Tag Archives: health

5 Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

5 Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

5 Exercises You Can Do AnywhereKids, work, travel. All reasons we look to in order to skip the workout. Not anymore! The best part of fitness is that it’s versatile. You can sit in a chair and workout, you can stand and workout. No matter where you are in your day, you can fit in exercise and show your kids, no matter what the day brings, it can be done!

MECKids has 5 exercises you and your kids can do ANYWHERE and together!

Wall Sits: Place yourself against a wall and walk your legs out until you are at a 90 degree angle. Hold that position for 60 seconds. Do that for 3 reps.

Push-ups: No matter if you are do them with bent knees or or with your legs extended out, you will get your heart-rate UP! Do 15 reps for 3 sets.

Lunges: While in standing position, extend (lunge forward) with one leg. Alternate 15 reps on each leg for 3 sets.

Squats: Stand with legs shoulder-width apart. Bend down 90 degrees then return to standing position. Repeat this motion for 15 reps, 3 sets.

Planks: Work that core! Stand in full push-up position with legs extended out and arms out at full extension touching the floor. Shoot for 60 seconds, 3 reps.

The beauty of these exercises is that they are simple, yet effective and of course, can be done anywhere! Stuck in a cramped hotel room? No problem. Busy day at the office or at home with the kids? No problem!

Doing these with the family ensures the workouts will get done and make it that much more fun!

Stay active with your family no matter where you are! You gotta move!

Need some more workout ideas? Join the 30 day #momNMeFit Challenge starting January 26, 2015! Both kids and moms will learn how to stay fit & motivated towards a healthy path for the future. 

5 Tips to Help You and Your Child De-Stress!

Stress is common for adults but did you know, kids can get stressed as well? It’s true, and though reasons adults stress may differ from that of children, it can still wear on them. Their mental well-being is just as important as their physical well-being.   5

Here are 5 amazing tips to help your child de-stress!

  1. Breathing exercises: Have them take 3, deep, 5 second breaths-in and out. This circulates the blood in our bodies and sends oxygen to the brain to help the body release tension.

 

2.   Listen to soothing music to relax them.                Calming music can have a direct effect on mood and ease the mind and body to put                kids in their happy place.

3.  Laughter! Watch something funny with your child or tell them funny jokes. Just like                exercise, laughing releases endorphins or the “feel good chemical” in our bodies and              make them feel less anxious.

  1. Get their minds elsewhere. In other words, distraction. Activities like exercise are best. They cause a calming effect on the body that may soothe and will tire them out as well making them feel more relaxed.

5.   When in doubt, talk it out. Sometimes just venting is all kids need to feel better about            a situation that has made feel tense or anxious. Talk with your kids, ask them what                  they are feeling and figure out the best way to make them feel better, together.

Kids often times don’t know how to deal with their feelings especially ones that don’t make them happy. That’s why it’s important to provide them with methods of coping with the stress they may encounter. We would like to think they have no care in the world but they do experience stress and following tips like these will make it easier for parents to manage stress factors on their kids.


How do you help your kids de-stress? Share in the comments below.

MECKids Spring Into March With 30 Day Fitness Challenge!

Calling all fit kids and families! March is here and what better way to jump-start Spring than with a new fitness program that will keep you healthy, happy and moving this year! We’re kick-starting the month with an exciting 30-Day Fitness Challenge that will keep you MOVING with great fun and fitness! Studies have shown it takes 30 days to form a new habit, and our fitness program is designed to help shape healthy habits that will form a healthy, happy and balanced lifestyles. So gather your friends and family, and let’s get MOVING!

How to Win:

1.  “Like” our Facebook page, and “Follow” our Twitter page, where a new exercise challenge will be posted daily.

2. Post your fitness photos and videos to our pages everyday with hashtag #MECKidsChallenge to automatically enter to win!

3. Once you finish each daily exercise and post your photos/videos, log your results and calories burned onto our website at www.meckids.com to track your progress.

4. Keep moving,  tune in and WIN! We will be reposting all fitness photos/video submissions onto our Facebook page to spotlight all participants, and the top three winners of our 30 Day Fitness Challenge will be featured on our website!

There will be TONS of awesome prizes in store for all of our winners! We applaud all of our fit kids and families for joining us on this fun fitness journey to reaching your very best health! We can’t wait to see you MOVE!

Ready, set GO MECKids! #YouGottaMOVE!

 

MECKids at the GetKidsMovin Event

Lets Get MOVIN!!!

By MECKids Blog Ambassador, Student Ambassador Whitney Wasso

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Three words to describe MECKids at the GetKidsMovin event.  Exciting, engaging and energetic. MECkids had a blast!!! On Saturday, July 20, another GetKidsMovin event took place at the Stonebridge Potomac Town Center. The event was from 1pm to 5pm.  The event started off with two fitness trainers who got the kids warmed up and ready to exercise. Throughout the event, there were ticket raffles after every hour and a participants had the opportunity to win a $25 gift card to Sports Zone. On the main message was an awesome puppet show to educate kids about being safe for example: “Don’t Talk to Strangers”, “Call 911”, “Stop, Drop and Roll”, etc. Chi Chi Monet performed with her sister Zoe her latest songs “No Bully” and “Move”. MECKids went up after one of Chi Chi’s performances.

We did what we do best and kept the kids moving with our stretches, workout,  hula hoop challenges and contest. The kids go so excited over the hula hoops and were engaged in our activity.  Next followed, Ms. Kena Hodges, licensed instructor,  she got the kids moving with her Zumba exercises. She had three different dance routines: the Wobble, All I Do Is Win and an upbeat Spanish song. MECKids participated in the Zumba exercise and we had a blast. We didn’t feel like we were even exercising at all!  The event ended  with the fashion show and the kids were modeling Old Navy clothing and Sport Zone shoes.  Some of the other GetKidsMovin team were Not Your Average Joes, Fruit Joi, Thrive, Sport and Health, Thrive, and Sports Zone.

Not Your Average Joes is a restaurant and they were giving out free samples of the foods they serve and free coupons. Sport and Health and Thrive were there talking to families on how they could assist in keeping their health and fitness lifestyles intact. Fruit Joi is a yogurt shop and they make their own healthy yogurts with the choices of different types of fruits and other yummy toppings. Lastly, I can’t forget Sports Zone who has carried out the entire event from the people there to the venue to their  partnership with of Get KidsMovin.

 

MECKids at the Biggest Loser Run/Walk

The Biggest Loser  Run/Walk

Biggest loser event 

The Biggest Loser is a hit television show started in 2004.  The show features obese people competing to win a cash prize by losing the highest percentage of weight in comparison to their initial weight.  On Sunday July 14th; Dan and Jackie Evans, mother and son duo from season five of The Biggest Loser hosted the 5, 10, 15k run walk event at Stadium Armory in Washington D.C.  There was also a 1 mile race for younger kids that were interested in joining in on the action.  The Biggest Loser Run Walk was a race that challenged America to get fit.  MECKids was given the opportunity to volunteer at the event to motivate runners, pass out medals and get some cool information from the adults and kids on their experience at this event.

            People came from all over the United States to participate in the run walk.  “We came all the way from New Jersey to be in this race and become healthy strong Americans,” said Sal, volunteer and runner for the event.  Jen and Benita, longtime fans of The Biggest Loser came to run with their kids, “We are beginning runners and the kids love staying healthy and fit.  My son was actually allowed to run with me in the 10k.  It’s a really great family opportunity.”  Bridgette from Maryland said, “This was my second 5k, I ran a 5k a couple years back when I worked with a school for kids with autism.  I think being healthy is the greatest thing you can ever give to yourself.” Even though the sun was beaming down, the runners looked accomplished as they crossed the finish line and received their medals.

I was able interview Dan and Jackie Evans, the national spokespeople for the biggest loser run walk and they each had very inspirational stories to tell.  Jackie said, “Other than face book and other social sites like that, gatherings like these are probably the largest social things out there and it’s really all about you.”  She commented that this run walk was an opportunity to better each one’s goals and have the feeling of accomplishment.  When asked about her goals, Jackie emphasized, “One, I WILL cross the start and finish line today and two, I WILL be faster than anyone who stayed in bed today instead of coming here.”  She mentioned the struggle to keep the weight off is great because food is used in all occasions, “I eat food when I’m hungry, when I’m down, when I’m celebrating; there’s no getting away from it.

 The thing is knowing your limit and having will power.”  She added that her son Dan is a great partner to work out and share encouragement with, “He was 310 and lost 136 pounds, but he hated the treadmill, he called it ‘Dread Mill.”  Dan said, “Being on The Biggest Loser was so transformational and life changing.  I went from being a couch potato kid to being able to run half marathons.  It’s an incredible feeling to be such an inspiration to so many people and the journey of weight loss is so powerful you know.  You have to respect the journey.”  Dan joked that moving in with his mom again at the age of 21 for the show was kind of weird but it made their bond tighter because they were able to encourage each other.

The kids that ran the 1 mile race seemed so determined to complete the course, smiles and excitement shown on their faces from start to finish.  Six year old Regan said, “I really liked that we got medals and I really liked the race.”  One little boy remarked, “I really liked jumping in the puddles!”  Ari Morton, a 10 year old from Rockville, Maryland won first place in the 10k on his birthday.  “It was my first race, It felt good,” He said.

Overall, I believe this was a successful event.  Everywhere I looked I saw smiles, laughter and encouragement from everybody.  This event made me feel like I could run the next 5k because there were people of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities.  Also the enthusiasm from the kids made me think, if they could do it I’m sure I can do it.  Along with inspiring me to become more fit and healthy, being at this event allowed me to see that even though it may be tough; with the proper mentality and support fitness can be an enjoyable experience.

Student Ambassador: Tameka Evans

Why Sports are Good for You

By Da’Quan Givens, MECKids Blog Ambassador

Sports helps you lose weight, while extreme diets can result in dramatic weight loss, and it is almost impossible to maintain a healthy weight when you begin eating normally again, states the American Council on Exercise. Combining a healthy diet with exercise is the only way to lose weight and keep it off, as it will burn the calories you consume. The government suggests that you work out for at least five hours each week to lose weight, and sports is a fun way to exercise to meet this goal. Sports can help manage stress and exercise is often prescribed by health professionals as a stress management too.  ACE states that one exercise session can produce a feeling of relaxation lasting between 90 and 120 minutes. Many people do not enjoy going to the gym, so they will be less inclined to go regularly. Engaging in a sport you enjoy will ensure that you keep it up, making sure your stress management is sustainable. Sports can help you avoid disease, according to the American Psychological Association, exercise may slow the effects of aging and help ward off dementia-like illnesses. Health Talk Now states that exercise can also increase good cholesterol while decreasing bad cholesterol, and can help you avoid diseases such as diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. High-impact, strengthening sports such as tennis, badminton, circuit training and running can help you avoid osteoporosis.

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Washington Redskins News

By Da’Quan Givens, MECKids Blog Ambassador

Five months after their first-round playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks, the Washington Redskins are facing their traditional off-season rivals: critics of the team’s name. Writers, activists, and scholars have argued for years correctly that, the Redskins team name is a racial slur against Native Americans. The name has been declared derogatory by the US Patent and Trademark Office, and opponents have sued so far unsuccessfully to have it changed. Now, members of the DC Council are joining the fight. At-large Council Member, David Grosso, introduced a non-binding resolution , calling on Redskins owner, Dan Snyder, to scrap the team’s moniker. “The name ‘Redskins’ is historically racist and derogatory,” Grosso said in a letter to Snyder. As a replacement, he suggested the Washington Red Tails, a reference to the Tuskegee Airmen, a celebrated group of African-American World War II pilots. He hasn’t heard back from Snyder, nor does he expect to, as Snyder insists he won’t change the name.

San Francisco 49ers v Washington Redskins

Impact of Sports in America

From the Olympics to Monday Night Football, sports brings us together as a society. No matter your race, gender, age, ethnicity, or religion, sports is our common bond. In times of racism and hatred, the American society use sports as a crutch. We can always lean on professional and even collegiate and high school sports for comfort. Professional sports has for what seems like forever had a strangle hold on the American society. It seems almost every day of the week there is a sport that we as Americans can watch and enjoy. Every day of the week we can watch baseball. On Friday nights we can watch boxing. Saturday we have college football and the NFL on Sunday afternoons. Sports unite America by the simple fact that on game day, your religion doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the color of your jersey, not your skin. In the 1970’s when the only thing that mattered was whether you were black or white, baseball united us. Jackie Robinson and Hank Aaron threw race wars aside and brought America together with the love of baseball. Sports has and most likely will always be the common bond that all Americans share. In a country so diverse in almost every way, sports is our common bond.

Team-Spirit

MECKids Ignites Our “Natitude” with Nationals’ Oscar Bermudez!

By MECKids Da’Quan Givens, MECKids Blog Ambassador

I have recently had the wonderful opportunity to get an interview with Mobile Marketing & Broadcast Production Assistant of the Washington Nationals‘ Baseball Club, Oscar Bermudez, and he gave me some GREAT information about the Nationals that I believe a lot of baseball fans do not know. I’ve came up with questions that he gave amazing feedback on, and here is what he shared with MECKids:

DG: How long has the NatMobile been in existence?

Oscar Bermudez: The NatMobile has been in existence since August 2009.

DG: The NatMobile has made such wonderful contributions to support health and fitness for youth and families.  What is the NatMobile’s overarching mission in the community and what kind of impact has it made?

Oscar Bermudez:  Our mission is to spread the joy and excitement of the Nationals out into the community.  Many of our fans only experience this feeling when they come to our stadium, Nationals Park, but we spread the excitement out on the road, not just at the stadium.  We have realized that we have gained more fans and generated more love for the Nationals by us being able to take our excitement out into the community.

 DG: What is your favorite part of being a member of the Nationals organization & how has that inspired you?

Oscar Bermudez: My favorite part is always seeing the happiness of our fans when we take our NatMobile out on the road to an event and when I see the fans come to our stadium.  Their reaction and joy is contagious and it makes me feel so proud to know that we, as an entire organization, are able to bring this type of enthusiasm into their lives.  I feel inspired to continue being a good employee in order to see the smiles in our fan’s faces.

 DG: What are your thoughts about this season’s prospects and new players?

Oscar Bermudez:  I think we have one of the best teams in Major League baseball this year.  They have a lot of talent and 90% of the team members are back this year, so they know how to play together as a team.  Our new players are very experienced and should be able to blend in easily with the players that we already had from last year.

 DG: What is your favorite motivational quote from any of the baseball players?

Oscar Bermudez:  My favorite motivational quote comes from our Left Outfielder, Bryce Harper, who stated that, “hustle and hard work comes from within and you have control over it.”  Basically, meaning that even if you are not the smartest, fastest, or tallest player on the team, you can still work hard and hustle on every single play, because you control that and can show great energy each time you play.

DG: How did you decide on which new Racing President to add to the dancing mascots?

Oscar Bermudez:  I am not sure how our new Racing President, Robert Taft, was chosen, but I can say that he was a very well liked and respectable President in his time in office, and I am very happy with the choice.

DG: What inspirational words do you have for young aspiring baseball players?

Oscar Bermudez:  My advice would be to always work hard and never give up at the goal you have placed in your heart.  No matter how hard the challenge, goal, or task is, always do your very best to accomplish it.  It does not matter if you fail at it, just do your best and you will never have any regrets.  Do your best and never give up.  If you win, win like a champion, but if you lose, lose like a champion.

After interviewing with Oscar Bermudez, I got a very inspirational lesson in what “Natitude” is all about and his words of wisdom can motivate youth and families everywhere in living a healthful, fruitful and successful lives.

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On the UDC Capstone Cat Walk!

The UDC Capstone Fashion Show took place May 3rd, 2013. I was a model in the show. I have modeled in the past but I took a long break. This was like a pedestal for me to start modeling again. I had to be there by 3:00pm even though the show began around 7:00pm. It takes lots of time and preparation to get ready for a show. Being a model is actually harder than people think because it takes discipline. A model’s health is a crucial factor. Building the proper muscle tone and eating the proper foods helps a model’s body. Models need to exercise and have a proper diet that helps maintain themselves. Walking in heels is a challenge because it requires balance, strength and coordination. I was a little bit worried about the runway because it was a high runway which made me almost touch the ceiling with my heels and my hair in a bun. However, my hair was almost 2 inches away from touching the ceiling so I was good. In the fashion show, we modeled clothes from Gap. After the show, we mixed, mingled, and networked with other fashion-associated individuals.

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Rockstar Health and Fitness

Rockstar Health & Fitness is an online show that teams host Lori Rischer with celebrities for the purpose of delving into their health, diet, and fitness routines. Rockstar H&F (shot in the Hollywood Hills, CA) takes us deeper into the healthy habits of the celebrities; sharing their health tips, and giving us an inside look at how they stay healthy and fit even with their busy schedules. It’s created by Lori Rischer and Sera Roadnight and produced By SkeeTV.

About Lori Rischer

Lori Rischer’s philosophy is that living a healthy lifestyle is all about balance. “It’s easier to be happy when you’re healthy”, says Lori, “and when you’re happy, you’re a nicer person.”

Her journey began when she started doing yoga and noticed her own life and health improved. She wanted to share that experience with other people so she became a teacher.  Lori was certified as a Yoga Therapist at Loyola Marymount University with Dr. Larry Payne in their renowned yoga therapy program. She also received a teaching certificate from Earth’s Power Yoga in Los Angeles.

“I’ve always been active, but as I got busier I realized it was harder to find time to take care of myself,” she says.  And no truer words could be spoken! Lori has kept incredibly busy as a national radio promotion/marketing executive at Island Def Jam Music Group, working closely with superstars such as: Rihanna, Bon Jovi, Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez, Mariah Carey, Neon Trees and Taio Cruz..  She also spent several years at The Firm, one of Hollywood’s top management companies based in Beverly Hills, While there, she signed OneRepublic and was on the management teams of mega artists such as Enrique Iglesias, OneRepublic, Ice Cube, Mandy Moore, Korn and many others. Her work has been widely recognized by the music industry. In fact, she was named the 2010 Promotion Executive Trendsetter by FMQB Magazine and the 2010 Executive of the Year by SIN Magazine.

Combining two of her passions– Music & Yoga– Lori teamed up with KIIS-FM  and 98.7 (KYSR) to be the Yoga instructor for their popular Yoga On The Pier and Yoga On The Beach summer promotions for the last three years. The series has been named Huffington Posts’  “Five Best Summer Workouts” and was featured in the LA Times, Malibu Magazine, LA Yoga Magazine, Pepperdine Times. “It is the highlight of my summer!” Lori exclaims.

Lori is also the co-creator, co-executive producer and host of the new celebrity health and fitness show from SkeeTV, Rockstar Health & Fitness.   “Everyone is interested in people who are in the public eye, so we found an opportunity with Rockstar Health and Fitness to focus on some of their healthy lifestyle secrets,” Lori says. The guest artists include: Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy), OneRepublic, Canadian superstars Hedley and Kim Glass a 2008 Olympic silver medal winner.

Giving back to the community is another important way Lori wants to create balance and a healthy lifestyle. She supports a number of charities that are very close to her heart. In 2008, Lori received the highest honor from the Make A Wish Foundation, the Chris Greicius Celebrity Award, for her work in helping make wishes come true.  She has also lectured at the Make A Wish Worldwide Conference. Additionally, in 2008 she was inducted into the Mentor Hall of Fame and this year, she completed her ninth year as a volunteer working with inner city teenagers for Youth Mentoring Connection.  She is also on the Leadership Council for A Place Called Home, a community center in South Los Angeles for at-risk youth. The Los Angeles City Council recently honored Lori for her contributions in making the city a nicer place to live.

Rockstar Health and Fitness

Interview with Emmy Award Winning Jason Samuels Smith at DC TapFest 2013

By Whitney Wasso, MECkids Blog Ambassador

The DC TapFest 2013 was an exhilarating evening featuring an extravaganza of tap stars and special guests including Grammy Award winning singer, Mya, Emmy Award winner Jason Samuels Smith,  the 7 year old tap dancing prodigy seen on Ellen, Luke Spring, stars of Broadway show Bring in Da Noise Bring in Da Funk, World-renowned Festival producers Chloe & Maud Arnold (soon appearing on Boardwalk Empire), and many more. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview with the Emmy Award winning tap star, Jason Samuels Smith, on his wonderful experience growing up in the dynamic world of tap and how it has enhanced health and fitness in his life in numerous positive and enriching ways. Here is what the tap star had to say on why “You Gotta Move!”:

“For tap dancing, you don’t need a lot of space to do it. I have been doing it since I was 7 years old so I have done it for about 26 years so far. Traveling is a big part of what I do. I have been to Brazil, Japan, China, Argentina and India. India is amazing! The culture there is so rich from food to their language. I love their spicy foods. I like to sweat when I’m eating their spicy foods and if that happens that means I’m happy. But I actually went out Bahati which is in Assam which is not far from Bengal so that is the closest I have been to Bangladesh. I worked with a Katak artist. Katak is a northern Indian style of dance and it is very similar to tap. They don’t wear shoes, vungudos, and they do storytelling. They do hand movements, neck movements, eyebrow movements and everything. I think the culture in India is the most amazing in the world. I have been there 8 times now. Any chance I get I will go back. I don’t think really that tap is only physically good, it’s like a language and everybody can appreciate it in the world whether they tap or they can do their own style of rhythmic dance but they can still appreciate the relationship tap has to music and music is universal.”

– Emmy Award Winner, Jason Samuels Smith

Emmy Award Winning, Jason Samels

Click Here to View More Photos of the DC TapFest 2013

Caps Beat Boston Bruins

This was the last game of the regular season in the NHL, and a victory over the Capitals would earn them the Northeast Division Title and the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Boston Bruins lost to the Capitals (3-2) in over time. The Capitals had nothing at stake against the Bruins because they have already clinched the Southeast Division championship and made it as the No.3 seed in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals have to play the Rangers for the first round of the playoffs. It’s the fourth time in the past five seasons that the Capitals and Rangers meet in the post season. Milan Lucic and Andrew Ference put Boston ahead (2-0) before Alex Ovechkin assisted Mike Greens two goals with less then two minutes of the third period. Ovechkin didn’t get a goal himself, but he still leads in scoring. Green converted from nearly the same spot as his earlier goals to make the score (3-2) in 115 seconds. The Washington Capitals didn’t score in the first two periods but the Boston Bruins scored in the first and second. It was not until the third period that the Capitals scored two back to back goals to tie the game up and it was just enough to send them into overtime. In overtime, the Washington Capitals was just too much for the Boston Bruins. E. Fehr for the Washington Capitals scored the goal in overtime to make the victory over the Boston Bruins possible. For the Washington Capitals , M.Green, E. Fehr, and A. Ovechkin where the star players if the game. M. Green had 2 goals and 1 assist, E. Fehr had a clutch goal in overtime, and A. Ovechkin had two assists of the game. Next up is the New York rangers on Thursday , May 2nd.

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Get Kids Movin Interview with Green Tea & Tosh Patterson

By Whitney Wasso, MECKids Blog Ambassador

The Get Kids Movin Tour featured a variety of fun festivities for kids to get moving, including a wonderful  interview with phenomenal fitness experts such as the amazing soul singer, Green Tea and “Healthanista,” Tosh Patterson. Here’s the wisdom and fitness advice they shared with youth and families to keep them moving!

Green Tea: In the health industry, I’m a certified group exercise instructor. So I teach step aerobics and I teach strength resistance. I also counsel people on how to eat healthy and how to still eat cakes and pies while you’re doing your thing. If you stop once you have that little taste you start binging for it all the time when you aren’t eating the cakes and pies. I teach people how to do that, so that is what I do.

Tosh Patterson: In regards to what I do, I help people with two things. One, how to lose weight if you have been on a diet for a decade or more.  I help people figure out how to keep the scale moving again, so that you have success and I teach people the power of juicing fruits and vegetables. I’m a huge juicer! So I love juicing and that is one of the ways I got healthy. I like to show people the power of juicing.

Interviewer: Many people think that healthy eating is more expensive, they think it’s nasty what do you ladies have to say about that? Tosh Patterson: Because I buy so many vegetables to juice them and eat them, it’s actually not expensive. As you buy more fruits and vegetables, you are probably buying less cookies and less chips and that money is going towards fruits and vegetables instead.

Green Tea: I would say that I have a group of seven: 3 kids, a husband, 2 cats, and 1 dog. So it can get expensive when you’re trying to eat healthier because you’ll notice that certain things cost a bit more if it is healthy. So if you go to Starbucks, the smallest size of cups they have is a short and nobody knows that. People think the smallest cup is a tall. The short is not even on the menu and sometimes the smallest size which is a regular 8 ounce cup cost the most because it’s a regular portion size for a cup; it sometimes costs more than a tall but it’s a healthier choice. So just an input from me, I always ask my clients how much they spend in the grocery store and if they say $200, I can relate to that because when I go grocery shopping every two weeks, I always get fresh produce. I don’t do anything boxed or any frozen veggies. I do everything fresh and I still get all of my stuff for $200. So, I teach my clients that with that $200 budget that you have when you’re buying hot pockets, pizza and steak and all that stuff you can still get fruits and veggies.

Interviewer: So what are some of your favorite meals and what are some snacks kids could make for themselves?

Green Tea: For snacks, I would say always keep live fruits or veggies in the house.  I have a drawer in my house filled with tangerines, apples, kiwis and bananas something that is a go-to and always have that on you when you’re hungry. And here is what parents and  kids could make for themselves, an english muffin pizza! What you do is get a light english muffin. The english muffin has two pieces, you add a little tomato sauce, sprinkle some reduced mozzarella cheese and put any size of turkey pepperoni. Let your parents help you put it in a toaster oven or regular oven for a couple of minutes so the cheese can melt. And as a result, the kids are happy because they have two pizzas when it’s really only one english muffin.

Interviewer: What would you suggest to some parents on meals that are affordable for children on a weekly basis?

Green Tea: I would say that I would keep in mind when I make dinner that I have protein, starch, and veggies. I try to keep that in mind all the time. So I can take some chicken breast, put it in the oven, season it a little bit, some cabbage and then have a veggie with it. So different things like that. So I try to think like that. Or if I want to do quesadillas I would do it  with chicken and a little bit of cheese and then I’ll have a vegetable or a salad. So I always try to keep those things in mind: a whole bunch of vegetables, you have different options for your sides. You could have brown rice, you could have yellow rice if you want. You could have cabbage or cauliflower. All these different things so I try to keep them on the side. So I plan ahead of time. If you keep that in mind that you have a meat, you have a starch, and you have a veggie. If you have a whole bunch of veggies, a whole bunch of meats, sometimes kids get a little tired of chicken but you can do so much with chicken. Or one thing that I do that is very easy, you know how to cook cabbage, you can get some sweet Italian sausage and add it to the cabbage, so that is something really easy to do.

Other female: You guys won’t like this answer but I stopped eating fast food for the most part, a couple years ago, just as it has been for the effort to save money and it turned into a part of my lifestyle, so I really don’t eat fast food. But one of the things I stumbled on, I was cleaning my car and I found an old french fry from the Golden Arches and the french fry did not look a day old, at all. So, it really got my attention and I wondered why didn’t it have green mold on it? And why didn’t it look weird? And so I decided to do an experiment and if anybody in the audience wants to see it after this panel. But on Sunday March 31st, I bought a four piece chicken nugget meal from the Arches and it is still sitting on my counter untouched, unchanged. It does not smell and it’s sitting next to a cucumber that has completely shriveled up. It’s got nasty. It’s like mold and everything and it leads me to the conclusion that the fast food is not real food and it does not nourish us and it’s not worth spending our money on. If you want to see my project. I have pictures with me and so I would encourage people to move away from fast food  because I don’t think it’s real food. Because if it’s like that on my counter, it hasn’t changed, its not green, its not moldy, it doesn’t smell, then what is it doing in my body. And do we want to put those thing in our bodies? I don’t think so! We want to nourish ourselves, we want to nourish our bodies and we want to be well, not just to look good and be a certain size but so we can live a healthy life and have a good internal body as well, and we only get one body!

Green Tea and Tosh Patterson

National’s Lose to Miami Marlins

By Da’Quan Givens, MECKids Blog Ambassador

Washington Nationals Wednesday night lineup against the Miami Marlins was the first game with Bryce Harper back from Flu like symptoms. Bryce Harper made himself available to hit late in last nights game in spite of the fact that he was battling flu like symptoms. Bryce Harper is the Washington’s Nationals 20 year old outfielder. His  flu like symptoms kept his fellow outfielder, Denard Span, out of the Nats lineup in the second game of three against the Miami Marlins. They played at Marlins park in Miami. His teammates said that it looked as if he was about to die but he was ready to hit. He was pale as a ghost but still wanted to play. The Nationals lost to the Miami Marlins (8-2) a horrible loss against the Nationals in the series. The Nationals 2010 1 st round pick is back in the lineup tonight for the last game of the series against Miami Marlins. Span is still out, Roger Bernadina is back in the outfield tonight after going 0-4 with a grounder in the two hole last night. Bryce Harper and Steve Lombardozzi is at the top of the lineup. In 8 games so far this season,  Lambardozzi is 6 for 16 with three doubles one the year. The game features Ross Detwiler on the mound against the Marlins in his third straight start of the season. After this game the Nationals are off to face the Mets in New York.

The Air Jordan Era

By Da’Quan Givens, MECKids Blog Ambassador

These days you got to have every pair of Jordan’s that releases or you are a nobody. To me I think you can go without the shoe it’s just a hype beast. I love shoes and I buy them a lot but Jordan’s are starting to come out almost every week now. This weekend there is a pair of Jordan’s called the Air Jordan’s 8’s, the eighth  shoe that Michael Jordan released. The Air Jordan 8 was released during the 1992-93 “Three-Peat” Championship season. The Air Jordan 8 was the last Air Jordan shoe that Jordan wore before retiring the first time.  The Bulls and Jordan won their third consecutive NBA title. Jordan himself got seventh straight scoring title and reached a milestone in his NBA career when scoring his 20,000th point. The Air Jordan 8 was one heavy hype beast. It’s base was clearly close to its predecessor but it had a lot more details, colors, and accents. It had cross- over Velcro leather straps and padded. The padding in the shoe was thick so it made the shoe heavy and easily got warm. The Air Jordan 8 was first retroed in 2003. Nike kept it short and sweet with the Air Jordan release. It was only 4 color ways released in total. The Air Jordan 8 are also know as “The Bugs Bunny’s” because of the two straps that are on them. The Air Jordan 8 retros were one of the most anticipated retros ever released. Michael Jordan impacted the shoe industry in a big way but also played a role in children life such as mines. Michael Jordan is a big inspiration to me and somebody that I would be proud to look up to especially me being a young basketball player. Michael Jordan is an entrepreneur and a great basketball hall of gamer any person would live to be in his state right now. If I could do what he did and impact the world in such ways it would be a honor because people all over the world are wearing his shoes and making him more rich and wealthy even thoughtless doesn’t play basketball anymore.

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Sports & Fitness

By Da’Quan Givens, MECKids Blog Ambassador

Sports and other physical activities have innumerable physical health benefits. It can improve cardio respiratory and muscular fitness, bone health, increase life expectancy, and coronary health. Sports can also help prevent different types of cancer and weight gain. Sports can also have positive effects on mental health by reducing depression and improving cognitive function. Sports can give you long term weight loss and help avoid weight gain. Sports increases metabolic rates and can help increase lean body mass while you burn calories and get rid of excess fat. Sports can help you maintain a healthy weight. Between two and a half to five hours of moderately intensive physical activity can help achieve weight stability. High intensity sports can help people who want to lose weight or maintain a significant amount of weight loss. Sports can help people. Of all ages maintain and improve the health of their heart, lungs, and blood vessels. Physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of coronary disease and stroke.  As you grow older, physical activity becomes more important for the health of your bones, muscles and joints. Building bone, muscle and joint strength is also important for kids . Sports can be a form of mental therapy for people with physiological disorders and depression. Sports may promote self- esteem in the form of positive perception of body image and self- worth. Sorts can decrease colon cancer by as much as 300 percent. It can also significantly decrease the risk of breast cancer, and might decrease the risk of lung cancer.

 

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Washington Capitals Victory Against the Winniepeg Jets

By Da’Quan Givens, MECKids Blog Ambassador

The Washington Capitals‘ last game with the Winniepeg Jets at the Verizon center ended up with a victory for the Capitals. They’re heading to the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the Southeast Division Champions. The same team that’s started the season with two wins in its first 13 games and entered play in 14th place, seven points removed from a playoff spot and nine points off the division lead, won its fifth division title in the past six years and locked up the number 3 seed in the Eastern conference by beating the Jets (5-3) on Tuesday at the Verizon center. Braden Holtby made 24 saves for the Capitals.

The Capitals are 14-2-1 in their past 17 games dating back to March 21, when they played the first of two in a row in Winnipeg. They won both by a combined 10-1 and haven’t looked back in taking over the division lead from the Jets. The Jets played their  last game of the regular season Thursday against the Montreal Canadiens. Ovechkin had a combined 3 goals and five points in the last two games. Hendricks no. 5 gave Beagle no.6 an assists for the goal for the first points of the game. Ovechkin scores 2 straight points for the Capitals. Chimera scores the 4th goal for Washington to make the score (4-2). In the third period Perreault and Erskine both assisted each other with the final pints of the game and the Capitals come out with the win against the Winnipeg Jets for the final score of (5-3). With this win against the Winnipeg Jets the Washington Capitals clinched the first spot for the Southeast division and winning the division championship. Some people believe that the winning streak that the Capitals went on was nearly impossible about a month ago the way they where playing, but the Capitals bounced back and clinched a top spot in the division.  Congratulations to the Capitals for their hard play!

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Get Kids Movin Interview: Choose Your Color and Cause with Robbie Hart and C4 Belts

By Whitney Wasso, MECKids Blog Ambassador

The Get Kids Movin! Event showcased a variety of wonderful vendors that support health and fitness for youth and families across the Washington Metropolitan Area.  C4 Belts, a China based belt company, has introduced a new wave of fashion for people who want to make a fashion statement for a cause. This stylish brand produces colorful belts made of recycled goods that caught my eye, and it will catch yours too! Here’s what co-founder, Robbie Hart, had to say about his innovative and charitable clothing line:

Robbie: Hello my name is Robbie Hart with C4 Belts. C4 stands for choose your color, choose your cause. So you can mix and match the belt  and the buckle with any color combination that you want and every time you buy a belt, a portion goes to a charity of your choice.

Me: So, how are these belts made?

Robbie: It’s a thermoplastic, so these are very strong, very comfortable plastic and it comes in over 20 different colors.

Me: So, how did you come up with this idea?

Robbie: It was the colorful watches that inspired this, so I thought to myself, everybody is wearing colorful watches! Why not wear colorful belts also?

After interviewing with Robbie at Get Kids Movin and learning more about C4 Belts, I was very inspired. I was especially impressed by the eco-friendly materials that are used in the production of the colorful belts. This makes the fashion line a hit in the community and in the environment, and what better way to make a fashion statement than that!

 

Robbie Hart, Co-Founder of C4 Belts

Click Here to View More Photos of MECKids at Get Kids Movin!

Get Kids Movin Interview: Anthony Tilghman Speaks About Rebirth Energy Drink

by Whitney Wasso, MECKids Blog Ambassador

MECKids was onsite at the fun-filled Get Kids Movin Event at the Capital Centre Boulevard on Saturday April 6th 2013, and I had the wonderful opportunity to interview with Anthony Tilghman, founder of Rebirth Energy Drink. Here is what the young entrepreneur had to say about his brand new product and how it contributes to health and fitness.

I’m Anthony Tilghman. I’m a photographer, and embedded entrepreneur. My product is called Rebirth Energy Drink. It says the flavor that adds new life is pretty much the new energy drink. It is actually available at Sports Zone locations. You can check the website at www.drinkrebirth.com for more locations. I came up with the name Rebirth about a year ago because I don’t drink alcohol, so I was trying to find a product that pretty much markets me, as well as somebody that does not drink alcohol. So, I created Rebirth energy drink to help give back to local people who go to clubs and have fun that don’t drink, but also want to have that great flavor of an energy drink that they can relate to. So just try some. Just try it out, it’s a flavor that adds new life if you try it, you’ll love it. I guarantee it. You can also visit my website www.anthonytilghman.com for more information. I do photography and marketing so I do a lot of different things. So support business owners, support Rebirth, support Sports Zone, support me, love the kids. The kids definitely are a big part of our future, so hopefully they can be entrepreneurs of their own and create their own business. That is what it is about get fit, getting out there, marketing yourself and having fun doing it.

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Click Here to View More Photos of MECKids at Get Kids Movin!

MECKids Goes Green at the White House Gardens!

MECKids Goes Green at the White House Gardens!

By Tatiana Noboa, MECKids Team Captain

Lettuce, kale, spinach, broccoli and more… these are just some of the greens that MECKids adores! These and many more delectable legumes can all be found on the South Lawn of the White House,  beautifully arranged in it’s ornate gardens with a host of delicious and nutritious vegetable varieties. MECKids had the wonderful pleasure of visiting the White House Gardens this month, and experiencing a grand tour that walked us through colorful landscapes that told a beautiful story of our nation’s Presidential history.

We were truly inspired by the walking tour which featured many illustrious landmarks, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, Rose Garden and South Lawn of the White House. We were especially thrilled to observe the many crops found in the vegetable garden, that inspires healthy eating and living for youth and families across our local and global communities. Mrs. Obama planted the vegetable garden in 2009 to help launch the Let’s Move! campaign, an initiative to end childhood obesity, encourage healthier lifestyles and more physical activity for children. The 1,100-square-foot garden is the largest and most expansive vegetable garden to date on the White House lawn. It features 55 varieties of fruits and vegetables, including garden Swiss chard, arugula, potatoes, wheat, radishes, cilantro, garlic, fennel, broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens and herbs, along with raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and even an apple tree!

This year, the First Lady planted lettuce and other crops in her garden on the South Lawn of the White House, with assistance from students from Washington Metropolitan Area school districts and around the country, as well. To date, the garden has produced over 3,000 pounds of food, a large amount of which The White House donates to local area soup kitchens and The Food Bank Organization. Mrs.Obama  has placed great emphasis on the vegetable garden movement to encourage children to increase healthy food choices in effort to prevent childhood obesity and diet related health issues affecting the nation. The Obama’s vegetable garden is a wonderful example of community-orientated sustainable gardening and it’s positive effects on the betterment of the health of our nation, as a whole.  MECKids applauds the Obama’s efforts towards childhood obesity prevention and healthy living. We are truly honored to observe the White House Gardens and inspired to advance Mrs.Obama’s Vegetable Garden initiative by encouraging children to nourish and enrich their lives, every healthy meal at a time!

In the spirit of going GREEN, MECKids wishes youth and families around the world a very Happy Earth Day and recognizes the Obama’s sustainable vegetable garden model as a resource for healthy eating and living. In recognition of Earth Day, we encourage families to Spring into action with your very own community garden, and begin planting fresh fruits and veggies that will contribute to the overall health of our local and global communities.

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Click Here to View More Photos of the Beautiful White House Gardens in our Photo Gallery!

MECKids Get’s Kids Movin!

The MECKids team had an amazing time at the Get Kids Movin! Event, this past weekend. We jumped; hula hooped and stretched our muscles with our student participants. The Boulevard at the Capital Centre will never be the same again! Our interactive hula hoop activity was a BIG HIT, even parents were excited to move along with our MECKids team. A host of dynamic talent and organizations showcased a fun-filled production to raise awareness about childhood obesity prevention, including ten year old singing sensation Chi Chi Monet, The Think Brown Ink Agency, Nike trainer Deanna Jefferson, Sports Zone,  BET Born to Dance winner LaTanya Swann and many more, who joined MECKids in bringing fun and fitness to hundreds of Washington Metro area families!

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Check out our Photo Gallery to view more pictures of  MECKids getting kids movin!

After such a great event in Maryland, Meckids heads home to Virgina for our next event at Urban Evolution. Check out our Meet Up group and click here to RSVP! MECKids is on the move with our health technology and new after school program. If you know any schools looking to add an afterschool fitness and health technology program that includes a six week fitness program with our online tracking system contact us today contact@meckids.com

NCAA Tournament: Georgetown vs. Florida Gulf Coast

Last Friday, No.2 Georgetown played No.15 Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA tournament. No.15 Florida Gulf Coast performed a stunning victory with a win against No.2 Georgetown with the score (78-68). Florida Gulf Coast has never won a tournament, so they made history by beating Georgetown. Georgetown Hoyas didn’t take this lightly. Georgetown lost the second game in the NCAA tournament to rank as the #15 team. Georgetown Hoyas’ star player, Otto Porter, the Big East Player of the Year, struggled with his shooting 5 for 17 and finishing with 13 points. This is Georgetown’s second upset defeat at Wells Fargo in Philadelphia this month. Georgetown Hoyas suffered a (67-57) loss to Villanova on the same floor on March 6. Florida Gulf Coast Eagles took control with a 21-2 run that gave them a 52-33 lead with 12:28 to play in the game, though the Hoyas went on a scoring streak to get within 72-68 with 52 seconds left. It was another disappointing NCAA exit for the Hoyas (25-7), who have lost to a double digit seed in their last four appearances.

Markel Starks had 23 points for the Hoyas. Sherwood Brown scored 24 points and Bernard Thompson had 23 points to lead Florida Gulf Coast to an incredible NCAA debut, a (78-68) win over second seeded Georgetown on Friday night in the second round of the South Regional NCAA tournament. Florida Gulf Coast is in their second season of being eligible for Division 1 and postseason became the seventh seed. Florida Gulf Coast will play the winner of the game between seventh seed San Diego State and No.10 Oklahoma on Sunday.

Impacts of Disaster on Health

The nature and extent of climatic changes not only hinders human development and environmental conservation, but also forms a major threat to human health. Globally, approximately 2 billion people were affected by natural or technological disasters in the period of 1990–1999, with almost 600 000 fatalities. More than 86% of people killed by disasters during this period succumbed to natural events. Windstorms claimed the largest proportion of lives (35%) while floods accounted for the largest proportion of people affected (75%). Women comprise 70% of those living below the poverty line. As a result, they are most likely to bear the heaviest burdens when natural disasters strike. At the same time, women are more often overlooked as potential contributors to climate change solutions, and thus to the security of all human beings.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PRSD) and major depression were also common in the affected area. Sleep disturbance and other reactions to severe stress are more common among the children. Psychosocial and mental health problems are particularly important for low income countries, which face a high burden of illness due to infectious disease, greater socio-economic disparities, and have limited resources for mental health care.  The psychosocial and mental health impacts of these disasters have been exacerbated by the multiple losses due to disaster and subsequent stressful life events and consequent uncertainty of the future. Inadequate number of mental health professionals in the country and their unavailability of data-base of their place of residence also realized as a major hindrance in providing mental health service provisions recognizing the importance of mental health problems in the affected area the following aspects should be taken into account. A clear set of strategies and line of command for management of psychosocial care and mental health programs in the disaster situations are urgently needed.

LIVE at 5th Annual DC Tap Festival!

The 5th Annual DC Tap Festival held at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts was, I quote, “live and well over luxurious.” Attending this event opened my eyes to something new. As I went backstage where the performers were, they were more than positively energized. When I was watching them practice, something special stood out to me; their vibes. These performers were the definitions of living a healthy lifestyle.  You could clearly tell that the tap dancers were in impeccable shape. They were often energetic, healthy, and happy. What a beautiful combination. The performers’ smiles were glowing and their personality was enthusiastic. Everything was live and this created a wonderful environment to be in. They made me want to go onstage with them.  At the event, healthy snacks and drinks were being sold to top things off. I had the wonderful opportunity to interview with Grammy Award Winning Recording Artist, Mya, who was an incredible  inspiration and joy to meet.  I also learned that two professional tap dancers and sisters, Chloé and Maud Arnold, founded the DC Tap Festival in 2009 with the mission to unite tap dancers from around the world and to raise awareness about tap as an art form. This event was wonderful and showed everyone how tap dancing keeps you in great shape and positively impacts healthy living.

Carbohydrates Broken Down

Glycemic Chart

 

The glycemic index,(GI) provides a measure of how quickly blood sugar levels rise after eating a particular type of food. The effects that different foods have on blood sugar levels vary considerably. The glycemic index estimates how much each gram of available carbohydrate in a food raises a person’s blood glucose level following consumption of the food, relative to consumption of pure glucose. The scale ranges from 0-100, with 100 being pure sugar. Foods with high GI tend to be simple, while foods with low GI seem to be complex. Foods with a score of 70 or higher are defined as having a high glycemic index; those with a score of 55 or below have a low glycemic index.

Many factors can affect a food’s glycemic index, including the following:

  1. Processing: Grains that have been milled and refined—removing the bran and the germ—have a higher glycemic index than whole grains.
  2. Type of starch. Starch comes in many different configurations. Some are easier to break into sugar molecules than others. The starch in potatoes, for example, is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream relatively quickly.
  3. Fiber content. The sugars in fiber are linked in ways that the body has trouble breaking. The more fiber a food has, the less digestible carbohydrate, and so the less sugar it can deliver.
  4. Ripeness. Ripe fruits and vegetables tend to have more sugar than unripe ones, and so tend to have a higher glycemic index.
  5. Fat content and acid content. The more fat or acid a food or meal contains, the slower its carbohydrates are converted to sugar and absorbed into the bloodstream.
  6. Physical form. Finely ground grain is more rapidly digested, and so has a higher glycemic index, than more coarsely ground grain.

 

Diets rich in high-glycemic-index foods, which cause quick and strong increases in blood sugar levels, have been linked to an increased risk for diabetes, heart disease, and overweight, and there is preliminary work linking high-glycemic diets to age-related macular degeneration, ovulatory infertility, and colorectal cancer. Foods with a low glycemic index have been shown to help control type 2 diabetes and improve weight loss. Other studies, though, have found that the glycemic index has little effect on weight or health. This sort of flip-flop is part of the normal process of science, and it means that the true value of the glycemic index remains to be determined. In the meantime, eating whole grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables—all foods with a low glycemic index—is indisputably good for many aspects of health.

 

To search some more of your favorite foods visit: www.glycemicindex.com, which has one of the most comprehensive and updated lists available.

Bananas for Bananas

These bright, easy to eat, cheap, and tasty fruit are so versatile it is no wonder why they are America’s top selling fruit. Contrary to popular belief bananas do not come from a tree, but the world’s largest herbaceous flowering plant.  First noted by Alexander the Great on his conquest to India in 327 B.C, this banana flower has become sacred in many cultures.  The Hindus associate bananas with prosperity, while Indians believe they are good luck. They are often seen in ceremonies, such as weddings.

Nutrition   Profile:

Rich is potassium

2 grams of protein

4 grams of fiber

Very low in calories and fat

Provide multitude of vitamins and minerals

For   your   health:

Help treat anemia

Lower blood pressure

Resolve bowel issues and diarrhea

Boost brain power and energy levels

Fight depression

Soothe heart burn

Help with mood disorders

Buying   and   Using   Bananas

Fresh and available all year round

Ripen best off the plant

The more they ripen the sweeter they are

Recipes:

1. Chunky Monkey Soft Serve

  1. 2-3 frozen bananas (peeled and frozen for at least one day)
  2. Options: nut butters, cocoa, chocolate protein powder, agave
  3. Throw bananas in food processor/ Vitamix and let run for 5 minutes (scrapping the sides every minute)
  4. Bananas will get increasingly fluffy and light.
  5. Top bananas with granola, chocolate chips, fruit, or other favorite toppings.

 

2. Top of the Mornin’ oatmeal banana bowl

  1. 1/2 cup rolled oats
  2. 1 cup milk of choice (I used almond)
  3. 1/4 tsp salt
  4. 1/2 a ripe banana
  5. 1-2 tbsp peanut butter (or other nut butter)
  6. 1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  7. sweetener (the amount will vary, depending on your taste buds and what milk you use)
  8. Optional: chocolate chips

 

Cook the oats, salt, and milk (either on the stove or in the microwave). Meanwhile, blend the pb and banana. Then add your vanilla, sweetener, and 1/2 of the cooked oats to the blender (I used a Magic Bullet) and re-blend. Stir in the rest of the oats. You can blend all the oats if you prefer, but I like the chewiness of leaving some un-blended.

(Feel free to slice remaining banana on top.)

 

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