Why Defiantly Good?
For two reasons…well three if you count that I love irony, but we’ll go with two REAL reasons: 1) because my son’s defiance is what led me to research food and 2) because I’m breaking the Standard American Diet food rules and societal norms to find health and weight loss.
Let me explain…
Reason 1: My Son, Kyle.
Kyle is an amazing child who is very smart, charming, and funny. He might also be labeled by some as having ADHD. (After lots of reading and thinking, I think this label is irrelevant and detrimental in many ways…a topic for another day, perhaps.) His symptoms are defiance, impulsivity, questioning why he should just do what everyone else is doing, marching to the beat of his own drum and refusing to let others box him in. He never leaves the house with every piece of clothing he should have on and many times we have arrived somewhere only to discover he has no shoes. He is an out-of-the-box thinker…very creative. There are far too few people who are brilliant thinkers in this world and I didn’t want to take the wind from his sails. At the same time it’s very difficult to live with someone who needs constant reminders, is very impulsive, has no sense of time, executive functioning, and seems to lack common sense. I love that he marches to his own beat, but I know that in life one sometimes has to appreciate and follow another’s beat.
I did a lot of research, and I’m still learning everyday. I discovered that a lack of dopamine can cause ADHD symptoms.
If levels of dopamine or norepinephrine are too low, or if the system that processes these neurotransmitters is not functioning properly, a person may act impulsively because this behavior gives them a little dopamine rush.
But what causes the chemical imbalance in the first place? Brain chemicals come from food. This seems so obvious, but many doctors don’t think about the connection. Doctors are trained to think about which medications might correct the imbalance, not what causes it in the first place.
Which foods does your body need to make these important chemicals?
Dopamine and norepinephrine are made from protein…specifically amino acids. The body breaks down proteins in foods like fish, chicken, and beef, into amino acids, and one of these amino acids is called tyrosine. The body then uses special chemical reactions to turn tyrosine into the dopamine and norepinephrine brain cells need to communicate with each other: Therefore, those not getting enough protein (especially at breakfast), may have difficulty concentrating.
I noticed a huge difference in my son when he eats plenty of protein and less sugar and simple carbs.
In addition to protein, I also began to look at artificial food additives such as food colors, preservatives, and artificial flavorings. These all can also cause ADHD like symptoms. The Feingold Diet is all about removing these items in addition to certain foods containing Salicylates. Our family has removed all artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives from our diets and the kids have very limited salicylates. As a result, what I call the “Real Kyle” has emerged. The formerly defiant child was actually the result of ‘reacting’ to the chemicals in his food. After several months on Feingold, we reached a stable place where he was himself…kind, easy-going, helpful…For once, he didn’t shriek and throw himself on the floor in a fit if I asked him to do a simple favor or said no to a request. Instead, it was, “Okay, Mom.” You could have knocked me over with a feather the first time that happened! We still have inadvertent slip-ups sometimes. Chemicals are so pervasive in the American food supply! And sometimes he reacts to something new we thought was safe. Several weeks after we had the Real Kyle back, he went to a friend’s house and ate Pomegranate which is high in salicylates, but it doesn’t cause a problem for many with salicylate sensitivity. It was a night and day difference and we had no doubt the devil had not possessed our child as it may have seemed, but that he was having a reaction to the salicylates in the Pomegranate. The reaction lasted a week. If we had not become accustomed to the stable serenity for the few weeks prior to the “Horrible Pomegranate Incident of 2015” we may have thought it was just Kyle having another bad day. But we had seen the light…we had our son back. He is still brilliant, he still marches to his own beat, but the impulsivity and defiance over every single little thing for no reason is in the past. It’s a bit of work to find clean ingredients for our family to eat everyday, but having the Real Kyle is worth every bit of effort! He is my defiantly good food inspiration!
And the second reason for starting Defiantly Good Food is that eating the way we do (gluten-free, artificial free, high protein, low carb and NOT LOW FAT) goes against everything the food industry has been telling us for the last 30-40 years. We are rebelling against the food makers who have ruined our food supply with their synthetic petroleum-based chemical-laden, processed, low fat food, which has only made us fatter and sicker than ever! As a result of this defiance, we are reclaiming our health, happiness and leaner bodies. Who’s with me?