Bullying and its offshoot, Cyberbullying are two terms, which carry heavy weight. Since Columbine, Americans are quick to identify what is disproportionately normative behavior in childhood development as something sinister in its origins. With the advent of social media, one phrase misplaced can create a tidal wave of social destruction. Children are learning about boundaries in a world that cannot contain them. Before you jump to conclusions that your child may be a victim of a bully or the one busy doing the bullying look for signs that may help point you in the correct direction.
Apples are one of the most commonly eaten fruits in America. Antioxidant missiles are loaded in these nutrition bombs. We all know about the sweet crunchy taste of an apple but many of us are unaware that apples contain an unique chemical makeup in the form of quercetin, catechin, cholorgenic acid, and phloridzin. It’s literally a mouthful, I know. These difficult to pronounce antioxidants fight free radicals and oxidative stress, which we know by now can lead to the proliferation of disease in the human body when gone unchecked.
No one wants his/her child to feel depressed and/or anxious. No one wants a child to suffer needlessly. Many times we look for complicated answers to simple questions. Is my child depressed? Is my child struggling with anxiety? Sometimes we can find the answer with an easy test. Depression and anxiety can occur as a result of an undetected nutritional deficiency. Unfortunately, most doctors will not screen for this routinely nor will therapists suggest this in most cases. Hopefully, we can change that dialogue. So until your practitioners suggest these guidelines; I will suggest them for you. If you or a loved one is suffering from symptoms of depression or anxiety, please go to your doctor and request the following lab work:
- Daily vigorous exercise. Make yourself sweat!
- Get outdoors and feel the sun on your skin.
- Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables.
- Eat Omega-3 fats from fatty fish such as Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon.
- Cut out sugar and simple carbohydrates.
- Take a new class (sewing, dancing or cooking).
- Be social. Go out and laugh and talk.
- Call a friend.
- Do something kind for someone else.
- Play with your children. Hug your children. Laugh with your children.
- Start a gratitude journal to help reframe your thoughts.
- Go to bed and wake up the same time everyday to normalize your circadian rhythm.
- Reduce or eliminate alcohol.
- Read a book.
- Begin a daily meditation practice. Start with just 5 minutes and build your way up.
- Drink more water. Dehydration in its mildest form can cause pain, lethargy and even anxiety.
- Take a break from social media.
- Say NO to activities that add stress to your family life.
- Value your family by valuing yourself first. If you are depleted – no one benefits.
- Smile and choose happiness. Or start with choosing moments of happiness.
- Understand that every thought and every feeling is temporary. Acknowledge, learn and move on.
- Learn to apologize and learn to forgive.
- Learn a new skill.
- Cook a meal with your children.
- Attempt to be present in every moment.
We make a choice as a family to buy organic groceries whenever possible. We want to support the farmers who care for our planet and our health. I am willing to pay a little more at the store in hopes that I don’t pay the price with our health later. Does eating organics ensure we will never become ill? No. But I would rather invest in prevention than in recovery.
Every parent wants his/her child to feel happy. Happiness is driven by a series of choices. How we choose to feed our children, discipline our children, care for our children all impacts their mental health. It isn’t one factor that leads to depression, anger, irritability or anxiety. Sit back and take stock of the daily decisions you make as a parent. Where you see there is need for improvement – seek out positive change. It all begins with you. And I have a funny feeling you are up for the task. Don’t sell yourself short…dig in and get to work.
I know what you are thinking- those cookies look really good right now. And I would agree. Something about a chewy chocolate chip cookie makes me happy. Well, guess what? It may not all be in our head. There is a sneaky little reason why we feel happy when we eat comfort foods like pizza and cookies. Scientists call it, dopamine. I call it, heaven.
The glorious chickpea, when consumed at appropriate levels (it is hard not to go crazy with these guys), fills us with necessary nutrients to send us on a path of good health. If you are looking for an array of vitamins and minerals; search no further. Chickpeas are compact weapons of mass restoration: iron, zinc, copper, phosphorus, folate, manganese, protein and fiber.
Oh, yeah. AND magnesium, potassium, selenium, Vitamin B6, calcium, Vitamin K and thiamin.
Anger in a child can be baffling for a parent. Where did it come from? And why? It can trigger your own anger as you see your child begin to spin out of control; lashing out at those closest without provocation or regret. As a parent, I struggle to keep my angry feelings in check when I see the flares begin to fire from across the room. I want to rescue one child and reprimand another.
We ALL feel stress. Some of us don’t like to admit it; as if acknowledging stress means you lose some kind of human superpower. For others, we like to own it. We like to wrap ourselves in it like a warm blanket and, unfortunately, we sometimes let that blanket swallow us whole.