In our family, a couple times a year, my mom, my sisters, my cousins and I get together to go out to dinner and reconnect, have fun and treasure our moments together!! We usually try to choose a healthful, fun restaurant in Boston! This summer, we had another “Cousin Reunion”. Most of the time though, we are responsible for buying the groceries, cooking and cleaning for our families. One of my favorite places to buy healthy food in a FUN FUN FUN setting is at the LOCAL FARMERS MARKET!! Farmers Markets tend to be rich with wholesome Vegetables, Fruits, Herbs, Granolas, Honey and often the Organic varieties from Local businesses. Nutrition is a Key to Life Long Health and this is equally true of Cancer!
So this month, September, is devoted to NUTRITION because it is one of the most helpful strategies to deal with any health issue, PLAIN AND SIMPLE! I am recommending 2 App’s that I have found to be incredibly helpful when trying to choose healthful foods to eat.
1. 21 Day Vegan Kickstart (FREE APP for your Smart Phone)-Designed by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, this is a gem which will help you switch your habits to Healthful Lifestyle Choices and Nutrient Dense Whole Foods. Did you know that it takes 21 Days to Change a Habit? Hence, this is key to making positive nutrition changes. It gives you all the Breakfast-Lunch-Snack-and Dinner Menus + Recipes so it guides you along the way…Eazy Peezy!!
2. Dana Farber Nutrition (FREE APP for your Smart Phone)-What I LOVE about this App is that it has a menu which provides Recipes according to Symptom Management (key for those Surviving Cancer especially when undergoing treatment with Chemotherapy and/ or Radiation), Food Type, Meal Type, and Special Diets. if you find a recipe you particularly like, you can save it to your “Favorites” and then generate a “Shopping List” so you won’t forget an ingredient when you go to the Grocery Store. Have a Nutrition Question? There is even a section to ask questions of the Professional Nutritionist …what a gift!!! Try both these Apps…they are both gems which will support you in your Healthful Lifestyle Choices!!
Whenever we talk about Nutrition today, I have to be honest that there is good news and bad news regarding Food in our Culture!! First, the good news…We have so much food available to us through our food chains, transportation systems and our global economic connection!! We are a very fortunate generation indeed!! We have the OPPORTUNITY to choose some of the most nutrient dense whole foods available to many on a daily basis so that we are fueling our bodies with the best nutrition to keep us healthy for the long term!! We do have the ability to live long and productive lives to about 120 years old! That is amazing. Did you know that at the turn of the 20th century (1900) that the average age of life was only about 49 or 50 years old? That is a testament to the power of our grandfathers, grandmothers, scientists and entrepreneurs who worked so hard to build a better life for us. In 100 years, we have almost doubled life expectancy.
The bad news is that with this innovation and the drive to make our life more efficient and easier, our food has changed so much in the last 40 years that many of us are not even aware that it is far from the food that past generations ate. While we have access to nutrient dense whole foods, many are unknowingly choosing processed, fast foods, which have a longer shelf life and many more potentially harmful fats, sugars, chemicals and salts. These food choices have not only contributed to the rates of obesity but also the increase in type II diabetes in all age groups, including children that were not seen before, heart disease, cancer and autoimmune dysfunction.
To get our bodies back to their healthful state, we need to help our kids learn that Nutrient Dense Whole Foods are key to Life Long Health!! If we stock our kitchen refrigerators and cabinet shelves with wholesome, healthful foods then our kids have the best chance of choosing healthy foods for their bodies. As the Health Manager of the Home, Moms are key to this strategy!! Have you taken an inventory of your food pantry or refrigerator items ? The fall is a great time to purge unnecessary items or food that is unhealthy. Of course, this is a process, and may take time and support from other members of the family who do shopping but the sooner we begin the better off for our kids health and our OWN!!