It started a few years ago when my little sister (Jo) would call me and tell me about her day. We would talk about all sorts of things, as sisters do, but mostly Jo would ask for advice. Advice about her daughter (my niece), who, at the time, was around three years old. Jo would (almost) be in tears while telling me about Eva, she was trying to reach out for help and I had no idea (we live in different states so it was hard for me to understand the effects of what was happening with Eva).
I would say stuff like – she will grow out of it, it is normal behaviour, wait till they are teenagers then you will really know what tantrums are…
But as time went on, I began to realise that the behaviour displayed by Miss Eva was not typical of a well adjusted three year old. She would not lie down for quiet time and watch a movie, she would not sit and listen to stories and when she was in a ‘mood’ she was not able to communicate with others around her.
I had to think back a bit (as my kids are a fair bit older), but I know, at the same age, my kids were able to do those things. They would sit and listen to stories all day if they could, they loved their quiet times in the afternoons and would happily watch The Wiggles for an hour or so. They were talking well, sleeping well and generally behaved (for the most part) in an acceptable way. Don’t get me wrong, they were not angels, and could ‘throw a whammy’ with the best of them, but I was able to reason with them.
As weeks went on I started to listen more and more to Jo, she had started eating a ‘bit different’. She was paying more and more attention to what she was feeding Eva, and she was starting to notice some real improvements. As skeptical as I was, I still listened, I was intrigued I guess.
The real crunch came after my eldest daughter started getting headaches. The sort that went on for days. The doctors just put it down to a viral thing and had no answers. I happened to mention to Jo one day, during one of our many phone calls, about this. Her first reaction was to ask me what they take to school in their lunchbox. Of course, I was thinking to myself “why the heck would that matter, she obviously has a brain tumor or something. What does her lunchbox have to do with anything?”
But I went along with it and described to Jo a typical lunch. BBQ Shapes was a staple. My daughter would take them every single day. Just like that, Jo was right onto it “Do you know what is in them; read me the ingredients on the packet”.
Umm ok, I’ll play along (all the while thinking my sister had gone cookoo). As I read out the ingredients, Jo was telling me what each one meant and the reactions that they can have. Needless to say that box went into the bin and we have not had them since.
But the biggest shock of all was that within a day, yes just one day, my daughter was no longer complaining of headaches. They had completely gone, just like magic – poof!
From that moment on I wanted to know more, I wanted to know what other things might affect our health.
I had no behavioural issues to worry about, but what did worry me was that the health of my family was being affected by the food I was feeding them. Some of the chemicals were linked to cancer, skin irritations, headaches, liver problems, thyroid issues and so much more….it was totally scary and I might have had a little freak out moment!
I have always baked and cooked and love being in the kitchen, but would also buy snacks, take-away and the occasional packet mix to compliment my cooking. Well not anymore!
I started changing our diet. Slowly, changing things in my pantry to organic or as natural as possible. We started growing more of our own fruits and veggies (just the easy stuff as I don’t have a green thumb at all). I already had a Thermomix, but had never really used this to its full potential (it now gets a regular workout).
Over time we had transitioned into (pretty much) an additive free family and no one really noticed, or cared. In fact, both kids were eating a larger range of things, their taste buds were changing and I was getting requests for soups, zucchini slice and fruit salads for school lunches (I often wonder if aliens came and took my kids and replaced them with ones happy to eat fruits and veggies – the verdict is still out).
I started paying closer attention to things – like mood swings. Why is the whole family is a bad mood – what had we eaten? Most of the time I can connect it to food (but of course there are times, with teenage girls, that I can’t, and this is generally once a month!)
It was like a light bulb had gone off, I realised that some of my health issues had gone away as well. I had suffered quite bad vertigo for a few years. Some of these attacks would have me bed ridden for nearly a whole week. I am proud to say that since going additive free I have not had an episode of vertigo at all.
Then there were other things I noticed, my hairdresser commented how healthy my hair was and asked if I was doing anything different – umm yes I was eating better. My nails were super strong and my skin was clear. I was sleeping better, I was eating better and I had lost a couple of kilos (#bonus).
As the months went on, I found it easier and easier and I realised:
- Jo was not totally ‘cookoo’ but was in-fact an inspiration,
- The more I learnt the more I wanted to know and
- That if I can make changes, anyone can.
I was the most skeptical person out there, but I will cross my heart and promise that eating additive free will change your life. This might be in a massive way (like Jo), or in a more subtle way (like me). But either way it will make a difference.
If you would like to know more about eating additive free click on this link.
It will totally change your life (I promise)