Healthy Abbotsford Blog

Kid Friendly Recipes

We have mentioned a few times on this blog how important it is for your kids to get in the kitchen and learn how to prepare healthy food. And as a parent, you know there are certain recipes that would be a disaster if your kids helped! The Better Together website has a whole section dedicated to kid friendly recipes. So, get the kids in the kitchen, have some fun and cook some delicious, healthy meals!

Click here to see the recipes.

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Healthy Meals Made Cheap and Easy – VIDEO

Global TV did a fantastic guest spot on the morning news. Really quick, healthy and cheap meal ideas. Some of the ideas are geared to kids going back to school and they are also great ideas for adults going to work. Making healthy food can be easy and inexpensive. Watch this video to learn how.

Remember, healthy eating doesn’t have to be hard!


Running, Walking Routes: iPhone App

Do you love your iphone apps? Here is a new one for you to check out that tracks your walking/running/biking routes. The review comes from Fitness Test Drive, a Vancouver-based blog that reviews all the latest and greatest in the world of fitness gizmos and gadgets.

What It Is: An amazingly comprehensive iPhone app for tracking the walking and running routes around you (its database contains more than a million routes worldwide). Follow the app’s suggested nearby routes based on time or distance (less than a mile all the way up to 20 or 30 miles and beyond). Or, create your own route and save it in the app.

Other features include a place to log your training sessions, calorie-burn estimates, pace tracker and, my favorite, GPS tracking, accurately displaying where you are along the route.

And since any exercise app wouldn’t be complete without the ability to share your workout results on Facebook and Twitter, this app has that, too. “Dear Facebook friends, here’s where I ran today.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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I’m Bored! BIG Play in Small Places

For children to grow up with a healthy weight one of the recommendations is that they have no more than 2 hours per day of screen time (this includes computers, TVs, video games and smart phones). And it can be challenging to come up with ideas of things that they can do instead, especially if you live in a small space. Inner Child Fun has some great ideas of activities that your kids can do that are inexpensive and a ton of fun. Some of the ideas are:

  • land art
  • outdoor color hunt
  • mini pretend beach
  • indoor meadow
  • container gardening
  • DIY fold-up kitchen set
  • bath time water wall
  • rainbow village
  • botanical prints

Click here to read more.

girl doing crafts

1. Land Art

Camping Workout

Here is a great article from world renowned fitness expert, Sherri McMillan.

Lots of kids will be heading back to school over the next few weeks and that means many families will be trying to fit in one last camping trip.  How fun!  I love camping and even though I am far from the comforts of home (and the gym)…I always get a great workout in while I am camping.

Of course you can go hiking, biking or running for your cardio workout, but what about strength training?  Make sure to read my latest article “Camping? It’s Easy to Maintain a Workout” in the Columbian to get the details on a full workout that you can do in less than an hour on your next camping trip!

Sample Workout: Sherri lunges 300x199 Camping Workouts

  • 20 Min of Cardio
  • Wall squats: Hold for 10-60 seconds.
  • Row: Perform 13-20 reps.
  • Lunges: Perform 13-20 reps each leg.
  • Push-ups:  10-15
  • Overhead shoulder press: Perform 13-20 reps.
  • Tricep dips: Perform 13-20 reps.
  • Bicep curls: Perform 13-20 reps.
  • Rotation plank: Continue for 30-90 seconds.
  • Stretching: 6-10 minutes

Yours in Health & Fitness,
Sherri McMillan


Keeping fit while being social: How to be active when friends visit for a weekend

Summer is often a time to visit friends and family. You might be the one visiting or they might be coming to you. And for a lot of people this social time is their excuse not to be physically active. They have company coming, or they are going on vacation for a couple of weeks so they don’t have time to be active. This article, from Obesity Panacea, highlights how easy it can be to stay active while being social.

Isn’t it odd that most of our social engagements with friends and family are largely sedentary and consist of plentiful food and drink? As our recent move to Toronto brought us closer to a large section of our social circle, our summer has been a very social one. Being able to see everyone has been wonderful – especially after our 2 nomadic years. However, the go-to formula for a night out with friends of dinner and drinks can be problematic for both the wallet and the waistline.

But, as I was recently reminded, there are ways to be both social and keep your health priorities in check.

Just last weekend, Travis and Daun came over for a visit. The first evening in town we went out for the standard dinner (great Indian roti, in case you were wondering) and drinks while we caught up and watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. I was beginning to fear that despite keeping company with active friends, the weekend would be full of caloric intake with little output. To my surprise, as we were walking home, Daun asked: “So what are we doing for an activity tomorrow?” It turns out, being the troopers there are, Travis and Daun never leave home without a set of workout clothes and running shoes.  I couldn’t have been happier. Since we were the hosts, I offered to come up with an activity.

The next morning after a light breakfast (yogurt, granola and fruit, in case you were wondering) the four of us headed over to a nearby park and did a new version of one of my favourite workouts, which I have previously described on Obesity Panacea: the Tabata workout. While Marina and I try and do our workouts outside as often as possible when the weather is good, sharing that experience with another couple was a blast! It was a pretty tough workout, which was made more difficult by the heat and humidity, not to mention the extra motivation of having friends exercising next to you.

Take home message?

Next time you have friends coming over for a weekend of lounging, eating, and drinking, be sure to recommend they at least pack a comfortable pair of shoes. While not everyone will be into exercising in the park, a nice long walk or bike through an interesting part of town, a leisurely game of Frisbee, maybe some badminton, or kayaking if there is water nearby, could add a good amount of activity into your social life. Best of all, by leading by example, you may help your friends start leading more active lives themselves.



10 Tips for Non-Sporty Parents

We talk a lot of getting your kids active. Here is a great article from Active For Life for parents who might not be the sportiest and who feel a bit awkward and out of place when thinking about sports and physical activity.

If you are like me and sports haven’t played a major role in your life, you might be having challenges figuring out how to raise active kids. Encouraging sports doesn’t always come naturally to a lot of us who are “rather curl up on the couch with a book” types, but when asked if we want our kids to be active for life, of course, the answer is an emphatic yes! So, here are my top tips for non-sporty parents to get you and your kids started down the road to physical literacy.

four girls playing soccer

  1. You are probably sportier than you think. Do you walk, do yoga, garden? Can you remember what activities you enjoyed as a kid? Even if you weren’t a team sports guy or gal chances are that you liked something, maybe dance, karate, swimming, wall ball, or skipping?
  2. See it as a growth opportunity. Maybe you’ve looked at yourself one way all your life but it’s never too late to change your own perceptions.
  3. Introduce them to lots of different activities. Something’s got to stick! Your kids may or may not gravitate to team sports, especially when they are little, but you can help them find an activity they like that will give them confidence to try more and more.
  4. Encourage their interests. Sometimes catching the wave of enthusiasm can be a tricky manoeuvre. Pay close attention and be ready to jump in when they perk up at a certain activity, sport or game.
  5. Read kids books on sports with your children, or watch kids movies about sports. Do you have a little reader? Find some sports-themed books to stir their interest. And check out our list of 10 sports movies to watch with kids.
  6. Appoint someone as your kids’ “sports godparents”. Do you have a friend or family member that loves to toss the ball around or shoot hoops? Ask them to spend some time with your children; they’ll all probably end up having a blast!
  7. Start a group of like-minded non-sporty parents. You might be surprised how many of your friends feel the same way you do. Make a date with another family to go bowling, skating or for a group hike.
  8. Make a game out of it! Have all the family members earn “Physical Activity Points”: i.e., 10 points for walking to school, 15 points for biking, 20 points for dance class, 20 points for mom’s spin class etc. Then reward the family with a group outing somewhere fun on the weekend if the family achieved its goal.
  9. Set a good example. Spend some time each day walking, biking, etc. Just focus on being active and let your kids see you doing it.
  10. Don’t stress about it. Physical activity is about having fun and being healthy; don’t let this become another item on your “ways I’m failing as a parent” list.

And remember, knowledge is power. Equip yourself with the information you need to help your kids be successful in sports. You’ll find great information and tips by looking around Active for Life.

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Do I Really Need to Eat After I Exercise?

YES!! So now the next question is “what should I eat after I exercise?” To help answer that here is an article from ParticipACTION that not only tells you why the after exercise meal is so important but it also gives you some healthy food ideas.

Healthy snacks that taste good are the best kind! Knowing what your body needs most after exercise can mean the difference between feeling strong and ready to tackle the rest of your day… or feeling like you’ve got nothing left to give.

Post workout snacks are really about replacing the fuels — fluid, carbohydrates and protein – that you used while exercising. Some people, particularly those eager to lose weight, may be reluctant to take in calories following a workout, but according to Dr. Lowell Greib, associate professor at The Canadian College of Naturophatic Medicine, owner of The SportLab and certified sports nutritionist, “eating after exercise may be the most important ‘meal’ of the day for an active individual.

To read the rest of the article click here.

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