Raising Healthy Eaters

In this day and age, raising children to be healthy eaters is incredibly difficult. As they get older, we have less and less control over their food environments, and I know I’m not the only parent who is distressed by this. But this week, I had a huge breakthrough with one of my daughters. Watch this week’s vlog to hear the story.

 

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Comments

  1. Ellen

    Susan, I COMPLETELY feel you here. I am vegan. Both of my girls are vegetarian (my husband is neither). But I wasn’t always, nor were my kids. Despite my best efforts, my 14-year -old is so addicted to sugar and flour and junk (which I don’t keep in the house), but she gravitates toward it big-time when we go out, or she goes to a friend’s house. When my (now 19 year old) daughter was 3, we went to an Easter party at my in-laws. Up until that point, she had never really had any candy or junk food. Every morning I would ask her what she wanted for breakfast, and the answer was always, “cereal” (healthy), or “egg/toast,” and “fruit”. After being completely bullied by my in-laws (who are all morbidly obese or already dead now) into letting my 3-year-old eat “whatever she wants” at the Easter party because it is a “special occasion”, and I am “depriving her”, and my husband (the biggest sugar addict I know) say “What’s the big deal?” I decided to let her have at it. She stuffed her face with every Easter treat imaginable until her tummy hurt. However, despite that, the next morning when she woke up I asked her what she wanted for breakfast. Guess what she said? “Candy.” Keep fighting the good fight, Susan. It is a fine balance between wanting the best for your children and keeping them healthy, without creating an unhealthy relationship with food (either by food choices, or with an eating disorder). Keep modeling good behavior in the home, and educate, educate, educate your kids through the years. They will be fine 🙂

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  2. Sam DuBois

    You made me cry, too. “The acorn doesn’t fall far from the tree”, and “the child is the secret essence of the Mother and Father”. Goo on ya!

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  3. Sam DuBois

    Oops! “GooD on ya!”…
    Can’t type through tears of joy!

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  4. Meredith Canaan

    I love this Vlog. It hit me hard. As a parent coach, I love the way you model who you are, your values, and how it has shown for them. Such a great Vlog!! It is inspiring!

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  5. Kathy

    What a special, Vlog, Susan! Made me cry to hear your daughter making the connection between the reality of how little healthy food people in our country (including me!) eat and your mission to help people eat healthy. WOW!

    I have a 14 year old granddaughter who has always been “texture challenged” since a baby. She eats so little healthy food I’m amazed that she is able to still do well in school and play sports vigorously. She is addicted to sweets and loves to bake. It’s a huge challenge especially for her mother, who is a pediatrician, to walk the line between asking her to try a new food and not making her feel guilty about what she will and won’t eat. And it’s getting harder for her socially because of the limited foods she will eat. I know she sneaks unhealthy snacks and she loves cheese, no doubt for the casein. At a family dinner that I prepared, she ended up in the bathroom crying because she “couldn’t” eat anything I had prepared. When I went to her, she dissolved in my arms crying and saying, “I don’t want to be a picky eater, Grandma!” It’s heart breaking for sure.

    Thanks for sharing your stories … and for being there to help those who want your help.

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  6. Smitty

    You might want to check out the movie “Unsupersize Me” also….the most amazing transformation I’ve seen in all the movies I’ve watched so far!

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    1. Lauren

      Thanks for the recommendation! I”ll check it out.

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  7. Constance

    Wow, these kids are smart ones. Holy cow! They are gonna keep you on your toes! At that age I will still learning how to tie my shoes. HAR! <3

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  8. Miranda

    This story is amazing! I just had several mothers on my Facebook group tell me how hard it is as a mother to get their children to eat healthy food so I’m posting this video on the group right away.

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  9. Diane Darr

    Thank you so much for sharing! So beautiful

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  10. Stephanie

    Dear Susan–this blog was amazing. I am so happy for you and your daughters. I also love that within this heartfelt vlog there was a supremely well-timed reminder for me about how quickly Americans are killing themselves with their forks (including, often, still-struggling me). I’m going to ride this emotional wave and skip the leftover wedding cupcake on the counter. I know I can do it. I did 30 days of FA and had two moments of freedom that were very striking. But my sponsor was a “no nut or seed” gal and I kicked her to the curb. Perhaps it’s time to save up for Boot Camp. Signing off with love, gratitude, and much joy for the shift occurring in your household.

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    1. Monica

      Stephanie, The love and camaraderie you feel in the bootcamp is so wonderful. It’s really worth it! Good luck.

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  11. Yaprak

    Thank you Susan! You made me cry too! I had an insight listening to you, I think the recent softening, opening and expansion that’ve been reflected through your last few videos might have accelerated this interest from your daughter. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the Family Constellation Theory, but as far as I understand it, when a family totally ignores something, or the total opposite, fully owns something with a fundamentalistic attitude, the next generations subconsciously makes choices to bring the system back to balance. So when you talk about grace still being with you even when not on the brightlines fully, when you introduce that openness and softness to your audience, you may also be leaving cracked open spaces for others to enter into the system of brightlines.
    Your work’s been bringing grace and sanity to our home. Forever thankful!

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  12. Norma Springsteen

    I almost didn’t watch this one because I don’t have kids & never will & am not involved in raising a child. But something told me to watch & the joy I felt when you revealed how your daughter asked to help with BLE was the reason. I cried too! It is so beautiful to hear about a new generation learning at a young age how to be healthy & happy. Keep up the amazing, heart-centered work!

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  13. Patricia Visser

    Oh my dear Susan, this is by far my favorite vlog to date. Congratulations on this enormous victory. Way to go Zoë. Please please keep a journal of this development because I think this could become the topic of your next book. The whole journey of you setting and practicing an example and how Zoë got to this point and onwards. This was your most valuable vlog ever. Well done girl (s).
    With much love and affection, Patricia Visser.

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    1. Nili Marcia

      Patricia, what a brilliant insight on how this topic could become a very valuable book! I agree with you!

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  14. C Terry

    Awesome!!! I love the saying ‘what you resist persist’. This was a perfect example of you not demanding your children eat healthy and they learn what’s right on their own! Love it!!!

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  15. Rose

    Best blog ever for parents and holding the quesiton of how to bring food health awarenss to them. Teach the children and we change the culture . all in right timing. Hearts to you SPT and Your/Our mission here in BLE.

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  16. Kat Vo

    Susan, I have been following you for 2 years at least and really admire your work and the truth you are sharing with others. This blog made me cry. This is exactly how I feel as a mother, a trained NTP, who O badly wants this for our family. There are great days and struggles. I think the more we continue to do this work, share our gifts and educate, the message will get out there. What’s important is that we build community and a network of support as we go through this journey. So grateful to you, thank you for sharing! Kat

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  17. Rosemarie Jaouen

    Thank you for this story Susan. Brought tears to my eyes. I see my granddaughter feeling the sneak food syndrome because she is not allowed certain foods. I am a vegan and talk with her when I see her about why and every once in a while she will be vegan for a day or two (she is 8 yrs. old). Then she tells me she is not sure she can do it any more and I tell her its ok. I know I am planting seeds and when she is ready she will make her own decisions. It is so hard in America to have kids see what is wrong with the food here since it is so bad in schools, hospitals, birthday parties and holidays, etc. I am proud of you and your daughters for learning together and realizing there is a consequence to eating the “american diet” and we will all pay the price one day. I am just a beginner Brite Line Eater and I love how it challenges me to choose healthy when there may be an unhealthy food right next to my healthy foods. My husband does not do vegan or even vegetarian and I worry about his health but know I don’t have control over his life and his choices so I continue on my journey and offer him some of my foods too. It is his choice whether to eat it or not.

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  18. Tony Collette

    Great VLOG! My wife and I struggle with how to best lead, guide and support our 12 year old daughter who is far from living in her right sized body. It’s particularly difficult because we too are not in our right sized bodies either. We are all high on the susceptibility scale Do you think it would be wise to show this to her in an effort to express and explain to her from an outside voice that we want her to want this for herself and that we will always be here for her no matter what?

    On a lighter but similar note … Years ago, whenever our boys would emerge from the bathroom, I’d ask them a series of questions … Did you flush? Put the seat down?Did you wash? Turn off the light? Etc. And then I’d finish with … Did you invest in a no load mutual fund? Ha Ha. Funny dad. Rolled eyes. And then … one day, while we were driving in the car, my son finally asked me … Ok. Dad, what is a no load mutual fund anyway? … Ta Da! Only then did I know that he was ready to receive the information.

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  19. Linda

    OMG Susan! I think you made a lot of people cry! Including me!! Magical moment for sure, thanks for sharing!!!

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  20. Elana Kann

    Beautiful, Susan! What a great moment that must have been.

    My daughter felt cheated as she got older, told me she was starting to sneak junk food and didn’t want to, and we eased up a lot which she appreciated; plus she had her own drawer for “her” foods that I wouldn’t buy for her. Now in college, living on her own for the summer learning about buying groceries and making her own meals (with her boyfriend), she’s learning directly through her body the consequences of NOT eating well and eating well, she can feel the difference, and for the first time she’s asking for my advice. So gratifying! Staying open and non-judgmental, yet having standards for myself and for what I’m willing to buy for the household–I think those are the keys to children being free to figure it out for themselves, with information and modeling as the background, for all the right reasons and not as rebellion.

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  21. Cr

    Thank you Susan! Beautiful vlog, as usual. I am so happy for you that this happened. Mothering is hard and you are doing a wonderful job!

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  22. Robyn

    Well done !!!

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  23. Penelope Jane Smith

    Wow! That’s so awesome! Now that my baby Gabriel is 1, I’m already thinking about this a lot. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

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  24. Melanie Church

    You spoke right to my heart. I’m not high on the food susceptibility scale, but I was raised by people who would have been. Both my parents died at relatively young ages, mostly due to poor food choices. I have taken a very different and much healthier path for my family with four children, but my oldest two are at the age where their realm of influence has expanded to outside our home, as have the opportunities for “food.” One of them has been making poor food choices, and it is showing both in his body and his attitude. I’ve been struggling with how to teach him about his food choices beyond setting a good example in our home with what foods he’s served and has access to. He’s turned into a food sneak. He’s old enough that it’s time to have a very enlightening conversation with him about why we eat the way we do. Thank you for the inspiration and being on this parenting journey with me.

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  25. Tom Rice

    I can’t share on Facebook.

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  26. Sarah

    Cathartic Vlog!!! Wooo Hooo — I am so proud for you, Susan! Now this is what ‘unstoppable’ is all about! Well done 😘

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  27. Inkling

    Thanks Susan! Real as always. I don’t have children but I am trying to raise a husband….😂….Love him dearly though 😘🙋🏻‍♀️

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  28. Stefi

    Sooo very sweet share –
    delighted for you Susan 😍
    & Yay Zoey 👍🌈

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  29. Karen

    Oh, Susan. I, like others, am in tears.. what a little sweetheart Zoe is. I don’t have children, but struggle when I watch what my family feeds my little great nieces and nephews. They are passing along their bad habits and eventually their health issues. Such a good Log. Looking forward to seeing you at the reunion.

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  30. Nancy

    It doesn’t get any better than this! Such a MAJOR WIN!

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  31. Stephanie

    Susan, thank you so much – very moved. As a life-long disordered eater (and Bright Lifer, with 70 lbs lost on BLE!), my #1 goal was to raise my son without eating issues – his freedom was my first priority, as was yours. While at age 18 he’s chosen not to be vegan (like me) – he’s keenly interested in healthy eating and has no binge issues. He can leave a cookie half eaten! There you go. “Job well done Mom” I say to myself with immense relief and pride. My approach was as you described – hands off, allowing a moderate amount of treats in the house rather than restrictive, as was my mom’s approach (didn’t work). I’m sure you can understand the complex emotions I have around this, as well as my relief and pride.

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  32. Beyond Vegan

    What a beautiful story. Thank you Susan you made me cry and well done Zoe!

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  33. Ann Paterson

    Beautiful blog Susan, it was just “time” and you allowed the space for it to become a realisation, an ah ha moment for your kids. Bless you, you ARE making a difference in this world. Every stone creates a ripple and they echo outwards, as does your work. You are fulfilling your purpose and to do that, is to show your kids by example how making a difference counts.

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  34. MaryKiwi

    This is my fave ever vlog, even though I love them all.

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  35. Chris

    Wow! How impactful was that Flog! I think kids take in all that is going on around them. Your children see your passion, commitment and unending work with Bright Line. You are giving your children a wonderful base with food.

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  36. Katrina

    Thank you thank you thank you Susan for everything you do and are!!! You are incredibly inspirational 😊

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  37. Caroline

    YES….knowledge,understanding and patience ,sprinkled with lotsa love is the recipe for changing generations to healthy people and planet….enthusiasts!!!🙏 Here’s to hopeful futures!!!❤️

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  38. Jan

    Dear Susan, You are so right – being a mother and hoping your children will have a healthy relationship with food is a very big concern. My mother was an obese teen , she lost the weight , married and had 3 children. She raised us with the intention that we wouldn’t have to go through the pain of being fat children. She controlled all our food and portion sizes. I rebelled and as soon as I had a little bit of money and could walk to the neighborhood store I was buying treats. Obviously, I ended up obese and I felt rebellious toward my mother’s control until I was 63 years old. I finally surrendered to the idea I am a food addict. I brought my children up opposite of my mother in one way – I had all kinds of food in my house without too much restriction. Unfortunately, my daughters also have food addiction challenges. Parents have the best intentions – I don’t blame my mother for my obesity. I am so so happy for you and your daughters – how wonderful that your gift child made the connection to Bright Line Eating. Hurrah for BLE!

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  39. Karalee Nicholson

    Beautiful…When all of your hard work culminates in that moment it is very precious indeed… (:

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  40. Pamela Conley Ulich

    Fabulous ! I just got tagged on facebook by my 18 year old daughter today on a vegetarian dish. I feel so guilty because I was with the 70% eating crap for most of my life, but changed to BLE last August. Hopefully it’s not to late for me and my family to be healthy, strong and free. Thank you for sharing and caring enough to make us all be our best (and hopefully live long fulfilling healthy joyful lives. God bless you and yours!

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  41. Denise Fitzsimmons

    That was absolutely beautiful! So happy your little one got the ah ha moment. You are an incredible woman. Now, maybe she can appreciate what you mean to all of us.
    Thank you, Zoe for sharing your mommy.

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  42. Di

    WOW! You and Zoe blew me away!

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  43. Petra

    Thank you Susan for inspiring me to raise the kids by offering healthy options and your super clearly written book! Very inspiring ✨

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  44. Claire

    Knowing I had food issues and body image issues-I vowed to “watch my mouth” in the complete sense. My one goal was for my kids to learn without a doubt when they were hungry and when they were full-knowing that what they chose to satiate hunger was the loaded question of the century. I focused or re-focused any body comments from within the family and outside of it on “wow-and isn’t it amazing what you can DO with your body?…how fast it can run-how well it can dance-the biking, the swimming, the riding, the hiking…etc.

    Beyond that-like you-I provided a healthy pallet: always fruit, nuts, peanut/almond butter, really “hefty” breads from whole grains, whole oats, homemade yogurt or veggies or last nights dinner for the taking-ANYTIME. (I free choice my pets too!). I never said-“you will ruin your dinner! But-if they were full whenever there was a mealtime-we all just sat at the table and those that were hungry ate and those that weren’t didn’t, but we still really enjoyed each other’s company, and often made the meals together..

    If they got on a sugar binge-we just had an unloaded discussion of how it made them feel…(and man-did it rev them up and crash them big time-and often would make them quite ill.) They learned pretty quickly-they didn’t really enjoy the “crazy brain” that ensued. All baking recipes were discussed in terms of how to make them “yummy”, increase their nutritional value and preserve the basic textures with little to no sugar.

    It is SO much better than my relationship with food that I am singing the hallelujah chorus most of the time for them! It is a hard line-as I know the minute I was told something was not good for me-that was just about the only thing that ran around in my head 24/7. For our family-it really worked to focus on the functioning, active body, it was strictly off limits to describe each other as fat/thin/tall/short/ugly/beautiful. Like most children-their growth patterns were very unique…My son started out as a giant baby and became a small, lithe child and man. My daughter was an average baby, that would get “fluffy” and then grow taller and get thinner again. She is overall more muscular-but small and athletic as well…genetics were against them in the height department! 🙂

    As they became verbal-very young mind you-we also just pointed out that one food or another seemed to make them feel so well and others not so much huh?? But-we tried really hard not to label foods good or bad in and of themselves. I know that sounds kind of middle of the road-but I would never have been able to pull an all out change in my own habits without creating a repeat of what I grew up under-so I thought being honest and just trying to focus on the better routes as much as possible without “loading” seemed to be the best possible course, and it had a positive outcome. We all know how food can get used as a tool for all sorts of things it is not meant to function under, or manipulate. Providing healthy food and Keeping our eyes only on our own plate are good rules to live by.

    My ‘sweeties’ are in their thirties now! They have their “sugar moments”, but go right back to good food. They enjoy using their bodies so much that it counter balances any addictive longevity, and my daughter in particular just tries to make her binges really “good quality ingredients”…

    I always appreciate your raw honesty and your ability to stick with a program that works for you. You are such an inspiration!

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  45. Roberta Walters

    Wow fantastic news!!!!!! They too will help so many kids learn to eat better. Amazing day!!! Thank God. Change the kids change the world! !!!!! No topic I’d more important than this!!! So happy for you! !!! Great food boundaries teaching other great life boundaries. ..what if we loved ourselves enough to eat well. You deserve this slice of heaven Susan! !!!may the curious children always care about there foods . I celebrate with you today!!!!! I’m glad you told me this as its a huge deal! !!!!

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  46. Emma Williams

    Hi Susan
    I have the same issues with both my kids, 7 and 4, the 4 year old has been diagnosed with ASD so is VERY picky around food and will only eat about 10 items, with little or no vegetables, although he absolutely LOVES fruit which is a blessing – so I totally get where you’re coming from with this blog – I shed a small tear watching your joy in the video, then blamed it on my hayfever as I’m in work haha. The food issue is an ongoing struggle as I am high on the susceptibility scale as well so thank you for all your work and brilliant blogs – I look forward to watching you every week
    Emma

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  47. Neil

    “Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings …” (Matthew chap. 21 v. 16).
    I think that children learn a lot from what they see us do. They’ve always SEEN how much you care about the food you all eat, and now they know WHY.
    As a man in my 60s, I don’t often shed a tear: well done Susan and daughters!

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  48. Pat Marsh

    So, maybe Zoey can have a BLE vlog for kids!! As always Susan, great vlog!! Thank you

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  49. Nena Gullette

    Susan, that is so sweet! It is so awesome to have your children get such a revelation! And I love how their minds think. I had to rewind and write down all these movies. Are there any more? I have only seen one of the four you mentioned. I just want to confirm you and how you are handling things with your children. I thank God for you and bright line eating. I recently gave a birthday party for my 92-year-old father who incidentally eats tons of sugar and is under weight. But his teeth are rotting. I brought BLE food and my family thought I was nuts. My cousin is a physician and we had quite the discussion. Maybe I can pick up from here and help my grandchildren. Keep on being you, Susan!

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  50. Linda Ducharme

    too many LIKE’s and Ums otherwise good job.
    Listen to this vlog yourself. and see if I am right.

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  51. Jenny Nolan

    I loved this Vlog! Thanks for sharing, Susan. My daughter has life-threatening food allergies to: eggs, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts. I’m “lucky” she has the ones to egg and dairy, even though it’s terrifying, because she has a very healthy diet – until recently when she discovered Lays potato chips and candy. Ugh. Now that she’s started, it’s all she wants. She’s 9 and this vlog gave me the confidence I need to keep showing her the healthy things to eat and have faith she will choose healthy over fatty/unhealthy again soon. Hugs!

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  52. Lisa

    Wow. I cried too. Just what I needed to hear. Divine timing. Thank you for sharing this! 🙂

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  53. Debbie

    So BLE is not healthy if you include meat in the menus? Sigh.

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  54. Barbara Dulong

    Now I love you even more!

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  55. Stephanie

    Kids menus tend to consist of Chicken nuggets, Hotdogs, and Mac&Cheese. I have never understood why restaurant do not offer child size portions.
    I have to agree with your consensus on what percent of The USA eats healthy. I am pretty sure most of America lives on Stouffers, Potato Chips, and Sodas.

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  56. Lynda Lemmon

    This is the most powerful vlog of any I have seen so far Susan. Bravo for you as a Mom. Bravo for you as my person on a mission and bravo for sharing on such a personal level. I want everyone I know to see this.

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  57. Nili Marcia

    I don’t remember ever crying at a vlog before but when you reported Zoe saying “Mommy, is that why you spend all that time doing Bright line Eating?” I got tears in my eyes. Oh what a precious moment and then her wanting to help, oh wow! Lots of tears!! What an amazing gift you have given the girls with your example and your passion. This is a new chapter in an amazing story of major influence in the world. The next generation is already falling in place while BLE is still in it’s toddler stage. How very wonderful!!

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  58. Ann King

    Is there a list of movies like those mentioned in this vlog that we can access? I could spend a weekend binging on that!

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  59. Lynda Hahn

    Oh dear Susan…how I loved this VLOG. I felt for you xoxoxox

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  60. Carol

    Oh, thank U thank U Susan for this beautiful real vlog!! I started crying when you were twirling your daughter around the kitchen In your arms… 🙂 Our daughter is 11 and your recommendation a few months ago Ellen Sattyr’s book was so so helpful. I did not read it in its entirety, got the gist and it really helped me lean into feeding my daughter , she had a bit of chub, nothing extreme, but I was concerned and I just cried when I read the recommendation: to feed well during the growing years…. well duh, but to my funky food brain it was so so helpful and has created much more peace around food in our home!!!!!

    I look forward to eventually sharing some of these movies with her. Thank you for all your work.

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  61. Toni S

    I teared up! Your storytelling is superb and I felt along with you the joy and rush you would have gotten when Zoe understood. Big hugs. I have a 10 year old boy and I have to have faith that he, too will one day figure out why I say no to the ‘bad’ foods and encourage him to eat the ‘good’ foods…

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