August 2015, Nutrition CPR, LLC
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Nutrition CPR  August 2015 Newsletter

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Did you know that 70% of the immune system is located in the gastrointestinal tract?  As a result a healthy gastrointestinal tract means a healthy immune system!  Unfortunately, more and more Americans are in a state of dysbiosis or too many bad bacteria in comparison to healthy bacteria.  Dysbiosis is occurring in many due for a variety of reasons such as, a poor diet, use of pesticides and herbicides that kill probiotics naturally found in foods, processed foods, sugar in the diet, and increased use of prescription and over the counter medications.

Probiotics can be obtained through food, specifically fermented foods such as kombucha, sauerkraut, kimchi, pickles and kefir.   Commercials promote yogurt as a source of beneficial bacteria however I often caution clients on relying on yogurt for probiotics as many are dead or dying due to the shelf life of the product.  In addition most yogurts have large amounts of added or artificial sugars.  Sugar feeds bad bacteria and can change the pH of the gastrointestinal tract to a more acidic environment. For these reasons yogurt is usually not a good option for those looking to improve their gastrointestinal tract health.  If fermented foods are not in your daily diet, then probiotic supplementation is an easy and effective way to increase the beneficial bacteria in the gut.

When referring to probiotics, more is better!  I encourage clients to look for supplements that offer in the billions with respect to cultures, and to look for a variety of cultures.  (This is one of the few times you want a list of ingredients you may have trouble pronouncing!)  If you have any immune issues to include allergies, auto-immune disorders, adrenal dysfunction, cancer or you are always getting sick then using a probiotic supplement at least 2 times/day with meals is encouraged.

You are suppose to have probiotics in your gastrointestinal tract and side effects or contraindications are rare.  Probiotics are silent workers and it can take months to achieve a positive gut flora balance.  Benefits include an improved digestive system including regularity with stool as well as an improved immune system, but be patient as it wont happen overnight!

Looking for a probiotic?
Click on the picture to order and use the code HCP1062801

Back to School! Packing a Healthy Lunch

Like many parents, I face the daily challenge of trying to get my children to eat healthy. Breakfast and dinner are more easily controlled, but lunches can be tricky as they are the one meal our children oftentimes eat away from home and out of sight.

Recently, school lunch programs have undergone scrutiny, and reviews reflect that some districts struggle with the balance of cost and quality.  Menus in many school lunch programs are too high in unhealthy fats and sugar and too low in fiber and nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. In addition organic options are generally not available.  Dairy and meat items often contain antibiotics, hormones and other toxins and produce can contain pesticides and herbicides.  Unless you are fortunate enough to have high-quality, nutritious options available in your school districts, a packed lunch may be the healthier option for your child. As parents, we can pack powerful, healthy lunches our children will enjoy. Here are some suggestions for making it happen:

Make lunch a joint effort

Making sure your carefully prepared lunch does not get thrown into the trash can be tricky, but not impossible. Your odds for success increase significantly when both you and your children are involved in the food selections and the preparation of the lunch. Ask for input from your child; they will be more likely to eat what they choose. Of course, as a parent, you need to set the boundaries on their choices and provide nutritious alternatives to teach healthy habits.

 “Checks” and balances

Proper nutrient balance is key to good health and requires that your meals offer a variety of foods. Each food group offers different vitamins and minerals needed for growth and development. Start by creating a checklist for children when developing your lunches.  Pending no allergies, the checklist should include five main food groups: whole grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy or dairy alternatives, and protein (animal or vegetable).  Note: Many parents are opting to limit or avoid grains due to food allergies (gluten) and/or health benefits.  A balanced and healthy lunch can be void of grains, so the checklist may comprise of 4 main food groups instead of 5.

While creating the lunch, have your child check off the items they are packing with the goal of having each food group included.  Create a weekly calendar with the four or five groups of foods on each day to help reinforce nutrient balance and variety (see example below).  For younger children, try using pictures instead of words and have them circle or color the picture each day lunch is packed. For older children who have mastered the inclusion of all the food groups, encourage them to chose a variety of colors in the produce groups.


Bento boxes are an easy, healthy and fun way to pack lunch for your children.   Both school lunch programs and the traditional brown bag lunch heavily favors carbohydrates and often packaged, processed foods such as: a hot or cold sandwich, chips or snack, fruit (hopefully), juice boxes or sugar laden drinks, and a dessert such as cookies.  To steal the tagline from Taco Bell (the only good thing to ever come from Taco Bell), “Think Outside The Bun” & Bag.  With bento boxes you can ditch the bread and processed snacks and make lunch a protein and nutrient packed meal that provides brain power for your child.  My recommendation is to fill the compartments with the following categories using foods your child enjoys:

Protein (i.e. Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Fish, Beans Hard Boiled Eggs etc.)

Veggies (cooked or raw)

Fruits (cut up to make it easy to eat!)

Nuts, Seeds, Olives, Avocados 

Dairy (i.e. cottage cheese, cheese, yogurt and you can add dried fruit and/or granola)

As far as beverages, I recommend skipping the juice box or sugary beverage and go with the liquid of life…water.  For those children who are resistant to change or devoted to the traditional brown bag, I suggest introducing the bento box idea once a week to start.

There are some VERY creative bento box lunch ideas on the internet- search bento box lunch ideas for kids.  You can create a bento box filled with edible disney characters, flowers, insects, hearts, pirates and much, much more!  Wishing all the children a great and healthy school year!


Order Dale's Raw Protein Bars HERE


Nutrition CPR offers both private & corporate nutrition coaching

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