Why whole foods? Our journey so far….
When you have a child, it’s only natural that you want the very best for them. When they start to eat, you are suddenly challenged with not only ensuring they are eating enough, but also ensuring they get all the nutrients they need to grow. What a responsibility! Our journey ‘Back to Whole Foods’ began when our little boy suffered repeated asthma attacks in 2013. Initially, we were told it was a viral induced attack. Neither myself or my husband suffer from asthma. When the second followed not long after, I started to question why and looked more closely at his diet and what could have been a trigger. I quickly realised the common denominator in both attacks was dried apricots. As we had been away the weekend prior, dried apricots and other dried fruits had been an easy, portable, and what I considered to be a ‘healthy’ snack. I soon found out that a common additive in dried fruits, sulphites, is linked to asthma (preservative 220 – 228). This rang alarm bells for me, as I know I’m a bit ‘funny’ with sulphites – the preservative found in wine – more than two glasses and I have trouble sleeping and my heart starts racing. I knew I was onto something!
According to the Food Intolerance Network one dried apricot can contain 16mg of sulphites.
The acceptable daily intake for a 10 year old is 15mg – just ONE dried apricot!
My little boy (only 1 1/2yrs at the time) ate an entire packet over a weekend – it was no wonder he ended up in hospital with respiratory distress!
We thought we had chosen a ‘relatively’ healthy snack for our son, but in effect had exposed him to high quantities of an asthma inducing preservative, one he is obviously sensitive to. I was determined to find out more. I downloaded the chemical maze app – an amazing resource to have with you whilst shopping. Initially, what alarmed me the most was the number of toddler foods you can buy in the supermarket (12 + months) that have additives that are prohibited in food for infants. I know a lot of mums who use that age as a rough guide as to how well their child is eating, not even considering the fact their little bodies may not be able to cope with the chemicals in the food itself. Even more disturbing were the amount of additives I came across in our everyday foods that can be detrimental to our health. Now, I thought we were a relatively healthy family, but we had fallen into the trap of buying convenience, processed foods. I found this all quite overwhelming and with a bit more searching, came across the Additive Free pantry guide – a fantastic resource to take shopping with me. Often, finding an additive free alternative is as easy as changing a brand. This was and still is an invaluable guide to inform our additive free purchases.
From there our journey has evolved from additive free foods, to whole foods, cutting out refined sugars and increasing our healthy fat intake, reducing our chemical use in the home and in skin care products. Through some health issues of my own I have discovered I have a dairy, wheat and oats intolerance so that has also become part of my journey, and so a lot of recipes I feature and develop are gluten and dairy free. My son and husband still eat dairy, full fat all the way! An excellent book to read if you are beginning your whole food journey and would like some direction is ‘Changing Habits Changing Lives‘ By Cyndi O’Meara. A brilliant book that helped me tremendously as it can be quite overwhelming when you start to look into things!
My biggest piece of advice to you is to MAKE SMALL, SUSTAINABLE CHANGES. That’s why most diets don’t work – they can’t be sustained long term! You won’t find fad diets here, just REAL, WHOLE FOODS.
With the rates of autoimmune diseases, allergies, Autism, ADHD, cancers, diabetes continuing to rise – I don’t want to become a statistic, and I want more for my son and the next generation. We need to get back to eating whole foods and help turn the tide on the rise of these diseases. I want to be healthy and have energy to run around with my son. I want to know I am nourishing him with real, whole foods. I want to teach my son about foods and how to cook and make healthy choices.
If you too would like more information on additives, learn how to convert your pantry to be additive/preservative free; ideas for meals, school lunches, birthday parties, how-to guides plus plenty more then you must check out ‘Additive Free Made Easy‘ – a four week e-course by SIstermixin’. Next round begins 18 July and Early Bird Pricing closes soon!
I hope to share information I have discovered along the way so that you too can be empowered to make some healthy, natural changes in your lives. I still have a lot to learn, and a lot to change!
Tell me a little about yourself….where are you at in your journey to better health?