sleep – relaxation, meditation, stretching and yoga

2. Nutrition – eating colorful foods from all five food groups including whole grains, fruit, vegetables, proteins/fish, and milk/dairy.

3. Physical Activity – walking, taking the stairs, bringing your heart rate up and using your muscles

4. Positive Attitude – focus on the good in your life, surround yourself with others that keep your spirits up, and read books that inspire you to think positively

5. Behaviors – be kind, loving and thoughtful of yourself and others

Join us on Feb. 7th at Alpenrose Dairy for the 2nd Annual Healthy and Fun Choices® Family Event – All-you-can-eat Pancake Feed starts at 9:30am, followed by Healthy Conversations and Games at 11am and then a piano concert featuring Michael Allen Harrison! Get your tickets now.

It’s all in our words

Do our thoughts come first, or our words? Let’s not think too hard, yet realize how important our thoughts and words are, and how they ultimately drive our actions.

By just changing simple words like “I want to” to “I am going to” changes everything.

Dr. Seuss has written several books that get children imagining their next step and seeing the possibilities. For instance, “Oh The Places You Will Go” is a great example of how he allows the reader to get inside the story and become part of their future. We can use his inspiration in writing to inspire our thoughts and word choices.

Here is a simple guide line that can help us lead in the direction of our dreams:

1. Listen to your five senses. This will help you become more aware of them. What is each sense responsible for?

2. Become aware of what words you choose to share with others. Do you say something good they can benefit from? Do you share your concerns or do you blurt more than think?

3. Write about or draw images about what you are focusing on and sharing with others. How do your stories relate to who you are? Do you like the pictures you are drawing or writing about? If not, how can you change your thoughts and words to get yourself to feel better?

As you become more aware, begin to choose the positive words for your thoughts and what you share with others. Positive words include: “you can” “be” “choices”

What words can you change today that will point you in your positive future? Do you use any of these words

In addition to the words we use, the stories we tell ourselves and share with others can also be motivating or limiting. How often do you create stories that limit you? How about motivate you or others?

Portion sizes

When eating food, it’s easy to eat in a hurry and not notice what you are putting in your mouth. It’s also easy to grab a big dinner plate and fill it full of food is more than you need.

It is wise to check with your doctor or nutritionist about how many calories your body and bone structure need. Everyone is different and your body may be different at different times of the year or month.

Here are a few suggestions for watching portion sizes:
1. Begin by becoming more aware of what, how much and when you eat. Keep notes in a journal.

2. If you see yourself filling up a big dinner plate, switch to a smaller dinner plate.

3. Try drinking a glass of water first before having another beverage of milk, soda or juice.

4. Use your hand to compare portions of certain foods.

5. Always remember you can eat more vegetables than anything else.

Time Outs – How do you handle them?

My daughter learned how to count to 20 by the time she was 2 because I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do as a parent… putting her in time outs when she didn’t behave the way I thought she should or do something that wasn’t very nice.

I noticed that time outs for my daughter typically made her more anxious and frustrated.

So one day, I decided to turn it into a learning experience and have her count while she was taking a break. That allowed her to breathe, slow down and focus. Now that she is 8, if she needs a time out she recognizes it and goes to her room or a different environment.

I remember we had some friends that put their children in time outs all the time. In fact, they had a time out chair and sometimes I believe their girls would do unkind behaviors just to get the attention of the chair. I wonder if they will have a time out chair as adults?

My son is always on the go, so a time out was just not possible for him. It took him longer to learn how to count, but I have realized that the time out consequence could be more harmful for his imaginary mind. When he does something that is unkind or harmful, we talk about it and use acting or play to show how it could be handled differently.

I’ve realized each child and each experience is different. We live and learn. We make mistakes. As parents we are doing the best we can at the moment.

Talk with others and with your children… what seems right for them? What works for you?

Healthy Parenting Decisions

Parents can never be too early to begin thinking about the health of themselves, their family and their children. The health of an individual allows or burdens growth and learning. When we are the healthiest, our brain and body is open to all that surrounds us. We are able to love, listen, receive and participate.

As a parent you get to have an amazing experience raising your child. Imagine everything that you will learn, discover and see from a different angle. It is an exciting time of your life! Here are a few topics up for discussion:

Attitude
Your brain’s most remarkable feature enables you to think about how you feel. No other animal in the world has this ability. That’s also why your thought processes, attitude choices and communications can be so challenging.

In order to enjoy parenting to the fullest, to experience everything, a positive attitude is necessary. It allows you to lead with confidence and conscious choice. By demonstrating a positive attitude to your child(ren) you are being an important role model in their life.

Your attitude is seen the moment you get up. It’s seen when you react to something that happened whether it was an accident or not. Your attitude is what is shown as you walk, run or skip through the day. Your child(ren) pick up on your attitude, so if their attitude is frustrating you, look at yours first and make the adjustments to yourself.

Rewards/Consequences
How do you handle spilled milk all over the kitchen? Can you look at it as a new way to clean the kitchen! And a simple lesson about accidents…that they just happen. When an accident like spilled milk or a fall on the rocks happens, I do not believe it is the time for punishing, getting upset, or introducing a consequence. Your child will naturally feel bad about the situation. Your reaction will help them learn and give them ideas on how to creatively solve problems. You could simply ask them to help clean up the mess or play a game to see who can clean up the spilled milk in their area the fastest!

Time Outs
My daughter learned how to count to 20 by the time she was 2 because I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do as a parent. However, time outs for my daughter typically made her more anxious and frustrated. So I decided to turn it into a learning experience and have her count while she was taking a break.

I remember we had some friends at that time put their kids in time outs all the time. In fact, they had a time out chair and sometimes I believe their girls would do unkind behavior just to get the attention of the chair.

My son is always on the go, so a time out was just not possible for him. It took him longer to learn how to count, but I have realized that the time out consequence could be more harmful for his imaginary mind. When he does something that is unkind or harmful, we talk about it and use acting or play to show how it could be handled differently.

I’ve realized each child and each experience is different. The only right way is through love and conversation.

Chores or Cleaning House
Clean up is necessary on a daily basis. Having our children help us gives them responsibility and appreciation of the environment in which they live. Encourage friends after play dates to help clean up the play room as well. Play some music to keep it fun, introduce a contest or have children pick colors or choose specific items they pick up only.

By simply changing the word from “chores” to “activities” we can get more enthusiastic about the experience. My favorite is turning the dishwasher loading into a puzzle. How many items can I fit in at one time?

 

Nutrition

Nutrition includes what we eat, drink and crave. Our nutrition provides the fuel to get through our day and burn the calories that we need to burn.

A healthy nutrition includes:

• Colorful food choices
• Well balanced meal from all five food groups
• Good porportions and eating on smaller plate sizes
• Drinking fluids like water or milk
• Limiting the amount of sugar consumed each day
• Eating lots of greens (spinach, broccoli, chard, zuccini, peas, asparagus)
• Choosing to eat multiple times throughout the day
• Keeping evening meals or snacks light

Children need between 1,000 and 2,200 calories depending on level of activities. Adults need 1,500 to 3,500 depending on activities. And athletes need 5,000 or more calories per day depending on exercises and weight. Please talk to your doctor when selecting a healthy calorie count for your day.