Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Just for Mamis: Caress Your Style

Now that summer’s here, all of us are shedding those hot bulky sweaters and long pants that we used to keep us warm. Instead, we are fired up to throw on some shorts and tank tops, sundresses and swimsuits to cool us off in the heat of the day. Now that we’re showing off a little skin, some of us could probably use a little help. ¡No te preocupes – it’s Caress to the rescue!

This summer, Caress has launched its new Skinwear Collection of body washes and beauty bars to help us get gorgeous skin right out of the shower. They have the yummiest products, like the Evenly Gorgeous Exfoliating Body Wash and Beauty Bar which has burnt brown sugar and karite butter that gently exfoliate and lusciously moisturize, revealing sensually smooth skin that’s even toned and polished to perfection. Or how about my favorite, the Cashmere Luxury Silkening Body Wash which contains the lavishness of white orchid milk and warm vanilla essence that leaves your skin feeling undeniably soft and luxurious. Want something a little more exotic? The Moroccan Exotic Oil Infusions Body Wash entices your skin with cassis cream and starflower oil, leaving it enchantingly smooth.

The new Skinwear Collection has five other fabulous body washes that delight the senses and leave your skin supple, smooth and sumptuous.

In addition, Queer Eye’s fashion expert, Carson Kressley, has teamed up with Caress to show you the season’s hottest styles and how flaunt them with skin as the centerpiece of their look. Check out Caress’s newly launched site – www.caressyourstyle.com – to read Carson’s latest tips for this summer’s fashions and get a coupon for your Caress bar or body wash while you’re at it!

The site also allows you to create your own "Virtual You" by choosing your skin tone, hair and eyes. Then you can dress your virtual self up in some of the season’s hottest styles. New outfits and accessories are being added regularly. Seriously, who wouldn’t love this?

So get over there and have a beauty blast!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Get the Kids Off the Couch with Outdoor Activities!

As we all know, eating healthy is just one part of combating childhood obesity. Exercise is also super important. But how do we get kids to turn off the TV and get off the couch? As parents, our job is to not give them a choice! But it does take a bit of preparation and effort on our part, in order to avoid pouting and tears. Have activities and crafts planned out ahead of time, or sit down with your kids and plan stuff together. Good practices start early, so if your kids are young, now’s the time to mold their lifestyle into a healthy one. To help you all, below is a list of some excellent web sites with outdoor activities and indoor crafts to keep your kids busy during the summer and on weekends.

First of all, my favorite site is The Magnifying Glass: An On-line Nature Journal. This blog is written by two moms, both of whom are raising 3 young boys. But even if you have niñas at home, this site is an awesome resource with descriptions of fun-tastic and educational outdoor activities for children.

OutdoorActivitiesForKids.com is another super site that is just filled with games and activities that kids can do outside. From backyard bowling to betting on bug races, to hosting a mini-Olympics, this site has some great ideas. They have even categorized activities by age (2–6 or 6-10) and number of participants (alone, group, party, etc.)

I just found the Boomerang! blog which provides a lot of ideas on ways to connect with your family over projects. They are also the founders of Boomerang! an audio program for kids ages 6 –12. In each hour-long episode, the Boomerang! kids present stories about big ideas: science, current events, history, economics, poetry, geography, jokes, mysteries and more.

KidsOffTheCouch.com offers a weekly newsletter that takes kids’ favorites - books, movies, music - and combines them with family activities to get kids off the couch and away from the TV.

Because Latin Baby is dedicated to the health of our Latino children, we have created a special section in our Book Club Shop where you can purchase books that are filled with great ideas for outdoor activities. Here are just a few titles that are listed in our shop:

501 Tv-free Activities for Kids by Penny Warner

Kids Camp!: Activities for the Backyard or Wilderness by Laurie Carlson, Judith Dammel

Green Thumbs: A Kid's Activity Guide to Indoor and Outdoor Gardening by Laurie Carlson

Outdoor Activities for Kids: Over 100 Fun, Practical Things To Do Outside by Care Bradley

Yoga Games for Children: Fun and Fitness with Postures, Movements and Breath by Danielle Bersma, Marjoke Visscher

I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature by Jennifer Ward

Monday, June 8, 2009

Resources for Combatting Obesity Among Hispanic Children

In this year’s June issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, a study was published noting that the "prevalence of overweight in the US population is among the highest in Mexican-American children and adolescents." Among other factors, this figure is attributed to poor diet, sedentary lifestyles, and low socioeconomic status. In a recent (and completely unrelated) news interview (I forget which one) a nutritionist was quoted as saying that grandmothers really did know best when it came to diet and meal planning. She went on to say that any grocery store products with more than five ingredients listed on the label might as well just be chucked in the trash, because those other unpronounceable ingredients tend to be preservatives and/or sugars.

So to help all you mamis out there, I have put together several resources to help you with meal planning….

First of all, if you haven’t read the book, Gordito Doesn’t Mean Healthy, by Claudia González and Lourdes Alcañiz, then you should. It is a wealth of information for parents looking to prevent and manage obesity in their children. Many Latinas have a deeply imbedded belief that a chubby baby is a healthy baby. In all that chubbalicious glory, they see a baby who is well-fed, lavished with love and affection, and a symbol of a mother’s excellent care. But research shows that more children are developing health problems such as diabetes (on average, Hispanic Americans are 1.9 times more likely to have diabetes than non-Hispanic whites of similar age,) high blood pressure, high cholesterol and eating disorders as a result of too much food intake, poor diets, and lack of exercise. This book includes the Latino-Hispanic Food Guide Pyramid (which includes traditional foods like jicama, papayas, corn tortillas and avocado) to guide Latina moms with photos of food portions appropriate for children. It also has a section on Latina mothers and breastfeeding facts that debunks myths. Menu suggestions for newborns to 19-year-olds are also inside. To purchase your copy, check out the Latin Baby boutique here.

Another super resource is the Latino Nutrition Coalition web site. It has recipes, health statistics, and regular updates about health issues affecting Latinos, as well as free education materials in Spanish and English like the downloadable bilingual shopping guide.

Many Latina moms who are second, third and even fourth generation Americans, have the additional challenge in that they have lost family recipes and are less likely to cook traditional wholesome dishes. For those of you looking for more traditional recipes that reflect our cutura, there is a variety of blogs passing along these tasty meals.

One of my personal favorites is A Little Cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate . . . And More: A Girl's Guide to Cooking Mexican Food Just Like Her Abuelita. Whew! A long name for a most delicious blog imparting recipes along with beautiful photographs and witty, charming stories rich in cultura.

The Panama Gourmet, Chef Melissa De Leon, also has a delightful site – www.CookingDiva.net - full of recipes from Latin America. Note of Caution: If you’re like me, you may gain 10 pounds just sitting and reading her oh-so-yummy recipes!

Next is Laylita’s Recipes. Filled with Ecuadorian recipes, her blog will immediately make your stomach growl and your mouth water. Her pictures are divine and entice you to run out and buy ingredients - even if it is 3 am!

Spain-Recipes.com offers a wonderful compilation of recipes from all over Spain and they even categorize them as to the dishes typical to each region. WOW! If you are an Española, get over there now! I almost cried when I found the one for croquetas de jamón…

For some excellent Peruvian dishes, check out Canela y Comino, Fighting Windmills blog and Dawn on the Amazon Captain’s Blog. Some super, wonderful recipes along with great stories.

From Argentina With Love will melt your soul with her Dulce de Leche recipes. Who knew there were so many things you could make with it? Rebecca’s blog is a beautiful thing – I’m not from Argentina, but I sure wish I was after reading it!

For the most sabroso Colombian dishes, be sure to dive into My Colombian Recipes. In addition to her wonderful recipes, Erica also gives you ingredient sources and even vegetarian dishes!

Even though he just started his blog in January, everyone seems to be raving about Eric Rivera’s Cooking Blog… and after looking at his Puerto Rican recipe for mofongo served with a sofrito soup broth, I totally understand. Too much work for me, but easy fun for a 27-year-old Puerto Rican culinary school student, I guess!

New to cyberspace is the Tiki Tiki Blog, written predominantly by four Latina moms. Already the gazpacho, churros and salsa fresca recipes are flying, but you can also find links here to their personal blogs, such as Marta Darby’s My Big Fat Cuban Family, which features a healthy dose of Cuban recipes.

In the next post, I’ll share my list of favorite books and blogs to help get your kids off el sofa and corriendo y brincando, climbing and exploring.

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