Friday, January 21, 2011

I Am What I Eat (And So Is My Daughter)

I am not a drinker.  For many reasons, I hate alcohol.  But I am an eater. 

If I'm extra stressed, a yummy ice cream treat feels like a warm hug.  When I've had a long day, and the kids are all asleep, I could eat probably half a package of cookies...if they're warm cookies out of the oven, mmmmm....i could eat half a roll of slice and bakes, at least.  And I believe I've mentioned something about donuts before.

And looking back, there have been days, weeks at a time probably, when I have eaten nothing that my body recognizes as nutrition.  I know this sounds silly, but I always justified this by telling myself that I live in the United States of America, for goodness sake.  It's not like I'm living in a third world country.  Even our worst food is full of things that our bodies need to work well.  Yeah, I'm laughing at that now.  A little.

Yet through all of my horrible, "it can't really be that bad" eating over the years, God has brought me to this place where I have to look directly at the impact of what I put into my body.  I'm now forced to look at what I am depriving my body of when I have donuts and a sweet tea for breakfast, a hamburger for lunch and spaghetti for dinner with a snack in there of ice cream and/or birthday cake (okay, I really don't have that anymore....:) )  I have eaten that way for most of my adult life...and I mean MOST ALL of it!

 And not only have I been depriving my body and thus my brain, I have also been poisoning myself with things that were never meant to be food for the human body (a la creme filling in Oreo cookies...and chlorine and other chemicals in my tap water). 

So here I stand, looking at the physical issues in my life (unknown gastro symptoms that have put me in the hospital several times) and the psychiatric issues in my daughter's life.  I know from testing that my daughter is deficient in some very important minerals, vitamins and fatty acids.  And I know that I have to begin to swim upstream.

To be honest, I didn't wake up today knowing that.  It's been a process of me knowing.  Hearing parts of this here and there, and in the beginning, especially, trying to "unhear" it.  Thinking that if all of this were really true about our Standard American Diet and the increase in autism and attention defecit and allergies, it would become common knowledge soon.  I'd think about it then.   There couldn't really be such a huge connection between our diet and these things plaguing our children (and us) was just people grasping at straws, hoping beyond hope. 

And then another piece would fall into place.  Yes, it really can be.  Yes, our children (and we) are often suffering because it's "too hard" to change.  Yes, we can heal our children.  Yes, yes, yes!

I'm starting to realize that with food, as with education, role models, entertainment and morality, the fact that everybody I know is embracing a certain kind of it does not make it right.  Just because everybody I know eats cheesy pizza and is still walking (right now), does not mean that it is working well inside their body.  Just because everybody's kids are eating the cupcakes and candy and drinking the red juice at school doesn't mean that it is okay.  Just because it's easier to drive through McDonald's to pick up dinner does not mean that the food in the bag is not harmful to my family.

Just because people may think I'm "one of those" for limiting my family to a gluten-free, cassein-free diet does not mean that I am wrong. And it's okay if it feels like everyone else thinks I am. My family is worth it that price.

I've been watching a movie or two in my "spare time" (ha!).   These are my favorites (in preferred order):   Food Matters, Supersize Me, Food, Inc. and King Corn.  Let me know if you have seen another good one.

All of these documentaries have links on the sidebar.  And all of them can be found on Netflix.  Now go get the remote.

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