Good morning everyone. Today Coffee Time Romance has the pleasure of speaking to Anne Arsenault. Welcome Anne, why not pull up a chair and allow us the opportunity to learn more about Anne.
Anne, your book, Real Solutions to Children’s Health, is loaded with great information. I can tell you went to a lot of work in the preparation of this book. And a special thanks for the part on autism. My niece’s youngest was diagnosed with autism, and this section is most helpful. What made you decide to compose this book?
I remember seeing little kids with Colas in their bottles and small children with big bags of candy and I knew this wasn’t right.
What would you say was the hardest part in composing this book?
I would say the actual typing of the book, as I have never been the best typist, also the fact that I kept thinking I was forgetting things, as there are new things being discovered in health all the time, but you have to stop somewhere.
How long did it take in the preparation of this fantastic book?
One day I just sat down at the computer with a rough outline and started typing. You have to remember that before this I had years of training and experience in health, also the fact that I am a parent, so I had years of preparation in health, but not directly for this specific book.
I also found your website easy to navigate. I can tell you have done much research, Anne. The minute I saw it I had to share with my daughters to pass on to their children. I think it is so important to start children at an early age eating right. There are many informative facts that I was just glued to the different links. I enjoyed your Hobbies page.
Thanks Cherokee, I am always researching; I find health fascinating.
Did you find it extremely difficult to get your webpage exactly the way you wanted it to get the information to others?
It took me a while to learn to design the template and format I desired for my website. I could never find the right template, so I bought a web builder and learned to build it myself; that was fun, but challenging!
How hard was it for your family to accept good eating habits and living right to keep the body in good running shape?
I grew up with health, both my Mother and my Oma were into herbs, vitamins and eating healthy, so I just naturally fed my daughter and our cat healthy. Once my daughter went to school, she had to make her own choices. I know I can’t control her, or make her eat healthy all the time; I believe in moderation. I explain about eating protein and what too much sugar does to you (shuts down the immune system, leads to Diabetes, etc.) and hope she makes good choices. I do make room for French fries, chocolate and other treats. She knows they are treats, not everyday items and when we do eat them, it is good quality dark chocolate or Gelato Ice Cream and I buy natural fries or potato chips and we don’t eat them in excess. We don’t drink pop, kool aid or things with Aspartame in them. We eat a lot of vegetables, fruits and whole grains.
I really enjoyed your recipe page. My youngest has a son who was diagnosed with diabetics a year ago and they have to watch everything, read labels and regulate his insulin. Luckily our family grew up loving vegetables and fruits, but I am amazed at the lack of veggies and fruits in some households. One would think in our day and age that better eating habits would be more of a priority.
As a parent, what other measures can adults do to get the point across about eating better, living better and stop living in a fast food lane?
They first need to be the example, to educate themselves and to switch their eating and exercise habits. Children are always watching us whether we think they are or not.
When I worked at the School Nutrition Department in Nashville, the goal was to make sure that no child was left hungry. They were to have a balanced diet of all the proper nutrients.
Do you believe that most schools prepare a well-balanced diet or could they do better?
In our elementary schools on the West Coast of Canada, we don’t provide lunches, they bring their own, but I did find that they were given way too many sugary treats in the classroom by the teachers themselves. My daughter was sick after the end of Grade Two last year, as she gets sick after too much sugar. This year, they have a new program the School Fruit and Vegetable Program from ActNowBC; I am glad things are changing!
I really enjoyed the School Lunches Program by Jamie Oliver in the UK. I was so happy to see what he’d done over there, that I sent him and his wife a copy of my book. He found the children and the parents didn’t know much about vegetables or spices, nor did they eat them; Jamie was able to start turning things around in the homes and in the schools.
You are a very busy and active person, when you have any free time how do you relax and enjoy life?
I have to make the time; I love to spend time with friends going for lunch, hiking, a movie or dancing. I take my daughter swimming, or to the zoo. We love to chase our cat, as it’s important for her to exercise also. We went to Disneyland last year and we talk about where we want to go next. Although I work hard, it is important to take time out for fun and relaxation.
Do you have any other upcoming projects you are working on?
I just finished a workshop on Breast Cancer Prevention and will be doing more of them. I am working on a program to take into businesses and teach the employees about health and I am also collecting information for my next book on Childhood Obesity.
You are confronted with a family that only gives their child processed nuggets, French fries, pop tarts, or an occasional pizza. The word vegetable is never thought of in the household, is there any way you can reach the parent about eating the right foods when they have been fed this for many years?
I can tell the parent that the life expectancy of their child is less than their own life expectancy, unless they change things as a family. Experts are saying the life expectancy of this generation is less than their parent’s generation. I would get them to watch “Supersize Me”, my daughter loves this movie and asks for fast food a lot less now. The high fat, high sugar, low fiber diet a lot of people eat leads to health conditions such as Diabetes, Heart Disease, Cancers and more; Type 2 Diabetes is rising much faster in children that previously predicted. Then I would give them a plan to change one thing a week: read the labels, cut back on sugar, eat more vegetables and fruits, eat more fiber and whole grains, drink more pure water and less pop, etc.
Was there something in the back of your mind telling you to write this information into a book to share with others?
I have always wanted to reach more people about health.
If you could change anything in the world, what change would you make?
I would get people to stop fighting and to make sure everyone has enough food and water. I would also like to send some of my daughter’s toys to children who have nothing!
You are granted three wishes, what would you wish for?
To have everyone treat others at they would like to be treated; what a wonderful world that would be. To have success in my business, a best selling book, being able to reach a lot of people about taking control of their health and being financially free. To be a better mother, and to raise my daughter the best that I can.
What three words describe you?
friendly, knowledgeable, inquisitive.
On the Food Network channel, Ellie Krieger is a food nutritionist who prepares delicious healthy food. Of all the cooks on the Food Network, who do you think is the most qualified to demonstrate the best in healthy eating?
I haven’t watched Ellie, but I do love this station. I would have to say, I watch Jamie Oliver the most, then Rachel Ray. I do think the food Jamie cooks at home from his beautiful garden looks delicious and healthy.
You have been given a free vacation trip to, Africa, China or Hong Kong, which would you choose and why?
I would say……..Africa, as I don’t like crowded places and I love sun and animals. Ideally I would love to travel to South America, Costa Rica, Hawaii, Belize………I love the Rain Forest.
Finish the sentence: Life is short, so…?
The first thing that comes to mind is “let’s party”…………I love getting together with friends and family for social gatherings.
Anne, thank you so much for sharing time with us today. I agree with you that children’s health is the most important issue we face daily. I have enjoyed our time together. Thank you for getting important educational facts out that will help everyone feel better and live longer.
Thank you Cherokee; those were great questions.