The Co-Relation Between Food and Mood Swings in Children

3 Feb

There is no amount of reading that will teach you what hands on experience can.  I have spent many years reading about the effects of food on the human body and I continue to educate myself on the power of food.  You are what you eat.  There is no way around it.  The food you consume causes reactions in your body.  These reactions can be physical, hormonal, or even emotional.  Some of these reactions are positive, and others – even foods you think are healthy – are not so positive.  Let’s be clear from the start…the foods I am referring to here are foods that are, for the most part, what main society would consider to be “healthy” foods.    Foods like chips, pop, cookies and cake don’t make the cut here – there is NOTHING good about those foods so I won’t even waste my time talking about them.

So to get to the point here…I am reading this book right now about high intolerance foods called The Virgin Diet.  A very interesting read I might add.  I am not yet done with the book but I was so drawn in from the first chapter that I thought I would try it out.  I should point out from the get go that this is not about a “diet”.  I don’t believe in those remember?  This book addresses “healthy” foods that are referred to as high intolerance foods.  The author claims that if you remove the top 7 high intolerance foods from your diet, your body will go through transformations.  She suggests eliminating these foods from your diet for 21 days and then attempting to re-introduce some of them, one at a time, back in to your diet and see how your body reacts.  I am not going to say any more on this book until I have finished reading it but I had to tell you what has happened so far.

When my daughter heard me telling someone I was going to try this elimination experiment, she immediately said she wanted to do it with me.  I was shocked!  My daughter LOVES food – all kinds of food – and I had just about given up trying to monitor her eating because it was becoming increasingly difficult.  Just a quick note for those of you who don’t know the history – my daughter suffers from food intolerance.  She was diagnosed with Candida at the tender age of 4 by our naturopath and was told she had to stay away from wheat, dairy and sugar.  Although we were pretty hard-core for a while, I hate to admit that I let life and circumstance get in the way and made excuses for why I no longer continued to be strict with her eating habits.  It was just causing too many complications between us and let’s face it…I don’t want to be the reason why my daughter may develop any sort of eating disorders in the future.  She’s already been caught hiding food from me and that breaks my heart :(.

Okay I digress…so back to the point of this story.  My daughter decides she’s going to do this elimination thing with me.  Let me be clear – THIS WAS HER DECISION NOT MINE!  She decided to start this past Tuesday.  She already doesn’t consume dairy which is one of the 7 high intolerance foods so the other 6 items removed from her diet included eggs, gluten, corn, peanuts, sugar and soy.  For 4 days, she didn’t touch a single thing that may have included any of the above 7 ingredients.  For 4 days my daughter ate clean, whole foods and stuck to it.  For 4 days I had a poster child.  For 4 days my daughter was happy, co-operative, kind, generous and not moody!!  Do you have ANY IDEA what that meant to me?!??!?  Those are NOT characteristics I would use to describe her on a daily basis.  Don’t get me wrong here…I ADORE my daughter but truth be told, she is not the easiest child to deal with on the best of days.  She can be cranky, mean, whiny and just unpredictable and although some may like to conclude that perhaps she was just in a better mood this week, or like my mom said, maybe I was being nicer to her so she was being nice back, I know better.  Her mood swings stopped because she wasn’t ingesting foods that made her irritable.  The transformation was almost immediate.  And the reason I know this is because I already know she has food intolerance!  When someone’s body is not properly digesting food, it can cause them to be irritable, cranky or moody or all of the above.  You don’t realize this because having a food intolerance is not like having a food allergy.  The effects are not immediate so it’s difficult to make the co-relation.  But I tell you…the counter effect is immediate as soon as you remove them from your diet.

My daughter was with her dad yesterday so I have no clue what she ate.  But she didn’t even have to tell me anything because when she came home today, I already knew she veered off the course.  You know why?  She was miserable.  My little cranky 7-year-old was back.  The  girl who had transformed only a few days prior had vanished.  Her mood worsened throughout the day today as she consumed homemade lasagna (which includes gluten, eggs and dairy),  and then had some dessert (we were celebrating my dad’s birthday).  When I asked her if she wanted to continue this plan tomorrow she defiantly said no and that she was done.  Should I be surprised?  I mean come on, I’m a realist.  The girl is 7!!  I can’t get adults to commit to this plan, what makes me think I could get my 7-year-old to do it.  I expected this to happen.  The problem is I can’t ignore the profound effect  these intolerant foods have on my daughter.  Unfortunately, I have yet to identify which of these foods are the ones causing these reactions because instead of introducing one thing back at a time, she managed to consume at least 4-5 of the 7 high intolerance foods in just a 24-hour period!!  It’s so frustrating!!!  Argggh!

These foods are causing my daughter to behave in an undesirable fashion and I am trying so hard to explain to her that eating healthy will make her feel better.  But she doesn’t get it.  She thinks I’m trying to control her and let’s say face it…so do others…and I don’t blame her for feeling that way.  I mean, she’s a child!  How much can one expect from a 7-year-old right?  But this is not about trying to put my daughter on a diet or trying to make her thin.  It’s not about trying to turn her into a mini version of me.  It’s about wanting a happy, healthy child who is not doing damage to the inside of her body because she continues to feed it food it  is unable to properly digest.  And let’s face it – it’s also about having a more co-operative child who doesn’t chew your head off when she doesn’t get what she wants!  How do I get her to understand?  I may not have found the answer to this question yet but I am not giving up.  I have been out there searching for my next client to be my success story but you know what?  She’s been under my nose the entire time.  My mission is to make my daughter my best success story.  It’s not going to be easy –  this is definitely an uphill battle.  But I’m up for the challenge because I know that nothing worth having is ever easy and her health is worth more to me than I can even express in words.

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on the progress.

Until next time,

Have a fit and fabulous day!

Lisa

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