Where will my kids and I get our much needed protein?
We are living in what we call a “high-protein-food-fad”, which means that everywhere we look, we are being bombarded with messages of MORE PROTEIN. The truth is, we don’t actually needs as much as we are being sold (none of the top 10 diseases come from lack of protein). According to USDA guidelines (which even those are high), we need about 1/3 of our body weight in grams. So if you weigh 150 lbs, you would need about 50grams of protein. This is easily achieved by following a nutrient-dense plant-based diet. Did you know that ALL plant foods have protein! In fact, there is more protein pre calorie in spinach than in a steak. So go out and indulge in the wonderful plant sources of protein such as BEANS & GREENS!
If I can’t afford to buy organic, how concerned should I be?
This is a good place to use a GOOD, BETTER, BEST mentality. Yes, 100% organic is BEST (we think growing your own is IDEAL), but it may not always be feasible or economically possible. So in this area simply do your best. If you had to pick and choose, we thought it would be helpful to at least know which ones are more beneficial to buy organic. (I will enter a chart of the “Clean 15” and the “Dirty Dozen”). Please note: it is WAY WAY better to eat lots of fruits and vegetables (in any form) than to avoid them for fear of herbicides and pesticides. The nutrients that you receive far out-weigh the dangers!
DIRTY DOZEN (those found to have the most pesticide residue):
Peaches, Apples, Sweet bell peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Pears, Grapes (imported), Spinach, Lettuce and Potatoes
CLEAN FIFTEEN (those found to have the least pesticide residue):
Onions, Corn, Pineapple, Avocado, Asparagus, Sweet peas, Mangoes, Eggplant, Cantaloupe (domestic), Kiwi, Cabbage, Watermelon, Sweet potatoes, Grapefruit, and Mushrooms
What about fats? Are they healthy or not?
Fats are an important part of a person’s diet, especially a growing child. But remember, not all fats are equal. You want to make sure that you are consuming “healthy” fats in their most natural form. The best source would be avocados, nuts, seeds, coconuts, olives etc. These things WHOLE FOODS should be a regular part of your diet. Keep in mind however, that moderation may be important here. Fats are high in calories and so a little goes a long way. Also, healthy fats are wonderful for people of healthy weight (and those looking to gain weight). If you, or your child, are NOT at a healthy weight, fats should be used very sparingly until you have reached a healthy weight.
Without meat & dairy how what do I feed my family?
We have been so accustomed to the Standard American Diet (S.A.D.) that for some, it is unfathomable to make a meal (particularly dinner) without meat. Trust us, we’ve been there! The first step is to change your thinking! A plant-based meal can be delicious, filling and completely satisfying, but if YOUR BRAIN still says it needs meat, that is a mental challenge and not necessarily a physical one. It may take time, so ease into if you need to. Keep in mind that baby steps yield baby results, and studies prove that people stay motivated by big results (which means BIG steps). In the beginning, simply try to make a few dishes a week that are free from meat and dairy. Pay attention to how you feel, and beware of “toxic hunger” (that tricky little voice that has you aching for the junk – it WILL PASS J) We’ll be here along the way, giving you tips and yummy recipes to make the transition. The goal is to LOVE the FOODS that LOVE your BODY. Here are the new 4 food groups (that have endless, delicious, possibilities).
Without MILK will we get enough CALCIUM & Vitamin D?
When you eat a WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts & seeds, it is IMPOSSIBLE not to obtain sufficient CALCIUM. In other words, your family will receive CALCIUM the same place cow’s do- from PLANTS. Everything that grows from the ground has calcium in it. Green vegetables are some of the best sources of calcium.
Along with calcium, another nutrient that is needed is VITAMIN D (the sun vitamin). It is important to assure that your vitamin D requirements are met sufficiently. Experts like T. Colin Campbell teach that our bodies can make all the Vitamin D that we need simply by being in sunlight fifteen to thirty minutes every couple of days. If Vitamin D is a concern, look for products that are vitamin-D fortified like soy milk or a vitamin D supplement.
Eating a WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED diet provides the optimum nutrition for a breastfeeding mother and baby. Eating this diet supplies mommy and baby with all of the essential nutrients needed during the critical first few years. Consuming fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts can play an extremely important role in the healthy development of your child. Eating plenty of plant foods, drinking enough water and receiving sufficient rest allows for plenty of milk and a happy, healthy baby!
Why should I change? What are the benefits of a whole food plant-based diet?
The benefits of eating a clean diet are ENDLESS! A few that are noticeable off the bat: weight loss!! Stronger nails and teeth, shiny hair, clean healthy glowing skin, more energy, better sleep, less aches and pains (yes headaches can go away!!). Then you start to lower your risk of disease: CANCER, HEART DISEASE, DIABETES!!! Also you may notice that your kids don’t catch (or stay sick long with) the seasonal cold, flu, and even allergies! Eating a whole food plant-based diet can affect how your children behave and perform in school. It can increase their ability to concentrate and learn. There are studies that prove when children with ADHD change to whole food plant-based diet they have significant improvements in their behavior.
*Keep in mind that if you are switching to this diet from a traditional American diet, your body will have a hard time and possibly even get very ill as your body is ridding itself of all the toxins. Be patient, stick with it for at least 3 weeks, and you will be shocked at the improvements! A fun thing to do, check your blood pressure right before you switch, then every week for a few weeks and watch it drop!! It will keep you motivated!
What if my kids simply won’t eat this way?
Take them shopping with you, show them some GREEN veggies, and let them choose one or two items they are willing to try that week. Pick out recipes and let them help as much as possible! The more involved they are, the more likely they will be to try them. Also take it slow, don’t run to the store and buy all the green things you can find and make them eat. We don’t want them to resist this whole idea of healthy eating and rebel in the future. Have them try one or two bites of the new food and keep some familiar foods on their plate. Introduce one to two new items a week if they are resisting.
Another fun idea: Our bodies want good foods, it makes us feel good and happy. Start pointing out the mood changes you see in your kids. When they are feeling too tired or extra grumpy, (maybe even and upset stomach) help them trace it back to what they ate that day or in the last few hours. Then when they eat good food and feel happy and energetic, compliment them and remind them what they ate. They will start to recognize these things on their own and want to feel good. They will start making better choices.
Now for the tough LOVE part: You set the example!! If mom and dad are eating it, then they will eventually want to try it. The younger your kids are the easier this method is. Even in older kids, they are watching you and if you are making the "yucky face" after a bite of asparagus there is no way they will put a bite in their mouth!
**The kicker: YOU BUY THE FOOD! They have to eat what is in the fridge/pantry. You have the power to change your family! Take a stand! We got your back!!
Can you give me any suggestions for good snacks?
Raw fruits and veggies always make a great snack in season. If your kids protest the idea, just try slicing up and set it out for them. Serve them in fun colorful bowls or on a picnic blanket on the floor! Try to make snack time fun for them especially if they are trying new foods.
Some favorites: Apples and celery with peanut butter/nut butter. Having hummus on hand always makes for a quick after school snack. Anytime dip can be made and stored in the fridge for a week or two (without the avocados). Also a smoothie on a hot day makes for a great snack, the kids love the chocolate almond green smoothie!
Now for you: It’s important to plan ahead for snack time so you don’t start grazing and find yourself in the chocolate chip bag! Try to make extra and store in the fridge for quick access on those busy days.
Breast-feeding should be continued as long as possible to maximize the health benefits for both the baby and the nursing mommy. We strongly recommend breast feeding be continued at least a year and preferably 18 months – 2 years. If you decide to wean before the 12 month mark, we suggest using a DHA-supplemented formula, not soy milk or cow’s milk. We suggest breastfeeding as long as possible, giving your baby the DHA, fat & nutrients it needs. After which, slowly wean to a mixture of soy and nut milks or just plenty of water and nutrient dense green smoothies.
*Please feel free to email us with any questions you might have. We will do our best to answer them or point you in the right direction.