Many of you already know the benefits of a whole--foods based diet; a diet based on nature and not a factory. For those of you still on the fence or thinking processed food isn't THAT bad, read the case study below.
A good friend of mine has asked me many times about how I eat, how she can get her family started eating healthier and "how hard it is to make her kids eat healthy." I've told her dozens of times she needs to give up the Diet Cokes, eat more veggies and less junk and talk to her kids about why eating from the earth is always better than eating from a lab. She wanted to change, but found it too overwhelming to try... until her 5-year old daughter was diagnosed with dysgraphia (inability to write letters or numbers) and ADD (attention deficit disorder). Her neurologist told her to get her daughter off of processed foods, gluten and dairy to start. She called me in a panic, not sure of how to get started but more motivated than ever to make the change.
Books and hours later, my friend realized how much the junk was contributing to her daughter's issues. There was overwhelming evidence that the processed foods, food dyes, preservatives, gluten and even cow dairy was a major culprit. She went cold turkey and cleaned out her kitchen - to the shock and dismay of her kids. "I didn't want to do it half way," she said. "I just wanted to get rid of all the junk and start over - for her and all of my kids."
After about three weeks, my friend had a parent-teacher conference with her daughter's teachers. Her daughter was already in math and reading intervention, unable to legibly write, and finding it nearly impossible to focus on a task and finish her work. During the conference, all of her teachers said they had seen an "unbelievable" difference in her daughter in the past 3 weeks - she was more able to focus and keep on task, her handwriting was so good even her mom didn't believe it was her paper, and she was able to keep up with her peers. "She has improved 500 percent since I've gotten rid of the junk," my friend said. "I was a skeptic but now I see clearly how much she's changed and nothing will ever get me to go back to how I was feeding my kids. It's just not worth the damage it does to their brains and bodies."
My friend won't buy anything with food dyes as that was one of the first things her neurologist told her to avoid because of its links to learning disabilities. She avoids gluten and refined sugars but said she has seen the most improvement since ridding her home of cow dairy. She won't buy Goldfish, Cheez Itz or other processed crackers/chips/snacks, and only buys organic chips that have only a couple of ingredients in them. She still allows her kids to have the occasional treat, but it isn't daily or even weekly since she it trying to retrain their taste buds.She's cooking more and trying new ingredients, finding healthier substitutes for family favorite recipes.
"It's been a challenge to change how I see food and prepare food," she said. "I am experimenting with recipes, some of which my family loves and others they don't, but it's just a learning process. I think we'll all benefit from eating more natural but my daughter is proof that there is something to all this talk about processed foods. Her progress is nothing short of miraculous."
If you are still wondering if you can do this, I have full faith you can. It only requires your dedication to it. You have the time, you have the resources, you have the knowledge...just DO it.