• Nutrition & Health.

    This is where my original journey began. I was starting to really examine what I was feeding my family and what was filling my pantry shelves. I was shocked to realize that the "healthy" foods I thought were benefiting my kids, were really laden with poisons and toxins. Something had to change.

     
 

Current Stats

  • The U.S. ranks 37 in healthcare
  • 75% of healthcare costs are from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes, prostate cancer, breast cancer, & obesity
  • 1 in every 4 American children is seriously overweight or at risk of becoming overweight
  • This generation of children is the first generation who will not outlive their parents

 

What's in our Food

  • The FDA has approved approximately 3,000 food additives, preservatives and colorings
  • It is estimated that the average person ingests 140-150 pounds of additives every year
  • These additives do not occur naturally or enhance our body's function at all
  • MSG: monosodium Glutamate- It is classified as an excitotoxin which can stimulate nerve cells to the point of death
  • MSG's often cause symptoms such as headaches, migraines, sterility, cancer, mood swings, depression, hyperactivity, asthma, heart irregularities and endocrine disruptions
  • Nitrites- found in packaged meats, some frozen foods, and some soups
  • Nitrites are banned in many countries and were supposed to be banned in the U.S., until the meat industry halted the initiative
  • Growth hormones and antibiotics have been found in conventional meats – these hormones may be the cause of early onset of puberty in girls- which can put them at greater risk of breast cancer

 

Carbohydrates and Sugars

  • The average American consumes 53 teaspoons per day
  • The body performs best with approximately 1-2 teaspoons of sugar in the blood stream
  • When "white foods" (white bread, white rice, and white pasta) douch the digestive enzymes in saliva, they turn into simple sugars.
  • Organic sugar is still sugar
  • Corn is the number one source of sugar products – corn syrup, high-fructose corn syrup
  • Sugar feeds cancer cells
  • Sugar impedes the function of the immune system
  • Sugar causes inflammation
  • Inflammation leads to heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and heart attacks
  • Sugar is the main reason for high cholesterol
  • The higher a carbohydrate is on the glycemic index, the quicker it turns into sugar
  • The number one source of sugar intake in America is soft drinks.
  • The average North American consumes an average of 120 pounds of sugar per year.
  • Refined Carbohydrates, such as flour, bread, and rice, turn into sugar almost immediately after putting them in your mouth.
  • Sugars promote yeast growth, lowers the immune system and alters insulin and hormone levels
  • Stevia is a good alternative sweetener, as well as Xylitol
  • Agave, Honey and maple syrup are far less processed than white sugar, but they are still sugar and will raise your blood sugar
  • Absolutely avoid all artificial sweetners!!!
    • Aspartame – Over 92 different side effects are associated with consuming aspartame, including brain tumors, birth defects, diabetes, emotional disorders and epileptic seizures.
    • When it is stored for extended periods of time it changes to methanol, which is an alcohol that converts to formaldehyde (need I say more?)
    • Splenda – although it comes from sugar, it goes through several dozen chemical reactions and chlorinated.

 

Low Fat Foods

I grew up in the "low-fat" generation. If something was low fat, it was much better for you. Especially if you were a developing teenager who wanted to stay slim. WRONG!! Since the 1970's North America's obesity rate has risen from 14% - 22%. How can that be if we were all consuming "low-fat" diets?

  • The low-fat diet is also a high-carbohydrate diet
  • Not all fats are bad
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, avocados, nuts, seeds, coconuts, fats from naturally raised animals, including wild fish and grass-fed beef
    • These fats provide your body with the nutrients needed to build cell membranes, absorb vitamins, cushion vital organs, protect you from extreme temperatures, build hormones, lower inflammation and make up 70% of your brain tissue
  • Unhealthy (damaged) fats: fats that are altered in the process of extracting them from their sources, as they are assimilated in your body, or during the manufacturing process- trans fats (hydrogenated oils), vegetable oil
    • Your body cannot recognize or metabolize these fats and they naturally cling to cell membranes, which contributes to weight gain and prevents cellular detoxification.
    • Unhealthy fats cling to arterial walls, cause inflammation and damage, and contribute to heart attacks and stroke.
    • When hydrogen is forced into these oils, it changes the composition of fats into something that cannot be recognized by your body, therefore, your body doesn't know what to do with it.
    • Vegetable Oils: soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, & canola oil
    • Canola oil does not naturally exist. There is no such thing as a canola plant. It is a genetic manipulation of rapeseed oil. Once it is completely denatured, it is unrecognizable and unusable by the body.
  • Butter & Margarine:
    • It is a trans fat (yuck)
    • After margarine was introduced into the American diet, heart disease escalated
    • Cultures have consumed butter for centuries and had no elevation in the risk for heart disease
  • Skim milk has a higher ratio of milk sugar and is more processed than whole milk
  • No low-fat foods: when you remove the good fat, it is most likely replaced with refined carbohydrates and sugars

What We Need

Good Fat:

  • Raw nuts & Seeds: almonds, flaxseed, pecans, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, cashews, hemp seed, pine nuts, sesame seeds, walnuts, raw nut & seed Butters (almond butter, macadamia butter)
  • Grass fed meat (free range, cage-free, hormone free)
  • Poultry (free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic free)
  • Fish – cold water fish (salmon, mahi-mahi, mackerel, halibut, sardines, anchovies)
  • Eggs – from cage-free/free-range, organic, hormone –free/antibiotic free, and no animal by-products
  • Full-fat raw milk & yogurt –look for these in their purest form. If you can't get it raw, then buy organic
  • Raw cheeses
  • Kefir
  • Ghee
  • Butter (raw)
  • Coconut oil (good for high heat) I love to cook and bake with this!
  • Grape seed oil
  • Olive oil ( medium heat only)
  • Cod liver oil (do not heat)
  • Hemp seed oil (do not heat)
  • Walnut, flaxseed, avocado oil ( do not heat)
  • Olives
  • Avocado
  • Coconut products : milk, oil, butter ,flakes, flesh, flour and spreads
  • Coconut supports the thyroid, heart, and immune system – it is one of the healthiest foods
  • High protein fruits and veggies (Example: cabbage, cucumber, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, summer squash, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, granny smith apples)

Raw VS Cooked

  • Cooked foods lose vital nutrients, and enzymes
  • Cooked foods give as many calories as raw foods, but with fewer nutrients
  • It takes 30% of our energy to digest a raw food meal, but 60% to digest a cooked meal (this is why we get tired after a big cooked meal
  • If you must cook your food, DO NOT use a microwave. (broccoli will lose about 11% of its antioxidants when cooked, and up to 97% when microwaved)

 

What We Don't Need

  • Hydrogenated & partially-hydrogenated oils
  • Rancid oils (corn, vegetable, canola, cottonseed, soybean, safflower, and sunflower oil)
  • Trans fats (margarine, synthetic butters, shortening)
  • Roasted nuts & seeds
  • Roasted nut and seed butters
  • Pasteurized an homogenized dairy products
  • Grain –fed red meats
  • Pork (they consume waste and excrement)
  • Conventionally raised poultry
  • Farm-raised fish
  • Shellfish & large ocean fish
  • Processed soy products (tofu, soy nuts, soy milk, soy formula)
  • Whey protein (hydrolyzed, treated with heat and /or from pasteurized dairy)
  • Preservatives & Dyes:
    • butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) or E320
    • butylated hydroxotoluene (BHT) or E321
    • tertiary butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ) or E319
    • All Dyes
    • Red No. 3 - linked to thyroid tumors in rats
    • Red No. 2
    • Nitrites
    • Nitrates (E249-252)
    • Sulfites (E220-228)
    • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) - goes to the liver and tells the body to store it as fat

 

Where To Start

Start buying organic as much as you can. Begin at the top of the food chain with animal products. Purchase organic meats and dairy (check www.foodnews.org )As far as produce is concerned, fresh is best, frozen is next best, canned is the least desirable.

Label Reading

I began with reading labels before I put them in my shopping cart. Many of the foods that I thought were healthy, were not even close. I had to look at grocery shopping differently, I had to start really reading labels. The shorter the ingredient list, the better the food.

Take for example, Nutri-Grain bars. These were my "go-to" snack for my kids when we were running behind or in a hurry. I truly thought I was supplying them with some nutrients. Well, take a look for yourself…

Ingredients:

  • CRUST:
    • WHOLE GRAIN OATS, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE [VITAMIN B1], RIBOFLAVIN [VITAMIN B2], FOLIC ACID), WHOLE WHEAT FLOUR, SOYBEAN OIL WITH TBHQ AND CITRIC ACID FOR FRESHNESS, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, SOLUBLE CORN FIBER, SUGAR, CALCIUM CARBONATE, WHEY, WHEAT BRAN, SALT, CELLULOSE, POTASSIUM BICARBONATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, MONO- AND DIGLYCERIDES, SOY LECITHIN, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, WHEAT GLUTEN, CORNSTARCH, NIACINAMIDE, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, CARRAGEENAN, ZINC OXIDE, REDUCED IRON, GUAR GUM, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B6), THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE (VITAMIN B1), RIBOFLAVIN (VITAMIN B2), FOLIC ACID.
  • FILLING:
    • HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORN SYRUP, RASPBERRY PUREE CONCENTRATE, GLYCERIN, SUGAR, WATER, SODIUM ALGINATE, NATURAL RASPBERRY FLAVOR WITH OTHER NATURAL FLAVORS, MODIFIED CORN STARCH, CITRIC ACID, METHYLCELLULOSE, DICALCIUM PHOSPHATE, MALIC ACID, CARAMEL COLOR, RED #40.

Read More

Look at the ingredients of your food products, the fewer the better. Look for natural ingredients and don't be fooled by the flashy packaging.

Avoid things such as:

  • Ingredients that end with "ose" (forms of sugar)
  • MSG (momosodium Glutamate)
  • Hydrolyzed or autolyzed ingredients
  • Artificial sweetners (sucralose/Splenda, aspartame?Nutrasweet, Equal)
  • Hydrogenated or partially –hydrogenated oils
  • Refined flour that claims to be organic
  • Additives, colorings, chemicals and preservatives

Resources

  • Maximized Living Nutrition Plans by Dr. B.J. Hardick – This is the book that started me on the journey of changing the way my family eats. I reference it all the time and can't lend it out because I use it too much.
  • The Autism & ADHD Diet Book by Barrie Silberberg – This is an amazing read as a step by step to begin changing the way your child (or family) eats. Full of resources!
  • Healing the New Childhood Epidemics by Kenneth Bock & Cameron Stauth – What an eye opener! It was both frightening and comforting to realize how closely related these epidemics are.
  • Louder than Words by Jenny McCarthy – A great book about a Mother's struggle and journey to help her son. I felt like I was talking to a friend.
  • Healing Our Autistic Children by Julie Buckley – This book was very reassuring for me, I read this after we had begun biomedical treatment for my son. It confirmed some of the choices I was making and brought up new treatments to discuss with his doctor.

Jack's Story

God has blessed me with an amazing little boy. His name is Jack and he has changed my life. Jack is the youngest of 3 and by this time I thought I knew what I was doing as a mom. I used my maternal instincts, lessons from my older 2 kids and the advice of my pediatrician.

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