Tuesday, June 19, 2012

That's junk food!

Today marks day 8 of a surprisingly seamless journey our family has ventured to take.  No gluten, dairy, corn or corn produce, or food dyes.  Yikes, looking at that list it makes me wonder what we can possibly be eating! So how did we begin this journey you ask? Well, one day while driving around town with my ever so perfect side kicks I passed back some snacks to the back seat.  Within minutes, my ever so calm child was scaling the walls with a very wild look on his face.  It started to sink in that something I was giving him was not agreeing with his body thus driving him to be angry and hyperactive.  I started to do some research (and without going into too much detail) found that food allergies are a very common cause of these behaviors.  So much in fact that once you eliminate the culprit, your child's personality can dramatically change.  Determined to find the harmony in my child's world we have vowed to do the elimination diet for two months.
Sounds easy right?  Yes and no.  First of all, one slip up means starting from day one all over again.  Ouch.  This has lead me to some lengthy conversations with teachers and other caregivers.  And, well, finding foods to eat outside of fruits and veggies can be a bit challenging.  I had never been so aware of what was being dumped into our foods-when I thought I was eating healthy- until I found myself tossing every food item we owned.  The empowering side of this is that we are eating so much more of the stuff I always hoped we would be eating.  It is such a wonderful feeling to have my child tell me he is hungry and needs an apple than that he is craving a granola bar or some other processed food.
So how is it going so far you ask?  Well, by day three we have seen unbelievable changes in his personality the main one being that he is very calm and cooperative.  I cannot even imagine what I will be seeing in him in thirty days!
Finally, in making this lifestyle change we have started to educate our children on the difference in junk/processed foods verses healthy foods.  We have been encouraging him to think about the foods and how it makes his body feel.  Here is an example of his thought process-unprovoked:
While at Publix picking up a few items we passed a lady holding a large back of M&Ms.  Noah excitedly pointed is finger to the bag and said "MMM Mom, look M&Ms!" Shaking his head side to side he followed with "But, I don't eat them because they are junk food and when I eat them they make my tummy sick!" The lady holding the bag smiled.  I wonder if she put the bag down.
I am proud that he is starting to understand that food is a fuel and we need to eat the stuff that makes us feel the best inside.  And that is what this lifestyle change is all about.

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