Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Girls Gone Healthy

It all started with a stroll around the farmers market in Austin. I was just walking around oohing and awing over all the awesome stuff there when I heard a woman start talking about the Unhealthy Truth. Come to find out she was the author of the book, Robyn O'Brien. From then on...I've never been the same.

This book is scary, and empowering all at the same time. Robin started her journey when her daughter had an allergic reaction to eggs. She states that she soon learned that 90% of all food allergies are triggered by proteins in eight foods: eggs, cows milk, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, tree nuts and shellfish. She began researching to find out how she could protect her family from these allergies.

She discovered many terrifying facts, but the one that caught my attention was the alarming rate in which our childhood food allergies to peanuts have increased. The US has seen a 400% increase in the last 20 years.

Rewind about one year...
One morning, Lyssa, our daughter woke us up to what took us about 45 seconds to even realize who she was. Unrecognizable. The most scared Aaron and I have ever been. Her face was swollen about the size of a basketball, she couldn't open her eyes, tears streaming down her face. Makes my stomach nauseated just thinking about her like that. Aaron jumps up and rushes her in a complete panic to the dr. office. They are sent home with nothing more than, she is allergic to something. Did you change your laundry detergent they asked. REALLY??? After four days of worrying what was next, the swelling started to go down and things were starting to look normal. I feel like I have good instincts about things, especially when it comes to my children. I didn't feel right about this. I new it was more than just a one time allergic reaction. Something more was going on.

So, after hearing her talk briefly about the research she had done, it sent me into a whole nother world. I became obsessed and irate. Book after book, article after article. All this time I thought I was feeding my children healthy food, I was doing the opposite. The foods my children were eating were covered in pesticides. Some foods had even been genetically modified. It wasn't even food anymore. Could I have been the reason for my daughters awful breakout? Well, after going through many, many test they did in fact tell us that she is highly allergic to peanuts.

So, just as Robin explains in her book, we now do in our home. We have and 80/20 rule. 80% of the time we eat food free of additives, MSG, preservatives, artificial color, and pesticides. The other 20% of the time, we get a free pass. For instance, birthday parties, holidays, going out to eat, or staying at a friends house. I have learned to be very happy with this way of life, and it works good for us.

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