Celeste McAteer

Certified Holistic Health Coach & COTA



Does your child ever get mad?

Do they seem afraid of something for no good reason to you? Do they throw tantrums, or negotiate with you until you give in? Some children do not have the vocabulary or understanding of how to express their feelings appropriately. As a parent or caregiver, know how you are feeling first. Behavior is a form of communication, so be in tune to the signs, like a detective, and learn to help them understand their emotions and prevent negative behaviors before they strike.

  1. Food changes everything! Current research indicates that every cell in our bodies serves in our overall emotional regulation, and that the brain acts as a central organizer of this information. Our brains communicate directly with all of our muscles, internal organs, skin, bones, blood and lymph fluid. Because nutrition affects every cell in our body – it affects our brain. Our brain uses energy to manage all of this organization.
  2. A child may have a poor self-awareness of emotions. Help them learn what emotions look and feel like. Make facial expressions and describe them. Share experiences of when you felt sad or excited, etc. (watching a game is exciting) (taking a bath is calming) (movies can be scary)
  3. Allow them to identify when they feel a certain way. Let them say how they feel or ask them, “are you excited, scared, nervous, sad, tired, happy, cranky, shy, sleepy, sick”?.  It is more important for them to identify how they feel than you telling them what you perceive. They need to recognize how they feel more than what others think. Practice playing with emotional words at different times of the day.
  4. Explain the fight for flight response. Help them understand it is an innate and automatic physical reaction that is activated in response to what they perceive as a threat or danger. We either want to run and hide and avoid a situation or fight to survive. They need to understand what a “real” threat is and that it is not happing “here and now”. This is important to control initiation of an over reaction. This distorted perception leads to over-reaction and escalation of negative behaviors.
  5. Anger and negative emotions are secondary to: hurt feelings, frustration, and/or feeling unsafe. So ask them how they feel and pay attention to what happened prior to their reaction. If they are feeling hurt, frustrated or unsafe, most likely it will cause a behavioral reaction. Talk about it.
  6. Try role playing, nicely. It can be a lot of fun, which leads to a great learning experience for everyone.
  7. Give your child an opportunity to collaborate.  Allow them to come up with ideas with you on what to do to help them feel better. This is a powerful force. Give them a choice of two things you need them to do and let them decide which one they will do. When it is there idea, they are more likely to conform.
  8. Validate feelings. Always let them know it is ok how they feel and you’ll work through it together.
  9. Make a chart of feelings and behaviors.  I use a variety of tools including activities to Integrate the Brain, the Alert Program and the Stop, Think, Choose method. See me for details.
  10. Do they seem sad or depressed? These feelings can suggest anger turned inside. Feelings of overwhelm can often lead a child to a shut-down mode and avoidance.
  11. Be safe.  Some behaviors are just not acceptable, like kicking, hitting, spitting or using bad words.
  12. Consistency is Key. Say what you mean and mean what you say, so there is no confusion. Consistent action over time makes the biggest change.

Healthy Family Fun, by Celeste McAteer, CHHC & COTA

Looking for something yummy, cooling and fun to do? 

I’d like to share this wonderful recipe and activitiy I discovered years ago. You can make it as the original recipe states or try my twist on an old treat. Easy and entertaining.

Years ago while on vacation with my family, I came across a recipe for Rock 'n Roll Ice Cream. It looked delicious and fun to do.  I copied the recipe to take home with me and decided to make it someday. We made it together as a family and loved it. We decided to make it again during a family party too. However, the second time around we had a little mishap. So I have the directions for the original recipe, some tips to avoid problems and alternatives for the health conscious person.

You’ll need: Friends, family, and about 20 minutes.

1 large coffee can (2lb 7oz)

1 small coffee can (1lb)

1 pint half & half (or organic half & half)

½ cup sugar (1/2 cup agave or ½ cup honey)

1 tsp vanilla

¼ cup rock salt

6-7 cups crushed ice


Make sure the cans are clean

In the small can, mix the half & half, sugar and vanilla. Cover tightly and for security place a few strong rubberbands around the lid and bottom of the can to avoid the lid from opening

Place the small can inside the big can. Add the crushed ice around and on top of the small can. Sprinkle the rock salt onto the ice. Secure the lid on the big can.

Here’s the fun part! Roll the can back and forth for 15 min or so. Be creative, do it outside on the driveway, on a large table (be careful not to drop it), or on the lawn! This is a great partner pass game and everyone can take turns. Do it to music, count the # of rolls, guess how long it will take and have fun with it.

Check to see how firm it is. Take the small can out to avoid getting the salt inside. Scape the sides of the can, stir the cream. If it needs to be firmer, put everthing back together and roll some more.

You can add your favorite flavors inside the cream before you roll or add themas toppings. What’s your pleasures? Cherries and almonds, peanuts and raisins, pistachio, chocolate chips, mint, dates and cashews, rasberries, peaches, etc. The list is endless when you use your imagination. Enjoy!

Juicing vs Blending: Find Your Ideal Summertime Green Drink

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Summer is fast approaching, which means many of us are starting to come out of our wintertime hibernation in search of lighter foods and fitness tips that will get us into bikini season shape. Smoothies and juices are nutrition-packed and super energizing, making them both great warm weather additions to your diet. 

Choosing between the two can be tricky, since each has its own undeniable health benefits. Whether you stop by the local juice bar or fire up your blender will depend on your personal preferences and requirements, as well as what you need at any given moment. Next time you’re asking yourself “to blend or to juice?” consider how smoothies and juices stack up against each other across these essential categories:

Troubleshooting Your Paleo Plan

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Are you one of the millions of people who are rocking a Paleo diet these days, yet not seeing any results in your body?  Let’s talk about some of the deeper reasons as to why you’re not making the progress you’d like, and what you can do about it. A number of causes could be at play, but here are some of the most common culprits:

You’re Toxic.  Because we women carry more body fat than men, we make better storage houses for toxins. Fat is where they like to hang out. And the more toxic we are, the more fat we store in an effort to dilute those toxins. Work with a nutritionally-oriented MD to get a workup done if you suspect you’re toxic.

You’re Intolerant.  In simplifying your diet and purging processed carbs from your pantry, you can overexpose yourself to staples like meat, eggs, and fish, and then develop intolerances to those foods. This can cause low levels of inflammation throughout the body, making it difficult to drop body fat. Eggs, nuts, soy, corn, wheat, and dairy are the most common allergens found in food, but make sure you rotate all your proteins, fats, fruits, and vegetables as much as possible to avoid developing intolerances.

7 Things You Didn't Know About...Spirulina

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Growing up, we had a small pond in the backyard. It was murky and bacteria-filled, and the thought of eating anything out of it was repulsive—which makes me wonder what younger me would think if she knew I pay a lot of money to eat pond scum now!

Spirulina, a single celled cyanobacteria (often mistakenly called a blue-green algae) that grows on the tops of ponds and is otherwise known as pond scum, is quite the superfood. While most people take it solely for detoxification purposes, more and more research is showing that its benefits reach much further than a detox.

Whether you've been using spirulina for years, or this is the first time you've heard of it, it's a truly fascinating superfood. Not only does it have unique and powerful health benefits, but it also has a long and interesting history, and has been used for a wide range of purpos—some of them pretty surprising!


Here are 7 things I bet you didn’t know about spirulina:

Meet Freekeh: The New Must-Try Super Grain

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Tired of rice? Bored with barley?  Does even quinoa or teff seem passé? If so, we'd like to introduce you to freekeh. Pronounced freek-ah, this little super grain is new to the West, but has actually been around for thousands of years. In fact, it was discovered in the Eastern Mediterranean region around 2300 BCE, and has been a favorite crop in Australia for many years. It’s only recently begun to pop up in U.S. health food stores, prompting many people to ask the question: So what is freekeh?

Unlike its celebrity sister, quinoa, freekeh is wheat, so it’s not advisable for folks with celiac disease. However, because it’s harvested while still young and green, it contains less gluten than other grains and may be easier for those with gluten intolerance to digest, according to Australian studies. This early harvesting also means that freekeh retains key nutrients and fiber, making it super nutritious.

The flavor of freekeh is very unique. The grains are roasted, which creates a nice crunchy texture and nutty flavor, different from any other common grains.

Now that you know what it is, you may be asking yourself why you should add freekeh to your pantry. Well, here are just a few of the many reasons :

The No-Equipment 15-Minute Pilates Workout for Beginners

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While yoga has been practiced for centuries in some cultures, Pilates is a relative newcomer to the fitness circuit. Named after creator Joseph Pilates, the system was designed in the early 1900s to offer resistance training and muscle toning for optimal health. It first caught on with ballet dancers as a way to stretch and warm up muscles, and then gained in popularity among people looking for low-impact, effective, and functional exercise. Through simple modifications to each exercise, you can make your Pilates workout as easy or as challenging as you like.

The health benefits of Pilates cannot be overstated. Some of the major ones include:

All-Natural Spring Cleaning Solution: Lemon, Vinegar and Baking Soda

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The weather is finally warming up and the flowers are blooming, which can only mean one thing: spring cleaning time is here! I have mixed feelings when it comes to spring cleaning. On one hand it feels so great to throw open the windows and scrub down my home from top to bottom. It’s a fresh start for the new season. On the other hand, home cleaning products can be very toxic and have strong, unpleasant odors. Even the all-natural brands leave my hands feeling itchy and dry.

This year, I decided to take a more natural approach to cleaning by challenging myself to clean my entire home using just three ingredients that I already had in my kitchen: lemons, baking soda, and distilled white vinegar. Though some nooks and crannies in your house might require you to use other cleaning products, these three ingredients do the trick almost everywhere else. It’s a chemical-free clean-stravaganza! 

What You’ll Need:

1 spray bottle filled with distilled white vinegar

1 spray bottle filled with half vinegar, half water

1 box of baking soda

6 to 8 lemons 

What Are the Signs I’m Eating the Wrong Diet for my Body?

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Hi, I’m Maria Marlowe, a Certified Health Coach and author of Detox without the Deprivation. This is my weekly “Ask Health Coach Maria” series, in which I answer frequently asked questions that relate to health and wellness. Have a question? Ask me here

Hi Maria,

I switched to a raw vegan diet about two years ago, and at first I lost a ton of weight and felt great. Now, though, I feel like I am starting to look older than I am, and while I’m thin, I don’t feel like I look “healthy.” Lately I’ve noticed that I have phlegm in my throat in the morning, which I used to get from drinking dairy, but now since I don’t drink dairy, I don’t understand why I’m getting it. What’s going on?! 

-Linda, New Jersey

Dear Linda,

Deciphering Diet Trends: What's Right for Me?

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Atkins. South Beach.  Jenny Craig. Weight Watchers. Gluten-free. Vegan. Vegetarian. That one my best friend is doing.

I don’t know about you, but for me all of these different diets, trends, and fads make my head spin.  And with all of the celebrity-endorsed books, it can be easy to fall prey to the age-old, “I’ll have what she’s/he’s having.”

While it’s important not to succumb to societal pressure to look a certain way, it is crucial for your health and overall well-being that you understand different dietary theories so that you can better understand your body and its needs.

I spent a long time navigating the “I’ll have what she’s having” diet, comparing the food on my plate and in my lunch box to what my peers were having.  My mind would be filled with questions like, “She has a salad every day for lunch and looks awesome, so should I be having a salad every day for lunch?” 

Green Cannellini Bean Dip

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I was pressed to deliver a green snack to a group of lower school kids for St. Patrick’s day, and having contributed guacamole one too many times, I made a DIY white bean dip a lot healthier by adding greens. I happened to have baby kale in my fridge, and this under-pressure mother took a chance that the kids would still eat it if it were green.

Apparently, St. Patrick’s day is our free pass to eating green. I say, take advantage, ladies, and boost your family’s foods now. You can stretch this out for at least a week or so (start with alien juice!) and use this as an excuse to go green with your kids (or spouse).

White cannelloni beans are a mild, high fiber source of protein, and adding tahini (ground sesame seeds) delivers a really nice boost of calcium for your kids and your own healthy bones. The kale offers more calcium, and dark leafy green goodness, high in antioxidants, and loaded with vitamins. This is a healthy fat, protein, and veggie all in one.