Saturday, May 15, 2010


So, I've been on a little bit of a journey to clean up my family's diet in hopes of even better managing my two ADHD children's focus, hyperactivity, and attention issues. I began this journey several weeks ago after spending several weeks of reading about it on the internet and the ADHD forum that I joined last year. At first I was once again overwhelmed with how many things can exacerbate the issues we deal with at our house on a daily basis, and really had no idea where or how to begin. So, I figured I would just take some baby steps and pick a couple things that I felt I could bite off and not be frazzled by, and start eliminating them from our diet. Because our second daughter is a Type 1 Diabetic, I was first drawn to the high fructose corn syrup and looking for just that in our regular diet.

I've learned that high fructose corn syrup is super cheap and easy for producers to make, hence it cuts down the cost to make the product. Apparently LOTS of "food" producers want this in their product as it is not only cheap for them, but it's super refined, super sweet, and makes whatever product it is in TASTE REALLY GOOD. So good, that you want to eat more and more of it. The bad thing'll spike up your blood sugar. Bad for a diabetic.....bad for a child who already has enough energy on his own that he certainly doesn't need that simple carbohydrate creating another rush of energy from the quick digestion of that sugar.

We've been "off" it now for a couple weeks and here is what I've started noticing:

The very first thing that stood out to me was how Ashlyn's blood sugar levels started falling in the "target" ranges more often. I wasn't even THINKING that would make a difference for her, so it has been a marvelous surprise for us!!! Usually we have been CHASING down highs from 225-400+ at some point EVERY day. We have cut back on those highs by over HALF!!

The next thing that popped out to me was how my son's waking himself up every night to go to the bathroom has completely stopped. He was wetting the bed up until he was 5 years old (maybe even closer to 6) , and then until now would start to go, but it would wake him up before it had gotten on the bed. So he was waking me up every night to help him find another pair of underwear (until I figured out I could just put a pair in the bathroom for him to get himself) Magically.....that has stopped.....within the last two weeks.

The most amazing thing that has become more prominent to me within the last 4 days has been how my son has indeed become WAAAAAY less hyper. To the point of almost seeming depressed. In fact, I've told my husband that I'm now wondering if that because we are doing a better job keeping his blood sugar levels more stable.....we've cut out those food additives and colors...that he is now OVER medicated. We're still only on a 3 mg. dose, but we haven't given him any melatonin to help him fall asleep at night, and he is spending his days SITTING most of the time. He doesn't want to go outside unless he has someone to play with, and he is WAAAAAY less fidgety. It's so amazing to me that the more I think about it as I'm writing this, the more I think I will call his doctor next week and discuss it with him. He has been grouchy, irritable, and generally unhappy.....but he's not making the rest of us miserable.....he's just not as restless.

The only real thing that I can point to for these significant changes is our change in diet.

So what are we eating now??

I haven't made or purchased any sweets (cookies, doughnuts, cakes, desserts, etc.) in several weeks. No one has really complained about this though I am starting to get questions about when we can have some cookies again. I am surrounded by children everyday, so I am aware that they do need something fun once in a while, but we'll be making them homemade from now on, and with some extra stuff to beef up the nutrition levels.

(graham crackers have HFCS as do the marshmallows I believe)

(calls for Light Corn Syrup)

(graham crackers again)

(those cream soups have MSG)

We ARE eating WAAAAY more fruit (except for my son of course who doesn't like fruits or veggies).
Today we were eating hummus dip with fresh, raw, sweet baby carrots (except for my son.)
We still eat PB and J sandwiches almost daily for lunch, but I have switched the brand of bread we buy.

I haven't the time nor the space to make my own bread yet, though maybe.....someday.

I am experimenting with new fun recipes.
Like this one, though I've modified it and am now using
the Wal-Mart brand of "Shake and Bake" which has no HFCS in it.
I also do not roll it in the oil prior to coating it either.
I have also found a recipe to make my own chicken coating mix which I intend on trying soon!

Here's another recipe I've enjoyed tweaking for my family.
My husband LOVES this stuff, but not all of my children are as enthusiastic.

I've also found that when my children eat heartily at their meals, they aren't as likely
to be grazing their way through the afternoon to dinner time.
So we've cut back on our snacking too.

Also, I'm trying to concentrate on feeding my son more protein, especially at breakfast.
I hear that's really good for the brain connectors to get connected first thing in the morning.
He's kinda a simple carb fanatic though, so it's been a trick finding things he'll actually put into his mouth in the protein category. He prefers a carnivorous diet to the vegan of course, but I don't always have money in the budget for all that meat.
But when we do snack we've been enjoying:

Mini bags of microwave popcorn (100 calories each)
Costco's tortilla strips (chips)
Little clementine oranges
Toast with peanut butter
Hard boiled eggs

The next thing I'm going to be experimenting with: Cutting back even MORE on our gluten intake!! More on that later!!!

No comments: