Top 10 Good Parenting Tips

Parenting is not easy. Good parenting is hard work. These 10 good parenting tips will help along with this site which can provide additional ways to help on your journey.

Positive Parenting

What makes a good parent?

A good parent is someone who strives to make decisions in the best interest of the child.

What makes a great parent isn’t only defined by the parent’s action, but also their intention.

A good parent doesn’t have to be perfect. No one is perfect. No child is perfect either … keeping this in mind is important when we set our expectations.

Successful parenting is not about achieving perfection. But it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t work towards that goal. Set high standards for ourselves first and then our children second. We serve as role models for them.

Here are 10 tips on how to be a better parent, learn good parenting skills and avoid bad parenting. Many of them are not quick nor easy. And probably no one can do all of them all of the time. But if you can keep working on the tips in this parenting guide, even though you may only do part of these some of the time, you will still be moving in the right direction.

How To Be A Good Parent – Top 10 Parenting

Tips

#1 Be A Good Role Model

Mother and daughter both wear sunglasses. Mother models how to be a good parent by Improving parenting skills, arenting tipsMother and daughter both wear sunglasses. Mother models how to be a good parent by Improving parenting skills, arenting tips

Walk the walk. Don’t just tell your child what you want them to do. Show them.

Human is a special species in part because we can learn by imitation1. We are programmed to copy other’s actions to understand them and to incorporate them into our own. Children, in particular, watch everything their parents do very carefully.

So, be the person you want your child to be — respect your child, show them positive behavior and attitude, have empathy towards your child’s emotion — and your child will follow suit.

#2: Love Them And Show Them Through Action

Mother and father kiss baby affectionately in good parenting skills articlesMother and father kiss baby affectionately in good parenting skills articles

Show your love.

There is no such thing as loving your child too much. Loving them cannot spoil them2. Only what you choose to do (or give) in the name of love can — things like material-indulgence, leniency, low expectation, and over-protection. When these things are given in place of real love, that’s when you’ll have a spoiled child.

Loving your child can be as simple as giving them hugs, spending time with them and listening to their issues seriously every day.

Showing these acts of love can trigger the release of feel-good hormones such as oxytocin. These neurochemicals can bring us a deep sense of calm, emotional warmth and contentment, from these the child will develop resilience and not to mention a closer relationship with you.

#3: Practice Kind And Firm Positive Parenting

Mother explains to child using positive parenting guide to boost child's self-esteemMother explains to child using positive parenting guide to boost child's self-esteem

Babies are born with around 100 billion brain cells (neurons) with relatively little connections. These connections create our thoughts, drive our actions, shape our personalities and basically determine who we are. They are created, strengthened and “sculpted” through experiences across our lives.

Give your child positive experiences. They will have the ability to experience positive experiences themselves and offer them to others4.

Give your child negative experiences. They won’t have the kind of development necessary for them to thrive.

Sing that silly song. Have a tickle marathon. Go to the park. Laugh with your child. Ride through an emotional tantrum. Solve a problem together with a positive attitude.

Not only do these positive experiences create good connections in your child’s brain, but they also form the memories of you that your child carries for life.

When it comes to discipline, it seems hard to remain positive. But it is possible to practice Positive Discipline and avoid punitive measures.

Being a good parent means you need to teach your child the moral in what is right and what is wrong. Setting limits and being consistent are the keys to good discipline. Be kind and firm when enforcing those rules. Focus on the reason behind the child’s behavior. And make it an opportunity to learn for the future, rather than to punish for the past.

Related: How To Deal With Toddler Tantrums

#4: Be A Safe Haven For Your Child

Baby sleeps with a stuffed toy with parents providing effective parenting Baby sleeps with a stuffed toy with parents providing effective parenting

Let your child know that you’ll always be there for them by being responsive to the child’s signals and sensitive to their needs. Support and accept your child as an individual. Be a warm, safe haven for your child to explore from.

Children raised by parents who are consistently responsive tend to have better emotional regulation development, social skills development, and mental health outcomes5.

#5: Talk With Your Child And Help Their Brains Integrate

Most of us already know the importance of communication. Talk to your child and also listen to them carefully.

By keeping an open line of communication, you’ll have a better relationship with your child and your child will come to you when there’s a problem.

But there’s another reason for communication — you help your child integrate different parts of his/her brain.

Integration is similar to our body in which different organs need to coordinate and work together to maintain a healthy body. When different parts of the brain are integrated, they can function harmoniously as a whole, which means fewer tantrums, more cooperative behavior, more empathy and better mental well-being6.

To do that, talk through troubling experiences. Ask your child to describe what happened and how he/she felt to develop attuned communication7. You don’t have to provide solutions. You don’t need to have all the answers to be a good parent. Just listening to them talk and asking clarifying questions will help them make sense of their experiences and integrate memories.

Self-motivated learnerSelf-motivated learner

#6: Reflect On Your Own Childhood

Many of us want to parent differently from our parents. Even those who had good upbringing and a happy childhood may want to change some aspects of how they were brought up.

But very often, when we open our mouths, we speak just like our parents did.

Reflecting on our own childhood is a step towards understanding why we parent the way we do. Make note of things you’d like to change and think of how you’d do it differently in a real scenario. Try to be mindful and change your behavior the next time those issues come up.

Don’t give up if you don’t succeed at first. It takes practice, lots of practice to consciously change one’s child upbringing methods.

#7: Pay Attention To Your Own Well-Being

Parents relax by the sea - taking good care of yourself is healthy parenting good parenting skillsParents relax by the sea - taking good care of yourself is healthy parenting good parenting skills

Parents need relief too.

Pay attention to your own well-being.

Often times, things such as your own health or the health of your marriage are kept on the back burner when a child is born. If you don’t pay attention to them, they will become bigger problems down the road8. Take time to strengthen your relationship with your spouse.

Stressed out parents are more prone to fighting. Don’t be afraid to ask for parenting help. Having some “me time” for self-care is important to rejuvenate the mind.

How parents may take care of themselves physically and mentally will make a big difference in their parenting and family life. If these two areas fail, your child will suffer, too.

#8: Do Not Spank, No Matter What

No doubt, to some parents, spanking can bring about short-term compliance which sometimes is a much-needed relief for the parents.

However, this method doesn’t teach the child right from wrong. It only teaches the child to fear external consequences. The child is then motivated to avoid getting caught instead.

Spanking your child is modeling to your child that he/she can resolve issues by violence9. Children who are spanked, smacked or hit are more prone to fighting with other children. They are more likely to become bullies and to use verbal/physical aggression to solve disputes. Later in life, they are also more likely to result in delinquency and antisocial behavior, worse parent-child relationships, mental health issues, and domestic violence victims or abusers.

There are a variety of better alternatives to discipline that have been proven to be more effective11, such as Positive Discipline (Tip #3 above) and positive reinforcement.

#9: Keep Things In Perspective And Remember Your Parenting Goal

Mother has a pot over her head and seems frustrated with baby. Baby looks confused - good parenting guide and parenting articles for parenting skillsMother has a pot over her head and seems frustrated with baby. Baby looks confused - good parenting guide and parenting articles for parenting skills

What is your goal of raising a child?

If you’re like most parents, you want your child to do well in school, be productive, be responsible and independent, respectful, enjoy meaningful relationships with you and others, be caring and compassionate, and have a happy, healthy and fulfilling life.

But how much time do you spend on working towards those goals?

If you’re like most parents, you probably spend most of the time just trying to get through the day. As authors, Siegel and Bryson, point out in their book, The Whole-Brain Child,

instead of helping your child thrive, you spend most of time just trying to survive!

To not let the survival mode dominate your life, next time you feel angry or frustrated, step back. Think about what anger and frustration will do for you or your child. Instead, find ways to turn every negative experience into a learning opportunity for him/her. Even epic tantrums can be turned into invaluable brain-sculpting moments if you don’t focus on trying to control your child.

Doing these will not only help you keep a healthy perspective, but you are also working on one of your primary goals in parenting — building a good relationship with your child.

#10: Take A Shortcut By Utilizing Findings In Latest Psychology And Neuroscience Research

Taking shortcut from A to B - It can be a good parenting tip and parental adviceTaking shortcut from A to B - It can be a good parenting tip and parental advice

By shortcuts, I don’t mean shortchanging your child. What I mean is to take advantage of what is already known by scientists.

Parenting is one of the most researched fields in psychology. Many parenting techniques, practices, or traditions have been scientifically researched, verified, refined or refuted.

For best advice for raising a child and information that are backed by science, here is one of my favorite science-based parenting books, The Science of Parenting.

Using scientific knowledge is of course not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Every child is different. Even within the best parenting style, there can be many different effective parenting practices you can choose according to your child’s temperament.

For example, besides spanking, there are many better alternatives, e.g. redirection, reasoning, removing privileges, time-in, etc. You can choose the non-punitive discipline method that works best for your child.

Of course, you can also choose to use “traditional” or “old school” parenting styles (e.g. spanking) and may still get the “same” outcome.

According to the Diathesis-Stress Model, people who have vulnerabilities to suffer from a psychological disorder are more likely to develop one when they experience stress. The diathesis, i.e. vulnerabilities, can be biological or environmental.

Perhaps the child may be lucky and don’t have such vulnerabilities. They may be resilient and prevail no matter how tough parents treat their child.

But they may be not.

So the importance of parenting cannot be underestimated. Why risk the damages some of the sub-par practices may create while there’re well researched, better ones?

Taking these “shortcuts” may require more work on your part in the short-term, but can save you lots of time and agony in the long run.

Also See: How Does The Death Of A Parent Affect A Child

Final Thoughts On Parenting

The good thing is, although parenting is hard, it is also very rewarding. The bad part is the rewards usually come much later than the hard work. But if we try our best now, we will eventually reap the rewards and have nothing to regret.

If you feel additional guidance and help is needed the site below is a great start.

Encourage Your Kids

Happy Parenting!

 

 

 

Child Care Licensing

Program Mission

The core mission of the Child Care Licensing Program is to ensure the health and safety of children in care. The Child Care Licensing Program strives to provide preventive, protective, and quality services to children in care by ensuring that licensed facilities meet established health and safety standards through monitoring facilities, providing technical assistance, and establishing partnerships with providers, parents, and the child care community.

The Child Care Licensing Program provides oversight and enforcement for licensed Child Care Centers and Family Child Care Homes through 19 Regional Offices located throughout California. All children and families, regardless of age, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, socioeconomic status, or ability, are afforded the same protections under law and regulations for child care facilities.

Questions regarding the Program can be directed to your local Regional Office, the Child Care Advocate Program (916-654-1541), or the Centralized Complaint and Information Bureau.

VIDEO: An Overview of Child Care Licensing

Have a Heart, Be a Star, Help Our Kids

The Department of Motor Vehicles offers a license plate that can help our kids. The fees collected from the Kids Specialty License Plates are deposited in the Child Health and Safety Fund and used for programs that keep California kids safe, which include child care safety, child abuse prevention, and efforts to prevent childhood injuries. You may choose a hand, heart, star or plus sign for the sequential plate.

California Liscense plate with the Help Kids handprint

The following options are available:

Source

Successful kids, happier families

You want the best for your family—to set up your kids and teens for success and create a happier, calmer family life. But when do you learn how to parent, how to parent a teenager, or how do you raise successful children?

What if there was an online parenting program that could answer all your questions but still lets you choose the strategies that fit your family’s needs? Millions of families around the globe have had success with Triple P Online, and it can help you too!

Source

Positive Parenting Recorded Online Class

In the optimal world, we would all take a really good practical parenting class before we become parents.  Unfortunately, that almost never happens.  Usually, we go into it with high expectations, and then our toddler quickly humbles us to the point of giving up.  Parenting should be rewarding and FUN!  You should feel like you are making a difference in this little one’s life, teaching her everything she needs to know to become a properly socialized contributing member of society.

Luckily, no matter your stage of uncertainty or frustration, I can help you turn this around.  Initially, you need to invest some time and energy into learning a new way to approach parenting. The time you invest now will be returned to you a hundred or even thousand-fold in increased cooperation, respect, control. Imagine a time when your parenting authority is completely present and effective.

If you are spending minutes, even hours a day in frustration and ineffective tactics, it may seem impossible to add more to your plate.  However, this is EXACTLY what you need to do to turn this around.  And it will happen so much faster than you think.

Source

AirDoctor is 100x more effective than ordinary air purifiers

Indoor air pollution is caused by a combination of particles like pollen, dust, Bacteria & Viruses, pet dander, mold spores and smoke combined with ozone, invisible gases and volatile organic compounds which are emitted by building materials, furniture, carpeting, paint, cleaning and personal care products.

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31 Fast and Healthy Breakfasts

Original article available here…https://greatist.com/health/healthy-fast-breakfast-recipes

We admit it: There are some (OK, many) mornings when it’s all we can do to will ourselves out of bed and grab a fistful of cereal or a granola bar on our way out the door.

A gourmet breakfast isn’t a realistic everyday goal. But that doesn’t mean we should settle for a sugar rush that’ll leave us sad and hungry a half-hour later. You’d be surprised how many healthy breakfast ideas require very little effort when put into practice.

We’re about to blow your mind with everything from über-easy, make-ahead breakfast muffins to lots of delicious vegan breakfast ideas and healthy smoothies you can whip up in just minutes. Overnight oats recipe? Oh, yeah. We’ve got a killer one of those.

There’s also no need to limit these healthy breakfast recipes to the morning hours, friends. Expand your horizons and try these 31 healthy options to satisfy those breakfast-food cravings all day long.

1. Tomato Toast with Macadamia “Ricotta

Here’s a vegan take on a classic summer breakfast sandwich. Instead of mayo, a fluffy, rich mixture of nuts, garlic, miso paste, and nutritional yeast is spread on hearty whole-grain bread. Then slices of ripe tomatoes are layered on — we love to mix red and yellow heirlooms.

Season this open-faced sandwich with ribbons of basil or shiso, kosher salt, and fresh cracked black pepper.

2. Avocado Toast with Egg

Sometimes simple is just better. Top two lightly toasted slices of whole-grain bread with smashed avocado and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Layer on two sunny-side up eggs for a healthy dose of protein and you’ve got a well-rounded breakfast.

3. Nut Butter, Banana, and Chia Seed Toast

Try this superfood twist on classic PB and banana, using sunflower seed butter (or your favorite seed or nut butter) and a sprinkling of whole raw chia seeds, which are packed with an amazing array of nutrients.

4. Berry and Yogurt Smoothie

Share on PinterestPhoto: Chef Savvy

Here’s a simple and delicious smoothie for the morning rush. It takes less than five minutes to blend fresh or frozen fruit (banana and berries work well) with Greek yogurt and a liquid of your choice (milk, juice, coconut water — whatever you like).

This recipe makes two servings, so freeze one overnight and let it thaw throughout the day to enjoy in the afternoon.

5. Berry Breakfast Parfait

Share on PinterestPhoto: Food, Fitness, Faith

One of the easiest, healthiest, and tastiest breakfasts out there is a classic fruit and yogurt parfait. The best part? It can be made with any toppings you like. Choose fruits that are in season to get the best flavor. But in a pinch, (thawed) frozen will do.

6. Peanut Butter and Banana Smoothie

Share on PinterestPhoto: The Chubby Vegetarian

Smoothies are a perfect on-the-go snack any time of day. Blend frozen bananas, peanut butter, soy milk, Greek yogurt, honey, and a few ice cubes and you’ll swear you’re sipping a milkshake.

If this is a morning snack, keep it in a tight-sealing container and secure it in a pocket in your gym or work bag. For an afternoon boost, prep it the night before and freeze it. Remove it in the morning, and it will be thawed and ready when that 3 p.m. lull sets in.

Tip: Add a scoop of your favorite chocolate or vanilla protein powder for an extra shot of protein.

7. Pumpkin Granola Yogurt Parfait

Share on PinterestPhoto: Nutrition in the Kitch

This one’s perfect to try out as fall sets in. In your favorite small container (with a reliable lid!), layer rich pumpkin pie cashew cream with plain Greek yogurt and a handful of granola, and then sprinkle with cinnamon.

The best part? Pumpkin is a bona fide superfood rich in beta carotene, which is essential for eye health.

8. Quinoa Fruit Salad

Share on PinterestPhoto: The Recipe Critic

A fruit salad of berries and mango gets extra texture, body, and protein from a scoop of quinoa. Toss the whole shebang around until the quinoa is evenly distributed. Then drizzle on a sweet-tart dressing of honey, lime, and basil and toss to coat evenly.

This recipe makes 4–6 servings, so you can prep in advance and throw together a serving or two as you need.

9. Blueberry Almond Overnight Oats

Share on PinterestPhoto: Busy Girl Healthy World

This is the ultimate busy-bee breakfast. Combine oats, chia seeds, blueberries, vanilla, almond milk, and maple syrup in a sealed container and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, top with slivered almonds and half a sliced banana and you’re ready for breakfast. If you’re in the mood for something warm, heat in the microwave for 1–2 minutes.

10. Savory Oatmeal with an Egg

Share on PinterestPhoto: Healthy Nibbles and Bits

Savory oatmeal? What the… ?! Yes, this recipe takes oatmeal to a whole new level. Quick-cooking steel-cut oats (or regular rolled oats) are cooked in the microwave, mixed with white cheddar cheese, sprinkled with diced red pepper and onion, and topped with an over-easy egg.

Bonus: This recipe has useful tips for cooking in the microwave without making a mess. (We admit it: We’ve wreaked havoc a few times. Sigh.)

11. Ham and Cheese Quinoa Cups

Share on PinterestPhoto: Iowa Girl Eats

Here’s a new way to enjoy quinoa: Make mini quinoa breakfast quiches! These two-bite mini muffins are light and fluffy. And this recipe can be adapted to include your favorite

veggies (spinach or zucchini works well) and cheese (ummmm, cheddar).

12. Quinoa and Chia Porridge

Share on PinterestPhoto: Tales of a Kitchen

Cooking quinoa in milk (dairy, soy, or almond) with healthy spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and turmeric infuses flavor into this great substitute for a classic hot breakfast cereal. Plus, it’s high in protein.

Simply put all the ingredients into a pot and bring to a boil. Then simmer, stir, and top with your favorite seasonal add-ons.

13. Banana Peanut Butter Chia Pudding

Share on PinterestPhoto: The Suburban Soapbox

Try this superfood twist on the classic combo of PB and banana. It tastes like breakfast for dessert, if dessert were healthy. All you need is love — in the form of chia seeds, a banana, some PB, and milk of your choice. And time: The pudding can rest in the fridge for four hours, but overnight is better.

14. Zucchini Bread Oatmeal

Share on PinterestPhoto: Oat & Sesame

Turn a classic summer quick bread into oatmeal with this recipe. Adding shredded zucchini and chia seeds to the simmering oatmeal pumps up the nutritional value and starts your day with a serving of veggies. Throw on a handful of toasted walnuts for added crunch.

15. Coconut Yogurt Quinoa Muffins

Share on PinterestPhoto: Simply Quinoa

By this point, it’s obvious we think quinoa makes anything better. So when it comes to muffins, it’s a no-brainer (especially if you add flaxseeds, oats, banana, and applesauce, too). Try these moist little bites for breakfast or an after-lunch treat.

16. Peanut Butter Banana Oat Breakfast Cookies

Share on PinterestPhoto: Watching What I Eat

Cookies for breakfast? Yes, please. While Oreos or Chips Ahoy may not make a balanced breakfast, these soft, thick, chewy cookies are a top-notch choice. The recipe calls for carob chips, but you can substitute semisweet chocolate chips.

Plus, you can pick and choose what you like to mix in for flavoring — go for almond butter and raisins in one batch and peanut butter and chocolate chips in another.

17. Banana Zucchini Oatmeal Cups

Share on PinterestPhoto: Hummusapien

With oats, shredded zucchini, and maple syrup, this vegan breakfast will start your day with veggies and grains. Make a batch of these baked oatmeal cups in advance, keep them in the fridge, and grab one for breakfast on your way out the door.

18. Apple Crisp Oatmeal Squares

Share on PinterestPhoto: Chocolatexdiaries

Oatmeal is a great option for a hearty snack or breakfast, but what’s the best way to make it more convenient and portable? Bake it into squares! In this recipe, a crisp topping covers a layer of apples over a base of banana and oats.

Tip: Individual servings can be frozen and later thawed or warmed in the microwave.

19. Morning Glory Muffins

Share on PinterestPhoto: Martha Stewart

These oat-based muffins (pssst… it’s a Martha Stewart recipe) are packed with healthy carrots and zucchini and lightly sweetened with raisins and a pinch of sugar. Use a mini muffin tin for smaller portions and cut back on the brown sugar or choose a healthier substitute).

20. Healthy 5-Ingredient Granola Bars

Share on PinterestPhoto: Minimalist Baker

These tasty, easy no-bake granola bars will remind you of your morning oatmeal, but you can eat them anywhere you like. This recipe calls for honey, but we like to replace it with maple syrup to make the bars vegan.

21. Zucchini, Banana, and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Share on PinterestPhoto: Well Plated

Any recipe that fits a serving of veggies into a delicious baked good is a winner in our book. These muffins are jam-packed with better-for-you ingredients — coconut oil, zucchini, banana, and whole-wheat flour — plus chocolate chips for an extra bit of sweetness.

22. Breakfast Egg Muffins

Share on PinterestPhoto: Dinner at the Zoo

Finally, a muffin without allllll that sugar. These are simple to make ahead of time, and they last all week — great for grab-and-go breakfasts. Blend or whisk eggs with spinach, bacon, and cheese, and then pour the mixture into muffin tins. Bake for 15–20 minutes before serving.

Tip: Once they’ve cooled, store them in the fridge. They’ll warm up nicely in the microwave in your office (sorry it smells so good, co-workers).

23. Spinach and Cheddar Microwave Quiche

Share on PinterestPhoto: Bowl of Delicious

Yes, it’s possible (and easy) to make a quiche in the microwave! Cover half a cup of spinach with water in a mug and microwave it for a minute. Drain the water and add an egg, milk, cheese, and a crumbled slice of bacon. Mix thoroughly, and then microwave for three more minutes.

Transfer it to a container to eat later or enjoy it right away.

24. Slow-Cooker Sausage and Egg Casserole

Share on PinterestPhoto: All Day I Dream About Food

Wake up to a house smelling like sausage and effortlessly put breakfast on your plate, all thanks to the beauty and benefits of a slow cooker.

Layer the vegetables, sausage, and cheese in the slow cooker; top with a mix of eggs and cream (you’d be fine using regular or nondairy milk for a lighter option); and you’re just one sleep away from a delicious and hearty meal. (And yes, of course you can omit the sausage.)

25. Cheesy Spinach Baked Eggs

Share on PinterestPhoto: Sugar-Free Mom

Fried eggs are great, but how about baking a whole egg in a muffin tin or ramekin with veggies and cheese, using a lot less oil? A batch of these babies will feed the whole family for breakfast and make Monday feel like Friday. (Yes, you’re a star and they appreciate everything you do.)

26. Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

Share on PinterestPhoto: Minimalist Baker

Here’s a yummy vegan way to have chocolate for breakfast. A bowlful of quinoa cooked in almond milk and flavored with cocoa and maple syrup makes for a flavorful, filling, protein-rich base. Top with banana, berries, and vegan dark chocolate (read the label — some brands of chocolate use milk products).

27. Warm Fruit Bowl

Share on PinterestPhoto: Nutrition Stripped

Craving dessert for breakfast? Or breakfast for dessert? This gluten-free, vegan bowl should hit the spot. Simply bake a blend of berries in the oven until soft, remove from the oven, and sprinkle with shaved vegan dark chocolate (it’ll melt into the warm fruit) and crunchy toasted coconut.

Serve in bowls with warm or cold nut milk.

28. Vegan Blueberry Flax Breakfast Muffins

Share on PinterestPhoto: Kbaked

These hearty, wholesome, and not-too-sweet muffins make the perfect portable breakfast. Flaxseeds provide a healthy dose of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Mashed banana (one of our favorite healthy baking substitutions) allows for a slight reduction in the added fat and sugar, too.

29. Chocolate Peanut Butter Granola Apple Bites

Share on PinterestPhoto: The Comfort of Cooking

This is a perfect pick for apple season. Cut your favorite kind of apple into wedges and scoop nut butter onto each slice. Sprinkle with oats or granola and cinnamon and drizzle a bit of melted chocolate on top.

30. Southwest Tofu Scramble

Share on PinterestPhoto: Minimalist Baker

Stuck with last night’s leftovers? No problem. If you have some leftover tofu and veggies (like peppers and kale), you’re good to go for this easy eggless scramble. (Yes, it’s vegan.) Combine your ingredients in a pan and throw some potatoes on the side for a hearty dish.

31. Peanut Butter and Strawberry Jelly Compote Waffles

Share on PinterestPhoto: Jessica in the Kitchen

The “compote” part might make this recipe sound complicated, but we’ve got your back. If it’s not a slow weekend morning when you’re ready to spend some time in the kitchen, use some substitutes (like regular jelly) to top these tasty PB waffles.

Bonus points because they’re gluten-free AND vegan, so no one has to miss out.

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Looking for other healthy eating info, check out our article on starting a Keto Diet Benefits.

 

Post-Workout Nutrition What to Eat After a Workout

You put a lot of effort into your workouts, always looking to perform better and reach your goals.

Chances are you’ve given more thought to your pre-workout meal than your post-workout meal.

But consuming the right nutrients after you exercise is just as important as what you eat before.

Here is a detailed guide to optimal nutrition after workouts.

To understand how the right foods can help you after exercise, it’s important to understand how your body is affected by physical activity.

When you’re working out, your muscles use up their glycogen stores for fuel. This results in your muscles being partially depleted of glycogen. Some of the proteins in your muscles also get broken down and damaged (1, 2).

After your workout, your body tries to rebuild its glycogen stores and repair and regrow those muscle proteins.

Eating the right nutrients soon after you exercise can help your body get this done faster. It is particularly important to eat carbs and protein after your workout.

Doing this helps your body:

  • Decrease muscle protein breakdown.
  • Increase muscle protein synthesis (growth).
  • Restore glycogen stores.
  • Enhance recovery.

Bottom Line: Getting in the right nutrients after exercise can help you rebuild your muscle proteins and glycogen stores. It also helps stimulate growth of new muscle.

This section discusses how each macronutrient — protein, carbs and fat — is involved in your body’s post-workout recovery process.

Protein Helps Repair and Build Muscle

As explained above, exercise triggers the breakdown of muscle protein (1, 2).

The rate at which this happens depends on the exercise and your level of training, but even well-trained athletes experience muscle protein breakdown (3, 4, 5).

Consuming an adequate amount of protein after a workout gives your body the amino acids it needs to repair and rebuild these proteins. It also gives you the building blocks required to build new muscle tissue (1, 6, 7, 8).

It’s recommended that you consume 0.14–0.23 grams of protein per pound of body weight (0.3–0.5 grams/kg) very soon after a workout (1).

Studies have shown that ingesting 20–40 grams of protein seems to maximize the body’s ability to recover after exercise (6, 8, 9).

Carbs Help With Recovery

Your body’s glycogen stores are used as fuel during exercise, and consuming carbs after your workout helps replenish them.

The rate at which your glycogen stores are used depends on the activity. For example, endurance sports cause your body to use more glycogen than resistance training.

For this reason, if you participate in endurance sports (running, swimming, etc.), you might need to consume more carbs than a bodybuilder.

Consuming 0.5–0.7 grams of carbs per pound (1.1–1.5 grams/kg) of body weight within 30 minutes after training results in proper glycogen resynthesis (1).

Furthermore, insulin secretion, which promotes glycogen synthesis, is better stimulated when carbs and protein are consumed at the same time (10, 11, 12, 13).

Therefore, consuming both carbs and protein after exercise can maximize protein and glycogen synthesis (13, 14).

Try consuming the two in a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein). For example, 40 grams of protein and 120 grams of carbs (15, 16).

Eating plenty of carbs to rebuild glycogen stores is most important for people who exercise often, such as twice in the same day. If you have 1 or 2 days to rest between workouts then this becomes less important.

Fat Is Not That Bad

Many people think that eating fat after a workout slows down digestion and inhibits the absorption of nutrients.

While fat might slow down the absorption of your post-workout meal, it will not reduce its benefits.

For example, a study showed that whole milk was more effective at promoting muscle growth after a workout than skim milk (17).

Moreover, another study showed that even when ingesting a high-fat meal (45% energy from fat) after working out, muscle glycogen synthesis was not affected (18).

It might be a good idea to limit the amount of fat you eat after exercise, but having some fat in your post-workout meal will not affect your recovery.

Bottom Line: A post-workout meal with both protein and carbs will enhance glycogen storage and muscle protein synthesis. Consuming a ratio of 3:1 (carbs to protein) is a practical way to achieve this.

Your body’s ability to rebuild glycogen and protein is enhanced after you exercise (9).

For this reason, it’s recommended that you consume a combination of carbs and protein as soon as possible after exercising.

Although the timing does not need to be exact, many experts recommend eating your post-workout meal within 45 minutes.

In fact, it’s believed that the delay of carb consumption by as little as two hours after a workout may lead to as much as 50% lower rates of glycogen synthesis (9, 10).

However, if you consumed a meal before exercising, it’s likely that the benefits from that meal still apply after training (9, 19, 20).

Bottom Line: Eat your post-workout meal within 45 minutes of exercising. However, you can extend this period a little longer, depending on the timing of your pre-workout meal.

The primary goal of your post-workout meal is to supply your body with the right nutrients for adequate recovery and to maximize the benefits of your workout.

Choosing easily digested foods will promote faster nutrient absorption.

The following lists contain examples of simple and easily digested foods:

Carbs

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chocolate milk
  • Quinoa
  • Fruits (pineapple, berries, banana, kiwi)
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes
  • Pasta
  • Dark, leafy green vegetables

Protein:

  • Animal- or plant-based protein powder
  • Eggs
  • Greek yogurt
  • Cottage cheese
  • Salmon
  • Chicken
  • Protein bar
  • Tuna

Fats:

  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Trail mix (dried fruits and nuts)

Combinations of the foods listed above can create great meals that provide you with all the nutrients you need after exercise.

Here are a few examples of quick and easy meals to eat after your workout:

  • Grilled chicken with roasted vegetables.
  • Egg omelet with avocado spread on toast.
  • Salmon with sweet potato.
  • Tuna salad sandwich on whole grain bread.
  • Tuna and crackers.
  • Oatmeal, whey protein, banana and almonds.
  • Cottage cheese and fruits.
  • Pita and hummus.
  • Rice crackers and peanut butter.
  • Whole grain toast and almond butter.
  • Cereal and skim milk.
  • Greek yogurt, berries and granola.
  • Protein shake and banana.
  • Quinoa bowl with berries and pecans.
  • Multi-grain bread and raw peanuts.

It is important to drink plenty of water before and after your workout.

When you are properly hydrated, this ensures the optimal internal environment for your body to maximize results.

During exercise, you lose water and electrolytes through sweat. Replenishing these after a workout can help with recovery and performance (21).

It’s especially important to replenish fluids if your next exercise session is within 12 hours.

Depending on the intensity of your workout, water or an electrolyte drink are recommended to replenish fluid losses.

Bottom Line: It is important to get water and electrolytes after exercise to replace what was lost during your workout.

Consuming a proper amount of carbs and protein after exercise is essential.

It will stimulate muscle protein synthesis, improve recovery and enhance performance during your next workout.

If you’re not able to eat within 45 minutes of working out, it’s important to not go much longer than 2 hours before eating a meal.

Finally, replenishing lost water and electrolytes can complete the picture and help you maximize the benefits of your workout.

Source

What Makes a Marriage Strong?

Source

I’m coming up on 38 years of marriage. Years ago that wasn’t odd. In our culture today it’s a long time and people marvel. They wonder how we have such a strong marriage. I started wondering too.

Our marriage isn’t perfect. We’ve had some rough times. But for the most part, it hasn’t felt difficult — why is that?

Especially when many people struggle so much — why is that?

What’s the secret sauce that makes a marriage strong?

Is mine just easier? I used to think so because our pairing has a supernatural story to it. But now I think differently.

We’re still people and people have issues. There must be something we do or don’t do that lends itself to why our marriage is strong.

I looked at my marriage and then asked a group of people to find answers.

The primary thing that makes a marriage strong is so obvious we miss it.

It takes two. Two people who make the same decision. Two people who form a partnership. Two people who make life mutual.

One person cannot carry a marriage no matter how much they try or hard they pray. It isn’t 50/50 — it’s 100/100.

A strong marriage takes two.

Before our wedding day we faced and accepted the mindset of forever. Forever is a big word to commit to. It’s scary. How is anyone supposed to know what will happen next week let alone forever? What about this and what about that questions rush through your mind.

But dedication to this commitment forges a strength to endure no matter what life throws at you.

There’s a reason the old traditional vows said for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part. It’s normal to hesitate before saying them — it takes commitment that doesn’t give up when life get hard.

A strong marriage takes true commitment.

My marriage began with God in the center. Many of those in the group I asked put God in the center also. If you think about the origin of marriage this only makes sense.

The one who designed marriage, God, established it as a covenant between Him and the couple. So if He’s in the covenant, He’s involved. And if He designed it, it’s wise to have Him in the center.

Marriage in our culture has been reduced to a piece of paper or a business contract. Covenant is an archaic word to many but it’s much more powerful than a contract.

A strong marriage takes the help of God

Many marriages begin with what people call love when in truth they have feelings. We can feel love but love in truth is a choice. Building a strong marriage takes many choices and choosing love is the first choice to be made.

Things happen and feelings follow but having a commitment to love will supersede emotions. Choosing to commit to love will be visible in the choices that follow.

Love does no harm. Love serves. Love honors. Love is not self-serving. Love lifts up. Love covers a multitude of sins. Love speaks up and corrects with gentleness and grace.

A strong marriage takes choosing love.

Life is complicated and so are relationships. It takes many things to build a good strong marriage — and keep it strong. It’s a process so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Building anything of value takes time.

With the help from the group I asked, here is a list of building blocks to add to the things above for a strong marriage.

  • Communication — active listening
  • Intimacy — emotional and physical (sex)
  • Respect
  • Willingness to grow together
  • Friendship
  • Play — laughter — sense of humor
  • Trust
  • Love them more than being right
  • Grace
  • Good will toward each other
  • Honesty
  • Compassion — understanding
  • Cooperation — Happy willingness to help each other
  • Support — encourage one another in hopes and dreams
  • Forgiveness
  • Humility — Being able to apologize even if you’re not wrong
  • Flexibility

And the list goes on…

A strong marriage takes many things but most of all it takes two people building together.

  • What on the list can you use?
  • Can you add to my list?
  • Get some love for yourself here.

Building a Strong Marriage

Source Each year, more than 2 million couples marry in the U.S. While most couples say they are madly in love, some really wonder if they have what it takes to make their marriage last over time. Whether you’re married now or planning to, you’ll want to know about a Life Innovations survey of 21,501 married couples from every state. It identified not only the top 10 strengths of happy marriages, but also the top 10 problems in marriage. The top 10 strengths are as follows:
  • Partners are satisfied with communication.
  • Partners handle their differences creatively.
  • They feel very close to each other.
  • Spouses are not controlling.
  • Partners discuss their problems well.
  • They are satisfied with the affection they show and receive.
  • There is a good balance of time alone and together.
  • Family and friends rarely interfere.
  • Partners agree on how to spend money.
  • Partners agree on spiritual beliefs.
Additionally, the research found that the strongest couples have strong communication skills, a clear sense of closeness as a couple, flexibility, personal compatibility and good conflict resolution skills. Strong marriages have a balance between separateness and togetherness. These couples prioritize togetherness, ask each other for help, enjoy doing things together and spend most of their free time together. Also, some of the common factors in the relationship roles in strong marriages include both parties:
  • Are equally willing to make necessary adjustments in their roles,
  • Reporting satisfaction with the division of housework,
  • Working hard to have an equal relationship, and
  • Making most decisions jointly.
The happiest couples said they were happy with the way they communicate, it was easy to express their feelings and found their partner to be a good listener. They especially noted that their partner doesn’t use put-downs. Obviously, conflict management/resolution skills are crucial. In strong marriages, both partners say that their partner understands their positions. They feel free to share their feelings and ideas; they take disagreements seriously and they work cooperatively to resolve conflicts. According to the survey, the top 10 problems in marriage are:
  • Problems sharing leadership.
  • One partner is too stubborn.
  • Stress created by child-rearing differences.
  • One partner is too negative or critical.
  • Feeling responsible for issues.
  • One partner wishes the other had more time.
  • Avoiding conflict with partner.
  • One partner wishes the other was more willing to share their feelings.
  • Difficulty completing tasks.
  • Differences never get resolved.
For example, some common stumbling blocks are when one person feels most responsible for the problem, avoiding conflict and having serious disputes over minor issues. Sadly, relationships with unresolved differences can get into trouble. As a result, stumbling blocks become walls instead of stepping stones to build up the marriage. Finally, no matter how in love you feel, bringing two personalities and their families together and learning how to dance can be challenging. So don’t just prepare for your wedding – take time to prepare for your marriage. Learn how to build on your strengths, creatively address differences and work together for the best interests of your marriage. It will probably be the best wedding present you can give to each other. For more information on becoming a newlywed, get our E-Book, 10 Things Every Newlywed Needs to Know

For more marriage advice and resources check out our latest article on Saving Your Marriage.