Childhood Obesity is Rampant Today

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Childhood obesity a big challenge for Michelle Obama

It is one of the biggest challenges that medical authorities have to face. More than 17% of our kids are officially obese whereas more than 30 % are overweight, they have 10 to 20 % more than the expected weight for their age, their height and body! The statistics that First Lady Michelle Obama cites from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), look like this: 32% of kids aged 2-19 are overweight or obese, 38% of Hispanic children are overweight or obese, 36% of Black children are overweight or obese, and 29% of White children are overweight or obese. I am elated that the First Lady Michelle Obama has taken this so serious, as I, too, have had concerns about our children for over 10 years. That’s when I first started noticing drastic changes in the size and in changing health status of our kids and teenagers

Why Children become obese

Mainly because they consume more calories than they burn. I do not believe that is the only reason our kids are obese. Obesity often has a genetic cause in such a way that a child having one parent obese runs a 60% risk of being overweight after 10 years of age and during adolescence whereas another kid with both parents obese has an 80% risk. In addition, fetus exposed to chemicals such as endocrine disruptors (i.e.: xenoestrogen bisphenol) tend to develop obesity. So we know there are toxic reasons as well. Kids are also obese or over weight today because they spend most of their leisure time watching TV, or playing video games, Xbox, or navigating on the Internet while eating potato chips and drinking soda. Such a lifestyle devoid of outdoor exercise and proper eating has a negative impact on metabolism; anyway obesity results from a complex interaction between genes, environment and habits or lifestyle.

Obese Children Are Prone to Disease

Obese children are prone to high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases “old-people- type” arteries, Type II Diabetes mellitus, high cholesterol, thyroid damage, respiratory problems, liver disease, reproductive problems, gout and even cancer. There are overall 30 known medical situations related to obesity. When magnified, those impairments pose a big challenge to the state and its Health system. Diseases related to obesity cost 1 billion dollars a year to the American federal government and the state cannot shrug off this problem, for our youth is the future of this nation. Obesity causes depression in children and can go as far as suicidal ideation. Overweight kids are called all sorts of names by their cruel classmates: fat, fat-so, gorilla, elephant, big mama, chubby, lazy, glutton, etc. Those overweight youngsters are profoundly offended in their self-esteem because of so many stigmas, so much discrimination and so much teasing and embarrassment, reason why they will do all they humanly can to lose weight and sometimes they will indulge in very extreme measures having the same emaciating effects as bulimia and anorexia nervosa. Many times they do not succeed at all; they lose very few pounds or nothing!

I wrote about how kids need maximum nutrition in our book 21 pounds in 21 days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox because I am convinced that the future of our kids, detoxing for health is the answer (www.mvdietdetox.com)! Our youngest male client Gary, 15 years old, could tell you in his own words how detoxing for good nutrition and how letting go of the toxins saved his social life and decreased his depression.

Parents and Teachers Should Be Alarmed

Since children spend a good portion of their time in school, serving proper food in the cafeteria and having the pupils and students perform proper gym and outdoor exercise, are likely to profit to their well being and weight control. Unfortunately that is not the case! High criticism has been made against the nutritional quality of the USDA approved National School Lunch Program, and the food served in school cafeteria. In addition to the researcher’s criticizing the rush with which the children must eat. And, the recent cuts in school budgets make nothing more than worsening the situation. That is the reason why an increasing number of teachers express their discontent when they are assigned to the cafeteria.

I know this is a sore subject for many parents as well because there hands are tied; they work hard and cannot make fresh lunches daily or can not fight with the kids about healthy choices versus personal choices but there are many times you can negotiate with your kids: How about a pizza party at the end of the month in exchange for vegetable juice daily after school? That’s a great start. We have recipes for juices and soups in our New York Times Best Selling book 21 pounds in 21 days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox. One young teenager decided to come to the retreat on Martha’s Vineyard to get healthy while losing weight after she saw me on the Larry King show and The View. She was so successful with the program that she became an advocate in her school and featured on The Housewives of New York promoting the awareness of leading a healthy lifestyle due to her serious goal of pursuing health. This one child has changed the lives of many school age kids. At the retreat we call our program for kids “Maximum Nutrition Detox” or MND ) at: www.mvholisticretreat.com

It’s Back To Basics

Childhood obesity cures will never be an easy task in America, unless we regress to those times when our grandfathers and grandmothers used to eat fresh and natural, when they used to gather around the table, pray as a united family, and eat natural food made with all natural ingredients provided by Mother Nature according to each season. At that time there were no competing industries, no processing, no chemicals, no hormones in food, no preservatives, pesticides and the like of, no TV, no computer games, or those ultra modern gadgets to keep our children from the outdoor pleasure, activities and exercise. It’s going back to basics back when my grandmother feed all of us “out of the garden food”. I am proud of our First Lady Michelle Obama for having the first White House garden. I bet she had a grandma like mine.

Do Not Put Kids On A Diet

Without putting the child on a so-called weight-loss diet designed for adults. Helping children to get rid of the toxins accumulated in his/her system because of those chips, sugars, sodas, and fast foods eaten in the street, in the TV room and even in the school cafeteria, will give way to a positive and beneficial turn in his/her health and life. The right nutrition with daily fruit smoothies, vegetable and protein drinks with added essential fatty acids, proper vitamins and supplements and other elements of a good program is what our kids need. This should happen not once a day but 4-6 times per day small highly nutritious snacks or small meals with proper food combining! In that, parents will have a great responsibility; they will have to lead by their own good example, reorganize their lifestyle and eating habits and encourage their children to eat smaller and healthier portions and spend more time outdoor to increase their physical activities. They will perhaps whine when they are told or even ordered to cut their TV time, but the benefit in the long run will be so much that they will, in the future, give sincere thanks to you.

21 pounds in 21 days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox offers children the opportunity to keep a healthy and clean body. Parents need to take an active role by explaining the principles of why we need maximum nutrition for the body to be healthy and lean. Explain to them that every two hours they will get a delicious drink fruit, veggies or protein smoothies. Keep it simple and follow the protocol for maintenance we offer in the book. Go to www.mvdietdetox.com. Book a consultation with Dr. Roni at drroni@mvholisticretreat.com

Roni DeLuz, PhD, ND, RN

Dr. Roni on Holiday Blues

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Thanksgiving just passed and Christmas and New Years are just around the corner. For many people it is –at last-– time for rejoicing, for festive partying, good cheer, fellowship, togetherness, family reunion, laughter and so forth. After a harsh year marked by financial crisis, fear of swine flu, and personal stress or even setbacks, it is time for optimism and good hopes for the coming year. Right!

Unfortunately, the holiday season does not have the same meaning for all… While the holiday celebrations are meant to bring joy for many, they mean sadness, family tensions, loneliness, nostalgia and despair for many others. These paradoxical feelings are well known as the Holiday Blues. What are the major causes of that rather psychological or sometimes psychosomatic syndrome?

The causes of Holiday Blues

To be honest, holiday blues are more or less a normal outcome of a stress-filled way of life at a specific season of the year, when people with a heavy social life are busy shopping for Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and New Years Eve.

Holiday blues differ from another illness called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), a clinically diagnosed mood disorder more prevalent in the winter months. The blues are short-lived; they do not last more than a few days or a week or two after which the person resumes his or her regular mood and lifestyle. SAD, on the contrary, tends to last weeks or months and to be recurrent, reappearing winter after winter, regardless of a social stressor level. Researchers associate SAD with a decrease in mood-boosting brain chemicals like serotonin during the reduced daylight months. The blues do not seem to follow the same pattern. Depression in SAD is more severe; it is a feeling of deadness and defectiveness while the blues are just a temporary down type of feeling.

It is true that holiday blues are a response to too high expectations set by people who suffer from the discomfort. They hope they will be able to make up for a year gone wrong. They expect people to have changed and become better. They expect their own situation to have improved, and their previous “wish list” to have been fulfilled. When they realized that the hopes are dashed, the world has not changed and has even become more problematic, when all promises are broken, they get despondent and disappointed. In some extremes cases, some people even experience suicidal thoughts.

Financial difficulties and losses: loss of a family member, close friend, loss of health, loss or lack of fertility, loss of one’s youth, loss of one’s marriage, loss of important goods, of a job, etc. Some people are strong enough to cope with these difficulties of life. Some are not; which can make them prone to experience the blues.

In the same order of high expectations, some people are perfectionists. They want their holidays to be perfect, or special. They want everything in order in an imperfect situation. Those are individuals hooked to the holiday chores, they run around shopping, wrapping gifts, going to parties, pleasing everyone, receiving or greeting friends and family with the most meticulous attention. They spend repeated nights without sleeping; they end up getting overwhelmed and exhausted, sometimes sick. Furthermore, with the present economic crisis houses, cars and other goods are being foreclosed or repossessed, and the excessive expenses to please people (Some of them, not even grateful or aware of your kindness and “generosity”) can ruin one’s saving account or credit card availability, creating debts for the following year which, in turn, lead to further complication of the situation and exacerbation of the blues.

Preventing and Coping with the blues

Dealing with the holiday blues requires a sense of balance and the avoidance of all excesses both emotionally and physically before and during the holiday season. The approach, as we always conceive it, should be holistic, covering all levels of our being: mind, body, soul and spirit. There’s an interdependence of these four levels, the result of which is homeostasis, good nutrition, good emotional health, great physical body function and happiness.

First of all, we should be realistic. As we have seen, most blues are due to too high expectations, too much demand of perfection and satisfaction. The days gone by will not return. So, let go of the past. Even the deceased loved ones are well gone. The only thing we can do is keep them present in the holidays by remembering the good and the funny things they did. We ought to accept the realties of life.

Life brings changes; generations of people also change and perceptions change. Let’s keep our eyes focus on the future and not be slaves of the past. Comparison does nothing more than adding sadness, melancholy and frustration to the blues.

Another tip is to delegate responsibilities of the holiday tasks. Pace yourself to get sufficient sleep and rest. Do not indulge in alcohol drinking. Excess of alcoholic beverage makes it even more acute for the blues, and makes us more depressed. Avoid sugar, it is an immune depressant and creates low blood sugar problems which can increase symptoms of depression

Another point on which all the experts, psychologists, moralists, religious leaders are unanimous, regarding the holiday blues, is the virtue of a good action posed during the holidays. For example, volunteering in a shelter serving food or other goods to less fortunate people, taking gifts to the children’s homes or schools, being nice to people in need of affection or attention, visiting the sick in the hospital, all this brings a real blessing and provides a sense of healing potential and inner satisfaction.

Final and most important, it’s the time to be health conscious by eating healthy and detoxing. The best approach includes eating healthy organic vegetables, drink berry antioxidants early morning. Have a Green juice mid-morning for cleansing and increase energy. Include protein smoothies as a snack which has amino acids that have anti-depressant properties. Keep your meals simple by proper food combining. Eliminate all processed and chemical laden foods for they will clog your brain and make the blues worse. Take B Vitamins with B6, B12 and folate to help with stress. After the holidays start your 21 day detox. To learn more about detoxing and to order your detox kit, please go to our OFFICIAL website: www.mvdietdetox.com.

Do not forget your daily exercises like walking, aerobics, yoga, chi Kung; tai chi etc. by exercising it completes the job with their antidepressant and relaxant action.

Your partner in wellness, Dr Roni DeLuz, ND, RN, Ph.D

Holiday Dinning and how not to over do it!

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The Holiday usually evokes memories of sweet potato pie and ice cream at the family dinning table with cocktails. However, although these things can be enjoyed in moderation, if you want to keep your detox going through the holidays or stay on a healthy maintenance plan you need to think on a healthier level. Here are some tips to help you out:

Use Holiday Vegetables

Pumpkin is a great holiday vegetable. Great holiday spices are cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla extract and cloves. Here are two great holiday detox soups. Pumpkin Soup- 6 cups veggie stock, 5 cups of pumpkin, peeled and cubed (can used canned if organic and no added sugar or fats), 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed, 2 carrots largely sliced, 2 garlic cloves; minced, 2 tiny scoops of Stevia, ½ cup parsley, finely chopped Pumpkin Pie spice, 2 tbs. vanilla extract. Pour stock into large pot and add pumpkin and all veggies (organic is the best). Boil until tender (about 45 minutes – an hour). Add pumpkin spice and vanilla and Stevia. Cool slightly and puree, reserving some broth for drinking. Holiday Carrot Soup- 4 qts. Veggie stock (homemade), 1 qt of water, 18 carrots-sliced, 1.5 bags of mixed greens –coarsely chopped. 1.5 head of romaine lettuce – chopped, 2 large sweet potatoes – chopped after peeling, 2 tsp. ginger root – peeled and chopped, 4 tsp. of following mixture: cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and Stevia (about three scoops, 1/8-1/4 tsp), 2 tsp vanilla extract.
Bring all ingredients to a strong boil in a large pot. Reduce heat to a slow boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Separate solids and broth. Cool slightly and puree solids with ¼ – ½ cup broth. Add vanilla extract after it is pureed.

Look for healthy substitutes

When you start your favorite recipes use healthy substitutes to replace toxic chemical laden ingredients that are fattening and bad for digestion. You can use Rice Dream or Almond Milk instead of whole milk products in some dishes. Try to use applesauce for thickening, coconut oil instead of margarine. Use No Salt products instead of table salt, use Stevia instead of sugar. You can use Bragg’s amino acid instead of Soy Sauce or gravy. Don’t forget to make your own salad dressing. Avoid colorants, preservatives and chemicals in your food at all cost.

Have Free Soup or free foods

Eat quick and easy snacks to prevent over eating during the holidays. Have broth on the stove or in a crop pot. Free broth will allow you to eat whenever you are hungry and ensures you receive good minerals and hydration. Free broth or free foods are negative calorie foods. You will maintain your weight during the holidays if you drink or eat these foods instead of fattening or sugar foods. A list of free or negative calorie foods are celery, lettuce, cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, spinach, onions, asparagus, broccoli, zucchini, apples, cranberries, raspberries, lemons and grapefruits. We have free soup and other great recipes in our New York Times Bestselling book “21 Pounds in 21 Days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox”.

Try Hunger Quenching Vegetable Juice

Drinking juice made from fresh vegetables is great ways to receive triple the amount of nutrition you would in a meal and quench that holiday thirst. You are also able to fight off the cravings and hunger during the holidays. My favorite holiday juice is Carrots, beet greens, cucumbers, parsley, ginger and garlic. This juice helps with fluid retention and keeps the bloat down.

Drink Green Drinks for extra energy

Green drinks are derived from green vegetables and their ideal for the energy boost you’re looking for during the holidays. Green drinks are ideal for providing the body with more oxygen and nutrients which then results in even more energy. Additionally, these drinks are great cleansers. I love the way I look after 10 days of cleansing with green drinks. It’s like a facelift with out surgery.

Drink Fresh Berry Drinks for health

There’s nothing better than fresh berries. These drinks have a similar action to that of green drinks. These drinks are full of antioxidants that fight off free radicals in the body as well as tasting great. There are a variety of different types of berries that you can enjoy during the holidays including raspberries, blueberries, pomegranates, grapes, blackberries, Gogi berries and cranberries. Juicing these berries give you maximum nutrition and increase your immune functioning.

Eat frequently to keep metabolism up

The metabolism works better if you have five small mini meals or snacks through out the day. An example of mini meals for the holiday may look like this: 9:00 am cup of berries—11:00 am Green juice 1:00 pm holiday veggies 3: pm holiday desert 5:00 pm Holiday carb 7:00 pm protein and veggie 9:00 pm holiday drink—it works for me and many of my clients. You will not gain weight plus you can enjoy the holiday. Make sure you take food enzymes with all your chewing meals.

Food Combine correctly

Protein with vegetables only, Carbohydrates with vegetables only, Fruit by itself (2 hours away from meals) Essential fatty acids absorbs better with protein.

Give yourself a Cleansing enema

Many people are amazed at how much better they feel after an enema, especially if they have never experienced one before and if they have a lot of toxic build up in their colon.

Deadly Flu and Detoxing

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The facts

The swine flu epidemic that stroked Mexico a few months ago has become a serious public health threat both in United Sates and the rest of the world. According to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) there have been 300,000 laboratory confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus and almost 4000 deaths worldwide. Since this virus has been proven to be a mutation, the fear is that other mutations are still possible. Therefore, people and governments are taking all necessary measures to fight the virus and limit its damaging effects. Now we know that the 2009 strain of influenza is not really the swine flu as it was called in the beginning (April 09). It is rather a complex mutative arrangement between the swine flu, avian flu, bird flu and the human flu. This is the reason why it is being called a quadruple virus.

Prevention is the Key

I think that the most beneficial action should be prevention. An active prevention plan boosts the immune system and renders the human organism more resistant, much less vulnerable to the H1N1 virus even when this microorganism, like all influenza viruses, chooses to shift and change. When the flu germs change and the fact that it is so versatile is what makes it such that medications like amantadine, oseltamvir, zanamivir, Tamiflu and Relenza, have no real beneficial effect in many patients. Pandemrix, the new vaccine, is highly toxic and is not expected to curb the ongoing pandemic. Prevention begins with a proper environment, proper nutrition such as “Maximum Nutrition in Small Doses’ with regular sessions of detoxification. We have a New York Times Bestseller out: 21 pounds in 21 days: The Martha’s Vineyard Diet Detox which helps all persons to detox and begin to nourish the body at the same time, We should also create around us a clean environment, emphasis on personal hygiene, less chemicals on our body, and all elements of the so-called universal precaution, including frequent hand washing.

Detoxing and Optimal Health

I have been following two of my clients who travelled to several countries last season when the outbreak was at its peak. My clients were in a group of seven. Two of those previously happy vacationers got very sick and had to be hospitalized. Two others caught the flu but could stay in their hotel; the three others were there to help because they remained indifferent to the virus. Out of those three remaining in good health were my two clients… They had just finished their detox sessions at the Martha’s Vineyard Holistic Retreat! Detoxification is perhaps the major contributor to optimal health and the best weapon in our arsenal to fight or even prevent the H1N1 virus. We are all surrounded by toxins wherever we go, whatever we eat, whatever we breathe. Detox strengthens the immune system, allows our defense mechanism to fight and overcome the multiple toxins that invade our body. From heavy metals to offensive chemicals; from free radicals to actual poisons, (tons of which we use in the household), in our food and other personal use, all these toxic substances weaken our immune system. Please visit the website to learn more about the Detox: www.mvdietdetox.com

Good Nutrition fights the flu

Detoxification is a naturalistic process thru which we stimulate our liver, kidney, colon and lymph to get rid of toxic material and leave the body clean and healthy. We do this by eliminating toxic food and replacing with high quality supplements. The value of vitamins and other supplements is dominant in the multiple defense system we should build against H1N1. Vitamins A, C, D and zinc play a determinant role in making our body ready to face the flu virus. Equinacea is even more beneficial. Some of the best antiviral herbs include garlic, oregano, astragalus, schizandra, pycnogenol, mullein, elderberry, green tea, and licorice. Green drinks, Antioxidant drinks with Grape seed, blue berry, bilberry, broccoli, etc. are potent remedies against the swine flu. N-Acetyl cysteine has been used for several years as a good line of defense in every flu outbreak. Now its properties should be emphasized even more. As a precursor of glutathione, NAC is an amino and a potent antioxidant and a neutralizer for free radicals and other harmful substances. We can also protect ourselves by also using antiviral essential oils such as eucalyptus; tea tree, juniper, and lemon balm. For example: eucalyptus contains quercetin, hyperoside, and tannic acid, three great compounds known for centuries. Those oils have great medicinal properties including antiviral and anti H1N1 potency.

The best way to face the quadruple virus is not to open the Pandora box. Do not “step on land mines.” You must cleanse your system, both internally and externally, eat the right things, select the right supplements, sleep well, exercise, and live in a healthy and non toxic environment. Sometimes the best way to take care of yourself is to retreat- renew-get healthy at the Martha’s Vineyard Holistic Retreat: www.mvholisticretreat.com.

You’re Partner in Wellness, Dr Roni

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