WANT TO SEE BETTER REPORT CARDS IN 2018? Make Reading a Family Resolution Every parent wants to see their child do well in school, and there’s one fun activity that benefits students of all ages: reading. In a world with so much stimulation, however, it can be difficult to motivate kids to put down a screen and pick up a book. New Year’s resolutions are the perfect opportunity to make reading a priority. Here are a few tips to make 2018 the year your kids become bookworms. Make It a Family Resolution There’s no better motivator than solidarity! Plus, we’re guessing everyone in your household could stand to read a little more. You don’t have to read the same books or set identical goals, but it’s a lot more fun when everyone participates. Schedule weekly reading discussions so everyone can share the cool stories they’ve read. Stack your completed books in your house somewhere as a monument to all the knowledge your family has gained. Set Reward Milestones Positive reinforcement will propel your kids to keep reading long after the calendars have turned. For a certain number of books completed or hours spent reading, offer them a prize. You can even create a big end goal to really cement those reading habits. Better yet, set a combined goal that the entire family can work toward. Don’t be afraid to pull out all the stops. If your kids know that reading one book per week through June means an extra-special summer vacation, their enthusiasm won’t wane come spring. Use Reading Apps Goodreads is a social network for bibliophiles. You can find recommendations, share ratings, and create lists of both completed and to-be-read books. Users also create reading lists based on topic, genre, decade, and more. With over 2 billion books added, you’ll never run out of inspiration. Biblionasium offers the same services, but it’s designed specifically for children. Talk to other parents and create a network of friends and classmates. After all, nothing is cooler to a kid than what their friends are doing. Avid readers tend to do better academically from kindergarten through college. In fact, a study from the Journal of Education and Practice found that reading comprehension predicted success in other subjects more than any other factor. If you want to see improved report cards, make a reading resolution for your entire household.
Calorie-cutting diets have become a thing of the past. Instead of depriving our bodies of nutrients, we’ve turned to lifestyle changes. Losing weight and reaching a healthy nutritional balance isn’t easy, and a fewmonths of eating 1,000 calories per day just doesn’t cut it. Enter the Mediterranean diet, a lifestyle change that’s become quite popular and effective. This diet is inspired by the traditional eating habits of people in southern Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is a realistic and sustainable way to reduce disease-causing inflammation and lose weight, and it is one of the most heart- conscious ways of eating. The Mediterranean lifestyle promotes heart-healthy foods, including the following:
Fresh fruits and vegetables, especially leafy greens and non- starchy veggies
Wild-caught fish and seafood High-quality, pasture- raised poultry, eggs, cheese, goat milk, and yogurt Red meat, but only on special occasions Daily glasses of red wine
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Nuts and seeds
Legumes and beans Herbs and spices
Following the Mediterranean diet has many benefits. The Mayo Clinic credits this lifestyle with reduced incidences of cancer and Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. In addition, women who eat a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil and mixed nuts may have a reduced risk of breast cancer. But there are still a lot of misconceptions surrounding this lifestyle change. Many people believe it costs a small fortune. However, if you craft meals with beans or lentils as your main source of protein and eat mostly plants and whole grains, the Mediterranean diet is far less expensive than processed foods. Some Mediterranean diet enthusiasts may believe that if a daily glass of wine is good for your heart, then three glasses per day is okay, too. While moderate amounts of red wine certainly have unique heart benefits, drinking too much has the opposite effect. The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than 5 ounces of wine daily for women and men over 65, and no more than 10 ounces per day for those under 65. Anything more is bad for your heart. But even if you switch over to Mediterranean-friendly recipes, your work doesn’t stop there. It’s also important to mirror the other ways Mediterraneans live their lives. When it’s time to eat, don’t rush or watch TV. Sit down, relax, and enjoy a leisurely meal with others. And of course, get plenty of exercise.
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