I am a mom of four young girls. I love to run and be active. In March of 2007 I tested positive for BRCA1, a known breast and ovarian cancer causing gene. I met with genetic counselors and was given the advice to have an elective mastectomy and oophorectomy to ensure my health. I knew that was the only way. We decided to have one more baby before the surgeries. We had twin girls in October 2008. I had many sleepless nights just waiting and wondering when the cancer would strike. In May 2009, after reading about a whole foods plant-based diet, ("The China Study" and "Eat to Live"). I decided I will not have the elective surgeries. For now, I will use nutrition as my drug of choice. It's empowering to have this knowledge, and to be in charge of my family's health! I am so excited to learn more and share with you!.
(Newbie and my whole food hottie!)
WELCOME and CONGRATULATIONS! You have decided to start a journey that will change your life forever. I applaud you! There are so many great things to learn and we are all here to help you on your journey.
I know that these first few weeks can be some of the toughest, I have put together a quick list tips to help you! These are tips I often refer back to that help me stay in the game!
- READ! Get your hands on some good books! There are many great resources out there. We LOVE Dr Joel Fuhrmans, “Disease Proof your Child” and “Eat to Live”. “The China Study”by T Colin Campbell saved my life.. literally! We love that man at our house! Use great resources like our BLOG and others that we have listed on our home page. There are a lot of like-minded individuals out there. Find them. Come back often for support!
- DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET OVERWHELMED with the idea that there is nothing I can eat! There are so many delicious healthy foods out there. Start by just adding a new veggie or fruit to your plate a week or every day if you are feeling adventurous! Next make the veggies bigger portioned. Allow your children to get use to these new foods one or two at a time. The last thing we want to do is overwhelm them which can push them away and cause them to resist.
- PICK A FEW RECIPES that you are willing to try and go shopping! I took on a Joel Fuhrman recipe and ended up going to three different stores making a gourmet dinner that we all choked down. (sorry Dr F) We were too new to this diet, it took several hours to cook, and then no one liked it! That could’ve taken me down, but my husband was super supportive and he helped me stick to it. I know that some of you out there will have limited support, so I suggest taking on simple recipes for your first endeavors. Here are some FABULOUS examples:
Find a green smoothie recipe that works for you, we have several on our site, here is our basic recipe:
- TAKE TIME TO TEACH YOUR KIDS why and how these new foods are helping their bodies function better. Explain the benefits to them. They will start to notice and feel the changes in their own bodies with your help. Allowing them to be part of the process makes them feel important and not forced into something by MOM (or Dad)! Let them pick the veggie for the night, take them to the store and show them the variety in the produce section. If they are old enough, let them help you chop and cook! The more they take ownership of the meal, the more likely they are to eat it!
-DO NOT GIVE UP! We have all been there and we know that it can be a battle on the home front when the steamed veggies hit the table. Be patient with those cute kiddies. We are doing it for them. We are here to help and encourage you along your journey!
If you have ever wanted to attempt banana bread this is the recipe for you. It is a no-fail super delish and gooey banana bread. The ingredients are simple and easy to find at most grocery stores, you might have to make a trip to a specialty health food store for the sugar (if desired). My 11 year daughter loves to bake up a loaf every time we have a few extra ripe bananas that I haven't had the chance to freeze for smoothies.
Gooey Banana Bread
4 Very Ripe Bananas
1 1/2 Cups Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
1/2 Cup Coconut Sugar (sucanat, or other sugar substitute)
2/3 Cup Coconut Oil
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice
Optional add ins:
1/4 cup Chocolate Chips
1/4 cup crushed walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease loaf pan with coconut oil or line with parchment paper.
In a large bowl mash together the bananas, vanilla, sugar, and coconut oil. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Mix well, then stir flour mixture into banana mixture until evenly combined. Add in optional ingredients. Pour into loaf pan. Bake in over for 40 minutes or until you can poke with a toothpick and it comes out clean.
I had the chance to be out of town for a few days with some girlfriends while my wonderful husband stayed home with my four daughters. It is so great for them to spend time together and always great for mom to take a few days to rejuvenate!
To my wonderful surprise my five year took over the kitchen and created her, as she calls it, "Famous Secret Recipe" which has recently been changed to "Special Recipe" because she loves telling everyone how to make it! This dish has become quite famous in the last month at our house. Now all four of my kiddos make it on a daily basis and even share with friends! It is so simple, yet so delish. Emily has converted many friends and even a few new neighbors have had the delightful chance to taste her special recipe!
Emily's "Special Recipe" Chick Peas
1 can chick peas, drained and rinsed
Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, add seasonings to taste. Each of my kids make it slightly different based on their taste buds and they munch on these while reading, watching a movie, or playing.
We also use these new recipe to top salads and they make a great center for lunches!