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"Disease Proof Your Child" and Healthy Snack Ideas

Late night infomercials are powerful!  Four-ish weeks ago my husband learned of Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D.  He is the author of "Eat to Live: The Revolutionary Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss" and several other health oriented books.  Have you heard of him?  The next morning my wonderful husband sent me to the library for "Eat to Live" and "Disease Proof Your Child" and announced that our (well, mostly his) diet would be dramatically changing for the next six weeks.  I'd like to give a little shout out to my hubby for sticking to Dr. Furhman's Six Week Diet plan-- he's doing awesome!!  For those that do not know, his Six Week plan is radical, to say the least.  Going from eating dairy, processed foods, meat, etc to basically eating fruits and veggies, and cutting out salt is not the easiest or most enjoyable thing to do, at first.  

Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a board-certified family physician who specializes in preventing and reversing disease; he is an advocate for making one's diet consist of greens, fruits, seeds and nuts.  In "Disease Proof Your Child" he presents a book full of scientific studies linking our current epidemic of "adult cancers and other diseases... to what we eat in the first quarter of our life."  Basically, what we are feeding our children today has an effect on their tomorrow.  At the time of copyright, 2005, there was a 38% percent chance a woman would get cancer in her lifetime and a 45% chance for men!  Mind-boggling, no?!  I'm not sure of the stats for 2012, but this cancer epidemic surely shows no sign of slowing, as with every other malady that persists today....

Here are some things I learned:
  • Consumption of animal fat from dairy (saturated fat) and meat closely related to occurrence of cancer.
  • Dairy is a problem because "it takes 10lbs. of cow's milk to make 1lb. of cheese.  ...Cow's milk contains estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prolactin, and other natural cow hormones ... that can exert effects on humans."  Cheese has some of the highest amounts of saturated fat.  If you do eat dairy, only choose fat-free versions.
  • When you limit animal proteins and salt, you do not loose as much calcium in the urine; therefore, your need for calcium has decreased.
  • Growing bodies (babies, toddlers, young children) with more rapidly dividing cells are more sensitive to damage from all kinds of toxins (not just food).  Eventually the cells become dyplastic and over the years (with a poor diet) turn cancerous.
  • Infants and toddlers have 10x greater cancer risk than adults when exposed to gene damaging chemicals.
  • Processed foods that have been baked/fried give off cancer causing agent (acrylamides)-- chips, fries, sugary cereals... Acrylamides have caused genetic mutations and cancers in lab animals
  • Heart disease manifests in childhood.
  • "China Project" study showed cancer occurrences higher in populations that ate more animal products; a plant based diet showed lower cancer occurrences.
  • What we've come to know as diseases associated with age are actually born from a lifetime of wrong food choices. 
  • Eat beans, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and veggies every day!!
Dr. Fuhrman suggests that starting healthy eating habits early on is *key* to long-term health and likability of that fruit/ veggie.  I have witnessed this myself with my kiddos.  When T was younger, I just never took the time to prep veggies or eat them myself, and unfortunately it shows now in T's eating habits. He'll eat corn, carrots, and choke-down green peas : )  Fruit on the other hand he cannot get enough of-- I joke that we need to live on  a fruit farm!  I've definitely given Little Sis more of an array of veggies-- peas, carrots, eggplant, corn, etc; she'll even eat tofu!  For the most part, she'll eat whatever is in front of her!  Dr. Fuhrman encourages parents not to give up after giving their child/children something new to eat-- "it takes 8-15 tastes for a child to develop a liking for a new food"-- so don't give up! But, early exposure is key! 

Prior to reading this book, you could say I was naive believing that our diet early on had no effect on our years to come; but after reading this book, I clearly have been mis-informed.  I have been mis-informed that eating processed foods and foods with saturated fat is "ok;"  it may be convenient and taste good at the time, but is that worth my family's long-term health?

It is my 2012 goal, from here on out, to make sure our house is stocked with fruits and veggies and to keep processed sweets, full fat dairy, and white flour products for treats outside the home. Anyone with me??

Both of Dr. Fuhrman's books that I tagged in the beginning of my posts provide a couple weeks worth of menus and snack ideas; here are a few healthy snacks we enjoy!

 Trail Mix w/ no- salt nuts:
I also added white chocolate chips, which seemed to have disappeared!
I added chopped cranberries and coconut to our nut mix.  
**Tip: refrigerate the date "dough" for a little or its one big sticky mess!**

Strawberry Frosty:
Blend frozen berries and a small amount of soy milk.

And, don't forget about fresh fruit salads
smoothies (you can add spinach without your child noticing the taste!)
Blackberry Oatmeal Smoothie
raw veggies
Eat to Live- Inspired Pinterest Board

Hope you and yours enjoy a healthy 2012!!