Reducing Stress with Laughter

Is there too much stress in your life? Is everything piling up and weighing you down? Perhaps you’ve tried pharmaceutical and herbal remedies, but nothing seems to work. You should try a proven natural therapy that has been used for generations to relive stress and make you feel better. So what is this miracle cure that makes us feel so great? It’s laughter. Laughter is nature’s way of easing tension and helping us relax. So take some time to laugh every day and you’ll be feeling better in no time.

 

So how does laughter work exactly? Well, laughter works on several levels to make us feel better and less stressed. First, laughter works to relieve stress physically. When we laugh, stress hormones in our blood, like cortisol, are actually reduced. Laughter also gives us a mini workout, which improves out health and releases hormones that make us feel happier. Lastly, when we laugh, it helps boost our immune system. The stronger our immune system is, the better we feel and the more prepared we are to combat stress.

 

Laughter helps us emotionally release stress as well. Our bodies are designed to release excess emotions physically through acts such as laughing and crying. When we laugh, it releases some of our negative emotions as well. It can also change the thoughts that promote our emotions. Laughter helps us think more positively, worry less, and be less stressed. Even if laughter doesn’t promote positive thinking, it can make us forget about our negative thoughts and feel better.

 

If you’re laughing with friends or loved ones, you are also promoting social bonding. When we are bonded with people, it promotes supportive relationships that can make us feel more supported and less burdened, so we feel less stressed out about our situation.

 

So what do you do if life just isn’t that funny? What if you just can’t find anything to laugh at? You fake it. That’s right, fake laughing. Consider one study done on forced laughter. Participants were asked to watch a movie and either not laugh at anything or laugh at the jokes whether they thought they were funny or not. After the movie, participants filled out a survey on how much they liked the movie. Believe it or not the people who laughed rated the movie as significantly better and funnier. Laughing, forced or not, improves the way you view the world and helps to fight stress from your everyday life.

 

In addition to stress relief, laughing has also been show to help you eat less, boost your immune system, increase your pain threshold, and even help you heal faster. So don’t delay. Whether it means going to a funny movie or laughing for no good reason at all, start laughing your way to a less stressful life today.

Benefits of Using an Exercise Ball

By now, you’ve probably seen an exercise ball. They’re those things that look like giant playground balls that you see people rolling and stretching on at the gym. You’re probably hesitant about using one of these balls. You may be worried about looking silly or can’t actually figure out how they work. Well, next time you’re at the gym, why don’t you try one out? You’ll probably find the benefits well worth it.

What most people consider to be the biggest benefit of using an exercise ball is its ability to strengthen your core muscles. These are the muscles in your abs and back; the muscles you work so hard to tone up with crunches. When you do exercises on a ball, your abdominal and back muscles are constantly working to make adjustments and keep you balanced. Unlike traditional exercises, the ball works the muscles on the front and back of your body at the same time, promoting a more balanced and healthy physique. Even if you’re targeting a different area, your core muscles are still getting exercise. Plus, there are tons of exercises you can do on a ball that focus on strengthening and toning these muscles even more.

If you slump at a desk all day and find that your back, neck, and shoulders are sore at night, you can definitely benefit from an exercise ball. By toning your core muscles, exercise balls can do wonders for your posture. When your core is toned, the muscles keep working after you’re done working out, helping you sit up straight. You can get this benefit even without working out by replacing your desk chair with an exercise ball. This way you to maintain proper posture to stay on the ball and work your core at the same time! If you don’t think your workplace will allow you to sit on an exercise ball at your desk, they make exercise ball chairs that provide the same benefit with a more professional look.

Have you had a previous injury to your back, knee or hip? Do you worry about exercising because it might aggravate your condition? An exercise ball can help. The ball can be used to support your body while you stretch or build muscles. Those with back injuries may even be able to find some relief from pain by lying on the ball. These balls are so good for helping relieve strain and preventing future injury, they’re often used by physical therapists for back rehabilitating back injuries.

If you find it hard to bend, move, and even touch your toes, an exercise ball can help you improve your flexibility. It can help you stretch yourself farther, but it can also provide support so you can stretch certain muscles more safely. Their ability to help stretch you out is one of the biggest reasons physical therapists swear by these balls.

So what are you waiting for? With all these benefits you can’t afford to not go out and get an exercise ball today.

7 Reasons Water Should Be Your Drink of Choice

We know water is good for us, but with soda, juice, coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other drinks so readily available, it’s hard to make the decision to choose water.  Here are 7 great reasons to drink more water.

Keeps skin looking great. If your skin looks tired and unhealthy, so do you. Staying properly hydrated removes all the toxins that build up in you skin, and helps prevent it from drying out. If you have the opposite problem; puffy bloated skin, lack of water is likely your problem too. When skin doesn’t get water, it retains what it already had, leaving your skin cells full, puffy, and not too attractive. If you want to look beautiful, you should keep yourself hydrated

A healthy heart. When you’re properly hydrated, your blood is thinner and easier to pump. This means your heart has to do less work and ultimately lasts longer. Studies have shown that people who drink plenty of water have fewer heart problems.

Toxic build-up. Sure, it sounds like something from a bathroom cleaner commercial, but you have toxins in your cells too. Some come from the environment and others you produce yourself. Either way, they’re in your body and you need to get rid of them. Just like you use water to flush your toilet; your body uses water to flush out toxins. Getting rid of this waste helps you function more effectively and feel better.

No sugar added. While fruit juices may contain many nutrients, they also contain a whole lot of sugar. This is especially true for many bottled juices from the grocery store. This sudden burst of sugar triggers your insulin response and makes you tired and sluggish. It also helps to convert that sugar to fats faster. Sugary sodas will produce the same reaction and they usually contain no nutrients at all

Caffeine is a diuretic. So why water? Why not drink diet soda or coffee all day? These drinks contain caffeine, which actually causes you to lose water throughout the day. You retain some of the water content of the beverages, but not as much as when you drink pure water. You can try decaffeinated beverages, but the best way to use the water you drink is to get it pure and clean, with no chemicals added.

Energy Boost. Think you can’t get through the day without your morning caffeine boost? Well water can give you energy as well. Your body is made up mostly of water. It loses it throughout the day, so you have to replace it for your body to work efficiently; particularly the heart and digestive tract. As mentioned earlier, water helps your body work better by getting rid of excess waste. The more efficiently your whole body is works, the better you’ll feel and the more energy you’ll have. Maybe enough energy to skip that cup of coffee.

So go ahead, skip the vending machine, go to the faucet, and get yourself a nice, refreshing glass of water.

7 Benefits of an Alkaline Diet

The premise of an alkaline diet is that the nutrients found in supplements, alkalizing foods, and water can  bring the body back to balance. These vitamins, minerals, and herbs infuse the body with new energy, vitality, and better health.

Alkaline foods and water must be consumed in order to provide nutrients the body needs to neutralize acids and toxins in the blood, lymph, tissues, and cells.

When pH balance inside the body is ‘out of balance’  the body tries to correct that sensitive pH balance. That process shows up as uncomfortable symptoms,  including colds, flues, allergies, diseases, viruses, and bacteria.

When the pH level in our body is unbalanced, almost any area of the body can be affected. For example when the nervous system is effected as the result of unbalanced pH balance it shows up in the form of the depression. When cardiovascular system is effected we could have heart disease or experience other heart-related problems, including thickening and hardening of the arteries, coronary heard disease, pain or discomfort in the chest, stroke, high blood pressure, and heart failure. When muscles are effected we often feel fatigue and lack of energy. When skin is effected by improper pH balance we age quicker than normal.

When the body’s pH level is in balance, the body reaches ideal weight and corrects negative health challenges naturally.

Transition to a more alkaline healthy diet requires a shift in attitude towards food. The important point to remember is that small changes go a long way. Add more alkaline foods to your diet gradually.

7 Sure-fire ways to make alkaline diet benefit you:

1) Reduce the consumption of sugar and products made from sugar, including soda pop, pies, ice cream, jello, jams & jellies, artificial juices, puddings, doughnuts, corn syrups, chewing gum, sweetened drinks, cookies, breakfast cereals, liqueurs, mixed drinks.

2) Avoid processed foods and condiments including ketchup, salad dressings, pickles, luncheon meats, canned fruits, breads, relish, cheese dips, peanut butter, prepared seafood, frozen vegetables, crackers, canned soups, hot dogs, sausages, sweetened yogurt.

3) Avoid cooking and heating foods and drinks in microwave.

4) Avoid dairy, meats, fried foods and fast foods.

5) Increase your consumption of raw vegetables and raw fresh fruits (without sugar). You should include raw vegetables in every meal. If your breakfast is so small that you only eat toast or cereal, stop eating toast and take fresh fruits or vegetable juices instead. If your lunches  usually consist of sandwiches,  try to substitute it with a raw salad or a vegetable juice. Have a large salad before you eat a heavy entree at dinner. This way, you will be sure to eat all of the salad instead of finding yourself too full to finish it.

6) Grains form the base of a balanced diet and are important in maintaining the alkaline balance in the body. Grains are great source of vitamins, minerals, and essential nutrients, including folic acid, fiber, carbohydrates antioxidants and phytoestrogens. The Department of Food and Science and Nutrition at University of Minnesota determined that consumption of whole grains reduces the risk of chronic diseases including cancer and cardiovascular disease. By eating grains you can eat less but feel full. Grains should comprise about 20% of your diet.

7) Don’t forget to hydrate. Drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of good quality of water each day. Add liquid minerals to increase the quality of water.

If you follow these easy 7 steps it will allow you to create the proper alkaline balance within your body.

Creating the proper alkaline balance within your body will bring you increased quality of life. You’ll start seeing immediate improvements in your health. Your energy will increase, your concentration will be stronger. You’ll build strength, stamina, and resistance to diseases. Your entire body will function more efficiently just like it was meant to do.

What Controversy Surrounds Hypothyroidism Treatment?

Unfortunately, there are many physicians that still believe that they can rely on the TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone) test alone to determine if someone has hypothyroidism. They rely on the lab results, and if you fall within the “norm,” then you must not have hypothyroidism, despite having many of the symptoms of this common condition. However, advocates of further testing state that TSH levels do not indicate what circulating thyroid hormones are actually doing in your body. Therefore, the TSH test does not provide the complete picture. Another thing to remember is that normal does not always mean optimal. That is a very important distinction to make!

Some doctors will also (or only) test your T4 levels. However, it often stops there. Advocates of further testing point out that even if your TSH lab result comes back “normal,” it does not necessarily mean that your body has enough of it. In addition, if your T4 levels are “normal” according to lab results, it does not mean that your body is converting it to T3 (to be used by your tissues) appropriately. In contrast, the assumption by the endocrinology community has been that there is nothing that goes wrong with the T4 to T3 conversion process in people’s bodies.

But hypothyroidism is easy to treat, right?

Many physicians have been taught that treatment of hypothyroidism is pretty standard, and easy to treat. You do one or two bloods tests. The lab results indicate whether that patient is hypothyroid. Easy, right? False.

If you speak to many patients with diagnosed hypothyrodism, they will tell you that despite treatment with thyroxine (T4) medications alone, they still do not feel completely normal. In fact, it is estimated that only 50% of people receive proper treatment. In other words, treating hypothyroidism is not as simple to treat as some practitioners may lead you to believe.

There are also patients who cannot get the diagnosis of hypothyroidism, despite feeling tired and cold all the time. The fatigue interferes with their daily functioning, and still they continue to live with undiagnosed hypothyroidism.

Are things changing?

There are more physicians who are beginning to move away from relying on the TSH and/or the T4 as the be-all and end-all of diagnosing this common condition. Some are also beginning to realize the importance of adding T3 hormone as an adjunct to T4 hormone treatment. Others also support the use of natural, dessicated thyroid in treatment.

Fortunately, more studies are being conducted into the effectiveness of T4/T3 combination therapy, and using less of a one-size-fits-all approach.

As well, more are starting to recognize that a full set of tests have to be done (TSH, Total T4, Free T4, Total T3, Free T3, Reverse T3, Thyroid Antibodies), and even if all of these test come back normal, the patient may still respond to treatment for hypothyroidism as normal may not be optimal for that patient.

So if you are not getting the answers you want from your physician, what should you do?

Find someone who will listen. You are the one who does not feel well.

If TSH and T4 tests are not detecting hypothyroidism, other tests to be considered include the Total T3 test, Free T3 test, Reverse T3 test, and Thyroid Antibodies test.

The Free T3 is an important test as it indicates if your body is converting T4 into the T3 it needs to help regulate the body. However, it is not routinely done by all physicians.

As mentioned earlier, it has long been thought by many in the medical community that there is no such thing as the inability of the body to have difficulty converting T4 into T3. So even if your TSH is normal, advocates of T3 testing state that symptoms of hypothyroid can be confirmed by the this test. This is then where the addition of T3 to the medical treatment can be beneficial.

Reverse T3 is another test to determine if your body is actually converting T4 into usable T3, or if it is actually converting it from T4 into the unusable form of Reverse T3.

Thyroid Antibodies can be tested for. Their presence can indicate that your body is attacking its own thyroid (called an autoimmune disease). Your TSH blood test (likely the most common test done to test for hypothyroidism) may prove normal, but the presence of thyroid antibodies may be enough for your doctor to consider treating you for your thyroid condition.

Another important consideration is that different labs use different values. Therefore, rather than look at lab values, and what the lab considers normal, you want to work with a doctor who works with you to determine what is a normal level for YOU. It is important to realize that normal thyroid lab values have decreased in range over the years, and even if your lab results come back normal, you still could have hypothyroidism.

There are some natural ways to support your thyroid, and ensure it functions optimally. You may want to find a doctor that practices functional medicine. A functional medical doctor can assist you with natural ways of treating the root cause of illness, rather than just treating the symptoms with medication. If you or someone you know may have a thyroid condition, call 770-731-9410 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Sean Savedoff.

3 Tips for Choosing the Right Doctor for Your Thyroid Condition

Thyroid disorders such as hypothyrodism are not easy to treat, despite what many physicians are still being taught. Even the endocrinology community is not on board with many new approaches to treatment, making it difficult for you to find someone who will take you seriously and listen to you, rather than only look at lab values.

Your healthcare practitioner is the most important person who can help you get better, but it is important to choose wisely. Here are some tips on finding a doctor who can help you improve your well-being.

1. You want a doctor who does not get defensive when you want to discuss things

The internet has provided many people with a way to research their own symptoms, and come up with their own diagnoses. Understandably, this can often be frustrating for physicians, as they are still responsible for performing the testing to come up with a diagnosis. There are many other reasons you could be experiencing symptoms, and it is up to them to consider all the options.

When it comes to your thyroid, however, you know how you have been feeling. You want to find a doctor who will listen to you, and does not get defensive when you bring your own ideas to the table. You need to find someone who will partner up with you, and who will take action to help you figure out what is happening.

You also want to find a doctor who does not get defensive when you ask for a copy of your lab results, and any other test results.

2. You want to find a doctor who is open to new treatment options

If you are told that the TSH test is “the test” that will determine if you are hypothyroid or not, and refuses to do any other testing, that is definitely not the right doctor for you. As you may already know, the Total T4, Total T3, Free T3, Free T4, and thyroid antibodies tests can provide much more valuable information.

Doctors like to see research, as their practice is evidence based. So, if you can bring in any research or information that your doctor is willing to review, that can be helpful. Of course, if your doctor gets defensive and refuses to look at the information, then that is a red flag to find someone else. You are looking for a doctor who is on the cutting edge of new research and methods.

3. Your doctor listens to you, not just the lab results

Lab results may indicate that you fall within the normal range, but they may not be optimal (or normal) for you. As well, lab values can fluctuate from lab to lab. Some labs are more antiquated, and are still using wider lab range values. If your doctor recognizes this and that you are still not feeling normal and he is willing to continue working with you to tweak things, then you know that you have found a good partner in care.

In summary, three tips have been outlined to help you in choosing the right doctor who can help you with your thyroid condition so that you can start feeling better again.

What is the Relationship Between Your Thyroid and Gluten?

In the majority of cases, hypothyroidism actually turns out to be an autoimmune disease, whereby the body attacks its own thyroid gland. This is what is known as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.

Causes of Hashimoto’s include:

Genetics

Hashimoto’s tends to run in families. Other family members may also have Hashimoto’s, or they may have some other kind of autoimmune disease (examples could include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and so forth).

Estrogen exposure

This means more women develop Hashimoto’s. More women also develop thyroid problems after giving birth, with it developing into Hashimoto’s later on.

Exposure to Radiation

This can occur due to exposure in the environment, or due to exposure from damaging cancer treatments.

So you might be asking yourself, what does Hashimoto’s (hypothyroidism caused by the thyroid being attacked by its own body) have to do with gluten?

Many studies have linked gluten intolerance (including Celiac Disease) and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. This link is so common that when someone is diagnosed with gluten intolerance, they should be referred for testing of thyroid antibodies, and vice versa.

Why is there this connection?

The protein portion of gluten resembles your thyroid tissue! If you have gluten intolerance, your body’s immune system attacks the gluten by producing antibodies. These same antibodies also attack your thyroid, because of its resemblance in structure to gluten! So, if you have gluten intolerance, and you eat gluten, your body will attack the gluten and your thyroid.

Knowing which foods to avoid can make a huge difference in how you are feeling, and can help stop this destructive process.

What kinds of foods contain gluten?

Foods that contain barley, wheat, rye, and triticale (which is a combination of rye and wheat) should be avoided. Examples of some wheat ingredients include:

Durum flour

Spelt

Farina

Semolina

Bulgur

Some actual foods to avoid, unless they say they are gluten free, include:

Bread

Beer

Cereal

Pastas

Certain sauces and salad dressings

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, but is one place to start. The key is that there is a high correlation between thyroiditis and gluten intolerance.

There are some natural ways to support your thyroid, and ensure it functions optimally. You may want to find a doctor that practices functional medicine. A functional medical doctor can assist you with natural ways of treating the root cause of illness, rather than just treating the symptoms with medication. If you or someone you know may have a thyroid condition, call 770-731-9410 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Sean Savedoff.

More Natural Treatments for a Healthy Thyroid

Gluten free crepes from rice flour, potato starch and millet flour with honeyIf you have problems with your thyroid, you undoubtedly want to take steps to get better. One way of doing this is by implementing natural methods into your lifestyle.

Removing foods from your diet such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc. that cause slowing of your thyroid, is one way to begin to treat your thyroid naturally.

Other options include:

Choosing the proper gluten-free foods – Foods that contain gluten include wheat, rye, and barley products. Some foods that do not contain gluten include eggs, meats (chicken, fish, and other meats) that are not battered or marinated, unprocessed beans and nuts. Other foods to explore include quinoa, buckwheat, cornmeal, flax, and amaranth. You can find some of these foods at specialty health food stores, or in some bulk zones of your supermarket. It is important to ensure though that cross contamination with gluten-containing products has not happened.

Switching over to coconut oil – Instead of using other kinds of oils, coconut oil is a healthy alternative that is thyroid-friendly. However, it is not a cure.

Drink plenty of water – This should be no surprise. Water is necessary to sustain life. Water not only helps to reduce constipation, it also ensures you remain hydrated, which helps your metabolism and energy.

Exercise – If your thyroid is not functioning at its optimal level, the thought of exercise can seem almost unimaginable if you are already so tired all the time. However, it is recommended that you exercise at least three times per week from thirty to forty-five minutes each time. The results of exercise are extra energy and a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment. Exercise also has the added benefit of burning calories and revving up your metabolism.

Take quality vitamins and minerals – Supplementation is important to ensure the thyroid has what it needs to operate optimally. In particular, the important vitamins include highly absorbable levels of B vitamins, vitamins C, D, and E, and the minerals zinc, selenium, and iodine.

When choosing vitamins, you want to take a high-quality multivitamin/mineral combination, rather than buying separate bottles of everything. This helps to ensure that you are getting the right amounts in the right combinations, while getting many other vitamins and minerals besides the ones already mentioned.

In conclusion, there are some natural ways to support your thyroid, and ensure it functions optimally. You may want to find a doctor that practices functional medicine. A functional medical doctor can assist you with natural ways of treating the root cause of illness, rather than just treating the symptoms with medication. If you or someone you know has a thyroid condition, call 770-731-9410 and schedule an appointment with Dr. Sean Savedoff.

3 Natural Treatments for an Underactive Thyroid

There are some natural ways to support your thyroid, and ensure it functions optimally. You may want to find a doctor that practices functional medicine. A functional medical doctor can assist you with natural ways of treating the root cause of illness, rather than just treating the symptoms with medication.

The thyroid is, after all, considered the “Master” in controlling your body’s metabolism. It needs to be treated with respect, so that you can feel better.

Here are three natural treatments that you can do to support your thyroid:

1. Detoxify your liver

Maybe you are asking yourself what your liver has to do with your thyroid. The answer is, “lots!” Your liver is a very important organ, as one of its roles is to filter blood and detoxify it as it passes through the liver. Therefore, it is the main detoxification organ in your body, as everything you consume (alcohol, medications, etc.) eventually makes its way through your liver. Your liver is also responsible for converting the T4 (Thyroxine) hormone into the more active T3 form.

2. Ensure you get enough iodine, BUT…..
If you are including iodized salt in your diet, you are probably okay. However, as many people try to cut back on their salt intake for other health reasons such as maintaining healthy blood pressures, they also reduce their intake of iodine. One BIG exception to the iodine rule: if you’ve been diagnosed with or think you may have Hashimoto’s (autoimmune hypothyroiditis), iodine may make you worse if there is a selenium deficiency. Selenium protects against the effects of iodine toxicity. If you increase iodine without checking for a selenium deficiency, you can not only create Hashimotos but make it worse if you have already been diagnosed with it. Make sure your doctor is testing for this before any iodine therapy is undertaken.

3. Eat certain foods that support your thyroid, and avoid or lessen consumption of others that do not.

As Hippocrates stated, “Let food be thy medicine…”

Foods to include in your diet include:

• Eggs

• Grass-fed beef

• Wild caught saltwater fish

• Cultured or fermented dairy (cheese or yogurt) from grass-fed sources

Avoid or lessen consumption of foods such as:

Some foods are considered “goitrogenic,” meaning they cause the thyroid to function more slowly, making hypothyroid symptoms worse.

The foods that fall in this category include cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, and kale.

Other foods that do not support your thyroid’s functioning include:

• Peanuts

• Corn

• Almonds

• Soy products (soy milk, soy shakes, etc)

• Spinach

• Peaches

• Pears

• Turnips

• Foods containing gluten

10 Ways To Sneak Some Extra Fruits And Vegetables In Your Family’s Diet

We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they? Sometimes it is just not easy to get them all in there. We are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience and junk food.   So we’ll have to get creative. Here are a few ideas to “sneak” some extra vegetables and fruits in your family’s diet.

1. Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yogurt and ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure. Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. I like to sip mine in a thermal cup on the way to work. To make it even more appealing for your kids, use some frozen yogurt or a scoop of ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast.

2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box, pack some yogurt-covered raisins in your husband’s briefcase and keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. My family loves banana chips in their breakfast cereal.

3. Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches. You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and anything else they will eat. You can even make a sub shop style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some mayonnaise and cheese on bread.

4. Have a salad bar at dinner. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some cheese and croutons as well as several choices of salad dressing along with the lettuce and let everybody create their own perfect salad.

5. Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.

6. Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it with lots of fresh or frozen fruit.

7. Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks. You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with ranch dip. And of course there’s ants on a log. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack).

8. Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With a little luck their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local store.

9. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew that’s heavy on veggies and easy on the meat. Both of these make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold.

10. Start “My Veggie Day”. Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They qualify to pick a vegetable as long as they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise they loose a turn and Mom gets to pick.

Incorporate a few of these ideas and you will have everyone in your family eating more fruits and vegetables in no time.

Here is another tip:

Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for it, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available and ready to snack on.