The following is a guest post, written by Erika of Repurposed and Redriven. I have never actually met Erika, yet I feel a strong connection to her. A connection as a mom, willing to go above and beyond to help her child. Searching for answers and making changes in order to benefit her son and her family. Read on as she let’s us into her life and shares her story of how changing food has changed their lives.
I will never forget that Friday night in February 2013 that I stayed up all night dying to find a link between behavior and nutrition through blog after blog and medical website after medical website. Over and over, I poured through every ounce of information I could find because I KNEW that there was a link between my child’s diet and his behavior at preschool. His behavior was awful after consuming something that was out of the “norm” for our family. The tip of the iceberg was on Valentines Day… the day our lives changed for the better and we found the Feingold Diet.
We have always eaten home cooked meals and rarely ever eat out. Sure, I would cook Macaroni and Cheese from a box to save time here and there, but my preference was to cook it from scratch. I really do not like to bake, so I typically did not! We rarely had any of the sweet stuff in our house but on occasion, I would find a recipe for something interesting and whip it up for my family. One time I made Peppermint Bark around the holidays. My son ate some of it and I was asked to pick him up at lunch from preschool the next day. He was running in circles and hitting his friends. They were afraid he might harm one of the other children. I thought they were crazy, but in my head I made a mental note about the Peppermint Bark. The same note I had made back in October around Halloween when his behavior went from terrible twos to downright defiant. Valentines Day was the worst of it all and it was suggested that we were not a “good fit” for the preschool.
I had always trusted the foods that I had been feeding my family. I assumed if it was sold in the stores, it had to have been tested and safe. I was wrong, terribly wrong. Our bodies are all so different and especially little bodies. My child cannot process things that are artificially produced. I understand that other children appear to be able to, but the heart of the matter in my life is that my child cannot. That makes me realize that it could be doing more of a “silent” harm to the rest of us. This is why I changed our diets and started blogging about our experiences. I want those in my life to realize why we have changed our lifestyle, but I also want those that are up all night looking for links like I was to be able to find my blog and find some hope (and some safe & easy recipes).
It was scary at first to make such a drastic lifestyle change, but I assure you that it is worth it. I have taken things a step further and we are trying to eat 80-90% clean (minimally processed, whole foods). I feel better and I know that my family feels better. We have increased the size of our family garden and we are raising our own chickens for eggs. The entire family is involved in caring for both and this has given us more time together doing what we love. In fact, it has strengthened our marriage by giving us another shared interest. When possible, we buy local meats which stimulates the economy in our somewhat rural location.
I am not sure that I could ever go “back” to the way it was before we started this journey. I have been called a “hippy” and I have received plenty of criticism and snide remarks from those inside and outside of my social circles. Most importantly, I have been called a Mom to a wonderful little boy and that is all that really matters.
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