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Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

Beneficially Treat Yourself with Chocolate!

February 11th, 2009 by dieticianmama

If you’re like me, eating chocolate has become a normal part of my daily intake, and this is not such a bad thing. You have probably heard that Dark Chocolate is the best kind of chocolate to eat. But why?  Dark chocolate contain substantially more flavonoids (a heart healthy antioxidant that protects against cardiovascular disease) than red wine, tea, and even milk chocolate. Researchers have stated that the milk in milk chocolate can prohibit the absorption of these awesome flavonoids.  Because heart disease is still the leading cause of death in women, eating dark chocolate every day makes my heart happy and my taste buds (mmmm…).

Other than help prevent heart disease what else can chocolate do for a pregnant lady? A study in 2008 stated that women who ate 5 servings of chocolate a week decrease their risk of preeclampsia which is characterized by high blood pressure and protein in the urine.
Not only does chocolate help boost a person mood but a new born baby’s as well. How? Well, according to Early Human Development, it is possible when a mother consume chocolate daily during pregnancy that the effects of that chocolate can positively affect the temperament of their infant at 6 months of age. How fantastic is that?!  No matter what your reason for treating yourself with chocolate is just remember: everything in moderation.

Like this post?  Thank our newest contributor, dieticianmama.  Look for more delicious posts from her soon!

Glow Mama gets a healthy start to its day

December 11th, 2008 by lucy

I read somewhere recently that getting people to switch breakfast habits is near impossible - especially for something healthier and more expensive.  Well if anyone can do it, I’m putting my money on [me]&goji.   The guys behind this great new venture recently sent us some [glow]&goji (cool huh!?) and here are our top three reasons why we think they’re great…

1) The website - it looks great and is fun to use.  Just like customizing your own character on a wii, you customize your cereal bases, fruit, nuts and seeds until you have your ideal mix.  It instantly updates the nutritional facts and price each time you add something.  You even get to name it!

2) The cereal is yummy, healthy and looks good- anything that can get our fussy toddler eating (not only eating but running to the cupboard and whining until he gets it) is a winner.  We loved the macadamia nuts and choco goji!  PS> The cereal was not a powdery mess from the shipping/travel to reach us, as we’d expected. 

3) You can buy a $1 Green Tag at checkout that makes your purchase carbon neutral.  cool huh!

What mama doesn’t need a good healthy start to her day?  A bowl of [me]&goji and a bottle of Glow Mama anyone?

The Good Bugs

November 14th, 2008 by amy

Yes, they do exist, and they are now better known as Probiotics. Ah, the latest buzzword.  On The Today Show. in the grocery store, in baby food. But what exactly are they? And how are they good for me?  We’re here to help you explore probiotics.

What it stands for: Probiotics means “For Life”

What are they: Good bacteria that (when combined with diet & exercise) help to keep your digestive system healthy

How are they helpful? The potential benefits are many, and may include relief from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or Colitis, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, improving mineral absorption, the list goes on.

Are they a trend? Yes, of course, but unlike last year’s leggings, they are a good one!  And one recommended by the World Health Organization.

What form do they come in and where can I find them? You can find probiotics in food (such as yogurt) or as a dietary supplement at local pharmacies and health food stores.  Since the microorganism is live, they are typically kept in a refrigerated section. 

Interested in learning more about Probiotics?

Avoid the ‘rrhoids

September 22nd, 2008 by Glow Mama

It’s a unpleasant and painful subject we know… and one so often left out of those gorgeous soft pink and blue pregnancy handbooks, but hemorrhoids are far more common during pregnancy and after childbirth than you’d think.  Some estimates are as high as 50% of moms-to-be! 

While there are a lot of great products for relief of the ‘rroids, how about preventing them in the first case? Since constipation is one of the main contributing factors in developing this type of “vericose veins” (along with pressure from the baby and those weird hormones)… wouldn’t we all want to tackle it head on?

The 3 Fs to keeping regular:

  1. Fitness - get moving every day, even if its a short brisk walk or a pre-natal yoga class
  2. Fluids - drinking 8 - 10 glasses a day of non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic liquids will keep you hydrated
  3. Fiber - while there’s no official recommendation on fiber, most nutritionists agree that adults should get between 25 and 35 grams of fiber a day, in a mix of both soluble and insoluble.  The scary part is that most people in the US average between 5 and 10 grams per day!

How much is 25 grams of fiber?

Does that mean we have to start having bulgar, lentils and vegetable barley soup every night?  Luckily, no.  While brown grains and pastas are all good sources of fiber… so are fruit and veggies… and Glow Mama.  This yummy looking plate of breakfast is infact 25 grams of fiber!  Talk about getting the hard work over and done with for the day.

(1 banana (3g) + 2x Glow Mama (8g) + 1 bowl hot oatmeal (8g) + 1 apple (4g) + 1 brand muffin (2g) )

More fiber tips:

  • For a brand to be able to claim it’s a “good source of fiber” it must have at least 2.5 grams per serving (Glow Mama has 4grams per bottle).
  • Don’t suddenly increase your fiber intake as that’ll shock your body and make you burn through the bathroom tissue faster than they can chop the trees down. 
  • Also, it’s important to remember that fiber acts as a bulking agent by absorbing some of the fluid in your body… so you have to keep hydrated, or extra hydrated so things can keep moving.

How to feed a Happy Baby

September 12th, 2008 by amy

As a Type-A, first-born, card-carrying Virgo, my innate need to nest & organize quadrupled when I became pregnant.  The baby room had to be just perfect, I switched to all green cleaners, and latched on to the organic trend.  That last one was a simple change that has stuck with our now family of three.  Trips to the farmer’s market have become part of our Saturday morning ritual, which unfortunately no longer includes sleeping in!

Luckily, there are lots of new mom-owned businesses to make healthier living do-able, even when you’ve been up half the night nursing.  Happy Baby falls into that category for me.  I had visions of happily pureeing baby food while my little boy slept cozily in his bassinet.  For the days that didn’t quite work out as planned (and there were many), Happy Baby was Plan B.  A mom-developed product line out of Brooklyn and endorsed by Dr. Sears, I felt confident about what I was putting into that delicate little belly.  All the products are USDA organic and processed in a wheat-free, gluten-free, and dairy free facility.  The first foods (yup, that’s the infamous rice cereal) also contain probiotics - great for those little digestive systems.  Convenient portions mean less food waste, its frozen so there are no preservatives and best of all, the food actually tastes like something you’d recognize - no more mystery-meat surprise!

Happy Baby Logo

Happy Baby has offered Glow Mama readers a coupon for $1 off Happy Baby family of products.

See their store locator to find some near you.  Maybe they should rename the company Happy Mama…

Glowing at her Baby Shower

September 5th, 2008 by lucy

Congratulations to Moo on her baby shower last weekend - looks like it was a blast. 

“We had Glow Mama as mom-osas- with apple cider. It was great. People wanted to take some home. I gotta tell you, the girls were excited about the amount of fiber in the drink. It drew a lot of excitement. Especially when 5 girls felt like they went to the bathroom 2-3 times in one day. I know you don’t want to advertise that but if I had a blog I would def write about that. I gotta tell you, even the most skeptic girl who doesn’t “go” regularly was regular for 3 days after that. It could be mom’s best kept secret.”

World Breastfeeding Week

August 7th, 2008 by lucy

Do you think it would be safe to say that all new moms in the US today hear that “breast is best“?  Surely we all hear about the many health benefits that breastfeeding gives both us and the baby, including the emotional, nutritional and even economical reasons for “going natural”?  And yet it’s not always that simple…  some of us find stress, fatigue or outside pressure gets in the way, for others it seems the baby decides. 

Well now is our chance to encourage, support and admire all moms who breastfeeding as long as they want to - it’s Word Breastfeeding Week and here are a couple of good resources for those who are either nursing or those who are supporting…

  • The great photo competition held on the World Breastfeeding Week site - adorable photos from around the world.
  • A map of all the World Breastfeeding Week Marathons going on this week around the world - maybe there’s one near you?
  • The main La Leche League website - for tips, groups and events.
  • Every Babies”R”Us store is hosting several ”Going for the Gold…. Breastfeed” seminars this coming Saturday (Aug 9th) in conjunction with Medela - lots of advice, equipment and ideas.

Maybe you have a tip or story you’d like to share?  Let us know what made breastfeeding easier for you and we’ll help spread the supportive word… either leave us a comment or email us at   If we include your tip in our Glow Guide, we’ll find you a whole bunch of Glow Goodies to send your way!

The Power of Power Food

June 3rd, 2008 by mindfulmomma

fruit and veggies.jpg

The attraction to junk food comes on fast and furious, from the first tiny tastes of sugar-sweetened yogurt to the first bite of a greasy french fry at a road-trip dinner spot. For most of us, banning all sugar and salty snacks is not a reasonable solution, so we need to find a way to teach our kids about healthy eating habits. Enter the concepts of Power food and Lazy food. I have to credit our friend Sandy for teaching us this powerful idea that she used with her first child who was a very picky eater. In a nutshell, here’s what it’s all about:

Power Food helps your body grow big and strong. It gives you the strength to run around, ride bikes and play games with your friends.

Lazy Food does nothing to help your body. It tastes really great but if that’s all you eat, your body will get lazy and you won’t have the energy to do all the fun things you want to do.

For some reason this really hit home with my son Drew and to this day we use those terms regularly. Now, I can’t claim that it reduced his interest in Lazy food (he has a major sweet tooth) but he does understand why he needs to eat his veggies and why he can’t have treats all the time. It’s not rocket science - just a simple way to explain to kids why their bodies need good food.

The Dish on Fish

March 8th, 2008 by doctormama

wildsalmon.jpgIn all of my pregnancies, the taste, the smell, even just the thought
of cooked fish could send me right into gagfests.   No worries, I
thought, I don’t want to expose my baby to all that mercury anyway.
And, not to mention, our oceans and fish supplies are suffering due to bad fishing practices, so no need to contribute to that environmental quagmire.

But then the news came out that pregnant mamas who eat fish have smarter more coordinated babies (a Harvard study in June 2005 and a British study in Feb 2007), and I had reason to revisit the fish issue.  Or at least find a way to get those potent omega -3 fatty acids in me and my in utero baby and my young children’s developing brains!

What about just taking fish oil supplements and not have to think about it?  Unfortunately, there is no way (yet) of knowing that there is no mercury in them and/or that they are coming from eco-friendly sources.  Give it a few years and some regulation getting involved and that will probably be a great option.

So back to the fish.  From my research I knew that mercury is truly bad news and has seriously detrimental effects on young nervous systems in particular.  Not worth rolling that dice.  I also had tacked up in my kitchen the Environmental Defense Fund’s “eco-worst” list of fish to avoid if you care about our planet.  So where was I to find fish that was safe to eat, that I could swallow without puking and that I could eat without feeling guilty?

My list had dwindled down to: wild salmon, pacific halibut, and yellowfin tuna, caught in US waters.

Fast forward to a recent date night with my husband when we visited our favorite sushi bar.  As we settled in, the sushi chef asked, “How’s the sushi baby?”  Two years later, he still remembers me for eating sushi right through the ninth month of my last pregnancy.   And I’m not talking just California rolls, girls, I mean the real deal sashimi.  Sushi?!?!? I hear you scream, but it’s RAW!!!  Yes.  And a food borne illness in pregnancy should be avoided at all costs.  With names like Listeria, Salmonella, Shigella, better to leave them on an exotic baby name list, as my girlfriend suggested,  than have them wreaking havoc on your GI system.  So why would I risk it?  Well, they do it in Japan and the reason is that if you are eating the freshest of the best, as I was, you can eliminate your risk.  I trusted my sushi source; he would rather die than have someone be sick from his sushi.  And in over 20 years of eating there, no one I know ever has been.

And so with that assurance, I gorged on high grade sushi, which never has a fishy smell so I never once gagged.  The result?  My little “sushi baby” - is one smart whippersnapper, if I do say so myself, who happens to love eating raw fish too.

Milk Money

March 5th, 2008 by mindfulmomma

Where does your milk dollar go?  Do you buck up for organic?  Go
rBGH-free?  Regular?  Raw?  Non/Low/Full-Fat?  Heck, there’s even a
brand that supports my kid’s school.  WAY too many choices - for what
should be one of the (few) simple buying decisions at the grocery.

I personally buy organic some of the time (when it’s on sale or I have a coupon) but almost always hormone-free.  Thing is, depending on what store I go to (and I frequent many) there are different brands available that make my choices more complicated.

ORGANIC

I’m often tempted by store brand organic milk because it’s less expensive.  But have you heard about the Horizon/Aurora Organic boycott?   The Organic Consumer’s Association is leading the charge to boycott this company (owned by Dean Foods) because they have been pushing the limits on organic standards by using factory farm feedlots where the animals have little or no access to pasture.

So, if you care about maintaining organic standards, then consider passing on not only the Horizon Organic brand but the private label brands that use the same supplier.  As far as I know, these brands include:  Costco’s “Kirkland Signature,” Target’s “Archer Farm”, Walmart’s “Great Value”, Safeway’s “O” organics brand, Publix’s “High Meadows,”Giant’s “Natures Promise,” and Wild Oats’ organic milk.

Milk3.jpgTrader Joe’s and Whole Foods “365′ brand of organic milk appear to be OK.  Let’s hope so anyway! (and feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about any of this)

If you want to get into some heavy details, check out the Cornucopia Institute’s research project on Maintaining the Integrity of Organic Milk.  If not, just enjoy their great graphic illustration of the situation!

rBGH-FREE

I want to keep this as simple as possible…. rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is given to cows to increase their milk production.  It is bad for:

  • COWS - because it can lead to chronic mastitis (if you’ve ever breast fed, you know what that means and why you don’t EVER want to have it!). And because of the risk of infection, herds are treated with lots of antibiotics.
  • PEOPLE - because the resulting milk has high levels of Insulin-like Growth Hormone (IGF-1). Research has shown that elevated levels of IGF-1 is linked to an increased risk of breast, colorectal and prostrate cancer.

Use of rBGH is banned in Canada and the European Union.  It’s allowed here in the U.S. but the movement to stop using it is getting bigger by the day.  All Trader Joe’s milk (organic and non) is rBGH-free.  Starbucks offers rBGH-free milk in all their U.S. stores and is working toward a complete switch.  Kroger is officially rBGH-free in the West and their switch will be nationwide by Feb. 2008.

Fortunately, rBGH-free milk is easy to find and while you do pay a premium, it is not as spendy as organic.  A good compromise if you ask me.

OTHER OPTIONS

Most people I know buy 1% or skim.  I buy 2% because it’s what I grew up with and what my family likes.  My son had a pediatrician who gave me a hard time about switching to skim.  I switched doctors instead.  I’m not an expert, but I’m not afraid of a little bit of fat.

Anyone out there a raw milk fan?  I’ve never tried it but I know there are people who think it is MUCH healthier than pasteurized milk.  You can learn more from the Campaign for Real Milk (a project of the Weston A. Price foundation).

Supporting your School?  Here in Minnesota, I try to buy Kemps Select brand (rBGH-free) because saving the cap means money for Drew’s school.  Just one more thing to think about in the complicated process of feeding your family…

Fabulous Folic and Fantastic Fiber – how far we’ve come

February 21st, 2008 by Glow Mama

Did you know that it wasn’t until 1997 that grains started being
fortified with folic acid? And that doing so has contributed to a 26% decline
in neural tube birth defects (disorders in an infant’s spine and
brain)? - impressive don’t you think!   The March of Dimes has also
uncovered a sad stat though - that only 12% of women know that they should be consuming at least 400mg of folic acid before pregnancy, made folicandfiber.jpgscarier by the stat that 50% of American pregnancies are unplanned.

What are they doing about it? - launching a new “folic acid for a healthy pregnancy” seal for bread products that have over 40mg of folic acid.

What are we doing about it?  - continuing to be champions for pregnancy and women’s general wellness education… and telling everyone that each bottle of Glow Mama has 100mg of folic acid.

It also wasn’t until ten years ago that the first official health claim was approved - that oat fiber, as part of a heart-healthy diet can reduce the risk of heart disease.   A recent review published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine has verified that the fiber in oats lowers both total and LDL cholesterol, and that the phenols they contain have antioxidant properties.  While Glow Mama doesn’t contain fiber derived from oats (can you imagine what that would be like to drink?)  it does contain lots of natural fiber derived from veggies - 4grams of it per bottle to be exact.  That’s 16% of your daily recommended fiber intake, or the equivalent to eating a bowl of porridge.

Kiwis - the facts on the fuzzy brown fruit

February 17th, 2008 by lucy

kiwi.jpg

A lot of people are curious about the kiwi and why we chose to make Glow Mama from real kiwifruit juice.  So, while I’m not a kiwifruit expert, grower, salesperson or spokesperson… I am a fan, and I’d like for them to have their 15 minutes in the spotlight.  So here are some of the facts, straight from the California Kiwifruit Commission.

Check out the folic acid, fiber and vitamin C levels in particular - great for us moms and moms-to-be!

Did you know kiwifruit has the highest level of Vitamin C? Kiwifruit has almost twice the Vitamin C of an orange. A serving of kiwifruit (two medium) provides about 230% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. Vitamin C aids in wound healing, iron absorption and maintains bones, blood vessels and teeth.

Did you know kiwifruit outranks bananas as the top low-sodium, high potassium fruit? A serving of kiwifruit contains an average of 20% more potassium than a banana. Potassium is an important mineral that controls heart activity and works with sodium to maintain fluid balance in the body.

Did you know kiwifruit is a good low-fat source of Vitamin E? A serving of kiwifruit has some 10% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance. Kiwifruit actually has twice the Vitamin E of an avocado, but has only 60% of the avocado’s calories. Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant and may reduce the risk of heart disease and some forms of cancer.

Did you know there are few foods equal to kiwifruit in folic acid? Kiwifruit provides 10% of the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance of folic acid, or folate. Folic acid is essential to the reproduction and formation of red blood cells. Lack of folic acid can contribute to some problems of anemia and it is especially important for expectant mothers to protect against birth defects.

Did you know kiwifruit is especially rich in lutein? Kiwifruit ranked higher than spinach and all other fruits and vegetables, except yellow corn, for its lutein content. Lutein is aniStock_000003027558XSmall.jpg antioxidant that may decrease the risk of advanced age-related macular degeneration.

Did you know kiwifruit is an excellent source of dietary fiber? Kiwifruit provides both soluble and insoluble forms of fiber (16% USRDA), providing more than a serving of bran flakes and four times that of a cup of chopped celery. Soluble fiber appears to play a protective role in heart disease and diabetes, while insoluble fiber aids in prevention of constipation, diverticulosis, hemorrhoids and some forms of cancer.

Did you know all the other rich minerals that are in kiwifruit? Besides potassium, there are four minerals contained in kiwifruit which have a nutrient density of one or more. These are: calcium (RDA of 5.5%); Iron (RDA, 4%); Magnesium (RDA, 6%) and Copper (RDA, 8%). In addition, kiwifruit is an unusual supplier of some new researched trace minerals including Manganese, essential to the enzymes involved in the body’s use of protein and food energy, and Chromium, known to be a key factor in regulating the heartbeat and the body’s use of carbohydrates.

Did you know kiwifruit promotes heart health? Enjoying just a couple of kiwifruit each day can significantly lower your risk for blood clots (platelet aggregation reduction 18%) and reduce the amount of fats (15% reduction of triglycerides) in your blood.

Did you know kiwifruit protects against Cancer and aids in DNA repair? Eating kiwifruit daily can provide substantial protection against DNA damage that can trigger cancer and, more significantly, greatly speeds the repair of DNA damage.

Did you know kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense fruit? A study conducted by Dr. Paul Lachance of Rutgers University evaluated the nutritional value of fruits to determine-ounce for ounce-which provide the most nutrition. The study found that out of the 27 most commonly consumed fruits; kiwifruit is the most nutrient dense.

California Kiwifruit Commission

Caffeine and Conception

January 22nd, 2008 by lucy

Finally, some real answers… They have just released the results of a new
medical study (done with the help of 1,000 San Fran /Bay Area pregnant
women) that came up with some scary findings.  They concluded that consuming more than 200mg of caffeine a day can double the risk of miscarriage!

But how much is 200mg of caffeine?   Well, here’s the caffeine levels in some common drinks (and other things we consume)…

  • Starbucks “tall” coffee                                     240mg
  • 2 Excedrin extra strength tablets                     130mg
  • Can of Redbull                                                  76mg
  • 8oz cup of black tea                                         47mg
  • Can of Diet Coke                                               47mg
  • Hersey’s chocolate bar (1.5oz)                         9mg
  • 12oz bottle of Glow Mama                                0mg

The short lived fix/buzz definitely doesn’t seem worth the risk to me.   That’s why Glow Mama has 0mg of caffeine per bottle.

Any good tips for those looking to quit the caffeine?

Link to the Jan 21st NPR article.

Welcome from the Glow Mamas

January 3rd, 2008 by Glow Mama

Thanks for joining us as we launch our new product.  We are both proud and excited to be online and can’t wait to hear your feedback on both Glow Mama and our new website.

Cheers from the moms at Glow Beverages.