When my kids were small we started following the Failsafe diet. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s basically eliminating artificial food chemicals known to cause adverse reactions in people, as well as foods containing naturally occurring chemicals known to cause adverse reactions. (If you want to know more about it check out www.fedup.com.au) I can’t recommend it highly enough, it cured my daughter’s sleeplessness, stomach pains, and my son’s out-of-control eczema.
This blog isn’t about the Failsafe diet. It’s about the time I poured my son a glass of juice and had to fight the guilty feeling. Fruit juice, when you’re on the Failsafe diet, is baaaaad.
Don’t get me wrong This isn’t a fad diet. This is a life-line for people whose children have unbearable, unbelievable problems with naturally occurring chemicals in naturally occurring food, and although it may sound extreme and limited it’s…well okay, it IS extreme and limited, but it’s nutritionally balanced and scientifically tested at the same time. Do I need to explain a bit more?
When my Ginger Ninja was a baby his eczema was so severe that once I went to check him in his crib and thought he’d been murdered there was so much blood. No joke. He was fully breast fed, and when I started cutting out the “bad” foods of my own diet (strongly flavoured fruit and vegetables, tomato, citrus, pineapple, kiwi, strawberry) his eczema cleared up.
No joke. I stopped eating tomatoes and tomato-based pasta sauces and he started looking normal. And my daughter, who’s diet we also limited, started sleeping through the night again. We didn’t look back.
It turned out, after some tests at the paediatrician, that my Ginger Ninja also had copious amounts of allergies as well as food intolerance. Pretty soon the list of foods we had to avoid was longer than the list we could eat from: no cow’s milk. No soy milk. No eggs. No peanuts. No sesame seeds. No preservatives. No artificial colours. No tomato, grapes, citrus, kiwi, apples, tuna, grapes, sultanas, chocolate, broccoli, raspberries, cheese, yoghurt…the list goes on.
To cut a long story short, gradually we were able to introduce some of these into his diet, and gradually increased his tolerance to some of these things. And his allergies are almost completely gone (still can’t eat peanuts). And we discovered a wonderful probiotic that he takes daily to help his digestive system process food. And he’s growing, so he can tolerate larger doses of things. It’s just good. And so, lo and behold, now we can give him juice.
I bought juice the other day. I felt like a rebel, like I had to look furtively around the supermarket and make sure nobody noticed I was putting such a dangerous and banned substance in my trolley. It wasn’t even for visitors, just…for us. I know! Crazy living. That’s what being on holidays will do to a person: make them break out of years of training and REBEL!
It made me pause and reflect though. I remembered when I was quite young and my dad brought home two cans of beer to put in a snail trap in the veggie garden. I’d been brought up in the Salvation Army church, and had been taught again and again about the dangers of alcohol. I figured then and there that my family was going downhill fast and it was the end of everything. Dad’s bought beer.
(Incidentally, next to the bottle of juice in my fridge right now is a half-empty bottle of wine. My dad didn’t turn into a rampant alcoholic, even though his garden snails might have).
Sometimes we need to do a re-think of what we believe, and why. It’s easy to carry on out-dated thinking, old memories, decisions that are no longer relevant, attitudes we no longer need to own. Or, conversely, remember the old mindsets we’ve forgotten (too many lollies WILL rot your teeth and make you fat, even if you are an adult now) and embrace them again.
Anyone care to join me for a glass of juice?