Wednesday, October 21, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Best Minestrone Soup

 "If your plan is for one year, plant rice.

If your plan is for ten years, plant trees.

If your plan is for one hundred years, educate children."

                                                                                     --Confucius


Fall is a great time to make your favorite soups.  Teach your children how to make several basic soups and you are giving them tools to feed themselves for a lifetime.  Kids can take an active role in making soup when you take them to the farmers market to shop for veggies and in the kitchen helping chop, dice, and slice (with parent approval and appropriate knife safety precautions, of course).  

Minestrone is one of my favorite soups because it is a perfect comfort food and it is so good for you.  You can also make it a thousand different ways with vegetable combinations and fun, small pastas.  Always choose organic vegetables and Italian pasta, whenever possible.  

This is the recipe that I prepare at least once every 2 weeks. Trust me on the lemon! 

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS:  Our Recipe Collection

MINESTRONE SOUP

INGREDIENTS:

·        2 Tablespoons olive oil

·        1 medium yellow onion, diced

·        2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

·        2 celery stalks, thinly sliced (or substitute bok choi, sliced)

·        3 cloves garlic, minced

·        ½ teaspoon dried oregano

·        ½ teaspoon dried thyme

·        3 Tablespoons tomato paste

·        1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, with the juice

·        1 cup vegetables, sliced or cubed (zucchini, butternut squash, spinach, green beans, potatoes, spinach, etc.)*

·        3 cups vegetable broth

·        1 cup water

·        1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

·        1 bay leaf

·        ½ cup small Italian pasta (elbows or shells)

·        Juice of 1 lemon*

DIRECTIONS:

Heat soup pan with oil to medium heat.  Add onions and saute for 5 minutes.  Add celery (or bok choi), carrots, and garlic and cook 2 more minutes.  Add remaining ingredients except for pasta and lemon. 

Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cover, cooking for 15-30 minutes.

I prefer to cook the pasta separately (in case any soup is leftover) and add a little to each bowl before adding the soup.

Before serving, remove bay leaf.  Cut lemon in half and squeeze a little on each bowl of soup. 

*NOTE FROM NANCY:  Adding fresh lemon juice is the key to a great minestrone soup, in my humble opinion.  My favorite vegetables for minestrone soup are zucchini and green beans. 

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Obesity and Vaccines

"The most ethical diet just so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest."

                                                                                                --Michael Greger, MD

Until 2020 brought coronavirus into our lives, I admit I was unaware of the relationship between obesity and vaccine efficacy. 

Obesity is a strange bedfellow.  Medicines do not work as well when one is obese.  It turns out vaccines don’t work as well either. 

On August 6, 2020 the “America’s Obesity Epidemic Threatens Effectiveness of Any COVID Vaccine,” by Sarah Varney was published by Kaiser Family Foundation on KHN.org.  It appears that obesity interferes with the body’s immune response. 

“Will we have a COVID vaccine next year tailored to the obese?  No way,” said Raz Shaikh, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  “Will it still work in the obese?  Our prediction is no.”  

America’s children deserve access to good foods that promote health and help them maintain a healthy weight.  Highly processed foods, especially those with added sugars, contribute to obesity and inflammation.  Protecting the health of America’s children is about more than preventing the consequences from obesity.  The risks of obesity are mounting, in unimaginable ways, as we work daily to protect ourselves and our children from exposure to COVID-19.   

Who knew that obesity would become a major risk factor for viral infection, morbidity, mortality, and interference with vaccine efficacy?  It is more important than ever that we work to ensure ALL kids have access to healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, especially kids living in food deserts.  

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Healthy Foods Promote Disease Resistance

 "America's health care system is neither healthy, caring, nor a system." 

                                                                                --Walter Cronkite


The annual flu season is here, on top of 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic for which obesity is one of the major risk factors for increased susceptibility.  According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, since 2010 there have been between 12,000 and 61,000 deaths a year from influenza (seasonal flu).  More than 210,000 Americans have died in 2020 from COVID-19.   

A strong immune system is one of the best defenses against threats to our physical health, including the seasonal flu and COVID-19.  Eating foods such as blueberries, flax seeds, and broccoli build a healthy immune system. Limiting and eliminating foods that cause inflammation such as all animal foods (meat, chicken, milk, cheese, ice-cream, yogurt) and refined or added sugars, is crucial to our health. 

Every bite, every meal is a choice.  Do I choose to eat to create health or eat to invite disease and inflammation?  Will I choose to make a salad of local organic greens, tomatoes, blueberries, and cucumbers or a beef burger filled with saturated fats on a refined wheat bun for lunch? 

Build a strong immune system.  Make most of what you eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.  Choose organic whenever possible. Buy from your local farmers.

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Fall Foods Are Good for the Soul

"I love comfort food - it's the basis of everything."

                                                                                  --Katie Lee



Fall foods are some of my favorite comfort foods. 

When leaves change colors and the temperature signals sweater weather has arrived, I know the bounty of fall foods is ahead.  There is something special about visiting farmers markets in search of locally grown winter squash like butternut and acorn from organic farmers.  Heirloom tomatoes, onions, and garlic fill the dining table as soup recipes start manifesting in my weekly menus.  Fresh herbs add layers of flavor to every dinner.

The comfort of fall foods is reassuring as we say good-bye to summer and think about the gifts of winter.  Favorite family recipes and the smells of cinnamon, acorn squash, and pumpkin create memories to get us through the winter. 

Take extra good care of yourself and your family.  Here are a few suggestions to make this fall a great fall:

  • Make your favorite comfort foods. 
  • Visit your local farmers markets and buy squash to grill, for soups, and to stuff with wild or brown rice and quinoa.  
  • Invest in some really good organic smoked paprika.  Use it with grilled vegetables.  Saute pumpkin seeds and smoked paprika in olive oil to finish your soups. 
  • Make an extra pumpkin pie for a neighbor.  
  • Share a pint of your homemade soup with a coworker.  
  • Make homemade croutons from a good sour dough bread. 
  • Walk in the fall leaves and celebrate the changing of the seasons.  

Enjoy being alive!

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Spectacular Spices


"Ounce for ounce, herbs and spices have more antioxidants than any other food group."

                                                                               --Michael Greger, MD 

One of my favorite spices in the world is organic smoked paprika.  If you have been to a Growing Healthy Kids workshop, then you have probably experienced the amazing flavor and taste of organic smoked paprika. People are always amazed to learn how different it is from regular paprika. 

Here is one of my favorite soup topper tips: sautĂ© a tablespoon of olive oil with 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 1 teaspoon organic smoked paprika, and a pinch of pink Himalayan sea salt for a couple of minutes on medium heat.  Serve on tomato, tomato-butternut squash, or split pea soup. 

Herbs and seasonings are an essential part of any plant-based pantry.  Choose organic whenever possible because when you invest in the best quality ingredients possible, your foods will be so much better in taste and quality.  Here are 10 herbs and spices that are always in my pantry:

  1. Basil
  2. Oregano
  3. Thyme
  4. Garlic powder
  5. Turmeric
  6. Ginger
  7. Black pepper
  8. Cumin
  9. Smoked paprika
  10. Coriander

Enjoy spectacular spices. Grow herbs with your kids whenever possible so you can use them fresh.  As you cook with fresh and dried herbs, your kitchen will smell amazing  and your health will be the beneficiary! 

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Destructive Stress and Diabetes

 "Chronic illness is a family affair."

                                          --Richard Cohen, from Chasing Hope


Preventing diabetes among kids who are already overweight and obese is key to the mission of Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.  Some kids at unhealthy weights live in food deserts, lack access to fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and are dependent on SNAP benefits at home and the USDA's free and reduced meal program at school.  These kids are often bullied by other kids (and sometimes by adults who should know better), ostracized, and isolated.  The psychological effects of childhood obesity are well documented, according to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Stressors on the health of a child can have unhealthy consequences on the health of a child.   

Stress narrows the blood vessels and raises the blood pressure.  Someone with diabetes is at 2-4 times higher risk for a heart attack or stroke than someone without diabetes. Having high LDL cholesterol means the blood vessels are narrowed because the saturated fat found in foods from animals (think cheese, beef, chicken, ice-cream and full-fat milk) sticks to the inside of the vessels. 

Managing stress is important to everyone’s overall health, but especially important for anyone with diabetes or prediabetes.  In addition to “everyday” stress like the school class change bells, attending “virtual” school at home, loud noises, unexpected events like someone’s illness or death, being bullied, or being sedentary, everyone is also juggling year of “COVID” stress, a summer of racial injustices and uncertainty, and a presidential election of great consequence to the health of our country and the health of democracy.

Stress can kill you.  If it doesn’t kill you, it will age you.  If it doesn’t age you, it will remind you that living a balanced life matters a lot so turn off the source of the stress.

I walk as my antidote for stress.   Sometimes I will throw in a little walk/run to get my heart rate up a bit.  We need those walks to remind us to stop and smell the roses every day. Exercise, time outside in nature, and eating real foods (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes) all play a role in managing stress.  What are you and your kids doing to manage stress? 

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Rethinking Our Food Supply

 “The coronavirus disrupted the American food supply and it changed the way I shop, cook, and eat.”

        --Ruth Reichl, from her article “The Changing American Table”



If I had a magic wand…the world would embrace whole plant-based eating for the sake of the planet’s health and people’s health.

Imagine a world where there are no meat processing plants because people have switched to plant-based eating for good and animals are no longer slaughtered for human consumption.  Picture rivers and lakes near factory farms no longer being polluted by animal wastes.  Think about how much healthier communities will be when people no longer have animal factory farms polluting their neighborhoods.  

In 2020 meat processing plants, where animals are systematically cut apart and packaged as food and where workers are subjected to inhumane conditions, have become COVID-19 vectors for widespread disease transmission.  For the first time, many people saw the dark underworld of what it is like to work at a packing plant as one plant after another had widespread infections among workers.  Keeping working conditions a secret appears to be a priority of these companies where animals are factory farmed to supply people’s insatiable desire for beef, chicken, and pork. In April 2020, Donald Trump signed an executive order forcing these plants to remain open. 

On June 27, 2020, CNN.com published a story called, “Why meat processing plants have become COVID-19 hotbeds”.  According to authors Anna Stewart, Ivana Kottasová, and Aleesha Khaliq: 

A number of scientists have suggested that the cold, humid environment inside the plants could help the virus spread. “These animal cadavers have to be sprayed with water all the time, so you have aerosols, and it’s cold…it is something that definitely deserves very thorough investigation,” [Dr. Thomas] Kamradt said.

Next time you order a quarter pounder burger, consider this little known fact: according to USGS.gov, it takes about 460 gallons of water to make a ¼ pound hamburger.  For every pound of beef, that’s about 1,840 gallons of water.  The average swimming pool takes 18,000-20,000 gallons of water to fill or the same amount of water needed for about 10 pounds of beef. 

As a longtime student of the benefits of plant-based eating such as reversing heart disease and diabetes, I believe the disruptions to America’s food supply due to COVID-19 are speeding up the realization that we must rethink our food supply.  There is a direct correlation between consumption of foods from animals and heart disease, obesity, and most cancers.  Using fossil fuels to move foods from one side of the country to another so that we can have access to fruits and vegetables year round makes no sense in light of the climate crisis emergency we have created by these practices we can no longer afford.  The picture below is a package of blackberries grown in California and sold in Indiana. 

Blackberries grown in California and sold in Indiana
It’s time to rethink our food supply.  

  • Eat real food. Avoid processed foods and foods from animals. 
  • Make most of what you eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes.  
  • Support local farmers.  
  • Learn how your food is grown and how far it traveled to get to you.  The longer it takes to harvest food and get it to your table, the less nutritional value it has.  
  • Factory farming of animals needs to stop.  When you shift to plant-based eating, the supply chain will shift to meet the new demands.  We are already beginning to see it with the increased demand for plant milks.   

Moving to whole plant-based eating is one of the powerful things we can do - for our own health and for the health of our home, Planet Earth.  

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Infant Mortality and Maternal Obesity

Babies are like bits of stardust, blown from the hand of God.

                                                                  --unknown author

Partners for Healthy Babies | Partners for Family Health

The death of an infant is not a normal event. 

Having a baby is a time of joy, love, and excitement because you are creating a new life to bring into this world.  The birth of a child is a celebratory event, a new beginning.

But some infants die before their first birthday.   

Infant mortality rate is the number of infant (aged under 1 year) deaths per 1,000 live births in a specified group. On August 21, 2020, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a report called Infant Mortality by Maternal Prepregnancy Body Mass Index:  2017-2018.  According to the report’s authors*, “Generally, infant mortality increased as maternal BMI increased from the normal through obese weight categories.”  The authors summarized the study’s findings with this statement, “Nonoptimal BMI before pregnancy has implications for infant and maternal health, given the potential for adverse health outcomes for both women and infants.”  They found a direct relationship between maternal weight and infant mortality. 

This study is an important reason that with the decision to become pregnant comes the reality of how connected being at a healthy weight is to the health of the baby.  Knowing that the more overweight or obese a woman (or girl) is when she is pregnant is directly related to an increased chance that the infant may die before the age of 1 is a reality that should, ideally, be part of pre-pregnancy counseling for all reproductive age women. 

*The study authors are Danielle M. Ely, Ph.D., Elizabeth C.W. Gregory, M.P.H., and Patrick Drake, M.S. This National Center for Health Statistics report can be downloaded from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAY: Summer Squash Makes the Plate

"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." 
                                                        --Michael Pollan
Summertime is all about fresh fruits and vegetables. Corn, tomatoes, watermelon, green onions, swiss chard, peaches, plums, and summer squash. I have eaten yellow and green (zucchini) summer squash all my life. Sauteed zucchini, zucchini fritters, stuffed zucchini, and zucchini bread.  

Now I spiralize zucchini. I use a simple two-sided grater. One of my favorite summer meals is to add a pile of spiralized zucchini to a pot of Italian pasta during the last minute of cooking and serve the pasta and zucchini with homemade marinara sauce and sourdough bread. 

In the past several years I have been able to buy baby squash from local farmers at the farmers markets. It is amazing!  Below is one of the newest recipes from the Growing Healthy Kids Test Kitchen. It is a summertime winner!
BABY SUMMER SQUASH WITH Parsley 

This recipe was created when baby squash was readily available at the New Albany Farmers Market. While summer squash is always delicious, baby squash is one of life's culinary delicacies. This dish will complement your favorite pasta or ravioli. 

INGREDIENTS: 
• 10-15 baby squash, thinly sliced on a diagonal (about 1-1/2 cups) 
• 1 teaspoon olive oil (or substitute 1-2 Tablespoons vegetable broth) 
• 4 cloves fresh garlic, minced 
• 2 Tablespoons julienned sun-dried tomatoes 
• 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced 
• Lemon zest, to taste
• Freshly ground black pepper and pink Himalayan sea salt 

DIRECTIONS: 

Heat oil in medium saute pan over medium heat. 
Add squash. Saute for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Add garlic and sundried tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes. 
Add parsley, lemon zest, pepper and sea salt, to taste. 
Serve immediately. 

With love, 
Nancy Heinrich, MPH 
Founder and Wellness Architect 
Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Pregnancy and Obesity

"Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world." 

                                                                                      --Desmond Tutu

Kids at a Growing Healthy Kids workshop in Vero Beach, Florida


Recently I had the honor to speak with Kim Colvin who is studying at Frontier Nursing University to become a certified nurse midwife.  Kim contacted me because of her interest in childhood obesity in relation to her current studies to be a health care practitioner serving women who are pregnant. 

After we talked about how important it is for women who thinking about becoming pregnant to be aware of their own weight and their eating habits, I asked Kim if she would contribute to the readers of WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS as our first guest author.  Here are her words for your consideration:

Childhood obesity continues to be a major public health concern in the US. According to national data, one-third of children and adolescents aged 2–19 years were overweight (16.6%) or obese (18.5%) in 2015–2016 (LeWinn et al., 2020). Children who are overweight or obese are not only more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, but also have increased risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and psychological or behavioral consequences, such as anxiety, depression, stress, and social withdrawal (LeWinn et al., 2020). Identifying the early risk factors of childhood obesity will guide prevention efforts to reduce this burden and promote long-term health. 

 

Studies have shown that higher maternal fast food pattern is significantly associated with a greater risk of childhood obesity in their unborn children (LeWinn et al., 2020). These findings further highlight the important role of maternal diet during pregnancy in child growth and obesity risk. Metabolic changes caused by obesity in the mother may influence fetal programming and the development of obesity in their unborn children (LeWinn et al., 2020). 

 

Maintaining a healthy diet is key to your overall health during pregnancy. Learning what foods are most nutritious for you and your baby during pregnancy is the key to a healthy child. Healthy amounts of vitamins, iron, calcium, protein, fiber, unsaturated fats, fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy foods, fresh nuts and grains, lean meats, poultry and fish is the key to healthier choices that can decrease the risk of obesity in children. Avoiding fast food, fried food and processed food will enhance a healthy diet and can decrease the risk of developing comorbidities as a child and as an adult. Healthy eating habits can help raise healthy children.

 

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Basic Cooking Skills for Kids

"Cooking with kids is not just about recipes, ingredients, and cooking.  It's about harnessing imagination, empowerments, and creativity." 

                                                                                                   --Guy Fieri


There used to be a high school class called “Home Ec” or home economics.  Girls took home ec and boys took shop.  Girls learned about cooking, managing a household budget, and even how to repair household appliances.  Boys learned about power tools and how to build stuff. 

I am not sure why home ec faded away, but we need to bring it back. 

All kids need to know how to feed themselves.  BASIC. COOKING. SKILLS.  Working with Growing Healthy Kids to plan and deliver workshops for kids has taught me that most kids are not given the opportunity to learn how to cook and prepare delicious, whole foods.  So many kids exhibit desperate behaviors when we begin a series of workshops.  Some will attempt to grab foods on the prep table to shove in their mouths, most do not know how to set a table, and only a few have been taught at home how to properly and safely use a knife to chop and dice vegetables. 

Start building a kitchen tool collection for your kids and support kids to learn how to prepare delicious recipes using fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. Not sure where to start?  Here are 3 kitchen tools every kid needs for cooking adventures in the kitchen:

  1. A microplane (garlic, lemons, limes, turmeric, and ginger)
  2. A lemon squeezer (lemons and limes)
  3. A peeler (for making zucchini pasta)

Eat real food. 

With love,

Nancy Heinrich, MPH

Founder and Wellness Architect

Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Plant-Based Eating - Easy and Economical


According to USDA, Americans ate an average of 222 pounds of meat in 2018. 
                                                                                ---source:  globalagriculture.org

Kids learn to make salads and salad dressing at a Growing Healthy Kids workshop
with Chef Anthony Damiano of Counter Culture.  
Many people believe the myth that it is expensive to eat healthy.  When I am in the checkout at the grocery store, I observe what other people have in their carts and what they are spending on food.  Packages of meat, steaks, and chicken quickly add up to so much more than what I spend on dried lentils, beans, rice, oats, and fresh greens. 

Last weekend I soaked a bag of chickpeas overnight and the next day cooked them for an hour.  Chickpeas have been garnishing my salads all week, along with the organic lentil sprouts I effortlessly grow every week.  Last night I made chickpea cutlets with mushroom gravy, mashed sweet potatoes and peas.  Dinner was delicious! All this goodness – and lots of dietary fiber - only $1.49 for a bag of dried chickpeas!   

Fun facts!  One cup of cooked chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans, has about 12 grams of dietary fiber.  Chickpeas are in the legume family (beans, peas, and lentils).  Most of the fiber in chickpeas is insoluble fiber, which does not break down (think “roughage”) and contributes to great bowel movements.  Chickpeas also contain soluble fiber, which is water soluble and breaks down to create a gel which helps lower blood cholesterol and sugar, helping to improve blood glucose control.  Fiber fills you up so you don’t overeat.  Aim for at least 28 grams a day (more if you have diabetes).  Meat contains no dietary fiber.  Fiber is only found in plant foods.  Most Americans eat far less fiber than they need. 

Eat real food: fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains.  

With love,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect
Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: Why We Need More Diabetes Literacy


“Don’t let the ‘pre’ fool you—prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes puts you at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.”
                                                                             --from cdc.gov

Kids learn about real food at a Growing Healthy Kids' workshop.  
I get upset when someone I know lands in the hospital due to complications from undiagnosed or untreated diabetes.  One common thread with many cases has been that their spouses are health care professionals.  I get upset because I keep thinking they should have had the knowledge to better manage and control their diabetes and to not become so ill they needed to be hospitalized.   

More than 88 million Americans – one in three adults – have prediabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prediabetes occurs when cells in your body don’t respond normally to insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas.  Insulin serves as a key, unlocking the doors of cells to allow glucose in the bloodstream to enter and be used for energy, and then stores any leftover glucose in the liver.

If a nurse or doctor is not sharing their professional knowledge about diabetes with their own family, then what about their patients?  Few physicians are teachers.  They diagnose, then prescribe drugs.  When their two minutes are up, they say, “See you in three months.” They rarely ask, “What do you eat in a typical day?” even though that discussion could end up adding quality and years to their patients' lives if it prevented life-threatening complications such as a heart attack or kidney dialysis.

Who is teaching individuals with a fasting blood sugar result of 120 that they have prediabetes, what prediabetes is, and how to reverse it?  Who is teaching the patient with an A1C of 9.5 hospitalized with diabetes complications what that A1C means, how often the test should be done and why, and how shifting to plant-based eating (mainly fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains) can help to control and reverse diabetes? 

Diabetes can be reversed.  Prediabetes, if diagnosed and interventions are made, can be prevented from progressing to diabetes, which cost the US $327 Billion in 2017, a 26% increase in 5 years.

With the COVID-19 pandemic wrecking havoc on American families and businesses, there is a sense of urgency to get diabetes education into communities at high risk for diabetes and prediabetes.  COVID-19 risk factors include diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, sickle cell anemia, and COPD.  If you know a church or community leader who would like to host a Zoom conversation about diabetes literacy, please contact me at growinghealthykidsnow@gmail.com.  Let's talk!

Together, we can create a wave of diabetes literacy in our homes, churches, and communities.  

With love,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

WELLNESS WEDNESDAYS: A "Souper" Summer Recipe


"Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air." 
                                                                                --Ralph Waldo Emerson


 corn | Health Topics | NutritionFacts.org

The beauty of summertime is that we have so many wonderful choices:  should I sleep in late today, go for a swim, read a book, or eat chilled watermelon?  In the Midwest, July is corn season.  Fresh corn is showing up at the New Albany Farmers Market.  My heart is happy!  Should I make corn on the cob, corn & black bean salad, Mexican street corn, or cornbread?  

Here is one of my favorite recipes for corn soup.  This 6 ingredient recipe is great to make with your kids.

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS:  Our Recipe Collection
CORN SOUP

CLEAN husks and silks from:
·        5 ears of fresh corn

REMOVE kernels from the cobs using a sharp knife and set aside.

MELT in a medium saucepan over medium heat:
·        2 Tablespoons vegan butter

ADD:
·        1 medium onion, diced
·        1 clove garlic, minced

SAUTE until onion is softened, about 20 minutes. 

ADD:
  Corn kernels
·        1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
·        4-1/2 cups vegetable stock

REDUCE heat and simmer until corn is tender, about 10 minutes. 

USE a slotted spoon to remove 1 cup of the corn-onion mixture and set aside. Transfer remaining soup in small batches to blender and puree until completely smooth, about 3 minutes per batch.  Return to saucepan and stir in reserved corn-onion mixture.

REHEAT until steaming.

SEASON to taste with salt and pepper. 

SERVE topped with smoked paprika.

With love,
Nancy Heinrich, MPH
Founder and Wellness Architect
Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.