Our Food Journey

6 Apr

My family has definitely had a food journey the last couple of years.  In 2013, it began when I partnered with Charles Mattocks to write Diabetes and Healthy Eating.  I always knew that a healthy diet and exercise was very important.  I would have to say19 that I never spent very much time thinking about it, until I started to write that story.

My family didn’t have a lot of money when I was young so not only did we not eat out very often, but our budget did not allow for extras like soda, chips or ice cream.  As I look back, this was almost a blessing.  I grew up with very few snacks at my disposable so to this day I don’t snack very much during the day.  The byproduct of this now is that I don’t struggle with an unhealthy weight.

Recently my family has faced a new food challenge.  My son has struggled with ADHD sense he was diagnosed at age six.  Because we don’t believe in filling our son with drugs to solve every problem, we have sought a variety of other methods to help him.  At first, I homeschooled him for many years so that he could learn with few distractions and get the attention he needed.  I also started running regularly with him to help channel his energy so he could focus better in his studies.

Now that he is older and in school he has started to face challenges again with his ADHD.  Because of this, we started to look for new natural remedies that could help him.  This led us to read about the work of Dr. Amen.

This is why we are now on a new journey.  My son has been on the new diet for four weeks and we are happy to report that we are seeing some positive results that even his teacher has commented about.

All this back-ground information is to explain that during this food journey starting in 2013, I have become so amazed at America’s food obsession with junk.  I mean really!  Now that I am forced to read every food label before I can feed my son, I can’t help but sit in shock at what I find.

Not only that, but I have also become more aware of what we feed our children in general.  The obesity rate in American children is ridiculous.  But we only have ourselves to blame.  What have we taught them to eat?   What have we given them to eat?

We reward them with food, we teach them to celebrate with food, we allow them to eat when they are bored, and eat what makes them happy even if it might not be good for them.  Just sit for a moment and watch families around you at restaurants and look at what is on the plates of their children all in the name of: “My child is a picky eater, or that is what they wanted.”

I guess that is the sad part of my food journey.  I find that a lot of people don’t want to change their lifestyle or teach a better one to their children.  Why do you think the commercials advertise that, “This pill will allow you to lose weight and not change your diet at all.”

We will continue as a country to fight obesity until we decide that our food obsession must stop.  Until we learn that food should not control us, but that rather that we should control our food.

I am so proud that my eleven year old son has been able to give up gluten, artificial sugars, colors, and flavors, and dairy so that he can reach his full potential.  Not because it is easy (trust me it’s not), but because he knows that what we put inside our bodies is what our bodies become.  I hope that you can teach your children nothing less.

This is not about teaching your child about being thin or fat!  That drives me crazy.  We are all built with different bone structures and genetic tendencies.  This is about being healthy and doing so by eating the proper foods that your body really needs to function.

I know I still have a lot to learn and master in our families food journey, but I hope it has given you something to think about for your own.

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