Health and Fitness

Healthy-home Pantry Makeover

The quickest way to ensure success in creating a healthy lifestyle is to start in the home with the pantry and the refrigerator. The theory behind removing unhealthy food items from your pantry and refrigerator is: out of sight, out of mind (and reach!). Keep in mind that the majority of our meals should be at home. So with a couple of steps, you can have your healthy-home pantry makeover complete and be on your way to success!

For your healthy-home pantry makeover you’ll want to start with the basics, then build upon them as you discover meals that become favorites for your family.

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Planning for a Healthy Summer

Summer is a great time to try new things. Without the work and restriction that schools put on children, kids have much more time and energy to put into some other fun summer activities. This is true for exercise as well, as kids can experience different types of exercise and see which one they enjoy the most. So, here are some summer activities that will encourage kids to step out of their exercise comfort zones this summer!

1: SwimmingAs this article points out, swimming is one of the best forms of exercise, as it uses most muscles in our bodies, thus making our whole bodies stronger as well as being key in the fight against obesity. There are many ways that Kurbo kids have tried to get involved in swimming in the summer. For example, Meg started synchronized swimming, while other Kurbo kids joined swim teams, water polo, or just started swimming daily laps in the pool.

2: Picking up a new competitive sport: Competitive sports are fun ways to getting that heart rate up and making sure we are developing the weekly exercise habits we desire. Kurbo kid Amy gave tennis a try, while some others started team sports like basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Such sports help Kurbo kids learn sportsmanship, teamwork, and improve athletic ability too!

3: Dance: For those inevitable summer days where it’s just way too hot outside, dancing is a great indoor alternative form of exercise. You can look up dance videos or songs on your computer and just move along to them. Dance is very popular among Kurbo kids because it is just plain fun. Not only are we getting the necessary exercise by moving around the room, but we are having loads of fun while doing it. Dancing is a great way to express ourselves and it improves our flexibility, strength, and endurance.

4: Rock climbing: What better way to step out of our comfort zones than by climbing a colossal mountain? Rock climbing is yet another form of exercise that can be fun for anybody. There are many great rock climbing camps out there for kids to sign up for and do not require a lot of time commitment, such as the one Kurbo kid Ethan is going to. In addition to the satisfaction of stepping out of the comfort zone, climbing is really good for overall strength and getting some fresh air.

5. Bike: Get on your bike, and go wherever the wind takes you (with your parents permission of course). You can bike around your neighborhood or find new biking trails in the area to bike as a family over the weekend.

6. Community Centers: Find a local community center that might offer free work out classes or subsidized exercise classes and call them to find out about the schedule and offerings and how you can sign up. For example, the YMCA or Boys and Girls Clubs often offer fun exercise classes for kids.

Summers are not meant to be spent on the couch staring at a screen all day. So, get off the couch and dabble in a few fun forms of exercise! See which one fits you best. Maybe you will even find your new favorite hobby!

How To: Pick Healthy Meals At Restaurants

You may have discovered that it’s easier to stick to your health goals, like choosing yellow and green light foods, when you eat at home. When you’re in control of the ingredients you choose and how the meal is prepared, you can be more sure of what you’re actually getting (as in, not too many red lights!) But, let’s face it, eating out at restaurants is part of everyday life. Plus, it’s fun to do once in a while, right?

So, how do you pick healthy meals at restaurants, so you don’t get too off track? Here are a few tips to picking healthy meals for your next restaurant order:

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How To: Sunday Night Meal Prep

You’ve downloaded the Kurbo app and have committed to eating healthier.  You’re excited to start eating more fruit and vegetables and reducing the number red lights you consume through premade meals and snacks.  Then your week begins, and life gets hectic.  School, homework, games, practices, family life, and all of a sudden, eating healthy seems really difficult.  There doesn’t seem to be time in your day to prepare a healthy, well-balanced meal.

What’s the #1 tip for success?  Meal prep!

Being busy doesn’t mean sacrificing your health goals.  When you meal prep, you save yourself the time, stress and frustration of eating a healthy meal when you want something fast and easy.  Popping a frozen dinner in the microwave doesn’t have to be your solution!  By doing some meal prepping on Sunday night, you set yourself up for success for the rest of the week.

Check out these tips on how to Sunday night meal prep:

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Calorie Counting Doesn’t Work: 3 Reasons Why the Traffic Light System is Better

  1.  You become obsessive.  When you focus on counting calories it’s easy to overanalyze your food choices, and as a result, think about food all day, every day. (Not fun.) With Kurbo’s Traffic Light System, you learn to keep track of the quality of the food you put in your body by classifying it into one of three categories: red, yellow or green. Once you adopt the idea that foods are either red, yellow or green, your mind and body develop a natural intelligence to decipher the foods that provide you with optimal nutrition and energy, and the ones you are better off to cut down on.

 

  1.    You neglect that you are a whole person. Calorie counting assumes weight management is a purely mental game of willpower and restriction. The truth is, a lot of eating and hunger is emotional.  If you approach food only from an analytical perspective, you fail to consider the emotional factors that drive you to eat. To shift emotional eating takes time, awareness, and a toolkit to help in tough times. The Traffic Light approach makes sustainable change possible by focusing on gradual behavior change, taking into account comfort eating, holidays, family time, eating out, and food addictions. 
  2.  Calorie counting is not practical. Calorie counting is a real chore and nearly impossible to sustain long term. Imagine you’re at a friend’s dinner or grabbing a snack at a concert; you probably won’t be taking out a calculator or tracker to make your food choices in those situations. If you’re accustomed to the traffic light system you will most likely remember the general classification of foods and will be able to make a quick decision with ease that better supports your personal health goals.

 

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Weigh Yourself Every Week, Not Every Day

It’s important to weigh yourself consistently in order to know where you are in your personal health journey. This data that we collect is important and informs us if we are on the right track with our lifestyle changes. However, in the case of weighing yourself, too much may not be a good thing.

Here are a few reasons why it is better to weigh yourself once a week, not every single day.

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Your Mom Was Right, Breakfast Is Important!

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day!” – Moms Everywhere

Yes, mom was right. Breakfast is an important way to start the day, for kids and adults alike. Skipping breakfast can lead to erratic eating patterns throughout the day, indulgence in more junk food and ultimately, weight gain.  

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Weight Watchers for Teen Boys?

Weight Watchers for teen boys, is this a good idea? There are numerous weight solutions out there, all of which using different strategies, so it’s important to critically analyze which programs will improve a teen boy’s health instead of potentially damaging it. Is it Weight Watchers for teen boys, MyFitness Pal, or Jenny Craig? We first have to note that teens are not mini-adults. The challenges to weight loss that teens face are not the same as those faced by adults, so we should not provide them with adult weight-loss solutions. When addressing a topic as important as weight, finding a solution designed for teens is crucial to their overall health and development.

Teen boys who are turning to food to feel comforted typically find themselves in a negative feedback loop: they eat to feel better, then they look in the mirror or compare themselves to their peers or men in magazines, they feel bad, then eat again to distract themselves from their pain or to feel instant gratification. This cycle can persist into adulthood, but it can be avoided with a straight forward solution: health coaching with coaches trained specifically to work with teens.

Kurbo uses a behavior modification and an accountability program much like Weight Watchers; the difference is that Kurbo’s coaches are experienced to work with teens and the evidence based curriculum is suited for adolescents with an 88% success rate.

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Tips to Make Healthier Choices in the School Cafeteria

Getting food in the school cafeteria can be a very easy, convenient way to get your lunch every day.  It can also be a very cost-effective way for many families, depending on your situation and school district. And while it’s so important to get your midday fuel to keep you energized and focused for the rest of the school day, many of the options available in the cafeteria can be unhealthy and void of key nutrients that you need.

So, how do you stay on track with your Kurbo goals when you get your lunch at school?  Here are a few tips to help you make healthier choices in the school cafeteria:

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