Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Don't eat it if you don't know what it is

Nate and I started the ingredients game when we were first married. Someone would get the container of food and ask the other to guess the ingredients in the food. It was always fun to actually be able to guess them all or remember from the last time we played. Food has some pretty weird stuff in it. Take vanillin (artificial vanilla) for example. It is derived from a waste product from paper mills! Gross. Artificial vanilla is in so many things too. Artificial colors are in even white foods (like marshmallows).

Well, now we look at the ingredient label for another reason. Isaac. Isaac has ADHD. He takes medication to help him control his impulsiveness and to be able to focus enough to do even basic things like tie his shoes, button his shirt, or write legibly. Well, we have tried every medication out there. And eventually they all stop working after a few months. So now, in addition to the medication, we are trying to tweak his diet to see if that will make a difference.

The first things we are taking out are artificial colors and flavors. Also really heinous chemicals like BHT and MSG. Now, this is so much easier than it would have been a few years ago. With stores like Whole Foods and organic food/brands available at even our local grocery stores, there are many choices. Still it has been a little be of a challenge. There are foods that I didn't think would be a problem, that I thought were pretty wholesome. Even fruit cocktail has artificially colored maraschino cherries.

So I've concluded that I won't eat it if I don't know what it is. I hope that this will help Isaac. I think our whole family will be healthier. The doctor says that it takes 6-8 weeks to really see the difference (I guess it takes a while to get all the nastiness out of your body). Meanwhile, I'm trying to use up all the fake stuff and/or replace it. I'm also going to have to be a little better about menu planning. Buying organic and shopping whole foods puts a much bigger dent in my wallet than the way I used to shop. I hope it works. The next step is to take out items with salicylates in them (even in good stuff like apples, grapes and oranges). There aren't apple substitutes out there, it would be goodbye forever. We'll see...

1 comment:

N8ster said...

Another thing have started doing is asking ourselves "ok, what did he eat yesterday" when Isaac starts acting up. Interestingly, when he is acting up, there is usually something he ate that could have been the problem--blue mouthwash, something that had artificial vanilla, etc.