Healthy Summer Snack Ideas

My whole family is made up of "snackers" - we like to eat small meals and have snacks between our meals. All of us experience big fluctuations in our blood sugar levels, and the snacking helps keep us level (which means we are much friendlier to be around!)

(Photo By: Jonas Lamis)

Finding healthy snacks can be frustrating, though! I stumbled upon this list of summer snack ideas that I found very helpful. I've tried the frozen watermelon on a stick (yummy and easy!!!), and I have the mini-caprese skewers on my daughter's lunch menu for this week at camp.

If you're in need of some new ideas for snacking this summer, click here.

Glass Straws are GREAT!

(Photo By: Dave Leonhardt)

About a year ago, I ordered glass straws after seeing reviews of them online.

I HATE in, every time I use plastic I think of all the sea creatures dying from the world's obsession with using plastic for all things. 

Now, of course, I also have anxiety about all the leeching into our foods from plastic and the wars over the petroleum used to make the plastic and the energy used to produce the plastic, but I cringe when I think about the dying sea life.

So, I'm sure you can understand why I needed to take the leap and buy some glass straws!

Wow! They are awesome!!! I bought the smoothie size ones because I felt they would be the most versatile and the easiest to clean. Thus far, (knock on wood) they have been very sturdy (they are made from Pyrex-like glass), easy to clean, easy to store, and easy to use.

Where, oh where, can you buy glass straws? I bought mine from a retailer on Ebay (who appears to sell products on additional websites now): MoxieGlass.

I had a great experience doing business with them, and I have loved using their glass straws.

I am in no way affiliated with Moxie Glass. 

Feeding Our Lives has a Facebook Page

Despite years of protesting Facebook, I have finally given in and created a Facebook Page for the sake of my business.

I was at dinner the other night when a friend was shocked to find out I had started my business. Her very first question was: "Are you on Facebook so I can follow you?"

When I told her "no," she promptly informed me as to all the reasons I must create a Facebook page to make it easier for my readers to follow me.

So, if you're inclined, feel free to "follow me" or "like me" or some other Facebook term that I don't yet really understand while I try to figure how this whole social media craze works. And please, oh please, have patience with me as I stumble navigating through Facebook!

I've made it really easy (I hope/think...really y'all, I don't know what I'm doing!!!):

A Funny List of Why Kids Won't Eat Dinner

(Photo By: Carl Milner)

I was reading the Huffington Post recently and saw a blog post by 'Lunch Box Dad'. He listed out 39 reasons why his son won't eat his dinner....a conversation I had just had with my daughter the night before!

My daughter is in a phase where, it seems, ANYTHING I cook she hates....unless, as she informed me, it's pancakes or baked potatoes.


In my brain, I was screaming: "You're the daughter of a person trying to start a business of healthy eating!!!! Those two foods CANNOT meet all your food needs!!!!" 

Out loud, I turned into my mother: "Well, that's what's for dinner and starving children around the world would be ELATED...over that plate of food so please try to eat it."

At the end of dinner, she said: "Hmmm....I forgot that I like spaghetti with meat sauce."

If you're a parent, go read the 'Lunch Box Dad' blog post; I think you'll find it funny!

Does food impact your mood?

(Photo By: Janna Wages)

Yes, according to a report by NPR: Food-Mood Connection: How You Eat Can Amp Up Or Tamp Down Stress.

The executed summary of the article, which is a summary of a few journal articles, is this: 

the foods you eat impact your mood due to the various nutrients, minerals, sugars, and proteins in them; unfortunately, when you are stressed, you tend to reach for foods that are high in carbs and sugars, which most likely reduces your ability to deal with the stress that caused you to eat those foods in the first place. Foods that are beneficial to you handling stress include, but are not limited to, pumpkin seeds, sardines, eggs, salmon flax seeds, swiss chard, and dark chocolate.

What the article does not cover is how to train yourself NOT to reach for the foods that make it harder to cope with stress. The most successful solution I have for that is this: meal plan, grocery shop, and cook. Basically, if you only have healthy options in your home, you can't reach for the unhealthy options as easily. 

Eventually, your body learns that the healthy foods make it feel better, and you don't want the refined foods nearly as much...beware, though, this transition can take a few months.

I'm going to go have my kale smoothie now.

What does "Natural," in regards to food, mean?

Almost Nothing.

(My tiny kitchen table after a grocery shopping trip)

If you find yourself trying to choose between two jars of applesauce in the grocery store and one says "natural" and the other one doesn't, does "natural" really mean anything?

No, not really. 

If you are looking for truly natural food to eat, try to stick to the outer-edges of the grocery store and buy things that are not in packages. That's the best way to start moving your household to eating naturally!

Cover of Time Magazine: The Truth About Fat

I grew up in the height of the low-fat diet craze. Actually, it wasn't really a diet; it was touted as just a way of life. One of TIME magazine's cover stories last month is about how the push to lower fat in our diets from doctors and scientists did not work to improve American's health.

(Interview with Editor of TIME on CBS This Morning)

I would really, really like the video on TIME's website to copy onto this page, but it is refusing to cooperate!! Please click on this link to watch the short video (5 minutes) by TIME: The Truth About Fat. It's fast-paced and filled with more information than the video I was able to link to in this post.

The lesson of this news: if you're wanting to be free from thinking you have to eat low-fat, you now have permission :) But, that doesn't mean go hog-wild and eat pork rinds (I'm talking to you, Dad). It means be sensible....and if you need help in interpreting what I mean, please email me to set-up an appointment! renee at feedingourlives dot com