As I sat in my lounge room chair with tears streaming down my face, I knew something had to change. I had a new born baby, that screamed constantly, and a three year old daughter, who’s behaviour was out of control… It was the toughest time of my life and I remember thinking to myself “I did not sign up for this!” I was depressed, overweight, tired and didn’t know what to do. I felt helpless and like I was failing at my life and failing as a mother. This was not what I had imagined, nor what I wanted…
As many of you know, this is a blog focusing on additive and preservative free eating, but you may not know why… Why are we so passionate about chemicals in today’s food? (or ‘food like’ products, as we often call them)…
We have my daughter to thank for it all, she changed our path forever and I thank her for it every single day.
What I’m about to share with you is very hard for me. I was very good at hiding what was going on in my house and I was embarrassed by the behaviour of my daughter. I tried to be strict, I tried to teach her right from wrong, but it just didn’t seem to work. I couldn’t work out what I was doing wrong. Other mums would tell their kids no and they would stop, not Eva, she just did it anyway.
My life was upside down, I hadn’t slept for weeks and I was starting to see things I shouldn’t have been seeing. My brand new little baby had a body full of eczema, diarrhea, constant tummy pain and cried – A LOT! The doctors thought he may have had reflux, but the reflux medication didn’t help, he just kept getting worse.
My husband had gone away for work and I had no one to help me, I hadn’t slept more than three hours in three days and my vision was blurry, it was hideous. I’ll never forget sitting in my arm chair and just crying. I’d hit rock bottom. I called my husband and said “you need to come home, I can’t do this anymore”. Thankfully, he got in the car and drove home from Sydney, back to Brisbane, immediately. He knew that I needed him. As it turned out, my son was lactose intolerant.
Eva, now she’s a whole new topic. At the time she had just turned three. Her behaviour was not that of a ‘normal’ three year old. I have formal qualifications in early years teaching and have worked in the industry for a decade, and as much as I hate that word ‘normal’ I knew something wasn’t right.
Her cognitive, literacy and numerous skills were brilliant, I wasn’t worried about her academically. She was reaching all those milestones with ease, it was her behaviour that concerned me the most.
She was hitting, biting and scratching. She couldn’t sit still, not even for a few minutes and she wasn’t sleeping well. She would have tantrums that seemed to go on forever, until she would curl up in a ball and rock herself back and forth. On other occasions she would fall asleep, through pure exhaustion.
Her behaviour got so bad that we stopped going to play dates, the park (because she’d constantly run off), the shops (this would result in a massive tantrum, every single time), we could never go to the movies, or enjoy simple things like going on a picnic. The behaviour just wasn’t worth the trip.
She was removed from two day care centres because of her biting and there was nothing, I repeat NOTHING we did, as parents, that would stop her from biting. As a parent, trust me, it’s horrific! We tried everything, I mean everything!
Not only was Eva’s world out of control, she was always sick. She had chronic repeated tonsillitis, ear infections, bronchitis, bronchial asthma, pneumonia and was constantly on antibiotics. She always had a cold and red rosy cheeks, I just put it down to being at ‘day care’ – so did my GP. They told me it was normal for children in daycare to go on antibiotics at least six times a year. She had her tonsils and adenoids removed before she was two. That was horrible.
I knew something had to change.
I booked Eva into a clinic to get her tested for ADHD and there was a five month wait list. I remember thinking to myself “how on earth are we going to get through the next five months” but I booked her in anyway and thought we’ll just have to manage. I felt defeated, deflated and like a failure, surely I was doing something wrong! This wasn’t meant to happen to us! It’s my job as her mum to protect her and there was nothing left for me to do. I honestly thought this was the best chance for her but I cried for days. Medication was not something I wanted to do, I remember thinking “there has to be a better way” I just didn’t know what! I knew the doctors would put her on medication and I kept saying to my husband “I don’t want her to go on it!”.
I heard three numbers which changed our lives forever. Those numbers were 102, and I have Lisa Corduff to thank for it. She had mentioned that it’s the colour yellow and she doesn’t give it to her kids. She said that it can cause behavioural issues and my ears pricked up. I went home and I googled 102 and was shocked and horrified by what it said.
I then spent hours and hours googling, I couldn’t believe what I was reading! How could this be in our food!!!??? After countless hours of research I printed out this huge list of numbers and the corresponding side effects they caused. I showed my husband and we went to the fridge and pantry and threw in the bin everything that contained a concerning number.
In what felt like overnight Eva’s behaviour changed.
She stopped having those massive meltdowns. Her tantrums stopped and I was able to talk to her and reason with her – this is something I could never do in the past.
She started sleeping better, she stopped waking up in the night complaining of a tummy ache.
She stopped getting so sick! She stopped getting infections, colds, virus’s and picking up every little germ.
She started listening!
She stopped throwing things in frustration, stopped scratching and the best part, she stopped biting . This was MASSIVE!
People started asking me what I was doing as they’d noticed a change in her. It was a miracle and a dream come true. I had my beautiful little girl back and I was so, so, so proud!
Going additive free has changed our lives, Eva deserves this, she deserves to be happy and healthy. The hard work is worth it, she is worth it. We are worth it.
If you’d like to know more about additives and preservatives we’ve built an e-course called Additive Free Made Easy. It’s a course that I personally wish was out there when we started this journey. You’ll learn everything you need to know to get you started and you’ll be supported and loved, you’ll never have to feel alone, ever again!
We’d love for you to check it out www.additivefreemadeeasy.com – it will change the way you look at food (in a very positive way!).
Thank you for reading and listening to our story. I am here to help. I hope our journey has inspired you.
Jo & Eva xxx