Wednesday, January 31, 2018


"I think careful cooking is love, don't you?  The loveliest thing you can cook for someone close to you is about as nice a valentine as you can give." 
                                                                         --Julia Child, American chef, 1912-2004

Image result for vegetable soup "org"

This is soup season.  Soup is the ultimate comfort food.  I love to make a pot of soup because the smells of vegetables cooking in a yummy broth make my house really feel like a home.  

Soup is easy to make.  You can change a soup recipe based on what you have on hand in your kitchen.  Most soups are better the second or third day; make a big pot for dinner on Sunday and pack up the leftover soup for work or school lunches on Monday and Tuesday.  This is one of my favorite tricks for eating great food during the work week AND saving money!  

Freshly shelled beans, when available, can kick up a soup's flavor.

From the author's visit to New Albany, Indiana's Farmers Market last fall

Soup is delicious and good for you.  Learning how to make a pot of soup is a key concept in our Nutrition Scientists Training Program.  It is a great way to teach your kids how combining different spices and herbs creates great food.  When kids have the skills and confidence to make soup, they will be able to feed themselves for a lifetime.  

Image result for red kale "org"
Here is one of my favorite soup recipes (adapted from a recipe in The How Not to Die Cookbook by Michael Greger, MD with Gene Stone).  It is loaded with dietary fiber (beans, sweet potato and kale) and is perfect for anyone with diabetes or prediabetes.  Add some fresh bread with olive oil for dipping and you have a fantastic meal.  

GROWING HEALTHY KIDS:  Our Recipe Collection

  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1/2–inch dice
  • 4 cups chopped fresh organic red kale
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes  
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (or 1-15.5 ounce BPA-free can of cannellini beans)
  • 1 teaspoon white miso paste
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Savory Spice Blend, or to taste


Heat 1 cup of the broth in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the sweet potato, kale, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and the remaining 5 cups of broth and bring to a boil over high heat.  Lower heat to medium, add beans and cook until vegetables are tender, 20-30 minutes.  Ladle about 1/3 cup of the broth into a small bowl.  Add miso and stir to blend.  Pour the miso mixture into the soup.  Stir in nutritional yeast, parsley, marjoram and Savory Spice Blend.  Remove bay leaves.  Serve hot. 

Savory Spice Blend

Combine all ingredients in a blender to mix well and pulverize the dried herbs and spices: 
  • 2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon celery seeds 

Store spice blend in glass jar in a cool, dry place. 

With love and gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.  

Wednesday, January 24, 2018


“We learned that animal protein was really good at turning on cancer.”  
              --Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., from the film, "Forks over Knives"

Image result for vegetables "org"

Have you read The China Study?  It is a powerful epidemiological study of a large population which looks at the relationship between diet and diseases such as cancers and diabetes.  The China Study was published in 2005.  The data collection methods and findings from the study played a leading role in the classic documentary, "Forks over Knives". 

Image result for vegetables "org"

I recently watched "Forks over Knives" for the second time.  The first time I watched it was in 2011, the year the film was released.  The film demonstrates the body’s ability to reverse diseases such as diabetes and heart disease with whole food plant based eating. The benefits of eating a whole food, plant based diet are clear:  vegetables do not cause disease but eating foods from animals causes disease. 

Image result for vegetables "org"

Breast, lung, and prostate cancers top the list of cancers in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society.  In 2017, it was estimated that there were more than 255,000 cases of breast cancer, with 40,610 deaths from breast cancer.  A woman born today has a 1 in 8 chance of being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime.  Below is a list of the most common cancers (cases and deaths):  

Common Types of Cancer
Estimated New
Cases 2017
Deaths 2017

Breast Cancer (Female)
Lung and Bronchus Cancer
Prostate Cancer
Colorectal Cancer
Melanoma of the Skin
Bladder Cancer
Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma
Kidney and Renal Pelvis Cancer
Uterine Cancer

Look at, the website of the American Cancer Society.  Sadly, you will find nothing about the benefits of a whole food plant based diet.  You will find nothing about the harmful effects of consuming animal proteins.  You will find nothing about the addictive nature of casein, the protein found in milk, cheese, and hidden in many processed foods.  

Image result for vegetables "org"

What you will find on the website is a list of the organization's corporate alliances.  Included on the list is Tyson, America's largest producer of broiler chicken.  Other corporate alliances of the American Cancer Association include Pfizer, Lilly, Merck, AstraZeneca, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and other drug companies.  There is no guessing needed as to why the American Cancer Society promotes eating chicken in their nutritional guidelines or accepts money from the country's largest pharmaceutical companies.  With sponsorships from drug companies that directly profit from cancer drugs, why would the American Cancer Society profit from educating you on how to prevent cancer?  If you get cancer, their supporters make money. If you don't get cancer, they don't make money.  

It is up to us to educate ourselves how to prevent cancer.  

Every day I make conscious and intentional decisions about what foods to buy, what to eat, and whether or not to take a walk or jog.  I do not want to be the 1 in 8 to get breast cancer. 

Kids who are overweight or obese are more likely to be obese as adults.  Obesity is a risk factor for breast cancer.  Therefore, helping overweight and obese teens, especially girls, get to healthier weights will help them prevent breast cancer.

My heart breaks every time I learn that someone close to me is diagnosed with cancer.  Several of my family members have already had breast cancer.  The shock of the diagnosis, the torture of the treatments and resulting physical disfigurement plus the burden on families is too much of a burden.  We must do more to prevent cancer. We must work harder to prevent cancers, especially those that are obesity-related.  

What can you do to prevent cancer in your own family?  Here are my suggestions:

  1. Learn about the health benefits that come from avoiding all animal products.  
  2. Choose fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains as your food groups.  
  3. Watch "Forks over Knives".  
  4. Read The China Study.  
  5. Read Dr. Michael Greger’s books, How Not to Die and his new How Not to Die Cookbook (one of my favorite cookbooks in the Growing Healthy Kids Test Kitchen).  
  6. Go to to learn about the benefits of a plant-based way of eating from Dr. Neal Barnard, founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.  
  7. Eat rainbows (fruits and vegetables that are the colors of the rainbow). 

If you are not sure how to transition to whole food plant based eating, call me at 772-453-3413.   

Please pass the blueberries.  

With love and gratitude,
Nancy L. Heinrich, MPH
Founder, Growing Healthy Kids, Inc.