MY STORY by Frandi Mars / Integrative Health and Nutrition Coach

‘MY STORY’

by Frandi Mars

When my youngest daughter was 2 1/2 (12 years ago) she was experiencing all kinds of health issues. She was having digestive issues, major bloating, and chronic infections. After taking her to several different doctors, each specialist gave her a diagnosis within their specialty of medicine. For example, the GI doctor diagnosed her with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (at age 2!); the pulmonologist diagnosed her with asthma; and the dermatologist diagnosed her with eczema.(Her body was trying to tell me something but I didn’t know how to listen).  Not one of the doctors gave us a plan of action to help her get better.  We were basically told these medical issues can be treated but not ‘cured’ and basically be life long.  I just didn’t believe it. Her body CAN’T heal?  The asthma drugs she was on stunted her growth for 10 months and she developed terrible skin issues on her face. What was going on?

At about the same time, my son was manifesting behavioral issues that were very challenging to deal with. I started noticing that on some days his behavior was very normal for a 5 year old little boy and other days he was off the wall. I wondered what was different in his life from day to day? I started having conversations with my husband that maybethe food was causing the behavioral problems, but WHAT could it be?

 

THE TURN AROUND

 

I needed answers. I knew it wasn’t my children’s true nature to require daily meds, have poor health and at times, manifest severe behavioral problems. I started immersing myself in research and reading every single book I could get my hands on regarding nutrition and natural medicine.  I enrolled back in school to study nutrition 10 years ago and natural medicine four years ago.  I was determined to learn about the connection food has not only on health but on behavior and mental health as well.  My daughter’s immune system and general health was affected and my son’s behavioral and overall developmental functioning was affected.

 

Interestingly, two different manifestations of the same causes. 

 

THIS IS WHAT I LEARNED

 

I learned two valuable lessons. 1. I learned that there were actually chemicals, pesticides, preservatives, additives, synthetic hormones, GMO’s, etc. in the foods I was feeding my children that can cause harm.  2. I learned that what I put into my children’s body’s determines, for the most part, the trajectory of their current and future state of their health and general functioning. Food not only affects their health but it can seriously affect their mood/mental health/behavior. While we cannot control every single aspect of what life has in store for us, we can at least control what we choose to feed our children.
***Update on my children after changing their diet:  My daughter’s asthma, IBS and skin issues have been completely healed. She hasn’t needed a nebulizer treatment since she was four, 10 years ago.  This is after being told when she was two that these health issues could be ‘managed but not cured.’  She’s proof that the body CAN heal, given the right tools and removing the CAUSE.
My son’s behavior and anxiety improved significantly using dietary intervention along with supplemental support.

 

THE FACTS
 
  • The landscape of children’s health in this country has changed significantly over the last 50 years.
  • The autism rates have increased 1500% and continue to rise everyday. Autism now affects 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys. What’s changed?
  • 1 in 10 children now have asthma which is 7.1 million children (including my youngest before we changed her diet). This is scary.
  • 1 in 4 children have mild, moderate or severe life threatening allergies.
  • Obesity and Type II diabetes (used to be called Adult Onset Diabetes) are now significantly and rapidly on the rise in our children.
  • Behavioral disorders, ADD/ADHD, and poor mental health is seen now more among our children than ever before.
“There is something very troubling out there affecting our children.”  Kenneth Bock, MD.

WHAT I LEARNED:  THE not GOOD, THE BAD, THE UGLY 
 
Chemicals and Artificially Manufactured Substances in our food:
 
Did you know that there are thousands of foods additives and chemicals in our foods to make them look more appealing, taste better and last longer?
Many of these food additives can trigger behavioral problems and/or cause immune system breakdown. If you or your child are experiencing ANY kind of health or emotional health issues start with removing foods with the following ingredients below.
  • BHT/BHA – these additives are from petroleum products – PETROLEUM people and can be found in most of your processed foods like snack foods, cured meats, chips, baked goods, etc.
  • Artificial Coloring– yellow dye, blue dye, red, etc. They are manufactured from coal tar derivatives. Really? They are found in any processed food, snack or candy that has a color. These have been linked to mild to major anxiety and hyperactivity.
  • Sodium Nitrites/Nitrates/Sulfites– which are preservatives in most of your processed/cured meats-think lunch meats, hotdogs, etc. There is research that shows nitrites and nitrates form dangerous nitrosamines which may become carcinogenic.  Additionally these harmful preservatives have been linked to major anxiety, behavioral issues and hyperactivity.
  • MSG: Monosodium Glutamate – A few other names for it are Hydrolyzed Protein, Sodium Caseinate or Calcium Caseinate, Autolyzed Yeast or Yeast Extract. MSG is a known neurotoxin and cause major neurological reactions – think behavioral problems!
  • Aspartame (Nutrasweet), any other Artificial Sweeteners: These are in all of your sugar free foods, gum and drinks and can produce mild to severe side effects including headaches, migraines, joint pain, weight gain, etc.
  • GMO Foods: Corn, soy, canola. The World Health Organization declared Glyphosate (which GMO crops are heavily spread with) a “probable carcinogen.”
These chemicals and frankenfoods have no place in our food supply and in most European countries they are BANNED in their foods. Why hasn’t our country followed suit?

ACTION YOU CAN START  TAKING TODAY
  • Start reading food labels- this is the most important one. If you see any of the ingredients above listed on the label – step away from the box!
  • Feed yourself and your family whole foods in as close to its natural state as possible.
  • Eat LESS or avoid processed junk foods. By doing this alone you automatically reduce the chemical exposure.
  • Shop more in the peripheral area of the grocery store. This is where you will find more of the fresh produce, fruits, meats, etc.
  • Buy your children’s favorite snack foods in an organic version. This way you know these chemicals will not be part of the meal.
  • Lastly, as a parent become more MINDFUL of what your children are eating. See if you can start making the connection between how they are feeling, acting, sleeping, behaving, etc. to the foods/drinks they have been eating. Often times there IS a connection.
Keep in mind it’s a lot easier to make changes in our children’s diet than to deal with what you are trying to fix – whether it be behavioral or health related. In our case, we had both.

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