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Healthy Changes for the Whole Family

A new school year is a perfect time to start some new healthy habits – not just for your child, but for the whole family!

Here are 9 healthy habits that can help you and your kids reach their top potential.

Healthy Diet changes

1. Heavy breakfast – your family doesn’t need any calories to watch TV at night or sleep, but they need tons of calories throughout the day to keep you alert and energized. Make bigger meals when your family needs it most, and keep evening meals small (like just a meat and a green).

2. Frequent meals – By eating 5-6 times a day, your family will have a TON more energy. Ask your child if they get hungry during the day. Send them to school with a bag of nuts or a protein bar to snack on between classes to help keep their metabolism revved all day. This is especially important if they attend after school activities.

packing lunch3. Don’t forget the protein – Many meals (especially for kids) are high in carbs. Kids tend to eat (or want to eat) a lot of foods like cereal, poptarts, chips, fruit rollups, candy, french fries, tater tots, pizza, etc., but most kids don’t eat a lot of meat or high-protein foods. Probably because they aren’t wrapped in a fun flashy cartoon wrapper. 🙂 As you are making meal, look at protein content and make sure they are getting protein with carbs and fat for more balanced meals. Greek yogurt, eggs, lunch meat, cottage cheese and protein enriched foods (like high-protein flat bread) are great foods to add to meals and snacks.

4. Hydration – Often times kids want a soda or snack, when they really need hydration the most. Teach your child to always drink a glass of water before they take their first bite of a snack. They will not only bet the hydration they need, but they will likely eat less.


caffeine drinks caffeinated-beverage5. Limit caffeine – Caffeine is a drug of sorts. It has a chemical effect on the body, so it is smart to limit those beverages. Cokes should be treats, not a daily staple – especially while they are growing. Low Fat milk, water and juice (in moderation) should be the main source of hydration and nutrients.

6. Avoid sugar & processed foods – Processed foods break down and turn to sugar very rapidly. This can send someone’s blood sugar for a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs (and more downs, than ups). By limited sugar, you’ll be able to maintain a more steady level of energy through out the day (and avoid weight gain associated with high-calorie processed foods).

7. Stress buster foods – Does your child even know what that is? To me, it means your child shouldn’t feel deprived, but there are also foods known to help relieve stress. They should have foods they can snack on and enjoy without negative side effects. For me, it’s 100 calorie popcorn. Your child may enjoy yogurt or fresh fruit. Either way, they should never feel that eating healthy is boring or restrictive. While it may take some adjusting at first, they should enjoy the foods they eat. CLICK HERE to get see a list of 10 foods that help relieve stress.

8. Boost Super foods – People talk about super foods all the time, but do you know what they are and what they do? There are actually foods that help us think and perform better. Some of those foods include berries, nuts, seeds, salmon, avocado and beans. CLICK HERE to read more on foods that boost brain power from WebMD.

9. Avoid unknown foods – When you eat out, you really have no clue what’s in that food. Since most restaurants are all about the dollar bill, we should expect they will cut corners and add fillers, taste enhancers and who knows what to keep us coming back for seconds. My rule of thumb is this: “if you don’t know what’s in it, don’t eat it” – especially if it’s a big day (like test day). Not only is this a good way to avoid eating extra unknown calories to avoid weight gain, but it will also help you feel your best by eating your best. If you MUST eat out, stick to whole foods and avoid all the extra sauces, breads, toppings and junk.

Whether you are a parent or not, these are great healthy changes everyone should try to implement.  🙂


The Power of MOM

momI wouldn’t be who I am and where I am if it wasn’t for one incredible woman in my life. My mom.

For those of you who read my blogs and follow me for anything length of time, you already know who my mom is, even if you’ve never seen her or met her – because she is part of me. Once you meet her, you will know what I mean. Mom and I are very much a like in many ways.

The TalleysAs I grow older, I realize just how much “mom” is in me. My drive, passion, stubbornness, determination, strong-will, desire to help others, positive attitude, a mind that doesn’t stop and control-freak side of me all came from her. And, every night I stay up late working, Steve can thank my mom for that too. We both have a very hard time turning our brains off and winding down.

Unfortunately there are things I haven’t gotten from her (yet) – her patience, her nurturing spirit, her ability to be quiet, her desire to serve…those are just a few traits I want, but need a lot of work still. 🙂

Although this blog is a personal blog about my family, please look at the things I list that I learned from the moms in my life – because, as I could imagine, I’m sure there are plenty of times a mother wonders if anything sticks. They wonder what words will be remembered and what lessons will be learned. Hopefully, after reading this tribute to my moms, you will not just know me a little better, but you will be encouraged to know every word you say, and every thing you do DOES matter. We daughters and sons are watching, learning, remembering. So, no matter how screwed up we kids are, never give up. You are one of the most powerful leaders in the world.

My 3 Moms

momWhy do I say “moms”, plural? In many ways, I had more than one mom. I had a mom during the week, another mom on Friday nights and a third mom on Saturday nights. Since my parents were in a rock band most of my childhood, I stayed with my mom’s mom every Friday night. We watched Lawrence Welk and Dukes of Hazzard, and colored for hours and hours. Every Saturday I would go to my dad’s mom’s house and we’d swim until we were prunes. We watched Love Boat, Chips and Fantasy Island, and probably ate enough popcorn to cover the state of Florida. Then, we’d wake up and go to church, where I’d meet back up with my parents. That was exactly how every week went, every year of my life from birth to about 12 years of age.

Mom #1: Julianne

During the week, I was with my birth mom (Julianne Talley). She was the one that cooked, cleaned and tucked me in at night. She was the one who taught me to play piano, and to smile and waive to people when they flip you off when driving.

Julianne TalleyShe was patient enough to braid my hair in a million braids when I was convinced I wanted to look like Bo Derick. She was smart enough to take the ugliest most embarrassing car to pick me up from school when I asked her to pick me up in the Porsche. She was honest enough to admit she was human and made mistakes, and she was quick to ask for forgiveness when she felt like she failed me.

She taught me that it’s ok not to be perfect, but it’s not ok to not strive to be. She showed me how to rely on God and not people – and how important it was to open your house to anyone in need, despite their race, their age or their past.

i love you momShe even taught me that you don’t have to be a talented hostess to entertain, you just have to open your front door. She explained to me how you do things because they are the right thing to do, whether you feel like it or not. She showed me how to make a meal out of whatever you can find in the pantry and make it amazing.

And, she’s not done teaching me, and hopefully, I’m not done learning.

I even can thank her for my career in fitness. I just found this letter to my mom when I was visiting my Aunt Bonnie, Uncle Bruce and two cousins, Brandon and Ben Tanner. I had to laugh when I saw how proud I was to tell my mom I’d taken a shower and been doing my exercises. SO, I guess this letter marks my first commitment to health and exercise. Just don’t read the part about gum and candy! ha!

doing my exercises

Mom #2: Bertha

Berth TalleyMy dad’s mom (Bertha Lee Talley) taught me to giggle, how to garden, dog paddle and float in the water. She introduced me to popcorn and scuppernong grapes, which she grew in her side yard. She taught me to sing “Five Foot Two”, to never talk ill of anyone, and to read my bible. She taught me that a good snack is tomatoes, cucumbers and onions in vinegar (fresh from her garden) and not potato chips and junk. She showed me how to grow old in style, and have fun always.

She taught me how to love and hug, and play old maid. She taught me that music brings people together, as she’d often entertain the family by playing some of her favorite hymns on the piano. She loved to cook and make her own jelly – and she often showed people her love through her food and endless hospitality.

Mom #3: Julia

Julia TannerMy mom’s mom (Julia Rigby Tanner) led by quiet example. She showed me how to serve others and how to make a difference. She taught me that prayer is powerful and to never give up on anyone or anything. She taught me that joy is not about being happy or having everything go your way. With a life of chronic back pain, she showed me that you can have immense joy despite pain – and THAT was one of her biggest testimonies to me. She also taught me the power of a written word, which has driven me in many ways to do what I do.

Although I haven’t learned to listen like she always did, she gave me the model to go by. She selflessly cooked scrambled eggs, toast and bacon for me every Saturday while I stayed glued to the TV set watching cartoons.  She was the one who taught me to put bacon on my toast with jelly, introduced me to congealed salad (which I never learned to like), and is the reason I love pot roast and poundcake.

Work in Progress

You see, I am a little bit of all 3 of these women. To understand me, where I came from, what my beliefs are and to know my role models, may help you know what I desire to be. While I have a loooooong way to go to be as good of a woman as they were, I realize they had many more years of practice – and one day, maybe, just maybe, I’ll be a fraction of how awesome they were to me.

Thank you to all the mom’s in my family …my mom, grandmothers, mother-in-law, aunts and cousins. I am so thankful for every  one of you! 

more than a mom

We Cannot Ignore Childhood Obesity.

Coming from a family where childhood obesity is not a foreign topic, the epidemic weighs heavy on my heart. While many parents hope their child will grow out of it, is it worth the risk to hope the problem will correct itself?

Statistics say the chances of an obese child growing up to be a normal size adult is a grim thirty percent, dropping to only twenty percent if the child has an obese parent. With these statistics parents should be running for help, but they are not. Why?  Read the rest of this entry

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