Food is fuel and consuming the right nutrients can give you long-lasting energy and improve your mood so you can perform everyday tasks at your best.
In this blog we will cover:
- The physical and mental benefits of nutrition
- How to keep whole food nutrition affordable
- Tips and tricks for adding more plant-based nutrition to your family’s daily diet
- How Juice Plus+ Essentials Capsules and Chewables support the nutritional pillar in HSF
- How the Healthy Starts for Families program supports families
The Physical and Mental Benefits of Nutrition
A balanced diet that includes an array of fruits and vegetables isn’t just beneficial to your physical health, it also helps to improve your mood. By how much, you ask? Well, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that happiness levels felt are equivalent to the feeling of going from being unemployed to being employed. Now, that’s something to celebrate!
Nuts, garlic, and greens including spinach, kale, and chards aren’t just great energy boosters when consumed daily, they’re good for your immune system too. The nutritional powers of citrus fruits rich in vitamin C, like oranges and grapefruits, also work to help strengthen your immune system, so your body is better armed to fight off colds, cases of flu, and other nasty infections.
How to keep whole food nutrition affordable
- Free product for children: Being a part of Healthy Starts for Families is more than getting free nutritional plant-based products. However, with the cost of living at record-breaking highs, we know it can help. We believe that adding Juice Plus+ into your daily routine can also be the One Simple Change that can help your family develop healthier eating habits and a healthier lifestyle.
- Learn how to keep fresh vegetables: This was the biggest learning for me, because I shop once a week, many things were going bad before I could use them. 1. Check how humid your refrigerator is. If your vegetables get mushy, it may be too humid. I often wrap my vegetables in a kitchen towel or two to protect them. 2. Wash, chop and prep right away. Carrots, celery and salad keep longer when prepped and in an airtight container. 3. Potatoes, avocados, and apples are kept better in a cool place and not in the refrigerator. 4. Shop twice a week.
- Buy fruit and vegetables in season: Right now, pumpkins and squash along with apples and pears are in season. They will be the cheapest to buy and have the best taste. Challenge yourself to learn how to cook delicious harvest-time produce and your bank account will thank you. Look out for “unique” vegetables: Some supermarkets keep a special bin with funny looking fruits and vegetables that didn't pass the “look good” test but are fine to purchase. These are sometimes on sale at 50% off the normal price.
- Beans, beans are good for your heart...as always, beans are at the best price point for nutritious, plant-based food with a focus on protein and fiber. Winter soups and stews made with beans are AMAZING, nourishing, warming and grounding. The smell alone in your house is welcoming. Try lentil sweet potato soup, split pea soup, or veggie chili.
Tips and tricks for adding more plant-based nutrition to your family’s daily diet.
This is just a sample of ideas you could try to incorporate one simple change at a time. Each day, pick one to focus on and see what happens. You do not have to get it perfect. Get it in front of your family. The more exposure they have, the more curious they will be.
1) Take Juice Plus+ Essentials every day!
Our products deliver concentrated plant-based nutrition that helps you bridge the gap between what you should eat, and what you do eat, every day. Juice Plus+ Essentials complement your diet with added nutrition from 30 different fruits, vegetables, and berries, PLUS a blend of omega fatty acids sourced from plants, seeds, and algae.
For parents, start to build your nutritional foundation by taking capsules every day at the same time. The easiest times to eat your Juice Plus+:
• At breakfast with a glass of water
• At night with your last meal of the day
For children, start to build their nutritional foundation by adding one portion of chewables every day at the same time. Some fun ways to add them in are:
• With breakfast
• In their snack box
• At dinner on a cute tiny plate
2) Add in one fruit every day.
You don’t even need to eat the whole fruit. Start by sharing pieces of fruit with your child. Modeling is the number one way to encourage healthy habits with your mini-me.
Some low hanging fruit:
• Apple slices with cinnamon
• Banana in your smoothie
• Orange slices in the snack box
Ready to Level-Up? If you are bored of eating fresh fruit every day, try creating fruit leathers or creating your own homemade marmalade with fruit and spices.
3) Add one leafy green to a meal.
You don’t have to eat kale. Explore milder flavored greens that you can add to existing meals.
Groovy greens additions:
• Make a smoothie with plant-based milk, banana, and baby spinach leaves
• Add lettuce leaves into a sandwich or wrap
• Add a few small baby spinach leaves into a noodle soup, they may not notice!
Ready to Level-Up? Already doing those leafy green tricks with the family? Explore baking a vegan spinach quiche using flax eggs and silken tofu.
4) Add in one root vegetable.
In Yoga, they say you need to root to rise! (So ground and center yourself before standing up!) If you believe in the energy of food, root vegetables have a grounding effect on us. For me, I love the starchy, hearty, and sweet taste of sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, and parsnip. Most of the time, children and adults love potatoes.
Hearty root vegetables:
• Baked sweet potato with savory toppings
• Carrots, eaten with a tasty dip
• Baked turnip fries
Ready to Level-Up? Need a new or different way to eat root vegetables? Expand your casserole skills by using butternut squash as cheese in a macaroni and “faux cheese” dinner. And my favorite is using butternut squash as a sauce on pizza instead of tomato sauce. Spice it up with some chili flakes; it’s delish.
5) Add in a whole grain.
Grains have become controversial these days but have had their place in our diets since the industrial age. Most people welcome grains to their plate as they are delicious and satisfying. An example of a whole grain is brown or black rice. The husk, bran and starchy middle are all there, not just the white starchy bit we call white rice. This allows the grain to keep all its beneficial nutrients, fiber, and oils and allows for slower digestion of this carb, keeping you fuller for longer.
Great grains to try!
• Quinoa, an ancient grain, delicious in a tabbouleh recipe
• Brown rice tastes amazing with a drizzle of sesame oil and toasted sesame seeds on top.
• Millet is a grain that creates something like a porridge which can be savory or sweet.
Ready to Level-Up? Create snacks using grains. My favorite is making brown rice balls rolled in sesame seeds. Easy for little fingers to pick up and chew. Portable for parents on the go.
6) Add in a unique plant-based ingredient that some people call “super foods.”
“Super food” is not an official declaration or certification, but certain influencers and health professionals refer to certain foods that have a high concentration of nutrients within it, that seem to have a beneficial effect on the body. Go slow with these and add in little bits at a time to see what effect it has on your body.
Sassy Super Foods:
• Algae, such as spirulina powder
• Leafy green powders, concentrated
• Turmeric powder, add a teaspoon to a smoothie or to a pot of rice
Ready to Level-Up? Use a superfood to “color” your next creamy dessert or tofu. I recommend beetroot powder/juice which has a strong red/purple color to it. Dissolve in a bit of water and color your mostly white foods. It works well in grains such as quinoa, and in creamy foods such as plant-based yogurts or creamy tofu.
How do Juice Plus+ Essentials Capsules and Chewables support the nutritional pillar in HSF?
- Variety – The capsules and chewables contain the nutritional powders of 30 different fruit, vegetables, and berries.
- Ease – Taking capsules and chewables every day with a meal is easy to remember.
- Consistency – Start a habit so you regularly add in plant-based nutrition.
- Tasty chewables – The soft chews are tasty and kid-friendly making them easier to consume for both kids and adults who have trouble swallowing capsules.
- Catalyst – Taking Juice Plus+ Essentials products may just be the change you need to get started on your health journey.
Why Healthy Starts for Families? How does the program support your family?
With the Healthy Starts for Families program, we aim to share our best tested "habits” from experts, who are not only doctors, coaches, and recipe gurus, but who are parents and loving family members. Via social, YouTube and now in email, stay connected to us as we give you inspiration for the seasonal task at hand!
One Simple Change at a time!
Each tiny change can lead to a lifetime of benefits!
The road to better health isn’t a race, it’s a journey. Run full speed ahead and risk burning out. Pace yourself at a comfortable speed and you might just make it past the finish line – whatever that looks like to you.
Adopting healthy habits One Simple Change at a time can look like:
- 15-minutes of exercise every day with a YouTube video or your favorite dance tune. You’ll be surprised how it brings a burst of energy and a cheerful mood!
- Decreasing screen time before bed to encourage a more restful sleep
- Increasing your serving of vegetables at mealtimes with more plant-powered nutrition
- Consuming soups, fruit smoothies (yum!), ice pops, and, of course, water for hydration
Did you know?
Respondents in our Family Health Study have shared with us the positive impacts they’ve seen in their families since joining the HSF program, such as:
Noticeably, the positive health impact doesn’t just stop at nutrition. We believe in the core Four Pillars of Health: Nutrition, Fitness, Sleep and Hydration. Keep a look out next month for our upcoming blog, where we’ll take a deeper dive into the next pillar – hydration.
Looking for more inspo on nutrition, wellness and more? Check out our social channels to get tips, tricks, and recipes from our community, health care professionals and more.