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5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season

With the holidays quickly approaching, it's time to make plans! If you're like my family, your holidays center around food, mainly meat. (We love our pernil!) This year I want to have a more humane and healthy holiday by making sure I purchase antibiotic-free meat.  But, I want to go further than that and that's why I'm following these 5 Tips for a Healthy Holiday Season.


Don’t Get Tricked, Get Certified

Look for certifications that require better treatment, specifically Certified Humane, Animal Welfare Approved and GAP levels 3 and above. Take the ASPCA's label guide with you so you’re armed with facts.


Don’t Pay the Cost of “Cheap” Meat

Wellness Wednesday Recap: Heart Disease and Diabetes in Hispanics

We are continuing with a focus on Hispanic Heritage Month and this week, we tackled heart disease and diabetes. Two killers in the Hispanic community that can be prevented. Our guests included Es Tu Diabetes, Bay Area AHA & Sofrito Media Group

Here's the Storify...

[View the story "#WellnessWed: Heart Disease and Diabetes " on Storify]

100 Back to School Tips for a Healthy School Year!

As the school year gets into full-swing, and the inevitable chaos of new teachers, new friends, and new schedules ensue, we've counted down 100 tips to help you have a healthy back-to-school. Share your tips with us in the comments or with #GoodFoodForce on Twitter!

  • Tip 100: Kids are seeing healthier school foods this year! Encourage your kids to try them!

  • Tip 99: Healthy kids = team effort. Talk about healthy foods & behaviors with your kids.

  • Tip 98: Get excited about school lunch! Great video from @pewtrusts on why ->

  • Tip 97: Eat meals with your child when you can and let them see you enjoy fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

  • Tip 96: Try to join your child for lunch at the school cafeteria one day!

Federal Budget: How does it affect school lunches?

Last night Congress passed a clean Continuing Resolution which avoided a government shutdown and funds the government through December 11th, 2015. Since this was “clean”, meaning that there were no riders or changes to current policy, government programs will continue to be funded at the same level they were the previous year. No new budget was passed—this really just kicks the can for the mega negotiations around the budget forward a few months.
What Congress did not do though was pass or extend the Child Nutrition Act, which funds the school lunch and breakfast program, WIC and other child nutrition programs. Although technically the Child Nutrition Act expires today, there is no need to panic. Almost all of the programs, including school lunches, have enough money to continue to operate with no changes for the next few months. Hopefully by that time Child Nutrition Reauthorization will be under way, and the Senate and House Agriculture Committees will have reached an agreement on a bill. Again, the can has been kicked down the road a bit.
Of concern at this time is what will happen in December both around the budget and Child Nutrition Reauthorization.

Paternity Leave Empowers Dads to Help with Breastfeeding

Chinese University of Hong Kong recently implemented a policy allowing mothers breastfeeding breaks. The policy was criticized by an anonymous Internet user, claiming it’s “unjust to men.”
The post went viral and became the subject of a backlash from other Internet users.  Some said, “We’re sure the university would gladly apply the same break policy to any man who actually get pregnant, deliver the baby, and breastfeed.” 
Forget about the amusing (and silly) debate, a recently published Australian study said that man actually can—and should—help with breastfeeding. 
How many people does it take to breastfeed a baby? Dr. Jennifer Ayton, who lead the study, found the answer is closer to three people (mom, baby, and dad) than the traditional two of mother and baby.

Removing Roadblocks to Health

I’ve always been a healthy eater and pretty active.  Wait. Let me take that back. I’ve always been conscious of the food I put in my body and the exercise I was or wasn’t getting.  If I gained or lost weight, I usually knew the culprit (probably the same ones for you).  And I’ve dedicated my career to encouraging healthy communities. Whether through behavior change or advocating for system changes that impact health outcomes, health is always on my mind.


But, it’s hard. Being healthy and all, right?


It doesn’t have to be. What you’re about to read is not a post about motivation and working hard. It’s about removing roadblocks.  I truly believe we are all inherently motivated to do good, feel good, look good. But sometimes, that flow to get there is blocked.  Here are some ways I’ve opened up the flow to being addicted to healthy.


  1. Meditate. 5 minutes or 5 seconds. When I’m able to catch a few minutes of quiet, I like to meditate and allow my brain to just rest.  Sometimes I use guided meditations on podcasts, sometimes I use the quiet time in the shower.  


Chickens, Factory Farming and Food Labels at #FoodFri!


Over the years, chicken has become more popular than beef in America. The high demand has changed how chickens are farmed. This week we'll discuss how chickens, factory farms, and food labels affect chickens and consumers. 

RELATED: We've Got the Power!

Join #FoodFri on October 2, 2015, between 1-2pm Eastern as we chat with the ASPCA and learn more about the conditions of chickens, how food labels can be misleading, and more. 

Spread the word and invite a friend by clicking below.


Tweet: Join #FoodFri on 10/2 @ 1pmEST to chat Chickens, Factory Farms & Food Labels with @MomsRising @ASPCA. Details:


To join and follow the conversation on Twitter use the #FoodFri Hashtag in each tweet.

Sepsis Awareness Month: Rory's Story

When my son Rory died I met with a grief counselor. One of the first questions he asked me was, “Where do you feel the pain?” “I feel it everywhere,” I answered.  “It’s right here on the tips of my fingers. It’s in my toes, it’s in my head, it’s in my heart. I feel it in my stomach, I stiffen…it’s everywhere.” That was in April 2012, my son had just died from sepsis. Rory scraped his arm while playing basketball on Wednesday and even though we brought him to his pediatrician and a leading New York City medical facility, he was dead on Sunday evening, April 1st, at 6.30pm.

Ask Mayor Emanuel and Chicago City Council Members to tax sugary drinks!

Take Action

The numbers are shocking.

Did you know the average 8-year old is drinking 64 ounces a week in sugary drinks that may—over the years—lead to diabetes, obesity, and heart disease?

We need to do everything we can to reduce the amount of soda kids drink.

Join us in calling on Chicago’s Mayor and City Council to include a sales tax on sugar-sweetened beverages in the city budget!

By taxing sugary drinks, we’re promoting healthier choices as the better option. Thousands of Chicago families are suffering from largely preventable medical conditions linked to obesity. As the primary source of added sugars in our diet, sugary drinks—which include soda, sports drinks, sweetened waters and teas, energy drinks, and fruit drinks—play a big role.

New Texas Law Aims to Improve Treatment of Pregnant Women in Jail

A new law took effect this month in Texas to open a window onto jail conditions for pregnant women. This new Texas law is unusual because it requires the government to compile and make available detailed information about jail policies and practices.

Too often, when people try to get this information, they encounter roadblocks. People can file public records requests (also known as freedom of information act requests) but in a state like Texas with almost 250 county jails, preparing and following up on so many requests is a mammoth task. In states with weak public records laws, government agencies can charge exorbitant sums to deter people from seeking information.

“Operating in the dark”

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