Tuesday, January 10, 2012


Have you heard about mindful eating?  Just think about the words.  Eating.  Mind.  Full.  A mind full of food.  Presence of mind.  Think about what you eat.  How much you eat.  What quality of food you eat.  With whom you are eating.  Be mindful about eating. 

As I continue to search for and create solutions to childhood obesity and diabetes, I always get back to this statement:  You are what you eat.  This is what mindful eating means to me.  When you know where your food was grown and you eat the right amount and kind of foods, and you enjoy what you eat, things start rebalancing themselves.

For me, mindful eating begins on Saturday mornings when I head over to one of our two Green Markets.  I talk to my friends who happen to be the farmers growing the yellow beets, swiss chards, and Purple Cherokee tomatoes I buy.  I plan my menus around what I just bought.  Then I pair the menus with friends.  This to me is mindful eating.  Quality, not quantity.  Enjoyment, not convenience.  Balance, not greed. 

If we are going to solve the childhood obesity epidemic, we must first take a look at ourselves.   Think about what you eat.  Be mindful of what you eat and how much you eat.  Enjoy what you eat.  You have the power to prevent diseases and obesity if you just think about it. 

Growing Healthy Kids is a movement to halt, reverse, and prevent childhood obesity one child and one garden at a time.  Be part of the solution.  Your children will thank you.

Your friend,
Nancy Heinrich
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Every day there is a lesson.  It might be a lesson learned, occasionally a lesson taught.  Today's lesson for me was to be fully engaged in serving others. 

Teaching someone about the basics needed to know what to eat after you've been diagnosed with diabetes is a big step forward towards reversing diabetes.  The basics about what an A1C blood test is, what a "serving of carbohydrate" is and looks like, what low blood sugar is and what to do to treat it and prevent it.  Teaching someone what questions to ask their doctor so they can start reversing their diabetes, not just control it. 

Do we continue to roll the rock uphill?   Don't let diabetes be an uphill battle for you and your family.  Learn the facts.  Here's a fun fact to remember:  most Americans eat too little fiber.  Are you one of them?  What about your child?  The goal is 14 grams of dietary fiber per 1,000 calories eaten.  If you eat around 2,000 calories a day, then aim for at least 28 grams of dietary fiber.  If you are a young, active male, you probably need 2,500 or more calories, which translates to about 35 grams or more of dietary fiber a day.  With McDonald's, Sonic, and Five Guys advertising to get us all fat as pigs, it really is an uphill battle sometimes. 

An easy way to get enough fiber every day is to use "The Nancy Rule" for buying and eating bread and pasta. Even if you eat out.  Never heard of "The Nancy Rule"?  It's simple:  Choose breads and pastas that have 4 or more grams of dietary fiber per serving AND the first ingredient includes the word "whole".  Commit to this one change and see what happens to your blood sugar.   Funny thing is that when you replace low fiber-content foods with higher fiber-content foods, you'll eat less and lose weight. 

One of my favorite creations:  Veggie Shepherd's Pie
Key ingredient in my Veggie Shepherd's Pie:  chick peas
I think that all families with children need to know that this simple fact - and others - can guide them to keeping their kids well for life.  We can reverse the childhood obesity epidemic when we all eat smarter, better, and healthier.  Remember, anyone can eat healthy - and economically (more on that later).

Use "The Nancy Rule" for the 7 days and then let me know how you feel.   Talk with you soon,

Nancy L. Heinrich, M.P.H.
Founder of the Growing Healthy Kids movement to reverse childhood obesity in Indian River County, Florida and beyond

For free tips and videos about food and diabetes you can use:  http://www.healthydiabetescoach.com/. 

PS -- The Veggie Shepherd's Pie recipe will be featured in the soon-to-be released first book in  the Growing Healthy Kids' series,