Tuesday, August 6, 2013

What does ADD and food dyes have to do with me starting a blog?

For the past few months I have been telling Cliff that I should start a blog to put all the information and research I have been doing over the past few years in one place.  I would hem and haw when someone would ask me about his allergies and what we are doing about them, or how I was feeding our 9 month old. I found myself always wishing I could just point them to one spot.  Most of the time I would have to make a list of blogs, websites, and books to get them the info they needed. Sometimes they would listen intently, and I would hope and pray they would actually do something about what they were suffering from. Other times I just knew when they left our conversation they went straight home and told their husband or wife that the Howards are a bunch a loons that have spent too much time in the sun lately.  I am sure many of our close friends are thinking I am turning more into a crazy hippy than a Yuppie Farm Girl. 

Why I finally decided to start the blog:
Over the past few months I have been receiving "signs" from every direction that I needed to start something to help my friends and those that I meet along this journey we call life. Sometimes the signs were mild and questionable and sometimes they were so in my face it was like God holding up a billboard.... something like this:

I am by no means an expert on anything, but I LOVE to research and pick through the facts of studies, books, and other data.  It is a passion of mine! I suppose that is why I became and Engineer and not a Farmer.

This was the final "sign" that I just had to do it:
We arrived home from vacation to a leaking water heater (uhhgg).  We have a good family friend who is a plumber who came to the rescue (yaya for handy friends).  After the water heater was replaced we started talking about some issues they had with their son. I mentioned an article I had read on food dyes found in Macaroni and Cheese (and tons of other products) that must be labeled "this product may effect the behavior and attention of your child" in other countries and it is not required to be labeled here. 

Do your kids eat/drink any of this?  

Foods with artificial food dyes on display at a Washington, DC news conference.
 Photo credit: Moira Donahue.

Do you or your kids suffer from these symptoms (from Happy Healthy Mama)?  
1.  Cancer, including brain tumors
2.  Allergies, asthma, and sensitivities
3.  Behavioral issues, hyperactivity, and ADHD
4.  Decreased cognitive function, lowered IQ

After talking to him about some of the symptoms and how food dyes were made from toxins, I wasn't sure if he totally believed me or was even going to mention it to his wife. To my surprise (and delight) he did.  Here is the testimonial they just posted on facebook (7 weeks later as a total surprise to me!): 

"Recently we took all food dyes (every color) out of our kids diets and are seeing AMAZING results in our oldest son Jacob who has ADD. He used to be quite defiant, not bad, just never did what he was told without a fight. I should also mention that we send him to school on Concerta, an ADD medication. It has been 7 weeks now and I swear to you all that he is a different kid. He does things the first time he is told, his temperament is so much more calm and pleasant, and he seems more happy! I swear that they dyes in food have so much to do with it. I just wanted to share this life changing event with you all in case you would want to try it at home! There is so much information out there on the dyes in food and what they do to our bodies. I felt horrible once I found out that dyes were in almost every food Jacob was eating for the last 9 years!!! Mac & cheese, fruit snacks, pudding, Gatorade  muffins, Eggo waffles, M &M's, Skittles, (a ton of other candy items), jello, fruity cereals, chips, frosting, MULTI VITAMINS!, cookies, cakes, sprinkles, and a ton more!! Here is a website that explains a bit more! Maybe it could help your child too!http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20439038,00.htmlThank you Lisa and Cliff (aka Yuppie Farm Girl) for talking to Joey about this when he fixed your water heater! We are so grateful!! xo"
Tami's new quote for her son is:
Removing food dyes from his diet
"unlocked his happy!"

When I read this I was almost brought to tears. I kept thinking did this really happen?  Did Joey really go home and tell his wife? She believed us enough to do her own research and execute a plan?!  I would like to think that most parents would do this without hesitation, but they don't. This family took on the challenge of first educating themselves, then educating their KIDS! They had a family meeting and explained that the dyes are poison to their bodies and they will no longer be eating them.  It is hard for the new age family model: working mom and dad, fast paced life, packaged foods everywhere.... it is a big challenge to eliminating so many of those easy, convenient, dye laden foods, but when you do it, you will be rewarded.  Plus once you purge that pantry and stop worrying about having to fill it with JUNK, you will start saving time and $$ and it will become normal!


1) Read more about food dyes here:

2) Talk to your kids about it, have a family meeting, they will feel empowered. 

Article from Primal Kitchen on how to get your family's buy-in for real lunches

3) Start packing real lunches for them (that is where you can cut out a high about of products with food dyes). Many of the links I found are for gluten free or paleo families, but don't get hung up on the labels, these diets require you to eat REAL FOOD.

Lunch box ideas with photos: :  http://gfreemom.com/easy-kids-lunchboxes/

The Primal Kitchen has tons of ideas, here is one sample http://primalkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/11/lunchbox-23.html

My favorite link - a month of real food school lunches from Primal Bliss Nutrition (great pictures too!):

4) Many of these sites feature the kids lunches in "bento" style boxes.  These help moms and kids to fill it with a variety of healthy options.  Here are some great options:

Planet Box (affiliate link)http://amzn.to/GNgFlr

Lunch Bots (affiliate link)http://amzn.to/19zLLswh


  1. Love this post! I see you and Cliff as true friends and healthy people - healthy on the inside and out. You are good people with good hearts who share, help and want good things for others. You are an inspiration for us. Your example and guidance, coupled with our viewing a video called "Hungry For Change" has put us on a healthier path of eating and living. I am excited for your blog and know that it will offer those who follow it a recipe for success!

    1. Thank YOU for sharing with us the movie Hungry for Change. It is so motivating and full of facts!! It is a perfect first step in getting motivated to eating right! Thanks for all the kind words, we really appreciate the support.HUGS!

  2. So awesome! It is such a great feeling to know that you had even the slightest bit of impact on someone with something that you feel so passionate about! And, so true! There are so many ingredients that are in foods here in the USA that are banned in other countries. What does that tell you about our food and what we are doing to our future generations' health and well being!?

  3. I am having trouble adding a comment so I hope this goes through. It is pretty disgusting what our society has come to accept as "food" isn't it?
    Have you read about orange Gatorade? I'll add a link to the article. It uses an ingredient that has been BANNED in other countries!

    1. It worked! Ughh.. the orange Gatorade - so scary! So sad that they promote it as a "heathy/recovery" drink... so far from the truth!

  4. Sports drinks like Gatorade Thirst Quencher Orange contain a synthetic chemical known as brominated vegetable oil, which has been patented by many companies as a flame retardant. Some worry the chemical could impair brain function and fertility.
    The Food and Drug Administration limits the amount of BVO in each beverage to about 15 parts per million. BVO is banned in Europe and Japan.

    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/life-style/health/teen-petition-nix-gatorade-ingredient-draws-175k-signatures-article-1.1209061#ixzz2bIwa1vFb

    1. wow, read those labels and do your research folks.


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