Food for Thought

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Food, Weight and Body Concern

Can you think of a concern shared by more females than body image?

It is likely that nothing consumes women and girls more than “Does this look okay?” and “Do these jeans make me look fat?”

Adolescents are particularly vulnerable to a poor body image.  Their reality is one of experiencing many physical, cognitive and social changes, all at the same time.  Add the influence of media images to the mix and it is no wonder that girls struggle with food, weight and body concerns.  What is a parent to do?

Above all, check your messages!  How often do you utter the word “diet” or make disparaging remarks about your own body?  As parents, our children are keenly aware of what we say and do.  YOU play a powerful role in your child’s developing body image.  So, 1:  Do NOT remark casually about diet or weight.  This habit will be incredibly challenging to break given the culture in which we live.  It is, however, the single most effective thing that you can do to promote a healthy body image.

Secondly, realize that there are no “good” or “bad” foods.  All foods can fit, and we thrive on variety.  To see foods as good or bad is a potentially dangerous mindset. 

The key is to meet your body’s needs by striking the right balance between food intake and physical activity.  Easier said than done!!  However, the next time you reach for a snack, stop and ask yourself “Am I physically hungry or am I really wanting something else?”  Listening to your body and tuning in to sensations of hunger and satiety is the best way to begin to have a healthy relationship with food.  This approach to eating takes conscious effort.  It is often referred to as “mindful eating” and can dramatically enhance body image.

Let us know how you fare as you try these suggestions.  There is more you can do to promote a healthy body image, but this is THE best place to start.

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Dads Matter

Dads matter! A lot!

Here’s a wonderful post from a guest expert  Joe Bruzzese, M.A. Got questions about the middle school years? He’s your guy!  Please feel free to contact him if you have questions.

I asked Joe, What can dads do to positively affect their teen daughter?  Here’s his advice:

  1. Wait and listen. Great coaching for parents of either gender but truly a top tip for dads with teenage daughters. Open your mouth too soon and watch as your daughter connects a series of eye rolls and facial contortions that will make you wish you had worked late at the office. Choose instead to wait for the rare opportunities when your daughter says, “Well, what do you think?” Although few and far between, when your daughter asks for your opinion the resulting conversation can be truly rewarding and lead to further discussions in the future.
  2. Model. I’m speaking of course about modeling in the sense of demonstrating what a positive male role model can be. Modeling as a profession is better left to men half your age and your daughter will take every available opportunity to reinforce this point. Eventually, your daughter will walk through the door with the “love of her life”. The only profound effect a father can have on this decision is to model the attributes that he would hope for in his daughter’s suitors.
  3. Laugh. A simple yet powerful action that can wipe away tension faster than a trip to Macys with a loaded credit card. The lives of teenage girls (and boys) become embroiled in daily drama that can quickly move a dad past the point of calm and into frustration. Focus your energy on finding the comedy in everyday situations that you know will one day subside. Although I suggest laughter as a “to-do” my recommendation comes with a caveat. Laughing in your daughter’s presence may be perceived as an attempt to bring attention to her thoughts, words or actions and thus should be held for moments when you are either alone or in the presence of other dads.
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Let Go to Hold On

I am packing to move from San Francisco to New York. I already downsized when my four children scampered off to college. Now I’m letting go. It’s liberating. I think of all the things I held onto over the years as a mother. All the worries, all the self-doubt, all the fears that I would somehow “let down” my children. Most mothers I talk to tell me they feel similar feelings. They feel the need to be “perfect” and to make life “perfect” for their daughters. 

The simple truth is all you have to do to be a great mother is to answer your daughter’s big brain question with a Yes! That question is simply, “Are you there for me?” When mothers let go of their anxiety, worries, fears and all the negative thoughts and emotions that tag along, they can better answer their daughters with a resounding “Yes!” When you let go of all the negative self chatter in your brain, and the preconceived ideas about who your daughter “should” be, and allow her to find her own truth with you by her side, you will discover the very marrow of life. For it is in creating the rich, loving relationships with our children that life finds it truest song, and sings to us in harmony. When we let go, we hold on to the best and brightest life has in store for us. Motherhood, in my humble opinion, is the divine made visible.

How do you let go to hold on? It’s not always easy. That’s why I have started the Honor the Girl Movement. You can check it out at www.honorthegirl.me. I am doing my best to help mothers in today’s ever changing world. If you can let go of your ideas about who your daughter should be, and begin to discover who she really is, you’ll tap into a relationship that will sustain you for the rest of your life. That’s how you hold on.  You let go. Of lots of things. That’s where it all starts.

The act of creation is first the act of destruction. What do you need to “destruct” in order to create an amazing relationship with your daughter? What’s the first thing you need to let go of?

I’m here if you need  me,

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Jen takes on troubled teens

p>A long time ago, a philosophy about how to restore peace and harmony in a community was thought up by a man named Confucius. He was neither royalty or divinity. Just a good man who gave the world the teaching of “Jen.” Jen is a bit complicated, but it boils down to the simplicity of doing your best, and helping other people do their best, because it makes you feel good! Sorta like being on an Oprah show where she gives you a thousand dollars then asks you to GIVE it away because you are going to feel like a million bucks when you do that, which is more important than having an extra grand. Really!

If you want to know a bit more about Jen go here.  But you don’t have to understand it anymore than understanding it’s about doing your best and helping others do their best. There, that was simple, wasn’t it?

I don’t know of any data that shows Jen has been a “cure” for troubled teens ( I haven’t looked very hard either to be honest) but my gut tells me that when people work to help others bring out their own goodness, good things happen. How might you help your teen daughter get in touch with her own goodness and give it to the world? Big question huh? But that is what we are doing as parents. We are trying our best to help our children figure out how to be good human beings so they don’t hurt themselves or others. If you are in the raising children “business” you are in the teaching Jen business. You just don’t know it perhaps.

This site is going to help you raise a teen girl who knows how to tap into her own unique goodness and share it with the world. She’ll invite others to share their goodness too, and you know what? Things will slowly change. Things in your home will calm down. Things in your daughters life will calm down. Things in the community will calm down. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and there is a lot head of us all to learn. But we’re starting.

Remember you don’t have to understand the philosophy of Jen. Just know it’s about the Golden Rule at it’s very best. Which makes us our very best.

Homework for parents who want to help their daughter’s tap into their own goodness: go look in the mirror and ask yourself how you tap into your own goodness and give it away. Are you honest? trustworthy? Compassionate? Empathic? You get my point. Helping your daughter begins with you helping yourself to be the best you can be. Our children do more of what the SEE us do than what they hear us SAY to do.

We can all improve as human beings. I’m working on having more faith in my life, learning to not guilt trip my four children, and letting go of the past. What three things will you work on?

I love our teen girls.  I think of them as “my Jenn-eration”  They are going to rock self-respect for themselves and others and change a few things that need changing! I know they can do it!

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Give the BEST Christmas Present Ever and its TOTALLY FREE

Give the BEST present

The holiday’s are upon us. Mom’s are worried about their holiday budget and how to make their daughter’s happy with less than what they got last year.  But there is one gift, that you can give that is so precious, and priceless yet totally free. It will put a smile on your daughters face and help bridge any distance between you. All it takes is some time and thought.

Give your daughter a  “You are a Precious Gift!” letter.  Here’s how you do it.

Outline what your pregnancy was like. Write how happy you were, or how scared. But start at the start of her life… when she was inside of you. Share your memories with her.

Outline about her being an infant, a toddler,  a young child, and then a teen. What are the happy memories that stand out? What do you love most about her? Write about them. Let her know you love her.

What message do you want to end the letter with? A call to action? i.e. “I want to spend more time with you laughing in the coming years.” Or a thank you? “Thank you for gracing my life.” Or, a promise? “I’ll love you till the day I die.”

Find pretty paper to write your letter on, or type and print. You can add stickers to it, or draw or add pictures etc. Be as creative as you like.

Wrap the letter in a pretty box and tie it with a colorful bow. Write on the tag, Special Gift.

After she reads the letter ask if she wants to know anything more, or hear more stories about her growing up and how much you love her.  Offer her the invitation to have a conversation with you. If she declines, that’s OK. She’s a teenager! It’s nice to make the gesture though, and ask what she needs.

Make sure your letter is filled with love and appreciation for her. This is NOT the place to write advice, or to admonish her or say “I told you so!” Open your heart. Write from that place. Give her the gift of love.  Let her know she is a gift to you.  Whatever that which is greater than us, gave her to you. She came through YOU to find her way into the world. She doesn’t belong to you, she belongs to life itself. But aren’t you lucky that she found her way her through you? Let her know that! Happy Holidays.

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Choosing A Wine Refrigerator That’s Right For You

It’s great to have a refrigerator dedicated purely to wine. Moreover, it’s the logical next step if you want to expand the number of bottles you have in your collection. But what actually makes a good wine cooler? What steps should you take to ensure it’s most appropriate for your requirements? These four pointers focus around the Danby dwc350blp. They cover the most important elements to consider:

1) Positioning

Figure out upfront on the most ideal place to position your wine cooler. This one action will immediately indicate if a ‘built in’ or free-standing cooler is needed. Plus it will help you see if the door needs to open from the left or right.

2) Capacity

For many households, a 35-bottle capacity fridge like the Danby dwc350blp is ideal. This particular model doesn’t occupy much space. But it’s large enough to accommodate your wine collection as it grows over time. Decide in advance the number of bottles you’d like your fridge to be able to hold.

3) Shelving

Slide-out shelves may not seem like the most important of features to have. But it can really help if you want to stand some bottles upright and make their labels more visible. Many great wine coolers give you this flexibility, so you can arrange the bottles to your liking.

4) Built-in Adjustable Thermostat

There are those who like white wine. Red or sparkling wine varieties are more appealing to others. And at the crux of all this is the fact that different wines suit a range of storing temperatures. So check to see your unit has an adjustable thermostat like the Danby dwc350blp wine cooler. This makes it simple to keep your wines are the ideal temperature for drinking. Refer back to this advice any time you need a wine chilling fridge, and it should help you find what you need a lot faster.

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