Hot school lunches...

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Hot school lunches...

Wow, what a crazy weekend, all I have heard about is the food scandals that have been going on in many schools around Shanghai in regards to the company providing the food not being clean and safe, and serving foods that were expired. So many of the schools have shut down the canteens until further notice leaving us with the sudden job of preparing lunch for our kids.

 It is not always easy to have healthy food ready for them every day, but there are ways to get through it easily without having to complicate our lives

 

The first and most important thing to do to get ready for this upcoming week is setting yourself up and getting everything ready.

 1. Buy a thermos!

There are so many different options out there on taobao that it is hard to choose, I personally like to have the Japanese thermos with the different containers inside it so that I can give my kids different foods all together without them getting mixed up.

Make sure however that they are easy for them to open, are leak free and are also easy to remove them and put them back into the main container.

 

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If however you or your kids are a one pot kind of person (for soups, or chili or other one pot meals, then you can just buy the single thermos.  This one below is guaranteed to keep your food warm, I have used it and my kids love it.

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These are amazing! The best way to ensure that the food stay hot throughout the day, is to fill them with boiling hot water for the first 10 minutes (with lid closed) after ten minutes, empty them out and put hot food in them.  Your kids will probably come home saying that the food is too hot for them to eat!

 A helpful appliance is the microwave, if your school has a microwave (if not now is great time to ask for some), teach your child how to use one and worrying about them having a hot meal will no longer be an issue!

But be careful!!!! And make sure you teach your kids how to use them (NOT EVERYTHING CAN GO INTO THE MICROWAVE, plastic containers have to be microwave safe, and make sure you teach them not to put metals in the microwave) they will think it is not a big deal, but as we all know it actually is not something to take lightly.

In china it is hard to make sure that our plastic containers are safe, so please make sure they really are safe.  Below is the sign for microwavable Tupper wear, but again please make sure they really are microwavable!

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2. Make sure you are not only filling your kid, but feeding them! They are in school all day, and having a truly nutritional meal will not only help them stay satisfied, but will also help them mentally and energetically throughout their day!

Make sure that the food is filling but not too heavy! Foods that are too heavy are hard to digest and that causes your whole body to have to slow down to digest (causing the need to feel like napping)  Stay away from things that are too fatty (like fatty beef, or things that are too greasy or cheesy, all too hard to digest.

 When it comes to the food, make sure you give them a variety of nutrients and not always give them the same ones.  For example vary the starches: don’t always give them the same white rice or pasta, there are so many options out there today... Black rice, brown rice, basmati, millet, pasta, rice pasta, potato, sweet potato, buckwheat.

The same goes for your protein, it does not always have to be meat, vegetable protein is also a good option; chicken, pork, beef, egg, fish, chickpeas, lentils, beans all have loads of protein.

Give your kids good quality fats to ensure that their brains are working at their highest abilities.   Good fats are essential and easy to add to their lunches (you don’t have to exaggerate, a little fat goes a long way) avocado, grass fed butter, olive oil, coconut oil, all great ways to get some fat in our kids!

And last but not least don’t forget to give them their fruit and veggies!  This is the one part of the lunch that you should pack in there! The more the better!  This is the one that really helps them to keep going throughout the day! This is what makes their brains work and their stomachs function.

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And remember, don’t over complicate your life! Their lunch is important, but make it simple for yourself, cook extra the night before, make big batches of soup, make sure that you have some Starch available for you to add to the soup or meal you have prepared without having to make it last second before they leave. A sandwich is a good option sometimes, or a stuffed wholewheat wrap with some beans and veggies are a great way to keep them going and make life easy for you!

 

Non farmed salmon is a great food to prepare the day before, pasta, stews are all good one pot meals that will help you, below are some helpful meal ideas that can take you from Monday right through to the end of next week…

Pasta al pomodoro fresco

Pasta with tomato sauce

Pasta Bolognese

Homemade “poke” bowls

Meat Balls with tomato sauce

Chinese fried rice with shrimp

Vegetarian Chili

Minestrone Soup

Grilled chicken rice and broccoli

Stir fry (vegetarian or not)

Oven Roasted salmon (not farmed)

Japanese Rice balls

Enjoy!

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Post Holiday Healthy Snacks

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Post Holiday Healthy Snacks

Hi everyone and happy new year!!!!

i just got back from our fabulous Holiday in Thailand… This is not the first time that I went, yet every time that I go I am reminded that there really is no place like it in the world!

The vegetation, the smells, the people and the food…. OH MY GOD I LOVE Thai food… the green papaya salad, the pomelo salad, the yummy green curry!!!! mmmmmmmmm

Back home I’m always trying to maintain a healthy diet… low sugar, healthy carbs, protein, good fats but no matter what I do, when you’re stuck having to eat out every day you can never be sure of the ingredients in your food, even if it’s just a salad.

The fact is that today most of the foods that are served in restaurants have added sugar and flavours and we don't even know exactly what we are eating at all, so, by the time I get back home…. I NEED a sugar detox!  

NO I do not mean that I put myself on one of those crazy diets where all I eat are vegetables and drink juices… I just need to organize myself so that I eat clean and healthy and skipping out on the junk food… since all that weird stuff in my food makes me want to eat more junk!  

In order to succeed in this I have prepared my fridge and pantry full of healthy, yummy snacks that keep me satisfied without giving me the crazy craving I would otherwise get…

First and important step: go to the veggie market and get as many healthy veggies as possible!

Second step, off to the fruit shop to fill the fruit bowl

Then I start with my snacks..

Trail mix

Nuts, seeds, coconut slithers, raisins, raisins, and other dried fruit I like… (make sure there is no sugar added in the dried fruit) I mix it all up in a bowl, place it in a jar and voila!  A perfect snack to have when I am really desperate for something!

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A simple one that works for me every time is a good madjoul date with a walnut or two stuck inside it.

And last but not least… a serious favourite in our house…. Ferrero Roche energy ball! If you like Nutella, I highly suggest this one!

These are a few ways to get back into a healthy lifestyle without having to deprive yourself!

Enjoy!

ps.  let me know if you have tried any of these and which one is your favourite! I f you have other ideas to add to these let me know!

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Work-out?

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Work-out?

The other day I was scrolling through my Facebook and a video of this super hot woman working out came up.  

She looked PERFECT!

Her abs were to die for (perfect 6 pack) her butt was so tight it was scary, the arms? Not one inch of too much skin and on top of it all she was beautiful, drop dead gorgeous.

As i was looking at it for a minute I got jealous, I was like “wow why don't i look like that?” for those of you who know me, you know I definitely don't look like that!

Then reality struck, really? Im in my 40’s,  really is this where I am that I have to sit here and want to look like that and be jealous of that?

WHEN WILL THIS FEELING EVER END???

We live in a society where the only acceptable way to be is skinny.  Well no let me rephrase that, skinny is not enough anymoreyou have to be RIPPED!

eing skinny is not enough anymore, you need to have a six pack, a beautiful face, lips to die for and an ass that you can literally bounce a coin off of!

At one point in society, for our daughters and our sons, we have to start realizing that there is so much more to life than going to the gym 3 hours a day to have to look like that!  We are meant to do more in life then work out!

That does not mean that you should not work out, or that you should not be careful with what you eat, in fact more and more evidence shows that 85% to 95%  of weight loss comes from what we eat!

That being said this cannot be the most important thing in our life, there are much more important things to think about than what we look like.  Our meanings in life have to be more then skin deep, what we do, who we are what we give back has to be bigger that what it has become.

How come we all accept our hight, but never accept our weight?  Again I am not talking about people that are obese, I am talking about people that are an acceptable HEALTHY weight that are not ripped.  We as women (and unfortunately men now have added themselves to the equation) will do anything to look good, drink, eat, not eat, operate, remove, add… whatever it takes to look like what everyone considers to be physically acceptable!

WHEN WILL THIS FEELING EVER END?

My decision is…. TODAY!

Health is what I am going for from now on, I want to make the right decisions because it is good for me.

I want to eat home made food from scratch because it feeds me from the inside out

I want to know that whatever it is that I do for my body is the best I can do for it.

I want to work out 3 or more times a week because it is good for my mental emotional and physical health!  NOT because if i work hard enough and I stay long enough i will look like the girl in the first picture, not because if i do i will look like this:  or maybe not like this because this is no longer acceptable!

So let’s learn to accept our bodies, LOVE our bodies for what they are and stop thinking that we need to look a certain way in order to feel and look beautiful.   Teach our girls and our boys that we are meant to do a lot more than work out!  Our life has so much more meaning we are not meant to be on this earth just for what we look like!

WE ARE BEAUTIFUL!

What do you think? Let me know what you think about what is happening in society today!

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SUMMER TIPS

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SUMMER TIPS

We just got back from the winter holiday,  and for most of us, we just got our bearings on going back to eating… healthy!  Ok maybe healthy is a big word, but definitely we are at a point where we are making the effort not to splurge, and we succeeded!  We have used all our will power and here we are… starting to get there, exercising, eating more fruits and veggies, giving up alcohol and sweets… (ok here, maybe I have gone a little overboard.)

Unfortunately the CNY Holliday is just around the corner and we will be back where we started… 

Most of us are going to some beautiful resort, hanging out on the beach, or by the pool, in an all inclusive all you can eat and all you can drink resort, and maybe it’s not all inclusive but it feels like it, full of people constantly tempting you with all these delicious fruity drinks and all that delicious food that you only get “once a year” in these amazing exotic places!  And you start by saying NO, but after a few days, how can you RESIST?

Research shows that this “normal” behaviour of overindulging can put you on a slippery slope to pack on the pounds.

Lets do things differently this year, read below for healthy tips on how to go on your trip, enjoy and stay healthy!

DON’T SKIP YOUR MEALS!

Everyone goes to the resort and feels like they can skip one or two meals during the day… anyway they don’t need it… so the start the day of right, water, maybe a fresh coconut or two and then by two o’clock you start with can do with a drink or two and before you know it you are starving and cannot control what you are putting in your mouth!

Studies show that skipping meals wont save you calories - in fact at the end… we tend to eat more!

IF YOU SKIP A MEAL - DEFINITELY DON'T SKIP BREAKFAST!

We are all different and therefore thrice on different foods, if you need help figuring out what works best for you – let’s talk.  Meanwhile eat foods that give you energy, keep you healthy and don’t pack on the pounds… eggs, veggies, fruits, smoothies nuts and seeds, oats, maybe even some plain yogurt —not all at the same time obviously!

HAVE A MID AFTERNOON SNACK.

Don’t fast for 8 hours before you go for dinner or by the time you get there you can eat everything in sight!  Have a little afternoon snack (a mindful one that is NOT coffee and cake) eat a protein bar, eat some fruit and vegetables, make yourself a tomato salad… have a plain yogurt with some nuts and fruit (packed with protein).

DON’T GO CRAZY AT THE BUFFET!

If you are going to go for dinner and the only choice you have is a buffet (and if it’s not buffet don't get tempted by the unhealthy appetizers) start with a healthy salad, pack it in, full of all the colours of the rainbow.  Make sure you dress it with olive oil (good fat) and vinegar or lemon, chew slowly and enjoy it, and then get up and get what you want to eat!  By then you wont be as hungry… eat smaller portions of the things you love and you might even be able to skip them, especially if you are on a beach where fish is aplenty!  Choose the grilled fish or the steamed fish!  It is a treat… especially if you come from shanghai!

ALWAYS GO FOR QUALITY!

Whatever you put into your mouth make sure that is the best healthiest choice you can make for that moment, in other words if you are going to splurge and get desert… make sure it is worth it, and if it is… maybe you can share it… so its not all for you… the truth is you only really need a few bites to make yourself happy!

DON’T GO CRAZY WITH THE DRINKS!

I know, you are going to hate me for saying this… but once in a while say no to the alcohol, and get a healthier choice. Water? Soda water? Coconut water? All great choices!  I’m not saying always, as a general rule try one glass of alcohol to 2 glasses of water, take a break in between drinks!

WHEN THE NIGHT BEFORE YOU FAILED… GO BACK TO THE BASICS IN THE MORNING!

Don’t punch yourself for splurging the night before or going over board… just go back to where you started… good healthy breakfast, more water less drinks less junk more veg!

Going on holiday and being “good” is hard, especially since we feel we are not really on holiday if we don’t “let go”! Unfortunately most of the foods we let go on are filled with fat, sugar, salt and processed ingredients… all things that can cause bloating, congestion, constipation, headaches, or even mood swings

Be Pro active, use these planning tips and have an amazing Chinese New Year holiday!

If you would like to learn more about how a one-on-one coaching can help with healthy and mindful eating for you as an individual or for your whole family, I’m here to help you!  Send me an email to learn more about what I do and to schedule a free consultation with me!

Gong Xi Fa Cai ! (恭喜发财)

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TIPS FOR A HEALTHY SUMMER

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TIPS FOR A HEALTHY SUMMER

TIPS FOR A HEALTHY SUMMER

Summer is in full force, and i don’t know about you guys but keeping healthy around all my family which thinks I’m a little crazy with all my nuts and seeds is getting a little hard!  However i did think of a few quick tips that could help you a bit to stay connected to your healthy self:

 

  1. To make a smoothie, at least twice a week... If you can't make it... Buy it! But be careful make sure there is no sugar added in any of it... And get them to put in some veggies... Kale, Spinach, healthy fats.. avocado, coconut milk... All good!
  2. Eat more fruits and veggies... You are sweating a lot, and your body needs the extra water plus its a good way too keep away from the junk, whether home or outside, make sure half of your meal is made out of veggies!
  3. Drink water...! Let go of the iced tea and iced coffee and other drinks... Water is the way to go! Not to mention that caffeinated drinks dehydrate you and make your metabolism go faster... Therefore make you hungrier!  if sometimes you are looking for flavor, add some mint and cucumber to your water, or some raspberries… lemon and orange wedges, all a great way to add a little flavor to your body without taking away the water factor
  4. Make sure you get at least one or two HEALTHY MEALS Each  DAY!   its hard to go out with family and always eat healthy, especially if what is healthy is mostly a salad… lets be honest most salads out there in restaurants are not that great… so take your time and have one good meal a day, plan it out so you are not there last minute figuring it out… buy the veggies for the house, make some whole grains, add olive oil lemon and salt and have a great great veggie filled meal!
  5. Make these changes today and see how different your summer outlook will be, from the inside out!

 

We talk soon

Sharon from Power Me Healthy!

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THINGS TO BRING BACK FROM HOME

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THINGS TO BRING BACK FROM HOME

THINGS TO BRING BACK FROM HOME

By now most of us that leave Shanghai and are off for the summer, whether home or in other countries, are most likely in areas where they can go to supermarkets, kitchen stores or even order online all the things that are missing back “home"

Those of you that have taken my classes know that there is nothing, NOTHING that makes life easier when it comes to cooking than gadgets!  I know many of you think that it is space consuming and that you will “never use it” but the truth is that you will never make many dishes if you don’t have the gadget to make your life easier...

 

1. One great gadget i love is my olive/ cherry pitter

(image of this … https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Cherry-Olive-Pitter/dp/B008FWD4HQ/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1468186720&sr=8-3&keywords=olive+pitter)

It’s easy, its not that cumbersome, and its great for when you make fish/ chicken with olives, or want to pit the cherries for the kids… fast. easy great!!!! I personally bought this one above, i am not making advertising for them, i just like it, so i highly suggest it!

2. Another thing that you should look into is a mandolin… my kids go crazy for chips, and this is the easiest fastest way to make the kids chips that are not in the bag! (we make home made chips all the time, for the recipe… click here)  it is also a great thing to use when you make salads to cut the vegetables in different ways!!! 

These are a few good ones, again, please do your research before you buy one, just because it is good for me, does not mean that it is what you need!

Please insert image of this https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-V-Blade-Mandoline-Slicer/dp/B001THGPDO/ref=sr_1_5?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1468187302&sr=1-5&keywords=mandolin

3. The third and last gadget i absolutely love and i can get only abroad is this lemon squeezer… i know what you are going to say…. its all OXO! its not always the case, but i do love their stuff and find them to be pretty international, so if you can get some OXO gadgets… go look around and see what you like… i love this squeezer, again those of you that have come to my classes know why… its double sided, very efficient and easy to clean… try it and let me know what you think!

https://www.amazon.com/OXO-Grips-Double-Sided-Citrus-Juicer/dp/B0000CCY18/ref=sr_1_3?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1468187529&sr=1-3&keywords=oxo+lemon+squeezer

Ok there are loads and loads of other gadgets out there, so go out there and check it out.  meanwhile, tell me what is your favorite gadget and why?

PS. I was not payed by OXO to promote these products, i truly believe that if something is well made as their products are, they should be promoted!

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Stop!... And think about how you are chewing...

Yes, when you eat... stop and live in the moment... 

It is thought by society that we have to eat fast, finish, hurry up we have to go!
Power lunch… eat fast so you can go back to work..
I don’t need to sit down and eat, ill get a sandwich on the go…!
There is food everywhere, we pick it up at all times, there is fast food, we eat in the car, on the way, standing up…..
All these at some point seem like such good ideas “If I eat standing up I am actually loosing weight while I eat!” I used to wonder that all the time! 
But actually I am starting to realize what really happens when we eat on the go, in front of the computer, watching TV

You don’t really know what you have put in your mouth! 
You don’t know what it was,
You don’t know if it was good
And you definitely don’t think it was enough!

Why, because you didn’t even see it, or feel it… oh don’t worry, your body received it, but it happened too fast for your brain to… and so the brain is saying… I didn’t eat that much today…. I can get some more food… and you go and with that excuse you get the salad, or chips or nuts or banana… whatever it is…

Here is the truth…
Probably while your brain was paying attention to whatever you were doing… you ate way over what your capacity realy is… but your hand was doing all the work stuffing your face, your mouth was hardly chewing because you have to hurry to go do the next thing, your brain was thinking about the next thing
And no one really actually knows exactly what they ate when in how long and how much!

Next time you eat…
Prepare your plate….
Look at it…
Make sure it is full of all the nutrients you need… not only for your taste buds but also for your body… 
Sit down…


Breathhhhhhhh…… take it in slowly…. Look at it again and give thanks for what you are about to eat… it doesn’t have to be to G-d or any other devine intervention…. It can be to your mom, for preparing it, the farmer for growing it….
And then take your first bite, chew, chew, chew, chew….
Take it in slowly…. Pay attention to the textures, the flavor and the smells and keep chewing, the longer you chew the better it will be digested and the more will your brain realize what and how you are eating!

Take your time
Take that half an hour… yes even if you are alone
Take advantage of it… and eat slowly…
You will be amazed what it will do to your body
To how much you eat
To how you will digest…

Then breath…. relax and enjoy… its probably been 10 years since it has taken you this long to finish a meal!

Your Shanghai Sista

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We are just getting Started...!

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We are just getting Started...!

It all started about 4 months ago! I went to Hong Kong and picked up this book "I Quit sugar!" i started reading it, now you should know that I am a sugar addict, I didn't use to be, but with my pregnancies, sweets was my food of choice! I started reading, and as time passed i started getting into it, and within 2 weeks... i was truly of sugar... except for fruit... (lets not exaggerate!!!)  

And that is how my Journey began! I slowly started to loose weight, and i was feeling amazing too... and most important my Hypothyroidism was getting better!!!! 

People read about these things but no one ever believes it... i know.... so i changed my diet, got interested in helping to heal the body through food... and I am now enrolled in and online course at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition!  Hoping to learn more and more as time goes by, and starting to feel pretty confident that all those special dinners and all that cooking i did was not for nothing, because it finally brought me to my right path!  

I am on a journey to really learn what to do to get into better shape! Not only for me but for all people that are interested to having a healthier happier family with less modd swings and a better healthier energy!  It takes time... But it really works!

Sharon

Your Shanghai Sista

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