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!
Twice Cooked Golden Potatoes (with Dill &Garlic)
12-14 Small Golden Potatoes
1-2 TBSP Olive Oil *optional
1 TBSP Dried Dill
1/2 TBSP Onion powder
1-2 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and pepper to taste
Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water for about 15 minutes or until tender. I like to do the "poke with a fork" test. Once tender, remove from water. Cut in half and place skin side down on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Use a fork to smash the halves more open. There is no art to this and it doesn't matter how flat it becomes, the more potato exposed the more crispy it gets. YUM! Next Drizzle with olive oil. Then mix together the spices and sprinkle on top of the potatoes. Place in oven and broil on high for 10-15 minutes, until the tops are golden crispy brown. Remove from oven and serve warm. They will smell so good you will want to chow down immediately, but be careful not to burn your mouth! Enjoy. These are going on my holiday meal tradition list for sure!
I posted a picture of the lunch I made the other day on instagram. It was a very simple meal. See pic below. I received a few comments that got me thinking. People are amazed that my kids eat this way or they wished their kids would eat something similar.
Veggie Sandwich (avocados, hummus, spicy mustard, cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, toasted whole grain bread)
Strawberries, peppers, cucumbers, baby tomatoes
We have written posts on here about helping kids make healthier choices or way to get them on board, but what it really comes down to for me is this: I am in charge! I know for some that may seem too simple or maybe too harsh. And believe me, I know that doesn't work on all children. The reality is I am buying the groceries so I am the one making the choice for them on what they can and will eat. I also have to be willing to eat the same way I expect them to eat.
Meal time at my house usually sounds like this, "what's for dinner?" I reply explaining what I am making. Most of the time I get a positive response from a few of my kids, but we have our fair share of "why?" Or "We had that last week" maybe even a pouty "Do I have to eat it?". To all of these responses I will say something along the lines of explaining what is in the meal and asking them to pitch in with part of the cooking process (which they LOVE), and then on days where that doesn't work. I will remind them we do not have whining or complaining about food at our table and my kids know it. It is not something new. I tell them we eat and are grateful to have food on our table, even if its not our favorite food. They know I am not backing down. Some nights we play the numbers game, 3 pieces of steamed broccoli or 10 big bites of your meal. Eat as many bites as your current age. There are little tricks here and there that I will use to help them along, but my kids know that I am in charge and I am not going to let them complain until they get to make something else. I had the opportunity to spend several months in a third world country when I was younger, I know what starving looks like. I have seen kids more than grateful for one meal a day. I have a hard time seeing my own children complain about a healthy home cooked meal made with love. So my approach has very little room for compromise and my kids have been raised that way. They have some liberties to swap this veggie for that one, or pick their fave toppings for the salad. When all is said and done, I am the boss! I am the one who is responsible for these little people and helping them to grow up happy, healthy, and grateful.
I am not saying this is how everyone needs to do it! I know that when first starting out on this path, it is so hard to get kids to appreciate any new food. Be patient with them and yourself. Baby steps, but set some rules and stick to them. (one bite of each new food, or only add one new veggie a week and make it each night. Those little taste buds will soon appreciate the new flavors).
How do you get your kids to eat healthy??