Jeannette BessingerJeannette Bessinger, Board Certified Holistic Health Counselor and owner of Balance for Life LLC, is a co-author of the upcoming book Whole Life Nutrition A Simple Approach to Nourishing America's Busy Families, and the meal and recipe designer for the Dr. Jonny Bowden’s The Healthiest Meals on Earth 50 Recipes and Why You Should Eat These Foods (release: spring of ’08). A motivational speaker and health/nutrition educator, Jeannette regularly gives talks and classes to businesses, corporations, non–profits, wellness centers, hospitals, colleges and faith–based organizations with an interest in wellness and disease prevention. Jeannette has provided services in health education and prevention for individuals and groups in a wide variety of venues for fifteen years. Her professional specialty is the development and facilitation of unique, effective lifestyle change programs targeting complex health and wellness issues such as obesity, chronic stress, family balance and disease prevention. Creator of the Whole Life Nutrition™ approach to health improvement, she currently runs these successful lifestyle change programs in both hospital and holistic settings. Jeannette acts as a lifestyle health consultant to several public and private groups and coalitions working to improve the health of schools and cities. She was a lead investigator and strategist on a citywide assessment and intervention plan for obesity funded by the RI Department of Health. She also designed and facilitated an obesity prevention program for Head Start with a grant from the American Association of Pediatrics. A graduate among the first class of women at Columbia College, Columbia University, Jeannette has pursued an extensive, multi–modal education in teaching, health and wellness. As a very busy wife and mother of two children, she understands first hand how challenging it can be to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle as a working parent. With a personal history of autoimmune disease and diabetes, she knows how vital it is to put your health first on your priority list. Much of the depth and practical nature of Jeannette's material arises directly from her own efforts to meet the challenges of balancing health, family and a lively career.
Jennet Bessinger: I'm Jennet and with Balance For Life, and we are making healthy breakfast. Right now we are going to do breakfast toasties, it's very simple but it's a wonderful way to get breakfast into everybody when they are on the run. You can start, if you have a lot of children you can make a sort of a station, because this could be fun to do, you can pre toast some whole grain bread, much prefer that to a white bread because it's a much higher quality, look for one that's high in fiber and low in sugar, you want the ingredients to say stone ground flour, or whole grain flour as opposed to enriched wheat flower which is more of a simple carbohydrate.
Once you have a stack of toast going, really it's up to you, you can be very creative so a couple of ideas are to add a nut butter, most kids like peanut butter, but almond butter is actually lower in fat and a little bit higher in protein. I like using a raw or toasted version, just give a couple of quick swipes to the toast. If your kids enjoy things sweet you can chop up a little banana, banana is high in sugar it's a tropical fruit, but if you use a small amount of it, then it really becomes a healthy sweetener. Just arrange them artfully on the toast, again very simple and you can punch it up a little bit with just a pinch of different spices, you like to use cinnamon or even cardamom, it's an Indian spice, it is a very sweet, just sprinkle it over the top, very quick and easy. If your children are younger you can let them do their own decorations. So, starting with the nut butter again, I'll get a good swipe of it there, you might want to do this part because it's a little messy, or they can do it if you don't mind clean up, a nice thick layer on there and then give them some options to choose from. So, you can have them even, make a toasty face so we have got some slivered almonds here, you can make a couple of eyes, turn it around to face you, you can make a couple of silly eyes, you can give it some sunflower, sunflower seeds for a nose, and then ofcourse raisins are always a favorite. Make a big raisin smile and you will find that your children really enjoy this and if you are trying them on new fruits, this is a good way to do it because if they handle it and they make the things themselves, they are much more likely to actually try it. Then the third thing if you want something more savory not quite so sweet, is to make a very simple grilled cheese sandwich. I like to add a little bit of tomato, sneak a little, tomato is actually a fruit, but it's not as sweet, sneak a little of that in there, So I just have one thin slice, cut in half and then I like to use an organic cheese because it doesn't have any growth hormone, it's healthier for you and a 2%, a little bit lower fat because there is some saturated fat in cheese, it's not as much of an issue for children, but if you are watching that just choose a lower fat version. Place it on your toast like this, I like to have it when it's crispy to start with a piece of toast so it's not so soggy underneath, but then you just place it into your toaster oven for a minute or so, a minute-and-a-half to melt it, and then it's ready to go, hot and ready. So, that's how you make breakfast toasties and next we are going to be making cold cereal, your own muesli. _.