Monday, November 28, 2011

New Numbers for Diabetes in American Adults

The Growing Healthy Kids project started as my response and reaction to the increasing number of overweight and obese children I see attending our public schools.  What I really see is kids who will soon be diagnosed with diabetes.  These are kids who already cannot complete a physical education class due to their weight.  These are kids whose parents say they cannot afford to eat healthy, so they let the kids buy energy drinks at the 7-11 loaded with 17 teaspoons of sugar on the way to middle school and they eat the "dollar menu" from McDonald's 2 or 3 nights a week because they think that is all they can afford.  These are the kids on the free and reduced meal program in public school who choose the fried foods and chocolate milk instead of salads and baked fish because of ignorant school district employees who are obese themselves. 

So when I saw yesterday's PARADE magazine with the column entitled "Say What?" I was not surprised.  There are nearly 2 million Americans each year being diagnosed with diabetes.  The column addressed 3 questions these newly diagnosed people are being hit with by their doctors:
1) You need a glucometer.
2) I want you to reduce your hemoglobin A1C.
3) Choose foods that have a lower glycemic index.

Remember Lucy's husband Desi, in "I LOVE LUCY", saying, to her, "You got some 'splaining to do!"  The thing is that doctors are not teachers and they don't do the "'splaining" when they diagnose someone with diabetes.  They say, "You need a glucometer to test your blood sugar and I'll see you in 3 months."  So many times I've encountered patients newly diagnosed with diabetes who've been told they they to start checking their blood sugar and the patient is just wandering around the lobby in circles, clueless about what their next step is, let alone what a glucometer is or how to use the darn thing. 

Because of my passion for teaching and for preventing diseases such as diabetes, I created an education program that answers questions 1-3 above and SO MUCH MORE for anyone diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes.  If you know anyone who the PARADE article is addressing, you should know that getting educated quickly about all the basics is key to preventing complications.  The education program I created is simple to use, effective, and explains all the basics in language you and I can understand without having to go to medical school.  The place to go is  There are a bunch of educational videos I've created that you can look at in addition to the numerous blog entries which each teach important lessons. 

I'm serious about preventing diabetes.  I'm serious about doing something serious about the obesity epidemic.  Especially when it comes to the kids all around us who are overweight and obese through no fault of their own.  If adults with diabetes and prediabetes don't start taking responsibility for learning the basics on their own instead of staying with the mindset of "If my doctor didn't prescribe it, I'm not going to do it", then the kids have NO CHANCE of escaping a diabetes diagnosis. 

The fact is that diabetes is preventable and reversible WHEN YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO.  For more information about what to do, go to

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to improve the health - and lives - of America's kids, one child and one garden at a time.

Are YOU willing to do to be part of the solution?

To your health,

Nancy L. Heinrich, M.P.H.
Founder of Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.
A non-profit organization which designs and delivers solutions to America's childhood obesity epidemic

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Year-End Goals

December 31, 2011 will soon be here.  Have you accomplished all that you wanted to do this year?  I'll share a few thoughts with you as I enjoy the perfect weather today in Florida, writing while the fresh air blows through the house.

A gentle reminder about achieving your goals is in order.  Having written goals for your health, your family, your personal development and for your work is a great place to begin.  Pull out the goals you have already written and see if you are moving forward in each area.  If you don't have any written goals, then get out a piece of paper and write some.  Go to a quiet place today, before we get back to the crazy-busy work and school routines tomorrow. Reflect on where you are now and where you want to be.  Think about what you want.  Write it down.  Visualize it.  Picture it your mind how it will look.  Act as though it is already done. 

I am reflecting on one of my 2011 goals which is to get the Growing Healthy Kids work into book form and have it ready for distribution on the store in December.  I'm almost there.  Now we're looking for a couple of people with a national presence to write notes for the back of the book.  Who do you know?? 

Every day I think about this goal and what I am doing to move the project forward.  So many people have been asking me to do a book that brings the lessons we teach in each Growing Healthy Kids program together into a format they can share with others, beginning with the kids' favorite recipes.   Each healthy cooking program we do for kids includes a recipe, a healthy eating tip, and a physical activity component.  It is a lot of work to summarize the work and energy.  I hope you will be pleased with the results.  Preventing obesity-related diseases seen primarily in adults is the focus of the Growing Healthy Kids movement I started.  It is an ambitious project because this country values treatment of disease more than prevention of disease.  Yet, our mantra is still, "Think globally and act locally."  With every local Growing Healthy Kids project we do in Indian River County, we are thinking globally about ways to reverse childhood obesity. 

As I continue to bring this project (and goal) to completion, I want you to think about what you need to move your own goals forward to completion.  Let's get some wins in before the end of the year.  I want to hear about your goals that involve improving your health or your kids' health.  Please send me a comment so we can support each other to achieve our goals! 

Growing Healthy Kids is dedicated to improving the health - and lives - of America's kids, one child and one garden at a time.

To your health!
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids