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!