The Flaming Vegan

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Differing Opinions, Subtle Changes, and School
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Differing Opinions, Subtle Changes, and School

There are times where I will pick up a pizza from the store and bring it home for dinner. It's a boxed conglomeration of preservatives, non-organic ingredients, and I choke it down. My children will cheer with excitement to have something other than a home-prepared meal. 

And all things in moderation . . . 

Except that foods like the deli pizza leave me feeling miserable. I'm tired, grumpy, and suffer a near-instant headache. I know that food is not good for me and it isn't good for my children. So why do I purchase foods like that? 

Differing Opinions

I have two children and with two children comes another adult-figure who follows the beat to his own drum. Prior to meeting me, that drum was 40 pounds heavier and included a slew of fast food meals. In the course of our relationship and marriage, much of those ways have diminished - for the better. On occasion, however, he still has a hankering for a grease bomb and that hankering typically leads to children inquiring about which toy they will receive with bright, excited eyes. 

I sigh and know that the fight is lost before I can utter a word otherwise. 

But it is a fight, not the battle. 

Subtle Changes

All those years ago, I made subtle changes to our diet and incorporated fresh fruits, vegetables, and homemade treats that tasted better than anything purchased in a store and had greater nutritional value. As time went on, there was less meat, fewer processed drinks, and even scarcer were snacks that held no benefit to the body whatsoever. Our lives were on the right track to a healthy, balanced diet that fueled every cell in our bodies . . . 

Then my oldest son started school.

While he carried with him the understanding that some foods were much better for his body than others, he loved the days when sugary treats were passed around and many excitotoxins left his mind running in many directions. He would come bouncing through the door to share his excitement and joy day after day after day. 

Those foods, the highly processed, sugary beasts, did something else to my son. They disrupted his digestive system and issues began to appear. After a few different appointments with doctors, he was prescribed medication to bring back balance to that system in his body. I knew what the medication would do as a temporary fix to a dietary problem and opted to use the summer to reset his body naturally. 

And I have. 

School started back up a few weeks ago. My son came bouncing through the door after his first day and shared the excitement of treats his class received: Goldfish crackers, potato chips, and candy. 

On the second day of school, my son came home to share his excitement of receiving ice cream and cupcakes. 

On the third day of school, my son came home to share his excitement of receiving cookies, suckers, and more goldfish crackers. 

And that concluded his first week of school.

By the weekend, the early signs of digestion issues were rearing their ugly head. We had worked so diligently all summer long to detox his body and in three days at school, his body was screaming out. Filling his lunchbox with organic fruits and vegetables was not enough to carry his body through with the added junk being pumped into it. 

So I did what any parent should do.

I ranted - to anyone who would listen. By the end of my son's second week in school, he had consumed everything from cake and cookies to graham crackers and candy. His digestive system was becoming worse with each passing day. He and I spoke about the problem with those foods and why they were so bad for his body. He wanted to know what he could do for snack time at school instead. I offered to send fresh fruit and vegetables to carry him through if his teacher would agree. 

Reluctantly, she did. 

The quality of food our bodies receive reflects in the health we each maintain. All things in moderation seems like a great approach, but in reality, it's a step back for a delicate body - just like with my son and all his snacks or with how my body becomes sluggish after eating processed foods. The subtle changes to our overall diet through the years seemed like nothing at the time. Looking back, those changes have improved everyone's overall health and wellbeing. 


What subtle changes can you make to restore balance and health to your body? 



Image Source: Microsoft Office Images

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  1. Katapoet
    Oh, HealthyMom, you are right on the money. It is so hard to overcome the treat phenomenon. I wish you all the best of luck this and every school year. It is certainly a never ending battle, to be sure. Voted.
    1. HealthyMom
      Hello, Katapoet! I see treats differently than the average parent. For us, organic strawberries sliced with bananas makes a delicious dessert! For the ice cream hankerings, I take frozen banana chunks and blend them with strawberries, blueberries, or raspberries with a splash of coconut milk to make a soft-serve. Those are treats - delicious, nutritious treats! With any luck, I'll be able to convince the school of that, too! Thank you so much for stopping by and reading. I truly appreciate it.
  2. Veganara
    Voted. Great blog, very well-written. I love that word "excitotoxins": did you make that up, or does it really exist?! Whatever, it is spot on anyway! It sounds as if you are a vegan for health reasons, but you may still be interested in my latest blog Those Self-Righteous Vegans, and if you like it, please vote! I first went vegan for ethical reasons, but I believe that the health aspect is very important too.
    1. HealthyMom
      Hello and thank you so much! Excitotoxins are food taste enhancers or sugar replacements that have been added to foods for commercial reasons. Many excitotoxins are found naturally in the brain in very small quantities. These additives in the food increase the amount of excitotoxins in the brain (you are what you eat) and, as the term eludes, excite neuron cells in the brain until they die. Issues from prolonged overexposure to excitotoxins include decreased ability to focus, Parkinson's disease, Alsheimers, and ALS. I'm not 100% vegan or vegetarian or raw, but am working in that direction. My current diet is approaching 90% raw and will tip that scale by the end of the year. For my children, they are around 75% raw. I'll pop over and read your post this morning. Have a fabulous Sunday!
      1. Anita Vegana
        Like MSG?
  3. Carolyn
    Vote #4! Welcome to the Flaming Vegan!
    1. HealthyMom
      Thank you so much, Carolyn!! I do hope that you (and yours) are doing well!! It's been a while since we've 'caught up' on life. Sending all of you my love!
      1. Carolyn
        Thanks! Hope your family loves their new home town!
  4. Akanksha
    Good to see you here HealthyMom! Absolutely loved this post! I couldn't resist reading out the lines " who follows the beat to his own drum. Prior to meeting me, that drum was 40 pounds heavier and included a slew of fast food meals." to my personal 'drum' here :)
    1. HealthyMom
      Thank you so much, Akanksha! The lack of education regarding nutritional value adds to the amount of person present. I'm happy to hear I'm not the only one...
  5. SnakeWitch
    I'm not a mom, so there are a few things I may be ignorant about here... such as, why is he receiving al these treats from school? Do the teachers hand these out? When I was in school, if you didn't have a snack from home, too bad, you just went without one. Has that changed? And why would teachers want to give kids such a large amount of sugar? Doesn't that make their job harder? Voted! Come check out my latest piece, Ripe from Around Here: A Vegan Guide to Local and Sustainable Eating (No Matter Where You Live), and vote if you like it!
    1. HealthyMom
      Due to so many facing financial challenges and the inability to provide food to their children, schools have taken on that responsibility themselves and provide snacks. The quality of that food is not as important (in their eyes or budget) as the fact that children simply have access to foods - of any kind. This brings me to another rant of sorts regarding how the US Government subsidizes various foods instead of focusing on sustainable, healthy foods that would increase health and decrease the overweight and obesity problems as well as medical expenses. The problem in the US is really an epidemic of gross proportions - but the sheer fact that schools are simply providing food without regard to the ill health effects shows children that it doesn't matter what you eat, just so long as you eat. The excitotoxins in those foods most definitely make a teacher's job that much more difficult.
      1. SnakeWitch
        I had forgotten about the snacks or breakfast for kids with less food. However, like you say, it teaches kids to stuff themselves with whateve the school decides to give them. Bananas are the same price as individually-wrapped goldfish, aren't they? And if not, the kids only really need half a banana. Or they could buy bulk trail mix, or something like this, and hand it out in small paper cups that they can reuse later on for something else, like their water or to make a craft project. Why people always believe that inexpensive means crap is beyond me. Have you found the letter someone wrote about offering vegan foods for school lunches? Maybe you could speak to her - I forgot her name and I feel bad - about how to proceed to plan an approach for healthier snacks and cafeteria lunches that cater to vegans.
    2. Akanksha
      I agree with you here..overdose of sugar results in restlessness.
      1. SnakeWitch
        And when the sugar rush ends, it's a total sleep-crash.
        1. HealthyMom
          Yes, it is!
  6. Virtually Homemade
    Virtually Homemade
    Keep fighting the good fight! Your children will appreciate it in the end. Voted. Check out my romesco sauce post and vote if you like:)
  7. Anita Vegana
    I don't know how you do it. I can't see myself with a non-vegan husband... I voted! Please read my article, Vegan Month is November, and vote too!


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