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HEALTHY KIDS
 

THE CHALLENGE: Help our children to learn to LOVE healthy eating and healthy living!   We can only do this by the example that we set for the children.  

American children are becoming alarmingly UNHEALTHY and alarmingly overweight.FN4  

North Carolina ranks as the 16th most obese state by population.FN1  

(Shockingly, the "leanest" state in the country, Colorado, boasts an obesity rate of 1 in 7 (about 19% of the adult population in Colorado is clinically obese in 2008 - this is the "healthiest" of all of the United States.  YIKES!  The more typical rate in the USA in 2008 is on the order of 25% obesity. FN2)

In 2008 it has been projected that this is the first generation of American children that may have a SHORTER LIFE-SPAN than their parent's generation (due in large part to the huge increases in obesity among American children).  FN3

Does it seem like your child is wearing clothing sizes that are larger than they should be for your child's age/height?  Does your child seem hungry a lot?  Does your child suffer from recurring headaches?  Do you feel as though your children are not as effortlessly healthy and fit as you were as a child?

There is a SIMPLE way to help support your child's health dramatically, without ever mentioning the word "diet" or creating in your child feelings of deprivation. 

1.   Read Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, Eat to Live; eat more greens, vegetables, fruits, beans & nuts - the recipes are DELICIOUS - you will be amazed at how great you feel just by making a conscious decision to choose healthier foods!

 

I have read probably thousands of books in my lifetime to date, but this book is having the biggest, longest-lasting effect on my own health and my family's health and therefore on my LIFE and my family's LIVES.  When I read the book I had been a vegetarian for most of my life, and thought I was feeding my family very healthful food, with the occasional bit of junk food thrown in for a "special occasion."  I thought, well, everybody eats this stuff, so it must be fine once in a while.  Everybody eats this [fill-in-the-name-of-the-junk-food] and feeds it to their kids, so it must be okay. 

After reading Eat to Live I realized that, yes, just about everybody in the USA eats processed, nutrient-poor food along with flat-out junk food, and AS A DIRECT RESULT just about everybody in the USA develops diseases and illnesses, ranging from obesity to heart disease to cancers to adult-onset diabetes to many of the various maladies associated with aging (alzheimers, arthritis, poor eyesight). 

Dr. Fuhrman very effectively makes the case that many of these ailments are caused by poor-nutrient eating.  AGING alone does not cause arthritis; a life-time of poor-nutrition eating does cause arthritis.  People from other countries whose cancer rates are very low compared to the USA develop the same rates of cancer when they eat the typical standard American, low-nutrient, processed foods.  Many adults with adult-onset Type II Diabetes who eat healthfully following Dr. Fuhrman's recommendations (with NO weighing of foods; no portioning of foods; no mixing and matching . . . just eating LOTS and LOTS of the good stuff .. without feeling hungry or deprived) have been able to discontinue their diabetes medications completely (under supervision of their doctors) within a short period of time (even in as little time as a few months or even weeks of healthful eating).  So many medications that relieve an illness or condition like Type II diabetes are toxic to the body in other ways; it is far more healthful to heal yourself through eating great, delicious, healthy food.

In the several years since I read Eat to Live, I have had very little desire to eat anything like a doughnut or some sugary, junk that is devoid of nutrients.  I can't recommend highly enough Eat to Live; it helped me to automatically associate so much PAIN to eating unhealthy food that I mostly just don't want to eat that stuff any more.  The book helped me create a STRONG negative association to foods that do not support my health or my family's health.  Creating this psychological negative association to unhealthy foods in your own mind is the KEY to your ongoing health. Helping our children to create a negative association to unhealthy foods, and POSITIVE ASSOCIATIONS to delicious nutrient-dense foods, will likely be one of the greatest gifts we can give them for their own life-long health and happiness.

2.   Read Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book, Disease-Proof Your Child and follow his recommendations

 

I highly recommend reading Eat to Live first, since it creates such a deeply compelling case as to WHY we need to eat nutrient-dense, whole, healthy foods in order to give ourselves and our children the gift of a healthy, vibrant life (and why eating the way most Americans eat leads to all of the various diseases that most Americans are afflicted with, at ever earlier ages.)  Disease-Proof Your Child builds upon Eat to Live in discussing more specifically the health issues that affect our children, and how so many of the childhood illnesses that are considered "normal" (including earaches, common colds, certain allergies, recurring headaches and many others) can be avoided altogether with nutrient-dense, healthy, delicious foods that your children will LOVE!

Caveat:  If I had read only Disease-Proof Your Child without having first read the far more in-depth Eat to Live, I don't know whether I would have come away with such a life-changing outlook as I did upon reading Eat to Live.  I can't recommend enough reading Eat to Live FIRST; then read Disease-Proof Your Child for more detail regarding health-issues for children.  If you were to read only one of these books then I would recommend that you read Eat to Live.

3.   After reading these two books (a short investment of time in exchange for amazing health benefits for your family!), you will likely be looking for practical ways and great recipes to eat the healthiest, delicious foods without feeling deprived or hungry at all.  When I got to this point (needing lots of recipes to maximize the level of healthy foods for my family's daily meals), I found that Dr. Fuhrman's newest two-book set, Eat for Health was a perfect starting point.  Eat for Health  is written in four phases, with sets of DELICIOUS, healthful recipes tailored for each phase, to make it much easier to transition gradually to a much more healthful way of eating.  (There are two books in the set; the first volume discusses the gradual changes in health and lifestyle; the second volume is packed with increasingly nutrient-rich - and delicious, satisfying, filling! - recipes.)

After reading Eat to Live (and/or Disease-Proof Your Child) you might end up feeling like you need to make big changes, but how do you do it?  Eat for Health is the practical answer with lots of DELICIOUS recipes that your kids will LOVE!

4.  Go for walks with your child every day; get active in sports with your child (play tennis together; go for a swim; go for a walk at the Botanical Gardens; go for a walk at Ayr Mount - Poet's Walk in Hillsborough.)  Go for a bike ride!  Find a way to get your child involved in a healthy, fun activity.  (This could be an organized sport like Soccer, or a fun team sport like Jump Roping.) Cut out television and/or video games on School Days and School Nights: this No-TV-on-School-Days-or-School-Nights is an easy, bright line rule and helps children to use their imaginations to get out and play instead of sitting in front of a TV or video game.

5.   If you are finding it difficult to get YOURSELF to make the changes you need to help yourself, your children, and your family be HEALTHIER & HAPPIER by changing the way you eat, listen to Tony Robbins' 30-Day audio program, Personal Power II.  Tony Robbins is an amazing personal achievement coach who has worked with heads of state, top athletes, musicians, writers, CEOs, and has helped millions to make lasting changes in their lives.  I purchased this program ten years ago and made some of the biggest positive changes of my life as a result of the 30 days I spent (for just an hour a day or so!)  If you need to make a change in any area of your life, or if your life just isn't where you want it to be in any area, Tony Robbins can quickly help you get yourself on the right track.  If you need to change your own eating patterns to help your children have the best healthy start for their own lives, (and if reading Eat to Live does not alone create enough incentive to get yourself to make these changes), Tony Robbins' Personal Power II program can help you immensely if you just listen and follow the program for thirty days. http://www.tonyrobbins.com/Solutions/ProductsDetail.aspx?ProductID=711&SubCategory=Multimedia  (This is not a paid ad for Tony Robbins; only our own personal endorsement because it helped us.  Tony Robbins has helped millions of people around the world to make amazing, positive changes in their lives.  If you have a difficult time losing weight and keeping it off, Tony's Personal Power II program can help you easily make the changes in yourself so that you can overcome this struggle.)

6.  HAVE FUN with your kids inventing new, delicious, healthy recipes together!  For starters, try one of our favorite Smoothie Recipes:  In a blender add two cups of frozen organic baby spinach (we keep the pre-washed salad container right in the freezer); one banana; one bag of organic frozen blueberries; plus 1/2 cup orange juice (or water).  Blend to create a delicious frozen blueberry smoothie, packed with nutrients, that children (and adults) love!  Its fun to experiment with all kinds of fruits and salad greens together to make delicious smoothies (without any fats from dairy, yogurt etc.)  Try it, you'll love it.  And you can finally get your kids to eat a lot more spinach and cruciferous greens on a daily basis.

*******************************************************************************************

FN1: "North Carolina was named the 16th most obese state in America according to the fifth annual F as in Fat: How Obesity Policies Are Failing in America, 2008 report from the Trust for America's Health (TFAH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The state's adult obesity rate is 27.1 percent, an increase for the third year in a row."  http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2008/release.php?stateid=NC

FN2http://calorielab.com/news/2008/07/02/fattest-states-2008/

FN3: "Obesity Threatens a Generation: 'Catastrophe' of Shorter Spans, Higher Health Costs," bBy Susan Levine and Rob Stein, Washington Post, May 17, 2008 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/05/09/ST2008050900425.html

FN4: Just take a look around: Doesn't it seem as though the slender, fit child now is the exception, and plump/pudgy/verging on obese/or obese is becoming the norm?  As if to place a seal of approval on the alarming obesity trend, American children's movies now seem to be depicting "normal," every day people as extremely overweight.  For example: Everyone depicted in the animated movie "Bolt" seems to be obese: the child actress' mother, the animal control employees, the other animated "extras."  All of the animated characters in "Bolt" except for the Hollywood actors or their agents are portrayed as being obese.  Similarly, all of the humans in the animated film "Wall-E" are obese; they don't move or walk at all but simply are zoomed around in space-age walkers from space-age fast-food-joint to fast-food-joint.  Extremely obese seems to be in vogue when depicting the typical American in animated films for American children.  (If the film makers simply are trying to reflect "reality," with a quarter of American adults weighing in as clinically obese, can't they instead focus on the 75% who are not clinically obese and portray the healthier segment in animated films?  At least not portray EVERYBODY as obese?)

FN5:  Read the testimonials in Book One, Eat for Health by Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

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