Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Food Dyes and other crazy things......

When I told my sister I was going to homeschool, her reaction was one of complete support.  She started laughing and asked me if my kids were going to learn violin, plant gardens, and learn to sew.  I assured her we would stay as normal as possible and only buy off the rack, never take up violin, and eat highly processed foods.

Well, here we are almost a year later and I have a confession.  We are becoming those organic, all natural eaters that I used to make fun of.  Let me explain....I only silently judged their cart because I didn't have the desire nor the willpower to change over.  I had my staples that my kids would eat and I excused a lot of it by Trey's pickiness and the fact that he needed to gain weight.  I knew he would never eat that stuff and I couldn't justify paying the extra price for it.  Fast forward and I found myself  constantly dealing with Annalise's extreme focus issues (similar to ADHD without me seeking a diagnosis) and anxiety in Addison.  Addison's anxiety seemed to suddenly take a life of it's own and I was just at a loss of what to do for both of them without seeking medicine.  To be honest, before adding another therapy to our plate I wanted to try something new.  I started doing tons of research and one thing kept coming to the forefront for ADHD and anxiety.  Diet. Diet. Diet.  (disclaimer:  I am ALL for medicine if needed....)

At first I did the justifying....our diet isn't that bad.  We eat decent for dinner.  But then, I started thinking about breakfast and lunch.  I am ashamed to say that breakfast for the girls was usually Krave cereal and lunch a lot of times would be a lunchable because of ease.  Sure, my healthy go to was a gogurt packed in there, but even that is not good!  So, I decided to start simple.  The main place everyone encouraged starting was getting rid of food dyes.  Okay done.  But wait.....food dyes are in everything!  I encourage you to just look at some of your labels.  If it doesn't list a specific dye, like Blue 2 or Red 40, it will say artificial colors.  So, I started with the obvious.  Doritos, cheezits, goldfish, boxed muffins, candy and so forth.  Then, I got on Amazon Prime Pantry and ordered a new box of food.  I made it fun for the kids and told them there were major changes coming.  They were oddly excited.  I showed them all the new food when it came in and let them try several things.  Now, let me first of all say, we are just focusing on dyes right now.  We do Annie's organic cheddar bunnies that still list a lot of ingredients and so forth.  Some people say food should have no more than 5 ingredients and maybe one day I can do that, but not now.

Throughout the course of this we also discovered Trey is sensitive to gluten (and a few other things as well) so he has started on a gluten free diet.  I find it amusing that I was pumping him full of junk to help him gain weight and that was never going to work because of this sensitivity.

So many have asked how my kids have done and the answer is remarkably well.  I think Trey was just ready to feel better and not have so many stomach issues that he was willing to do anything.  They have also discovered that making a lot of our own mini muffins and banana bread is actually pretty fun as well.  One night for dinner I looked at their plate and realized they were all eating chicken, strawberries, couscous, and not a single kid was complaining.  The rule is they have to try it.  They don't have to like it or even finish it, but they will be offered it again and again.  Maybe they will never like it or maybe one day they will love it.  Who knows.  All I know is that I have seen HUGE improvements in both Addison and Annalise in only 2 full weeks of this.  Annalise has slept past 6:00 a couple of times (this is unheard of) and Addison has calmed down as well.  Now, I am also doing some supplements.....we do Epsom Salt in our baths for Magnesium and Addison is on a probiotic and fish oil supplement as well.  Annalise also takes a vegetable capsule that promotes calmness and relaxation each morning and I am waiting on that to take full effect......:)

So I guess the moral of the story is this.  We are officially hippies.  I no longer judge grocery carts.  I am close to adding a garden in the back yard and I guess I should go ahead and order the violins.  Are you happy Kristi??