(The first of my Healthy Challenge Posts)
I have to start by telling you that by no means am I a perfect eater. I too indulge in things like ice cream, pizza, takeout chinese and of course WINE!!! However I have to say that my normal everyday diet is pretty good. I eat a ton of veggies, fruits and whole grains. I may be the only person I know that actually will crave a bowl of brussel sprouts. (Strange – I know!)
My chosen career has caused me to do a lot of research on nutrition and childhood obesity. I can’t tell you how heart breaking it is to see kids who are 10 or 11 years old and already are suffering from Type II diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and elevated triglyceride levels. It is really upsetting! There seems to be little emphasis put on nutrition and activity. Parents need to remember that kids learn by example. So if you are not up off your butt being fit it is highly unlikely that they will be either.
I also am a firm believer in eating organic. I don’t think that everything in your diet needs to be organic but there are a few things that are directly linked to precocious puberty (early onset) and cancer. The hormones in US milk, chicken, meats and eggs are known to be contributing factors in girls getting their periods under the age of 11. It’s even happening to girls as young as 7! Imagine that!! Even before the birth of my daughter Avery I had already made the switch to Organic Skim Milk, Organic eggs, Organic Chicken and beef. In addition any of my “soft” skinned fruits have now become organic. Things like apples, pears, plums etc.
I also have made an active attempt at eliminating xenoestrogens within my household. Xenoestrogens are man-made compounds that when absorbed by the body mimic natural estrogen. They are found in things like plastic baby bottles, plastic food storage containers, shampoo bottles, cosmetics, pesticides, sunscreens, etc. Here are a few known xenoestrogens that you should stay clear from:
- Phthalates – (substance that is used to make plastic softer)- found in everything from baby bottle, toys, liquid cosmetics, food storage containers etc.
- Bisphenol A- (BPA) also found in toys, food storage containers, water bottles, tin cans – it’s shown that it leaches into the food and liquids at unsafe levels, especially when heated. This is why so many things are now labeled BPA Free
- Parabens - preservatives found in many cosmetics and toiletries. The most common are methylparaben, ethylparaben, propylparaben, and butylparaben.
- BHA / BHT – Common food preservatives.
- DEHA - A plasticizer found in some cling wrap and other soft plastics.
I know there are many people thinking to themselves as they read this that I might be a little crazy. Well yes I am. However if you understood not only what I see everyday working with my clients or if you knew the amount of cancer that runs in my family you would understand. As I write this my own mother is fighting her 3rd form of cancer. I have seen her go through the most invasive tests and treatments. I know she is a fighter and a strong woman so I have nothing but a positive outlook when it comes to her prognosis. I am in awe of everything she has had to handle and how she does it all with such grace.
I will now leave you with a few of my favorite organic products.
Stonyfield Farms Organic Skim Milk
Horizon Organic Eggs
Trader Joe’s Organic Peanut Butter
Currently my daughter is eating this - ( I will be making homemade soon)
Earth’s Best Organic baby food
Besides just spreading knowledge I am hoping that many of you will take a good look at your own diet and maybe make a few changes. It really doesn’t take much effort to start getting healthy!!