Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mixed Messages: Food Marketing and Your Family

Our video message this week is a continuation of exploring the role of screen time and other marketing messages on our health. Many times, media messages affect the way we act and make decisions without our even knowing it. Here are some ways that you can identify when that is happening and then create new behaviors to stop it in its tracks!


Track your screen time (and rack up valuable points) and other 95210 numbers every day at Members may now retroactively log 95210 numbers by clicking on the arrow next to each tenant to go to the previous day! Try it out today and keep logging!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Does TV Make Us Fat? Ways to reduce TV time (but still chill out together)

Is this family on their way to increased weight?
Family Movie Night! Make the popcorn (did you know you can air-pop it in the microwave with a paper bag?), put on your comfy clothes, and settle in for something fun that will erase away the stress of a busy day. Ahhhhh..... But wait! If you also spent time updating your Facebook page today, let your kids use the iPad to play Angry Birds while you waited for that doctor appointment, or had the television on in the background during breakfast, that movie might need to be a 30-minute program rather than a full-length feature. 

Why? Well, more and more research is showing that too much screen time increases the risk of obesity. Sedentary activities like watching television, using computers and smart phones, and playing video games burn few calories and replace time that could be spent being active. And, TV can actually promote obesity by encouraging us to eat more junk food based on the advertisements we see.

Did you know?

·      Studies that follow children over long periods of time consistently show that increases in television viewing lead to increases in weight.

·      Research reveals that children who have televisions in their bedrooms are more likely to gain weight than children who don’t.

·      Two studies that followed children from birth found that TV viewing in childhood is an accurate predictor of obesity in adulthood.

So how can you keep family movie night without contributing to poor health?  First, be choosy about what you watch on television and set a timer for video games.  Avoid commercials when you can, and fast-forward through them when possible to reduce their impression on our decisions. And, encourage your local television station to avoid placing advertisements for fast food products in programs designed for children.

Watching TV as a family is fun and can provide necessary downtime for everyone. But as in most things, too much of it can detract from the value it brings. Swap out one movie night for board games! Play charades and act out your favorite scenes from movies you love. Or, cuddle up with a great audio book and let your imaginations paint the scenes!  

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Raise Awareness through Food Logging: 3 Easy Ways

You've heard the advice before - keep a food journal to lose weight. It's popular advice for a good reason. People who log their food lose more weight and keep it off longer than those who don't. That's why 95210: Adding it up for Health is important. The awareness gained from tracking our numbers helps keep health at the top of our minds and makes it easier to make even healthier choices.

But food logging doesn't have to be tedious or time consuming. Here are three easy ways to build your food awareness at different levels of effort.

Awareness comes at many levels. Choose the right level for you and see your health improve as you continue to invest in it!

Next week we will learn about the impact of screen time on our weight. Until then, keep logging in every day at to track your numbers! Happy tracking! -->

Monday, February 18, 2013

Help! I don't like vegetables!

So you don't like vegetables. I know, I know. You were probably forced to eat them as a kid and now you're worried that to catch up to your veggie-loving friends you either have to be a foodie with access to exotic ingredients or start drinking green smoothies with kale and radishes and who knows what else in them.

Relax. If you enjoy cooking and green smoothies get you going in the morning, that's great! But if you don't, that's okay. This week we're going to cover some ideas for eating more green, even if you still consider ketchup a vegetable (sorry, it's not).  

Fruits and vegetables are the most health-promoting foods on the planet. They help ward off disease, improve immunity, and keep us full when we are trying to lose weight. And, the more vegetables you eat, the better. While eating vegetables doesn't guarantee that you won't get cancer, a recent study shows that individuals who increased their veggie servings from two to five a day significantly decreased their cancer risk. Its enough to get me to open up and say spinach! 

Here's how you can start liking veggies a little more:

1. Eat the ones you can tolerate. Baby carrots, corn on the cob, green beans...these dinnertime staples might not be fancy or fashionable, but they have bona-fide health benefits that shouldn't be ignored. Start with the foods you like, and give your tastebuds a chance to get used to new flavors. Then, start branching out into one new veggie every week or so.

2. Use dips and spreads to add flavor. Dipping raw vegetables into a small amount of healthy salad dressing (*ahem* a small amount of healthy salad dressing) can add flavor to veggies and make them fun for kids to eat. Hummus and natural peanut butter are also great dips and spreads. Keep calories in check by limiting your dip to two tablespoons, and if you need help determining what a healthy salad dressing might be, try out Newman's Own Creamy Balsamic.

3. Add veggies to dishes you are already making. Top whole wheat pizza with green peppers, mushrooms, chopped tomatoes, and black olives. Toss some zucchini into your spaghetti sauce. Mix spinach into your hamburgers. Look for opportunities to blend vegetables into your day, and before you know it, the new flavors will become something you look forward to.

Get more ideas for incorporating vegetables into your day in this video. And, continue to login and track your numbers at 

Now get a rainbow every day!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Staying Healthy and Organized with Food Prep

Sometimes it seems like eating healthy would be a lot easier if everyone would just press "pause" on themselves and let us get organized for a few minutes. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just wake up in the morning and find a neatly stocked fridge, pre-packaged snacks and meals, and everything we needed for a healthy day at our fingertips? Believe it or not, that can happen with just a little time prepping food on the weekends so that the rest of the week runs smoothly.

This video provides some quick tips for food prep!

If you want even more convenience, consider one of our local businesses that offer healthy food delivery services. EZ Meals and Flex Foods are two locally-owned companies that will prepare and deliver a variety of wholesome meals customized to your tastes and needs at the frequency you determine. Check them out and give them a try, and please tell them you heard about it from 95210: Adding it up for Health!

Getting and staying organized isn't always easy, but it does pay off. Try reserving just one hour on a weekend, perhaps while watching television or catching up with your kids, to chop fruits and veggies, portion out 100-calorie snack packs, and grill chicken for dinners throughout the week. You'll be more prepared for healthy eating and make healthy habits more convenient!

Have a great week, and don't forget to login every day at to track your numbers!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tenet #1: 9 Hours of Sleep
Say whaaat? NINE hours of sleep? Oh, wouldn't that be a dream? I'll be honest: when I first heard that 95210 recommended nine hours of sleep, I thought there was no way that was possible in my life. Then I learned that the recommendation for adults was seven hours, which still seemed out of reach for a working mom of two young children who also wanted to exercise every day, spend time with my husband, and maybe even watch TV once in a while!

But, as I've learned more about the value of sleep, getting more of it has become a priority. Reading about this study on sleep convinced me that more shut-eye could do my body more good than I thought. Participants who slept eight and a half hours a night compared to participants who slept just five and a half burned on average 400 more calories per day. That's a workout's worth of calories! That is just one benefit of sleep. Others include improved academic performance for kids, better concentration and problem-solving skills, higher productivity at work, and just general happiness.

95210  is about awareness. So, this week make it a priority to become more aware of the sleep you are getting. Set an alarm on your phone for about 30 minutes before you want to get to bed to remind yourself to start winding down the day. Then, make a note of when you actually climb into bed and turn off the light, and when you wake up the next morning. It may be just six hours, or even less, but this week the goal is just awareness. 

Then, start thinking about what you can reasonably do to get to bed earlier. Here are some ideas that might help:
  • Start with the end in mind. What time do you need to get up in the morning? Count back eight hours and shoot to be in bed by that time. Just knowing what bedtime that would be will help it become more realistic.
  • Turn off television, computers, and phones an hour before your goal bedtime. You need sleep more than you need to know who the Bachelor gives a rose to!
  • Avoid exercising late in the day. Exercise does help us sleep better, but it takes longer for our bodies to slow down and be ready for restful sleep when we exercise too close to bedtime.
  • Determine what honestly, really, truly needs to be done before the day ends. Many times, what seems urgent in the moment doesn't matter much in the morning. Take care of the must-dos, and then clock out for the day. 
Become more aware of your sleep habits this week, and strive to improve them little by little. While you're becoming aware, read this article on the benefits of sleep. It will open your eyes to the value of keeping them shut! 

Don't forget! Log your 95210 numbers every day! Go ahead now:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Welcome to 95210: Adding it up for Health!

Welcome to 95210: Adding it up for Health! 

This 90-day health awareness campaign has been created by Working Well, Inc. through the COPE initiative to work towards the prevention of childhood obesity by becoming more aware of our sleep, nutrition, screen time, exercise, and tobacco habits. Over the next 90 days, we will learn about how 95210 can help make our families healthier!

If you haven't created your free profile at, do it today! Then start tracking your numbers! This video will explain how.

Soon, you will receive more wellness resources to put your family on the path to a happy and healthy 2013. For now, visit and get familiar with the site. If you have any questions, leave them in a comment below!