Hydrating Foods

Jodie Parus, RD, LD

Staying hydrated during the scorching summer months is vitally important. Doing so will help you avoid exhaustion, dizziness, muscle cramps and headaches, while contributing to a beautiful summer glow for your skin.

You’ve probably heard that you should aim to consume at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example a 150 pound person should consume 75 ounces of water each day. In the warmer summer months, you may need to boost that number to somewhere between 3-5 liters, depending on your activity level and time outdoors.

If you can just not fathom sipping that much water throughout the course of a day, choose some of the following super hydrating foods to help you hit your goal. They are all comprised of over 90 percent water!

• Cucumbers
• Tomatoes
• Zucchini
• Celery
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Broccoli
• Radishes
• Spinach
• Watermelon
• Strawberries
• Cantaloupe
• Grapefruit

Non-Food Rewards For Kids

Jodie Parus, RD, LD

Rewarding children when they do something desirable is a great way to encourage them to repeat the behavior. Unfortunately, the reward is often a sweet treat, such as candy or ice cream. There are plenty of non-food rewards that can be offered to support your child’s positive actions.

When food is offered as a reward, those foods are then thought to be more desirable than others foods. Also, children may not make the connection that food is fuel for their body and may come to expect a sweet treat after every achievement.

You can assist your child in establishing a healthy relationship with food and avoid any negative long-term consequences by opting for some of the following non-food rewards.

• Verbal praise
• Special outing to the movies, park, zoo, etc.
• Play date with friends
• Sleepover with friends
• A new book or toy
• A break from chores

Grilled Sweet Potato Fries

Difficulty: Easy

Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 10 min.
Total time: 10 min.


2 pounds sweet potatoes or yams, peeled, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, each slice cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-wide strips
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon local honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Additional olive oil


1. Prepare barbecue (medium heat).
2. Place potatoes in flat cooking sheet.
3. Add 1/4 cup oil, chopped fresh rosemary, brown sugar, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper to potatoes.
4. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and pepper; toss to coat.
5. Brush grill lightly with oil.
6. Place potatoes on grill, spacing about 1 inch apart.
7. Grill until potatoes are tender and slightly charred, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes total.
8. Transfer potatoes to bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve.

Roasted Tomato and Jalapeño Guacamole

Kick your guac up a notch by adding roasted tomatoes and jalapeños.

Difficulty: Easy
Total Number of Servings: 6
Serving Size: approximately ½ cup


2 small jalapeños
1 large tomato, chopped
2 large ripe avocados
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ¼ orange


1. Cut jalapeños into halves, removes seeds and membranes. Place the chopped tomatoes, along with the jalapeño onto a baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then chop the jalapeños.

2. Cut the avocado, add to bowl and mash, adding salt, cilantro, onion, juices and lastly the tomatoes and jalapeños.

Tips On How To Reduce Cortisol Levels

By: Dana Yarn, RDLD

It has almost become a cliché to be diagnosed with adrenal insufficiency or similar term. Adrenal insufficiency is related to excessive, sporadic, and/or low cortisol production. Some health professionals say that some practitioners use it as a “catch all” diagnosis. Regardless of what labs, or symptoms may reveal we all can be affected by stress and stress hormones and the harmful effects of insufficient cortisol.

Insufficient cortisol production can result in poor sleep, weight gain specifically in the abdominal area, excessive cravings for carbohydrates and sugar, low sex drive and inability to mentally focus. Stress hormone imbalances can increase risk for heart disease, thyroid disease, gastrointestinal stress and nutrient absorption.

By making small changes in your daily life you can offset the negative effects of a cortisol imbalance.

Stress hormone management strategies:

Reduce caffeine consumption. False energy from stimulants will only reduce the body’s ability to naturally produce adrenaline. Stick to 1-2 cups of coffee and/or tea daily, avoid chemically packed energy drinks and fat burning stimulant supplements.

Aim for eight hours of sleep per night. Give up some screen time and hit the sack. The difference between 6 and 8 hours of sleep is incredible. Studies have shown that those who sleep 6 hours or less will have elevated cortisol levels for the next 48 hours. 8 hours is enough time for your body to naturally repair from the days stressors. If you have problems sleeping consider supplementing with melatonin, a sleep hormone that can help the body fall asleep more easily.

Book a monthly massage. Massage helps naturally detoxify the lymphatic system. A massage naturally increases dopamine and serotonin levels, those “good mood” hormones that are also increased when playing and doing something that you truly enjoy.

Sleep naked. Sleeping in the buff has been shown to naturally reduce cortisol levels because it keeps you cooler allowing the body to produce adequate melatonin and growth hormone allowing the body to have proper rest naturally decreasing cortisol.

Cut back on the sweet stuff. Sugar can naturally increase inflammation and cortisol production. Reducing sugar especially from processed sources is one of the best ways to keep stress hormone levels under control.