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Some Things We Heard This Week

Do you ever have one of those weeks where you hear things that just seem to stick with you and you can't stop thinking about them?

We recently experienced one of those weeks and wanted to share with you some of what we heard.

First, let me help paint the picture...we spent A LOT of quality time in the car this past week.  Between moving our son to college in Manhattan, KS, picking up my dad's pickup truck in Kansas City, moving a sofa from Wichita, KS to our daughter's apartment in Springfield, MO, returning the truck to Kansas City and, finally, coming back home to Wichita, it was a bit of a crazy whirlwind (and, of course, we wouldn't trade it for the world!).  Then, the day after we returned home to Wichita, we participated in an annual wellness conference.

So, what did we hear?!


"Doesn't it get boring?"

One of the podcasts we listened to was an interview with Dr. Terry Wahls.  It was absolutely fascinating to listen to Dr. Wahl's story of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and how her mobility deteriorated to the point where she was confined to a wheelchair.  Fearing becoming bedridden, she began taking supplements, which seemed to slightly improve her pain and mobility.  She became curious about the food sources for the supplements she was taking.

After research and experimentation, she changed her diet to incorporate these foods.  She found her mobility dramatically improved.  She was able to get out of her wheelchair and walk the halls of the hospital and, within a few months, was able to ride her bike around the block.  This bike ride was a monumental moment in her progress and brought her whole family to tears of joy.  As she progressed, she was able to do longer bike rides, even doing 10-to-20-mile rides on a regular basis.

It was an incredibly interesting story about how diet helped her overcome a debilitating chronic disease.

Her diet, which she calls the Wahls Protocol, focuses on eating 9 cups of fruits and vegetables every day - 3 cups of dark leafy greens (like spinach, arugula, kale and Swiss chard), 3 cups of sulfur-rich vegetables (like mushrooms, onions and cabbage) and 3 cups of other colorful fruits and veggies (like beets, carrots, peppers, berries and more).  The protocol does include fish and meat, but the 9 cups of fruits and vegetables are the focus.

Does this sound familiar?


Remember our coaching tip about eating 10 servings of fruits and veggies every day?

During the interview, the host asked Dr. Wahls, "doesn't it get boring?"  For some reason, this comment stopped me in my tracks.  There is still a huge perception out there that eating healthy is boring and doesn't taste good.  And, that eating so many fruits and vegetables must be bland and boring.

Of course, our Eat REAL America community knows that nothing could be further from the truth.  There is such a huge variety of REAL foods that can be prepared in flavor-loaded endless ways and can taste truly amazing!  Even today, I am still thinking about this.  How can we help people overcome this perception that fruits and veggies are boring?!


"Don't eat cherry tomatoes"

It happened again!  In another podcast, an industry "expert" told the audience to be cautious of eating cherry tomatoes.  She said they contain a lot of sugar and this time of year it is easy to go overboard eating too many of them.  WHAT?!  You may remember our coaching tip from a few years ago - WARNING: Don't Eat Cherry Tomatoes!  Maybe it is just me, but this "expert" is missing the boat - she is focusing solely on the sugar (natural sugar nonetheless) and ignoring all the amazing nutrition tomatoes provide - antioxidants like lycopene, lutein and beta-carotene, vitamins C and E, potassium and so much more.

Hearing this type of advice, no wonder people are so confused about what to eat!


Who knew Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins would generate so many comments...

After returning to Wichita last week, we participated in a conference focused on worksite wellness.

It was so much fun to catch up with people we hadn't seen in a while and talk to more companies about how we can help inspire and motivate their employees to eat healthfully.

We set up a vendor booth at the conference and sampled the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, which we made into mini-muffins for a bite-sized snack.  Who knew these delicious little treats would prompt so many interesting comments?!


Here are a few excerpts from some of the conversations we had:

  • "Do they have wheat?"  My husband excitedly responded, "No, they're gluten-free!"  "Do they have oats?"  Scott responded, "Yes, they have oats."  "Oh, I can't have oats - I am on the Keto diet."  
  • Interested, a woman began to grab a muffin as Scott explained what was in them.  She responded, "Oh, I'm glad you told me what was in them.  I don't like bananas."  Scott tried to assure her that she wouldn't really taste the banana since it is combined with the other ingredients.  The muffin went untouched - she wouldn't even try it!
  • Another person contemplated trying a muffin as she looked at the display of ingredients.  "I think I'll pass - I don't like coconut."  I assured her that there really isn't a strong coconut flavor.  I even told my story about how I used to think I didn't like coconut but, after trying it in different ways, I have become a huge fan.  I am evidently not a very good salesperson...she wouldn't try it!

Remember our coaching tip on all the things we used to think we didn't like?  My husband, Scott, and I were the poster children of having a long list of foods we "thought" we didn't like (and Scott's list was longer than mine!  HA!).  One of our biggest regrets is not pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones sooner.

We highly encourage everyone to try foods and ingredients you think you don't like - try them in new ways and you might just change your mind and find you like them after all.  Plus, this is a great way to add even more variety to your REAL food routine!

While we couldn't convince some of these people to try them, the general consensus was the muffins were a delicious snack, and go great with coffee!

In fact, during the first session of the conference, the speaker asked everyone to introduce themselves to others at their tables and share their favorite healthy snack.  One of the participants told her table, "my new favorite healthy snack is those Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins!" -- and she quickly ran out of the room to get one for everyone else at her table!  It was fun to see so many people excited about eating a healthy snack!  A representative from a Kansas health insurance company even stopped by to comment on how great it was to see people realizing how satisfying a portion-sized healthy snack can be.

One more quick story (last one, I promise!).  A few of us were talking about freezing bananas and how versatile they are in things like the Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Nice Cream (banana ice cream), smoothies, and so much more.

One of the ladies mentioned she doesn't like how she has to wait so long for them to thaw.  A couple of us looked at each other, obviously confused, and asked, "why do you always have to wait for them to thaw?"  She said that's the only way she can get the peel off!

Now, if you have ever heard me tell the story of my rookie mistake of not peeling bananas before freezing, that was me!  I did that one time before the light bulb moment -- peel the bananas before putting them in the freezer.  We all had a great laugh, and I was secretly relieved I wasn't the only one who did this!  I just wanted to share this story in case anyone out there is freezing their bananas with the peel on!

Have you recently heard any interesting stories or comments you want to share?

Please help us -- how can we overcome the TOTALLY UNTRUE perception that fruits and vegetables and bland and boring?


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12 Responses to Some Things We Heard This Week

  1. The irony is that the people who won’t step outside the box are the boring ones! I have a friend who orders the same thing when we go to restaurants & then when she sees my meal arrive it’s, “OH, what is that?” LIFE is an ADVENTURE!!!! Stay healthy – you don’t want it to be over when you’re 60 due to chronic illness. This is when the time is all yours to have fun.

    Love you guys,
    Barb S.

    • This is the time to have all the fun! You are so right, life is an adventure and you should enjoy it! If we would have never stepped out of the comfort zone we would not be where we are today! Thank you for the feedback!

  2. What a fantastic article…especially about Dr. Wahls. It just goes to show that fruits and veggies are powerhouses for our health.

    Thanks, Krista Sanderson.

  3. A friend of Ken’s, who is in his mid-80s, sneers at our veggie lunches and calls salads ‘rabbit food.’ When Ken tells him what we are having for dinner, he’ll breezily say, I’ll pass! His staple meal is a Marie Callender frozen dinner–need I say more?

  4. Thanks for sharing the wonderful article. This is true, people make comment very easily as my friend asked me why I did just a boring routing every day which left the house early came to school and walk. She also ask me Do I have anything else to do?
    I believe everything we do it must take time to get the result :BE PATIENT and CONSISTENCY”
    I came home from the workshop this summer, my son told me that I either hide the chips, bread or don’t buy them and he starts to eat more green. He is not eat much fruit yet, but he cut down the fried potatoes or baked potatoes, and eat coleslaw now.

  5. Since using your recipes I have changed my mind about kale. I even put it in my protein shake in the morning. Absolutely love your stories and journey. Thank you so much.

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