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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Nutritarian?!!! Wha...?

Well, shoooot, only a few weeks into 2013 and I’m already struggling with one of my resolutions (#1 even!!): No guilt.  I’ve experienced a ginormous shift in my understanding of my resolution #4 (health) which has caused some issues with resolution #1 (no guilt).  I just finished reading the book Disease-Proof Your Child by Dr. Joel Furhman.  It has pretty much just completely verified everything I already knew (a primarily veggie-fruit based diet is based) and has also added a side-serving of guilt regarding all the foods I’ve been feeding my kids (and myself) for years.  Now, we ate fairly well.  Really, we did.  The boys still don’t like soda – thank goodness – we typically only had desserts on the weekend.  They only have juice a few times a week.  We drank fat-free milk.  We usually only ate lean meats and even then it wasn’t every single lunch or dinner…but still.  Basically I was already planning on cutting out all processed foods of which we can’t pronounce all the ingredients…but Dr. Furhman takes it to a whole new level.  You can see his ideal food pyramid here:  On paper it really doesn’t seem THAT different from what we were already attempting to do but putting it into practice is a whole other story.  Obviously this is the ideal and it’s what we’re working towards, but holy dooty, no-to-little cheese is going to be the toughest one especially for the kiddos where adding cheese to a veggie-filled pasta or quinoa or veggie-stuffed whole wheat tortilla was kind of the way to get them to really eat it.  Our kids do well with some veggies – they’re actually awesome with carrots, steamed broccoli, green beans, bell peppers, etc.  Basically the standard vegetables, but getting them (and us) on board with eating basically 75% vegetables (‘the salad as the main dish’) will be an adjustment.  See how even the whole grains are way higher up on the pyramid?!  As carbivores – granted healthy ones, you know whole grains, whole wheat, etc. – this is a change for sure.

Anyway, so, we’re working on eating this way.  I was already working through all of this when my bestie, Rebecca, heard some upsetting news and did some pretty extensive research.  It SHOULD seem off topic to go from discussing food and eating well to aborted fetuses, right?!  Startling segue, yes?  Sadly, no.  Thanks to her research and helpful links on HER blog: I’ve recently learned that MANY food companies (including Pepsi, Nabisco, Kraft, Cadbury and Nestle) use aborted fetal cells in their food testing or manufacturing.  Yet another startling and sickening discovery and reason to seriously avoid processed foods that are made out of weird man-made chemicals and things that you can’t pronounce.  The list was provided on  Kinda freakin’ me out!  My days of daily Diet Pepsi ended on January 1st and boy, am I ever glad! 

Now, I will continue to work on making my kids the “weird” ones at school who pull out their lunch of tofu, quinoa and steamed veggies! Kale-beet juice anyone?!  But the good news is there ARE ways of making eating this way appetizing to kids, and trust me, I’m trying my best, but honestly, what I learned from Dr. Furhman, is that as long as kids regularly eat garbage (I’m not talking chicken nuggets every day, I’m talking about the way we were eating: whole wheat Ritz crackers, maybe a healthy-seeming granola bar for snack, the occasional Oreo cookie, maybe a frozen cheese pizza for family movie night, etc.) this transition will be WAY harder.  We’re not in any position to just throw out the ‘evil’ foods still lurking in our pantry (and that’d be wasteful anyway), but I am hoping that – without too much guilt and torture – I can transition us all to being “Nutritarians.” (If you’re interested in learning more, I highly recommend the book that I read or Dr. Furhman’s other book Eat to Live or Super Immunity.  Another great way to access some more info is getting on YouTube and watching his videos there; just search for Dr. Furhman). 


Carmel said...

This is really interesting, Jenny. I am afraid to read it though!

Lindsey said...

I started my family on the Nutritarian diet just a week ago, so I'm right there with you - it isn't going to be easy. Here's what's working for us right now...

-I wanted the kids to stop snacking at school (yes, our school encourages kids to bring snack to eat all the time) so that they could have that "healing" part of the digestion. So, I made a chart with 30 squares and told them that if they didn't eat any "outside" food (food prepared by someone other than me) they could mark off a square for that day. So far, they have really stuck to their guns and did a whole week without snacking! At the end of the month I'll reward each of them with a $5 gift card to Target. I don't normally reward with money, but this is a really big deal to me, so it's worth it.

-We're sending lots of soups to school. I still need to invest in higher quality thermoses. One of my kids has access to a microwave, so she can take any dinner leftover and reheat.

-Several of the kids have expressed a willingness to take salads. I"m a bit concerned they won't have time to eat them.

-I just stopped buying anything that didn't fit into the diet. I'm letting them eat anything in the house, so they are cleaning out the pantries for me!

-I've heard you can freeze smoothies in silicone tubes and eat them at school. When we tried this, it was totally liquid by lunch time, but we start the day very early. Maybe it would work for you.

-I'm preplanning their afternoon snack - mostly a veggie tray with dip of some sort.

-For now, I'm letting them have any dressing they want on their salads.

-I'm concerned that they get enough fat, so I'll probably be adding nuts and seeds to every meal. Also, my kids love avocado, so I'll be offering that for snacks regularly.

I look forward to your future posts - what works and what doesn't! Lindsey