Coach Mom Newsletter - Mar 2011
As I turned the
calendar to 2011, I did it with some guilt.
The holidays were over, and we had all eaten
our fair share of toffee, chocolate,
peppermint, cookies, and cakes.
combination between the sweets and flu
season can make for a very bad thing. I knew
sugar had many downsides, one of which is
that it suppresses the immune system. After
spending some time doing nutrition
information research on the internet and
reading Lisa Greene’s book
The Real Mom's Guide to Raising Natural
Processed World, I focused my January Coach Mom Newsletter on nutrition. Then
I wondered how we could implement some
changes in our own family. I decided to give
my family the clean diet challenge.
Not wanting to
overwhelm or send my children into a panic
that they would never see another cookie in
our house, I set a doable goal for us. When
I presented my 40-day clean diet challenge I
was surprised that I didn’t get any
naysayers, even from the biggest snacker in
the group. All five kids and my husband
seemed to have a genuine interest in eating
for better health. We took measurements,
weighed, I encouraged everyone to pay
attention to how they felt over the next 40
days, then we took the plunge.
Some of our
Try to cut
refined sugars, especially high fructose
corn syrup. That meant cutting most
commercial breads, soft drinks, candy, and
many cereals (it’s even in most jams!).
pre-packaged foods, usually high in MSG,
sugar and transfats.
servings of veggies and fruit each day. To
avoid pesticides, buy organic for the “dirty
dozen”: apples, cherries, grapes,
nectarines, peaches, pears, strawberries,
lettuce, bell peppers, kale, celery and
carrots. (The Environmental Working Group
says a family’s pesticide exposure can be
reduced 80 percent by buying these organic.)
Try to buy
foods with 5 ingredients or less to avoid
chemical additives (i.e. Triscuits)
with MSG such as packet mixes, and frozen
artificial sweeteners, which include
dangerous chemicals. Instead, use the herb
Stevia as a substitute for sugar and use
pure maple syrup or local honey as a
Keep an extra
eye out for transfats.
If the ingredient list includes the words
"shortening," "partially hydrogenated
vegetable oil" or "hydrogenated vegetable
oil," the food contains trans fat."
Take a whole
food supplement and Omega 3 supplement daily
(i.e. Juice Plus, fish oil).
alkaline-rich foods and reduce the number of
acidic foods. This helps balance pH levels,
to keep the body from building cholesterol
plaques, storing fat, and leaching calcium
from the bones and magnesium from the heart
muscles to act as buffers.
nitrite/nitrate-free lunch meats at natural
Use olive oil
over vegetable oil whenever possible.
This all sounds good,
but what does a day really look like? This
is a typical day…
Old-fashioned oats (we are working up to the
recommended Thick Old Fashioned Rolled Oats)
in the morning for breakfast, with 2 T.
ground flaxseed. Sweetened with maple syrup.
Sometimes a whole grain wheat toast and/or
eggs. Limit coffee, which is acidic and can
contribute to an unhealthy pH level.
Make sandwiches with fresh deli meats
(purchased from natural grocers) and
Nature’s Own Wheat bread, organic carrots,
sliced organic apples, boiled organic egg,
Adults: spinach salad
with feta cheese, craisins, toasted pecans
and MSG-free salad dressing. Whole grain
baguette on the side. I made homemade
croutons using my least fresh bread to avoid
chemical additives and save money.
for dessert. Dark chocolate square!
Bananas, snow peas,
almonds, organic baby carrots, boiled eggs,
pickles, stovetop popcorn, kettlecorn (not
the lowest in sugar, but it could be worse).
things like grilled chicken and all
kinds of vegetables and fruits. I worked
hard to display the items in an appealing
way. And I wasn’t a stickler about eating
them raw. If I have to use some olive oil
and salt to sautee’ a vegetable in order to
make it appealing to my family, I do.
For dessert, a cup each
of Silk’s dark chocolate Almond Milk. This
has all the health benefits of almonds and
is especially a great option for the lactose
intolerant. (Again, the sugar content is a
bit lower if you get the regular milk, but
this is a “treat”.)
We are trying to stick
as much as we can to whole, unprocessed
foods, then cook them as little as possible.
I’m not an expert, but everything I’m
reading seems to indicate that children’s
little bodies are more susceptible to the
chemical additives than adults.
Even though we have not
always been the healthiest eaters, I am
encouraged. Making these changes (even when
not completely true to them when Mom left
town for four days) impacted us in positive
ways. God designed the body to have an
amazing ability to bounce back and heal when
given the right nutrients.
they felt more energetic and focused, and
No one got
sick (though most were surrounded daily by
people fighting the flu and other
I observed an
overall state of contentment and
demonstration of good attitudes (for the
most part!) with the children.
fruits tasted better than ever.
We all agreed
that the nitrate/nitrite-free meat and
organic eggs taste better.
commented on how energetic they felt.
family members interested in trimming down a
bit also saw some changes in their weight
and waist measurements. One lost 12 pounds
and two inches in his waist, and another
lost three pounds and three inches in his
Though I know it takes
a little more time and is costing our bank
account a little more now, I believe in the
long run we will save money by investing in
foods that have the right nutrients for our
The 40-day challenge is over, but I
don’t think we’ll ever get over it. It’s a
journey we’ve just begun, and I know we are
moving in the right direction.
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The more research I have
done the more it seems unfortunately that
our country has put the mighty dollar ahead
of the value of our people’s health.
We cannot trust our American food
companies to provide us with foods in our
child’s best interest – that can only be
done by us as parents.
For example, it is common knowledge
that transfats raise bad cholesterol
lower good cholesterol, contribute toward
stroke, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and more.
Yet, the information below reveals that many
of the foods being marketed and sold for
children contain transfats.
Transfat food surprises
Cereals – Many. But,
to name a few: Fruity Pebbles and Cocoa
Pebbles (Post), Froot loops, Corn Pops,
Mini-Swirlz Cinnamon Buns (Kellogg’s), and
Basic 4 (General Mills)
Quaker Oats Chewy
Granola Bars (Read the
Special K’s entire
line of health/weight-loss food
Nabisco and Stauffer’s
And then there is the
fast food issue. I can’t help but wonder
did our country embrace the idea that a
balanced meal is a hamburger, fries, soda
pop, and fried apple pie? Following are more
disturbing facts, this time about transfats
in fast food. (By the way, if my
calculations are right, 1 gram = about ¼
Transfat Fast Foods
A few foods off the list of “Top 88 worst
DQ chicken strip basket (6 pcs.) – 12 grams
(about 3 tsp of fat)
McDonald’s large French fries – 8 grams
(about 2 tsp of fat)
Domino’s garlic dipping sauce – 7 grams
Boston Market Pastry Top Chicken Pot Pie – 7
Arby’s apple turnover - 6.5 grams
DQ Large chocolate chip cookie dough
blizzard – 6 grams
McDonald’s chicken selects premium breast
strips (5 pcs.) – 4.5 grams
Times a Restaurants appeared on list of top
88 worst foods:
Jack in the Box - 24
Burger King – 16
White Castle – 16
A & W – 10
DQ – 8
McDonald’s – 5
Arby’s – 3
KFC - 2
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Nearly all processed
meats are made with sodium nitrite:
breakfast sausage, hot dogs, jerkies, bacon,
lunch meat, and even meats in canned
soup products. Yet this ingredient is a
precursor to highly carcinogenic
nitrosamines -- potent cancer-causing
chemicals that accelerate the formation and
growth of cancer cells throughout the body.
When consumers eat sodium nitrite in popular
meat products, nitrosamines are formed in
the body where they promote the growth of
various cancers, including colorectal cancer
and pancreatic cancer, says Mike Adams.
"Sodium nitrite is a dangerous,
cancer-causing ingredient that has no place
in the human food supply," he explains. The
USDA actually tried to ban sodium nitrite in
the 1970's, but was preempted by the meat
processing industry, which relies on the
ingredient as a color fixer to make foods
look more visually appealing. "The meat
industry uses sodium nitrite to sell more
meat products at the expense of public
health," says Adams. "And this new research
clearly demonstrates the link between the
consumption of processed meats and cancer."
Pancreatic cancer isn't
the only negative side effect of consuming
processed meats such as hot dogs. Leukemia
also skyrockets by 700% following the
consumption of hot dogs. (Preston-Martin, S.
et al. "N-nitroso compounds and childhood
brain tumors: A case-control study." Cancer
Res. 1982; 42:5240-5.) Other links between
processed meats and disease are covered in
detail in the Grocery Warning manual.
The new research on processed meats
points to a chemical toxin as the cause of
the increased cancer risk. A heightened
cancer risk of 67% is "gigantic," warns
Adams. "This is clearly not due to
macronutrient differences. This is the kind
of risk increase you only see with
ingredient toxicity. Something in these
processed meats is poisoning people, and the
evidence points straight to sodium nitrite."
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