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!

1 comment:

  1. Cute Preston!! It seems like he's been doing better. I'm so proud of him for turning down that candy!!! What a good boy!

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