7

Do you have one of those naysayer friends or family members who just doesn't ever get it?  You tell them how something is in your life and they never quite get it and actually don't BELIEVE it?  UGH!  It is soooo  hard to be patient with those sorts, ya know???

girl-147105

In October of 2013, I wrote a post titled Our Food Story. It was a little glimpse into what got my family started on the food journey we have been on and WILL CONTINUE to be on for the rest of our lives.  It's just that important.  And yes, naysayers- IT'S TRUE and certainly not 'optional'.

Sometimes, though- it's like banging your head against a brick wall.

All pictures in this post obtained from Pixabay.
All pictures in this post obtained from Pixabay.

I totally understand why strangers or people we've just met wouldn't understand the background and the hows and whys that led us to this decision- to follow a whole foods diet and never again consume artificial chemicals, additives and harmful ingredients that is added to the standard American diet on a daily basis by the 'food' companies.  But when it's family or 'friends' that have known us for sometime and they still make comments about whether our kids have to continue this style of life after leaving home....well- it's gosh darn FRUSTRATING!!!

alone-62253_640

The thing is, these people just don't understand.  They don't know what we went through.  Oh, sure they've heard mentions of the words "ADHD", "Mental Illness", "Bipolar Depression" and such, but they weren't there- so they don't believe it (I shake my head even as I write this).

Well, my readers.  I lived it.  I know what we went through.  I can remember events vividly that I wouldn't wish upon an enemy. Someday I may write about those events that can still make me shake and bring me to tears as I recall them.  It was real.  It happened.  But we found an answer.  The answer is in God and His Food.

The answer is to avoid artificial ingredients that we were ingesting on a daily basis throughout the day.  The answer is to avoid MSG, artificial colors and flavors, artificial sweeteners, and - though I didn't know this then, but am learning now- possibly the processed grains that we were eating from fast-food establishments, other restaurants, and yes- even my own kitchen when using processed or pre-packaged 'foods' or ingredients.

My family avoids these now.  And we are well.  We are healthy.  We no longer carry labels that hindered our lives. It's REAL.  And no, we can't afford to make it an 'option'.

And why would anyone- ANYONE- try to tell my kids that they can eat any way they want to now or in the future?  WHY would they say (essentially) "Hey, you don't have to eat that weird way your parents make you eat now-   feel free to have a mental illness again" ?  Because yes, essentially- when you (naysayer) are telling my child to go ahead and eat 'like everybody else', you know- the 'normal way'- you are telling my child to face the possibility of being committed to a psychiatric ward one day- something we avoided when we took the road to better health.  You are attempting to negate all of our hard work and efforts.

So please-  whether you understand it or not, whether you believe it or not  -   keep your opinions (and yes, it's just an opinion since you are making it without knowledge or understanding of the truth) to yourself.  Let my child make his or her own decisions WITHOUT the influence of someone that HAS NOT A CLUE as to what we went through and what it is we are avoiding.  Better yet- if you have such doubt, why not come to me and ASK QUESTIONS instead of assuming it isn't true??

 

At some point in time, dear readers, I plan to share more personal accounts of our story- but in the meantime- if you are interested in just what it is we do pertaining to food, you can read these past posts:

Our Food Story

MSG

The Truth About MSG

Artificial Colors

Food Vs. Food Products

Food is Not My Religion

 

Who are the naysayers in YOUR life?  What area of your life do you seem to have the most struggle with these naysayers?

 

Eggs are the most inexpensive quality form of protein someone can buy. There are 6.3 grams of protein in just one large egg! So if you are trying to  figure out how to make a whole foods lifestyle fit into your budget, eggs are a good staple to rely on.

Eggs are very nutritious.  They are not only a good source of protein but are rich in essential fatty acids (fatty acids your body can't create from other materials and, therefore, we must consume from quality food sources) and vitamins!  Unfortunately, for years, people thought eggs were problematic for cholesterol and a cause of heart disease.  Thankfully most people realize now that this is a thoroughly outdated 'scientific' concept.

It is important to note, however, there is an ENORMOUS difference between store-bought CAFO eggs than the eggs you can buy from your local farmer who has free-range chickens eating what chickens should be eating.  Store bought "CAFO" eggs are eggs from chickens that have been raised in an overfilled hen-house or cage that never see the light of day, are filled with antibiotics and hormones (yes, these do end up inside the eggs) and are fed grains (usually GMO grains).   Truly free-range pastured eggs come from chickens that generally run all over the farm eating insects and plant material they find on the ground.  This is what chickens are supposed to eat in a natural world and it is the food that makes their eggs the most nutritious.  There are many other types of eggs that fall in between these two types but the most nutritious is definitely the eggs coming from the entirely cage free, antibiotic free, hormone free and grain fed free chickens!

These pastured chickens have eggs have higher amounts of Omega 3s, beta carotene,  and vitamins A, D and E. They also happen to be lower in cholesterol and saturated fat though I don't believe that actually matters  -   but that's for another post...

Here's Two of My Favorite Egg Recipes:

Crustless Kale Quiche

  • 1 tblsp olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh kale (broccoli or spinach is good too!)
  • 8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 pieces bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 5 eggs
  • 2 cups shredded cheese of your choice ( I like a blend of mozz, parmesan and cheddar)
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Saute kale and mushrooms until kale is wilted and mushrooms are softened.  Stir in bacon and let mixture cool.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, cheese and pepper.  Add kale mixture to this and stir well.  Scoop into greased pie pan.  Bake in the preheated oven about 30 minutes or until eggs are set.  Let cook about 5-10 minutes before serving.

This makes a wonderful breakfast, lunch or dinner!  We like to serve it over a bed of greens with some fresh sliced tomatoes and avocado for a side dish!

Grain Free Banana Pancakes

  • 1 banana
  • 2 eggs
  • cinnamon to taste

Blend the above ingredients together well until no lumps remain.  Pour batter into greased pan and cook pancakes.  Serve with butter, ghee, maple syrup or other topping of your choice.  Enjoy!

My toddler LOVES these pancakes!!!

Resources for additional information:

Authority Nutrition

Food Renegade

3

 Someone asked me recently if I had children...and if so, how do they handle a restricted diet?

Well, yes.  I do have children.  Three.  

And I guess the answer is different for each of them.

About 7 years ago, when we began our journey towards a more whole foods diet, eliminating artificial additives and preservatives from the Standard American Diet we were then eating and thereby transforming our health (See Our Food Story that I posted on   ), we then had 2 children.  At that time they were 12 and 8.

My children saw the reactions we had to the artificial foods when we added them back into our diet.  They saw themselves.  My daughter's skin turned the brightest red I have ever seen on a person that had NOT just spent an entire day at the beach without sunscreen.  My son itched and itched until he cried.  Both felt ill and uncomfortable.  My daughter's mood was anxious and irritable.  My son was agitated as well - possibly from the itching or another symptom - hard to say.  They saw our reactions.  My husband was nauseous and itchy with a rash.  I was moody to say the least, itchy, anxious and could not sleep most of the night. This of course, only summarizes the reactions we had that week.

My children did not enjoy feeling that way.  They understood,for the most part, why we were never taking part in those artificial ingredients ever again.

Now was it easy to transition?  Certainly not.  But we did what we could to make it fun or at least as easy as we could.  We homeschool...  so that made it easier.  It was easier to say, "Well for health class this year, we are transitioning to a more whole foods diet.  We will be exploring the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables and learning about reading labels, artificial ingredients and what they do to the body/brain and for Home Ec, we will learn to cook more foods with wholesome ingredients from scratch".  I think because we homeschool, this made the transition easier.  But I am certain one does not have to homeschool to get your kids on board to a healthier diet or make them a big part of it.  I hear public school families can have deep conversations and discussions at the dinner-time  as well!!  And I'm sure our way is not the only way to make a transition work!

My daughter loved the recipe and cooking part.  Life in my kitchen, though, did NOT look quite so glamorous as the picture above!  😉

At that time, we found Christina Cooks on television and would watch her show and bought two of her cookbooks.  Now Christina used macrobiotics (an approach to physical and emotional wellness through consuming foods that are balanced energetically      (between yin and yang) and nutritionally. It is typically a well-balanced  diet with high fibre, low-fat, lots of vegetables and grains, vegetable protein, and limited meat, with an emphasis on eating  seasonal organic food)  and was also a vegan.  I was not, and still am not, totally convinced of the macrobiotic vegan approach (though I do believe that macrobiotics play an important rule in health to a degree and think that veganism, if approached correctly, can be healthy for SOME people though perhaps not ideally...) but what attracted us to Christina was the wealth of information and cooking techniques her show offered.  And my daughter loved the cooking techniques and ideas that Christina presented.  So the three of us, my children and I, would watch this show and come up with great ideas for meals and create them!  My daughter preferred making the desserts but did help with other things too.

My son became my instant label reader(as did my husband).  He was instantaneously intrigued by what was in his foods and what he didn't want in his foods!  He would help me read labels of our old favorites in the grocery store and point out the things we couldn't have.  He would also help me compare these items to the items in the 'natural' section of the grocery store or health food store, assisting in finding easy or sometimes not so easy replacements for things like salad dressings, mayonnaise, ketchup, cereals, etc. He would also express his dismay when he found that a past favorite was off-limits, especially if it were because of only one or two unnecessary ingredients!

So that is ,essentially, how we approached incorporating the new foods into our healthy diet plan.  But this doesn't exactly address restricting them from foods they normally ate out or socially, does it?

My son was easier with this.  Oh, he still wanted things laden in white flour and sugar.  But he did want to avoid anything that contained an obvious artificial ingredient that he knew would cause an immediate reaction (other than a little hyperactivity) or was a known carcinogen as we were learning (You'd be amazed at how many food additives are known carcinogens but are still labeled by the FDA as GRAS/Generally Regarded as Safe in our processed food products...but that's another story for another day).  Since most of those things laden in white flour and sugar also contained such ingredients, most were easy to avoid.  But not all.  As I said in the previous food post, life is hard and we're not perfect. So yes, there were (and are) things we give into to make life easier for our kids (and ourselves).  We know that pizza is not healthy... but if we can find a kind that does not have an artificial ingredient that will cause instant chemical changes in our brain and thus cause an allergic type reaction, we will, on occasion, eat it.  The same with a glazed donut or, often, you could find my daughter baking up some yummy concoction in our very own oven.

Over the years we took this decision a little too liberally in my opinion...but that led also led us to learning more which is what has us experimenting with the Paleo/Primal diets which eliminates those processed foods even more.  Actually, if we followed the Paleo diet 100% it would totally eliminate the unhealthy (yes even the organic ones!) processed foods from our diet.  But again, we do not do this 100%... more like 90%.... and we do allow our older son to choose one processed snack a week... because he's a kid... and this transition is hard.  Some (from the Paleo world) may fault me for letting him have the processed food ...  but this is my family and this is the choice I'm making for him (while secretly hoping that in time his cravings for this will lessen) at this time.  My choice could change...next week, next year or possibly never. (Of course he didn't like reading this part when I asked him to read it over and see if I left anything important out of the post!)

When our daughter is away at college, we know that, at least for the most part, she follows what we have taught her.  A family member once said to her that since she was going away she wouldn't have to follow our food rules anymore...  and no, she doesn't... if she wants to go back to having bipolar disorder.  She does not want that.   She knows what can befall her if she strays.  She wants her college education.  She wants her independence.  She wants her health.  She's already been the one to experiment here and there with things in previous years and saw the results...  yes, sometimes natural flavors CAN make you feel awful.... No, that one candy bar was NOT a good idea.  So while she may be ingesting way too much processed grains, she is, I believe, at least staying away from the obviously toxic stuff that her peers are practically inhaling all around her and would cause her horrible consequences.  So she says, 'no thank you', picks up her coffee and plain bagel and away she goes.

My son, still at home, tells me what he wants to take with him on his camping trips, sleep-overs and the like.  Our close friends totally understand what we do and why we do it.  We've had no problems there and they let us know if he'll need his own snacks when he visits or if they have enough available for him.  He doesn't seem to care either way.  I probably worry more about the impact of him being 'different' than he does! That is what he tells me.

My younger son is only 3.  He doesn't know anything different.  And he loves practically anything that we put in front of him. Sure, he goes through a day here or there where he says he doesn't like something.  All kids do. That doesn't mean they won't ever eat it.  I  know that it's normal for tastes and moods for certain foods to change.  I shrug it off and a few days later, what do you know, he loves it again.  Being away from home is a little more difficult now.  He sees the treats on the coffee hour table at church and wants cake...or a cookie...or 'that'...  And what does one say to a 3-year-old?  I've been known to say , "No, that's yuck" to him but walk away wondering, 'Hmmm....he sees other people eating this stuff... so what is he thinking?  When will he either not believe me or tell someone else what their eating is yuck?"  I'm not exactly sure how I'm going to handle that one yet.  I believe though, I have seen such discussions held on other blogs I've followed in the past... time to do some research on some ideas for that!

In closing, I would say that for my older kids, being part of the elimination diet at the ages they were and seeing the results for themselves played a key role in how they have adapted to what others would call a restricted diet.  My youngest will have an easier time simply because he doesn't have the cravings established for Doritos, KFC or McDonald's.  I think sometimes, parents don't give their children enough credit... that given enough information and time to adapt... kids can come to the decisions to make these healthy choices for themselves even surrounded by a world still eating the chemicals that are heavily laden in the Standard American Diet.