Taking a trip, for any family, involves departing from the routine and regular eating habits. I welcome this change and I know my children do too. For me, it is such a relief to get a break from deciding on meals ideas and cooking. But how do you embark on and manage to eat healthily on a vacation?
One of my all-time favourite things to do is to explore different parts of the world. Right now, our family is exploring Quebec City – today we saw the old city, the harbour, Le Chateau Frontenac and the Funicular (the cable railway that connects the upper and lower town and shown in the background of the image above), the cathedrals, the incredible shops and Palais Royale. I am already beside myself with excitement for tomorrow and the wonders that await us.
As many of you know, I believe that dairy (click here for my blog post with more information on this subject), wheat and chemicals, which form the basis of most people’s diets, are our worst enemies. Many of you have heard me encourage families to dare to be different and eat foods that others are not eating so much of.
As I venture through the first days of summer, I notice the numerous social events that seem to take place once the warmer weather arrives. Along with the social events, come all the delicious treats. For some children, summer represents a “free for all” where they can indulge in unhealthy food whenever and however they wish. Often these children have parents that were raised strictly, who do not want to put their own children through the same “torture.” I can understand their way of thinking but when it comes to food, it is simply too important to one’s overall well being to let children make all the decisions.
Don’t get me wrong. My children have tried and continue to try many of the junk foods available to mankind. However, here’s the clincher. These splurges are occasional treats, not the staples of our diet. In comes the valuable concept of moderation.
Some “health nuts” would say, “Your child should not eat any treats. The body only needs and should only be fed healthy food”. That is, of course, entirely true! Certainly there is no need to expose a pre-school child, without older siblings, to treats. However, when it comes to older children, ask yourself these three questions:
We are experiencing the sickest generation of children in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, I can guarantee that the next generation will be even sicker – unless you are a family that is doing things differently than the majority. You see, toxicity gets passed onto our children and their children and so on. We look at the beautiful babies we are birthing and we think they are perfect. I believe every child is perfect and born with the exact characteristics needed to live the lives they are meant to live. But every baby is born with any health imbalances passed onto them by their mother and father. If, for example, mother and/or father drank excessively at parties, smoked, or ate high sugar or processed foods, their digestive systems suffered the assault and so will baby’s. I know because it happened to me and to those parents who seek my help.
Then the babies are given drugs when they get sick, go swimming in chemical laden public pools, consume preservatives and additives in their food, common allergens and more processed foods, get vaccinated (in quantities and combinations like never before) which are loaded with preservatives and heavy metals and the assault continues…..
I spend much of my time in seminars and individual appointments, dispelling the myths that the media has created when it comes to nutrition so I have decided to dispel some of those myths for you, my loyal readers so that you might finally have some clarity on everyday misconceptions.
Myth #1 – We must cut out the carbohydrates to remain slim. Absolutely not! Carbohydrates are our greatest source of energy. Society has caught onto the fact that white bread is stripped of nutrients and we shouldn’t be eating white or refined flour products but rather whole grains. But many notice that eating whole grains i.e. pasta can cause us to feel bloated, tired or heavy soon after consumption. This is due to the gluten that is added to pasta and bread to make it light and fluffy but we don’t digest gluten well. The trick is to consume low gluten or no gluten pastas and breads such as spelt, kamut, quinoa or rice pastas and breads. These grains give us the energy we need and are the most easily digested and therefore will not cause weight gain!
Myth #2 – Bottled water is a waste of money. There is definitely waste in the packaging of bottled water. But, unlike tap water, bottled water does not contain chlorine, which is so harmful to our bodies and depleting of the good bacteria we all need so badly in order to remain healthy! Does bottled water contain bad bacteria? Yes, some more than others; reverse osmosis bottled water is generally safer.
Lately, my blog posts have been rather technical, not so light and maybe overwhelming to some of you. Today, I decided to talk about a challenge that many parents face but sometimes have a hard time discussing. There are parents who want to do right by their children but are powerless to do so. You may be a parent who wants to feed your child nutritiously and ensure they get enough sleep and exercise but circumstances are preventing this from being possible. Maybe you have a teenager who refuses to listen to your ‘lofty’ ideas of eating healthier. Maybe you are so stressed out with working and trying to pay the bills that you cannot even begin to think about taking the first steps towards improving the health of your child. Maybe your spouse has no belief in the power of nutrition, even though you are certain of its value. There could be any number of circumstances preventing a child from receiving the care they require.
Then one of my blog posts shows up on your computer, inducing guilt as soon as you scan its content. It is never my intention to add to your guilt as a parent. I know that every parent carries enough guilt as it is. We all know that we can do infinitely more for our children. There is a never ending list of ways in which we can improve their lives, as well as our own.
Parents will often ask me why peanuts are as lethal as they are. In North America, peanuts are specifically planted in soil where crops are heavily sprayed, in order to clean up the soil. It’s not the peanuts that are as much of a problem as the toxins that the peanuts absorb! Peanuts (which are legumes, by the way, not nuts) and some tree nuts contain aflatoxins, a fungus, which comes about from the spraying of pesticides and fungicides. The spraying prevents the peanut plant from building its own protection against mold and fungus. These alfatoxins produce poisons and must be deactivated by good bacteria in the intestine (more on that next week).
As well, the generation of parents whose children are so allergic or sensitive to peanuts, consumed peanut butter on a regular basis. Sandwiches made with peanut butter on its own, or with jam, honey or bananas were part of our staple diet in the seventies and eighties. The more we consume of a food, the greater the incidence of reactions to the food! This is because when we try to digest each type of food, our bodies call upon a particular set of digestive enzymes to digest that food. When we don’t have a strong digestive system, which is often the case these days, those digestive enzymes wear out when they are overused. This is why variety in our diet is so important! Not to mention the fact that the more variety there is in our diets, the more varied the vitamins and minerals are that we receive.
Children are multi and extra sensory beings. They see more than us, particularly the little things, like the worm struggling to get home after the rainstorm or the coin lost in the dirt on which you stepped. They hear the sound of a train horn bellowing miles away. They feel more than us; they yelp at the temperature of the water, telling you it’s too hot, when you thought the bath water was just right. They taste the cilantro in the guacamole and ask you why it tastes funny. They are wise and intuitive beyond belief. You think they are this way, noticing these subtleties, with a twinkle in their eyes because the world is new to them. Maybe that’s part of it. But do you notice the adults with a twinkle in their eyes or those that laugh more than others? They are small in number, but they do exist. Those are the adults that have not lost their connection to the way life is supposed to be.
I am continually dismayed by the number of individuals and companies that say that organics are no better than non-organics. This is completely untrue. So, are organic foods really better for you?
Prior to the Second World War, there was no need for organic food because of the care taken with the soil and the purity that was maintained with the fruits and vegetables being grown in that soil. In fact, fruits and vegetables were organic without being labeled as such. However, in nature, “perfect” fruit has always been rare. One of the reasons that chemicals started being added to fruits and vegetables was to improve their appearance. The organic apple is smaller, has a duller sheen, and the skin is a subtle blend of colours and imperfections. Chemicals were also added to keep the bugs away and prolong shelf life.
If a food has a “certified organic” label, with a code beginning with a 9, it means that each ingredient and every process qualifies it as organic and chemical free. Organic foods contain no:
Preservatives, pesticides, artificial fertilizers or food colouring; these chemicals affect digestion and immunity, causing food sensitivities, allergies and other illness.
Genetically modified ingredients, which result in new proteins being formed. Remember, adverse reactions to foods often occur because the body cannot break down proteins.
Heavy or unnecessary antibiotics; only antibiotics that are necessary for individual animal treatment are used.
There isn’t an adult I know who doesn’t experience the blahs every once in a while, if not, on a regular basis. As I have been helping others get through those rough periods, I have been making notes on the most effective methods for improving the mood and it gives me great pleasure to now share those methods with you!
First of all, moods start with your emotions. If you are sad, angry or frustrated with something or someone in your life, it is likely that your mood is dampened, if not ruined. If this happens occasionally, that is completely understandable. If this happens regularly in your life, you need to learn to work on yourself so that you no longer attract the negative. The key to inner happiness is loving yourself. If you love yourself, your whole world will brighten and everything will go more smoothly for you each and every day because your love of yourself will be mirrored by all those around you! And the more love you show yourself, the more love you will want to share with those around you.
As you review the past couple of months of your life, how much time have you spent trying to help your child focus on getting their homework done or getting an earful from their teacher at parent-teacher interviews or caring for your sick child? There are too many families suffering these days. Children who are unable to focus, misbehaving, getting sick frequently or not sleeping properly is rampant. How can any of us fulfill our purpose in life when this is what is going on in our homes? As a Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner (R.N.C.P.), I work with families to implement new strategies into their lives to cope with these challenges. With a new year upon us, consider giving the gift of health!
Cars need gas, generally, to run. If we were to fill the tank with donuts and chips, the car would not move. The human body is far more sophisticated and incredible than a vehicle. If we feed our bodies donuts and chips, it will run!…for a while…and then eventually, the chemicals, sugar, and bad fats will make us sick. If our bodies were not so adaptable, we would not be able to eat donuts and chips; we would know immediately that these foods do not nourish the human body or help it perform. Just changing your child’s diet will impact your son’s or daughter’s life in unimaginable ways!