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!
This is a phrase that really causes me to bite my tongue in conversation with people about food. I am especially careful these days because I have moved to a new area and want to take my time scaring everyone away from inviting us over for friendly dinners. Ha ha. But really, "moderation in all things" will give you just that, moderation in all things. I see people who believe this statement who have arthritis in their hands and/or have to take several daily medications to maintain blood pressure or other things. That is true moderation in all things, they have moderate disease as well as the ability to eat what they want and justify it with that phrase. It's truly a handicap that for some reason as a society we have just accepted as a norm. I was there too, I always thought those that refrained from food were just a little but wacky, but now I see it very differently. I feel more accountable for the information I have and the ability that is gives me to take proper care of myself and my family.
I have to admit I have fallen further off the track than I normally allow. Since moving to an entirely new area and spending time with new friends, I have been trying to seem less uptight and more laid back about the foods my kids eat. Can I tell you what I have noticed in the last month? Grumpy, tired, and sick kids. Not sleeping well and not getting along like they normally do. Two kids with stuffy sinuses and coughing a lot. At first when I noticed this I thought I was just being too crazy and wanted to allow my kids to feel "normal" at their new school with packing fun treats and surprises in their lunch boxes. It has back fired on me big time. Totally not worth the moderation in all things from this moms perspective. Reality check hit hard this past weekend and we are getting back on track. GREENS AT EVERY MEAL! I let the kiddos take turns piecing their faves, but there is no exception! Be it lettuce, kale, broccoli, asparagus, brussel sprouts, snap peas, green beans, cucumbers, green peppers, cilantro, parsley, etc. They choose and we add it in.
It is actually very simple:
Breakfast: Green Smoothies
Lunch: Salads or veggie sandwiches with lettuces
Dinner: Sides with dinner or make the green the main event of your family meal
We have so many great recipes on our site to help you (and Me) get on track. It is especially important during this holiday season when we know santa is watching and we want to be on our best behavior. Its hard to be happy when our body is feeling grumpy!
Here is a great article from Jeff Novick about moderation in all things!
This delightful fruit has always been appealing to me with its beautiful vibrant red color that sparkles and glistens... but the darn thing is so hard to open that I usually pass it up. I mean really people, who has time for that "carefully cutting then soaking in water to gently pick out the seeds one at a time so they don't burst open" method? You are in luck, if you aren't one of the 1.5 million people who have already been enlightened by this next video then please allow me to share it with you! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this video that I found today that has forever changed my life and love for pomegranates! Please take a moment to watch this life changer: (plus the guy it pretty funny, well at least he thinks so, haha) And PS. Put on an apron before you try to work along with the video, I ruined a pretty white shirt today, he mentions the possible mess at the end.
A few of their health benefits according to one of my fave docs, Dr Joel Fuhrman:
Not only are pomegranates good for your heart and blood vessels but they have been shown to inhibit breast cancer, prostate cancer, colon cancer, leukemia and to prevent vascular changes that promote tumor growth in lab animals.3 Several in vitro studies have shown this remarkable anti-cancer effect. Additional studies and clinical trials currently taking place are hopeful to reveal this fascinating effect on humans.
Also of note, pomegranate juice contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression and increasing bone mass in lab animals.
Many studies show that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These clinical findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranate compounds and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health. This is one fruit that you can't afford to exclude from your diet!
This dinner came together surprisingly quick and the kids gobbled it up! Like I have mentioned in the past, I love to cook large amounts of grains and store them in the fridge for quick access. If you haven't started doing this, I highly recommend it!
Coconut Lime Stir Fry
2 cup cooked brown rice
1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered
1/2 cup chopped chives
1 cup black beans
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 lime for juice
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
salt and pepper to taste
Warm coconut oil in a skillet, cook squash and zucchini for about 3 minutes. Add in garlic and chives, stir together and cook for a few more minutes. Stir in brown rice, black beans, and lime juice. Serve over chopped spinach and allow the warm stir fry to lightly steam the spinach.
I listened to this video earlier this week and thought I would share :) It documents the amazing studies Dr. Dean Ornish has done to prove diet is the key to treating the cause of disease but how our country just doesn't get it...at least not yet!
My girls love to help me in the kitchen. We have a lot of fun, but they are getting to that age where they all want to try cooking and creating their own fun treats. This is one we came up with together. Its a good combination of a few other treats we have posted on here, but it was there favorite add ins. You can easily adapt this recipe to fit the flavors of your family, assuming you all like chocolate treats! Give it a try and let the kiddos make it there own.
Coconut Oatmeal Drops
2 cups oatmeal
1/4 cup coconut flakes
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1/2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tsp hemp seeds
2 tsp ground flax seeds
2 tsp sesame seeds
any crushed nuts or seeds your family enjoys. If you add in a lot of extras alter the amount of oats slightly.
Melt chocolate, coconut oil, and peanut butter together either on the stove or in the microwave. Stir in all remaining ingredients and evenly coat with the chocolate mixture. Scoop mixture into 1 tbsp size scoops on to parchment paper and cool in fridge or freezer for about 20 minutes. Store any left over in a freezer bag and store in freezer. Makes about 2 dozen depending on size. Great for after school snacks or lunch boxes!