We all want what is best for our little ones—there is no doubt about that. With fall just around the corner and school about to start, it is important to ensure that your child is heading to school on a healthy note. Here are a few simple steps you can take to help your child start out on the right track.
Let’s begin by making sure your child is getting plenty of water. A new Harvard study showed that over half of school age children are clinically dehydrated. As you know, water is very important to keep a body healthy. Water helps us detoxify, promotes good digestion and fights off fatigue. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water before and after school and remember to talk to them about the importance of drinking water while they are at school.
Second, focus on providing a nutrient dense breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so shoot for one that is high in protein. Focus on eggs, lean means, and non-starchy vegetables. Your children’s grades will thank you for it.
Third, be sure to pack healthy snacks for your little tikes. Vegetables and/or protein are always great ideas. Remember to limit the amount of sugary snacks you give to your kids. The American Heart Association recommends that school-age children consume less than 12 grams of sugar per day. Remember to check the labels to make sure your child is not getting too much sugar in their diet.
By Paul MacFarlane and Bill Grivna
You’ve probably seen people practicing T’ai Chi on TV, in a movie, or even locally, in a park or at the botanical garden. You know it’s a slow moving, graceful exercise that is supposed to be beneficial. You may have heard that at advanced levels it is a formidable martial art based on relaxation, yielding, and using an opponent’s energy against himself. But what do you really know about the many health benefits that can be gained from this wonderful, relaxing exercise system?
T’ai Chi, when practiced regularly, has been said to improve relaxation, concentration, coordination, flexibility, postural alignment, and both physical and mental balance or centering. If some or all of this sounds intriguing to you, then we’d like to introduce you to the St. Louis T’ai Chi Ch’uan Association, a not-for-profit organization has been offering classes in the art of T’ai Chi Ch’uan since 1979.
“The five principles we practice are: relax and sink, separate the weight, waist as commander, body upright and beautiful lady’s wrist, ” said Michael David, President of the Association. Mr. David has practiced the Yang Style Short Form, as taught by the Association for nearly twenty years. And like most of the Association’s students, T’ai Chi Ch’uan has changed his life in countless ways. Mr. David experienced a more relaxed manner at work, increased health and vitality, plus improved balance and strength. David adds, “These benefits come subtly, like laying a sheet of paper on top of a sheet of paper. Over time, you find the way you sit, stand and move tends to change. You gain strength, balance, suppleness, stamina, and most of all, a more meditative approach to daily living.”
By Crystal Stevens
Quality soil is the most vital aspect of growing organically! A healthy, living soil is the key to vigorous and healthy plants. Compost, vermicompost, and other organic soil additions can add nutrients to your soil, improving plant vitality.
As my husband Eric Stevens says, “Building healthy soil is the key to having optimal health in any garden setting. It can be thought of in terms of building the soils immune system to help fight off unwanted diseases or pests.”
Start a compost pile now for next years garden. As sustainable farmers, we love our compost. We have seen the enormous difference that compost makes on crops such as tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. We have done experiments planting two rows of identical crops; one row with compost added and one row without compost added. The row with compost added doubled in size within just a few short weeks.
My husband Eric observed, “In my 18 years of natural gardening and farming, there has always been a compost pile in the back corner somewhere. From the beginning of my adventures in gardening, I remember the exciting realization that over half of my waste can simply be thrown into a bin in a corner of my yard and over time would break down into the most nutrient rich soil. To me, this concept became more and more fascinating as I noticed the similarities between what was happening in my compost bin and what was happening in nature. I would throw all of my veggie ends and recycled brown paper bags in the compost bin and forget about it for months. When I turned the compost bin, I discovered the black gold that I had been reading about.”