Thursday, January 20, 2011

Food for Thought Thursday - Disease Proof Your Child

Nutritional research is what made me realize how important our food choices are to current and future health. On Thursdays, I'll be sharing the latest articles and research on how nutrition affects our health.

So did that title get your attention? It certainly got mine the first time I heard it. But before I share about this book, I'm going to give you a little back story about how I came to care about nutrition.

I can pretty much sum it up in four words: I had a baby. When it was just Jim and I, and we were - ahem - younger, it was easy to feel invincible. We worked out like maniacs because we enjoyed it, and while we thought we ate fairly well, we really did not. And then Big Sprout came along . . .

During my pregnancy, we did everything possible to ensure the healthiest, most natural beginning for our son. After much research, we decided on a natural childbirth at home, exclusive breastfeeding, cloth diapering . . . the works. I made homemade baby food from organic produce - which incidentally, he declined, preferring to wait on solids until he was old enough to eat off our plate.

And about a year into his life there was a moment . . . he reached for something I was eating to have some for himself. I can't remember what it was, but I do remember that there was no way I was letting it go into his perfect, pure little body. And that's what I knew that we had to make some changes.

About the same time, I learned from my midwife and my pediatrician about a whole food nutrition product called Juice Plus. Our pediatrician said that he saw a drastic reduction in viruses, asthma and overall illness in the children in his practice that took it. That, of course, was music to our ears and our entire family has taken it ever since. But more than that, it triggered my interest in learning more about the link between nutrition and our health . . . and over the next few years, that's what I did.

So when my friend Gretchen, a wellness coach and author of What a Healthy Family Eats, recommended Disease Proof Your Child by Dr. Joel Fuhrman in her newsletter, I ordered it that same day. How do you resist a title like that??? In the book, Dr. Fuhrman explains the importance of establishing healthy habits for our children, covers the prevention and treatment of common childhood illnesses with food and includes an entire section of kid-friendly recipes. I also ordered Eat to Live, another of Dr. Fuhrman's books, at the same time, and thus began our journey towards a plant-based diet.

Although I know we still have much more to learn and many more steps to take in our journey towards health, I couldn't be more pleased with where we are right now.

At 7 and 4,  neither of my kids have ever had an ear infection or other illness requiring a sick visit to the doctor. Neither had ever had a prescription drug until Big Sprout needed antibiotics last year for a tooth infection due to bad dental work - and it's probably been over a decade since Jim or I have had one. None of us have been sick with anything more than a runny nose in the past three years - and when we are sick, it usually lasts only hours or days.

Are we lucky??? I'm certain of it. But I also can't imagine that we would be enjoying such great health without a plant-based diet, Juice Plus and an active lifestyle. I feel like I've discovered what is - for us, at least - the formula for great health . . . and I'm sticking to it!!! And if I've totally jinxed myself and we all get the flu next week, I'm blaming it on the blog!


  1. Wonderful story. Really enjoyed reading this testimony. Personal experience is the best teacher.

  2. I'm glad you read my newsletter and decided to get the book! I think you might have been one of the only people who did. It's interesting how we have both influenced each other to go in this direction, starting with the Juice Plus, which led to the introduction to Dr. Popper which led to my furthering the education with the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. I am so grateful that our paths crossed :)

  3. Rustom, thank you so much! It's always a little nerve-wracking to share a personal story. I really appreciate your kind words. :)

    Gretchen, I am so grateful as well!!!