Healthy Eating

Why Is Nutrition So Confusing?

Eating is easy, eating healthy has become a full-time job. I love nutrition. As a health coach and fitness trainer, I’m constantly having conversations with people about food. My clients are educated people with the best of intentions for their health and nutrition, but everybody is confused about what exactly is good for them, and I understand why.

As a constant researcher of nutrition, I’m shocked by the toxic substances that are allowed in even our “organic” foods. The labeling is tricky, the ingredients are hard to say, which usually means they’re bad for you, but not always. We know red #40 causes everything from ADD to tumor growth, but food makers continue to use it. What??? And don’t even get me started on all the other food dyes (but, please check this out: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2011/02/24/are-you-or-your-family-eating-toxic-food-dyes.aspx). I get it, they’re trying to make money, but come on, at the expense of the American people? The good news is that we choose. We vote with our dollars, so every time you’re grocery shopping, remember that.

So, who is looking out for us? Who is allowing this? Why isn’t the control of these terrible substances regulated and kept out of our food supply? Aren’t we protected by the “powers that be?” The answer is a simple “no.” If you want to protect your family from the myriad of health problems food is causing, including death, you’ve got to educate yourself and your family. As parents, it’s our job to teach our children to become responsible people that can go out and function in the world. What’s the primary thing they need to function? Nutrition, and if they don’t know what that is, how can they be living life to the fullest? Finally, here’s the definition of nutrition in Medicine per dictionary.com, December 2014:

nutrition nu·tri·tion (nōō-trĭsh’ən, nyōō-) 
n.
1. The process by which a living organism assimilates food and uses it for growth, liberation of energy, and replacement of tissues; its successive stages include digestion, absorption, assimilation, and excretion.

So the next time you or your kids are about to drink a soda (20oz contains 16ish packets of sugar) or eat oddly-colored snack foods (the food companies refer to processed snack foods as “negative calories” because they’re designed to make you hungry for more junk) think about that definition, read the ingredients and ask yourself “How is this nourishing me and family?” Are those artificial sweeteners causing behavioral issues, are those artificial colors causing an inability to learn? Is so much sugar making it hard for your body to regulate insulin? These things are BAD and you don’t have to eat them. You choose what goes into your body and for the most part, that of your family. If you offer healthy foods, they’ll crave them, because that’s what the body needs. If we eat junk foods, we’ll crave those because they’re made to make you crave them with chemicals. Our nourishment comes from vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, eggs, ancient grains (gluten-free), and water. Don’t underestimate what nutrition can do for you and what  bad “food” can do to you. Help your kids grow strong, grow smart and become educated on what food means to them. This is how we can change the future of food, and thereby our world.

If you want more information on how the food companies are much more concerned about dollars than your health, please check out Pulitizer-prize winning author Michael Moss’s book, Salt, Sugar, Fat, it’s a real eye-opener: http://michaelmossbooks.com/books/salt-sugar-fat/. Remember that when a food is making a health claim, it’s not for your benefit, it’s just their marketing efforts.

Are you eating a nutrition-dense or calorie-dense diet? Can you feed yourself or your family without processed foods? Why or why not? I’d love to hear from you.

 

wellness

5 Changes That Could Save Your Child and Your Health

I often hear from friends and clients (I’m a health coach, fitness trainer and Pilates teacher) that their doctor has prescribed this or that medication for their child’s ADD, ADHD, autism, Asperger’s, allergies, asthma, anxiety, depression, etc. What if you could make HUGE improvements to your child’s symptoms and behaviors by cleaning out your pantry? Would you do it? It seems like a simple question and an obvious answer, but I’m confronted daily with the disconnect between our processed food environment and what’s going on with our health.

My 10 year-old son, James, was diagnosed with Asperger’s, Tourette’s and allergies when he was very small, but the diagnosis was wrong, he did have symptoms, but it wasn’t his body that was sick, it was our diet. James no longer has symptoms of Asperger’s or Tourette’s and he’s never taken any medication for those diagnosis. We’ve changed his life (and ours) forever, by simply changing our diet.

James was 18 months old when we began to notice him changing. I did not allow any of his vaccinations to be done on the doctor’s schedule, we did them, but on James’ time, not the pediatrician’s. Between 18 months and 3 years old he became more and more withdrawn. He had violent outbursts when he was unhappy, spitting, hitting, kicking, saying every bad word he could conjure (they were minimal, thankfully). His anxiety attacks were devastating. He reminded me of a spooked horse, unable to focus on anything but fear. It was heart-breaking to watch and I’ve never felt so helpless as a parent.

After James was born I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Looking back, I’m so grateful for that diagnosis. The medication offered to me had awful side effects that I couldn’t get past, so I found a holistic doctor. The doctor drew several vials of blood, informed me they would run some tests and said to stop eating anything with yeast or gluten until my results came back. Within about 48 hours the pain I’d lived with for 8 months subsided, just like that. And a side effect of this simple change was that my lifelong asthma vanished- never to be heard from again (10 years later).

At 8 years old, after a week long bout of Tourette’s “barking” and considering hospitalizing James to stop the Tourette’s episode, we opted to try cleaning up James’ diet. We took him off all simple carbohydrates (including grains). He ate only vegetables, fruits, meats, eggs and nuts. Within 48 hours his “barking” tic had reduced to a barely audible “chirp” that continued to improve as the weeks went by. James’ anxiety has vanished. He never has violent outbursts. He no longer has tics. He could not be a more pleasant, sweet, loving and endearing human being. He is my sweetest and easiest child (out of 3). It was a long road- but we are healthy and symptom-free, simply by changing our diet.

Here are the 5 things that made a HUGE difference for our family:

1) No gluten
2) No sugar
3) No dairy
4) No preservatives (like MSG, yeast extract, nitrites)
5) No artificial coloring

Processed foods are causing unprecedented illness. Will you try these changes in your home? What’s stopping you? Please- leave a comment and let me know how I can help you.