Monday, September 24, 2012

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Is there dye in your wine?

We are now on day 4 of the no petroleum dye project. I want to back track a bit to Monday morning...

Me to Reid: Go get your socks & shoes on.
Reid: Says nothing...walks away...
I'm in the kitchen making lunches when Reid appears in the doorway...fully dressed. What? Who is this kid looking so put together? So, I'm thinking is this a random fluke or have the dyes really been messing with his brain.

So, that's how the week started out. And BTW, Monday was the only day that happened. But, I have to wonder, was I being given a little bit of a sign to keep up the diet for 2 weeks?

Here we are on Wednesday. Doing mostly great with following the guidelines. Reid is drinking orange juice, cherry limeade, capri sun & milk. Water too:) That's OK. His biggest withdrawal are cookies with icing on them. I can't even get white icing without food coloring in it. Maybe at Whole Foods. I didn't realize the cookies with icing would be such a big deal when I was there Monday.

I am honestly not seeing any real behavior differences at this time, except for Monday morning. Weird. We are pushing forward though. One little thing I hadn't thought about was the school lunches. Reid ONLY buys on pizza day, which was today. I didn't think about any possible dyes until this very moment. Hmmm....the upside (it's really a downside) is he probably ate hardly any of it. Lunch is not his biggest meal. He usually comes home from school with 90% of his lunch. He might pick out any cookies or crunch bar. Maybe will eat a bit of the orange or carrot if there are evil eyes coming from a teacher. Forget about anything of real substance, like a sandwich or peanut butter on crackers. He MAY eat some bacon. I pack lunches that give the greatest chance of him eating without packing 100% crap. I hate to know what the teachers think of a lunch containing pecans, bacon, cookie, orange and 1/2 a Crunch bar. I see protein & calories in this lunch since he won't eat traditional sandwiches. I really do try NOT to fight about food. Reid generalizes experiences with food way to quickly, thus eliminating foods based on very little real merit.

Reid has been especially curious about what has dyes in it. He had always been oddly healthy, in his own mind at least. Such as "sugar isn't good for you so I'm eating potato chips" and "mosquitos like me because I eat sugar" and "it's not good to eat too much sugar" as he's eating cookie dough. Now, in addition to questioning the dye content of everything he wants to eat, he is also monitoring my intake. I had originally said Mommy & Daddy's alcohol was not involved in the project. I didn't say that to him! But, I did state it up front in my own personal rules. So, the grapes are red & so is my wine. Very logical. I honestly don't feel the need to Google this. I am currently sipping my diet sprite instead of my desired diet coke. So, I am making my own changes:)

Yes, I promised a pic of Christian. Unfortunately I am uploading IOS6 and it's sucking most everything out my computer! I will post 2 pictures next time to make up for it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

No Petroleum based dye grocery trip

Last Sunday we did the first trip to the grocery store in preparation of our 2 week trial of no artificial food dyes in our foods. I was surprised that the majority of our foods are not effected by the banned ingredient.
What we did eliminate was:
-Sunny D
-Our regular popsicles
-our regular iced cookies
-our regular toothpaste
-our regular candies
-our regular lemonade
-fruit snacks
-majority of packaged cookies, even basic oatmeal cookies
-syrup: due to preservative

Although that doesn't seem like much, the boys are receiving a daily dose of food dye. Their morning & evening teeth brushing contaminates their little system. The good news is the majority of our foods do not contain the extra coloring. The bad is their "treats" & toothpaste do. Reid asked if Cici's Pizza's Cinnamon rolls had any food coloring. He didn't think they did because they looked "boring." Reid was quick to note that colorful meant food dye.

The hard for for the kids is the special treat part of their day does contain the unwanted chemicals. We have made some substitutes. Instead of Sunny D, the kids drink orange juice. I should say Reid drinks orange juice. Christian has decided he doesn't particularly care for this juice, or apple juice either. Our Country Time lemonade is on the "no-no" list but capri sun & a natural brand isn't. Again, Christian is hesitant to drink these. Do you know marshmallow's contain food coloring? Who knew? How about trying to find a kid toothpaste without a blue dye in it. I found not so thrilled about it but that is just how it is. So, we are using the natural white toothpaste with a strawberry flavor. Not their beloved Kid Crest. We can't pick & chose our dyes this week. We (especially the kids) are passing up these delicious dye filled foods.

Another shocker is gum. I chew gum constantly! I have all kinds of red dyes in my fave cinnamon flavored, bubble popping, irritatingly cracking gum. It is delicious. It's OUT! So is the kids bubble gum favorite. It is really difficult to find these non dyed gums. I did find one. It is peppermint. It's not my favorite in flavor or packaging. I like the kind that you punch through the back. None of it ever ends up melted and missing its wrapper in the bottom on my purse. I guess that was not my destiny at my last grocery trip. I bought the individually, bound to drift around in my purse, gum.

Reid really likes gum and Christian could easily give it up if needed. Of course Christian won a "free" day at school. He chose to chew gum the entire day. Christian is even pickier about gum flavor than Reid is. I really think this is because Christian isn't truly a gum chewer. He likes gum but he doesn't love gum. Reid is at the other end of spectrum so he's much more willing to sacrifice the specific flavor just to have a little piece to smack on. Since there aren't any acceptable non dye flavors, I got Christian a pack of pink bubble gum for his "free day." That would be red dye #40 that makes it pink. This #40 is for color only and adds nothing to the flavor. It's not a "must have" ingredient. Anyway, was he happy at school today? Yes. Where is this pack of gum now? I have no freak'n clue! It will probably show up in Reid's little hands this weekend.

So, we now have popsicles without dyes. Reid doesn't like them but ate 2. We have cookies from whole foods, since I couldn't find any at our regular grocer without dyes. We have suckers from Whole Foods too, and fruit snacks. The kids haven't tried the fruit snacks. Not so sure these are going to be winner for my kids. I opened a package & was quite surprised by the little, bitty chips of snacks. I ate a few, of course, and I think they are still in my teeth! My spoiled little boys are used to imaginary shapes of fruit snacks, suck as various fruits, Mario Brothers, Angry Birds and Scooby Doo. What are they doing to do with these weird little non cartooned shaped snacks?

Day 3 and all really is going well. Reid is already beginning to count down when this whole thing is over. Then again, he is also my calendar loving time keeper. He'll track almost anything! The dogs birthday is coming up so I'm sure he's planning on when the invitations should go in the mail.

More later...reminder to discuss:
-Monday morning Reid getting ready
-Reid's love of food changes
-Reid's police of food dyes

I'm going to post a picture of Christian playing football just so he's not left out of the comments. Reid is the one with ADHD so obviously this is mostly directed at him but Christian is also a fantastic kid with needs...such as to be included. Will I get any backlash 20 years from now for writing any of this? Will your future wife use it against me? Maybe. But please remember the years of schooling we paid for out of love, which will hopefully include college. So, we love you too Christian & I will post an awesome picture of you doing something cool! Maybe I should also post a pic of our public school...just for good measure:)
As always with love,

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Family Science Project

It's been 2 years (at least!) since I've posted anything on "the blog." Why am I posting now? We are starting a family project...removing unnatural food dyes from our diet. I thought that blogging about it would help with my tracking of the outcomes. I am now officially committing to this and committing to documenting it. I work well under pressure.

I will start out by stating that the FDA has not required the bold labeling on the front of packages warning the consumer. They (FDA) has looked at the research of these petroleum based dyes and found the conclusions inconclusive. But, after reading quite a few mommy blogs and posts, I think it's worth checking into. This is what has become the the Crowell Family Science Project.

I have yet to explain my motivation. My youngest has a diagnosis of moderate mixed ADHD. Many parents, although the FDA doesn't deem the research results conclusive, believe that these petroleum based dyes negatively alter their child's concentration, moods and basic daily functioning. If part of his hyperness & lack of focus is due to dyes, then let's eliminate them from his (our) diet. My child is currently on an ADHD stimulant, which is also expensive since our insurance doesn't acknowledge the ADHD diagnosis. We will keep him on it during the initial science project initiation, mainly because he is so much more functional in school while on it. He also tends to not spit on others while he is on the meds. So, that's a bonus to the meds. I think we'll know if the food dye removal project is beneficial even if we don't remove the meds. We still have the lovely morning routine when his morning medication haven't taken effect. If the mornings become more sane and pleasant, then we'll consider a day trial of "no meds." This reminds me that I need to call in for next month's script. It is a controlled substance so "refills" do not exist!

 Here's the plan:
 -all family members participate
 -parent evening beverage is excluded from the science judgement please

 Avoided ingredient list items:
 -red #3 (ring pops)
 -red #40 (fruit snacks, candy, m&m's, cereal, popsicles)
 -blue #1 (marshmallows, tooth paste)
 -blue #2
 -yellow #5 (sunny d, popsicles, lemonade)
 -yellow #6 (sunny d, popsicles)
 -sodium benzoate (e211) this is a preservative. Threw this one in there for fun. (syrup)

 So, good luck to us! If this is a factor in our daily chaos, then we should know. If it isn't, then we're a little healthier for 2 weeks. It's a win-win for us all. Today I did the shopping for this experiment. A couple of surprising changes to our daily intake. More on this later.