Maybe you’ve been a white-sugary foods eater in the morning, snacking on sugar cereal. Or maybe you reach for a bagel or candy bar to give you a boost of energy in the afternoon. Warning: these foods cause a spike in your blood sugar, and then a huge drop, leaving you feeling hungry and sluggish in an hour or two.
Yes, that (to the left) is a picture from my children’s book, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow, which teaches kids that eating “slow” foods (such as sugary cookies and candy) will not provide long lasting energy. Instead, we advocate eating fresh veggies and fruits along with other “go” foods.
It’s funny, because we use the “rainbow” as a way to draw kids in to the story (kids LOVE rainbows). When we started going around to schools to talk to kids about eating a rainbow, some wanted to know if they could eat the “rainbow” by eating starbursts and skittles. The answer for a healthy body: The rainbow must come from mother earth, from PLANTS!
So we set off on an another adventure to create a sequel to the first book, this time to teach kids where a healthy rainbow comes from. This statement might sound outlandish, but many kids do not know that food comes from farms (they only see that food comes from stores).
In my work with Nurture, I had been teaching the lesson “Thankful for our food” to Elementary school students to teach them farm-to-table concepts. So over the course of ten years teaching hundreds of kids, I knew that a book that teaches kids where healthy food comes from would be a welcome addition to school libraries and classrooms. Here is a preview from the upcoming book, “Where Does a Rainbow Grow?” featuring our new character, Sammy the bunny:
The book will be available in time for Easter (because bunnies are a huge hit around Easter time, of course!). 🙂
Want a list of fruits and veggies by color? Get your download (freebie) here.
More about the great white hazards (carbs)
Dr. Maria Maricich, a light touch chiropractor in Ketchum Idaho and former Olympian once ranked #1 in US Alpine skiing, believes that blood sugar level fluctuations are one of the key root causes of health decline in our society, including brain function. Dr. Maria paints the analogy of taking your car and revving it up (high blood sugar) and then slamming on the breaks (low blood sugar). The result is a worn out car, or a worn out body, over time.
Ann Kulze, MD, a trainer for WELCOA, calls white-sugary bad foods the “great white hazards.” Great white hazards are high on the Glycemic Index. I also look at Glycemic Load as that system takes into consideration portion size.
Dr. Kulze reports that the average American consumes 5 servings of “great white carbs” every day. What happens as a result? The body simply tires out from dealing with the ups and downs in blood sugar level and develops insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body produces insulin but does not use it effectively. When the body (via the pancreas) recognizes that insulin is not being properly picked up by the cells, it tries to compensate by producing more insulin. Insulin resistance increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes.
Insulin resistance is the common gateway to obesity. Insulin resistance also leads to leptin resistance. Leptin is the body’s chief appetite-regulating hormone. It shuts off appetite, gives us self control around highly palatable foods, and also gives us a “get-up-and-go” feeling.
Read more about sugar. There is no RDA for sugar. Dr. Ann believes the maximum should be 6 teaspoons for women (100 calories) and 9 for men (150 calories). Kids- 6 teaspoons or less.
What are the good carbs? Whole grains, beans, lentils and fruits and veggies. You should fall madly in love with good carbs, especially fruits and veggies! Dr. Ann reports that only 20% of dinners include fruits and veggies.
Dr. Kulze’s golden rule around carbs: Don’t ever eat carbs without fiber! She mentions the following benefits to conquering carbs:
*aid in weight loss and weight control
*lower cardiovascular risk
*provide cancer protection
*reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes
*slow the aging process
*maximize the benefits of physical activity
*reduce pain and inflammation
*increase cognitive health and mental well being