Posts Tagged ‘high school’

Top 10 Healthy Food Tips

Monday, May 13th, 2019

top-10-healthy-food-tips

My daughter Rachel and I have been learning a lot about food and how it affects our bodies. Rachel created another fun video about hands-on health called “Top 10 Healthy Food Tips.” These tips come directly from her high school health book by Apologia (link is at the bottom of this post):

Healthy Food Tip #1: Eat a variety of foods. Meat, dairy foods, beans, vegetables, and whole grains all have their parts to play.

Each type of food provides different nutrients that are needed by the body. If you don’t eat enough protein, for example, your muscles will feel weak and start hurting because your body will start taking protein away from your muscles to keep your other body systems alive. Without fruits and vegetables, you will not get essential vitamins and nutrients for your body, and you will suffer with poor digestion and other problems.

Healthy Food Tip #2: Choose unprocessed food, closest to its natural state. Choose fruit over fruit juice.

The less processed food is, the better it is for your body. This means that raw fruits and vegetables, for example, are better for you than packaged foods that contain preservatives. Even with fruit, the bulk in the fruit (like the pulp of the orange) has nutrients that are absent in the orange juice that has been pasteurized, a process by which it is heated to high temperatures which strips the orange juice from most of its nutrients. Preservatives are then placed into the juice. So it’s way better to eat an orange, or to squeeze it right before drinking it. The same is true for any other juice.

Healthy Food Tip #3: Limit white carbohydrate foods. These include white flour, white sugar, white rice, and white potatoes.

When we studied biology in our homeschool, we did an experiment where we placed white bread and wheat bread with some water drops in a plastic bag. The wheat bread spoiled a lot faster than the white bread, which had less for the mold to feed on, indicating that mold didn’t even want to eat the white bread because it didn’t recognize the bread as actual food.

The darker rice has the bran and germ still in it, giving it more nutrients, whereas the white rice has the nutrients stripped from it. So try to stay away from white carbohydrates and instead, eat whole grains.

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Healthy Food Tip #4: Enjoy the delicious nutrition of eggs; just average one a day.

Growing up, I heard that two eggs a day is about all you want to eat because of the cholesterol. (This health book recommends eating only one egg for that reason; I’ve also researched online to find that eating a lot of eggs causes heart disease.) But the eggs also contain Omega 3, protein, and other vitamins, so they are good to eat. I’ve heard people argue that the cholesterol in eggs is the good kind, and that the nutrients in the eggs are hard to find elsewhere. So enjoy your eggs; just don’t go overboard–one or two a day is plenty.

Healthy Food Tip #5: Grain and beans together give you all the essential amino acids.

When I grew up in Guatemala, everybody ate black beans and rice. I never knew that together, they provide a complete protein with all the amino acids. Complete proteins contain all 9 essential amino acids, so sometimes you have to combine a grain (like rice or corn) with a bean to get everything you need.

Healthy Food Tip #6: If you have a choice, start with unsalted food and then add a sprinkle of salt at the table if needed.

If you eat too much salt, your blood pressure goes up because of extra water stored in your body. I know so many people who are on high blood pressure medication. I wonder if they cut out salt (as much as possible), if their bodies would not need the medication. For example, if you put cheddar cheese and ham into your scrambled eggs, there is no reason to add salt because the eggs are already flavored. Oregano and other herbs are good for you, unlike salt, so use those instead.

Healthy Food Tip #7: Three 8-ounce servings of milk or yogurt each day cover many mineral needs.

Milk is a rich source of calcium, which is needed for your bones. You can get that calcium from milk products like yogurt, cheese, and even ice cream. Milk products also contain phosphorus and magnesium. If you are lactose intolerant, you can get the same nutrients from vegetables, nuts, eggs, and whole grains.

Healthy Food Tip #8: Eat lots of vegetables, both cooked and raw. Minerals are more easily absorbed from cooked vegetables. Vitamins, on the other hand, are more plentiful in raw vegetables because vitamins are destroyed by the heat used for cooking.

I found it interesting that minerals are more absorbed from cooked vegetables. But raw is better in almost every other way because most of the vitamins are cooked out of the vegetables if you don’t eat them raw. If you grow your own vegetables, eating the vegetables right after picking them will give you the most flavor, too!

fresh-vs-canned

Healthy Food Tip #9: If you have options, choose fresh or frozen food over canned or dry food.

The high temperatures needed for canning remove a lot of the vitamins from the food, so it’s way better to eat fresh or frozen foods. Even dehydrated foods have to be processed, losing some of the vitamins of the food. So fresh food is best, then frozen, then dried, and last… canned.

Healthy Food Tip #10: Limit your intake of table sugar to between 6 and 9 teaspoons each day.

My dad recently died of cancer. Cancer thrives on sugar. And eating too much sugar leads to atherosclerosis, which clogs your arteries. Sugar is empty calories, so you end up gaining weight. Also, sugar makes you feel sluggish. Yes, you can eat sugar in moderation, especially a small piece of dessert with a meal, because when you have other food in your stomach, all of the contents of your stomach are digested together and you won’t feel the sluggishness you would feel if you ate a sugary snack on an empty stomach.

If you enjoyed reading about what we are learning in our health class, you would probably love the book that we are using: (affiliate link) Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Apologia. We hope you enjoyed my daughter’s video where she dramatized each of these food tips, to help you remember to eat well to have more energy!

Stressed? Top 10 Self-Care Tips

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

My daughter and I have been studying high school health this year as part of our homeschooling. (The link to the Apologia health book we are using is at the bottom of this post, in case you’re interested. The self-care tips that my daughter humorously dramatized in this post come straight out of her book.) We have learned a lot of interesting things about physical, mental, and emotional health. We have also been reminded of some basics of how to take care of our bodies. As a result, we’ve been exercising a lot more and drinking fruit smoothies.

In order to not be emotionally stressed out, here are some self-care tips to keep in mind:

Self-Care Tip #1: Eat regular, healthful meals.

Don’t eat mindlessly. Plan your meals and choose healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, protein, and whole grains. If you have a test or need to think, eat some protein, raw vegetables, or orange juice. These have helped me personally to have a surge of energy to think more clearly.

Self-Care Tip #2: Avoid junk food.

If you have a healthy meal, you can have a small amount of dessert without having your body feel yucky, because the nutrients of the meal counteract the empty calories that would make your energy crash if you ate them on their own. Pay attention to how sluggish you feel after eating potato chips on an empty stomach, and compare that to how you feel after eating raw broccoli on an empty stomach. Your body feels WAY better with the raw vegetable.

Self-Care Tip #3: Be sure your diet includes enough protein with all the essential amino acids.

If you are deficient in protein, you may feel depressed, moody, or anxious. Your brain needs amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Like I said earlier, eat some protein before a test to think more clearly. One of my sons is taking the SAT this year, so he will be eating eggs and ham for breakfast before he takes the test.

Self-Care Tip #4: Get enough sleep.

If you get no sleep for many days in a row, you go insane. Literally, when you are sleepy and drive a car, you act similar to a drunk driver. Even with a small amount of sleep, you are more likely to get sick, make mistakes in judgment, and not be able to enjoy your life. Most people need 8 hours of sleep. I’ve done a lot of research to find out how to get better sleep, which you can read about here: Getting Better Sleep (Part 1) & Getting Better Sleep (Part 2)

Self-Care Tip #5: Drink enough water.

Most people don’t drink nearly enough water. Your body doesn’t function properly when it is dehydrated, leading to headaches, dry skin, etc. Optimally you need about one gallon of water (or other liquids) a day.

Self-Care Tip #6: Get appropriate exercise, not too much or too little.

Exercise helps to improve mood, boost energy, and improve sleep, among other things. Twenty minutes of aerobic exercise 3-5 days a week is good. If you overdo exercise, lactic acid build-up can cause muscle pain. You are more likely to sustain injuries as well.

Self-Care Tip #7: Limit grief and rumination. If you find yourself trapped in them, decide to find something better to do with your time and energy.

There is a chapter on emotional stability in this health book (see link at the bottom of this post). Apparently we have four main negative emotions: sadness, fear, guilt, and anger. It is important not to dwell on any of these negative emotions, but to rest and be refreshed and take your mind off your problems. Dwelling on the negative will not help you rise above your circumstances and have peace and joy in your life.

Self-Care Tip #8: Create a regular schedule for yourself.

You can accomplish so much more in your day with much less effort if you have a consistent schedule. If your mind is used to focusing on a specific task at a certain time of day, your body adjusts to that rhythm. You get on a roll: by accomplishing tasks, you are empowered and get adrenaline to accomplish more tasks. Don’t forget to schedule down-time into your day as well.

Self-Care Tip #9: Focus on one task at a time.

When your mind is scattered on different tasks at the same time, you don’t do as well as if you give your full attention to the task at hand. For a more full explanation with examples from my life, read Multitasking Burns Your Dinner.

Self-Care Tip #10: You cannot avoid all stress, but do not add unnecessary stress to your life. Limit your commitments to what is manageable.

Don’t add anything to your schedule without praying about it. Many times we crowd our schedules with so much that we have stress and can’t enjoy life.

Parrooom…Ch… (That’s a drum roll, if you didn’t hear it.) Those are the top 10 self-care tips that we chose to include in this post. There are 21 self-care tips altogether in the health book (affiliate link) Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition by Apologia. We hope you enjoyed my daughter’s crazy antics in the goofy video depicting how to overcome stress and live a more healthy life.

Health & Nutrition for Teens

Wednesday, September 5th, 2018

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“This is going to be my favorite subject!” declared my teen daughter excitedly, smiling when the health books arrived. I hadn’t told her that I tried to find another high school science course that she would like, and that I finally found one. As a blogger, I get paid to review honestly the very books that I would have ordered for our homeschool anyway. So when I these books arrived in the mail free of charge, she was literally jumping up and down, which is highly appropriate for this subject.

apologia-health

This post contains affiliate links.

Flipping through the book, we could see this health course–Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition–is more than just a high school science course. It’s also about the mind and emotions, and how to cope with life in a healthier way. It’s about food and exercise. It’s about not being bogged down by stress.

It’s going to be fun for me to learn along with my daughter because we both want to be healthier. Part of the reason Americans feel a lack of energy is the food we eat and our lack of exercise. We focus too much on survival or getting the needed things done. We need to get back to a place where we are thriving and not just surviving.

Health & Nutrition for High School: Chapter 1

We’ve started the course with chapter 1: “Who am I and Why Does Health Matter?” This chapter includes the concepts of nature and nurture—that we are a compilation not only of the genetics passed down by our parents but also by our environment. Physical advantages can be passed down through family lines, causing the person to innately be good at a certain activity—like basketball or piano.

apologia-party-girl

The chapter also discussed temperaments, which are predispositions to certain behaviors, emotions, or thoughts. Learning about the personality types helps teens to understand who they are, in order to accept themselves the way God made them, and to learn to accept others who have a different personality than they do.

For example, if we are extroverts and rejuvenate around other people, that doesn’t mean that introverts will be refreshed at the same social gathering. We need to build time alone into our schedules if we gain more energy from solitude. (Many moms of small kids suffer from over-exhaustion because they can never find time alone. Understanding who we are can help us to thrive.)

Dramatizing the Four Temperaments from Chapter 1

My daughter dramatized the four temperaments. Her three brothers represented a crowd of people for the two extroverted temperaments (choleric and sanguine), while my daughter was alone for the two introverted temperaments (melancholic and phlegmatic). Take a look at what we learned about each temperament:

The fun student notebook includes pages to take notes, activities and quizzes, a review for each section in the book, and multiple-choice tests. The answers for the tests, along with chapter extras, are found on the website with a code given in the book. Here is one of the pages from the student notebook that helps the student to internalize the information from the four temperaments:

health-notebook

Sexual Purity Emphasized in Reproduction Chapter

I love the fact that this is a Christian course, tying key points to Scripture (especially wisdom relating to the emotions and the mind) and encouraging teens to remain pure until marriage, which is rare in a health book. Here is a quote about sexual purity from the chapter on reproduction:

“As a human being, you can set up boundaries to control your sexual urges. You are not a dog or a horse that must act on the urges whenever the mood strikes in a parking lot or pasture. You must guard your sexuality and preserve it for marriage.”

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Developing Healthy Habits

Developing healthy habits while young will help teens to have life-long better health. Of all the sciences, I think this one is the most practical for everyday life and can improve our quality of life if we apply its principles. I’m looking forward to going through this year-long course with my daughter, and I might be blogging more about it in the coming months.

To get a free Health & Nutrition Activity e-book and samples of the text and student notebook, click here.

If you would like to purchase this health course, you can get it here.

You can also follow Apologia on social media:

Two copies of the book set Exploring Creation with Health and Nutrition are being given away! Enter the giveaway below:

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High School Career Exploration

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

high-school-career-exploration

I wish I had acquired this high school Career Exploration curriculum sooner, since my oldest son is going to college in the fall and isn’t sure what career he wants to pursue. We have been talking about what he wants to do with his life for quite a while, but it wasn’t until we came across this curriculum that we narrowed it down. Since this is the exact curriculum I wanted (yay!), I received the bundle from 7 Sisters Homeschool at no cost, became an affiliate, and agreed to do a review for compensation.

I recommend using this curriculum way earlier in your teen’s schooling so that you have plenty of time to fully explore careers. My 13-year-old and 15-year-old will be able to think about apprenticeships and interviewing adults in different careers to figure out what they truly would be good at. By the time they graduate high school, they will be in a better position than my oldest son.

My second son, who is currently 16, has always wanted to be a microbiologist. He knew when he was 10 years old, and he is now off to college, too. It’s great when kids know exactly what they want to be. But even then, it would be nice to take a field trip to a lab where he can see microbiologists at work, if possible. Interviewing scientists who are doing what he loves will give him the understanding of whether he will have to work long hours, or if there are any other interesting facts about the job.

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My own personal career journey

When I was in college, I wanted to become a teacher, so I took a job as a teacher’s assistant while I was still in college to see if I really liked it. It seemed like disciplinary issues were a constant part of each day, so I had to re-assess whether I truly wanted to be a teacher. It seemed like I would have to be a militant leader in order to cope as a teacher and not get run over by the back-talk of the middle school students I was teaching. I would not have known what the job was really like had I not taken a peek at the inside of the career.

There is nothing worse than preparing for a career that you later find out you hate. This is especially true if you spent tens of thousands of dollars earning that degree at a university. Way better would be to know a variety of jobs that you would be good at, and figure out what kind of training you need to become certified for those jobs. Many trade schools are shorter than a 4-year college and pay just as much (or more) than a career that requires a degree. All you need to do is investigate, and this {aff} Career Exploration high school curriculum was just the thing to help us do that.

Career Exploration: What is Included in the Curriculum

The Career Exploration curriculum includes ten packets: Step by Step Through Career Exploration, Career Exploration Questionnaire, Career Exploration Workbook, Successful Experiential Resume Writing, Successful Cover Letters, Introductory Interview Skills for Teens, Writing Your Own Personal Mission Statement, Career Exploration in the Bible, Collected Posts on Career Exploration, and Collected Posts on Financial Literacy.

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I’ve read through the entire ten packets, and I was impressed at the amount of useful information this bundle contained for teens to explore what careers might be of interest to them. I will highlight a few of the packets:

Career Exploration Workbook

This workbook contains seven chapters, each focusing on a different aspect of finding a career. The students can fill in the workbook, answering each question to know themselves better. The checklists are especially helpful in finding out broad areas of interest. The teen can circle occupations that seem interesting and cross out other careers.

Interviewing people who know the teen well can help to uncover more strengths that maybe your teen was unaware of until now. Apprenticeship opportunities can emerge as your teen talks to people from different occupations. I personally love to do this by inviting families from church over for dinner. Your teen can ask the occupation of the guests, and whether they love what they do.

list-of-careers

Career Exploration in the Bible

I’m intrigued by the idea that God designs each of our children with the experiences they need to become the person they were meant to be. This short packet highlights three characters from Scripture, showing how their childhood and teen years prepared them for their future career. This packet spurred some interesting conversations with my teens, and I wondered in my heart what fun things God has done in the upbringing of my children to make them who they are today.

For example, my oldest son has always had a philosophical mind, asking spiritual questions even as a preschooler. The depth of knowledge he has of God’s Word is perfect to prepare him to be a pastor, if he chooses that occupation. He has also enjoyed drawing, especially symmetrical drawings on graph paper. The fact that he is a natural artist could indicate that he would be a good architect. As his mom, I pondered what other experiences he has had that has made him the man he is today.

Introductory Interview Skills for Teens

Both my older teens have been in a process of interviewing for jobs this summer, so this packet was particularly useful. When my teens prepared for the most commonly asked questions, they felt more at ease in their interviews. My kids made up a fun skit for what NOT to do in an interview:

A Personal Word about the 7 Sisters

I’ve met several of the women from 7 Sisters Homeschool in person at a blogging conference a couple of years ago, and they are the real deal. I love them! Their homeschool high school curriculum is no busywork – no overkill. Your teens can build character and critical thinking skills while learning. And the women who wrote this curriculum are veteran homeschool moms who know what they are doing. Here are their links, if you would like to follow their blog and social media, especially if you have teens:

For what’s included in this Career Exploration bundle, the price seems unbelievably low. If you have teens, I encourage you to click over there and grab this bundle to direct your teens to a career that they will actually enjoy. If you yourself or your spouse is in a career that you hate, you know how important it is to explore careers before deciding what you want to do with the rest of your life. And yes, you as a parent can fill in your own workbook if you yourself would like a change in careers!



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