Who Does Your Diet Make You?

healthy choicesIn the May issue of Juicing Healthy Magazine, there is an article about a dear old friend of mine, Lisa, who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) last year.  Along with standard shots that are typically prescribed, her doctor guided her toward a strict diet that included juicing.  Lisa ran out to get a juicer that day and was feeling better in no time.

The article goes into greater detail about how she began to question her new strict diet and started eating 1 or 2 “forbidden” foods and then a couple more…. Over time she began to feel poorly again until one day she had to make the decision on how she is going to live.  For Lisa, the link between what she puts in her body and how her body functions is clear.

For those of us who do not have a debilitating or life threatening disease, the connection may not always be as easy to see.

Over the course of a few days and some “special” occasions, my son had a larger quantity of sugar than normal.  As anticipated, he was a little more bouncy at the time of fun and when the sugar high ran out, he’d become a cranky mess.  Most parents are painfully familiar with this sugar phenomenon 😉

It is easy to see how sugar overload affects our kids in the short term, but what about the long term?  Even hours after the sugar haze had lifted, my son was still not “right”.  His fears seemed to increase dramatically, his irrational thinking (not to be confused with imagination, but truly illogical thinking) was off the charts, he was exhausted, but couldn’t sit still to watch a TV show, he couldn’t hold a conversation for more than a few seconds, and his sleep was disruptive and plagued with nightmares.  The next morning, we had complaints of stomach pains (likely indigestion) and complete confusion about if he was hungry or what food he might be hungry for.  These behaviors were unusual or extreme for my active boy.

Sure enough, it took a little more than a day (mostly because of the sugary birthday treat for a classmate at school) to detox my son and bring him back to normal with clean healthy eating and smoothies.  He still runs, jumps, yells and has a short attention span, but it’s back in a normal range and I am able to look at him without a glassy look in his eyes. 🙂

How are these stories related?  My friend, Lisa is an adult who can notice and test the connection between what she eats and drinks to how she feels.  After her diagnosis with MS, she is acutely aware of how she is feeling and no longer dismisses feeling poorly on minor external factors.  My son, however, can not yet make the connection for himself.  If a food does not taste bad or make him sick immediately, he assumes it is good for him.  It is up to me, as his parent to keep an eye on these things.

What about you?  It took me almost 30 years to realize the food/feeling connection.  Even in my twenties, I was tired, overweight, suffered from extreme panic attacks, and was very, very emotional.  Unfortunately, I thought these things were just part of who I was.  You know, “she’s just cranky, that’s who she is.”

A few months before I got married, oh so many years ago, I was focused on getting myself in shape for the wedding.  I changed my eating habits and began working out.  Right away I had more energy and began to get a full night of restful sleep.  I began to think clearer and faster.  I took comments and life’s minor hiccups in stride better.  And then I started to notice how much better my real food was tasting.

It also turns out that other people like me better when I eat well too!  Just like my son, my emotional state and how I am around others is greatly influenced by my diet.  It is up to me to determine how I want live and through those choices, determine who I want to be.

So who do you want to be?  Tired, foggy, sick and confused or energetic, sharp, and healthy?

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