Friday, July 29, 2011

Our Recent "Homeschool" Family Field Trips

Our children are young, and they still have a lot of places and opportunities to explore.  Most of the time, my husband and I bring them to places that they have not visited yet.  And as a homeschooling family, we occasionally do our own family “field trips”.  My husband and I intentionally bring our children to places where they could find opportunities to learn and explore, at the same time, enjoy and have fun.

Here are some snapshots of recent field trips that we had as a family:

First, the Science Discovery Center in SM Mall of Asia to expose the kids to the different wonders of science...
After watching a short film inside the Planetarium, we somehow felt how it was being in outer space. Cool!
The kids enjoyed watching this robot play the electric keyboard.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Healthy Cooking Tips (Part 2)

Bake, Boil, Broil or Roast This I learned from my Cardiologist that the healthy ways to cook lean meat, fish or poultry are baked, boiled (or steamed for fish), broiled or grilled or roasted.  If frying cannot be completely avoided, stir-frying is the better option than deep frying.  And use the right kind of oil.

Use cooking oil with high amount of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – Firstly, let us distinguish the “bad fats” from the “good fats” and let us define what monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are.  Monounsaturated fats lower total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the so-called bad cholesterol) and increase HDL cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol).  Polyunsaturated fats, where Omega-3 fatty acids belong, also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.  Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the “good fats”.  On the other hand, saturated fats increase total blood cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the so-called bad cholesterol) while trans fat increases LDL cholesterol and lowers HDL cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol).  Both saturated fats and trans fat are classified as the “bad fats”.

Healthy Cooking Tips (Part 1)

This day and age, when fast food chains and instant foods are widespread, it is not enough that we eat a balanced meal in order to achieve a healthy diet and a healthier you.  Though food selection is important, it is not enough that we simply purchase foods that are high in complex carbohydrates, complex proteins, fiber and low in saturated fats.  Food preparation is equally imperative.  Food must be free from harmful additives, and it must be prepared in a way that it preserves its nutrients and avoids the occurrence of harmful substances.

Here are some basic guidelines that I would like to share to you for preparing and cooking foods the healthy way:

Avoid foods that contain additives and artificial ingredients – Additives are placed in foods for several reasons: to lengthen shelf life; to make a food more appealing by enhancing color, texture, or taste, and even make the product more marketable.  Anyone whose diet is high in processed food products clearly consumes a high amount of additives and artificial ingredients.  Additives and artificial ingredients simply add little or no nutritional value to a food product.  Some additives could even pose a threat to our health.

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Top 5 Favorite Stores

I’m not really a “shopaholic” person.  As much as possible, I try to buy only what I or my family need, and I mean this of course falls within the categories of food, shelter and clothing, and to add one more, education.  Gone were the days that I splurge on shopping for myself ever since we had children.  I guess I’m the kind of person who would prefer to be lazing in the beach or savoring the quietness of nature than being in the crowded malls.  The grocery store is, of course, the only store we commonly go to for obvious reasons.  But there are simply some specialty stores that I really love going to for great finds, quality service, and for personal/family health care.  And let me just share them to you today – my top 5 favorite stores!  Unfortunately, I don’t have any photo of me and my family in any of these stores, but I can share to you the links to their website, in case you get interested, too.

In random order, my top 5 favorite stores are:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gluten-free, Vegetarian and Hypoallergenic Children’s Multi-vitamins

A friend of mine recently asked me what vitamins I give to my children because she noticed that my daughter is looking “healthier” these days.  My little girl has indeed gained more weight (and height, too) and that’s primarily because both of my children have not been getting sick for a long time already.  In fact, their last visit to their Pediatrician prior to their recent annual well child check-up before school started was almost a year ago.  And in their well child check-up, I was glad that the results for both children were good - that their weight is within average (not over or under weight) and their height is in the upper percentile.  My daughter is quite a picky eater; therefore, she needs nutritional support for health and overall well-being.  My children are no longer taking any synthetic vitamins and supplements but instead I give them multi-vitamins and mineral supplement from whole food concentrates.

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