Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! (TOS Review)

Take one look at me and you can tell nutrition hasn't been high on my priority list for the last several years.  With my 50th birthday looming, the thought has (briefly) crossed my mind that (perhaps) I should take better care of myself.  After all, I have two little girls who need their mommy to stick around for a long time.  You'd think that thought alone would be enough for me to improve my eating habits (not to mention making sure that my girls have the right foods to eat).  Just hearing that certain things are bad for me hasn't seemed to make much difference.  I guess I need the proverbial dump truck to back up and dump its load on my head to get the point across.

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! appears to be that dump truck.  This 448-page family nutrition and health program, by Growing Healthy Homes, explains not only the basics of starting and maintaining a healthy diet, but also provides the reasons for having a healthy diet.

Product Details

Nutrition 101: Choose Life! consists of 448 pages chock full of information not only about diet, but also about how our bodies work and the way what we consume affects our bodies.  

It is available in printed/bound form for $99.95, on a CD for $79.95, and a combination of the two formats (printed and CD) is available for $129.95 (the combination set would be my preference, because I like printed books, but I also like the flexibility of printing specific pages from the .pdf).

Don't let sticker shock over  the price deter you.  This book, in my opinion, is worth every penny.  This study is not the customary anatomy textbook - it is a beautiful, interesting and compelling introduction to (or reminder of) the importance of diet and nutrition and of taking care of your God-given body. It is set up in a similar fashion to a unit study, and contains six units covering the 12 main body systems:

Unit 1: The Brain and Nervous System
Unit 2: The Digestive System
Unit 3: The Respiratory, Olfactory, Auditory and Visual Systems
Unit 4: The Muscular and Skeletal Systems
Unit 5: The Cardiovascular and Immune Systems
Unit 6:  The Endocrine System and Emotions

Each unit is divided into chapters which include such things as how each body system functions, what it needs to function properly and efficiently, the effects of the food we eat on the body system, discussion questions, activities, and recipes.  

The book also includes an activity guide, which serves as an answer key for the activities.  Beginning on page 305, the book provides a wealth of reference information in the form of appendices, including such things as how to select fresh produce, an alkaline/acid chart, sugar alternatives, cancer, sleep, spices for good health, healthy home resources, and too many other references to list.

The following video will tell you more about Nutrition 101: Choose Life!

What I like

Tons of incredible information.  Tons.

The chapters are intended to be completed in a week, but there is so much information (and so many potential rabbit trails to follow!) that we are going slower than that, and have found it easy to adapt to a longer schedule.  I also plan to go through the entire book now as an overview (not doing all the activities or following all those beloved rabbit trails), and then go back through it when the girls are a bit older and do a more in-depth study.


The discussion questions sparked lots of great conversation, and the activities and recipes inspired several very interesting trips to the grocery store!  

One of the more interesting things we have done so far was to make our usual list and shop as we normally do, then go back and look at everything in our cart to see if there was a healthier alternative.  I think it was an eye-opener for my girls!


My girls, especially my youngest, loves to experiment in the kitchen.  We're enjoying trying the recipes included in the book.  Not all of them are being readily accepted, but I'm hopeful.  I've always enforced the "three bites, four times" rule - when I serve something new, they have to take three bites of it.  After the fourth time I serve it, if their reaction is still "yuck", I don't force them to eat it.  Because of this rule, my oldest will now eat her weight in asparagus.  I'm hoping that rule will allow us to introduce many of these new recipes into our regular menu.

I was struck by the vividness of the pictures in this study.  It truly is a beautiful book.

I wish…

I have not yet read this entire book (remember - it's 448 pages!), but so far I can't think of anything I would do to improve this book.  My only wish might be that my girls would accept all of the changes we need to make.  My kids, like many others, are fairly picky eaters - but I think any improvement will be a great start!

Be sure to

Attend the webinar hosted by The Old Schoolhouse tomorrow, April 21 from 4:00pm - 5:30pm EDT,  with Sera Johnson (one of the authors of Nutrition 101: Choose Life!).  Register for the webinar here!!

Read an excerpt (including the complete Table of Contents) here.

Growing Healthy Homes has provided a 15% off coupon for your use!  Use the code TOScrew11 and you'll be given the same discount you would receive at a homeschool conference!

Check out upcoming conferences where you can see this and other products from Growing Healthy Homes.  Click here to see upcoming events (be sure to click "next 5 events" at the bottom of the page). 

Click here to stay up to date with current news from Growing Healthy Homes. 

Final thoughts

If my health/nutrition class in school had used a book this interesting, I'd know a lot more about how my body works and what it needs - and would probably be a lot healthier.  It's never too late, though, so I'll be implementing as many of the suggestions as possible into my family's diet. 

It bears repeating - this book is worth every penny of its price.

Thoughts of my crew mates

To see other reviews of this product, click here. For giveaways, other product reviews and other fun things, follow the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Crew blog at:

Disclaimer: As part of the 2010-2011 TOS Homeschool Review Crew, I received the product described in this review at no cost in exchange for my fair, honest and unbiased (and not necessarily positive) review. No other compensation was received.

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