Garbage In, Garbage Out…..

Happy Sunday, Thinkers & Revolutionaries!  Poppy here….wanted to talk to you about something we all love….FOOD.  Food has always been a huge part of my life.  REAL food.  Nothing super fancy or five star….just good old fashioned Grandma’s cooking, from market to table the same day.   As a kid, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents from “The Other Side” (Ireland).  Every night, with the exception of a rare Chinese Food Take Out treat, there was a home cooked meal on the table.   A protein, a veggie, and a starch (usually potatoes, of course!).  Fish on Friday, no exceptions.   Even if you didn’t like it, you ate it because there were poor kids starving in Biafra! (BTW – offering to send your liver and peas to the poor children of Biafra….not a good idea).  Food was sustenance but it was to be respected.  You cleaned your plate.  It was prepared with love, and you were fortunate to have a good, hot meal.  Enjoy it.  Appreciate it.  Respect it. Savor it.  When most kids were watching Saturday cartoons, I would tune into PBS and spend the afternoon with my Nana, The Frugal Gourmet, The French Chef, and Yan Can Cook, fascinated with how they could take a few simple ingredients and turn it into a delicious masterpiece.

Our society has lost that respect for REAL food.  GMO’s, over-processing, and commercial methods have turned farms into factories and food into a Big Business.  High fructose corn syrup, artificial food coloring, and chemical preservatives fill ingredient labels.   Meal preparation has morphed into pulling something from the freezer, nuking in the microwave, and eating in front of the TV.  We really have lost our way.

Autism opened my eyes.  What my children eat drastically impact their health and behavior.  Something as innocent as a cookie or piece of cheese can send my children into a tailspin.  My boys, like so many children on the spectrum, suffer from food sensitivities and are unable to eat gluten, casein, soy, or oats.  We now eat organic and use no artificial coloring, preservatives, or flavors.  I have dedicated myself to learning as much as I can about preparing nutritious, clean, delicious food for my kids.  I’ve spent countless hours on blogs, reading books, and testing recipes.

Yes, it’s hard.  Yes, it’s expensive.  Yes, it’s time consuming and labor intensive.

****NEWSFLASH****  AUTISM is harder.  

But let me tell you something, it’s ALL worth it.  It gave my boy his voice.  Before I started “The Diet” my Small Son was 3 ½ years old, made three sounds to get his needs met, and spent the rest of his day screaming bloody murder.   November 16, 2009 we went Cold Turkey. I dropped all gluten and casein from their diets.

It. Was. Hell.

Protests, hunger strikes, meltdowns, gagging, puking, and many dinners that ended with sobbing on the kitchen floor (ahem….me…not the kids).  They were literally kicking junk.   It would have been so easy to just give them a pizza and call it a day.  But I held my ground.  From witnessing the reaction, I knew it was doing something.  I just couldn’t give in, no matter how hard it was.

And then it happened….

Thanksgiving 2009, Small Son looked at the turkey resting on the counter, pointed, turned to me and said “Big shishen”.  You could hear my jaw hit the floor.  “YEAH DUDE!!!!  That IS a big chicken!!”  IT WAS WORKING!!! Sentences grew.  Vocabulary increased.  Health improved.   His focus increased.  Fast forward to January 2012 and Small Son, now five is a complete chatter box!  He’s got opinions and he isn’t afraid to use them.   He even got in trouble at school for using the mother of all curse words, in appropriate context.   I’m so proud! 😉  Considering I was told he may not speak, I’ll take an F Bomb as a Win.

Take home point:  We really ARE what we eat.  Eliminate the allergens.  Detoxify your kitchens.  Search out local organic farms.  Get friends together and start a co-op.  Find the cleanest food and water you can.  Take an afternoon and a nice bottle of wine, turn up the radio and cook for the week.  Put some love in that food.  READ ALL LABELS….AND STICK WITH IT! We need to get back to the days of respecting food.  Our health depends on it.  If Grandma can’t pronounce it, you shouldn’t be eating it.

Now, get cooking!!

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25 Responses to Garbage In, Garbage Out…..

  1. noahspins says:

    Poppy. I wan to live in your house. Thank you for this amazing post! XO lj

  2. Amy says:

    Poppy- you rock and are a great mom! It is so hard to feed our kids “real food” because our society makes it too expensive and too hard to find- thats unbelievable to me! I’m with you though- it’s worth the expense and the time. Keep up the great work.. I hope u hear more F bombs ( not really but you know what I mean- more words period). Hugs- Amy in Chicago

  3. Denise Bergh says:

    I would love to see a post of the one day cooking prep. I need to be better about preparing in advance so I am not running around like a chicken with its head cut off during the week.

  4. Kristin says:

    Thanks for the post! Completely agree!

  5. AgAngel4Autism says:

    Just what I needed to hear this fine Sunday morning! We’ve allowed a few organic “processed” items back into our life due to the holidays and just yesterday I was reading the article about the brown rice/arsenic issues and said “Today is the day we go back to the original game plan!” My sons also spoke miraculously after dietary intervention 3 years ago, more on organic/unprocessed than GFCF, which we are on as well. Lately they have been back to major tantrums, major bm’s, insomnia, spinning, and standing on their heads. *Sigh*, are we ever going to be able to give our children treats? I can never give in. They are too sensitive. I must now go and find my trusty wooden spoon and mixing bowl …………

  6. Pingback: Thinking Mom’s Revolution | Gianelloni Family

  7. aefountain says:

    One of my concerns when I was about to become a single-mom, was how I was going to cook for my kids. Up until that point, I had been told I couldn’t cook, so I no longer even tried. I mean seriously, I was told how to cook a grilled cheese sandwich at one point.
    Since we moved into an apartment, I had a tiny fridge and freezer, so I couldn’t keep boxed food.
    I started to cook from scratch.
    I remember the following spring, a year after we moved in, my kids hadn’t been sick that winter. How on earth did I get through an entire winter and neither of my kids had a flu or a cold?
    Then I realized I had been cooking from scratch. That and the stress was not so much.
    Two very powerful things that changed our health.
    Since then, I have merged two families, with a total of 4 boys. My two step-sons had even worse eating habits, one which only ate chicken fingers and french fries, or bread.
    We have come along way and I see the results in all 4 boys and my husband and I.
    I am in Canada, but in the States, which is an hours drive away, crap food is cheap and that is much why, we have the problems we do.

  8. Buzz says:

    You rock fellow mother warrior. Let’s do this….. xoxo

  9. Mik says:

    Great post. We’ve been on GFCFSF -additives, flavors etc for almost two years but still my 5-yr-old is mostly non-verbal (with few verbal moments that send me to heaven). What do you mean when you say detoxify your kitchen? Any website or suggestion? We bought a EPA filter and don’t use chemicals to wash/clean (only baking soda and vinegar). Any other advice to detoxify? xoxoxo

  10. Shimmersam says:

    LOVE!!! and yes we were told at 31/2 our son would prob never speak again. He’s ten now, a chatter box(that many psychs want to re-diagnose as ADHD) And he uses the “power words” too in perfect context. We have come from that dark place of no speech, no eye contact, where he seemed lost in this world. If you ask him he says thats when his body wouldnt let him be with us. He tells us his brain is itchy whatever that means. Diet is so crucial to healing these kids. xxxx

  11. Sugah says:

    Poppy, you are the bomb!

  12. Pingback: Feb 19, 2012: Poppy is poppin’ in…FOOD! | The Daily Grind at The Thinking Mom's Revolution

  13. Pingback: Q&A: Giving GFCF Another Shot! | Spectrum Mum in Malaysia

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