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Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Avoiding the Perils of the Halloween Trail

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

When I was growing up, the main thing we worried about at Halloween was a non-packaged item that might be given to us by “freaks.”I do find it somewhat ironic that, of all things, we were warned about apples.Back then we weren’t concerned about genetically modified or organic varieties of apples.

No, then we were worried that the apple might have had a razor blade slipped inside.But these days, I do worry at Halloween.I worry about what’s beneath the wrappers of these so-called candy treats.They’re not quite as sweet as they might seem.

 

For many kids Halloween is a night of binge eating on candies loaded with sugar, high fructose corn syrup and artificial dyes and preservatives. For most parents I know, Halloween is a nightmare… binge eating, gluttony, poor behavior, upset stomachs and more resulting from too much junk.

So many parents don’t want to be perceived as a “Debbie Downer” so they go along – telling themselves that it’s just one night,  when in fact, the candy haul from Halloween can last well into the New Year.

I’m here to report that you don’t have to settle for candy packed with ingredients that are known to cause issues for kids. Say no to increased sugar cravings and behavioral troubles.

Did you know that regular candy is loaded with ingredients that can compromise your child’s immune system, destroy her concentration, cause hyperactivity and ADHD-like symptoms? Many other ingredients can cause gastro-intestinal issues and inflammation.

For example, artificial dyes are used in this country (while illegal elsewhere in the world) and have been linked to allergies, hyperactivity and more, according to a study published in Lancet.

It doesn’t have to be this way.Parents, take heed.This year your candy cheat sheet is here.  It’s your survival guide for this Halloween.

If you’re new to the revolution to “green” Halloween then you may want to start by simply buying a different candy or treat alternative.Start with something that’s free of artificial dyes and preservatives,  go non-GMO, or select an organic item.  Maybe discard the candy altogether and look for a treat alternative – something that isn’t technically a candy and has more nutrients than most candy.

Consider hosting a Green Halloween party to keep the kids in.Don’t sacrifice any of the fun but control the treats and give them better alternatives!

If your kids don’t want to give up trick-or-treating altogether, then do a ‘Switch Witch’ or ‘Candy Buy Back’ where you trade them their regular treats for candy that you buy that’s a healthier choice.

Be sure to provide a storage jar or box where they can see their candy and select an item a day, to be eaten after they’ve eaten a well-balanced meal.  Use this to teach portion control and responsible eating habits as well as to monitor the amount of candy consumed. This helps you deal with excessive tendencies before they turn problematic.

From here on, the fun is all yours!  Enjoy Halloween, without any unnecessary frights!

By Amy Ziff

This post previously appeared on Mommybites.com

Amy Ziff is the Founder & Chief Capidealist at Veritey. When she’s not vetting products she’s usually found playing with her 3 kids, jumping on their favorite trampoline from Trampolinea, or finding ways to get fruit stains out of clothes naturally!

For more Hallowen thoughts  follow us on Facebook facebook.com/greenhalloween or Twitter @greenhalloween

Candy Alternatives 2013

Monday, September 30th, 2013

Okay, so you’ve decided to make your Halloween a green one. You don’t want the trick-or-treaters or party guests coming to your house to ingest any GMOS, dyes, or preservatives. Good for you! Welcome to the Green Halloween movement. So now you’re thinking, “What the heck should my kids eat instead?”  We know it’s tough to sift through all the options, so we at Green Halloween have prepared a stellar list of candy alternatives for you.

 

1. Honest Kids – Honest Tea Drink Pouches

Trick-or-treating through the whole neighborhood can really work up a sweat! Keep the kids hydrated by passing out an Appely Ever After or Berry Berry Good Lemonade. Each pouch is only 40 calories and sweetened with only fruit juice. Plus, Honest Tea participates in the TerraCycle program!

2. Nature’s Path Bars

These granola bars are chock-full of whole grains, protein, and fiber. They also have a gluten free selection. Their best-selling Pumpkin-N-Spice bars goes perfectly with the holiday. Nature’s path is certified by the Non-GMO project. Nature’s Path doesn’t see why healthy food should be boring and tasteless, and we whole-heartedly agree!

3. LÄRABAR

The company’s selection of LÄRABARs , über bar, and ALT bar, are all delicious, and all nutritious. Each LÄRABAR flavor contains no more than 9 ingredients. In addition, LÄRABAR participates in both the TerraCycle program and the Non-GMO project.

4. Bare Naked Fruit Snacks

Bare Fruit snacks are a series of baked apple, mango, and apricot chips. And get this; they are 100% carbon neutral. With apples straight out of Washington State, when Bare Naked says “naked,” they mean it! No added sugar or preservatives.

5. Kind Snacks

The lip-smacking combo of whole nuts, fruits, and whole grains are sublime. Kind believes that if you can’t pronounce and ingredient, it shouldn’t go into your body. Family Circle Magazine even named Kind bars one of the best snacks for kids.

6. Plum Organics: Mashup & Jammy Sammy

Plum Organics minimal processing ensures that the fruit has the highest nutritional value possible. The Jammy Sammy is an organic cereal bars filled with delicious fruit. There’s no high-fructose corn syrup in these babies. Mashups are fruit purée snacks that come in 12 awesome flavors.  Both these snacks come in BPA-free recycled packaging.

7. Bumble Bar Minis

Bumble Bars are scrumptious rice snack bars. They come in 14 different flavors – nutty, fruity, or chocolaty goodness! Their Juno Bars come in similar flavors, but are made with protein-rich quinoa. Bumble takes pride in their commitment to people and the planet. They buy from local co-ops and farms, monitor their waste levels, and even use cornstarch packing peanuts in when shipping products.

8. Barbara’s Snackimals Cookies

These nibbles take animal crackers to a whole new level. With 6 flavors like snickerdoodle and double chocolate, we are going Ape! Barabara’s has been committed to providing customers with healthy, wholesome food for over 40 years.

9. Health Warrior Chia Bars

Chia seeds powered the Aztec Empire, and now they will power you and your little warriors on your trick-or-treating expedition. Chia is the “ultimate superfood,” and Health Warrior has harnessed the power of chia into 6 flavored snack bars.

10. Seasnax Seaweed

I know, I know, you might be a little shocked that we’re suggesting you give away seaweed on Halloween. BUT, seaweed is the vegetable of the sea; it is mineral rich and low in calories. Plus Seasnax has a variety of flavors (Chipotle and Toasty Onion for new recruits and RAW for diehards). So jump right in, the water’s fine.

 

For more ideas, check out our Candy Cheat Sheet. Or, check us out on Facebook facebook.com/greenhalloween or Twitter @greenhalloween

Brainard’s Natural Remedies®

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Each year, Americans purchase a whopping 600 million pounds of candy to celebrate Halloween. What does this look like? Imagine 16 billion Snickers or 158 trillion pieces of Candy Corn. It has been reported that the average American eats 25 pounds of candy a year, much of which is likely consumed right around this time of year. But while sugar-laden candy sales continue strong, a growing population of heath-conscious individuals and concerned parents are seeking alternative options. Now, thanks to Green America and Brainard’s Natural Remedies All Natural Antacid®, Halloween can be celebrated as fun and healthy with Green Halloween® –a movement for healthier, more eco-friendly traditions.

This Halloween, Brainard’s Natural Remedies is teaming up with Green America as the proud sponsor of their Green Halloween® event. Green America has reached across the U.S.; in 2011 they hosted approximately 30 official public celebrations, where they replaced over 1 million pieces of conventional candy with healthier options. “It is an honor to team-up with Green America in this endeavor that aims to promote good health in celebrating the holidays,” says Elliott Brainard, Founder and President of Brainard’s Natural Remedies.

“Children often experience upset stomach, heartburn and indigestion from eating so much Halloween candy,” explains Brainard. “Fortunately, Brainard’s Natural Remedies All Natural Antacid, tastes good as well as provides the power and health benefits of blueberries. By incorporating the blueberry fiber and along with other essential berry extracts into the antacid, it becomes almost just as easy to eat as candy while providing much needed relief from occasional indigestion, naturally!”

Known for their anti-inflammatory abilities within the digestive tract, blueberries help to reduce the leading symptoms of indigestion, including stomach discomfort. Not only do blueberries aid in anti-inflammatory processes within the stomach, but the high amount of fiber that they contain creates a multitude of benefits for the lower gastrointestinal tract. Along with blueberries, Brainard’s All Natural Antacid is also powered by a unique blend of pomegranate, bilberry, and elderberry extracts. This antioxidant combination aids in the removal of free radicals from the body.

“Being aware of what we eat this holiday season can substantially effect how we feel,” adds Brainard. “Children as well as parents can benefit from this product because it helps with indigestion from the sugary sweets we are adding into our diets.”

About Brainard’s Natural Remedies®

Established in 2010, Brainard’s Natural Remedies All Natural Antacid is the result of a berry fruitful discovery. Founder and President, Elliott Brainard discovered the benefit of using blueberries to relieve stomach discomfort in his own personal life. Upon this discovery, Brainard researched the power of blueberries and other natural ingredients that promote good digestion. His findings led to the production of Brainard’s Natural Remedies, a healthy alternative to help relieve indigestion for everyone.

Currently, Brainard’s Natural Remedies All Natural Antacid comes in a chewable tablet form and is available in a 4 tablet pouch, 10 tablet refillable tube, 30 tablet bottle and 90 tablet bottle. Brainard’s Natural Remedies can be found in health food stores throughout the United States. For a complete list of retail stores, visit www.brainardsnaturalremedies.com.

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For more information on Brainard’s Natural Remedies, including request for samples and to schedule an interview with Founder and President Elliott Brainard, please contact Rajan De Los Santos at Christie Communications at (805) 969-3744 or rajan@christiecomm.com. ###

2012 Guide to a non-GMO Halloween

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

by Corey

We are thrilled and honored to partner with Non-GMO Project again this year to present the 2012 Guide to a non-GMO Halloween!

Offered to parents as a toolkit, the 2012 Guide (pdf) contains a list of Non-GMO Project Verified Halloween treats, such as Endangered Species Chocolates, fun ideas for “treasures” (non-food goodies) and even a healthy recipe from our very own food blogger, Kia Robertson.

Get the facts about “Frankenfoods” and learn more about what actions you can take (throughout the year) to protect your family and planet at NonGMOProject.org. Then, if you live in California, vote yes of Prop 37!

Get the Guide here.

Learn more about GMOs and what you can do to fight “Frankenfoods”! Visit:

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Looking for more ways to green your holidays, celebrations and every-day? Lynn Colwell and Corey Colwell-Lipson are mother and daughter and authors of  Celebrate Green! Creating Eco-Savvy Holidays, Celebrations and Traditions for the Whole Family, and founders of Green Halloween®. Connect with Lynn and Corey on Facebook and Twitter.

Pumpkin Carving: One Step Closer to a Tasty and Healthy Snack

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012

It’s time to start carving pumpkins!

Be sure to save the seeds as they make a great tasting and healthy snack. Pumpkin seeds provide our bodies with zinc which is perfect at this time of year to help ward off colds. We love roasting pumpkin seeds and trying different combinations of flavors. We always do some with sea salt, then we mix things up a little by using things like garlic salt and Worcestershire, or for a sweeter flavor we
sprinkle on cinnamon and nutmeg! It’s fun to get your kids involved and let them create fun combinations! We’ll share our favorite recipe and cooking method you!

What you’ll need:

  • Medium Pumpkin
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt

What to do:

* Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut open pumpkin and scoop out the insides into a big bowl. Add water to the bowl to help separate the seeds from the stringy flesh (a lot of the seeds will just float up to the top!) and then rinse seeds in a colander.

* To make the seeds nice and crunchy we boil our seeds before putting them in the oven. You can skip this step if you’d like as it’s not essential. In a small pot add the seeds (for a medium pumpkin is around 1/2 cup) to approximately 2 cups of water. Add 1 tablespoon of sea salt. Bring to a boil and then let it simmer for about 10 minutes.

* Remove from heat and drain.

* Spread Olive Oil on the bottom of a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet then spread the seeds (try not to have the seeds touching). Bake on the top rack until the seeds are golden brown 10 -20 minutes depending on how brown you like the seeds.

*Take out of the oven and allow seeds to cool. Then enjoy this tasty fall snack!!

Happy Healthy Eating

Kia

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Kia Robertson is a mom and the creator of the Today I Ate A Rainbow kit; a tool that helps parents establish healthy habits by setting the goal of eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables every day. Kia is passionate about creating tools that help parents raise healthy kids!