Best Superfoods For Spoonies: Chronic Illness Symptom Relief

best superfoods

Living with a chronic illness is a struggle, all the more so when the illness is not physically evident. Some people assume you’re perfectly healthy when, in fact, seemingly mundane tasks are hard to fulfill.

People living with chronic illnesses (known casually as ‘spoonies’ in a term coined by lupus sufferer Christine Miserandino, who established the Spoon Theory to communicate an understanding of what her life is like) will draw upon medically prescribed treatments to help with their condition.

The Best Superfoods for Spoonies

They may also seek natural remedies, such as superfoods. These superfoods such as garlic, turmeric, ginger and salmon can provide much-welcome relief to symptoms of chronic illnesses.

Most of them contain anti-inflammatory ingredients which relieve pain and help to prevent cancer, while some are beneficial in terms of stabilizing cholesterol levels. Indeed, the consumption of salmon can even help to fight against feelings of depression. Depression is a hidden illness which can often be experienced by people suffering from other chronic illnesses.

The infographic below from Burning Nights identifies seven of the best superfoods for spoonies and deals specifically with five common hidden illnesses, highlighting the best and worst foods for those concerned.

A person living with a chronic illness is likely to grasp at any remedy which can relieve feelings of pain. Consequently, these superfoods could make their condition easier to endure.

Read below to find out more.

best superfoods
Superfoods For Spoonies (courtesy Burning Nights)

I want to express a big thank you to Victoria Abbott-Fleming who is the founder of the chronic pain charity, Burning Nights, for sharing this excellent information and the visual featured above. Also, you can visit her website at Burning Nights.

The Takeaway

Eating superfoods such as ginger, turmeric, garlic, berries and grapes, olive oil, hot peppers and salmon can have amazing healing benefits for people with chronic illness. As a result, the best superfoods are an excellent substitute to pharmaceutical drugs for anyone who favors natural remedies and solutions to chronic pain.

Consequently, I can tell you from personal experience these superfoods really work!

Along with other healthy choices a few months ago I started taking turmeric curcumin daily. As a result, I’ve been able to stop taking two medications I was taking daily for chronic pain from chronic Lyme disease symptoms.

Please note, don’t ever stop taking medications without talking to your doctor first. 

Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? Have you tried any of these superfoods? Please share your comments in the comment section below. I love hearing from you! 

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Finally, the information provided in this article has not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to treat, prevent, diagnose or cure any disease or health problem.


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Intermittent Fasting Nutrition: What To Eat For Maximum Results

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Intermittent fasting nutrition is essential if you’re aiming to lose weight, gain muscle mass and radiate health and vitality.

Intermittent fasting (IM) is a concept that has been around for ages. It is not about what foods you choose eat. But it is all about the timing of when you eat and don’t eat, cycling between periods of feasting and fasting.

Intermittent Fasting Nutrition

Many people will tell you that you can eat whatever you want and still lose weight while intermittent fasting.

And, while this may be true, if you want to be the healthiest version of yourself, then you may want to upgrade your diet and make healthier choices when it comes to nourishing your body with life-giving food.

Here are a few tips to guide your food choices and maximize your results when intermittent fasting:

fasting nutrition
Be sure to eat high-protein foods, such as chicken, grass-fed beef, beans, eggs, fish, Greek yogurt and whey protein.
  • Include a serving of protein with each meal or snack. Examples include plain Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, whole eggs, chicken breast, grass-fed beef,  fish, whey protein, a can of tuna or beans.
  • Eat plenty of leafy green and cruciferous vegetables, such as spinach, romaine lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.
  • Include healthy fats, such as grass-fed butter, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts and nut butters.
  • If you’re in the mood for something sweet, fruit is an excellent choice.
  • A bit of dark chocolate (at least 70-80% cocoa) is full of antioxidants and makes a delicious and indulgent treat.
  • Complex carbohydrates, including sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats and quinoa are okay if you are able to reach your weight loss goals. Just keep in mind that if your weight loss is stalling you might try eating smaller portions (or eliminate these foods until you reach your goal weight) and see if that helps.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Coffee and green tea are healthy beverages you can include in your periods of fasting.
  • Avoid simple sugars and simple carbohydrates found in white bread and baked goods.
  • Avoid packaged and processed foods.

The Takeaway

fasting nutrition
Berries are chock full of antioxidants and are an excellent choice when you’re craving something sweet.

To sum up, intermittent fasting is a timing concept, cycling between periods of feasting and fasting.

It is essential to nourish your body with healthy foods such as protein-rich foods, healthy fats, and antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. Complex carbohydrates are tolerated fine by some people, but this may be something to pay attention to if you have difficulty meeting your weight loss goals.

Finally, avoid sugary, simple carbohydrates and prepackaged foods. And always drink plenty of water.

Have you tried intermittent fasting? What do you like to eat?

Please share your thoughts and comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

You may want to read more about intermittent fasting here:

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Health Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth

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I recently purchased a big bag of organic, food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) online.

To the human eye it looks like a fine powder, much like baking flour. But under a microscope, it resembles Chex cereal.

It looks and sounds kinda strange I’ll admit.

diatomaceous earth
diatomaceous earth, magnified (photo courtesy www.earthworkshealth.com)

But let’s dig a little deeper to learn why so many people are raving about diatomaceous earth and find out what it can do for you.

What Is Diatomaceous Earth?

Diatomaceous earth is made up of the fossilized remains of diatoms, an ancient type of algae. Over time, these microscopic shells accumulated in freshwater lakes and formed large silica deposits.

The deposits are ground into a fine, chalk-like powder which becomes the diatomaceous earth.

Under a microscope you can see DE has sharp, course edges. And this makes it effective for a variety of uses.

Different Grades Of Diatomaceous Earth

  1. Food Grade–As the name implies, organic food grade DE is safe for humans and animals to eat. Due to its high silica and trace mineral content, it is often taken as a supplement, as well as a variety of other uses.
  2. Pool Grade–This purpose of this type of DE is only to be used as a filter aid for swimming pools. It can be toxic if inhaled and even cause cancer so caution must be used when handling.
  3. Pest Control Grade–Pest control grade DE is used specifically to get rid of, you guessed it, pests! DE is a great natural insecticide. It’s especially effective for getting rid of fleas, ants, and bed bugs.

Benefits Of Diatomaceous Earth

1. Healthy Skin And Nails

The silica in DE strengthens nails. (1)

Also, DE is a great facial exfoliator, ridding the skin’s surface of dead skin cells.

2. Healthy Teeth

Because DE is naturally abrasive, it’s used in many toothpastes and is effective at polishing teeth. Furthermore, it draws stains out of teeth, making them whiter. Plus, the silica in DE strengthens the enamel of our teeth. (2)

3. Gets Rid Of Parasites And Detox

One study in The Oxford Journal Of Poultry Science found DE to be an effective parasite cleanse. (3)

Estimates of the percentage of Americans infected by parasites vary, some as high as 80%.

But, the bottom line is that you don’t have to visit a foreign country or drink “bad” water to get parasites.

Many people report DE helping them get rid of parasites.

It’s also great at binding to bacteria, viruses and heavy metals which gives the body a good detoxification.

And it makes sense because supplementing with DE daily gives your digestive tract a good scrub.

4. Improved Bone and Joint Health

Supplementing your diet with silicon has been proven to increase bone mineral density and proper joint formation. (4)

So, this makes DE perfect for anyone wanting to prevent osteoporosis and grow strong bones, joints and healthy ligaments.

5. Kills Insects Without Harmful Chemicals

DE is an excellent natural choice for eliminating bed bugs, fleas, dust mites and cockroaches. According to pctonline.com:

Both silica gel and diatomaceous earth kill insects by removing a portion of the razor-thin, waxy outer coating that helps them conserve moisture. As a result, they desiccate and die from dehydration.

Popular Uses For Diatomaceous Earth

  • toothpastes

    diatomaceous earth
    Diatomaceous earth is used in many products, including toothpaste.
  • water filters
  • products to kill fleas on pets
  • facial scrub
  • treatments to kill bedbugs
  • nutritional supplements
  • rodent-killing products
  • cleaning products
  • deodorant
  • stain remover
  • fridge deodorizer

How To Take Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth

Most people start by taking 1 teaspoon one time per day for several days in a liquid or food.

After your body adjusts you may want to gradually increase this amount up to 1 tablespoon.

It’s important to mention that the DE will not completely dissolve, so you’ll have to keep stirring it until you drink the entire glass of liquid down. Or you can incorporate it into a smoothie.

Just make sure to drink plenty of water.

I’ve found that it doesn’t have much flavor at all. And I can get it down easily in some Spicy V-8, lemon water or one of my protein smoothies.

Please note that DE is not recommended for people who have Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis. (6)

Also, be careful not to inhale the powder into your lungs when measuring your dose.

The Takeaway

As you can see, DE is used for many purposes, such as cleaning, deodorizing and killing unwanted bugs.

Consequently, taken internally, food grade diatomaceous earth has some amazing health benefits including healthier teeth and gums, skin and hair, getting rid of parasites and improved joint and bone health.

Have you tried DE? What’s your favorite use for diatomaceous earth? 

Please share your comments in the comment section below. I love to hear from you and will respond to you as soon as possible!

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Spring Break Adventures With The Family And Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness

traveling with chronic illness

Hey guys! I’ve been out of the blogosphere for a few days because we took the family on a little spring break adventure to Florida.

I’ve missed being in touch and posting, so I thought I’d share a bit about our trip to let you know what’s been going on in my world.

I took my laptop on the trip thinking I’d write along the way, but between being so busy and feeling pretty wiped out from the fast pace, it simply didn’t happen.

David and I agreed it was one of our favorite trips with the kids yet. I was so thankful the boys could come because they’re often busy with work or other activities like college kids are.

Every family has their own vibe and when we all get together, there’s usually a lot of laughter, and with the 6 of us, things can get pretty loud.

We all love music, joking around, the occasional debate (some more than others-ha!), and having fun.

Spring Break, 2017

traveling with chronic illness
MO State Basketball – David and the girls

The weekend before our flight left for Florida we’d been in Columbia, MO for the Class 4 State Basketball Tournament where our Bolivar High School boys played in the championship game.

They played hard and did a great job!

We went back home for a night and repacked for Florida.

The next afternoon we flew into Orlando and moved into our hotel near SeaWorld.

Universal Studios, Islands Of Adventure

We woke up early the next morning, ate a big breakfast and headed to Universal Studios, Islands of Adventure.

traveling with chronic illness
The kids at the Harry Potter castle.
traveling with chronic illness
Sweet Emma enjoying a Butterbeer.

Drew and Cooper have read the Harry Potter books and seen the movies, and Maddie and Emma have read and seen some too, so this was definitely something they wanted to check out!

Some of the kids even tried the Butterbeer.

We rode ALL the rides we were interested in riding and then some. Thankfully we all love to ride roller coasters so no one was left out and it was a blast. 🙂

Talk about a G-force extravaganza!

And we did a lot of walking! At the end of the day my fitbit said I’d taken over 15,000 steps!

traveling with chronic illness
Cooper trying Butterbeer.
traveling with chronic illness
David and Drew at Universal

Wowza!

By 5:00 we’d conquered all the rides and had such a fun and full day.

We were hungry! So we headed out to Freddy’s for giant burgers and fries and frozen custard (because vacation ;)).

Then back to the hotel to crash around the pool and go to sleep.

SeaWorld

Rest.

Rinse.

And Repeat.

Woke up early. Ate a big breakfast. Headed to SeaWorld first thing.

traveling with chronic illness
Love them.

SeaWorld has changed so much since when D and I were kids. I thought it was pretty cool then, but they have some of the best coasters now, including Mako, Kraken and Manta.

The weather was gorgeous! The lines to the rides were short. I don’t think we had to wait more than 10 minutes to ride anything so we were loving that!

Plus, the shark aquarium is super cool and the Antarctica penguin exhibit

traveling with chronic illness
Coop and penguins

is so fun! Are penguins not the cutest little birds?!

We talked to some beautiful parrots…”Polly want a cracker?”

And petted the stingrays. The leopard print ones were my favorite!

We saw several shows, all of them entertaining and impressive

  • dolphins
  • killer whales
  • sea lions  (arrr, arrr, arrr!)
traveling with chronic illness
Not sure what this is about, but I like it. 😉

Overall, it was another super-fun day! And my fitbit said I had walked

about 14,000 steps….much more than I’ve done lately. Thankful.

But, whew, was I feeling the burn!

We were all hungry for dinner and went to Moe’s and filled up on giant burritos and burrito bowls made with fresh ingredients, including cilantro lime rice and guacamole (my personal favorite).

Then back to the hotel for some relaxation by the pool until we were ready to turn in for the night.

Tips For Traveling With Chronic Illness

If you or someone you love have a chronic illness, you probably understand how difficult traveling can be.

For me, traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I love the beach and won’t pass up an opportunity to go if humanly possible.

But since getting Lyme disease and a host of related medical issues, traveling is often challenging in ways that I never considered before when I was healthy.

I love to be on the go and be involved and it really bums me out when I can’t keep up with everyone else (but it won’t stop me from trying).

Even so, there have been plenty of trips when I’ve been stuck in the hotel room with a migraine, or in too much pain or too exhausted to move, etc. I can definitely be pretty stubborn when it comes to accepting this and have a lot of work to do in this area. But trust me, I get it. It really stinks to be shut in when everyone else is out exploring and having fun.

But then again, I’m praying and working towards recovery of my health so I’m not willing to give in.

I’ve learned the hard way plenty by overdoing it (as I’m sure many of you have too) and then spending a week or more recovering flat-out exhausted.

We all make our choices I suppose.

But you know what? You only live once, and (assuming your doctor hasn’t put restrictions on your activities) sometimes, to me, it’s so worth it to have to take a few days off to recover when I return from a trip.

Like right now, I’m wiped out, but I’m thankful to be able to write this blog post.

This particular trip I made the mistake of forgetting my turmeric curcumin supplement I take for  body pain.

Nothing is perfect, but if we can learn to go with the flow it helps!

Tips To Help When Traveling With Chronic Illness

  • Pack your medicines, supplements, etc. ahead of time to make sure you have everything you’ll need. Research the area you’re visiting. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but do they have a hospital nearby in the case of an emergency? It’s good to be prepared.
  • Communicate with your family or friends you’re traveling with. Be honest about your medical limitations and how you’re feeling.
  • Give yourself grace! You probably won’t be able to do everything you want to do but that’s okay. This is the hardest concept for me but I keep repeating it to myself and it really helps.
  • Be thankful for the small things. Focus on the positives. They are always there. Sometimes we just have to look a little harder to find them.
  • Keep a gratitude journal. I’ve found the more I’m aware of all I’m grateful for, the less I’m aware of the frustrations that come with my illness.
  • Show kindness to your travel companions. Say thank you. When you’re not feeling well it’s so easy to forget this, for me anyway. Try to remember that your illness is not only difficult for you, but can be hard on your loved ones too….because they love you and care about you and want you to feel better.
  • Drink lots of water! Eat healthy, whole foods.
  • Move your body. Gentle stretching is wonderful. If you’re up for a short walk that’s great too.
  • Get some fresh air. Take in the sunset in a comfy chair. Go barefoot outside.
  • Be flexible when scheduling outings.
  • Have fun!

    traveling with chronic illness
    Push ups by the pool

The Takeaway

Thanks for letting me share about our family trip with you!

We’ve enjoyed plenty of “staycations” and they can be super fun too, but I’m thankful it worked out for us to get away together this time.

I want you to know that if you enjoy traveling like I do, you don’t have to give it up just because you have a chronic illness.

Remember to be prepared, honestly communicate how you’re feeling with your travel buddies, give yourself grace, be flexible with your travel plans, focus on the positives and get some fresh air.

Do you enjoy traveling? Do you or someone you love have a chronic illness? What tips would you add to this list?

Please share your thoughts in the comment section below. I love hearing from you and will reply to your comments as soon as possible!

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Email — healthylife@lorigeurin.com

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The Top 7 Myths About Fasting Revealed

myths about fasting

Intermittent fasting is all over the news. Not only is it super popular, but it’s also a highly effective way to lose weight and boost your health.

Intermittent fasting (IM) is an eating pattern which cycles between periods of eating and not eating, or fasting.

But, despite its vast popularity, there are several myths surrounding IM.

This article focuses on the most common myths related to fasting and the frequency of meals and snacks.

Top Myths About Fasting Debunked

1. Intermittent fasting causes muscle loss.

Some people believe when we fast our bodies burn muscle and use it for fuel. And while this is true with dieting in general, there’s no evidence showing this happens with IF.

In fact, evidence suggests that intermittent fasting is superior for maintaining muscle mass. Pretty cool, huh?

In one study, IM caused similar weight loss compared to daily caloric restriction, but showed much less muscle mass reduction. (1)

2. Skipping breakfast is bad for you and will make you gain weight.

myths about fasting
Skipping breakfast will not make you gain weight.

Have you heard? “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Sure you have. But did you know that this statement has no scientific backing?

In fact, a 2014 randomized controlled trial compared a group of 283 overweight and obese adults eating breakfast vs. skipping breakfast. At the conclusion of the 16-week study, there was absolutely no difference in weight between the two groups. (2)

3. Eat small meals to keep your blood sugar under control.

Despite what many diet “experts” say, you don’t need to eat small meals throughout the day to support energy and be mentally efficient. And this is because blood sugar is well-regulated in healthy people.

Your blood sugar is controlled by ghrelin and other metabolic hormones. And it typically follows the eating patterns you’re used to.

Believe it or not, people can easily adapt to periods of fasting. You don’t have to eat often to control your blood sugar because it adapts to your “entrained meal patterns” just fine.

4. Fasting increases cortisol levels.

Cortisol is a steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands.

Cortisol is often given a bad wrap, but truth be told, it fulfills many important roles in the human body. It helps control the blood sugar, thereby regulating metabolism. It also works as an anti-inflammatory, and influences memory formation and blood pressure.

Cortisol is what gets you up and moving in the morning. (What’s that you say? You thought that was coffee’s job?) Trust me, I hear you.

One important study found short-term, or intermittent fasting caused cortisol to drop. (3)

So please don’t worry about fasting increasing your cortisone. It simply is not true.

5. Eat often to speed up your metabolism.

Many people believe eating more often will stoke their metabolism, thereby causing them to lose weight.

Although your body does burn some calories (about 10%) when it is digesting food, it isn’t that much. This process is the thermic effect of food (TEC).

But, studies have shown the body will expend the same amount of calories whether you eat all your calories in 2, 3, 5 or 6 meals a day.  Your total caloric intake and macronutrients are what matter. (4)

6. Fasting puts you in “starvation mode” and your body starts shutting

myths about fasting
Intermittent fasting can actually speed up your metabolism!

down.

So many believe this myth. And while it is true for long-term fasting it’s just not so for IM.

In fact, short-term intermittent fasting has been shown to speed up the metabolism!

Any sort of long-term weight loss is going to cause the body to burn fewer calories. And when you weigh less you have fewer calories to burn. That’s why, if you’ve tried losing weight on a point system, such as Weight Watchers, after you’ve lost some weight, your points decrease.

Studies prove that fasting up to 48 hours can boost metabolism 3.6 to 14%! (5) But, if you fast longer the metabolism can go down. So just keep this in mind.

7. Eat more often to avoid getting hungry.

Some people say eating snacks helps ease their hunger and diffuse cravings. And others find that eating less often keeps them satisfied longer. In this case, it seems they’re both right.

There have been several studies on this and they’ve been mixed.

Some studies suggest eating more frequent meals and snacks causes increased hunger, others find no effect, and others show an increase in hunger. (6, 7)

So, if eating healthy snacks between meals helps curb your hunger pangs then go for it. And, however, if you feel better eating fewer snacks and meals then go with that. In this case it’s simply a personal preference.

The Takeaway

Intermittent fasting is a popular and effective way to lose weight and boost your health. But as you can see there are many myths about fasting. It’s good to know what they are so you can have fun with IM and not have to sweat the small stuff! Many people have found success with IF and I hope you do too!

Please let me know if you have any questions! I’m happy to help you in any way I can. 🙂

Have you tried fasting? Can you think of any more myths about fasting you’d add to this list?

Please leave your comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

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The Media’s Impact On Kids And Body Image And What You Can Do To Help

kids and body image

Media has a huge impact on our everyday lives.

It’s impossible to escape the in-your-face photo-shopped images everywhere we turn, on magazine covers in the grocery store, on billboards, commercials, T.V., and movies.

And these unattainable images are especially confusing and unhealthy to the younger generation.

Kids And Body Image

In fact, kids are quite perceptive of the images they see on magazine covers, as well as the impossibly thin models on t.v., in the movies and music videos.

Kids are young and impressionable and they internalize so much of what they see presented as the “ideal”.

To show you what I mean, check out these alarming statistics:

  • 81% of 10-year-olds are scared of being “fat”.
  • 51% of 9 and 10-year-old girls say they feel better about themselves when they’re dieting.
  • 13% of 15 to 17-year-old girls acknowledge having an eating disorder.
  • One study found adolescent girls were more fearful of gaining weight than getting cancer, nuclear war or losing their parents.
  • By the time they’re 17, girls have seen 250,000 TV commercials telling them they should be a decorative object, sex object or a body size they can never achieve.

    kids and body image
    Though not discussed as much, boys are also affected by impossible “ideal” body shapes they see in the media.
  • Nearly 18 percent of adolescent boys have concerns about their bodies and their weight. Among those boys, half wanted to gain more muscle and a third wanted to gain muscle and get thinner.

Troubling, right?

Fortunately, there are ways you can help safeguard your child’s body image.

Protect Your Child’s Body Image

As you probably already know, as parents (or grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc) we can’t protect our children from everything. But there are steps we can take to lessen the amount of exposure our kids have to these unrealistic, airbrushed images. and help protect their body image. Here are some ideas  that we’ve used with our kids that might help:

  • If you enjoy subscribing to magazines, focus on purchasing educational or hobby-related ones. Our daughter loves Outdoor Photographer. We also get Bicycling and Popular Science. We have them in a basket in the living room for easy access.  Try to avoid having gossip and fashion magazines lying around as these tend to be full of photo-shopped images.
  • Talk to your kids and make sure they know they can come and talk to you about anything. Encouraging free communication opens the door to many fun conversations! Admittedly, some can be awkward, but we’ve survived, even with 4 teenagers! The bottom line is to keep talking because even if you don’t think your kids hear a word you’re saying, they are listening!
  • Be aware who your child is friends with. I always wanted our house to be a place
    kids and body image
    Get to know your child’s friends.

    where our kids’ friends could hang out.  This allows you to get to know their friends better, observe interactions and offer a safe environment. After our boys left for college, things have quieted down a bit. But the girls enjoy having their friends over, playing ukuleles or ping-pong.

  • Model  a positive self body image. I realize for some of us this may be a struggle, especially if we have our own body image issues to contend with. But, you can do it! Try to avoid the words “fat” and “diet” in your house. If you’re constantly on a diet and counting calories your kids will notice, especially if you have girls. And they may think that’s what you’re supposed to do. In fact, an alarming number of very young girls are dieting these days. And it’s unhealthy for their developing bodies.
  • Avoid labeling foods as “bad” or “good”. Focus on foods you eat anytime or often (such as fruits and veggies) and foods you eat on occasion or rarely (such as dessert).

The Takeaway

Constant exposure to photo-shopped images in the media can have a negative impact on body image, especially for young children. Adults can help kids by modeling a good self body image, being involved in their child’s life through active and frequent conversations and being aware of who their child’s friends are.

What is your opinion about media’s impact on society? What tips would you add to this list?

Please post your comments below in the comment section. I love hearing from you!

Also, if you enjoyed this post you might want to check out:kids and body image

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