Tuesday, September 30, 2014

America's Healthiest Heroes - Playing it Cool

I wish I could say I play it cool when it comes to celebrities.  I often have trouble recognizing them.  When I'm watching a movie, at some point, I'll lean over and whisper to Cassie, "Where have a seen this guy before?"  Then, Cassie has to interrupt her movie-going experience to go over an actor's resume with me.  I'm even worse with celebrity sightings.  For instance, when I ran into Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson in Manhattan, the best I could do was blurt out, "Hey, it's you!"

So when I found myself in a YouTube video with Ian Ziering, I'd like to say that I played it cool.  But in reality, my reaction was, "Whoa!  I'm in a video with the guy from 90210!"  Yes, yours truly was fortunate enough to be featured in a YouTube series called, "America's Healthiest Heroes", hosted by Ian Ziering.

The premise of this series is to feature parents that are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to help kids adopt healthy habits.  Apparently, the series is intent on highlighting the parents since poor Cailya and Colin didn't make the final cut.

One of the things that I really enjoy about YouTube is the ability to reach a larger audience.  Trying to get a message out to others is infinitely more challenging than writing the message itself.  I am proud to take part in a larger campaign like "America's Healthiest Heroes" because celebrities like Ian Ziering have a wider sphere of influence.  Just like his character on 90210, Ian Ziering has the power of cool and the ability to make healthy eating cool.

Whether you are speaking to a YouTube audience of a few or a few thousand, or you are speaking to an audience of one or two in your own home, you can use the power of cool to make eating healthy the cool thing to do.  I encourage you to be your own kid's healthiest hero!

Friday, September 26, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food For Kids : Cauliflower Mac N' Cheese

I was speaking to a friend of mine, Josh Coleman the other day.  He lamented, "All my kid eats is mac n' cheese!"  Macaroni and cheese is a common favorite food item of many kids.  There is indeed something comforting and disarming about macaroni and cheese.

The problem is that many of the white starches like bread, potatoes, rice, cereal, and some noodles are high in glycemic index and unhealthy.  Given this predicament, I decided to dedicate this post to Josh Coleman and attempt to come up with a solution to a very common problem.

It's time for cauliflower to rear its pretty little head once again!  Cauliflower is a great substitute for white starch.  It can be transformed in a multitude of ways to resemble mashed potatoes, rice, and even mac n' cheese!   Take a look as Sean Ko-nnery takes cauliflower undercover in this week's feature video, "Golden Cauliflower"


Friday, September 19, 2014

How to Cook Healthy Food for Kids : Make a Healthy Savory Popcorn With Nutritional Yeast


I am pleased to announce that my book, The Ping Pong Diet, is now available for sale at Amazon.com.  The Ping Pong Diet is a comprehensive dietary guide for adults seeking to lose weight, keep it off, and maintain a healthy lifestyle.  You can read more about my thoughts on weight management at http://www.mythicalweightloss.com

Ping pong was my main sport growing up.  While other kids were playing catch in their backyard with their old man, I was paddling ping pong balls in the basement with my dad.  

Although I didn't play catch with my dad as a child, I decided to play some catch up and go to my first father-son baseball game.  

We arrived at the Nationals Park stadium and joined a very lively and packed crowd, ready to cheer on the first place Nats.  As we walked towards our seats, I couldn't help but notice that one American pastime had been drowned out by another American past time…eating.  The concession stands featured a dizzying array of snacks and drinks.  I couldn't help but ask myself, "Was this a sporting event with food or a food event with sports?"

The problem was that there weren't many healthy food options.  Take for instance, the Cracker Jack.  Otherwise wholesome whole grains and nuts were steeped in butter and caramelized to a candied finish.  

As we sang "Take me out to the ballgame" during the seventh inning stretch, I wondered to myself, "Could I make a healthier popcorn snack?"


Incidentally, if you make popcorn for your kids, be sure to have them gargle afterwards so they don't get any retained kernels of corn stuck in their teeth.

At our first baseball game, the Nats put on an offensive clinic and obliterated the Phillies 11-0.  We enjoyed some munchies during the game, but most importantly, my dad and I shared a truly memorable experience together.

Friday, September 12, 2014

How to make healthy chia seed pudding for kids : A Healthy Transformation


One of the cool things about cooking is taking an ingredient and transforming it into an unexpected culinary experience.  One thing you have to be careful about, however, is avoiding unhealthy transformations.  For instance, grinding up grains into a fine flour, or blending fruit into a smoothie are examples of unhealthy transformations.

Last week, I introduced life changing crackers.  While these crackers didn't actually change my life, they were a great example of how you can change an ingredient like seeds into something more palatable to kids, like a cracker.

Another seed that you may consider incorporating into your diet is the chia seed.  Chia seeds are nutritional powerhouses.  You can read about the nutritional profile of chia seeds in my previous post:
One great way you can transform your chia seeds into an unexpectedly tasty and healthy dessert is by making chia pudding.

I show you how easy it is to make this simple and delicious dessert in the following video:

Saturday, September 6, 2014

My Experience With Life Changing Crackers


I've been following a blog called My New Roots by Sarah Britton.  She features novel plant-based recipes with gorgeous photography.  She recently posted a recipe for "Life Changing Crackers".

With a name like that, I just had to try them.  Unlike most store-bought crackers that are high in glycemic index, these crackers are completely flour-free and gluten-free.   They also contain a healthy dose of seeds like sunflower and sesame seeds.

I tried these out on my wife.  I asked her if these crackers changed her life.  She replied, "Needs more salt".  I served them up to my mother-in-law and asked her how her life was changed.  She retorted, "Healthy".

Maybe these crackers aren't truly life-changing, but they are a significantly healthier alternative to the traditional store-bought cracker.  And most importantly, I tried them out on Colin and he actually liked them.  I hope by introducing healthy eating habits to him and Cailya at a young age, I will have truly changed their lives for the better.  And that's my experience with life changing crackers.


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