Brewer5: No Training Wheels


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I need my own space here.   :)  It's been awhile.


I've successfully finished three Whole 30's:


May 2014

September 2014

January 2015


And I've decided I won't "do" another.  But I sure learned a lot from each one.


I have some things I'd like to talk about.  The journey doesn't end after Whole 30.  


If you truly realize the value of the gem you've just unearthed -- Whole 30 is only the beginning.

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One thing I have not gotten to talk about here is that we are doing a new program with our middle son, called Feingold.  This is a program I have seen several other homeschool moms recommend, for any type of behavior or learning difficulties.  I've seen many success stories.  


We had reached a point where our son was having outbursts too frequently, unable to control his emotions, and feeling really badly about himself afterwards.  Completely disrupting our days, several days per week.  No, I am not dealing with a toddler here -- he's 10.


We have three boys and each of their personalities are unique, of course -- but this child stands out.  It's very much like there are two of him in there.  The one we love is the one who is reasonable, kind, and loving, funny, and yes -- full of energy often, but able to settle when needed.  The other is like a demon has possessed his body and if we lived in a different time, place, or religion, I could see someone trying to cast out the evil spirit.  Not kidding.  My sister has even shared stories like these with me in the past.  Anyway.


When my mind began to consider medication -- for the first time, ever -- I knew it was time to try Feingold.


This program eliminates the three big nasty preservatives -- BHA, BHT, and TBHQ.  Also no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners.  And for Stage One, it eliminates the higher-salicylate foods -- many of our staple vegetables & fruits are gone for now.


So it is a lot like Whole 30 eating, but with some big differences.  Anyway -- I am learning a lot of things I didn't know about our food supply.  Things they are not required to put on a label.  Things that are hiding where you may not suspect them.  Like in your nuts or even oranges.  


We have very specific food lists we have to stick to -- only products that have been researched and approved.  This is where a lot of my energy has gone lately.  My main goal is to figure out:  Is this child reacting to things that we would normally consider "healthy"?  It's a big question, and one that we can only get answered after we have completed 6-8 weeks of 100% clean Stage One.  We're not there yet.  There have been several slip-ups along the way.   :rolleyes:


What I can say for sure:  He has been much, much easier to get along with and a much happier child since we began this program in July.  We've been able to pinpoint a reaction to something immediately -- because we are keeping a food journal, and because he is NOT just living in "one big reaction" all the time anymore.

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I forgot to mention that any products containing aspirin and ibuprofen are out, also.  They fall into that salicylate category.


So the only approved pain killer is acetaminophen.  I gave him dye-free Tylenol liquid one day after a painful orthodontist appointment -- and it did NOT go well.   :mellow:   It contains artificial flavors & artificial sweetener (sucralose), among other things.  I just wasn't thinking.  I just wanted him to feel better.  His reaction was awful.  Yep, from 2.5 tsp of dye-free medication.  Another lesson learned..... & we moved on.  Started Day 1 the next day.  Again.


We've also had to consider all of the things we use ON his body.  The skin is our largest organ, right?  And guess what -- it absorbs.


I have changed his toothpaste, and had to ~throw away~ the red gel fluoride treatment that the orthodontist had him using every night for his braces.   :rolleyes:   I replaced it with an acceptable Stage Two fluoride rinse I found, instead.  


We've changed his soap -- bath soap, and hand soap.  We've always used laundry detergent and fabric softener sheets that are "free & clear", so no problem there.  We've had to think about what things like bug spray & sunscreen are doing to him.  We don't use those things often, but still -- all of these things can be problematic.  


Many people are sensitive to fragrances.  I've learned about these many things years ago -- and so, we've never had candles burning very often and certainly no crazy air fresheners puffing around our home.  But some people don't make these connections!  My husband and I walk around the neighborhood at night, and the smell from people's fabric softeners wafting out of their dryers is enough to about knock me over sometimes.  I told my husband, "Can you imagine wearing that all day?"  


Asthma, allergies, headaches, sinus infections, skin conditions, anxiety and mood issues, and the list goes on -- how many people are out there suffering because they simply don't know?

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Very interesting stuff...

Was your son was eating paleo before? 

My sister's youngest son has some behavourial issues which I've put down to diet for a long time, but since she won't overhaul her own diet (which is pretty poor & could really do with some tweaks given that she has secondary breast cancer) she's not likely to consider changing his. Then occasionally she'll post the odd link on FB highlighting the carcinogens in a particular deodorant, or toothpaste or whatever, and I'm like 'Er, hello...?'  :rolleyes: 

I'll be interested to see how the program goes for you & your son.

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Was your son was eating paleo before? 


We made the switch to Paleo almost 3 years ago.  For 6 months straight, I worked my ass off in the kitchen and we did NOT go out to eat -- not once -- in that time.   :blink:   Lol.


It was exhausting.  I feel like I got nothing else done during that time.  I know I did...  But let's face it, if you are spending hours and hours (and hours) in the kitchen -- other things get left behind.


So eventually, we started loosening up the rules a bit.  We started going out to eat sometimes.  We started buying things that were easier -- like the "ready-cooked bacon" at Costco.  (<--Found out he reacts to this.)  


Gradually, we did end up with a very simple mostly-Paleo lifestyle.  Our meals and snacks were very simple:  meat, eggs, vegetables, some fruit, nuts, and seeds.  Occasionally I would make a homemade pizza from an awesome Primal recipe I found (time-intensive crust) -- or homemade flourless pancakes from Robb's book.  But we drifted away from the recipes to just a more basic way of eating.  Food for fuel.  


All I can say is that at some point, we must have gotten bored and started thrill-eating again.  Going out to eat just sounds like so much fun.  And so much easier.  And everyone can get what they want, and I don't have to stand in the kitchen for the entire evening and try to make everyone happy.  You know?  And those foods are addictive.   And they screw with our brains -- all of us.


Looking back, I can see that things really went off the rails with him this past April when baseball started up again.  We went from having a nice, relaxing, cozy winter -- with hardly anything on the calendar -- to BAM, my calendar filled up.  All of a sudden we had the stress of a schedule, him getting worn out at practices and games, and being on the run all the time.  I admit, we were also giving him Gatorade every day he had baseball {face palm, I know.  I know.}  And we were ordering food way too often.  Because Mom was stressed out.  And because those foods are addictive.  And so. darn. easy.


So, like I said, by July -- we'd reached a point where something needed to change.  Big time.  And we've been working with the Feingold program ever since.


That program allows many (MANY) things that are not even close to Paleo.  But we will never, ever go back from all that we've learned.  I mean, you just can't.  So we are keeping it gluten-free, for sure.  He is having some processed things like Udi's pizza crust, compliant chocolate, Spam (haha, who knew, the kid likes Spam!)......  But my goal is to get him really close to Whole 30 eating most of the time, within the limits of that program.  I think we can all agree that we all feel and perform better with as little processed stuff as possible.


Edited to say:  Good luck with your sister.  It is so hard for me to see what is going on with other friends and family, and not be able to help them.  If they either don't want to hear it, don't believe it, whatever....  Very hard.  Especially when it's their kids.  I have had to distance myself from some of it because it is just too frustrating.

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I can empathise with the busy schedule. I juggle a lot on my own & my youngest has gymnastics training 5 times a week. My parents collect him from school, supervise his homework, get him a preWO meal LOL and then drop him off for training. I pick him up after work & go over spelling & tables with him while trying to get him a postWO meal, get him into the shower & still get him into bed for a reasonable hour. Grab & go options are very tempting!! I've witnessed his behaviour change though when we rely too much on those options so we try to stick with proteins, fats & veggies for the most part - but he's 9, and well, he's 9...  :rolleyes: 

My sister works part time, has a husband, and the three of her four kids who still live at home are all more than capable of helping in the kitchen. Her huuby is actually a really good cook & loves experimenting - unfortunately he often works in the evenings & since they all want to eat different things 'TV dinners' are common place, and my sister will eat an entire pack of biscuits in one sitting with a couple of mugs of instant coffee - more than once a day. Blech!!  :wacko: 

When she was in hospital last year I made her some paleo goodies and sent round some food for her kids & then again for when she came home. They all raved about it saying how good it all was, and I said I'd give her the recipes if she wanted but that was about as far as it went.

I've stopped talking about it with her as I can see her eyes start to glaze over - mentioning Whole30 was maybe a step too far, although I believe she (& my nephew) would see HUGE benefits from it, as a starting point at least.

Sadly she's more interested in when the next Big Brother/XFactor/any reality show is starting.


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but he's 9, and well, he's 9...  :rolleyes:


Lol.  Exactly.  ;)


I don't want to make up excuses because I am clearly capable of doing better than I did during baseball season -- and I am doing it now, during football.  But I am on my own here a lot.  My husband's job is nuts and has no real schedule (like, at all).  So that makes it harder to keep a consistent...... umm, anything.  Every day is a little different.  Sometimes he is here to help, sometimes he's not.  Sometimes he is here to eat, sometimes he's not.  It feels crazy here a lot, but that doesn't mean that our food has to be crazy.  The better I eat... the more mentally clear I am... the better choices I make with the kids... and the better we all feel and behave.


I am getting better at recognizing things that can throw us off the rails.  For example, a couple of weeks ago, my youngest really (REALLY) wanted to see Ant Man in the theater.  So, we took him.  I ate movie popcorn -- yep, I did.  With mini chocolate chips and even a few sips of my husband's Coke Zero.  Fine and dandy.  No big problems.  Except the next day I really wanted to buy a few donut holes (!)  Then I wanted to eat Mexican food.  And the day after that, I wanted Panda Express.  You can see where this is going.......  I really believe that all of those cravings were started by consuming the movie popcorn, which I really didn't care whether I had or not in the first place.  But hey, it sounded good, so......  {shrug}   :rolleyes:


When people have never been away from those things, it's like just being in one big giant craving, all the time.  They can't see that things could be any different.  They can't imagine how much their choices are affecting their health and well-being.  It's like speaking a foreign language to them.

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I have been re-reading Dr. Perlmutter's Grain Brain book.  It's been awhile.  


I knew that he was ~really~ down on gluten, but I had forgotten how much he goes into the science.  And the stories....  The stories this man has just from his own practice, of people turning their serious neurological conditions around just by going gluten-free (!)  


Well, it's so awesome to read.  At the same time, it's like a curse for me to have this knowledge and not be able to help everyone.  


He says that "an estimated 99 percent of people whose immune systems react negatively to gluten don't even know it".


I guess all we can do is keep spreading the word.........

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Oh my goodness......  The digestive issues I could have saved myself..........

The hardships that came with craving everything under the sun.   You're so right about the popcorn.  I'm glad this is your very personal space.  tree-swing-smiley.gif?1292867691Don't mind me...I'll tiptoe in and tiptoe out.   We've known each other for a long time.   That's all the comfort I need. 

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What an AWESOME mom you are !!   it takes courage to make changes for your family that you know will be hard - but they will be for the better of everyone !!


I also have a friend who's child was off the rails - she started trying dietary changes but it become to much of a hassle - drugs were easier.  I think that for most - drugs are easier.... which is really sad.


I can't wait to see how things continue to improve for your son. :D



PS  sorry for invading your personal bubble (I'm am always telling my daughter to remove herself from my bubble !! LOL)   but I had to give you a shout out !!!

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A calorie is not a calorie.  

“An underlying assumption of the ‘eat less’ portion of that message has been ‘a calorie is a calorie,’” he said. But the new research “sheds light on the strong plausibility that it isn’t just the amount of food we are eating, but also the type.”

Dr. Gardner said it was clear that the conventional approach of the past few decades was not working. A more helpful message than “eat less,” he said, may be “eat less refined carbohydrates and more whole foods.”


To get a better idea, they recruited obese men and then fed them smoothies on two different occasions separated by several weeks. 


But on one occasion, the smoothies were made with high-glycemic corn syrup; on the other, fruit was used. “These test meals were identical in appearance and tastiness, and we verified that our subjects had no preference for one or the other.” 


As expected, blood sugar levels rose more quickly in response to the high-glycemic smoothie. But the researchers were especially interested in what happened several hours later, about the time most people are ready for their next meal.


What they found was that four hours after drinking the smoothie, blood sugar levels had plummeted into the hypoglycemic range, the subjects reported more hunger, and brain scans showed greater activation in parts of the brain that regulate cravings, reward and addictive behaviors. Every subject showed the same response, and the differences in blood flow to these regions of the brain between the two conditions “was quite substantial.” 


“Based on the strength and consistency of the response,” he added, “the likelihood that this was due to chance was less than one in a thousand.”


Previous research suggests that when blood sugar levels plummet, people have a tendency to seek out foods that can restore it quickly, and this sets up a cycle of overeating driven by high-glycemic foods. “It makes sense that the brain would direct us to foods that would rescue blood sugar,” he said. “That’s a normal protective mechanism.”


"After decades of research but little success in fighting obesity, “it has been disappointing that the message being communicated to the American public has been boiled down to eat less and exercise more."


A calorie is not a calorie.  carry-on-smiley.gif?1292867564

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Good stuff, Lily.  Although your quote box makes it look like I said it.  I didn't say it, but I do agree with the general idea.  :)


Things like leafy greens, raw vegetables -- these things can use more energy for our bodies to digest than they even provide in terms of calories.


Protein and fat take longer to digest, and will use a lot of energy for your body to break these things down and use them, as well.


When we have something by itself like a smoothie, Larabar, bananas and other high glycemic index fruits, baby food........  I mean, the list goes on.....  Not only do we get the effect you talked about above, but also, we aren't creating much work for our bodies to digest and use them.  They are so easily absorbed, and that is why it creates a spike.


I personally like to eat things that are going to require some effort to digest.  Picture those nutrients getting slowly dispersed throughout your body like this - - - - - - - - - - over the course of several hours, versus the crazy highs and lows that are created by a big spike of carbohydrate.

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Baby food pouches are sugar shots or shooters.   Most of them are made with pureed applesauce as  the #1 ingredient.    A calorie is not a calorie.   Everyone here knows that but it doesn't hurt to be reminded.  I've never witnessed a 120-200 lb baby that needed to eat baby food.  It is formulated for a small toddler.   Adults need real food they can sink their teeth into. 

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Brewer5 and Jmcbn,


I went through this with my son a couple of years ago.  He has ADHD, eczema, asthma and seasonal allergies.  I only wish that I knew what I know now, back when he was much younger.  Unfortunately, I didn't, and I instilled in him habits that are going to be hard for him to break - even when he is willing to try.  Right now, he is 19, and not willing to give up the things that he likes (pizza, fast food, etc).  He will admit that he could eat better, but doesn't want to.  Over the last year, I have watched him gain weight and I wish I could go back in time to when he was 9 and 10 and change things back then.  I know that most teenagers need to explore their independence, but maybe, just maybe he would be making better choices now.


ML - I just wanted to say something about the "calorie is not a calorie" idea.....  I agree with you.  It is so important to remember that a 100 calorie brownie is not the same as a 100 calorie apple.  Just wanted to make a comment about the baby food.....  and maybe I just didn't follow the conversation well....  but, I do use the baby food sometimes.  Not as a meal :)  I use the pouches (especially the veggie ones) for a pre or post workout snack with some good protein.   I do make sure that I get ones that have no added sugar for preservatives.  I think that if it not used as a meal substitute (like smoothies usually are), there can be a place for it.  


I am still, as an adult, struggling with eating well.  I know that I feel better when I stay away from grains and dairy.  I am glad that the "sugar dragon" doesn't seem to be too bad......  However, I do know that the soy has been sneaking in here and there over the last few days to a week.  Some of the old problems I have from the soy allergy are coming back with a vengeance.  Maybe some of it is finances, some of it is lack of time, and a lot of it is old habits.  


Brewer5 ....  you've got me wondering if there are any good movies out - just so I can have some popcorn :)

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Brewer5 ....  you've got me wondering if there are any good movies out - just so I can have some popcorn :)


Oh no... sorry about that!   :lol:   ...But are you ready for the cascade of cravings that will follow?  Sigh.


I guess I could see using pouches on a long trail like you do -- with some protein.  Probably much easier to stick in your pocket than actual fruit.  Lily and I have made lots of observations about Larabars & baby food pouches around here... you know, folks who are new to this program, and everyone is trying to encourage them to just. eat. real. food.


I even sent her a picture awhile back of a GIANT box of baby food pouches I saw at Costco and said: "thinking of you".  Lol.  Great, now I will think of Karen when I see them instead.  haha


Anyway -- I had no idea you used them, so of course, no offense intended.  ;)

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So, I've really been enjoying my fitbit since I got it back in July.  My friend Karen and I "compete" for steps -- but that's just for fun.   :)  Really, we are competing against ourselves...  Setting our own personal goals and using this tool to help make it happen.


I have definitely been moving more since I got it.  My husband and I enjoy walks whenever he's home.  He says it's like therapy -- almost the only time we get to talk without a million interruptions from the kids.  I am not looking forward to the weather turning cold, and I'm not sure what we are going to do.  We already own a treadmill (in storage right now) -- he talked about buying another so we can walk side-by-side in the garage this winter.  Awww... how sweet.   :wub:


Anyway -- I'm on a roll...  I've met my goal of 10,000 steps every day for 8 days now.  I hope to be able to share a chart someday that has all 28 days showing green.  But here's where I'm at for now:



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It gives my Paw a big pinch when he sees adults eating baby food.  It really does.... but he's Paleo.  He was Paleo long before there was Paleo.  


Why are they eating baby food?  We see adults coming through from all over the world, sitting on rocks, picnic tables,  roadside curbs...and they're all eating baby food.   People used to eat jerky.   That was standard fare for rustic travelers.    We don't understand it but the SAD takes on many forms.  


There was a time when people didn't live on smoothies and fancy schmancy coffee drinks either.   When I point a finger,  I have 4 pointing back at myself.   This is a judgment free zone. I'm pointing to my own flaws and shortcomings.   I was the Smoothie Queen,   Smoothie Operator.  I won't post a song because this is Brewer's No Training Wheels.   


You have to break yourself down to build yourself back up again.  I'm  turning around and taking a good hard look at myself so I don't repeat the decisions that brought me here in the first place.  


When I reached a fork in the road,   I took it.   That was the former me. 

I had no idea where I was going.  I took every fork in the road and ended up at the city dump.

It was stink on stink.    I can see clearly now. The rain and clouds are gone.


I like songs for a diversion.  A sidebar for singing and dancing.  That's just how I tick but I've known Brewer, Kmlynne for a long time in Whole 30 age.  Brewer lifts heavy things. Weight Lifting Warrior.   Kmlynne, Prayer Warrior...we're encouraging one another and riding that rocket booster that will catapult us right onto the stratosphere of Whole 30 VICTORY.   


Today is a clean slate.   Every day is a new day.   The three of us will go on.  I will stick the landing with Kmlynne's prayers and Brewer's strength.   No looking back.   No looking back.

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