I am late in finishing this blog.  Happy Belated Father’s Day to all the men in our lives! Let me confess that I did not even get Dave a gift for Father’s Day. Two weeks into my new job and I had allowed myself to be distracted by our recent move, wondering how I would go about finding a hairdresser (a decision like that is worthy of it’s own blog!), and getting myself back into the groove of a mom who tries to cooks 5 nights per week. Frustration number one, not knowing your new grocery store like your own house. It has been taking me twice as long to get half as much on my grocery list. Second, when I have been cooking, I can’t seem to remember where I unpacked everything! It would definitely help if I can find the cooking utensils when I need them.  Third, I now have some missing key ingredients/seasoning for cooking which I depend on since we had to empty the refrigerator and almost no liquid was able to be transported by the moving company.  More time in the new kitchen should hopefully reunite my eggbeater and I, and hopefully the muffins will be less dry, and my cooking back up to par.

To celebrate Father’s Day, I started the morning with green juice.  After using regular kale IMG_3446last week and admitting that it tasted rather rough in texture, bitter, and well, results in the making of an unattractive facial expression with each swallow, I made improvements by buying baby kale instead (Organic Girl brand). I add spinach to the baby kale as well as a tad bit of fresh ginger root. Another improvement was making sure there was plenty of green fruit to improve the taste factor, so green apple, honeydew, grapes, etc, and using water and not apple juice to reduce sugar content and acidity. After a thorough beating by the Vita Mix machine or your blender, enjoy. No question much bribing is required to get a 7 year old to drink it, adding ice to the blender and having a straw was very helpful to get Claire to take even 4-5 swallows of this gorgeous bright green super juice.

The reason this blog is titled “Getting Healthy is a Team Sport” is my appreciation for the fact that Dave has been so supportive of my resurgence of wanting to actively focus on improving our diet and activity level even more since our move to Orlando. I have promised myself that away from the cold weather, there are simply no excuses for not taking advantage of our new advantage of being able to be outdoors all year round, as well as the amazing opportunity to develop new routines. While never opposing or complaining of my decision for cooking and preparing healthy meals, with the exception of whole grain pasta and brown rice, Dave has truly been an active participant about having us drink green juice at least once or twice a week, and more if I insisted. It is so much easier to get Claire to drink the green stuff when her father and I have a united front and drink it in front of her as well as encourage her and explain that it’s healthy for her and we are all doing it. I think I will try to get Shiro the dog to have some too, since he seems to love green vegetables!

Just these past few weeks I have witnessed the importance of having all of us involved in any efforts to improve our family’s health. My family and yours are a team, and when it comes to eating, eating habits, and exercise, we can motivate each other by trying stuff together. No matter if it’s a new food, new activity, or simply going on a walk together, it just makes sense. Getting healthier through all these efforts has actually increased our awareness of time spent together, and make us appreciate the wonderful life we share. My most recent conversation with Claire about the importance of making healthy choices  involved a discussion about how she has to learn to think about how her stomach feels despite what her heart tells her, specifically, she loves chocolate and sweets but admits how not-so-great she feels often after eating such items.  I explained that moderation is key, and unless she thinks about her stomach and the potential consequences of what happens after her choices, she may continue to experience those tummy aches and “backwash” that she really does not enjoy.

I am very grateful that my “team” has been rejuvenated.  To avoid the intense humidity and heat, we were playing tennis at 730 yesterday morning, first 30 min with Claire than next 45 with Dave and I. I had forgotten how great it feels to start the day with a good sweat, then take a refreshing shower and enjoy the rest of the day feeling good about having exercised.  Follow that with a glass of emerald greed juice and well, enjoy the pride of knowing you are actively taking steps to improve your health and that of your family.  Go team!

Wei/Pankros Green Juice
2-3 cups of baby kale
1 cup of baby spinach
2 cm fresh ginger root (peeled)
1 cup cubed fresh honeydew
1 green apple
½ cucumber (removed seeds, or use English cucumber)
Handful of green grapes
2 cups of water
Few ice cubes

Blend until smooth

Dr. Julie Wei is a pediatric ear, nose, and throat specialist and the author of A Healthier Wei. As a mother herself, Dr. Wei is a passionate advocate for improving children's health through better diet and dietary habits. She has been committed to helping parents learn how to eliminate their child's ear, nose, and throat problems simply by reducing excessive sugar and dairy intake, as well as minimizing habitual late night snacking. She hopes to raise awareness for the need for accountability by both medical professionals and parents to ensure that children are not prescribed or take unnecessary medications long term.

When she is not in the clinic, operating room, or conducting research, you will find her in the kitchen preparing food with love along with her daughter Claire. If you sit next to her on the plane, she will likely share with you information about how to minimize choking hazards in young children, and many other tips for improving your child's health.