Book Summary: Disease Proof Your Child, by Dr.Joel Fuhrman (part 1)

Folks:  I read this book in one day.  Mostly because the library told me it was due the next day, but STILL!  It was a good book, and I’m so glad I checked it out.  I’ve been hearing all kinds of great things about Dr. Fuhrman, and when we were in New York I set out to read this.  Unfortunately there was a 50 year wait at all 44 branches of the libraries in Manhattan.  I guess that proves this guy is legit.  So I was lucky enough to get it back here in Utah pretty quickly.  A great read.  He’s also got a book that I am going to read next called “Eat to Live.”  So glad I found this stuff when I still have young kids (and maybe more to come) when I can give them the best shot at staying disease free.

Lots of this book was review, but I’ll share some of my notes on the things I found interesting/new.

Disease Proof Your Child (found here)


  • Problem: children are chronically sick with ear infections, colds, allergies, etc.  These lead to chronic adult problems like Lupus, Ulcerative Colitis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc.
  • The modern diet most children eat causes a fertile environment to house cancer in the future.
  • Most parents do not know what to feed their children (YES!  This was me a few years ago!)
  • Kids love healthy food, and healthy food loves them back.  We have to give it to them!

Chapter 1: Understanding Superior Nutrition

  • Low consumption of fruits and vegetables before and during childhood causes many childhood cancers (!!).  pg. 8, “Junk food isn’t cheap.  We pay a steep price for it years after consuming it.”
  • Instead of eating better, many parents turn to supplements.
  • Allergies to nuts comes from early exposure/misuse of antibiotics, brief/lack of breastfeeding, introducing solid foods too early, and roasting nuts.
  • Intelligence is greatly influenced by nutritious eating (he spent a lot of time on this.  Interesting stuff).
  • You can enhance a child’s health in the kitchen by:
  1. Stocking the home with a variety of fresh fruit, raw vegetables, raw nuts, and seeds
  2. Replacing animal foods with plant foods: bean burgers, vegetable/bean soups, fruit centered desserts.
  3. Using only white meat poultry, eggs a few times weekly, and other animal sources infrequently.
  4. Limiting sweets.  Remove white sugar, salt, and white flour.
  5. Reducing dairy, and using nut milks.  Cheese should not be kept in the home.
  6. Serving cooked vegetable main dishes every night.

Chapter 2: Preventing and Treating Childhood Illness Nutritionally

  • In medical school, Fuhrman learned that all drugs have toxicity.  Patients should first be treated with lifestyle and dietary modifications.  It seems very few of his colleagues follow this advice (That has been my experience too).
  • Symptoms of illness are a body’s natural response to deal with causes of disease: A fever promotes interferon production in the brian, which activates white blood cells to fight the virus; Coughing aids in expelling mucus and ridding the body of it;  Don’t be so quick to treat symptoms.  Rather let your body ride it out for a few days.
  • When you or your child has a virus, rest, drink water, avoid cooked food, eat produce when hungry.
  • ADHD can be greatly treated with diet.  One cause is excessive TV watching early in life.  He has seen up to a 90% success in his ADHD patients which he treats with diet modifications.  He goes into great detail about this, including an anti-ADHD plan.
  • Antibiotics are bad!
  • Childhood ear infections are a multibillion dollar industry.  Most are viral, and should not be treated.  In the US, patients are almost always given antibiotics.  This makes the next infection more likely to be bacterial.  It is a cycle.  We are given antibiotics, which decreases the good bacteria in our bodies, which causes another bacterial ear infection.
  • Milk, cheese and wheat are frequent partners in crime (for ear infections).  I’ll insert my own commentary here – This is infuriating to me!  How many of our pediatricians are almost violently adamant that we are giving our children several servings of dairy a day, and then raise an eyebrow and give you a lecture if you try to push back a bit?  It’s making our kids sick!  Ok done. 🙂
  • Dairy is the leading cause of food allergies in children.
  • Childhood diabetes is linked to cow milk consumptions.  Babies given formula are 52% more likely to develop diabetes.
  • The following disorders are strongly linked to milk consumption:  Allergies, Anal Fissures, Type 1 Diabetes, Chronic Constipation, Chron’s Disease, Ear Infections, Heart Attacks, Multiple Sclerosis, Prostate Cancer

Chapter 3: Understanding Causes of Cancer/Illness

  • We need to stop treating symptoms and start treating causes of illness.
  • Saturated fat, refined sugar, white flour all contribute to cancer.
  • Root vegetables and whole grains provide minimal protection.
  • Unrefined plant foods prevent cancer.
  • p. 81 “Childhood exposure has the largest impact on adult health.”
  • It takes 10 lbs.  of milk to make 1 lb. of cheese.  Cows are given bovine growth hormones.  Their milk contains: estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, prolactine, and other natural cow hormones.
  • Pesticides: Are they a serious health hazard?  Yes, especially around the home, lawn, and plants. There are links between farm workers who are exposed to large amounts of pesticides, who have higher levels of brain cancer, Parkinson’s, leukemia, lymphoma, cancer of the stomach, prostate, and testes.
  • What about pesticides on food?  It is unclear how hazardous they are, but eating produce with pesticides is better than avoiding produce all together.
  • Basically the younger you are, the more your cells are susceptible to damage from toxins.  It seems wise to try to feed young children organic whenever possible.

Stay tuned for part 2 coming soon!



What’s for Dinner Wednesday: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce from Frozen Tomatoes

Did you know you can freeze tomatoes?  I thought it was frowned upon, but I saw (here) the other day that you can totally do it!  We got a bag of free tomatoes a few weeks ago that were about to bite the dust, so I threw them in the freezer.  Today I dumped them in a crockpot with a few seasonings and by the end of the day I had homemade spaghetti sauce.  Voila!  It was a little bit runny, but that’s my only complaint.  Anyone know how to fix that?  I heard that if you make spaghetti sauce from scratch, you are supposed to de-seed them first.  Maybe that was my problem.

Anyway, here’s how you do it.  (Originally from



Homemade Spaghetti Sauce from Frozen Tomatoes


  • 3 frozen, whole tomatoes
  • 3 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 Tbs Italian Seasoning
  • I also added a bit of salt to taste

Dump it in the crockpot and cook on low for 5 hours or so.  After the tomatoes defrost, the peel comes off really easily. Just peel it off and throw it away.

The tomatoes just break apart and form this lovely mush.

After it’s done cooking, put it in a blender for a few seconds, and it’s ready to go!



Healthy Game-Watching Dips

I’ve been ready for some football since the beginning of the summer, and now it’s finally here!  We’ve been going to sooooo many football parties and I’m always at a loss for what I am supposed to eat when there’s nothing but brownies, cookies, hot wings, and soda.  But do not fret my little readers.  We have here two awesome and healthy (and delicious I might add) alternatives to the football munchie woes.  We tried them both with a superb success rate and they are going down in the PGM journal of recipe keepers.

Here they are (excuse the iphone pics)”

Black Bean Dip (from my Fabulous new friend Lissette)

  • 1 can drained black beans
  • 1/2 onion
  • 6-8 sprigs cilantro
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1/2 tsp herbamere (a spice mix made from veggies found at most health food stores)

Blend and enjoy!

Homemade Salsa (from the gardener out back, who also happens to be my neighbor: The Bestie)

  • 2 tomatillos
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1/2 a bunch cilantro
  • lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1/4 – 1/2 onion
  • pinch of garlic salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • chile powder (optional)

Blend in a food processor.

Here’s a tip from the author:  salsa will taste better if you use a variety of tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc.).  She is right.  It was delish.

Enjoy enjoy



What’s For Dinner Wednesday: Vegetarian Chili

Here’s the story folks:  Beans are cheap.  And I have a lot of them.  PLUS I knew I was coaching The Wild One’s Soccer game until late so I needed a good crockpot recipe.  And BAM!  Dinner was born.  I whipped up some sweet cornbread this morning so it was ready to go and then I threw the rest in the crockpot. If you need a whole foods dinner in a hurry that is easy and yummy, this is a good one:

Vegetarian Chile (original recipe from Vegetarian.About.Com)


  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, sliced
  • 1 15 ounce can kidney beans (I used beans from scratch…probably about 2 cups worth)
  • 1 15 ounce can corn kernels
  • 2 16 ounce cans tomatoes, cut up (I used them fresh from the garden…about 6 small ones)
  • 1 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil


Sautee the onion, green pepper and celery in a small amount of oil until translucent. Add the remainder of the ingredients and simmer on low 6-8 hours.
BINGO.  Easy as pie.

Mediterranean Mojo: Lentil Pilaf with Zucchinni

So I recently asked my posse what they wanted to eat for dinner and the consensus was Mesiterranean food. Did I mention that The Mr. is 1/4 Lebanese? I love me a tall dark man. So I did some quick googling to find something that didn’t have lamb in it (had lots when I lived in New Zealand and don’t care for it much, thanks. Plus, lambs are cute).

Anyway, I stumbled across this gem of a recipe. I really like lentils but forget to make them very often. I was nervous about the kids’ reactions, but Tornado went buck wild on it! The Wild One reacted as expected and only ate the one bite I made him take. BUT it was a hit with the rest of us, and with our cellular health as well (that’s code for “this is a healthy recipe.”).

Here it is:


Lentil and Bulgar Pilaf with Squash (original recipe from Eating Well Mobile)


• 4 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
• 1 1/4 cups brown lentils, rinsed
• 1 medium onion, chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
• 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
• Freshly ground pepper, to taste
• 3/4 cup coarse bulgur
• 2 tablespoons lemon juice
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
• 1 small yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, or dill


Combine broth, lentils, onion, bay leaf, salt, allspice and pepper in a 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Add bulgur and cook until the lentils and bulgur are tender and the liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes more. Remove the pilaf from the heat, discard the bay leaf and stir in lemon juice.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini, squash, garlic and lemon zest; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and cilantro (or dill). Season with pepper. Stir into the pilaf. Serve hot.

From scratch: pizza sauce

Did I we have about 5,000 too many tomatoes in the garden? We do. We’ve had a lot of tomatoes lately, to say the least. Well I’ve seen so many instagrams about canning jam and fruit I thought, “why not pizza sauce?” Today I found an awesome recipe for it (brilliant!) and I gave it a try. I didn’t even end up canning it because we ate it all, but it was pretty yummy. This recipe is the best because you can use canned or fresh tomatoes. I used both. My only complaint is that it didn’t really make that much. I probably could have filled only 1 quart jar. So double or triple it if need be.

Here it is:

Homemade Pizza Sauce (original recipe from Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom)

• 1 14 1/2 oz can of crushed tomatoes
• 1/8 cup of water
• 1 tsp of salt
• 1 1/2 tsp of sugar
• 1 tsp of garlic powder
• 1 tsp of onion powder
• 1 tsp of dried basil
• 1tsp of dried oregano

*if you are using fresh tomatoes, you will need to add 4 tbsp of bottled lemon juice for acidity

Mix all ingredients together in a saucepan or skillet and saute on medium until sauce begins to bubble. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

On a side note, one of best tricks I have learned is buying bread dough either fresh or frozen and using it as pizza crust. I often make my own from scratch, but when you are making the dough from scratch that can get a little time consuming. So when I am in a bind and I need a quick dough, I head to the store.

Happy pizza sauce canning!!

My Lunch

Here’s what I had for lunch today.


Beans with cheese, homemade guacamole, and sour cream. Pretty filling. I didn’t get hungry til dinner.

I also made a smoothie that I thought was pretty icky, but what’s crazy is my kids drank so much of it. I was even babysitting my friend’s 16 month old daughter and she kept asking for more. 3 bowls later, I finally cut her off and made her eat something else, but she would have kept going. My boys too, both had multiple helpings. This just goes to show i should offer my kids everything, even if I think it’s pretty nasty. Maybe next time I’ll give em lemon rinds or something?

Anyway, here’s what I put in the smoothie:

•Beet greens (this gave it such a strong flavor)
•mixed frozen berries
•orange juice

Voila! Tastes pretty beety, but I know I got some good vitamins.