Tag Archives: Kids Fitness

Spaghetti for breakfast?! DO we dare?! WE DO!

Waking up to a bowl of WHOLE GRAIN pasta for breakfast may be a deviation from usual your bowl of cereal, but it turns out that you can eat this Italian staple for your morning meal. Just make sure it’s whole grain.

Typically, pasta is not associated with breakfast, but why not? Pasta is filled with tons of carbohydrates which convert to energy and what better way to start your day. Whole grain pasta is a way better way to start your day rather than a bowl of sugary cereal.

With this said, I am saying a “healthy” pasta breakfast is great for the body. Avoid fettuccine alfredo and other sauces made with high-fat cream.

Liz Pearson, leading Canadian dietitian and best-selling author, says that “eating whole grain pasta provides essential nutrients, such as fiber, calcium, selenium, potassium, zinc, magnesium and vitamins K and E.” She points to a Cornell University study which found that more than 80 percent of disease-fighting antioxidants are found in the bran or germ part of the whole grain, which is removed in refined grains. “Whole grains have an antioxidant content that rivals or exceeds that of fruits and vegetables, and contain as much as double the calcium and selenium, four times more fiber, potassium and zinc, six times more magnesium and vitamin K, and 14 times more vitamin E than refined grains,” she explains.

Scientific studies link eating more whole grains to a reduced waistline, she adds, pointing to a recent Penn State study of 50 obese adults on a calorie-reduced diet, half of whom ate only whole grains while the other half ate only refined grains over a 12-week period.

Research also suggests that the regular consumption of whole grains translates into lower blood pressure and a reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, and cancer.

One of the recipes I love for morning spaghetti is the ‘Breakfast pasta with bacon and poached egg’ found on joybaker.com.

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Breakfast Pasta with Bacon and Poached Eggs

serves 2 and is easily doubled
8 ounces dried spaghetti
4 slices thick-sliced bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
juice of 1 lemon
small handful coarsely chopped parsley
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
salt and crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
2 large eggs, poached

Place a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line a baking sheet with foil and place uncooked bacon on a single layer atop the foil.  Place in the oven and allow to cook until  bacon is crisp, 8 to 12 minutes depending on how crisp you like your bacon.  Remove from the oven and placed the bacon on two paper towel atop a dinner plate.  Allow to rest until cool enough to handle.  When cool, chop coarsely.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Add a large pinch of salt to the boiling water and add dry spaghetti.  Cook until al-dente then drain.

While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil in a small saucepan.  Add the sliced garlic and cook over low heat until the oil is fragrant and the garlic is just slightly golden.  Remove from the heat and add butter.  Stir to melt.

In a large bowl, toss together warm drained pasta, garlic oil with butter, lemon juice, parsley, bacon, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper to taste. Poach eggs, according to your own genius.

Divide between bowls and top with egg.  Sprinkle with a bit more cheese and crushed red pepper flakes.  This breakfast is best served the day it is made.

 

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Can’t get enough of spaghetti for breakfast! Try it with your family and share your thoughts on the comment feed found below!

 

 

Whole Grain Pasta Facts Found here: http://www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/816050/pasta-for-breakfast-is-good-for-your-health-1

Breakfast pasta with bacon and poached eggs recipe found here: http://joythebaker.com/2013/09/breakfast-pasta-with-bacon-and-poached-eggs/

10 Ways to Boost Your Exercise Motivation

 

Like me you may want to know how to keep moving when you don’t want to…so here are my 10 favorites for motivation.

Be realistic

Unfortunately, first-time exercises come up with unrealistic targets that are too ambitious. Gerald Endress, fitness director of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C. says, “They want to go for maximal goals, but they tend to get overwhelmed.” Instead set more reachable goals that you know you can reach.

 Keep Track of Your Progress

Use a chart progress to keep track of your progress. You could use a high-tech online tracker or a fitness journal. Seeing your own progress boosts your confidence and motivation to work harder.

 Don’t Expect Perfection

Except that you will make faults and mistakes because it only will help you prepare mentally for setbacks. Be ready to know that you will miss a couple of days of exercising but don’t let that be an excuse that you are giving up.

Make it Convenient

Do what is necessary to remove on exercising and make it as convenient as possible. Try doing some at home exercises to DVDs instead of driving all the way to the gym if you are pressed for time or wake up early in the morning to exercise.

 Forget the Past

Don’t let prior bad experiences with exercises stop you. Your target now is to stay healthy and enjoy your life.

Reward Yourself

Reward yourself for efforts made to exercise with something that you enjoy doing, like going to the movies. Think of what would motivate you to keep a mind-body connection. Or plan a trip to anywhere, like a botanical garden. It helps remind you that every time you enjoy yourself it is because of the good things you have done for yourself.

 Don’t compare Yourself to Others

Don’t compare yourself to others because you are not them and they are not you. Don’t let them determine how you will exercise or what your target is.

 Get support

The best thing to have is support. If there are people there for you and support what you are doing, it is the best thing in the world. Their support motivates you to do better for yourself and for them as well.

 Find the Fun of it

Find some exercise you like to do and it will be fun for you. Find different places to exercise if you are not a gym person. If you like to exercise outside, then go walk through the neighborhood or go to a park. Just make sure to do something that appeal to your interest and it will help you stay engaged.

 Break it up

Dividing your exercises in two or three different sessions makes it easier on yourself and said to be much more beneficial than one long workout. For example if you don’t like exercising for an hour split it up into four different workouts.

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/exercise-motivation?page=2

MECKids at the GetKidsMovin Event

Lets Get MOVIN!!!

By MECKids Blog Ambassador, Student Ambassador Whitney Wasso

Va getkids movin

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