I have turned my family’s health recovery journey, which I started blogging about in 2008, into a three-plus hour multi-media eLearning program at Kids Living Longer. The strategies, resources, successes, failures, medical research and lessons learned are in one easily accessible place. In addition, I cover an unexpected mental health challenge for Colson: obsessive thinking, intrusive thoughts and anxiety triggered by dairy. If you have read my blog since the beginning, you know that we were big consumers of raw milk, especially raw milk kefir, and we have the video to prove it: Colson Eating What He Doesn't Like. What an unforeseen twist his life took when he stopped eating kefir.
I have read about mental health challenges in the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book by Dr. Natasha-Campbell McBride, but I have not dealt with one. Ryan and I were heartbroken to watch our child suddenly struggle and fight some heavy demons. This kid leads the perfect life: homeschooled, very nice friends, plenty of physical activity, fun and new challenges, and parents who love him like crazy. How could he spin out the way that he did? Our eLearning course explains it all.
You know how when you buy something new, like a car, you see your car all over the place? Well that is what happened to us in Colson’s case. We started becoming aware of so many kids who are experiencing what Colson did. How many of those kids are waking up, crying every morning and their parents just think it is just puberty and normal, as several parents told us was the case with Colson. Believe me, that is not normal, no matter how much these parents wish it is. How many of those kids could have one food trigger (or more), and rather than find it, they are medicated and sentenced to live a life of psychological pain?
Colson’s therapist, who gets the healthy eating journey, told us that he would likely be a 10 year patient if we didn’t find the trigger. Luckily, we found it quickly, he recovered quickly, and he only needed five weeks of therapy. Colson’s therapist, our doc of Oriental medicine, and our family discuss our challenge in a roundtable discussion that is included in the eLearning program.
We consider the year that Colson struggled with what we eventually termed “dairy brain” to be Colson’s strongest year. He faced down his demons every day, continued to push himself in his schooling and sports, and when he was freed of dairy brain he was on top of the world. His bravery and strength are stunning. It isn’t the experience we would have chosen for him, but he now KNOWS he can overcome serious challenges.
I am immeasurably grateful for the health journey we were on before Colson’s dairy challenge - yes, Paleo doc, you were right – kids don’t need dairy and I should have listened. This journey prepared us to quickly and powerfully handle dairy brain once our therapist explained the obsessive thinking, intrusive thoughts and anxiety. I didn’t have to do research into food triggers – I knew that the only trigger in Colson’s diet was dairy. We didn’t have to wrap our heads around a radical shift in eating because we had our family health culture established and removing dairy was easy and happened immediately.
Part of our family culture is that if one person struggles, we all remove the problem food so that the struggling person can excel. So many parents don’t understand how critical it is for them to make the changes that their child is expected to make. In fact, making those changes will probably benefit them too. I highly recommend finding a therapist so that the challenged kid and the parents have the tools they need until a solution is found.
Finally, there are other high-profile triggers that I highlight in our eLearning course because dairy isn’t always the problem. Fortunately, these food triggers weren’t factors for us because they were out of our diet.
If you know of a family who is struggling to create a healthy family food culture, a family who wants to figure out how to avoid joining the nearly 70 percent of Americans who are medicated for many different reasons, please refer them to our eLearning course at Kids Living Longer.
P.S. Check out this powerful kid – one of four that participated in a three week class that I taught so that they could learn about the state government process, participate and make a difference: Colson NCUC Public Hearing
They took on the largest electricity provider in the world with strength, poise and facts. Our kids can do so much more than we realize!