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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Back-to-School Health Tips by Dr. Doni Wilson - Award Winning Doctor and Nutrition Specialist

Posted by Debra Gray-Elliott at 2:34 AM
From what to eat for breakfast, to healthy snacks and lunches that will keep your kids energized, to school year sleep recommendations, Dr. Doni’s advice will help empower families to a health start to the school year. 

 Dr. Doni, an award-winning naturopathic doctor and nutritional specialist, is committed to helping empower families with advice about natural health solutions to improve their lives. Dr. Doni is sharing top tips for back-to-school wellness -- with advice ranging from healthy eating approaches to sleep recommendations -- so families can start the school year on the right foot. 

Tip One – Start the Day with a Protein Rich Breakfast & Prepare Protein Rich Meals/Snacks 

To help regulate blood sugar be sure your kids eat a protein-rich breakfast before they head off to school, and include protein at both snack and lunch time. As you might imagine, children, just as adults, feel and learn better when they eat small “meals,” always including protein, every 2-4 hours. If I could change the definition of “snack” and “meal,” I would combine the two! I would make a meal the size of a snack and with the protein content of a meal. Plan on having a protein-rich meal ready for your child when they arrive home from school, and then another protein-rich meal for dinner. Some examples of foods rich in protein to include in your kids’ meals include: Turkey, turkey sausage/bacon, chicken, salmon, and nuts. 

Tip Two – Balance Blood Sugar with Complex Carbohydrates 

Often when we think of a snack, it is carbohydrate filled (popcorn, chips, and fruit for example). The same goes for "breakfast" (cereal, toast, juice, waffles). High carbohydrate foods raise the blood sugar temporarily, and then cause a rapid drop, resulting in decreased focus, irritability, and fatigue. Keep in mind, there are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. When you seek a carbohydrate, try to incorporate complex carbohydrates instead, such as brown rice, quinoa, vegetables, nuts and seeds into your diet. They leave you feeling satisfied longer and help keep your energy levels steady.

The solution for optimal health and blood sugar balance: Eat every few hours and always include a protein (known to increase energy and focus). When eating carbohydrates, try to incorporate complex carbohydrates. 

Tip Three – Shop for Health: Create a Back-to-School Grocery List that Promotes Wellness 

Empower your kids with healthy food when you see them off to school.

Here are suggested items for your grocery list (and your kids’ snack/lunch bag) that will support healthy eating during the school day. • Turkey roll: 2 slices of Applegate farms turkey rolled and wrapped in a paper towel, with an ice pack • Turkey jerky: 1 preservative free, natural turkey jerky • Hard boiled egg, on an ice pack • Organic corn tortilla chips and/or Blue Diamond hazelnut rice crackers • Sunflower seeds, shelled • Hummus in a small container • Grapes, carrots, or apple slices (show your child how to eat these with protein, not alone) • Gluten-free pretzels • Apple or berry sauce in squeeze packages

Note: Many classrooms do not allow nuts when a student in the classroom is allergic, so save nuts and nut butter for breakfast and snacks later in the day. 

Tip 4 – Offer Your Kids Food Rich in Antioxidants 

Antioxidants fight the oxidation process, a chemical reaction that can cause damage to many cells in your body. Try to incorporate foods rich in anti-oxidants into your kids’ meals. Some examples include red peppers, blueberries, prunes, pomegranates, kale, brussel sprouts, nuts, cranberries, cabbage, and beets.

You can also add antioxidant rich food into after-school smoothies. Here is one suggestion for creating a smoothie for your kids: Start with a protein powder base, like Nutrabiotic rice protein (plain, vanilla or chocolate) or The Hamptons Cleanse Shake (berry flavor – ok for kids too!) or InflammaCore (banana, orange or cherry flavor). Then add any of the following: • Cocoa powder • Stevia, liquid comes in various flavors • Proberry, berry extract • Flax oil • Cashew or almond butter • Ice 

Tip 5 – Be Sure Your Kids Get Enough Sleep 

Getting enough sleep is critically important for kids, especially as they head back to school. After a summer of late nights, it is critical to get your kids back on a schedule so they can learn and thrive at school. Here are some helpful guidelines illustrating how much sleep your kids need, based on their age.

Be sure to incorporate an extra 20-30 minutes for getting ready for bed so they have time for brushing, flossing, mouth rinse, and reading. • 3 – 6 years of age: 10 – 12 hours of sleep per day • 7 – 12 years of age: 10 – 11 hours of sleep per day • 12 – 18 years of age: 8 – 9 hours of sleep per day.

About Dr. Doni Wilson 

Dr. Donielle (Doni) Wilson is a nationally celebrated naturopathic doctor who is dedicated to maximizing the health of women, as well as men and children, through natural approaches. She is also a certified professional midwife (CPM), doula, and nutrition specialist. 

Dr. Doni started her career in a naturopathic clinic helping patients with environmental and food allergies, where she created a specialized approach to food intolerances and “eating for health.” She also created the Hamptons Cleanse – a popular nutritional regimen that reduces inflammation, heals digestion, supports detoxification, and brings the body back to a state of optimal health. She started her naturopathic practice in 2001, based on the approach she developed which starts by looking at how stress impacts health in each person’s body. Her practice also extends to helping women with hormone imbalances, menstrual irregularities, cervical dysplasia, difficulty conceiving, and recurrent infections. 

Dr. Doni is deeply dedicated to addressing ailments related to stress. She has devised treatments for stress-related illnesses, which include utilizing nutrients and herbs to balance hormone and neurotransmitter levels. Her approaches make life-changing differences in health conditions such as Depression, Anxiety, PMDD, Insomnia, and more. In her new book, THE STRESS REMEDY, Dr. Doni discusses how and why we experience stress, its impact on health and wellbeing, and offers expert approaches to reclaiming health. 

Dr. Doni earned a doctorate in naturopathic medicine from Bastyr University and certifications as a professional midwife and doula. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in nutrition and a bachelor’s in science from Oregon State University. 

In 2004, Dr. Doni was awarded the NYANP Naturopathic Doctor of the Year award. She is renowned in her field and, in addition to serving as the president and executive director of the New York Association of Naturopathic Physicians (NYANP), she is a member of the following organizations: American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP),
Connecticut Naturopathic Physicians Association (CNPA),
American Association of Naturopathic Midwives (AANM),
Pediatric Association of Naturopathic Physicians (PEDANP) and
Association for the Advancement of Restorative Medicine (AARM). 

Dr. Doni is regularly called upon to discuss naturopathic medicine in the media and has recently appeared in First for Women, WABS Radio, Huffington Post, Easy Eats Magazine, Natural Health Magazine, Kiwi Magazine, Integrative Clinician Journal, Integrative Medicine Journal, and CNN.com.

Disclosure: This information was provided by Orchard Strategies. I received no compensation.


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