The word ‘healthy’ is thrown around so loosely and few understand the true meaning. There are many different ideas about what is healthy and what is not. As a parent, I know that our child’s healthy is a priority, we just want to make the right decisions. Where do we start? Here are 5 tips to help guide you in implementing healthy changes into your families diet!
1. Purchase organic as often as you can: Especially when it comes to animal products. Conventionally raised animals are often fed a diet of genetically modified corn and soy. Genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) are incredibly dangerous and can cause serious health problems. As for fruits and veggies, it is always best to purchase organic, but when in doubt you can head to this website to see the list of Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen.
2. Avoid white sugar and white flour: Most of us are familiar with the consequences of eating sugar. As we head into cold and flu season it is important to understand that sugar suppresses the immune system quite drastically. White flour, as well as all grains (corn, oats, rice, wheat) are actually metabolized as sugar in the body. I read a study that was done showing that after consuming 200 grams of carbohydrates (carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body), one serving of pasta or pizza, within 15 minutes of eating that meal, you are operating at only 10% capacity of your immune system.
3. Avoid vegetable oils and margarine like the plague: Vegetable oils and margarine are from seeds such as rapeseed (canola oil), cottonseed, soy-bean (soy bean oil), and corn, just to name a few. These oils cannot be extracted from the seed naturally, they have to be chemically removed, deodorized, and altered. In fact, most of these processes use petroleum solvents to help extract the oil, not to mention that the seeds they come from are most likely genetically modified. Stick with real butter or coconut oil. Both of these fats are high in omega 3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory! Read more about that in this article. Olive oil is a very healthy option for low temperature sautéing and salad dressings. When heated above 200F, olive oil becomes rancid, therefor harmful to consumer.
4. Remove all pasteurized dairy from your diet: When you heat milk to anywhere between 160 degrees Fahrenheit (pasteurized)- 280 degrees Fahrenheit (pasteurized and homogenized). You destroy pathogens, bugs and bad bacteria that could be present, but you also destroy the good bacteria that are necessary to digest the milk. According to studies found here, “pasteurization destroys enzymes, diminishes vitamin content, denatures fragile milk proteins, destroys vitamins C, B12 and B6, kills beneficial bacteria, promotes pathogens and is associated with allergies, increased tooth decay, colic in infants, growth problems in children, osteoporosis, arthritis, heart disease and cancer.” You may be thinking, ‘If I drink any milk, I can at least get a good source of calcium, building strong bones and good teeth.’ WRONG! Pasteurized milk, leaches calcium from the body, since this enzyme-less artificial, modern food cannot be easily metabolized. The best option is Raw Milk from healthy, grass-fed cows. You can read more about the incredible health benefits and safety of raw milk on this website.
5. Eat more fat: Yup, you heard me right. Did you know that your body has many requirements for fat? Your heart’s preferred source of energy is saturated fat. Our sex hormones are made from fat. Not to mention that fat makes food taste better AND makes it satiating, making it almost impossible to overeat. Because healthy saturated fats, coming from organically raised animals and tropical foods such as coconut, are high in omega 3 fatty acids, they are anti-inflammatory. A diet that limits healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally. Eating fat helps you loose weight! When you eat fats as part of your meal, the nutrients actually slow down your food absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In fact, this study showed that the specific fatty acid called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which is found in grass-fed beef and full-fat dairy products from grass-fed cows (butter, milk, cheese, etc.), is associated with reduced body fat and weight. For those of you who may be concerned that saturated fats cause heart disease, see this myth debunked on this study.
As a parent to two little’s, I understand how challenging it can be to feed them healthy and to battle with them over finishing a meal. However, I can also say that it is worth every effort, every tear shed, and every hair you pull out of your head! My son Kicker was diagnosed with leukemia on December 4th, 2013. He has had over 100 doses of chemotherapy, not to mention the numerous doses of general anesthesia for the countless lumbar punctures he has had done. Guess what?! He has not experienced any side effects from ANY of this. At 3 years old, you can imagine the challenge I have, keeping him on a strict, nutrient dense diet. This diet has literally saved his life and allowed him to thrive. The doctors are particularly amazed at his immune system. They just can’t figure out how a child undergoing chemotherapy has blood work that consistently shows an immune system reflective of a healthy child, one that doesn’t have cancer and isn’t undergoing chemo. I have fed both of my kid’s nutrient dense diet, devoid of sugars and processed foods since they were born. I believe that Kicker’s little body had the raw materials to fight this beast called cancer, because he had such a good start. I don’t know WHY God allowed my son to get cancer. I have screamed and cried out so many times begging him to give it to me instead. But I can now say that I see WHAT God is going to do with our trial. He has been using us in the pediatric cancer world, to educate other families on how to keep their children thriving, by implementing a nutrient dense diet and alternative therapies alongside the conventional treatment. Our suffering and heartache has not been in vein. When I finally chose to stop asking “Why God, and rather began proclaiming “I can’t wait to see what you do with this God,” we had the vision to start KICKcancER. So I challenge you, make a healthy choice for your children as if their life depended on it. You won’t regret it.
Season Johnson is the daughter of the Holy King, a wife and Momcologist. She is also a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, who’s approach is science based, yet holistically minded. Her goal is to educate others to not just treat or band-aid illness, disease, injury or chronic health problems, but to find the underlying cause and bring support to the body where it is needed. Staying true to this mantra has proven that our bodies are amazingly capable of restoring balance. Through her blog, speaking engagements, pod casts, 30 Day Meal plans, online webinars and an upcoming book, she hopes to empower others to use real food and healthy living principals, to achieve life-long vibrant health!