Three years ago when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, one of the first things I did was commit to talking about the disease. I wanted other people to know about the thyroid gland and what it can do (or not do). Once I starting talking more, I learned something.
On one side of my family, there was a history thyroid disease in my family. On the other side, cancer was very prominent.
Family medical history is important. Knowing your family history is even more important. And being part of a family willing to talk about those medical issues is of utmost importance.The information that I gained during my personal cancer event proved to be more valuable than anything my doctors could have told me. After I recovered, I decided to dig a little deeper and I found some other health issues that I needed to be aware of.
Enter the dirty words.
All of this information was great, but as a parent, I wanted to my kids know that there are some medical conditions they may be genetically predisposed to, which then means the topic of conversation at dinner turned from fashion crises of teens to health issues in our family. In my family, those dirty words are asthma, diabetes, thyroid disease, kidney disease, cholesterol, high blood pressure, epilepsy, vitamin D deficiency, and eczema. At first, the length of that list scared me. Before that dinner conversation with my kids, I dug even more deeper and I researched the ailments even more.
Over the past three years, I’ve learned that healthy nutrition is critical reversing the effects of several health issues.
Disclosure: I partnered with Freshy Bag on this blog post. There are also affiliate links listed from this point forward in this post.
When I talk to my kids about the health concerns that affect our family (and it’s a continuous conversation), I need to give them options that are within their control. Nutrition is one of those options.
As a family, we’ve moved from eating ramen noodles and fast food several times a week to cooking well-balanced meals made from locally-grown and organic produce. Additionally, we have abandoned three meals a day for six smaller, healthier meals.
I know. That’s a great thought in theory, but life can be busy. My response to that statement is simple. Are you too busy to get sick? Are you too busy for daily insulin injections? Are you too busy to be put on mandatory bed rest? Yeah, I’m not either. Here are the tips and tools that have changed our lives for the better:
- Freshy Bag – This is the best way to transport my food as I travel through the day. Grapes in the carpool line? Check. A quick lunchtime salad after one of my classes? Check. What about a homemade yogurt parfait? Of course. This insulated lunch bag works for my family and me (we argue over who gets to use the Freshy Bag) because it is small and light (even when it’s full of fruits and vegetables) and have several compartments for storing different food items. Because the company is committed to healthy living, their website is also full of easy and healthy recipes you can try at home.
- Multi-vitamins and supplements – The kind is totally up to you. I take a regular multi-vitamin once a day and then take some extra supplements of Vitamin D and calcium. I am very fond of gummy vitamins, as are my children. (I may have called the poison-control center last year about a teenager who ate a bottle of 60-count gummy vitamins in 24 hours because said teenager “forgot” they weren’t gummy bears.) If you like gummy vitamins that much, vitamin tablets may be a better option. I’m just saying.
- Having a health related goal each day: mine is to eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables – Some days I hit my goal, some days I don’t. Without that goal I wouldn’t get nearly enough produce in me each day. With the goal, I thrive (even if it’s not 10.)
- Aromatherapy with essential oils – I know it seems like essential oils are a new fad, but they aren’t. One of the oils we use to control CJ’s eczema has frankincense and myrrh in it. If you’re a fan of Christmas, you know that the Wise Men brought baby Jesus gifts of frankincense and myrrh. If it’s good enough for baby Jesus, it’s most definitely good enough for us. The bottom line here is there – stock up on your essential oil arsenal.
- Bottled water and a BPA-free water jug – The water crises that have been plaguing so many American cities lately has me scared. I used to be a tap water girl, but in recent months, that has changed. Bottle water and BPA-free jugs are the way we roll.
- Spend time outdoors – I live in Texas. The weather here is either incredibly nice or just plain awful. On the nice days, we get out and get moving. On the awful days, we stay in and post on social media just how bad it is. Let’s all commit to more moving and less posting, okay?
What are the dirty words in your family?
16 thoughts on “The Dirty Words I’ve Insisted My Kids Learn”
There are some great ideas here! Starting your children young with nutrition is important for them to continue on as they get older and eventually go off on their own!
Add allergies to your list and I think we are on the same page.
I have a friend that has beaten cancer because he implemented steps very familiar with yours. We just need to get away from the “quick and easy” and plan ahead so the food we eat and the things we do are much quicker and easier to implement!
I love incorporating essential oils into my healthy routine! Sometimes people look at me like I’m crazy, but I haven’t (knock on wood) had an annoying since starting my regimen. It’s amazing to me how many things they can be used for 🙂
Good for you for educating your kids. I feel like I shy away from deep topics sometimes when I really need to inform them. I need to incorporate more vegetables for sure, we have fruit a ton but hardly any veggies.
What an inspirational story. We love the fact that you educate your children, wish everyone did and have changed your previous eating habits to significantly increase your wellbeing.
I love the idea of “dirty words” that you want your kids to know! They are actually important words for everyone to be knowledgeable about and I thank you for sharing your story.
It is important to teach your kids about these things early on in life. Diabetes is growing in our nation, with kids being diagnosed left and right. Drinking plenty of water, and limiting your intake of sugar is always a great idea!
I love that you are moving towards more local food! That is definitely one of my passions. It can be difficult to do at first, but I always look at it as long term health for me and my family! Great job!
My aunty beat cancer largely due to faith but also because of medication and being careful of what she ate. Eating local food is a good idea she does the same thing.
You’re right life does get busy but with a little planning and prep eating a healthy diet is totally doable and sustainable. You’re off to a great start.
I believe it’s really good to teach kids these words and educated them on this as their young, will bring them up to be more knowledgeable in the future!
This is so great that your children gain these healthy habits when they are growing up! I am sure they will be healthy and grateful
I love this, kids she always beware the same way adults have to be, but in a way the understand.
Dirty words like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure run rampantly in my family. Cancer is rare in my family, but one of my uncles had leukemia. – HilLesha
I’m convinced the younger kids learn healthy nutrition the better! All kids end up asking for junk, but if your start them healthy I would only hope they would go back to healthy after trying the junk
This is a great overview of very doable things 🙂 I’m trying to eat better this month, and you’re right, it’s easier to eat right when you have good food options available in your home.
I’d love to hear more about the essential oils for eczema. My son has it, too.