This is the current training theme here at Ohana Karate. First let me say we are big believers in the saying “thoughts become things”… so when you say “I feel tired” or “I feel sick” you do! Our brains are very powerful even simply saying “I am healthy and strong” often times will really help you to become healthier and stronger!
Two key elements of health especially for children is sleep and nutrition. Today we will talk a little about nutrition. I’m not going to get up on the soap box and tell you how I think you or your children should eat. Everyone has to find the right fit for their body and family. I will say EVERYONE from your Grandma to medical researchers agrees less processed food and more vegetables is better for us. The verdict is less clear on fats but we do know healthy fats are good for our brain (especially growing brains) for example avocados or MCT oil as opposed to lots of animal fats or heavily processed fats such as corn oil.
How about sugar? I don’t even think I need to answer this for you. Sugar is as addicting as cocaine! The same pleasure centers light up in the brain when you get a “hit” of sugar or a “snort” of cocaine. No wonder it’s hard for us to “quit it.!” Children get addicted early. If you start reading labels you’ll quickly see sugar is hidden in our food all over the place! Did you know it’s not only in things you might expect like ketchup or cookies or cereal, it’s also hidden in most bread and even soup!
Our first goal in helping our family eat a little better is not a special diet…it is awareness. It is also MORE. How about that? I’m not asking you to necessarily cut back on anything, how about if we just add more whole foods? More fresh (or frozen) veggies and more fruit. If you simply do this you will naturally eat “less” of processed food, unhealthy snacks and the like due to natural fiber contained in those foods. Also the vitamins and minerals “feed” your body at a cellular level so one is less likely to crave unhealthy foods as much. It becomes a shift in your mind (and literally because as your brain receives great nutrients it functions more optimally, is calmer, able to focus and you sleep better too!) Regarding fruit please don’t let your child’s natural tendency to seek sweet things get them on the lots of fruit train. Though the sugar is natural and absorption is slowed by good fiber so the “reward” is a bit less, its still sugar for their brain. The sweetness of things such as bananas, corn, carrots, peas are typically why children tend to like those things!
One last idea …there is a theory based on traditional Ayurvedic beliefs. It is this—we should eat more seasonally. Researchers are thinking some food sensitivities and other issues are being brought about because unlike “olden times” we now (food is grown in greenhouses, or frozen and shipped in from all over the world) have access to basically everything all year around. You can get strawberries all year. You can get oranges all year. Heck broccoli, spinach, lettuce all available all the time! So when a child likes something we tend to provide it to them all the time, because it’s easier right? At least they are eating some vegetables! Be mindful of this. Try to switch up your family’s diet seasonably. There is a reason we crave salads in the summertime and stew or root vegetables in the fall and winter. Expose your child’s palate to variety as much as possible young, you are helping their present and long term health and how they will age!
This is an excerpt from a book I love…(he is referring to gut health)
“ It is amazing to realize how nature has provided protection for our health through seasonal harvests. The roots and rhizomes eaten in early spring remove the mucus that could act as a breeding ground for bad bacteria, Once the excess mucus is removed, right on cue nature provides the perfect fertilizer for good bacteria in the form of chlorophyll-rich greens and sprouts.”
Dr. John Douillard, DC CAP
Perfect Health For Kids
Let Food Be Your Medicine,