Friday, October 30, 2009

Taking Responsibility for Your Family's Health

Dear Readers,

Out of concern for all the fear around the swine flu, and the pro's/con's around the vaccines for it, I thought I would write a post reminding you that there is so much one can do through lifestyle and diet to keep you and your kids immunities up and therefore less vulnerable to the flu and other illnesses. How you decide to fuel your body can make or break your immunity.

Refer to Natalia Rose's website for a bunch of kid friendly recipes that include fruits, veggies and good sources of fat and protein (Yes, dark leafy veggies do have protein in them and unlike processed lunch meats are a clean source of protein, vitamins, minerals, hydration and fiber, wooHoo!).

The major "foods" that tax immune systems greatly as well as drain energy are below in black: (and in blue are good alternatives)

White Foods:
  • Refined sugar, fake maple syrup, high glucose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners--stevia, agave (in moderation), raw honey, REAL maple syrup (in moderation)
  • Refined flours and baked goods, ie., white bread, donuts, cakes, cookies, white pasta, buns, rice--sprouted whole wheat breads that only have 3 or four REAL ingredients that you recognize listed; brown rice, quinoa, gluten-free baked goods, whole-wheat or gluten free pasta, sprouted grain buns and wraps.
Processed Foods:

  • Essentially anything in a package: chips, candies, crackers, cereals, peanut butters, etc. -- raw and unsalted nuts and seeds (not peanuts which have over 20 different kind of fungus on them and are rancid), almond butter, whole grain or gluten free crackers, dark chocolate, agave or honey sweetened candies, natural fruit leathers, brown rice crackers, panda puff cereals and low sugar/high fiber cereals.
  • Meats: hot dogs, deli meats, pepperoni, beef jerky, hormone injected meats like beef and chicken, eggs, orange and america cheese, frozen foods-- Annie's organic mac and cheese/prepared frozen foods, sulfate-free/hormone free meats, wild caught fish, free range eggs, goats cheese or sheep's cheese rather than cow cheese (mush much easier to digest).
Sugary and diet Drinks:

  • Soda!!!!!-- natural sodas on OCCASION
  • Concentrate juices-- fresh squeezed juice, carrot juice, apple cider
  • Juice boxes-- organic juice boxes on OCCASION, water with fresh lemon, fresh squeezed juice
  • Flavored waters--real water with fresh lemon juice or a hint of fresh oJ and a few drops of stevia
  • Chocolate milk--chocolate almond milk
  • Iced teas/Lemonades--real lemonade sweetened with stevia or agave
  • instant hot chocolate or anything from those machines at the gas station--real hot coco on OCCASION

  • Squeeze yogurts or the ones with lots of added sugars and god forbid the candy toppings, yikes! Coconut milk yogurt, organic Keefer (much easier to digest), organic goats or sheep's milk sweetened with honey
  • Hormone injected milk --best is raw milk from cows or better goats, unsweetened almond or hemp milk
  • Margarine--real organic butter, olive oil, coconut butter
  • Plastic and fake cheeses like the orange nacho cheese--real organic cheese, almond cheese, goats/sheep cheese
  • Ice cream--organic REAL ice cream that should only have 5 max ingredient in them, coconut milk based ice cream.
  • Whip topping-- Real organic whip cream on occasion
Bad quality salt:

  • Table salts-Himalayan sea salt or Celtic sea salt
  • Very salty processed foods (anything in a bag typically)-- unsalted almonds, cashews, walnuts
  • Soy Sauce-- Tamari, Namo Shoyu
  • Margerine--organic butter, coconut butter
  • Vegetable Oils-- for cooking always use coconut oil as it does not turned rancid under hight heat. AFTER cooking you can drizzle cold-pressed olive oil and/or flax and hemp oil on your food for a nutty flavor.
  • Shortenings-- coconut butter, organic butter, apple sauce


  • sodas--see above
  • coffee-- decaf to wean you and then green teas
  • teas-- rooibos, green, herbal
  • Hard liquor, beer: occasional organic red wine

In addition to food getting 8+ hours of rest, drinking plenty of water (not flavored waters, sodas or juices other than fresh pressed), dressing warmly, making sure your kids are having regular bowel movements (the colon's health determines over 80% of your over all immunity so if it is sluggish that can make you much more vulnerable to dis-ease. MORE FRESH veggies, fruits and whole grains, please!), connecting to nature and people rather than machines and video games and of course outdoor play is key. If your children are often feeling stressed out or anxious, this can also lower immunity significantly. Daily doses of good quality fish oils, probiotics (I really like the branded "renewed life"), Vit. C (not the chewy gummies please as they are full of other crap), and zinc are great for immunity too.

Here are a few more links from another trusted nutritionist/mother's blog, Natalia Rose:

If you are interested in doing a whole foods based cleanse, I highly recommend the book CLEAN by Dr. Alejandro Junger. I have meet and spoken at length with him many times and he is fabulous and knows what he is talking about. A friend of mine who has three boys actually put one of her sons on this cleanse because he was on the brink of being medicated for behavioral issues as well as what the Dr's thought was the beginnings of Crohn's and Colitis. After doing the "elimination" diet portion of this cleanse all the tests came back negative and he is back to being a happy kid! :)

Be well and if there was ever a time in history to do something good for yourself, NOW is the time!

In good health,