Last December my family and I started a new eating lifestyle. I call it a lifestyle because my husband hates the word “diet” and refuses to be on one, so “lifestyle” it is. I started doing some research about how food affects kids with ADHD and that lead me to make some changes. If you ask most doctor’s if ADHD is effected by food choices they would say “no”. However, there are plenty of families, and some doctor’s, who would say otherwise. So, I decided to try it. I didn’t want to go really crazy and do gluten-free or anything, I didn’t think I could pull that off. So, I decided to cut out excess sugar, not to eat processed foods anymore and also to not eat anything with artificial colors or flavors in them. Since December, most of our family has lost weight. Glenn lost 20 lbs and I have lost 30, most of that was baby weight for the record. I had our youngest, Luke, last November. Even our two oldest boys have lost a few pounds, don’t worry they could afford to lose a few and still be healthy. All of us were on a fast track to unhealthy weights and now we are all at healthy weights. Yay! We also feel better and have more energy. And we have seen a decrease in Joshua’s ADHD behaviors. People around me have asked exactly what we are eating and what we aren’t eating so I thought I would write about it.
First, I cut back on hidden sugars. We try not to drink our sugar. Meaning we don’t drink soda except on special occasions. Glenn started drinking his coffee black instead of with cream and sugar and I traded tea for my hot cocoa. The kids still have juice but only at a couple of times a day instead of all the time. We also switched to whole grain breads, rice and pasta.We still eat potatoes and white rice occasionally. I bake all the sweets that the kids eat and, don’t tell them, but I cut the sugar back in the recipes I make, they don’t even notice.
We don’t eat anything with artificial colors and flavors. I am a big stickler about this because I can see a direct impact on Josh’s behavior when he eats this stuff. It’s in everything! Even shampoo and lotions. I just read labels and we don’t eat anything that says it has any colors or flavor in it.
We eat less meat. We eat meat about twice a week now and mostly chicken or fish. We eat a lot of beans and vegetables. It was hard at first but now it’s really easy. The kids don’t mind at all. We also try to eat organic whenever we can. All our meat is organic and grass-fed. You would think this would make our food budget go up, but it hasn’t. I still feed our family of 8 for $600 per month.
We don’t eat out. Ever. This is mostly a budget decision right now. We are trying to pay off our car and so we decided not to eat out until we do, however, we find when we have eaten out we feel sick. The food out is just too heavy for us now.
I am so proud of my family for doing this and sticking to it. We are not overly strict and our kids can eat whatever when they are with other people or out places. It was really hard at first and there was a lot of complaining and moaning from Glenn and the kids. One night shortly after we started this lifestyle Glenn was in the pantry looking for something. He came out and looked at me with a frustrated look and said, “I can’t even eat popcorn?!” Since then I have found some all natural popcorn and we always have it in the house. lol He has adjusted and so have the kids and we are all better for it.