Thursday, January 26, 2012

Good, Better, Best

It's time for change.

Recently I have been reading from Dr. Joel Fuhrman's Book, "Disease-Proof Your Child."

It fuels my nutrition fire.

After reading this section (and many other wonderful ones!) about avoiding processed and sugary foods for children:

"Not only do processed foods and fast foods often contain dangerous trans fats and other additives, but they also can have high levels of acrylamides. When processed foods are baked and fried at high temperatures, these cancer-causing chemical compounds are produced. Many processed foods, such as chips, french fries, and sugar-coated breakfast cereals, are rich in acrylamides....Acrylamides cause genetic mutations, leading to a wide variety of cancers in lab animals, including breast and uterine cancer."

I have decided to eliminate a crutch I have been leaning on. Actually, 4 crutches.

I have read recently that children often need to taste something between 7-9 times before they are used to it, and can decide that they like it.

Adults may have similar needs to acquire tastes. So don't give up on yourself or your kids. And don't give out labels like, "Oh, so-and-so doesn't like that food." Or, "I don't like that." Keep trying, and keep expanding your options.

We are forgetting that tastes are often trained by habits.

So, back to crutches: 1.) Meatless corn dogs. Oh, man! These took like 30 seconds to heat up in the micro. Yes, they were meatless. But they are not better. 2.) Sugar-coated cereals. Again, 30 seconds to put together. But so does making oatmeal in a rice cooker. It just means I plan ahead by 12 more minutes. 3.) Juice. Processed, sugary 100% juice. Essie often comments that when she drinks juice it hurts her stomach. Recently she gave her unopened juice to a friend at school. That tells me something. 4.) Store-bought fries. An item full of trans fats, saturated fats, and very processed. No longer an item on my grocery list.

So what does that beautiful citrus juicer above have anything to do with this?

I believe in incorporating the "something better" principle. Don't ask someone (even yourself) to give up something they love unless you have something better to offer them. My kids need a replacement for these things that I am not going to purchase again.

Citrus juicers are recommended by Dr. Joel Furhman because it is pure, fresh, unmodified real fruit juice. Costco sells huge bags of citrus. Lemons for lemonade. Limes for limeade. Oranges for orange juice. Grapefruit juice. All delicious, and all things my kids and I love.

Worried about time? Teach your kids to juice. They will feel good about contributing, and have a blast juicing. The juicer above is about $23.

So that is our replacement for juice. (Oh, and we rarely have soda in our house unless someone is very sick and cant keep anything else down.)

Fries? We are going to use a Spiralizer that currently sits unused in our kitchen cupboards to cut yams and potatoes into curly swirly fries. Toss them in vegetable broth, and bake until tender-crisp. Again, have your kids spiralize it for you. Essie and Samuel fight over who gets to turn the crank, and they love seeing the swirly veggies coming out.

All of these things will take more time and effort. But I want to help my children be free of the addictions that so many adults have for processed junk food. I want them to love health. To be strong and happy well into adolescent years and adulthood.

Cereal? I recently found multi-grain cheerios at Costco. Not sugary. Is it the best option? No. But it is better than sugar cereals. I will make oatmeal or spelt pancakes more often and rely less on processed foods.

Corn dogs. Instead, make "Skinny Elvis" sandwiches. Post coming soon. Remind me if I forget. It's basically a grilled nut butter and strawberry sandwich. Yum. Kids love it.

It's time for change, my friends.

Which foods are you consuming right now that can be replaced for something better?

I challenge you to find something "good" that you are eating, and get a replacement to make it "better." Or even find the best.

I'm doing this because I love my kids. Do this because you love your health.

Excuses? They're old. We can do better, and NOW is the time.


  1. So Rylan always, everyday would have a hotdog for lunch. Well out went the hotdogs, and the veggie ones are kind of gross. So he now has pasta with sauce, everyday for lunch. He loves it, and it is so much better for him!

    1. Veggie ones are kind of gross. Although Essie and Samuel still eat them. Puzzles me.

      I am so glad that Rylan loves it! And, that you have found a better replacement.


  2. Today is treat day at work (treat day friday) and everyone is passing by my desk with donuts and pre-packaged muffins. I'm not interested...

    1. I wonder if you could revolutionize treat day. Bring something radical. See what happens.

      I hope you have a good replacement to fill you up. Watching a bunch of calories walk by can be challenging. Especially if you are hungry. Or maybe not.
      Did you bring something better to work today? Or is there a restaurant nearby that can nutrient-pack your lunch?