Monday, April 14, 2014

5 Pitfalls of the Eat Clean Diet

We began our own version of the Eat Clean diet about 5 years ago. I was trying to figure out what was causing me to get frequent headaches and after much reading decided there was a good chance they were connected to something I was eating, specifically processed food additives and chemicals. 

I should clarify my definition of eating clean:

No processed food, or food with ingredients that are not whole foods.
(Most items that come in a bag, box, or can)
Mostly organic food where available

In the past 5 years I have noticed a few things that can easily happen as a result of eating this way, so I am sharing with you in the hopes that others will not make the same mistakes that I have.

Not Enough Salt: Since most people get a major salt overdose from eating too many processed foods we are always told to reduce salt. REDUCE SALT. It's like the mantra of our society. Well, that can be dangerous when you're following the eat clean method. Your salt will naturally be reduced to nothing except what you pour out of the salt shaker yourself. Now you have to think like your ancestors and salt to survive. Under salting your food will cause trouble with people who have lower blood pressure and people with weakened immune systems (which is basically every American). Don't go light on the salt!

Not Enough Fat: Another popular bad guy right now. It can be tempting and easy to cut out most and all fat from your diet. This is especially important for children who need extra fat for proper brain development. Not enough fat will leave you tired and hungry and possibly depressed. 

Becoming an Accidental Vegetarian: many people will probably not agree with me that this is a bad thing, but after struggling with anxiety and depression and seeing my children struggle similarly I read around a bit more and discovered the importance of amino acids and the brain. Since most of us get our amino acids through meat it is incredibly important to get it regularly. I'm not talking binge eating steaks, but regular meat protein throughout the day even in small amounts is very helpful and has made a big difference for us. If you decide to become a vegetarian, don't do it by accident, be informed and make sure you have a good source of amino acids.

Being too Afraid to Have Some Good Fall Backs: Nobody can keep it together all the time. Hunt up some good brands for weeks when you're feeling too out of it to stick to this way of eating so you don't lose it and give up all together. We like Barbara's cereals sometimes, and Central Market brand frozen Ravioli's. Both have decent ingredients and don't make me feel terrible about compromising.

Succumbing to the Sugar Trap: "I'm making it myself so that makes it healthy." WRONG. I can't tell you how many pans of delicious brownies I have made with those words running through my head. True, it's better for me than a DQ Blizzard, but not much. If you haven't read about how sugar is basically the devil, I suggest you google it. 

I hope this is helpful. All of these points were learned by accident and through trial and error. We have happily rectified them and are still going strong although the sugar trap is still something I have to consciously avoid every day.

Friday, January 17, 2014

The Magnesium Albuterol Connection

Albuterol causes your body to flush magnesium.

Albuterol breathing treatments were prescribed for my son two years ago after he was diagnosed by the pediatrician with walking pneumonia and soon after he was diagnosed with asthma. When my son was 18 months old I noticed he had a dry cough that lasted overly long, ending after about 6 weeks. There was no fever and later we had him tested for allergies and found out that he has seasonal allergies and the cough was a result of that. Fast forward to right after his 5th birthday, the walking pneumonia, a series of antibiotics and several days of breathing treatments and then an allergy season that was filled with so much coughing and difficulty breathing that we were advised by the pediatrician to use albuterol whenever he needed it.

I lean more on the side of homeopathics, so we got some excellent homeopathic treatments and used the albuterol only in severe instances which was probably 6 times in 3 months until his allergies passed. We did this same route for 18 months, making it through 2 allergy seasons and eventually having to use the albuterol for colds and viruses as they would make his asthma kick in badly. At that point I realized that something was wrong. He was unhappy, tense and his asthma was getting worse and worse.

At that time my aunt told me about The Magnesium Miracle. I was at the end of my rope mentally, freaking out inwardly wondering if we were going to end up having to give him steroids for his lungs and eventually end up taking daily inhalers. We had been prescribed these avenues before but were able to get by comfortably using homeopathic treatments.

After reading about the connection between magnesium and asthma I decided to give it a try. Not only does it help his asthma, but he seems happier, and more relaxed. Don't get me wrong, he's still a crazy active boy, but he seems to actually feel better. He's been taking magnesium daily now for 3 months and we have not had a single asthmatic instance. We're coming into allergy season in the next few week so I'll get on here and give a report of how that goes as well. I'm hoping we can make it through without using any breathing treatments, but we'll have to wait and see.

I researched the albuterol/magnesium relationship out of curiosity after starting him on the supplements, it seemed almost unreal that they could have such a profoundly good affect on him. It turns out that taking albuterol causes your kidneys to flush magnesium. Since magnesium is what your body utilizes to relax your soft muscle tissue that in turn causes the asthma to come back worse creating a rebound affect. If you don't use a supplement to replace the magnesium your body will continue to lack it causing worse and worse inflammation until you're in the same boat we were in, or relying daily on inhalers.