Kids Health and Nutrition

I'm blessed to be a part of a wonderful online community of real women supporting real women, called Women's Wellness Tribe, founded and managed by the lovely Kacey Morrow [Kacey is also an amazing Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, whose professional work I deeply trust and resonate with, and who I love collaborating and consulting with!]

This past Thursday, one of the hot topics among some of the mamas in our group was KIDS' NUTRITION ... Although I am yet to embark on the adventure of motherhood, I found the topic very interesting and relevant to many of my own friends, clients, colleagues who do have little ones running around. 

So, I decided to share some of Kacey's wisdom here on my blog. Read on to see why I love working with her so much!

KIDS HEALTH THURSDAY - Kacey Morrow, RDN, CLT, Women's Wellness Tribe

Today we are talking BEFORE SCHOOL BREAKFAST!
Kids do so so so much learning before lunch. This is true at ALL grades! Some people (adults) can skip breakfast and still do ok (as long as their other meals of the day are larger) BUT with kids in school this simply doesn’t work well!
DUH! {I’m sure that’s what many of you are thinking} However WHAT we include in our kids’ breakfasts is even more important than “just having something.”
When people consume carbohydrate alone for breakfast, they will experience a quick rise in blood sugar followed by a fairly rapid “crash.” This is due in part to how quickly carbohydrate-rich foods are digested and absorbed (leading to the quick rise in sugars moving INTO our bloodstream) as well as thanks to one of our ever important hormones insulin (answering the call to “do something with this blood sugar rise!”) and subsequently grabbing onto those sugars and racing them off to storage in our liver, muscles, or fat stores.
How do we FEEL during this series of events? BEFORE breakfast…maybe hungry or not hungry…we are all different in the morning! WHILE eating breakfast…”mmmm this tastes good and I can eat it pretty quickly and be out the door in a jiffy!” AFTER eating breakfast….”yay I have energy!”…followed very quickly by…”wow, I’m hungry again already, how did that happen?!”
This is an incredibly tough chain of events if you are a child stuck in a desk seat at school and you don’t have an option to get a snack! You are left with lower-than-optimal energy the rest of the morning…all the while being expected to read, write, answer questions, head off to different specialists (library, gym, art, music), and all the while beings asked to “Sit still! Don’t answer until I’ve called on you! Speak up! Let’s read that again!” {Btw…I feel that teachers are THE most amazing professionals on this planet. THANK YOU TEACHERS FOR ALL YOU DO!!!}
Let’s help our children AND educators out by avoiding this spike and crash in blood sugar and instead create a nice, sustained rise in energy for the whole morning! How do we accomplish that?!
We need to include sources of proteins, fats, and fiber in that morning meal. These things take longer to digest and as a result provide a sustained energy release into the body! Don’t get me wrong…still include carbohydrate! {fruit, grains, sweetened dairy, starchy veg, etc.} However, we just don’t want the first meal to be ONLY from that previous list of foods. This will help create better energy and an increased ability to be an engaged learner for our kiddos!
For my kids, eggs are on the menu several times a week. We also incorporate high-quality breakfast sausages as well as yummy baked goods made with coconut flour (high in fiber as well as protein and fat due to the amount of eggs used in these recipes). I know that not everyone does great with eggs! I had a long Hot Topic post about it earlier this week . What works for one family will look completely different for another!
Now I would love to hear from you! What are some PROTEIN, FAT, and FIBER-RICH options     that you like to include for breakfast?

If you would like to join the conversation, click here!

Whether or not you are feeding little ones breakfast every day, Kacey's advice above is golden! It's important that as parents, or child-less adults, we nourish our bodies properly at the start of the day too to avoid crashing and burning.

Check out Kacey's website to learn more about her virtual wellness programs and nutrition counseling!

With loving gratitude, 


© 2016 Rachel Cord, Pacific MFT Network

Pacific Marriage and Family Therapy Network

We provide teen, couples, and family therapy, and have therapists who are skilled in working with kids, teens, and adults experiencing difficult transitions, relationships, or emotions.

Pacific MFT Network is a professional network of highly skilled licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Interns that are committed to empowering a sense of self in our clients and helping them live the life they want. We do so by creating a relationship that is based on genuine care and concern, non-judgment, and support. Our mission is to help you help yourself live a happier and more satisfying life.

Manhattan Beach, CA

Strong Body-Strong Mind | Eating Disorder Support Group | Fall Schedule

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See Fall schedule below.

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Fall ED Tribe Schedule

Fall Session I

Tuesdays 430-6PM

Sep 6th

Sep 13th

Sep 20th

2 week break

Fall Session II

Tuesdays 430-6 PM

Oct 11th

Oct 18th

Oct 25th

Nov 1st

Nov 8th

Nov 15th

1 week break

Fall Session III / Holiday Session

Tuesday 430-6PM

Nov 29th

Dec 6th

Dec 13th

Dec 20th

How You Treat Your Body Is Affecting Your Mind

...because hangry is a very real thing...

As highlighted in my previous article called Emotional Self-Care, one of my greatest passions as both a person and a clinician is increasing understanding of the link between physical health and mental health (that "power couple" I like to call overall well-being).

A colleague and good friend of mine, Jessica Brennan*, is a Registered Dietitian who focuses her practice not only on the importance of adequate nutrition and exercise, but also on things like quality sleep and stress management to improve overall health and wellness. While this is wonderfully convenient for me personally, I also trust her as a key resource and referral for any of my clients who struggle with nutritional health, maladaptive relationships with food, or who need help figuring out the best diet and exercise routine for their specific needs, goals, and lifestyle (key word: specific).

One of the many reasons I appreciate Jessica's work is that she doesn't believe in any one perfect diet (hallelujah!). At a recent training conference, I heard a statistic that the #1 area of marketing with the most money spent per year in advertising - targeting us every single day in more ways than we know - is dieting. That may seem pretty obvious, but it still blows my mind how obsessed we are as a society with approaching quality of life and values from a highly superficial outward perspective. Majority of the time, these subliminal messages are targeting those of us longing for a quick, easy fix to all of the things we are dissatisfied with about ourselves and our lives (spoiler alert: that doesn't exist).

Lately, Jessica and I have been discussing how similar our viewpoints are on health and wellness, inspiring us to join forces with our differing skill-sets, educations, and specialties to talk about how exactly this is all connected, and why it is so important.

One major point that I try to discuss with all of my clients, regardless of what issue brings them to therapy, is that there is no way to be "running on all cylinders" mentally, intellectually, or emotionally, if your nutrition** and physical health***  are suffering - and vice versa! I find that a lot of people are either unaware of the implications of that fact, are making themselves sick trying to overcome or "prove it wrong", or are simply in denial to avoid making positive and necessary change.

...while that is tough to see - I understand it. I have been there, and I know there are layers upon layers of reasons why people choose unhealthy lifestyles that often inadvertently end up sabotaging their efforts to be successful, attractive, happy, or in control.

But we can't ignore the subjects that are easiest to avoid, and there are mountains of studies and empirical research findings revealing the direct key role that nutrition plays in the onset, severity, and duration of serious mental disorders such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, psychosis, addiction, and common issues people struggle with on a daily basis like lack of motivation, sadness, irritability, insomnia, fatigue, relationship distress ... i could continue, but you get the picture.

To continue reading about this, and to learn about Jessica's holistic, realistic, and self-compassionate approach to the food we put in our bodies - please click here for part 2 on this topic.

Stay tuned for further research in the field on this, and for updates on my blog about how I am integrating the powerful bond between nutrition and mental health in my practice - with a wide array of human issues and concerns.

* Jessica Brennan, RD, has a private nutrition practice in Redondo Beach, CA. For more information on her services, you can visit her website here.

** Nutritional health does not necessarily mean either over-eating or under-eating, being over-weight or under-weight etc. These overused labels are often arbitrary and vary person by person. Nutritional health is about eating a balanced diet, from which your body is able to get all of the energy and nutrients it needs to function properly. It is important that you consult with a professional if you are concerned about your nutritional health.

*** I use the term physical health here as a general umbrella term, encompassing many factors such as sleep, stress management, nourishment, physical fitness, medical self-care, substance use, neurological functioning, etc.