October 2, 2012

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I've been thinking about what I let my kids eat these days. At school they are exposed to foods that I know to be not the best for them, however, I always felt that there are times and a place to put your foot down and depriving them of the "joy" in their little minds because all their friends are doing it. As you all are aware, the peer pressure or peer influence is huge in the developmental years. As a working mom, I've often struggled with putting healthy foods on the table for meals and snacks. When you get in the daily grind, I found that my efforts were programmed into doing things for convenience and when I am in this mode, I am not as inclined to make the better choices because in my mind, the better choices mean hard effort. I began to stay one step ahead of the game and really commit to health for my family by reprogramming my habits to be more in line with what the ultimate outcome is.

I've cleaned out my pantry, gotten rid of most of the junk food that accumulates there, chocolate, chips, snacks, that are not always purchased by me but my dear husband. I think eating should be a joyful experience, however, I think that most of us take this to another level of "overindulgence". So what is a healthy perspective toward food? Well, we should really ponder how the digestive system works to fuel our bodies and give us vitality, oh, something most of us complain that we don't have much of. Click on this link to learn more about the digestive process and what really happens in our gut, the most important process in out body; http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/health-and-human-body/human-body/digestive-system-article.html.

Just last night, I was so tempted to go out for dinner because you know the feeling, I felt tired and did not want a mess in the kitchen to clean, set the tables, etc. Then I realized, I was programmed to think the ritual of eating was a chore unless it was done for me. I began to put a big smile on my face and began to cook, salmon with sprinkled sea salt and black pepper, steamed vegetables (broccoli and green beans), cooked organic brown basmatic rice, and kimchee (Korean fermented cabbage loaded with probiotics and vitamin C). My kids loved it, I began to talk about what the cruciferous vegetables are and why they are good, salmon and omega 3 that gives them brain power, and kimchee for digestive properties. They are very receptive and curious. I realized that learning and bonding can occur over dinner tables every day and by the time they are older and on their own, they will have a solid foundation on what food really is and what it does.

Food is nourishment. How well are you nourishing your self? We now have strong data on the importance of diet and the key role it plays in stress reduction and work-life balance.

I challenge you to do the same, post recipes on our blog, join our community and share your thoughts, challenges, and ideas. We look forward to hearing from you.

Connie Jeon, is a graduate of Loma Linda University, and California State University, Long Beach. She holds a Doctoral Degree of Physical Therapy, a Masters Degree in Nutrition, and a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Psychology. Professionally, she is a Polestar™ trained Pilates Instructor, a Registered/Licensed Dietitian certified in Adult Weight Management through the American Dietetic Association, is a Certified Health/Fitness Specialist through the American College of Sports Medicine, and is trained in Yoga Therapy through Yoga Fit™.

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