The Healthy Eating Program that Changed Our Kids’ Behavior and Improved Their Health

About six months ago, I decided to explore a new eating program, and I encouraged my husband Tom to join me. I had been reading about the “Primal Food Movement,” which is also referred to as “Paleo” eating, and I wanted to see if it would make a difference in our energy level and our overall health.

There wasn’t that much difference between The PureBalance 80/20 Food Guidelines and the Paleo program. Our diet consisted of eating lots of green vegetables; healthy fats; grass-fed, antibiotic- and hormone-free beef; free-range chicken, and wild caught fish. We also consumed limited amounts of sprouted or gluten-free grains; fruits, such as berries, and whole milk dairy products. The major change between “Paleo” and our eating program was the elimination of grains and legumes.

To tell you the truth, Tom and I already ate limited amounts of grains and legumes, so the difference we experienced wasn’t as noticeable as I had hoped. However, when I started preparing “Paleo” and gluten-free dinners for the entire family, I began to notice changes in our children’s health and behavior. And, even more important, the kids noticed the changes, too!

Since I began modifying our weeknight dinner menu, the Bayne kids have become more focused at school and more compliant at home when asked to do something. The tummy aches that used to plague them ceased. And best of all, they slept better.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids aren’t perfect and their diet isn’t “100 percent clean.” They still enjoy eating special lunches at school or eating pizza with friends on the weekends. But what I learned is that even a moderate change can make a tremendous difference in their overall health and well-being.

As a physician, I am acutely aware of the connection between diet, health and behavior. I’ve had parents seek my advice about how they can restore their child’s immune system or alleviate symptoms of Attention Deficit Disorder or Hyperactivity without pharmaceutical drugs. Based on the results of my family’s experience, I am now even more firmly convinced that all health challenges begin and end with food, and even small changes can make a difference.

The Paleolithic Eating Program

There are numerous books and websites devoted to “Paleo” eating. Paleo is short for Paleolithic (as in our hunter-gatherer ancestors). The core principle of the Paleo program is eating real, whole food. This includes high-quality proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats.

What I love most about preparing dinners based on this program is the simplicity. When I say it’s simple, here are the basics:

  • Eat lots of vegetables and limited amount of fruits
  • Eat grass-fed meats, free-range chicken, wild-caught fish and seafood
  • Choose healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, butter and ghee
  • Eat raw nuts and seeds
  • Avoid all processed, refined and modern foods
  • Eliminate grains and legumes, especially gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye.
  • Avoid dairy products or only consume whole fat dairy and/or fermented form
  • Avoid all processed and refined sugars (Yes, this is difficult!)

When making Paleo eating a way of life, it also can lead to long-term health benefits for the entire family.

Why is this eating program so dramatically effective for children (and adults)?

When eating a diet high in processed foods or grains, neither the brain nor the body receive the nutrients necessary for normal function. Eating too many grains can lead to erratic spikes in blood sugar, causing a foggy brain, fatigue, and muscular weakness. Over time, this leads to inflammation (pain), and the potential to develop blood sugar imbalances, ranging from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) to hyperglycemia (diabetes). Hypoglycemic kids tend to do poorly in school; can be hyperactive; experience inordinate fatigue, and suffer from mood swings or outbursts of anger.

Are the Bayne Kids 100 percent onboard with the program? Believe me, like all children it’s hard to resist the pull of eating goodies with friends when away from home. But I have encouraged them to seek out gluten-free options whenever possible, which helps them develop responsible habits for what they’re eating, as well as become more aware of what they need to do for their own health and well-being.

A Plan of Action for Working or Busy Moms

I’m a working (and busy) mom, too. My children are involved in after-school activities and extracurricular sports. So I had to find an eating program that was going to fit my family’s lifestyle. In the beginning, the biggest challenge was what to feed them for breakfast. I decided that eating protein in the morning was essential. So breakfast in our household consists of a combination of the following options:

  • Eggs
  • Waffles or pancakes made from coconut flour or almond flour (I pre-make and freeze them)
  • Banana bread made with coconut or almond flour
  • Whole-milk or Greek yogurt with berries and nuts
  • Smoothies made with whey protein and berries (organic and frozen)

In addition, all snacks are baked with either coconut or almond flour, I have completely eliminated regular flour from my pantry.

My children still love grains. When I serve them at home, our family only eats gluten-free grains: quinoa, brown or black rice, millet, amaranth, or steel-cut oats. The grains are always soaked overnight (sprouted) before cooking.

The keys to successfully making any change are information, organization and preparation. But rather than give you a checklist, I want to demonstrate the simplicity of making this lifestyle change during a free food preparation and cooking class.

Will you be the lucky winner?

Mark your calendar today for the free Paleo Food Preparation and Cooking Class on Wednesday March 5, 2014, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at PureBalance Natural Family Healthcare Center. This free class, which I will teach, is an introduction to the Paleo eating program, and will include details about getting started; a checklist for getting organized; a shopping list of what to buy; and directions for preparing a simple breakfast, lunch and dinner for people with limited time. You’ll also get to sample the yummy results and take home a few recipes.

One cooking class participant will be eligible to win a 7-day, Paleo dinner menu, which will be designed especially for your family. You must be present to win, and you’ll get to share your family’s story in next month’s newsletter.

Because space is limited, reservations are required. Learn how the simplest of changes can yield big results for your family’s health and well-being. Sign up today: (224) 521-1212.

 


Steps to Create Lasting Changes

“Every thought we think, every word we speak is creating our future.”

--Louise Hay

With the New Year just around the corner, many people are beginning to think about their annual list of New Year’s Resolutions. You know the list – change the diet, exercise more, drink less, quit smoking, save more money, be kind to the in-laws, etc. For some of us, the effort to change rarely lasts longer than 30 days. However, we want to help you stay on track with your goals by providing specific steps you can take to create lasting changes in 2013.

Dr. Joe Dispenza (www.drjoedispenza.com) is a leading brain and change expert, as well as author of several best-selling books, including Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself . Dr. Dispenza’s research has shown that the “brain is the organ of change.” When we learn even one new bit of information, he writes, tiny brain cells make new connections within the brain, a concept in neuroscience referred to as neuroplasticity. To make lasting change, Dr. Dispenza says, “we have to mentally rehearse daily what it would be like to experience the transformation” so that the internal changes necessary to achieve the goals can take place.

One of the most effective ways to create lasting change is to “mentally rehearse” using daily affirmations.

What are Affirmations?

Scientists have now been able to demonstrate that there’s a direct link between our thoughts and our physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. Thoughts are a form of energy. Every thought you have has either a high vibration of energy (positive thoughts) or a low vibration of energy (negative thoughts). Affirmations are a conscious effort to positively reprogram the subconscious mind (storehouse of thoughts, feelings and beliefs) in order to create lasting change.

Affirmations are positive, present tense statements, which specifically detail what you intend to create in your life. Writing down an affirmation is like planting a seed within the subconscious mind; saying the affirmation aloud is akin to watering it. Change begins to blossom and then flourish in your life. You know an affirmation is effective if it resonates with your heart and gives you goose bumps when you read it or say it aloud.

Tips for Creating Effective Affirmations

The key to creating effective affirmations is beginning with an “attitude of gratitude” for everything that happens. That may be the toughest pill to swallow. However, the truth is every experience we have, both positive and negative, makes us grow. When we respond to every aspect of life with appreciation we open our hearts to all possibilities, and are open to learning the value of everything that happens to us.

You don’t necessarily have to believe your affirmation is possible. But by taking these extra steps, you can expedite change:

  • Set an intention: Make sure your affirmation is simple and clear, and includes action words, such as, “I will….” Instead of “I want….”
  • Be emotionally connected to the outcome: It’s important that you have an emotional connection to the affirmation – that you feel it in your heart when you read it or say it aloud. As Dr. Dispenza writes, fostering new brain cells creates the internal change necessary to support the external change.
  • Be ready to change: It’s hard to lose weight, for example, if you’re doing it because you “should” rather than because you’re passionate about having vibrant health.
  • Repeat the affirmation daily: Best-selling author, metaphysical teacher and healer Louise Hay persistently used affirmations and was able to heal from cancer. When reciting affirmations, she recommends looking in the mirror and gazing deeply into your own eyes.
  • Imagine the future:  Envision the outcome in your mind’s eye whenever you recite the affirmation. With gratitude, act as if your goal has already been achieved.

Write Your 2013 Affirmations:

  1. Begin with “I am happy and grateful for…
  2. State your affirmation as if it is already reality.
  3. Affirm what you want, rather than what you don't want. For example: "I am no longer sick,” or “I am no longer in debt.” Instead, affirm: "I am happy and grateful for the perfect health in body, mind and spirit that I am experiencing now,“ or “I am happy and grateful for the financial abundance I am experiencing now.” These statements reinforce your desired goal without confusing your subconscious mind with the mention of your current condition.

We look forward to continuing to support you in your efforts to create vibrant health and well-being in 2013!