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Whole Wheat Muffins with Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chips

Whole grains are the perfect breakfast food. Whole grains come in many different formats. If you plan on baking with them, it’s a great idea to have staples like whole wheat flour and oats in your pantry. These are two of the main ingredients in this recipe for Whole Wheat Muffins with Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chips.

The chocolate chips make this recipe kid friendly, so much so that these muffins almost taste like dessert! However, the whole wheat flour keeps them healthy and will make you feel full for a long time. An important note about whole wheat flour – it can spoil faster than white flour because it has germ oil in it. You will usually know if your whole wheat flour is spoiled because it will have a strong odor to it. Fresh flour should not have a scent. To ensure the longest shelf life possible, store your whole wheat flour in a dark pantry in a container that is tightly sealed. 

 

Whole Wheat Muffins with Oatmeal and Dark Chocolate Chips
Serves 12
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
40 min
293 calories
34 g
17 g
16 g
5 g
11 g
81 g
217 g
16 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
81g
Servings
12
Amount Per Serving
Calories 293
Calories from Fat 141
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g
25%
Saturated Fat 11g
57%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 17mg
6%
Sodium 217mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 34g
11%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 16g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A
1%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
12%
Iron
10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup low-fat milk
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1/2 cup coconut oil
  4. 1/2 cup brown sugar
  5. 1 1/4 cup quick oats
  6. 1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  7. 4 tsp baking powder
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 3/4 cup dark chocolate chips
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a muffin tin with nonstick spray or use cupcake liners.
  3. Using a mixer, blend together the wet ingredients (milk, egg, and coconut oil).
  4. Using another mixing bowl, add the dry ingredients and mix (brown sugar, oats flour, baking powder and salt).
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  6. Lastly, add the chocolate chips and mix until they are evenly distributed in the batter.
  7. Distribute the mixture evenly into the muffin tin.
  8. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  9. Serve hot or store for up to 3 days.
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calories
293
fat
16g
protein
5g
carbs
34g
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OrganWise Guys Blog https://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/
Corporate Wellness and Obesity Prevention

Corporate Wellness and Obesity Prevention

Thanks to the tireless effort of our amazing partners, our influence is expanding! Our evidence-base from schools, communities and head starts, has led to a new sector, corporate health and wellness.

How do kids fit into corporate wellness and obesity prevention? To begin, employees are also parents. Many parents wish to instill healthy living habits in their children. Working parents are more likely short on time and not sure of the best approach. Secondly, children are dependents on company health care policies. So, their wellbeing has an impact on the bottom line. As childhood obesity continues to affect youth, corporations recognize the potential impact they can make by investing in obesity prevention for children in schools and communities.

Sponsoring turnkey, evidence-based school and community-wide programs and events, as part of a year round initiative where children and families spend their time, are steps in the right direction, not to mention great opportunities for public relations. Coupling this outreach with consistent messaging in the workplace provides further opportunity for family engagement.

In terms of corporate wellness and obesity prevention, this topic is important because children are the future pool of employees. Empowering children with skills to live healthy and giving them tools to build a foundation of healthy habits makes for a promising future workforce. A workforce that is more productive, vibrant and robust is much better than one filled with missed days, working while sick, and other issues that contribute to enormous, and growing, health care costs.

 

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Extending the impact of corporate wellness programs into the home and community may help achieve the two-fold goal of healthier, happier employees and dependents and the impetus to turn the tide on the obesity trajectory.

We are so appreciative of the tireless efforts of health educators ‘in the field’ – from teachers, county Extension Agents, nutritionists, nurses, etc. As parents take initiative and more resources are available through corporate channels, it follows that the positive impact could be exponential! Click here to continue reading about this issue and to see how promoting family and community engagement is an investment toward a healthier bottom line and happier, more productive employees and families.

Childhood Obesity: The New Plague in America

Childhood Obesity

With one in three kids overweight, obesity has become the top health concern in the USA. How has obesity “plagued” the nation, and what can we do about it?

Did you know that nearly one in three American children is overweight? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, the childhood obesity rate has almost been tripled in the past three decades. Overweight children are prone to immediate and long-term health effects, including cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, dangerous blood cholesterol levels, and even death in adulthood. Moreover, overweight children often suffer from low self-esteem, negative body image, and depression.

For those reasons, childhood obesity is the prime health concern in the USA today, even bigger than smoking and drug abuse. The drastic effects of childhood obesity echo clearly in the words of former Surgeon General Richard Carmona:

“Because of the increasing rates of obesity, unhealthy eating habits and physical inactivity, we may see the first generation that will be less healthy and have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.”

Childhood Obesity According to Ethnicity

Heart.org has released percentages of childhood obesity by ethnicity for children between the ages of 2 and 19:

  • For non-Hispanic whites, 17.5 percent of males and 14.7 percent of females.
  • For non-Hispanic blacks, 22.6 percent of males and 24.8 percent of females.
  • For Mexican-Americans, 28.9 percent of males and 18.6 percent of females. 

(Source: Heart.org) 

How Do I Know if my Child Is Overweight?

Body Mass Index, or BMI, is widely used to determine a person’s body fat by correlating weight and height measurements. Rather than calculating the ratio yourself, use the BMI calculator for accurate readings.

Once you find your child’s BMI rating, it can be plotted on a standard BMI chart, which is given below for kids aged 2-19.

Underweight: BMI below the 5th percentile

Normal Weight: BMI at the 5th and less than the 85th percentiles

Overweight: BMI at the 85th and below the 95th percentiles

Obese: BMI at or above the 95th percentile

However, BMI calculations are not meant to determine body fat in infants or young toddlers. A physician can use special “weight for length” charts to estimate body fat in babies or infants.

In some cases, BMI can be misleading, for example . . .

  • Muscular children may have high BMIs, without being overweight, because much of the weight comes from extra muscle rather than fat.
  • Children experience rapid growth during puberty.

If your child seems overweight, consult your doctor, who can suggest changes in lifestyle and diet, based on a medical screening of your child.

Causes of Being Overweight

From genetics to medications, lifestyles and eating habits, many factors contribute to becoming obese. Children prefer snacks and fast foods over healthy and homemade food. Tight schedules and busy lives make it difficult to find time to prepare healthy meals or to exercise. Therefore, even kids with good BMIs can develop the tendency to become overweight.

What is the Role of the Parent in Tackling Childhood Obesity?

parent’s support and effort are essential to keep childhood obesity at bay. As a responsible parent, you must encourage your children to eat healthy food and engage in physical activities in the following ways:

  • Improve your kids’ eating habits by adding healthy, real foods to their daily diet.
  • Limit their consumption of fast foods and snacks.
  • Motivate them to engage in physical activities, workouts, and sports.
  • Explain to them the benefits of health in one’s life, such as increased energy, better focus, etc.

In addition to parents, schools play an important role by creating a safe and supportive environment to encourage healthy eating and physical activities. 

Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce

Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce

The weather is getting cooler so it’s time to pull out your slow cooker! Slow cookers are a great kitchen gadget for when you can’t spend more than 30 minutes in the kitchen but want a satisfying meal. Another great use for slow cookers is to make sauces, like this recipe for Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce. To avoid all the flavors blending together, we sauté the onions and garlic first for 10 minutes before putting the rest of the ingredients into the cooker.

The result is a recipe that makes a savory, filling and fresh tomato sauce that you can use in your favorite pasta or pizza recipes. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months and defrost when you need a healthy tomato sauce in a pinch. Also, by making your own tomato sauces you not only use fresh tomatoes, which are in season this fall, but you cut down on added salt and sugar from jarred sauces.

Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce
Serves 8
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
2 hr
Total Time
2 hr 15 min
111 calories
9 g
0 g
9 g
2 g
1 g
171 g
206 g
5 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
171g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 111
Calories from Fat 77
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 9g
13%
Saturated Fat 1g
6%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 206mg
9%
Total Carbohydrates 9g
3%
Dietary Fiber 2g
8%
Sugars 5g
Protein 2g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
27%
Calcium
5%
Iron
8%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  2. 3 garlic cloves, minced
  3. 1 red or white onion, sliced thin
  4. 1 tomato, chopped
  5. 1 29 oz. can diced tomatoes
  6. 1 29 oz can pureed tomatoes
  7. 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  8. 1/4 cup pesto
  9. Salt, sugar and pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat a nonstick skillet to medium heat. Add the extra virgin olive oil. When it begins to sizzle, add the garlic cloves and stir to coat in the oil. As soon as they begin to brown, add the onion. Stir to combine ingredients.
  2. Set heat to medium low, cover, and let the onion and garlic cook for 10 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
  3. After the onion has cooked, add the tomato. Cook for 5 additional minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the rest of the ingredients except the salt, sugar and pepper to the slow cooker. Mix well. Transfer the stovetop ingredients to the slow cooker and combine. Add the salt, sugar and pepper, to taste.
  5. Cook on low for 2 hours. Before serving, use an immersion blender or blender to blend all ingredients together.
  6. Store or serve immediately with your favorite pizza or pasta.
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calories
111
fat
9g
protein
2g
carbs
9g
more
OrganWise Guys Blog https://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/

Benefits of Exercise for Kids – The OrganWise Guys

Can you see your kids battling the risks of obesity throughout childhood and later on? Certainly not! But the sad reality is that one in three American kids are overweight or obese. Being a responsible parent, you don’t want your kid to be that “one.”

Therefore, in addition to serving them healthy food, encourage them to do daily exercise. Yes, exercise which can be any physical activity, including running, skipping, jumping, cycling or simple walking.

Add exercise to their daily routine and help them grow into healthy adults with strong bones, muscles and flexibility while keeping the threat of obesity at bay. So, don’t delay! Start motivating your kids to exercise daily or take part in sporting activities at their school.

For your convenience, have a look at the infographic given here to learn the benefits of exercises for your kids along with the various types they can enjoy.

Benefits of Exercise for Kids

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Simple Margherita Pizza

Simple Margherita Pizza

Tomatoes are in season in September so we bet you need ideas for what to do with all those fresh, delicious, vine-ripened tomatoes. We love this recipe for a Simple Margherita Pizza because it really highlights the flavor of these star vegetables. Tomatoes are a naturally low-fat, high-fiber vegetable that is a great source of Vitamins A and C. By keeping this recipe simple, it will appeal to picky eater’s taste buds. And, who doesn’t love pizza?! 

For a delicious twist and a way to get restaurant worthy crust, grill your pizza instead of baking it. You need a pizza stone and a pizza peel (it looks like a giant spatula) in order to grill like we did in this recipe. The result is a crunchy, thin crust pizza that will be a family hit.

Simple Margherita Pizza
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
20 min
216 calories
8 g
45 g
14 g
14 g
8 g
114 g
505 g
3 g
0 g
6 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
114g
Servings
4
Amount Per Serving
Calories 216
Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 14g
22%
Saturated Fat 8g
39%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 45mg
15%
Sodium 505mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 8g
3%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 3g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
15%
Vitamin C
9%
Calcium
30%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 bag premade whole wheat pizza dough (from the bakery section of your grocery store)
  2. 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  3. 1 vine-ripened tomato, sliced thin
  4. 1 ball fresh mozzarella, sliced thin
  5. Fresh basil, torn into pieces (optional)
  6. Olive oil for drizzling
  7. Salt, to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat the grill with the pizza stone on it to 700 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, roll out the pizza dough to your preferred shape and size. Sprinkle flour on the pizza peel, and carefully transfer the dough to it. Move the peel around to make sure the dough is not sticking. If it is, add more flour.
  3. Assemble your pizza starting with the tomato sauce, then the tomato and mozzarella. Add the basil on top and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  4. Transfer the pizza from the pizza peel to the stone (it should slide off). Cover and cook for 10 minutes until the cheese is bubbly.
  5. Remove from the grill. Let cool for 10 minutes then serve.
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calories
216
fat
14g
protein
14g
carbs
8g
more
OrganWise Guys Blog https://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/
Why Is It Important to Tackle the Problem of Childhood Obesity?

Why Is It Important to Tackle the Problem of Childhood Obesity?

“Eating less and exercising more is the solution to weight control.” Alas! That advice is no longer working these days. The increase in the number of overweight kids is troubling, as it causes health issues and can lead to social issues as well. Overweight kids are often teased by their friends, lose self-esteem, or develop body-mage problems. When kids are overweight, it requires a great deal of effort and responsibility for them to return to a normal weight.

Extra weight and obesity in youngsters are among the greatest risks to kids’ long- and short-term health. Overweight kids are prone to becoming overweight grownups, and therefore also more prone to heart diseases, cancer, diabetes, stroke, and osteoarthritis.

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Healthy Tomato Vodka Sauce

Healthy Tomato Vodka Sauce

This month, we are all about keeping things simple. With back-to-school season in full swing, weeknight meals need to be on the table in 30 minutes and the cleanup should be minimal. That’s why we love this recipe for Healthy Tomato Vodka Sauce.

Typically, vodka sauce is made with heavy cream which adds a lot of saturated fat. By swapping out the cream with some plain Greek yogurt and reduced-fat milk, the creamy texture remains without the unhealthiness. Best of all, this recipe calls for lots and lots of tomatoes, which are a September Foods of the Month! Bulk it up with more veggies by adding sautéed onions, peas or your favorite veggie. We keep it simple with the recipe below, but the possibilities are endless.
 

Healthy Tomato Vodka Sauce
Serves 8
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
30 min
71 calories
4 g
2 g
2 g
1 g
1 g
111 g
99 g
3 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
111g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 71
Calories from Fat 20
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 2g
3%
Saturated Fat 1g
3%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 2mg
1%
Sodium 99mg
4%
Total Carbohydrates 4g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 3g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
5%
Vitamin C
14%
Calcium
4%
Iron
4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 29 oz. can whole San Marzano tomatoes
  2. 1 regular tomato, chopped
  3. 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 garlic cloves, minced
  5. 1/2 cup vodka
  6. 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  7. 1/4 cup reduced fat milk
  8. 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  9. Fresh basil for topping
Instructions
  1. Add the San Marzano tomatoes (juice drained) and the chopped tomato to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside
  2. Using a skillet on medium high heat, add the olive oil and cook the minced garlic until it begins to brown. Add the blended tomatoes and mix together.
  3. Set the skillet to medium low and add the vodka.
  4. Let the flavors blend for about 10 minutes, until the alcohol flavor cooks off.
  5. Mix in the Greek yogurt and the reduced fat milk and stir well to combine. Let the sauce simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Finally, stir in the ground nutmeg and basil. Serve with whole grain pasta and your favorite veggies.
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calories
71
fat
2g
protein
1g
carbs
4g
more
OrganWise Guys Blog https://www.organwiseguys.com/blog/
Healthy Eating Tips: Which Foods Can Benefit Your Mental Health—and How

Healthy Eating Tips: Which Foods Can Benefit Your Mental Health—and How

You might have heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.”

Eating healthy food is not only beneficial for your body, but also essential for your mental and emotional well-being. Several studies have demonstrated the relationship between “food” and “mood.” Many healthy foods have also proved to be beneficial to mental and emotional health.

Sadly, the role of nutrition in mental health has been under-recognized by the health industry for many years. Thanks to the latest research, the connection between nutrition and emotional health is finally pushing its way into the mainstream.

How do certain foods work to improve your mood?

Dr. Mercola clarifies this relationship:

In a very real sense, you have TWO brains—one in your head, and one in your gut—both of which are created from the same tissue during fetal development.

These two systems are connected via your vagus nerve, the tenth cranial nerve that runs from your brain stem down to your abdomen. It is now well established that the vagus nerve is the primary route your gut bacteria use to transmit information to your brain.

Maintaining optimal gut health is therefore paramount when trying to address your mental state.

Understanding the role of nutrition in mental and emotional health is important because one in five people suffers from depression, anger, and anxiety. Those mental problems can be minimized by ingesting certain minerals—like iron, Vitamin B12, and calcium.

A few changes in your diet may be effective at alleviating the symptoms of mental illness, mood swings, and other disorders.

However, you cannot just eat anything, whether it be a big, juicy hamburger or a slice of spicy pizza. Consume only healthy foods, rich in nutrients that benefit your mental health. Those foods are listed below:

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

It is interesting to note that New Zealand reports having a 60 times more depressive population than does Japan; the Japanese diet is rich in cold water fish, rich in Omega 3 fatty acid.

Several studies have proved that Omega 3 fatty acids are beneficial for controlling psychiatric disorders, like bipolar disorder and depression. Sadly, our standard American diet lacks these essential nutrients, and depression has become a common mental illness in the US.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that include EPA and DHA. Studies have found that EPA affects the blood flow, hormones, and the immune system, influencing brain functions. Moreover, DHA facilitates the processes of shaping and transmitting electrical signals to the brain.

Great sources of Omega 3 Fatty Acids are salmon, cod liver oil, walnuts, tuna, white fish, egg yolks, hemp seeds, and sardines.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are counted among the best brain foods for many reasons. Enriched with glucose, they deliver glucose to the brain. Plus, they are helpful in reducing mood disorders by regulating spikes in blood sugar. Therefore, add brown rice and whole grain cereals and pastas, and granary bread to your diet to reap these rewards for your brain.

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Dark Green Leafy Vegetables

Green leafy veggies are rich in vitamin E and folate, which are believed to be good for improving memory. The folate level in green veggies like kale, collard greens, spinach, and broccoli in turn lowers the level of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine is the amino acid that, in excess, can damage nerve cells in the brain.

Fermented Foods

Several fermented foods—like yogurt, olives or pickles—contain probiotics, which are healthy bacteria; probiotics have been found helpful in combatting cases of stress and anxiety. They also affect the GABA neurotransmitter.

Adding these foods to your diet is essential to your mental health. However, they don’t serve as alternatives to medications and other treatments for mental disorders. In addition to improving your diet, you must consult your doctor if you are suffering from any mental disorder.

It is important – and tasty! – to begin to integrate these healthy foods into your meals for your physical health and, just as importantly, your vibrant mental health.

Weight-Related Questions to Ask the Pediatrician (by Your Child’s Age)

Weight-Related Questions to Ask the Pediatrician (by Your Child’s Age)

With child obesity increasing at an alarming rate, consulting your kid’s doctor is as important as adopting a healthy lifestyle for your children. It should be the first step in preventing childhood obesity. Most parents avoid discussing their children’s weight issues with doctors if they are overweight themselves. Surprisingly, some pediatricians don’t think it’s necessary to talk about it as they feel that doing so may hurt the parents’ self-esteem, especially when the parents’ self-esteem centers around their children.

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