Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sugar, Sugar! (Not my typical short entry!)

There was a time several years back when we removed all sugar from Bobby's diet. That lasted 2 weeks. We saw absolutely no difference. True, we have seen him spiral out of control after a sugar-filled drink or trip to favorite neighborhood ice-cream stop. But, the day-to-day sugar consumption really never seemed to be a big deal to us. 

Then we took a long look at what we were putting into our mouths. We began to read reputable studies on nutrition and our children's health (& our health). What we have decided as a couple, is we're going to think outside the typical American diet from now on. SUGAR (brown & white) was at the top of our list to eliminate. We aren't focused on Nutritional labels on foods but INGREDIENT labels. This has made a difference for us.

Bobby is still an active, inquisitive, headstrong boy who is heading faster than we'd like to believe, toward his teen years. He doesn't just accept our word without challenge. BUT, he has what once was a rare "calm" about him when he reads, discusses current and historic events and gets involved with chores without being asked. Could he be just "snapping out" of his obnoxious ADHD childishness? I think not. Something changed. We believe it was a combination of things. 

We're paying close attention to his diet now, most importantly, removing all sugar from our home. Huge step. Not everyone can do this. Wait, let's rephrase that. Not everyone would want to take this on. Why not? If I could sit here and think of ONE good thing sugar does for my system, for my son's growing body, developing brain.... I might keep it. But I can't. We simply ate it because it tasted better than everything else and made a wonderful dessert. The only desserts that are good are ice cream, cake, candy and cookies. Right? 

Our journey has taken us down a long path. ADHD has been the ride of our lives & to see nutrition play such a big part in a turn-around, makes writing this blog entry so important. We aren't in the medical profession, but we have exceptional doctors, upstanding in our community, who believe in this course. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that any ADHD child whose parents choose to really get on a healthy course, will be one blessed child! 

We decided to put as many natural vitamins (vegetables and fruits) into growing a healthy boy. Salads, fresh kale and spinach, lots of fruits, grains & nuts are now part of every single day. Not just a "part" of every day but these foods ARE our new diet. These healthy foods have never been associated with obesity, diabetes, cancer, heart disease and myriads of other life-threatening diseases. That's why we're eating them so much! Bobby is getting enough protein & calories based on the RDA. His growth is in line for boys his age. He is sleeping well. There are no adverse affects of eating healthfully.

Does Bobby ever eat foods with sugar or that are processed? We've chosen to allow those things on occasion when we go out. Not in every meal. That wasn't healthy. We don't go to fast-food restaurants anymore. We don't go out for dinner regularly but when we do go out, Bobby can order whatever he wants. And when we're home, we make sure there are lots of "treats" that he likes! Frozen fruit smoothies, fresh-squeezed juices, delicious mangos and avacados. We haven't "limited" our diet--but broadened it immensely! Here's to raising healthy kids & helping them make good food choices that will truly shape their future!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Bobby's Eating WHAT?

Tonight I am stumped. I haven't had "material" to write about for a while now. Not just because I'm a busy teacher & mom, but because Bobby's engine fires my writing and he's been doing just fine. Just fine. I have to say those words again. They haven't been written in a story about my boy thus far. Bear with me through a few lines of back ground and we'll get to Bobby's status today!

So let's go back 7 weeks. I received some news about my heart health. Cholesterol & blood pressure too high. While only about 30 pounds overweight, I have a system filled with stroke & heart-attack potential. My husband and I had a serious heart-to-heart talk the night we read over the medical results together & decided a big change was needed. We would seek to reverse my health problems so I could move forward healthfully for many years. We watched two recommended health documentaries, "Forks Over Knives" and "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead." We read all about the nutritional value of such a turn-around & knew it could not hurt us.  Immediately we implemented a lot of what we learned. We turned our kitchen upside down, getting rid of meat, caffeine, & ALL processed & packaged foods. We wanted to avoid all fast-food & most restaurants for a while. We bought whole grains & lots of fruits and vegetables. We chose a "plant-based diet." (Let me note right now that Bobby's weight has been closely monitored. He is growing! He eats like a horse now & loves the healthy frozen fruit smoothies we tuck kale & spinach into!)

Roll forward to this week. A short 7 weeks (but almost 2 months) of highly nutritious eating. Bobby takes healthy sack lunches to school that he helps put together (so he'll actually eat them). This week we have seen a complete turn-around in Bobby's behavior. Just about everything about him has changed. He is enjoyable to be with and hasn't gotten into trouble. And the interesting thing is HE SEES IT!  

We still see a kid who is ALL BOY. He argues a bit and makes big messes of everything.  But he is happier, calmer & tonight he sat down and did a Science assignment that hasn't even been assigned, "just because I want to get ahead."  This has NEVER happened before.  I can't predict how this will play out over the coming months and years. I am not a physician so I will NOT suggest a specific diet for any child. But I can say, this is beautiful for Bobby & for all around him. It is our "today" and today is looking very nice! Here's to getting our kids just a big healthier!