Updated: Nov 30
Last night while tucking my 9 year old daughter into bed, she reached her hand out to me and pulled me close.
“Mom, can I talk to you about something going on at school?”
I wrapped her up in my arms. “Of course, bubba. What is it?”
I expected to hear the recap of a challenging interaction with a friend. Or perhaps a new concept she was struggling with. What she revealed to me however, shocked me, made me smile for a second and saddened me to my core, all at the same time.
“Mom. The kids are always telling me how sorry they feel for me to have a Mom who is a nutritionist.”
Now who is to say if these were indeed conversations that she had with her classmates, or if these were thoughts and feelings she was having based on comparisons she was making between what her friends were eating and what she was eating. It really doesn’t matter in my mind. The resulting concept building in her growing mind was that she was losing out because she didn’t have a lunch packed with Fruit Roll-Ups, Wagon Wheels, Bear Claws and Oreos. (These were her exact references.)
She then went on to tell me that she thought maybe she should make a video for her classmates that explained to them how sick I had been when I was younger and how food had helped me to get better. (You can see more of my story here). Explain that we have to eat good food if we are going to be healthy.
We talked for some time about the decisions our family makes around whole foods and why. We also talked about the fact that we also DO eat the foods that her friends were so sorry she was missing. We have never completely removed foods like pizza, ice cream, cookies, chips and hot dogs. They are simply not a part of our regular, day to day eating routine.
After concluding our chat and saying good night, I walked away feeling quite bewildered.
Our ‘system’ is broken!!!
A system in which the kids who are being fed whole good quality foods on a regular basis are told by their well-meaning peers that they are losing out. “Poor you that your mom doesn’t give you Wagon Wheels.”
A system that has, since the 40’s, outright exploited children’s natural affinity for sweet foods. (An adaptation that draws them to the sweetness of their mother’s breast milk in infancy; the powerhouse of all foods).
A system that has generally bypassed any nutritional education (unless associated with large scale food producers) for young children upon their entry into school.
Or for this matter, for parents. Let me say that I believe parents are doing their best when it comes to feeding their families. Much like most GP’s however, unless they had a particular interest in nutrition or received some kind of specialized training along the way, navigating the fog of food misinformation and marketing is not an easy task. It is much easier to get lost in the aisles of colorful boxes, sneaky labelling and the persistent requests of sugar-hungry littles.
A system in which it is cheaper to buy a box of sugar and preservative laden Fruit Roll Ups for our kids instead of apples.
A system that promotes fake, nutrient deficient, pro-inflammatory foods to their people and then watches as rates of preventable chronic diseases like heart disease, type II diabetes and obesity plague the population. Do I dare go so far as to suggest that in the midst of this global pandemic, if our governments truly were concerned about hospital wait times and overcrowded ICUs that they would dedicate considerable effort to preventative healthcare and lessening the prevalence of these diseases through sound nutrition.
Riding on the back of my previous ‘dare I go so far’ comment, this is also a system that continues to bombard us with messages of fear. In particular, fear of getting sick. And yet they allow foods teeming with sugar, preservatives and chemicals to flood our food system. This is a sure fire way to suppress our immune function.
A system in which the parent(s) work their asses off to make ends meet, only to fall down exhausted at the end of the day and try to summon the energy to put a good quality meal on the table. Only to try and do it all again the next day.
I know this post may ruffle some feathers. Usually I balk at that thought and stay quiet.
But after seeing the look on my daughter’s face…
After witnessing her experience feelings of shame and lack because of the abundance of REAL foods she is given in her lunches, I had to let the thoughts flow. Something is VERY wrong with this picture.
Maybe I should let her make that video that she spoke about. I’m sure that her message would be a powerful one. Kids have a way of making people listen.
This is after-all how change starts.
We start questioning.
We start talking.
We start learning another way.
Just because that is how it has been done in our past, does not mean it is the only way.
And really, if we were honest with ourselves, we don't have to look too hard to see that we have some significant challenges in our ‘system’. So much of it could be better handled if we started with food.
So while Willow makes her video about how food heals and how we should all eat real food to stay healthy, I will continue my life’s work too.
Providing nutritional consulting to those who ARE ready to experience lasting change.
Helping people who are suffering with IBD and IBS use food as medicine and experience real healing.
Advocating for and educating student athletes, coaches and parents on the importance that nutrition plays in their health and ultimately, their performance.
If this resonates….
I created the following meal plans in light of this experience. and in hopes that I could plant a seed for someone to try something new. Each will be available until the end of the October. If you need some ideas, new recipes, even just a place to start, these are great options.
The 7 Day Sugar Free Program - $9.99
The 7 Day Fall Harvest Meal Plan - $9.99
The 7 Day Quick and Easy Meal Plan - $9.99
The above are all whole food based meal plans that include 7 days of nutritious and delicious recipes. Ingredient lists, directions and professional photographs are all included. Let me know which one you like, and I'll get it to you pronto.
The 21 Day Transformation Program with Consultation - $99.99
Because this is a 3 week program it also includes a 45 minute consultation in which we take time to discuss your goals, the things that have kept you stuck in the past and strategies for change.
If I can support you in another way please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text (403) 601-5615.
With light and love,