Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Preventative Discipline through Nutrition

Unfortunately, I don't remember what she was eating here.

Yesterday I talked about lifestyle. Today is nutrition. I have adopted these nutritional changes in both Margaret's and my diet. I figured if it helped her mood, it would probably help mine too.

High-Protein Breakfast
I mentioned this before, but I'll mention it again. Protein helps keep your blood sugar levels steady longer. Less jumps and dips in blood sugar means less mood swings for both me and Margaret. Lately, we have been having eggs, but we've also done peanut butter on toast, cottage cheese, or yogurt. For green smoothies, I've heard that adding a protein powder helps. When I was doing green smoothies, I got hungry so quickly- I wonder if protein would have helped me stay full longer. Quinoa also have lots of protein if you're looking for a cereal with protein. I'm going to try it in the future.

Eliminating Red #40
I've already witnessed how Red #40 makes me mood swingy and irritable. It turns me into the Mommy from Hell. Since it has such an influence on me, I've decided not to allow Margaret to have it either. Also, eliminating Red #40 eliminates a lot of sugary foods in our diets which also helps with mood swings.

High Fructose Corn Syrup
With HFCS I worry about its affect in our bodies. I am also concerned with the fact that items with HFCS have a good chance of containing mercury. When we do have sugar, it's real sugar, not HFCS and not fake sugar substitutes like sucrolose. This means I have to make all our sweets from scratch- which is a lot of work but in turn means we don't have it too often. I'm trying to use other sugar alternatives like honey, but I'm not really a fan of it. I'm open to sugar suggestions, though!

Gluten, Allergies
We haven't removed gluten from our diets because all of the above seem to keep us pretty mellow. It does show up as a tantrum-prevention suggestion in mom-circles regularly, though. I'd consider this or other allergies if the above suggestions weren't enough for us.

Of course these ideas won't prevent all tantrums, so tomorrow I'll talk about what I do in the moment for tantrums.

Are there other things you've done nutritionally with your kids to improve their mood?


  1. Have you checked out Xylitol? I know, sounds like a artificial sweetner...but it's not. It's great for diabetics because it doesn't negatively effect blood sugar and it is actually GOOD for your teeth. I brush my daughter's teeth with pure xylitol and it's actually healed the beginnings of cavities in the past.

    Just thought I'd share :)

  2. Our family doctor recommends using unsweetened apple juice as a sweetener. I haven't personally tried it, but he sells a cookbook in his office filled with recipes using very healthy ingredients.

    I think many people underestimate the power of good nutrition. So many people load their kids up on sugar and caffeine and then they wonder why they have a hyperactive child!

  3. Stevia is another natural sweetener. But, I don't like it. I have baked with brown rice syrup before, too. But I mostly just use sugar in the raw or honey. I also like to use a flour blend when I bake. That way you're getting the fiber and protein from wheat germ and whole wheat, but the little bit of white flour (unbleached, of course) keeps things from turning into bricks!

    As for things to avoid, I tend to avoid MSG like the plague. And hydrogenated oils. And dairy. We try not to eat too much dairy, which means small amounts of yogurt/cheese/cottage cheese. But hardly ever any milk or cream. We use almond/rice milk instead! I've heard gluten and dairy are good to experimentally eliminate... And depending on the child's behavior (autism for example), orange/yellow foods are also good to avoid.

    As for what else to make in the morning that's high in protein, we like protein smoothies! And quiche. Yum! Try almond butter in place of peanut butter (get the crunchy almond butter, though). It's better for you, since peanuts tend to be toxic. Oh, and I'm careful with my soy intake, too.

    Ok, enough nutrition talk! If there's one thing to get me started, it's food. *B

  4. Make sure you are getting enough vitamins and minerals too. I can tell the difference in my mood and dd's when our body is starving for something. Lots of different things can be related to specific nutrient deficiencies. Low magnesium can cause nursers to twiddle alot, low biotin can cause cradle cap etc. This is a good site to see which foods are highest in certain nutrients:
    We still use some supplements, but eventually we will make the transition to food only.

  5. Atheist Mama- I'll check it out. I've been thinking of going to baking soda for teeth brushing. I'll look into xylitol.

    Summers Camp- Yeah I forgot about MSG and stuff. It's been so long since we've used pre-packaged food I forgot they add it in! We've also cut down our dairy A LOT. We used to go through 1-2 gallons of milk a week. Now it's like 2 gallons a month- mostly for cooking. I have a friend whose son is on the autistic spectrum, but when he doesn't have gluten, he shows no signs of it. It's very varied.

    Joy- I totally need that reminder. I always figure Margaret gets breastmilk for more than half of her nutrition and don't think about supplements and such. I need to make sure I'm getting enough so my breastmilk is at its peak.

    And all this food talk reminds me that I need to review some more recipes! I've cooked a few more, but I haven't blogged about them! Alas!

  6. Agave is a great sweetner and can be evenly exchanged with sugar in most recipes. I loove stevia for iced tea.

  7. I like stevia in soda water with fresh lemon. Pure maple syrup is my favorite sweetener, and it's actually good for you, but it's expensive, so I rarely use it in baking. Raw sugar is a good alternative to refined sugar. I've heard honey to be both good and bad, so if you're not really into it, don't bother with it. I haven't tried it but agave syrup is supposed to be good for you. I like Xylitol, too, but I only used it when I was on a special diet. I think the best thing to do is to stay away from the HFCS, limit white sugar, and limit sweets in general.

    Aside from the sugar issue...I definitely believe eating a variety of whole foods is best, focusing on foods that come from plants. I try to get protein into our breastfast, too.

  8. If you're looking to try Agave, Costco has a two pack of Wholesome Sweetners organic Agave for around $7 - $8, which is a stellar price. It's a lot lighter tasting than honey, and has a very low glycemic Index.

  9. I use lots of different natural sweeteners depending on what I'm making. In my spelt, kamut, brown rice bread I use xagave, (which you need to make sure you get from a good source, sometimes they add HFCS in mexico where it comes from)Xagave is good becuase it contains both calcium and inulin and has a lower glycemic index than honey. I get mine from the Bosch store in Orem. I use raw honey in some baking also because it's cheaper. I have used fruit juice concentrate in many recipes (but really frozen fruit juice is just flavored sugar water according to Dr. Cutler because of the process it goes through to become concentrate.) I think fresh squeezed juice would be even better.
    Flavored Stevia liquids are my favorite for plain yogurt, oatmeal, quinoa or any other breakfast hot cereal. I use a little English Toffee, or Vanilla Creme stevia and YUMMY. If you ever want to get some I can get a good deal (it is really expensive in the stores $11-$15, so I created an account with the company. I have to make large orders (at least $75)but can get it for $8 or $9 per bottle so I am always trying to find others that may want product so that everyone can save.
    Xylitol is good, but can give you intestinal issues if used to much and your not used to it. It is great for gum and mints because it actually helps your teeth. My son loves the berry and lemon xylitol mints I get him.
    Wow, that was alot of info. This is something I am quite passionate about.


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