Recommended Reading: The Unhealthy Truth

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I have to admit: I got to the library at least once per week. I read pretty much everything I can get my hands on regarding nutrition, how food effects us and our children, allergies, intolerances, and raising our kids to be healthy. I love a lot of books. But, I am starting with this one, not because it is my usual easy-breezy fun and inspiring style, but because it is so important. And I read something in author, Robyn O’Brien’s blog yesterday that scared me. Robyn said, “Our children have earned the title “Generation Rx” and “Generation XL” due to their escalating rates of obesity and these other conditions.” Ouch. Wow. I read this and felt as if someone had kicked me in the stomach. Do you agree?

These other conditions that she is referring to includes asthma, allergies, diabetes, ADHD and autism. And not to worry, she’s not judging. Her own daughter has food allergies, too. As a parent of a kiddo with a few different health concerns, I sure am grateful we have champions like Robyn in our corner. I am looking forward to hearing your impressions of this book.

Overwhelmed? I know, I am, too. But, from Robyn’s Blog, here are just a few things we can start with at home:

Instead of: Choose This!
Cheetos Fritos or Natural Cheetos
Fat Free Miracle Whip Original Miracle Whip
M&M’s Chocolate Chips
Lenders Blueberry Bagels Lenders Cinnamon Raisin Bagels
Hawaiian Punch Minute Maid Fruit Punch
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese mix-yellow Kraft Macaroni and Cheese mix – White Cheddar
Duncan Hines Devils Food Cake mix Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge Cake mix
Prepackaged noodles with powder mix Bag of noodles with butter/olive oil
Prepackaged mix of rice Bag of plain rice with salt/spices added
Lowfat Ice Cream Original Ice Cream
Strawberry Ice Cream Vanilla Ice Cream with your own toppings!
Blue Yogurt White yogurt – add your own toppings
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“Take a 20 minute walk with your kids everyday.”

ImageThis is what Posey’s allergist said to us in a recent discussion regarding her ongoing constipation. Constipation, ugh. I know, just the sound of the word is such a downer, right? And the absolute WORST is hearing the GI specialist say the dreaded words “functional gut.” Have you gotten this before? The functional gut speech? Doesn’t it sound like your math teacher lecturing you on benefits geometry in the real world? It is sometimes as if the GI doc hasn’t ever seen a kid poop before? Like there are really no practical applications to those words at all.

First of all, doesn’t functional gut mean that the gut is functioning properly? Which I can tell you first hand, 1,472 Miralax cocktails later, it CLEARLY is NOT. Not functioning, not proper, and not a simple or common problem, at all.

But, one of the positive changes I’ve taken out of all of this is stepping up our daily walks (we are still not perfect, there are just days it doesn’t happen) especially during the winter. Doctor’s orders are on any days over 20 degrees we’re to head out — 10 minutes out and 10 minutes back. Seems pretty simple, right?

So why don’t you join us on our 20 minute walk revolution! Constipation or not, we can all benefit from fresh air, stretching our legs, getting out and connecting and talking. Posey & Millie love their walks! And to make it extra fun, I’ve developed this Sights & Sounds of Nature Checklist. (Just click on the link to download a PDF and print up as many as you would like!) It is a great way to engage your kids with their surroundings while you’re out and about. And we all know how important nature is for kids. Please let me know how your walks are going!

Anatomy Worksheets for Kids

My kids love to learn! Sometimes when I can teach them a little something that has to do with their upcoming doctor’s visit it really puts them at ease. I love Education.com for lots of printables (all free!) but when I saw these I was really excited! It is a set of 5 sheets about the body to be printed and shared. I loved this one — Gutsy Move — because Posey’s been seen in the GI clinic lately. She has undiagnosed intestinal inflammation, as discovered with a endoscopy & colonosopy last spring. So, hop on over to Education.com (just click the photo to go straight to the page) and get yours! Let me know what your kiddos think. Enjoy!

Milk and Cookie Disease

I am a true believer that the answers will find you when you’re ready for them. Dr. Wei is a Pediatric ENT at the University of Kansas Hospital. She was the surgeon that removed Millie’s tonsils and adenoids 3 years ago. I had honestly forgotten about Dr. Wei except for a quick news story about her new book on the Milk & Cookies Disease — I meant to do some research on the book, but got busy.

While waiting in the carpool line last week I told a friend about Posey’s possible Asthma when he told me his son was also recently diagnosed. His wife — my good friend — emailed me today wondering if I had heard about Milk & Cookies when it all came rushing back!

HUGE A-HA MOMENT! (Where’s Oprah when you need her?) I am not sure Posey’s problem is this, but the allergist did say we’d confirm asthma if the asthma meds worked — and so far, they aren’t. The other possibility for her breathing problems is reflux. And that could relate back to this. I will be doing more research — will try to get ahold of this book — and maybe even talk with Dr. Wei and get back to you.

Does any of this resonate with you? Do your children have similar issues? Has anyone tried something similar?

Weekly Take Your Medicine Sticker Chart

Screen Shot 2013-01-24 at 12.56.29 PMOne of my biggest challenges as a mom is staying organized and mot missing medicine doses. (Puh-lease tell me I am not the only one who forgets all three doses of a medication each day!) Not to mention, Posey’s not always all that into taking all of her meds. I’ve done my fair share of giving her asthma meds to her teddy bear first…bribing, threatening, and chasing. So, I’ve found that a sticker chart does WONDERS. First, it helps me keep track of what we’ve taken. No more walking in the door from running carpool and not being able to remember if she had her morning dose. Secondly, it is incentive for Posey to take her meds. I stocked up on really fun stickers (Hello Kitty, teddy bears, and Snoopy) — I do not think regular old foil stars do the trick! And if she fills up the whole sheet for the week she gets a small prize. (And I do mean small. Posey has her eye on twisty straws from Wal-Mart. You really want to save your big incentive gifts for things like blood draws, medical procedures, and of course birthdays!)

So I want to share our medicine chart: Weekly Take Your Medicine Chart.

Posey takes 5 medicines each day. I have 6 medicine slots — if you need more, just put two pages next to each other! I even include our miralax on here — just to be sure! Let me know if this is helpful to you in your quest to get the meds organized! If I can do this, anyone can! Good luck!

Hi, I’m Posey’s Mommy

Hi, I’m Patricia! I’m Posey & Millie’s mom (all names have been changed to protect the sassy & somewhat innocent). Over the years, we’ve had health challenges with the girls. Some heartbreaking, some frustrating, and all took me by surprise! Several years ago I went to lunch with a friend and her daughter. The little girl had a peanut allergy and wore a medical alert bracelet. I remember so distinctly feeling sorry for her. It was only a few months after that lunch that Posey had her first taste of a cashew nut. Disaster. The anaphylactic reaction that followed set off a whole new normal for our family…and it has been quite an adventure ever since! We’ve also dealt with GI issues, and now our latest: asthma. And I’ve said time and time again: I should’ve gone to medical school! I love researching the latest and greatest information on Posey’s challenges. I am keenly curious about how diet plays into childhood disease. Why are allergies and other ailments are on the rise? How do I protect Posey from too much prodding and poking. And how do I work with the medical community when mommy’s instincts are hard to explain? How can I ensure Posey’s childhood is happy and productive and that people (like me) don’t ever pity her or feel sorry for her situation?

One of the hardest things about having a kiddo with medical challenges is thinking you’re the only one. I mean, all the other children can just pop into an ice cream shop and order whatever they want, right? And no one else needs a star chart to keep track of daily medicines! And you must be the only one who has ever been blown off by a doctor who can’t see your child’s pain. But, I know there are other parents out there! I cannot be the only one up at night, tossing and turning, wondering if you’ve done enough? I know that all parents of children with allergies, asthma, celiac, diabetes, arthritis, Crohn’s, and everything else kids deal with on a day-to-day basis have felt the way I do.

I am here to tell you: yes, you’re doing a great job! Your kids are great, too. You are the super moms (and dads!) of super hero kids! And together, we can do what we could never do alone. Thank you for coming! Posey says thanks, too!