12 Smart Ideas for Breakfast on the Go

Set yourself up for healthy-breakfast success by stocking your shelves with items you can grab and go. Here are 12 ideas.

Fit Generation: 9 Fun Ways to Sneak Fitness Into Your Day

Fun, everyday ways to sneak fitness in with your kid. Plus, get healthy eating tips, exercise ideas, and more ways to shape up with Parenting’s Fit Generation!

By Shaun Dreisbach
1. Hit the playground!“It’s honestly better — and far more fun — than any gym,” says Stefko. The monkey bars and mini-rock wall build upper-body muscle. Jumping off the climbing structures boosts bone density and leg strength. Heck, even the swings can be a good core workout. It’s like an outside circuit course.
2. Play a game. Kick-ball, tag, jumping rope, wheelbarrow races — they’re classics that absolutely count toward your child’s daily activity requirement. For younger kids, try Move Like an Animal (it’s a huge hit with the children Stefko works with). Call out the name of a critter and challenge your child to mimic the way it moves: hop like a frog, balance on one leg like a flamingo, stretch like a cat, and so on.
3. Speed wash the car. Kill two birds with one sponge: Get that heart rate up and make the family car spotless. See how fast you can get it soaped, scrubbed, and hosed down—and try to best it next time.
4. Check out a class. Take your child to an open gym at the local gymnastics center and let her try out the equipment, or head to the indoor climbing wall or skate park for a lesson. One-offs like this are good because they let your kid try out a bunch of different activities to see what she likes best — without the time and money commitment of full-on, three-days-a-week lessons (which your child may end up hating).
5. Use people power. Ditch the car and walk or bike when you can. Pedal to the pool, playground, or pizza shop, and trek the mile to school on foot.
6. Inspire her. “Bring your kid to a sporting event — a Major League Baseball game or a high school volleyball match — so she can see and be motivated by the athletes,” suggests Stefko. Before or after the game, kick around a ball together, shoot baskets, or play a little backyard volleyball.
7. Wobble hobble. Have your child place a water balloon between his knees and race to the finish line without dropping it. In just 15 minutes, he’ll burn nearly 70 calories. Perfect for summer playdates. Benefits: cardio, coordination, balance, mood booster.
8. Backyard bowling. This is the sneaky-fitness version of “reduce, reuse, recycle.” Grab empty plastic bottles from the recycling bin and set them up like bowling pins. Take turns trying to knock them down with a soccer ball or kickball. Benefits: cardio, flexibility, balance, coordination
9. Garden party. Help your child choose some fruits and veggies to grow, plot out the garden, and tend the plants. (Hint: Opt for lower-maintenance items like tomatoes, zucchini, and carrots—kids have been known to forget a watering or two!) This idea is a better-health tri-fecta: Digging and planting is serious activity, it’s something fun the whole fam can get involved in, and you get super-fresh, organic food out of the deal. Don’t have room? Volunteer at a local community garden. Benefits: strength, cardio, flexibility, mood booster.

Is Slightly Overweight Healthier?

Can being slightly overweight lead to a longer life?  A new study on that has created quite a stir among obesity experts.

The research was reported last week, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It suggested that slightly overweight people were less likely to die prematurely than people with a “healthy” weight.

Being underweight or severely obese did cut life expectancy.

According to the BBC, one doctor has called the findings a “pile of rubbish” while another said it was a “horrific message” to put out.

Responding to the report, Professor John Wass at the Royal College of Physicians in Great Britain says “Have you ever seen a 100-year-old human being who is overweight? The answer is you probably haven’t.”

Wass points out that the largest people in society will die prematurely, suffer a variety of health problems and have higher levels of Type 2 diabetes.

He says “Huge pieces of evidence go against this, countless other studies point in the other direction.”

Possible explanations for the study’s results included overweight people being more likely to receive medical treatment, such as medication to control blood pressure, or the extra weight helped them survive being severely ill in hospital.

Also, criticizing the study was Walter Willett, from the Harvard School of Public Health.  He says “This is an even greater pile of rubbish” than a study conducted by the same group in 2005.  So tell us what you REALLY think!

To read the American Heart Association’s recommendations on body weight and diet, just go to and click “Getting Healthy.”

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM

Click here for the audio version of this article.

Why A.M. Exercise is Awesome

By Alice OglethorpeSELF magazine

According to researchers at the University College London, it only takes 18 days to make a habit stick. Get #UpNOut for an A.M. sweat session with these five tips.

1. It’s the Fit Girl’s #1 Secret: The enviably in-shape women we polled–athletes, trainers, everyday superwomen with flat abs–break a sweat first thing. No wonder: In the morning, you have max willpower, but as the day wears on, making healthy decisions becomes tougher, says Roy Baumeister, Ph.D., social psychology professor at Florida State University and coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. Resisting online shopping splurges, ignoring an ex’s text–these feats sap resolve, and you may not have much left to drag yourself to the gym at night. 

2.Treats Won’t Be As Tempting: A workout can make you less I-need-that at the sight of food (like those office cupcakes that show up at your weakest moments), say Brigham Young University researchers. And that crap about exercise making you famished? Nothing to it; you won’t eat more after you sweat, their research indicates.

3. You Could be Little Miss Sunshine All Day: The mood high from exercise lasts up to 12 hours, a study from The University of Vermont found. That’s a lot of smiling.

4. BTW, You Might Nab a Promotion: After a sweatfeast, people are better at managing their time at work (aka you’re more likely to switch your Gchat notification to Busy), a study from the University of Bristol in England reports.

5. No More Tossing and Turning: Morning exercisers have less trouble falling asleep than do evening gymgoers, a study published in Sleep shows, and the more A.M. minutes you log, the easier it is to nod off. Better still: Your night’s wide open!

4 Quick Ways to Boost Your Energy — Without Coffee!

Click Here if you want to read about 4 simple things you can do to give yourself a pick-me-up!

11 Facts about the McDonald’s McRib

It’s Kurt from Shine Mornings. It’s no secret that I love the McRib, but I didn’t all this! Who’da thunk?

Healthy Eating Does Matter

If you’re at high risk of having a heart attack, changing your diet can significantly lower your chances of heart disease.

But can eating fruits and vegetables help someone who already has heart problems?   Maybe so.

Time magazine is reporting on a new study done by a group of international researchers.  It shows that for heart patients currently taking medication for high blood pressure and cholesterol, healthy eating can have an added beneficial effect.

Mashid Dehghan, a researcher at the Population Health Research Institute in Canada says “We encourage everyone to eat healthy.  But especially high-risk patients, we want them to know: Take your medication, but modify your diet as well.”

Dr. Dehghan says “Some people think that if medication lowers their blood pressure, healthy eating doesn’t matter. We want them to know that this is wrong.”

The new study is the most comprehensive research of its kind to date.

That’s because of large size of the study population, and the fact that it included participants from 40 different countries.  [The researchers tracked 30,000 adults aged 55 and older, all with a history of heart disease, stroke, or diabetes.]

It found that patients who ate healthy AND took their medication had the best outcomes of all.

Dr. Denghan points out that healthy eating is not about one single nutrient or food group, but instead, about the big picture.   She says “People can eat healthy or unhealthy three times a day, so if you modify your diet it can have a big impact.”

If you’d like to learn more about the study, go to and enter “heart disease” in the search engine.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

CLICK HERE for the Audio Version of this post.

Parents Ask About 11-Year-Old Son’s Obesity

Dear Dr. Bill,

We have an 11-year-old boy who LOVES food.  He’s always asking us for treats or snacks, and becomes disappointed and upset when we say “no.”  Worst of all, he’s 4-foot, 9-inches tall and weighs 114 pounds!

We often talk to our son about the importance of a healthier diet, but we battle with overeating ourselves.  Both of us are 20 to 30 pounds overweight.  We’ve tried not to make things worse by forbidding ALL junk food, yet our son will “pig out” whenever we can’t control his diet.

Of course, we love our son no matter what, but we feel we can’t allow this to go on.  But we don’t want to damage his self-esteem or steal away what he seems to enjoy the most.  What should we do?



Dear Paul,

I consulted with my friend Dr. Walt Larimore, a family physician who is an expert on childhood obesity.

He said that if son weighs 114 pounds and is 4 foot 9, his weight puts him in the 95th percentile for boys his age.  That means he is clinically obese, and at high risk for diabetes, heart disease, stroke, arthritis, depression, and early death.  In fact, according to one study, his life expectancy right now is only 46!

Your family needs to make some dramatic lifestyle changes, not just for your son’s sake, but for yours as well.  The fact that you are both overweight puts you at risk for multiple health problems and premature death.

Dr. Larimore suggests that your family focus on five things:  better nutritional choices, an increase in physical activity, eating meals together as a family, better rest and recreation habits, and wiser media choices.  For more specifics, go to

Thanks for writing Paul.  If you have a question for me about family issues or Christian living, just click the “Questions” link on the Family Expert page.

CLICK HERE to listen to the audio version of this post.

Drinking Milk as a Kid May Pay Off Big Time Later in Life

Drinking milk as a kid can have life-long health benefits. In fact, according to new research, it can improve physical ability and balance in older age.

Medical News Today reports on a new study that found an increase of about one glass of milk a day as a child was linked to a 5% faster walking time and 25% lesser chance of poor balance in older age.

The researchers say this could have major health ramifications, as the number of adults over 65 is expected to reach more than 70 million by the year 2030, doubling over just 30 years.

A team of British scientists used historical diet records from two large studies to look at the childhood habits of more than 1,500 men ages 62-86.

They measured the impact of diet, specifically milk, protein, calcium and fat intake, performance and mobility later in life.

They researchers found that childhood calcium, protein and milk intake were all associated with advantages in mobility later in life.

Interestingly, childhood milk drinkers were also likely to be adult milk drinkers, demonstrating the importance of establishing lifelong healthy habits.

As you may have heard me mention last week, in addition to drinking milk, nutrition experts continue to stress the importance of starting the day with breakfast.

Other studies show that milk drinkers and breakfast eaters have more nutritious diets than non-milk drinkers and breakfast skippers.

Currently dietary guidelines recommend two glasses of milk a day for toddlers , 2.5 cups for children ages 4-8, and 3 cups a day for teens and adults.

I’m Bill Maier for Shine.FM.

CLICK HERE for the audio version of this post.

How To Boost Energy Levels