Wednesday, November 20, 2013



"I saw many people who had advanced heart disease and I was so frustrated because I knew that if they just knew how to do the right thing, simple lifestyle and diet steps, that the entire trajectory of their life and their health would have been different."
                                                    --Dr. Mehmet Oz

November is National Diabetes Month.  Diabetes is the reason why I started the Growing Healthy Kids movement.  After working with thousands of adults with uncontrolled diabetes and teaching them how to control their blood sugars and helping many of those thousands get off most or all of their medications, I came to the conclusion that the childhood obesity epidemic was a goldmine for Big Pharma and the Big Box Food companies.   Turns out I was right. Got diabetes?  Take a pill.  Got high blood pressure?  Take a pill?  Got high cholesterol?  Take a pill.  The problem with all these pills is that they were tested in clinical trials on adults and now we have a whole generation of kids with obesity-related diseases like diabetes and doctors are putting these kids on pills that were never tested on kids.
Eating too much of the bad foods (i.e., high fat, high salt, high sugar, high calorie) is a surefire way to increase your risk of gaining excess weight and developing diabetes.  A simple solution?  Spend a little bit of time planning and cooking meals instead of being led to believe that you are in so much of a hurry to get to your job that you have to go through the McDonalds drive through and then on to the pharmacy to pick up the drugs to control your blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol. 

Diabetes is simply a condition where there is too much sugar in the blood (eating too many refined carbs like sodas, white potatoes, white bread, and high sugar cereals) and/or the body is not using insulin correctly (not enough exercise).   A simple answer?  Start incorporating more superfoods and more exercise into your life and the lives of your children.  Make a simple commitment to make one change a week for ten weeks. 

At the Growing Healthy Kids Test Kitchen, parents tell me, “My child will never eat that!”  When the child helps in the kitchen, the answer usually is a resounding, “Can I have more?”  When learning is personal and first-hand, we understand more.  We are lose our fears when the unknown becomes the known.

I like eating superfoods.  My goal is to eat several of them a day.  A key recommendation for healthy eating is to eat fish 2-3 times a week.  The fish mentioned most often is wild salmon.  Salmon, like all fish, contains the good kind of fat called unsaturated that most of our fat should be.  Eating the right kind of fat is essential if you or your kids have diabetes because the risk is 2-4 times higher for a heart attack or stroke. 

At  the Growing Healthy Kids in the Kitchen programs, we teach by having fun.  In November, because it is a month when there is more discussion about diabetes, we like to kick off new campaigns to teach kids and their parents how to get more superfoods into their meals each week.   

Check out these pictures from our First Annual Growing Healthy Kids in the Kitchen with Chef Chris Bireley at Osceola Bistro.  Click here for the salmon gravlox recipe.  Thank you, Chef Chris, for an amazing adventure with healthy food at your beautiful bistro!

This young boy was full of questions for Chef Chris!

Kids learned how to make fruit kabobs for
their own holiday parties!  Easy, healthy, and fast!

Kids helped prepare the fresh citrus and dill
for the salmon gravlox.

Tasting the salmon gravlox on fresh bagels - yum!

Do the right thing.  Eat more superfoods.  Make simple changes.  Growing Healthy Kids is looking forward to coming to YOUR city in 2014!

In gratitude,
Nancy Heinrich

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.