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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Finding Balance

It has taken nearly a week to recover from our vacation to Southern California (Pictures and a post on that to come).  48 hours after returning home, we went camping for 3 days. Yes the word CRAZY comes to mind!  But today...I wanted to touch on a subject that has been on my mind for the last few days.

Finding Balance...I have the tendency to get consumed by something and then throw myself into it.  This is mainly true of my children, especially Luke and his special needs.  I am always on the look out for the next thing, resource, help, intervention, supplement, food, exercise...anything to make his life BETTER.  Lately though I just feel bogged down.  No matter how hard I try.  I.CAN'T.KEEP.UP!  It leaves me feeling like a failure.  Let me explain a little...

The last couple of years with Luke could be somewhat titled as chapters in a book.  Two years ago...the title would have read Getting Diagnosed.  The title this year could read Nutrition and Special Needs.  Looking back.... the "getting diagnosed" part was relatively simple compared to this new "chapter" I have been trying to master.  Most of my research this year (and yes... I am that geek that stays up into the wee hours of the night googling and reading books)  has focused on "the brain gut connection".  When I saw Luke's primary care, whom I really like, last year...I asked about diet and ADHD/Tourettes/Etc.  The response given was that diet does NOT make a difference.  That didn't sit right with me.  I took the information and decided to see what I could come up with.  After all...I have learned that YOU are the one in the driver's seat when it comes to health care (and your children's health care).  It is true that there are not any BIG scientific studies and research that link a specific diet with helping ALL kids with ADHD.  But....I knew of too many people/friends and children where diet DID make a difference with their special needs.  I couldn't just accept a generalized statement as the be all end all of truth.  I am sure by now most all of us have heard of the "gluten-free" diet.  It has been known to make a HUGE difference in children with Autism and ADHD.  So I dug deeper.

Let me my researching of "the brain gut connection" I did NOT go into it looking for a CURE.  I was simply looking for another TOOL to help make life a little better, a little easier for Mr. Luke.  My research turned up case after case of how removing  food dyes, artificial colors, and artificial ingredients were making a difference in the lives of these special children.  I learned how our food know RED 40 (in things like yogurt and juice) and Yellow 5 (in almost every pickle jar) were made from a petroleum know..the stuff we pump into our cars to make them go.  I started thinking how that really can't be HEALTHY for ANYONE!  By law in the UK, they are required to put on food labels that contain any artificial food dye a "warning label".  My eyes began to open...and I began reading labels!  I also bought the Feingold Program for Luke.  I read it.  I started reading about Naturopathic medicine.  Now..this was a BIG jump for me, as I have always been more of a traditionalist.  But...for my kids...I will do just about anything and try anything.  So after two days of seeing if the insurance would cover it...Luke and I went on an adventure to a naturopathic doctor and boy..oh..boy...was it a GREAT experience!  She was amazing!  I LOVED going to a doctor's office in a HOUSE!  Incredible.  She began to put more of the pieces together regarding a low-sugar diet, protein, and supplements.  Also just a great person to ask questions too.  I also spent the 145.00 dollars to have Luke tested for 99 different food allergies.  We go for our follow up this week to find out.  She confirmed what my research had shown me....there IS a "brain gut connection".

So...this brings me to the title of my blog regarding "Finding Balance".  This is where I struggle. The mommy in me wants to give Luke and Grace and Bella everything that would make life better and their health better.  But finances are an issue. Supplements are not cheap...with the supplements the kids are on, with the supplements that the doctor wants me on, plus trying to buy everything organic and does one find balance.  I find myself feeling guilty if I walk into Winco and buy something non-organic.  But...we just don't have the money to go around (with the other therapies, interventions, etc).  I used to get so many good deals couponing, but most of the things for coupons are things we shouldn't be eating.  I miss couponing and saving money, but I want us all to be healthy.  How do I find a balance?How does one afford 150 dollars in supplements a month?  I feel guilty if I spend 80 dollars on one bag of groceries at Whole Foods.  I feel guilty if I shop cheap at Win-Co.   How does one find balance?  How do I make peace with food?  Please leave me a comment if you have advice? Would love to hear any thoughts and insights!

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