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Healthy Lifestyle Archives

What’s With All the Fro-Yo?

Have you seen all the frozen yogurt shops opening all over town?

They are hard to miss. Apple this, Banana that, Orange something or other, and Peach something else.  Really, no offense to any of these establishments but it does seem a little ridiculous.  How much frozen yogurt can we or should we eat?

On vacation last week in Colorado we witnessed the fro-yo frenzy as well; shops opening everywhere.  With the unbearable 100 degree humid weather this season we all have been enjoying our share of frozen treats. But do you think frozen yogurt is a healthy treat? Or is it simply a change from ice cream and custard? Is frozen yogurt a better choice?  Maybe mentally we feel it is better for us.

Here are a few articles offering some food for thought:

From Shape Magazine “Healthy Snacks: 5 Myths About Frozen Yogurt

Eating Right: Is Frozen Yogurt Really a Healthy Option?” from NOLA.com

Frozen Yogurt & a Heart-Healthy Diet” from Livestrong.com

VIDEO: Seinfield Scene – Non Fat Yogurt

As always, I love to hear what you think.  You can also join our fro-yo conversation on Facebook or Twitter.

My Kid Gets Anxious

My 8 year old gets anxious with new situations.

My first born loves routine and schedules.  This is a kid who tries to eat the exact same thing every day, gets up early even if he stays up late, and sits at the same kitchen chair for every meal and snack.

We try to push him out of his comfort zone within a safe environment.  Last week he started a new morning day camp.  The first day I parked the car and walked him to his counselor.  The second day was time for the circle drop off.  I kept reassuring him that “he could do it.” He kept saying “Mom, park the car.” and “Mom will you be here to pick us up?” His little sister was telling him “It will be fine.”  I could see every muscle tighten up as his anxiety escalated.  I attempted to focus on his role as big brother, you know, “Walk your sister to her counselor first.”  The door opened and he flat left his sister and ran to the basketball court to get to his counselor (about 20 steps away).

We are 30 days out from the start of a new school year and today he asked, “When do we find out about our teacher?”  I know his wheels are turning in his active little mind. The boy never stops thinking.

Last year when I was preparing for our Parenting Expo I asked the elementary school counselor to tell me about some issues she saw with the 5-11 year old kids.  You know what she responded?  THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE IS ANXIETY …followed by AND THE PARENTS MAKE IT WORSE.

Do you have an anxious kid? I would love to hear your tips below.  Also check out our Q&A from Allan Gonsher at Kids-Incorporated.


Parenting and Child Anxiety

Thank you to Allan Gonsher for this guest post.

Parents want their children to thrive and make every effort to help them grow and succeed. Every year brings new milestones and experiences, and of course, challenges. They can happen at home, daycare, or school and can cause family or relationship difficulties, school issues, and behavioral problems. Sometimes parents feel overwhelmed and frustrated, often seeking additional to help sort out how to tackle these problems.

Even without outside challenges, some children may have difficulty expressing their feelings and emotions. As a parent, it is hard to see your child struggle and the cause may not be clear. In the following Q&A, you will see my response to a parent whose child is dealing with anxiety, which is a common disorder that strikes millions of adults and children worldwide.

QUESTION–
My 7 year old son seems to be struggling with anxiety and panic…any suggestions that can help the little guy? He is smart and a bit of a thinker, which I think is leading him to over-think. He is not one for relaxing and winding down which isn’t helping him. I have put him in touch with the school psychologist and of course we love him to pieces and support him, but he seems to lack confidence and has a low self esteem. I have gotten him into Karate, which he loves and is very good at, and he enjoys playing baseball in the spring. Are there any books, movies, or websites that would provide me with some tried and true coping skills for a young child?

ANSWER– provided by Allan Gonsher, LIMHP, LSCSW, RPT-S

Read the rest of this entry

Is it the Food?

I am fortunate that neither of my kids have a food allergy.  My youngest finished Kindergarten this year with 3 out of 21 classmates with serious peanut allergies.  There is an “approved” school snack list (mostly highly processed packaged junk), mandatory hand washing (a plus), and separate lunch area.

Last week’s blog “Are Your Kids Allergic to Food – or What’s in it?” by Healthy Child Healthy World highlighted some interesting points.  Like the WebMD report that 8% of children have at least one food allergy. Wow, that seems high to me!  The article linked to the Huffington Post reporter who questions whether this increasing rate is related to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Do you know that ~75% of the food on the supermarket shelves contain a genetically modified ingredient? Could the increase we see in ADHD, autism, asthma, or allergies be related to what we eat and drink?

Want a peek at the brands that may be using GMOS’s? Check out the lists by Raw Wisdom or Dr. Mercola

These are brands I don’t purchase: Kraft/Nabisco, Nestle/Libby’s, Post, General Mills, Kellogg and Coca-Cola, just name a few! I know these mega-brands offer the best “value”. You can find tons of coupons and sometimes get products for virtually free. But is the health of our children worth it? Yes, healthier products usually cost more. But we have cut back on other areas of our budget to purchase healthier food.

Do you have a child with ADHD, autism, asthma, or allergies? Do you think diet is related?  What changes have you made in feeding your family? Comment below or join our conversation on Twitter by following gailsscoop and using hashtag #noGMOs or find the thread on our Facebook Page

Read last week’s blog “Are Your Kids Allergic to Food – or What’s in it?” by Healthy Child Healthy World.

Save on Safe Art Supplies for Kids

Is your kid absorbing toxic chemicals?

If you have little ones you know that kids don’t always use art supplies as intended.  A good friend of a two year old said to me “If I give her markers that are almost dried up there is less chance of it being all over the furniture.”

My 5 year old (soon to be 6) loves to create.  This photo from a local child edutainment center gives you an idea of what I’m saying. And no, it was not St. Patrick’s Day!

Not only can art supplies end up in ears, eyes, nose and mouth but toxic substances can be absorbed through the skin.

Our friends over at one of our favorite sites, The Mighty Nest, posted a great blog on “Art Supplies: How to Choose Safe Materials”

All of the art supplies that you can purchase at MightyNest are made with natural and non-toxic ingredients for fun and safe creative expression.  This week Gail’s Scoop readers can get 10% off all Safe, Non-Toxic Art Supplies with code SafeArt10

Simple Steps for Going Green in JoCo KS

Gail’s Scoop…Going Green in JoCo

Who Has Super Bowl Recipes to Share?

Can it really be two days before Super Bowl XLV?

The kids are finally back at school.  Three days home from the blizzard was fun, exhausting and somewhat stressful.  Now looking around I see the laundry piled up, the floor cluttered with snow boots, mittens, toys and more. And there is grit from one end of the house to the other.

Every year we make all sorts of finger foods and have a picnic in the living room in front of the TV for Super Bowl Sunday.  Surely our readers have some favorite Super Bowl party recipes to share.  Have a favorite recipe site or blog? Please share that too.

Good luck getting everything done on your list!

Maguire Gilner Angel Day 5K Run

It’s the first annual Maguire Gilner Angel Day 5K Run.

Mark your calendar now for May 14th, 2011.

I only briefly met the mom of Maguire standing on a friend’s driveway. She was coming, I was going. For some reason I asked, “How many kids do you have?”  One of my typical questions when I meet another mom.  When she told me she had lost two baby boys, I could barely get out an “I’m sorry.”  With a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes I drove home thinking about how lucky I was to have my two beautiful and healthy kids.

The Maguire Davis Gilner Foundation was founded in order to help other grieving parents cover the cost of headstones for children who were called to Heaven way too early.

Some of these babies never had the opportunity to take a breath here on earth and passed straight from their mother’s womb.  Many parents ache to hold these precious babies in their arms – on May 14th we will run in memory of Maguire and in memory of all little angel babies.

Please join us at Lone Elm Park (21151 W. 167th Street, Olathe, KS) at 8 AM.

This event is a family event - we will have Titus’s Tot Trot, vendors for shopping, food, balloon release, music, and other activities.

For more information contact:

Jean McGuire, Race Director

phone: 913-912-3855

The Common Denominator Is…WATER!!!

This is a guest post from Cathy Weaver.

It is difficult for many of us to realize that something as easy as WATER could be the common denominator for so many daily functions of the body.

The common, not NORMAL but COMMON, health issues people are facing today could be helped by simply changing what beverages and how much they are drinking. Our research may lead us to learn that our bodies may not be SICK, but THIRSTY.

  • Blood: Our blood is approximately 75% water and is truly vital for the transportation of nutrients into our bodies. Water is necessary to many functions in our bodies including the maintenance of cell structure and transporting oxygen throughout our blood stream.  If we are indeed dehydrated, our blood becomes thicker and our bodies have to work much too hard to get the blood to circulate. Once the body signals us that we are THIRSTY, it’s already too late – we are already dehydrated.
  • Skin: Our skin acts as a water reservoir and helps with the fluid regulation of our whole body.  Being dehydrated can change the total appearance of our skin. In mild dehydration our skin may appear flushed, dry and loose with a loss of elasticity and may look older than it really is.  Water is also lost from our body through sweat. Often times, we drink LESS water in the winter; more hot drinks such as teas, hot chocolate and flavored coffees are soothing, thus causing DRY SKIN to occur in winter months.  It is NOT the dry weather nor the furnaces in our homes that are the only culprits to this seasonal malady.
  • Bladder: Our bodies lose water through the skin, lungs and feces, but most water is lost as urine. A reduced urine output is a useful indicator of dehydration and signals the need to increase our water intake.  Drinking plenty of water helps prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones.
  • Kidneys: Our kidneys control the amount of water in our bodies; filtering our blood and excreting waste products in our urine, leaving nutrients in the bloodstream.  Our kidneys play a key role in controlling blood pressure. If our kidneys cannot function properly due to dehydration it can lead to high blood pressure.
  • Heart: Dehydration can actually have an impact on the mechanical functions of our hearts. Cells shrink when dehydrated which could affect the transmission of the electrical impulses that stimulate our heart muscles to contract.

As previously stated, water is the common denominator to the normal functions of our bodies.  To learn more about alkaline, ionized water contact Cathy Weaver.

Cathy Weaver

Cathy has been in the field of health and wellness since 1991 and in 2008 co-founded a company called Miracles With Water.  Once introduced to Kangen Water™ in June of that year, Cathy realized that our bodies are indeed DEHYDRATED.  As a Molecular Hydration Specialist, Cathy has been able to witness lives changing as a result of changing the water people are drinking.  To learn more about ionized, alkalized Kangen Water™.  She can be found on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

JoCo Recycle Your Christmas Tree

The time is quickly approaching to take down the holiday decor.

Me and my husband have put up a live Christmas tree every year for the last 16 years.  The kids and I are Jewish and Daddy’s Christmas tree is one tradition that we get so much joy out of.


It always saddens me to see the needles start to drop off.  But as much of a tradition it has become in our home to decorate the tree, it is also a tradition to drag the tree out of the house, with needles flying everywhere, usually the tree somehow getting stuck on the top chain of the door, or having the water stand topple over.  Then comes the fun of strapping it to the car and bringing it to a local preserve for mulching and recycling.


Johnson County makes it very easy to recycle your tree.  There are several locations to choose from:


Shawnee Mission Park Marina (Shawnee)
Heritage Park Marina (Olathe)
Kill Creek Marina (Olathe)


Mill Creek (residents only)


Young’s Park
Indian Creek Rec Center
Quivira Park
Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

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Best wishes getting ready for the new year!

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