Friday, December 16, 2011

Those Naughty Colors

It's a Friday and I've got two weeks of Christmas and personal time I have plans for so I may not be posting and if I do, small and sporadic. I thought I would dedicate this post to those 'naughty colors.'

It is really pretty amazing what chemicals can do to us for good and bad. Advil is truly a wonder drug for numbing pain and helping with inflammation, but it also causes nasal polyps (which I have had to have surgically removed twice) and is damaging to the liver. The chemicals that we don't really think about or pay much attention to are those that are in our foods and general every day products like lotions and shampoo.
Sodium Laureth Sulfates and other pthalates, parabens, propylene glycol (which is in food and beauty products) all take a toll on our hormones, endocrine system and metabolism (an excellent read on this is Jillian Michaels, "Master Your Metabolism"). For some reason I didn't consider that the skin is a living organism within itself that absorbs the products we use and other environmental toxins. You can prevent pregnancy by wearing a patch on your skin - how crazy is that? It absorbs Vitamin D from the sun which strengthens your immune system and helps with depression. Why wouldn't the chemicals I use in my beauty products also be absorbed through my skin? They are! Then there are the chemicals in food like propylene glycol, aspartame, splenda, sucralose, Blue 1, Red Lake 40, high fructose corn syrup - that are in everything!

Now, it was just little Preston and I for a good three weeks when school got out. This is when he was sick and almost lost his appetite completely; I was very careful about what foods I was giving him. During this time, he was relatively calm, manageable, agreeable and pleasant. One day he came home from a friends house and he was the opposite of everything I just mentioned. I considered what would have been different during the day that would affect him so much. I talked to my friend and she mentioned he had been in the 'treat drawer' and had had some Laffy Taffy. That was the first time I seriously noted a 'reaction' to food colors. There were two or three other times I watched him literally morph from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde within the time frame of an hour after having food with colors in it. I knew for sure after a visit to the therapist where she gave him the award of 'Biggest Turn Around Kid' for outstanding behavior that was quickly followed by the metamorphisis - which was the result of some candy he had had just outside of her office. I didn't know that he had had any but asked my other kids after wondering out loud what happened and why he totally lost it. It was BIZARRE!

I taught Preston what to look for on food labels and nutrition facts and told him I would happily give him a yummy treat for passing up on the naughty treats. He became amazingly vigilant about it which I truly think may be the final key to helping him out and possibly having a successful year in school. Within the last couple of weeks however he has gone back to his 'find and stash' ways with candy loaded with colors. Just last night he came home from school in a good mood and it crumbled shortly thereafter and I soon found a bag of gobstoppers that he had been munching on. I tried to talk very clearly with him about the effects the colors have on him; he said he would calm down but I told him that the chemicals in the colors change the way the brain works - he can't control it. As creepy as it is, this is true. The food colors are petroleum-based and have been found to be toxic. Studies have shown that they alter the brain waves which impairs our functioning and for kids with ADHD exacerbates their symptoms. I haven't been able to eat anything with colors in it for a couple of months because I don't like the idea of something messing with my already brilliant brain waves (ha!). Not to the mention the fact that the last couple of times I did eat colors I felt extremely sick afterward.

With that being said, I really feel that things have changed a little this week - he has been calmer, happier and less reactive (with the exception of one day that wasn't too terrible). It will be really interesting to see what comes over the break and particularly after the excitement of Christmas. I saw him after school today and he was very proud of himself for turning down candy with colors that were being handed out at school; we'll have to make a special treat for that discipline tonight. In the meantime, eat happy and healthy, Merry Christmas and peace, love and Isagenix!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Staying The Course

The last two days of Preston bliss came to a screeching halt this morning when I went down to his room for his morning wake-up call and mentioned his lemonade drink (Mars Venus Cleanse Shake) and he thrashed around and angrily said, "Why do I have to keep having that?" It obviously isn't growing on him yet but he is taking the vitamins and supplements and did reach a happy point with the Mars Venus chocolate shake by using Cacao Coconut milk instead of water. The morning unfortunately didn't improve as he was just bugged, unfocused and not happy. He came home from school hungry (and now that I think of it, probably fueled his irritability) and immediately started pushing my buttons. In the spirit of remembering that I can only control myself, I did just that and remained calm and focused and counted his behavior to a time out. He had to start the clock over three times and I did have to drag him back in there twice, but there was no talk and no emotion on my part (he tried to get me to react but I stayed the course). When he finally served his time, he came up pleasant, did his homework, had his cleanse drink and a decent snack. He's been off and on all night and just found that he had stolen his brother's DS for some sneaky personal play time and had nabbed a bag of Newman's Own Oreo cookies from my storage room. Woo hoo for him eh?! Luckily he didn't have a meltdown as I collected the contraband. I remained calm on this one too.

Life is busy. Life is challenging. I'm preaching to the choir I know but sometimes I just have to give myself that it is okay to feel the weight of it at times. My step-son goes out to visit his mom for Christmas this year and this takes some emotional preparation. He was very emotional last night and I had him do a 'What's On My Mind' map (Come to Your Senses, Stanley Block) to help him get everything out and then had him rate his body tension with each issue. There were alot of tears but he worked through it and we had a good chat about requirements. His biggest requirements are that 'I should make Mom happy' and 'I want both my families to be happy.' I told him that everyone's definition of happiness is different. To make everybody happy just isn't possible because you would have to meet that person's 'happiness requirements.' I gave him the example that if he went to a party and one of his buddies started to drink, in order to keep his buddy happy at that moment he would probably have to drink too. He would be a different person from moment to moment depending on who he was with. In the end, he has to be himself and be true to his values. He isn't responsible for anyone's happiness; we are all the master's of our own destinies. He only has control of himself.

Daily Health Tip
Last night with Brae and today with Preston did reap some stress on my little mind. During the holiday season there seems to be enough stress to go around for everybody. I know that in Utah at least, a great deal of people also suffer from SAD (a seasonal depression disorder) from lack of sunshine and Vitamin D. Lavender essential oil on the back of the neck and bottoms of feet will help with stress. I rubbed a little on my pillow last night and it is also excellent to diffuse. Wild Orange or Citrus Bliss (doTerra) are wonderful mood-boosters when rubbed on the wrists. I have been rubbing the Citrus Bliss on Preston's wrists and telling him to take a whiff when he starts to feel upset at school. Exercise, plenty of sleep and a good laugh will also help with stress and depression. For me, mind-body bridging, daily maps and sticking to a routine, not to mention prioritizing and letting things go is what is helping me get through my rainiest days.

As for laugh, I did a google image search for 'stash of cookies.' Anyone want to venture a guess and tell me why in the world this image came up? I'm diggin' the stash.
Peace love and Isagenix

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Apple Cider Vinegar

I promised myself I would get up early tomorrow after getting eight hours of sleep. So, do I get my eight hours and forgo the early morning or get up early and forgo my sleep? Bah. Why is it so hard to get to bed at night? With that being said, I have no major updates tonight or divine words of wisdom, only my health tip for the day.

Health Tip For the Day
Upon waking, mix 2 teaspoons Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar with 4 ounces water. It is terrible, there is no getting around that one. But, it jump starts you metabolism in the morning and I think there is some miraculous immune boosting properties to doing this. I haven't actually been to their website to see what they tout, but it is doing something good for me. If you feel a sore throat coming on, mix the vinegar with the juice of 1/2 a lemon and a cup of very warm water, gargle and swallow. I swear by this trick. Do it three times in a day and you might either skip the cold or have it pretty easy.

As Black Bart from A Christmas Story says, "Cheeze it boys!" I'm out. Peace love and Isagenix

Monday, December 12, 2011

I'm Smiling

It's been a long day but I am smiling in reflection. My cute mother came by to help Preston with his book report (which I didn't object to because I think he does better on the homework front when it isn't me helping him) and he was exciteable but he listened and helped and was in a fantastic mood all night. He wanted to practice his presentation and is very proud of his poster. True, the child has good days and bad days so in the long term time will tell if it is movement in the right direction but he was wonderful tonight.

I made vegan Black Bean and Butternut Squash burritos for dinner (I just had mine on a bed of romaine lettuce) compliments of Anglea of and they were quite tasty. I even tried the daiya cheese which surprised me as being, well, cheesy! I also made chocolate donuts following a recipe I found on but I'm going to need to tweak it a bit. Preston scarfed it down though with some ice cream and a dab of chocolate sauce. I've got to get to bed as my big goal is to get eight hours of sleep a night, but I'll leave with a smart tip and the recommendation to try the burritios:

Lavender Essential Oil for diaper rash. My little Bentley had the worst diaper rash last week. He was absolutely screaming bloody murder it hurt him so bad and that rash looke angry. I put some mustela diaper cream on it which helped but he had some spots that looked angry for two days. I finally got my delayed doTerra essential oil order and rubbed some lavender oil on his little bum and the next day there was just a hint of pink in one spot. After a second application it was gone. I haven't talked much about my essential oils but I had a dream one night that doTerra went out of business and I absolutely paniced. I have replaced my medicine cabinet with my oils and I swear by them! I'm going to go rub some on my feet as soon as I get myself to bed! I'm out. Peace love and Isagenix!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Rock Salt for Deodorant

First of all, here is the Health Tip for Today: Rock salt deodorant rocks. The Heidi turned me onto this and she learned about it from a sweaty mountain biker man at the Whole Foods store. In our quest for all things natural (for body this includes products that are free of pthalates, sulfates, parabens and propylene glycol for starters) we have been looking for a stand-up remedy to deodorant that is aluminum free. I've tried a couple of 'natural' deodorants from health stores and they are absolutely the pits (pun-intended). I randomly saw a facebook post by some woman I don't know that said, "if you want to smell like a dirty hippy, wear natural deodorant." I laughed out loud because I had on natural deodorant that had worn off and I smelled disgusting; it was SO true! I was repulsive to myself. Then I was told to use Young Living's Thieves toothpaste for my underarms which I actually LOVED! But it is fourteen bucks a pop! Then I started swiping some coconut oil under my arms and a dab of whatever Doterra essential oil I felt like that day. The oil worked fabulous but you have to warm the coconut oil in your palms to melt it and then you have to get out the essential oil; too many steps. I have to say that even better than my oil is this stick of rock salt that you moisten and roll on your pits. There is no scent but even this morning after I did a tough work out, I still didn't smell (and I had last applied the morning before). And I ALWAYS smell after I workout. I'll go look up the name of it and insert it tomorrow but it is totally awesome!

And I'm passing on the Preston update today per the advice of my therapist (even though he had a totally stellar day!). She told me to give everything a rest for a week and half. No reading, researching, and 'hoping to fix something that isn't broken (in which case she was meaning that Preston isn't broken).' Which takes me back to the whole reason why I started this damn blog: to remember that I can't change anybody else; ONLY myself. I do recommend to everybody to read "Come to Your Senses" by Stanley Block because it might just change your life and how you deal with it, which also takes us back to life being what we make it. I've been all up in my head and not in my natural loop and I've been missing some key life points. I've got to relax, bridge, befriend my requirements and be me. I've got to remember that I'm also not broken and to have confidence in what I know and what I'm doing. Although Preston is a challenge, I can be calm and not engage, I can breathe deep and eat right (which will help me stay clear), I can focus on positives, and I can love those around me.

I watched Water for Elephants tonight and I loved it. At the end it shows the main character bathing their kid in bath water and then the kid playing with the bath water and they were smiling and laughing. I said to myself, 'self, you need to splash in the bath water and enjoy these days because although the days are long, the years are short.' I have been thinking a little of what a pill I was for my parents in my high school and college years. I was a good girl and an obedient girl but I had attitude and was trying to be different than them so I was pain on bike rides and on some of our trips. I couldn't laugh at myself and my Dad kept trying to get me to understand why that was important. They didn't lecture me or get mad at me (once in awhile they would get frustrated-but left me alone when it didn't go anywhere) they just let me brood and be a pill and they enjoyed themselves. I don't know how they did it because it drives me nuts when either of my kids are surly and miserable and I try to lecture and I get frustrated and exasperated and angry and you know what it does? NOTHING! It makes things worse - especially for me! I've just got to let it go and hopefully they'll eventually figure it out. I did! I did actually learn from their example and I can laugh at myself now and I know now that I'm responsible for my happiness and I choose how I react to what comes my way.It's all about choices.

So, my choice today for the next week and half is to relax. I'm not going to engage in Preston's fits or rants or rages. I'm not going to raise my voice or get angry. I'm not going to try to persuade him to be one way or another; I'm going to count him, give him choices, and be me. Relaxed and pleasant me. I'll make jokes, I'm going to pick up my Pope Joan book again (I know you are so excited Mom! We'll watch her movie together!) I'm going to bake cookies and make Angela's Vegan Butternutsquash burritos and clean my house, and love my kids. Not that I don't always love them, I'm just going to work hard at being in the moment and focus on having positive bubbles floating in my brain. There you have it. That was probably still more thinking than I was supposed to do but I'm trying to follow her advice of 'coming to my senses,' bridging, being in the moment and not fixing what isn't broken. Peace love and Isagenix!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Day Ahhck! - I Mean Four

Honestly, being a parent is exhausting. I'm exhausted. I'm exasperated. More than once have I wanted to 'cash in my chips.' I remember stopping by a neighbor's house one night and her husband had been out of town and I could she was done - she wanted to cash in her chips - and she told me that she had served cereal for dinner. I laughed. I can't say I've ever actually done that but I sure didn't think any less of her because I know I've cut corners other places too. With that all being said, I'm guessing you can figure out that it was  less than stellar day. The only shining moment was the last hour before bed when he was totally calm, totally normally and actually very sweet. He started crying over a picture of a sad dog in the sixth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. He can ben amazingly rude and crazy one minute and the sweetest kid you could have ever hoped for the next. I would totally settle for some in between. Like a twinkie. I don't know why my mind went to the creme filling in a twinkie in between that yellow-dyed, chemically-preserved cake-like substance, but it did. I haven't had one of those probably since I was seven. Gross.

Anyway, he was blaming me for being late this morning when he was messing around in his room not getting out of bed and not getting ready and yelling at me. He was wild and crazy after school and volatile as always. I realized today  though that I'm really going to need to give this whole process some time. I also realized that it took a good three months before my hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating in the hands and feet) started to decline after I started nutritional cleansing through Isagenix. That's a condition I've had my entire life. And for that to actually decrease in frequency and intensity after all these years is pretty amazing. That made me think that it's probably going to take a couple of months before I see anything major with Preston. I would say his ADHD is pretty severe. I'm sure there are kids out there who have it worse (you will always be able to find someone with lesser or more than you) but for him, this process is going to take some time; not to mention detoxing the meds out. I get so hopeful when people say that you should see a difference as soon as three to four days but for my guy I think I'm going to really have to learn the art of patience.

I just have to stick with it, hang in there, and not give up hope. I'm turning my electric blankey on and going to bed. Peace love and Isagenix.

I had to throw this in. I've been looking at several blogs as of late, including some health blogs. One thing that I recently learned that most people still don't is that heart healthy oils, such as olive oil, become trans fats if they are heated. That means when you saute veggies in olive oil, your olive oil's molecules are flipping and turning into naughty trans fats. Coconut oil, palm oil and grapeseed oil are not heat sensitive and do not flip - these are the best oils to use when it comes to heat. Beware!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Day Three - And a Helpful Article

I came across this simple and helfpul article on yahoo today that I felt was applicable to my little Preston, despite it being written with toddlers in mind. Point Two mentions that during their tantrum, they are incapable of hearing any message we have for them and will be until 'we are able to they're sure we understand and hear their message.' Validation, which is not acceptance per say, is a big deal. This is talked about and empasized in both Love and Logic and 1-2-3 Magic. I realized that this is a key piece that I have been skipping for the last little bit. I should have validated Preston when he came home in a rage the other day (after he cooled off of course) and I could have even have done it when he was frustrated about washing his hands ("I know I struggle being interrupted when I'm in the middle of something too buddy"). This is going on my daily 'to do' list. Below is a link to the article on yahoo. It's short and sweet and worth the read.

Preston did get off on the right foot again today and drank his super cleanse, had all of his vitamins, the wellness shake and even a bowl of cereal. He left in a good mood and was very manageable. We'll see where he is at in about forty minutes. As for basketball practice tonight, he came to me last night and apologized and actually had some ideas for calming himself down. We talked about it and I think we'll read some more from his Kimochi book tonight - he could relate to that. Him just thinking about it and coming to me with some ideas was HUGE so I think that will be his redeeming factor in going to practice tonight. I'll have an update before the day is over. And if you are interested in Kimochi this site can give you a little more information:

I had the school bus parked out front my house again today and had the opportunity to have a lovely chat with the busdriver about the problems Preston has been creating on a daily basis. Apparently Preston was spitting in fellow bus-mates' faces. The only thing I could come up with was that if he gets two more warnings from the bus driver then he loses his bus-riding privileges and I drive him to school. Not my first choice. Or even second choice. Really, I don't want this to be an option but I'm not sure what else to do when this 70 or 80 something year-old bus driver is telling me that his job is on the line. So, it is what it is. After that, Preston had his shake and calmed down enough to do homework until he got frustrated with not knowing spelling words and started huffing and being obnoxious. I can't imagine what this kid is like in class for his teacher (random: do you ever forget how to spell words that you spell regularly? I just forgot how to spell 'teacher' and was going to write it 'teatcher.' Bus-driver visits are apparently taking their toll!). I sure hope these supplements start to really kick in soon. He's doing awesome in the morning but he is struggling like crazy during the rest of the day! It's late, I'm going to bed now, unfortunately no pretty pictures this time.

P.S. Speaking of pictures, after looking at all these other blogs my pictures look terrible. It could be that I have terrible photography skills or my camera has terrible photography skills. Just because I need to prevent my self-esteem from plummeting, I'm going with the latter. I'm out. And compliments of my sister-in-law, I'm signing out from here on out with, Peace Love and Isagenix. :) Burnsy

Monday, December 5, 2011

Day One

I have to admit that I went to bed excited and woke up excited - I have alot of faith that the shakes and supplements will work for Preston. I was listening to a woman talk yesterday and she mentioned that God has the power to do anything - if it is the right course of action. She said that it didn't matter what anybody told you (you will never be able to have kids, you have six months to live) because if you had faith and didn't give up, anything could happen. This really struck me as I know several people and have heard stories of people beating the odds; I have even heard of a few miracles. I know people that were told they wouldn't have children, and now have a family. Miracles do happen and I think they happen when there is alot faith. This thought gave me strength and I am excited because anything can happen really.

With that being said, when I got Preston back from his dad last night I gave him 1 C-Lyte and 1 Grapefruit Seed Extract capsule. I need to first say that when I picked Preston up he was bouncing off the walls. He was motor-mouthing and couldn't sit still; per his Dad he had been like this all day. There may or may not be a correlation, but both my Mom and I did notice that shortly after he had the Vitamin C and the GSE, he calmed down. Per Dr. Gray, the Vitamin C and the GSE alone was 'proven to be more effective than Ritalin.' I'm not sure it would happen that fast, but anything is possible right? Besides the issue of hyperactivity, there is the self-control and more importantly the depression issue that I will be watching carefully. It could take 4-6 weeks for the Zoloft to completely leave his system and during that time I understand there to be withdrawl symptoms. I saw this a couple of weeks ago when he went off it initially and that is when the knife incident occurred; he was just not in a good place. He was beligerant on the ride home from Sunday dinner last night, but mellowed and actually normalized once we got home.

I initially thought that I would incorporate the supplements slowly and one at a time but ultimately felt that there wasn't really a reason to hold off. The shakes are food and the other supplements are minerals that he is apparently very deficient in. This morning I took the Super Cleanse down to his room with two capsules of the Mars and Venus Super Minerals. He really didn't like the drink but I bribed him with offering some scoops of ice cream in his chocolate shake (Mars and Venus Wellness Shakes). Now before anyone freaks out - I made this ice cream over the weekend and I would actually describe it as healthy. It is made with coconut milk, Grade B maple syrup, vanilla, real salt, and stevia. The recipe calls for vanilla bean paste (haven't found any yet) which I think would make it amazing, but just with the vanilla it is still very tasty. So creamy! Love it! I found the recipe on and love her for sharing because it is going to become a staple for the boys (and me-love creamy!). I doubled the recipe so I would have plenty on hand. So, actually pretty good to add the shake! I also gave hime 1 C-Lyte, 1 GSE and 1 Lithium Orotate. I'm going to have to figure out how to tweak the cleanse drink which he didn't like and of which he is supposed to have twice a day. I will give him his second shake when he gets home from school along with another GSE. Hopefully adding the ice cream to that will be okay. Whatever it takes to get it down?

He was happy and fairly manageable this morning. I still had to shadow him to make sure he gets stuff done, but I was able to coax him dangling carrots this morning which was helpful. Today, I will also be reading Dr. Barkley's book and his outline for the eight steps in behavior modification. I will add to this post later this evening with some of those details and see how Preston is doing. I'm going to start having Preston contribute to his page as well if he is still interested.   

As for the gumdrops and unicorns - isn't there some 'be happy' saying involving 'life's all about gumdrops and unicorns?' That's my way of having a positive outlook on this. *I do not encourage actually consumption of gumdrops. They are naughty. VERY, VERY NAUGHTY!

Unfortunately, the universe couldn't handle the gumdrops and unicorns because he came storming in the door after school without his coat on and no back-pack (thinks he forgot his coat on the bus and his friends brought by his back pack saying  he threw it in the street and started jumping on it). He immediately went down to his room and tried to keep me out. He started yelling at me that everyone hated him. He repeated this sentiment in several different ways. I told him to hang out in his room to cool off. He came upstairs and I was trying to bridge and calm myself down and asked him to go back down to his room. He mouthed off to me and spit his tongue out so I escorted him to his room. He slammed the door three times before I went back in. He then emptied a few of his drawers and took some stuff off the wall after I left again. I just went upstairs to cool off. Ironically, Braeden went in his room and talked him down.
The truth is, raising a child with ADHD is by far and away the hardest, most gut-wrenching, emotionally-taxing job I've ever had. Some days it takes all I have to get through it and have a glimmer of hope. I'm going to keep thinking positive and remind myself that his withdrawl symptoms will probably get worse before they get better. At any rate, I did make his cleanse drink with my home-made ice cream and he got most of it down; he started off liking it and it went downhill from there. I think I can get him used to it. For everyone out there reading this - please send positive thoughts our way. I need all the help I can get.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Just a Thought for Today

That's all I've got to say about that. I'm doing my darndest.

A Simple Tip in Day to Day Interactions (Especially With Your Kids)

Something Simple - Don't Engage
Dr. Phelan's overall policy is that of no talk and no emotion. This is also a primary point in Love and Logic. We need to take good care of ourselves in front of our kids and tell them what WE are going to do (I am leaving in 5 minutes for your choir practice) AND we keep ourselves calm (this is a big one I have noticed for Preston because I think if he knows I can handle him he can rest a little easier). When I was going through my divorce, my therapist gave me the great advice to not 'engage' when my then husband was being argumentative or combative. If I didn't engage or 'take the bait' there was nothing more he could do or say; he pretty much had to drop whatever it was he was kicking against or trying to get me to do. I have found this same tactic extremely valuable with Preston when he tries to draw me into one of his negative spirals. Jim Fay of Love and Logic also says to 'never argue with the ridiculous.' When Preston goes into a diatribe on what an awful kid he is I just say, "I'm so sad that you feel that way. I think you are pretty terrific," and then I ignore further comments or leave the situation and it does indeed diffuse him.
*This picture was labeled 'Happy-Healthy-Kids.' I chose it for that very purpose; as parents, I think we all want our kids to be happy and healthy.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Behavior Plan

I met with Preston's psychologist today and told him what I was going to be doing regarding the CURE. He was supportive and mentioned that there is research on supplementation showing that behavior does improve but not to the level that most medications work. That's the tough part is that when Preston is on his medication, he does do very well. It's the before and after side effects that are so nasty and again, the general idea of not knowing truly how else medication affects the body that is so hard for me.

We also talked about setting up a behavior plan at school. Both at school and at home, he needs positive reinforcement on what he does well and less punishment for negative behaviors. I still believe in natural consequencing as suggested in Love and Logic, but essentially, avoiding any 'hammers' on naughty behavior; quick and to the point. When he argues with me on consequences, that is countable. Back to reinforcement, he suggested that the teacher needs to provide a visual chart or tracking system for Preston throughout the day and reward him for very specific tasks or goals such as following directions, completing work in class, not disrupting teacher or classmates, etc.

The psychologist also reminded me that ADHD really is a performace disability and not so much a capability disability. Preston is very smart and very capable but is impulsive and as Dr. Barkley has also mentioned, doesn't think into the future to forsee the outcome of his actions. This is why Preston struggles with completing work in school and at home. He can't focus long enough to take the time to do his work. I need to continually remind myself of how to deal with every scenario based on him and what part the ADHD plays. That doesn't mean that they get away with their behavior or that they have an excuse/out, it really means that I have to approach things differently to help him get things done and succeed.

Regarding his depression and vascillating moods (mostly to extreme anger), I will be sitting down with him when he is in a 'good place' and help him categorize his types of anger (very angry, a little angry, frustrated, etc.) and find an appropriate outlet to correspond with it. For example, extreme anger may require some extreme venting. Honestly, I worked with a fellow (who I adored) who when he got angry would take a baseball bat outside and beat the hell out of the ground with it. He'd come back into the office pretty normal. I'm guessing your first reaction is, WHOA! That was mine as well. I actually thought it was a little creepy, but then I realized that I myself am a door slammer. Well, I used to be at any rate. These days I go jump on my elliptical and burn out the belts or do push ups until I collapse. The Nurse Practitioner that actually suggested making this list and finding outlets suggested aggressive release for aggressive anger - the release has to match the feeling; that actually makes alot of sense to me. Drawing a picture doesn't work when you are burning up with anger. I will post this list on his bulletin board in his room and will remind him to look at it when he has any degree of angry feelings.

We're taking another multiple-prong approach with this little fellar - behavior plan at school, behavior plan at home (I recently set up a very structure routine for after school and in the evening), relying on my 1-2-3 Magic and Love and Logic and the supplmentation and nutrition. I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond today and got a Kitchen Aid blender to make 'Glowing Green Smoothies' in. I think I can make it something he will drink. He drinks the Odwalla Super Greens, so hopefully I can make this work for him. I'll be waiting on pins and needles for his minerals and supplements to arrive...

We stopped at Tasty's Donuts on the way home today (happy little donut man with his crown and triton at the top - I had to put something up there to get your attention) and got some of their Blueberry Cake donuts. OOHHHH my! Those are really something. Sprinkles cupcakes, chocolate mint brownies and Tasty's blueberry donuts are an 'all bets are off' treat. I won't look up what they are made with - I don't want to know. There are some treats that once in awhile I really do enjoy just enjoying them. Moderation. I promise, I didn't have five donuts. Just one. And half. Don't tell anyone.

Disclaimer: I do not endorse foods with colors. They are naughty. They look good, but they are naughty. Enjoy your blueberry donut but pass on the sprinkles and things that are so pink they are made with the same coloring as Pepto Bismol.

Helpful Hint: After you indulge in a high carbohydrate food, have a healthy fat with it to help prevent your blood sugar from spiking and then storing the excess sugar. Coconut oil is a fabulous choice here as it is immediately processed in the liver and burned as energy (upping your metabolism) and not stored. I would recommend avoiding coconut oil after 5pm for sleeplessness.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Plan

I guess I should first make a big disclosure about little Preston and what ADHD looks like for him so we all have a better gauge on if the Mars Venus approach works for him. Oh, my little Preston. He has a good heart and a sweet spirit, truly. I know the 'true' Preston wants to help, is empathetic and wants to succeed. I only get glimpses of that Preston when he is having an 'on' day and his brain is doing a better job producing what it should be. These glimpses of the 'true' Preston are hard because it makes him seem like he is capable of, well, being a pretty normal eight-year-old. And that is the hardest part about ADHD is that these kids on most levels appear to be totally normal. But they aren't. Preston's psychologist mentioned to us once a conversation he had with a teen that had ADHD. He said that if there were two things he could tell parents of kids with ADHD it would be 1) Don't give up and 2) Don't judge them by their 'good' days.

Preston has always been a generally unhappy person. There is a huge depression piece for this kiddo. Emotionally, he is incredibly unregulated and has very erratic and impressive mood swings. The smallest of incidents can send him into a tail spin and he will have a full-blown temper tantrum complete with laying on the floor kicking and screaming. He will hit me and say terrible things about hating me, hating our family, wanting to run away, killing himself and even hurting our family. He has run away and has made other attempts at doing so. He has written in permanent marker on the walls at school, on himself, been threatened to be kicked off the bus for the year, pulled his pants down randomly during recess. He steals from family members (including money) and even from friends and the school and strugg;es telling the truth.

On a smaller scale, he can't stay focused and attentive in his class at school and is regularly in trouble with the teacher for disrupting the class and failing to complete his work. Strange and bizarre behavior is the norm for him in trying to get attention from friends and classmates. Getting him to bring home homework or turn in what we actually accomplish is nearly impossible. There are no organizational skills or executive-functioning skills; his room is always a wreck as is his desk and anywhere he has been. Generally life is unfair and he feels he shouldn't been made to help or do any work; life is strictly to do what he wants when he wants to.

Yes, to some degree, some of these behaviors and attitudes are normal eight-year-old attitudes. For those of you with children who have ADHD, you understand that this behavior is on an entirely different level with them. Managing these kids takes everything you have and takes a very heavy toll on the entire family. I have shed many tears of frustration, worry, fear, and sadness over my child and the welfare of my family. And my family, being a blended family with additional concerns and challenges is already in a delicate state. I want very much for people to understand that I DO NOT mean to villify my son by 'airing his dirty laundry' so to speak, but simply to let others know of what ADHD looks like in my situation and that you aren't alone! Calls from the principal, emails from the teacher, and the bus driver stopping at my house are normal. More than anything, I find the greatest comfort in talking to people who KNOW what I am going through and the pain and heartache that comes with it. And to those who don't understand, it isn't a lack of efficient parenting (although I know I have had my struggles); I have taken classes on effective parenting techniques that do help him and have saved my sanity. But in the end, it isn't enough because there is more to these kids than that. Handle with care!!

He has been a lot of work and entirely consuming and exhausting but I'm taking that one kids' advice and not giving up on my Preston or what I can do for him. Anything worthwhile doesn't come for free and it certainly doesn't come without hard work so on to the next! After listening to Dr. Gray's podcast I have laid out my plan below and I'm labeling it a 'cure' just for the sake of putting out the most positive energy into the universe I can.

THE CURE (not to be mistaken for the rock band)
Ha. I know, it was a bad joke.

1) Start on 300 mg of Grapefruit Seed Extract and 600 mg Vitamin C/day
GSE in capsule form from Vitamin Research Products,
Vitamin C from Isagenix, C-Lyte,
*Per Dr. Gray, this combination was tested in a double-blind study and proven to be more effective than Ritalin.

2) Lithium Orotate - 1 capsule 3 times/day
LO from Vitamin Research Products

3) Super Minerals from Mar Venus Wellness Solution, 2 capsules/day
Mar Venus Wellness Solution from Isagenix,

4) Wellness Shake for Men, 1 shake/day
Mars Venus Wellness Solution from Isagenix

5) Super Cleanse, 2 times/day
Mars Venus Wellness Soltuion from Isagenix
*The super cleanse is meant to help the liver and the brain detoxify.

6) Vitex or Chaste Berry Extract
*Balances hormones in brain, particularly oxytocin.

7) Continue to teach him how to read food labels, make a raw fruits and veggies green smoothie every day, and encourage healthy fats and clean, whole foods.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Searching for Alternatives

As much as medication has been incredibly helpful with Preston, the side effects have been worsening (lack of sleep, lack of appetite and his ADHD behaviors are exacerbated when he is not on the medication in the morning and the night) and his ADHD, ODD and depression/anger have also been increasing while on the medication. I hade someone refer me to a podcast by Dr. John Gray, author of the Mars and Venus books that deals primarily with ADHD and treating ADHD. He is writing a book about ADD/ADHD and has been working with Isagenix and his own team on supplements for those affected by ADHD citing simply that good nutrition and trace minerals can fill in the gaps in the brain that the brain is not producing on its own. Having tried the natural route before, I am skeptical. Afterall, I also understand that ADHD and the impulsive behaviors come from the frontal lobe not being developed sufficiently - that sounds more like a growth issue than lack of minerals. However, with Preston suffering from this debilitating disorder as severely as he is, I will try anything.

Following is the link to the one hour and 30 minute podcast with Dr. Gray about his program/regimen: I spoke with a woman in Florida who works with special needs children and herself has a child with ADHD. In speaking with her, she claims that her daughter has normalized on this program. She also worked with her sister who has two kids with ADHD and reports that they are both off their medication and thriving. She said it took her about four and half months to tweak the regimen to where it worked for her daughter. I downloaded the podcast onto my iPod so I can listen to it as I do my housework and am eager to get moving. I also plan to save up for a powerful blender - a Vitamix or Blendtec - to start making green smoothies that I think will also be incredibly beneficial for Preston. After having cleansed with Isagenix and still having my daily shakes and changing my diet, I do see firsthand the power of a whole foods lifestyle. My immune system has strengthened and my lifelong woes with hyperhydrosis have lessened. That one is huge for me. I will post regularly about every step that I take in this new journey with Preston and hold a positive thought for us that we have success!

Has anyone tried the new Ninja Blender? They have it at Bed, Bath and Beyond and it has an incredibly cheaper price tag compared to a Vitamix or Blendtec blender but is supposed to do everything those blenders do. Let me know!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Partially Hydrogenated Oil

This is one of many ingredients that is so incredibly naughty. The thing that kills me is that like so many other naughty ingredients, it is in EVERYTHING! In Dr. Bob's Guide to Stop ADHD in 18 Days, he discusses how improper fat metabolism is a root cause of this disorder. He states:

Having treated thousands of patients, I believe there must be one significant link between current diet trends and the health challenges facing us today. These dietary habits are also linked to hyperactivity, ADD, ADHD, and ODD. The role of partially hydrogenated fats and the breakdown of proper fat metabolism is a very signifcant factor in behavioral challenges. Partially hydrogenated fats - which have permeated every component of our food chain - stop your body from processing the material needed to send vital messages along never fibers and in the brain.(33)

Eeek. Why do we want to eat foods that mess with messages being sent to the brain? Another good book that I read and would recommend is Jillian Michaels "Master Your Metabolism" dives into a lot of the chemicals that go into our foods and cosmetics that mess up our body because it changes the way the body handles everything. Incorrect messages get sent to the brain, toxins are stored in our fat cells and we are the ones wreaking havoc on our bodies by eating junk. I love watching Jillian go through people's kitchens and throw everything out that has nasty stuff in it. I wish she could convince my husband. The only that is working for me in that department is that I won't eat stuff that has the nasty's. And that makes him mad. Oh well. It's my body right?!

The really gross part is how long some of these ingredients linger in our bodies for.

The half-life of trans fatty acids or partially hydrogenated fats is 51 days. After 51 days, one-half of the negative effects of this man-made fat have been processed, but the body needs an additional 51 days to complete the process. After these 51 days, there is still a 25% residual.(37)

He goes into detail about the importance of fat in our diets as well. I'm going to address this issue in another post but I agree with his notion that we are seeing a greater prevalence in ADHD in recent years because of the food we eat (and how we are told to eat).

Action Item

Become proficient at reading ingredient labels. Even if a bag of chips claims "No trans fats," you may notice partially hydrogenated oil in the ingredient list. Food manufacturers can get away from this simply because the FDA has given a limit of x amount of grams of PHO per serving. If there is less than x per serving, the food label can claim that there are no trans fats. Sneaky eh?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Why We Have Weight Problems

Honestly, I haven't really ever had what you would call a 'weight problem.' To me it was a problem because I wanted six-pack abs and no fat on my body. For years I tried to get rid of 5 more pounds and I couldn't. I thought I was doing all the right tricks and it has been through this whole journey of finding the right foods for Preston that I found what the right food are in general.

Since beginning my cleanse on Isagenix, I have also embraced fat. Not even just low-fat - I look for grocery store items that are full fat. I'm not afraid! And you shouldn't be either! The cells in our body are protected by fat. Our brain burns the most calories in our body and operates on fat! Have you noticed how no-fat or low-fat has been the norm for the last twenty years and nobody is staying thin or getting thin this way? I even have to wonder if because we have been starving ourselves of good fats that is part of the problem with the rise in cases of ADHD. It's the underdevelopment of the frontal lobe - myabe we aren't giving our brains enough fat. Alzheimers anybody? As for sources of healthy fats: olive oil, coconut oil, palm oil, nuts, seeds, avacados, real butter, (even real cream - a great way to even out the carbs in pasta). Coconut oil is absolutely amazing and if your metabolism needs a little kick start this is it. It is immediately processed in the liver as energy. As with everything, moderation.

What we eat is essentially all broken down in our bodies as sugar (energy) with the exception of proteins. When we have an excess of sugar, our blood sugar level spikes which then burdens the pancreas (which sends out the insulin to balance things off). When our body has more sugar than it can handle at any given time, rather than use it, it stores it. THIS is fat storage and THIS is what our problem is; THIS is what makes us fat - spiking our blood sugar. Ironically, having a fat with a carbohydrate helps keep our blood sugar levels more even which then doesn't overwhelm the body and lead to the storage of excess sugar. We actually need to balance our generally carbohydrate-rich meals with healthy fats and plenty of protein. Protein helps our muscles which are responsible for also helping get our blood through our body. Our heart is a muscle! As you can see, a well-rounded diet with complex carbohydrates (which don't spike the blood sugar), protein and fats are vital to our overall health. This is why you are hearing the term "glycemic index" more often now as food that have a low glycemic index do not spike your blood sugar. Sugar is also an 'anti-nutrient' which means it robs your body of what it needs to compensate and process the sugar. It lowers your immune system leaving you open to illness.

Fruits and vegetables have all the vital enzymes that help our bodies break-down our food. However, when we cook our veggies all of those precious enzymes are destroyed and our bodies struggle with break-down and absorption - another issue that contributes to weight.

Fine. I actually had some apple pie the other night and felt absolutely miserable an hour later. I know it was more than my body could handle after really not having much for awhile. I still have a square of dark chocolate a day because it is my yummy treat. That recipe for Maple Nut Oaties on my recipe page is amazing; those are gems because it is sweetened with pure cold-pressed Agave nectar and has healthy fats from pecans and almond butter and fiber-rich oats. This last time I threw in some cacao nibs which actually taste like nuts but are amazing antioxidants. I have three of those (they are bite size) in the afternoon and they are wonderful. I also have the occasional ice cream but ritual dessert after dinner has gone by the way-side. I'm finding other alternatives. I'll continue to post up what my family loves - it's got to work for the kids too eh?! What I'm getting to again with this whole bit is moderation. Sugar really has no benefit whatsoever for the body and actually causes problems. I read that Alec Baldwin cut out refined white sugars and flours and dropped 20 pounds just from doing that. Pretty impressive.

Bleached sodium chloride, which is the salt that we all buy from the grocery store, is actually toxic. Doctors are right to be telling heart disease patients to lay off the salt - but they are referring to common table salt. REAL salt or Celtic Sea Salt has not been bleached and still contains the numerous minerals that help the body function as it is supposed to. The body requires salt to function. It is okay to salt your food with the good stuff!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why I'm Doing This

I had my hubby take a look at my blog last night as he hasn't really known what I've been up to with it. He asked me if it was something I really wanted to do because in writing about Preston and his ADHD, I am giving him a little bit of a stigma or label. I thought about it all last night as he did have a point. This is what I realized:

When I had my first miscarriage, I felt relieved when people talked to me about it and told me their personal experiences with having a miscarriage. When I went through my divorce at the age of 27 after having been married for seven years (and no, it wasn't the 'seven year itch') I craved to talk to people that had been through a divorce. I was so young that I really didn't know anybody that had been through it. I had a friend who was struggling in her marriage call me to talk to me about it.

When we experience something in our life that is challenging or traumatic, we want to know that we aren't alone. That somebody else has been through it and survived! When I knew that Preston had some major stumbling blocks I sought out people that could offer me advice or point me in a direction - any direction that would help me. I am still seeking out people that know what I am going through and can talk to me about ideas they have tried and had success or failure with in working with this disability.

Yes. I do want to do this blog for everyone out there like me who is facing this challenge and needs support. Yes I want to do this for everybody that is struggling with their health, their weight and leaidng their family in the right direction with their health. There are so many misperceptions about food and I feel so relieved by what I have found and I have taken control of my health through what I have learned. I want to share it with anybody and everybody who is looking for solutions like I have.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Trainer Makes Himself Obese Purposely

I just went to the Yahoo main page, where I am always compelled to look at the intriguing stories they do, and found a story this morning about a personal trainer that was intentionally gaining weight. I haven't heard of this other than Hollywood stars that gain weight for certain roles so this definitely peaked my interest. You can read the full article at the following address:

The part that I found most interesting was when he talked about not liking soda in the beginning of this 'journey' to where he now HAS to have one everyday. He admitted to being addicted to all the sugar, white breads and flour, starchy pasta - he loves the taste but found he was hungry again shortly thereafter and craving the same foods. He also had to have his soda to keep the headaches at bay. This made me think of my cute mother who probably has a can of Coke a day but insists that it is 'medicinal' for her migraines. I've been telling her for years that if she dropped the soda, the migraines would probably go away. Our bodies are all different and while one person can handle 48 oz. of soda a day, others can only handle one can a day. I would put her in the latter category.

Processed foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates are absolutely addictive. Sugar actually stimulates the pleasure centers of the brain and when those levels drop, like any other drug, the body craves more. It is a vicious cycle that we are all too happy to indulge. I recently put my twelve-year-old step-son to the 'spit test' to determine if he had a yeast overgrowth which is very probable in most people that 'crave' sugar and starchy foods. First thing in the morning (prior to brushing your teeth or eating any food) you spit into a glass of water; if the spit floats you are clear, but if the spit sinks (even if there is a string that sinks to the bottom) you have a yeast overgrowth. His floated for a moment before a long string of it sank. I treated the yeast with seven drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract in his water morning and night on any empty stomach for about ten days. He also gave up white bread, refined sugar and most dairy and the overly sugary fruits. For him, this was an incredible feat.

We followed up with the spit test again in ten days and he was clear. I now give him a pro-biotic morning and night to build his intestinal tract with good bacteria. He has told me that he doesn't wake up with phlegm in the morning anymore (sugar is a definite proponent of this), he is sleeping better and overall feels better. He has also turned into an avid food-label reader and won't eat anything with colors, high fructose corn syrup and partially hydrogenated oils. I'm not sure if he'll whip out the Ramen noodles again (MSG). We shall see. He did have a Twix bar the other day and it was interesting to see how crazy it made him. He noticed it too and I'm sure he'll indulge time and again, but overall I think he will be making healthier choices from this point forward. Moderation.

I myself have never been excessively overweight but I did crave sugar and starches and struggled to lose those infamous 5-10 pounds because I just didn't understand how the whole food thing worked. Since I began my Isagenix journey and have continued to learn about food, I lost 'those 10 pounds plus another eight! I've been eating have my Isagenix shake for breakfast and eating full fats (lots of butter, coconut oil, full-fat yogurt, nuts and seeds) and I haven't gained a pound. I feel so amazing right now being in control of my appetitte and it not controlling me. The personal trainer above was in the spot I feel I'm in now and he hates being a slave to his addiction and not doing anything good for his body. I'm sure he can't wait for his four weeks to be over!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Electronic Entertainment

In all of my reading and research I have made the rule in our home that there is one hour of television watching per day and one hour of video game time on Friday's and Saturday's. I have read nothing positive about video games (only the seeming old wives tale that it improves hand-eye coordination, bah!) and only about the harmful effect they have on kids. One author even noted in his patients the improvement in homework, attitude and decreasing ADHD tendencies when video games were removed from the home. With that said, my therapist passed along the results of a study that was done on whether or not fast-paced television shows has an immediate influence on pre-school children. The results were not surprising but very interesting:  They are saying these days that kids under two should not be watching television. I have to admit that I have not yet slipped any shows in for my little guy (nine months now!) and planning on keeping it that way for awhile. Happy reading!

Artificial Reinforcers

"Unfortunately for us parents, natural reinforcers are frequently insufficient motivationfor a child to complete an artificial task. Your son, for example, may be a natural slob - a clean room means nothing to him. Or your little girl may be attention deficit and learning disabled, and homework provides no satisfaction - but much frustration - for her. In these cases you must use artificial reinforcers. For smaller children the best ideas are often relatively small things that can be dished out frequently and in little pieces. With older kids, larger rewards that take longer to earn become more feasible." (1-2-3 Magic, 122) - I'll add that kids with ADHD need small things things that can be dished out frequently. I've noticed with Preston that rewards need to be fairly immediate otherwise it isn't worth it to him. It is also good to do things for kids just 'because you are you and I love you.' That is some wonderful advice our therapist gave me.

I've established chores that Preston is able to earn tickets for:
~Make his bed in the morning
~"Feed" the laundry basket or drawers - I've tried to make putting his clothes away a game in that the laundry basket and drawers are mouths that need to be fed. Amazingly enough, this has helped him put clothes away.
~Brush teeth in the morning and at night
~Bringing his lunch box home
~Completing homework
~Cleaning room
~A good deed
~Anything above and beyond
~And sometimes just because I love you

In 1-2-3 Magic, Phelan came up with a much larger and better list than I did of artificial reinforcers along with my thoughts on how many tickets it takes to earn the reinforcer (given he can usually earn about eight tickets a day with what he is expected to do):

A trip for ice cream - 40 tickets
A trip to Kneaders for a cookie - 32 tickets
A small toy - 40 tickets
Renting a special game - 24 tickets
Renting a special movie - 16 tickets
Watching a movie on a school night - 8 tickets
Cash - $.15/ticket
Staying up past bedtime - He struggles getting to sleep so this one may not be an option for him
A grab-bag surprise - 16 tickets
Outing with a parent - 24 tickets
Shopping trip - 80 tickets
Sleepover with Mimi and Baba - 64 tickets
Extra game time with parent - 8 tickets
A "No Chore" Voucher - 24 tickets
Campout in backyard - or even a campout in the house - 64 tickets
Snack of choice - 8 tickets
Breakfast in bed - 32 tickets
Comic book or magazine - 16 tickets
Friend over for dinner - 40 tickets
Choice of three reinforcers - 104 tickets
Sleeping with dog or cat - 16 tickets
Items for a collection - 16 tickets
Helping make and eat cookies - 8 tickets
Using power tool with supervision - 24 tickets
Walk dog with parent - 8 tickets
15 Minutes extra TV time - 8 tickets
15 Minutes extra video game on weekends - 24 tickets
$5 Extra Allowance money - 56 tickets

I'm going to post this in his room and keep a copy on hand for myself and I know it will only work if I follow through on giving him his tickets at the end of each day and follow through quickly when he 'cashes' them in. Boo-yah!

Monday, October 17, 2011

About You

I had another runaway attempt last week by my little Preston and he has been really pushing me to see how patient and in-control I can be. Isn't that sweet of him? I guess when I seem un-breakable somebody is bound to want to see if they can crack me. What a joke! Jillian Michaels has come close to breaking me in her Ripped In 30 workouts and she even quoted Ernest Hemingway, "We are stronger in the places we are broken." "With that being said, I'm going to break you!" And with that being said, Jillian is my pick-me-up for this week. She is wellspring of wisdom and she gives out some pretty fantastic nuggets at the end of her fourth workout which I have quoted below. We all need something extra to help us get through tough moments and I've been repeating after her to keep it in my mind to pull out when I need it most. And I have been needing it more than once a day for the last week or two. Forgive me, I didn't get her quote exactly, but most of it. Regardless, it is some good stuff. 
"Take a moment and think about who you are. What you brought (bring) to the table. How present you are. You can be that way in every facet of your life. You can be anything you want to be at anytime that you choose to be it. Doing my workouts takes a strong, focused and determined individual. That's who you are. You don't need to take on anybody else's crap. When does it come time to say enough is enough? When does it come time to say "this is for me." I do this for me. I have one obligation to the world and this is it - to to be  the best you can be. You've been brought here to this place at this time to be uniquely yourself. You know the quote, "everybody else it taken. " You have one choice - to be yourself. Be the best you always. It simply means prioritizing your life, love your self the way you do your friends, family, neighbors, coworkers.  When you are strong you can lead by example and then you will be able to properly support everyone else in your life. Inhale the possibilities and exhale all the negativity and self-doubt you've been carrying around all your life."

The only person I have control over is myself. I can be strong but I have to take care of myself first and actually build my strength. Why else do they tell you on airplanes to put your mask on first? How can you help your kiddo if you are already passed out? I can't handle Preston if I have no reservoirs to draw from. I am strong and I just have to remember that when I need it most.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How to Navigate a World Filled with Colors and Junk

So my sister-in-law Heidi called and left me a message and mentioned how frustrated she was that everywhere she went people were offering her kids candy. Candy with the colors, the naughty oils, high fructose corn syrup, the whole nine yards. She wasn't necessarily upset with the people, just the fact that she tries so hard to keep the kids in a good place and she is thwarted at every turn! I was feeling her pain in a distant way thinking "just turn people down when they offer it and give the school alternative treats to give to your boy" when in comes Preston from a friends house and I can smell fruity something on him.

I ask him what he had and he said a fruit leather. The fruit leathers I get are okay but when I asked him to show me the wrapper he grabbed and it ran for the bathroom (like I wouldn't be able to follow him in and see what he threw in the garbage). It was of course a fruit roll up rope. It didn't have an ingredient label but those things are usually nastified to the hilt. I immediately start to fear Mr. Hyde and my monkey wakes up out of sheer terror (sounds like a Stephen King novel doesn't it? If you knew what happened after he had artificial colors you would understand!). Then I have to laugh to myself and shake my head at my arrogance thinking Heidi's problem was somewhat solveable.

And her problem to some degree is. People offer my kids junk all the time and I give them 'the look' and they immediately re-phrase to the kids 'only if it is okay with your Mom' and it is pretty much NEVER okay with Mom. If they want to take my kids for the next couple of hours after digestion they are welcome to it! If they took me up on that - they would never offer any kid anything again. Heidi can also talk to the school and tell them what not to give her kid - like an allergy, which to a degree it is - and provide them with alternative treats. But then there is the rest of the world that doesn't know about your child and the big bad world of chemical colors. I laugh as I write this because part of me thinks big whoop! It is a big whoop though because Preston really does have a reaction to it and it is so hard to stay chill when he is in another realm that I can't reach even at warp speed.

I guess it comes down to do your best and forget the rest eh? I'm teaching him how to read labels and recognize what food is good and bad and that I have very tasty alternatives for him when he trades in his junk for something that doesn't cause problems. I'll win some and lose some but I'll keep at it. As for my action item of using some humor to diffuse situations, he told me last night that he couldn't sleep and Jason told him to lay in bed and count some sheep. He got all worked up and said "I can't do it, besides, that is so stupid." I laughed and said, "it sure is. Why don't you count monkies instead because yours are all awake and jumping around right now." I had to laugh at my ingenuity.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Candy Okay - WHAT??

I was flipping through my October issue of Parenting Magazine this morning and came across a small article titled: "Guilt Free Halloween." I'm thinking, cool - maybe they've come up with some way to enjoy Halloween without the 24-hour day spike in blood sugar. But no! If you've ever seen Pee Wee's Big Adventure then you can imagine my face looking like 'Large Marge's' as I got further and further into this article.

The article states: "A new study from Louisiana State University found that kids who eat candy are actually less likely to be obese than their candy-shunning peers. (Even the researchers aren't sure why).  Of the 11,000-plus kids between the ages of 2 and 18 who took part in the study and were followed for five years, the "candy-consumers" were 22 percent less likely to be overweight or obese)."  (50)

Well, Jason and I have had the discussion that maybe having treats around would help the kids with their self discipline and control. For our two kids, I don't think that would be the case. However, there is something to be said that when they are out of our care there may be the propensity to binge since it is their big moment. That could be one reason why some kids become overweight.

Here is my thought. And it's just a thought based on some reading I've done. Dr. Bob DeMaria (How to Treat ADHD in 18 Days) talks about refined sugar and its effect on the body. "The body must call upon its own reserves of nutrients in order to digest this kind (white and brown sugar) sugar. B-complex is taken from the nervous system and calcium and magnesium are robbed from the bones and teeth when these sugars are consumed. " "Sugar impairs the function of your immune system. When sugar is consumed, your immune system is weakened." He even points out that the flu season starts in America around Halloween and continues through Easter. But how interesting that the flu pops up when America is taking in huge amounts of sugar. Refined sugar weakens white blood cells which are what takes care of foreign invaders in the body.
If the body is in a weakend state having to take minerals from the body rather than accumulating necessary minerals to function and the immune system is in a constantly weakened state, there isn't much room for healthy growth. I also read somehwere (and I apologize that I can't remember where it was so I can't credibly quote it) that sugar has an impact on child development and growth because the body is busy repairing damage from the sugar as opposed to being equipped to go on its original path. Therefore, it would totally make sense that kids who eat sugar aren't overweight, they're depressing their own growth; stunting it. This makes me want to conduct an experiment with my 12-year-old who chose to 'Z down' in football this year because he wasn't quite heavy enough. Being addicted to sugar,  I have had to wonder if he would be able to put some weight on if he eliminated sugar and ate healthy fats and proteins and grains. Hmmm. I'd have to be pretty clever about to approach that one - the kid has a love affair with the stuff.

Also, there is a condition called Candidiasis which is a yeast overgrowth in the body. It contributes to fungus, lethargy, and an assortment of dietary and health issues. This nasty stuff thrives on sugar which is why alot of people crave it. It isn't something your body needs but this overgrowth of naughty bacteria. We all love sugar and I still bake at times with sugar though it is becoming fewer and further between, but once again the key to everything is moderation. This article mentions the moderation part but I was so bugged that the message was that candy-is-good-it-helps-your-kid-not-be-overweight was just silly. I'm going to bed and bridging. My monkey is awake!
Ah. Sting. I threw that picture in simply because he is man cake. Dang, did I bring up cake? That takes us back to sugar. Hmmm. Sting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Insanity Hits Every Day

Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

~Albert Einstein

Based on this enlightening quote, I have multiple bouts of insanity every day. This morning my first run in with it was because of Preston. The medication that Preston is on has been an absolute blessing in his and our family's life. He is calmer, more agreeable and more compliant. The last two days after school have been almost blissful. Every night when it starts to wear off and every morning when there is nothing left is when our beloved Mr. Hyde appears. Of course I know it is coming, but I push against it and I hope above all hope that maybe something else is making a difference and he'll just stay like Dr. Jekyll oh, forever. Every morning I hope and I must expect to some degree that he will be even and in good spirits but every morning is almost an all out fight to get him out the door for school. In this case knowing about Preston's issue but expecting a different result is insane.

The doctor told me to make sure get everything done that he needs to well before the medication wears off so there will be little to no demands on him when it has worn off. It's so bizarre because his whole demeanor changes and he can't focus to save his life and he becomes very emotionally erratic. That is when it becomes totally pointless to try to talk to him or have anything happen because he is almost incapable of doing it and then as a parent, patience runs out very fast because there is no compliance.

Here I am again reminding myself to stay sane and expect what I KNOW will happen and then I be the one to creatively work with it and around it. I change first and I only have control over me right? Here is a little nugget that has kept me going today - I talked to his Sunday school teacher and they were talking about being missionaries (good examples as disciples of Christ) and they asked what could be done with cookies that be could be a missionary act. One of the kids said that you could take someone who is sick cookies. Cute Preston said, "Why would you take someone who is sick cookies? Wouldn't that just make them sicker?" I laughed out loud at this because not only was it funny, but it showed me that some of what I model and teach the kids sinks in! Whenever the kids show symptoms of coming down with something we ditch the sugar because it suppresses the immune system. He knows that cookies have sugar and sugar doesn't help when we get sick. I love it! Keep plugging along!

Action Items

1) Bridge ~ Come to your senses. This is very much like counting to ten to regain composure. I have removed myself from the siutation (Preston) before to allow myself to bridge.

2) He loses it when I lose it ~ There is alot of truth in the fact that kids can sense how we feel and it affects them for better or worse. Seriously, when Mama ain't happy no one is happy - doesn't this apply to anyone in the household though? If Preston ain't happy I'm trying so hard to be happy! When I'm struggling, Preston struggles. When I am calm and he doesn't have anything to kick against, it doesn't go anywhere. He will definitely continue to try to push my buttons to get a reaction but if I stay calm and don't play into it it ends quickly.

3) Know what I know and go with it ~ This just means that I know Preston has ADHD and ODD and is the one that is not always able to regulate himself. I on the other hand am lucky enough to be able to regulate myself. I don't change the rules for him, I simply address the consequences to him in different ways depending on which Preston I am dealing with at any given moment. This action item applies to everyone. I often tell Jason that I will try to advertise when I am approachable and not approachable and I can definitely read when not to approach Jason. Sometimes I ask Jason if his 'monkey is awake' and his answer definitely helps me know how to navigate the sometimes sketchy water.

4) Have confidence in my wisdom ~ I was going to dedicate a whole post to this. I know what to do in most circumstances, it only gets cloudy when my monkey wakes up. This is when I know to bridge or do a map. Mapping is tremendously helpful for me. Jason not so much. We're all different.

5) Use Humor ~ Humor can help us all lighten up. We all fight against it when we WANT to be mad or upset or get our point across, but sometimes you just can't fight the power of humor. I just need to remember to dig into when I least feel like it.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Power in a Bowl

I have to attribute this fabulous recipe to my sister-in-law who has been my bosom buddy in wholesome eating for the last couple of years. She got involved with it when her son was diagnosed with speech apraxia. Since then we have shared the information we glean with one another. It is quite helpful to have someone who understands all this jargon because quite frankly, no one else does! My darling mother and wonderful father (whom I both adore) think it is all a bunch of malarkey. My dad makes fun of me by reading ingredients lists and throws in items like, arsenic, rat poison and WD-40. It's cool - I laugh. But honestly, the ingredients in alot foods might just as well be arsenic or petrol.

This wonderful meal (which I have been having for lunch since I am still having my Isagenix shakes for breakfast) truly is a hearty meal. The one ingredient I failed to include in this obviously non-professionally-taken picture are Cacao Nibs. Whoa nelly those things are nasty on their own but perfect in this and the Vegan Protein bars. Heidi, the creator of this goodness, enjoys adding goji berries to this. I bought some raspberries myself to toss into this and oh! raspberries make the world a better place. Of course I gave Preston a taste but he didn't like it. Something about the oats - which is such a shame! Here is the recipe for this meal that really tastes like a dessert!

Heidi's Magic Power Oatmeal

3/4 Cup Oats
1 Cup Sun Warrior Chocolate Protein Powder
2 Tablespoons Almond or Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon Organic Unsweetened Coconut
1/2 - 1 Tablespoon Agave
2 Tsps. Hemp Seeds or Isa Crunch
2 Tsps. Cacao Nibs
Coconut Milk and Almond Milk to satisfaction
Top with real or dried fruit. Sometimes I'm just plain not in the mood for fruity.

Directions: Put the first four ingredients in a bowl and combine. I use a knife and spoon to cut the almond butter into the oats and protein powder. Add the rest, combine and enjoy!