Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mistakes Made, Lessons Learned

Do you ever know what the right thing is to do but do the opposite of it anyway?  I guess the truest definition of that is 'sin' but no, this blog is not about sin and God's amazing Grace and Redemption (although I do love that topic!).  It's actually about being sick.  This week our family has been hit hard with fevers, sore throats, runny noses...basic cold symptoms that really wipe a person out.  Now, we used to get this in September, October, November, December, January...you get the picture.  We were one of the SICKEST families around.  I've often joked that I needed to take out stock in Kleenix because I was sure I kept them in business. 

Many of my childhood memories revolve around me, tissues and sore throats.  In college I sang in a choir and we would take a yearly tour for a week around California, singing in churches.  Every year I went and mouthed the words because I'd be sick and have no voice.  My first year of teaching, my biggest fear was what to do when I was sick and didn't have a voice, because it happened SO OFTEN!

I joked yesterday with a friend that I feel like I'm a living science experiment.  I went into Clean Eating/Healthy Lifestyle with Optimal Health as my end goal.  My supposition was that if you eat clean and healthy, your body will be able to fight disease and you will stay healthy.  And if anyone would know what it's like to be sick, it's me.  For the most part, I'm pleased to say, I'm proving my theory to be true.  Sickness and germs are still around me and my body is constantly under attack, especially on weeks like this one where the other 4 in my family have all been sick.  Would I get sick too?  Or would my food truly be my medicine?

I did really well last week.  I ate cooked food (clean only!) one time a day and otherwise it was all raw.  Broccoli salad, sweet potato salad, green smoothies, Walnut pate, etc...  Amazing food...seriously delicious!  I had no symptoms of sickness while everyone else was sneezing all over me.  Until...yesterday.

When I made my BIG mistake.

I was coming home at 6 p.m., exhausted and hungry.  Instead of going home and eating food I'd already prepared, I drove through Panda Express...our former favorite food.  We chowed down.  The kids wanted dessert and I said, "Are you kidding me!  You just ate sugar coated chicken.  You just HAD your dessert!"  Which is 100% true.  But my sweet tooth was kicked into high gear so I topped it off with the only sugar left in the house...1/2 bag of M&M's.  Within 30 minutes not only did I feel terribly sick to my stomach but I had a raging sore throat.  The germs in me had been fed with their favorite food, sugar, and I was getting sick.

I knew better!  I knew that I was in the middle of the battle ground but I still gave in!  Sometimes I frustrate myself SO MUCH.  I went to bed early and woke up with the same sore throat, if not worse.  So I went to my daily arsenal (which I had completely neglected yesterday) and fired it up.  I know there are many more things to do than this, but this is what I do DAILY.
  • 1 spoonful of bee pollen (don't do if you're allergic to bee stings)
  • glasses and glasses of water (should be 1/2 your body weight in ounces)
  • hot tea with honey
  • 3 vitamin C tablets a day
  • 1 freshly-squeezed lemon to a glass of water + 5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract (it's nasty business but it works!)
  • green smoothies a day (both with 5 drops of Grapefruit Seed Extract)
  • And most important...NO SUGAR!
Ironically, this is what a family friend, Kimbra Nungessar, wrote yesterday in her Menu Monday raw cooking emails.  Kimbra has been a Raw/Vegan for 9 years and her husband is co-author of the cookbook TopRawMen (click to link to their website).

"People wonder why they and their kids are always sick in the winter. We blame sick classmates, cold weather outside, too many germs inside, the list goes on. Think about this...Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. Candy, sugar, Candy and more sugar. Sugar kills our immune system. Normally after Easter sickness disappears and our kids run healthy through the summer and early fall until....Halloween, Thanksgiving...etc. I encourage you to control the amount of candy and sugar in your kids diet. I can literally turn runny noses on and off in my kids via their diet. Some of the worst offenders are well meaning Sunday School teachers and school teachers which feed high sugar snacks to the kids on a weekly basis. 

Use the dollar store or garage sales to fill a basket with small trinkets. Let your kids cash in their candy for an item from the basket. However, don't stash the candy away in the house because guess who will eat it in a moment of weakness...you! Throw it away, give it away or send it to work with someone you know.  If your kids want to work together let them slowly put their candy treats in a collective jar. Write the prize on the outside of the jar: family movie night, trip to bounceU, whatever would motivate your kids. When the jar is full of sweets they get to go on the treat!"
I love it!  Thank you SO much Kimbra! 
It's now 1:40 p.m. and I am sore-throat free!  Yay to healthy eating!

1 comment:

  1. Aaaah, yes! Great thoughts! I had a vegan friend point out something similar about kids getting sick toward the end of the year from all the sweets. DUH, right?? Sugar is definitely my weakness, and I can definitely feel a difference, depending on how much I consume. I crave it BAD! I try to limit it in the house because yes, I am the one who finishes off the bag if it's around--I hide it from the kids! :)
    I do think it's different for different people. I have a blood sugar/hypoglycemia issue I'm still investigating with my doc so my sugar issues are unique. BUT, I know MY immune system is affected most by sleep and stress--so I'm like you with the sugar, I KNOW the right thing to do, I just have to DO it! Go to bed early, take time for myself, etc.
    Great info. and a great encouragement, friend! Keep it up! :)