Happy New Year To All! Hope this year brings many new memories and new adventures! Cheers to another year, where we get another chance to get things right!
I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.
New Year’s Day. A fresh start. A new chapter in life waiting to be written. New questions to be asked, embraced, and loved. Answers to be discovered and then lived in this transformative year of delight and self-discovery. Today carve out a quiet interlude for yourself in which to dream, pen in hand. Only dreams give birth to change.
Take a leap of faith and begin this wondrous new year by believing. Believe in yourself. And believe that there is a loving Source – a Sower of Dreams – just waiting to be asked to help you make your dreams come true.
~Sarah Ban Breathnach
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
Came across an article on NYTimes.com that speaks about simple rules for healthy eating that can be followed, and will have a positive impact on your health. The article is by Aaron E. Carroll, who has done much research on eating healthy.
It’s much easier, unfortunately, to tell you what not to do. But here at The Upshot, we don’t avoid the hard questions. So I’m going to put myself on the line. Below are the general rules I live by. They’re the ones I share with patients, with friends and with family. They’re the ones I support as a pediatrician and a health services researcher. But I acknowledge up front that they may apply only to healthy people without metabolic disorders (me, for instance, as far as I know).
These suggestions are also not supported by the scientific weight of rigorous randomized controlled trials, because little in nutrition is. I’ve inserted links to back them up with the available evidence. They are not “laws” and should not be treated as such. No specific nutrients will be demonized, and none will be held up as miracles. But these recommendations make sense to me, and they’ve helped me immensely.
Full disclosure: I did not invent most of these. I’ve developed them from reading the work of others, including what may be the most impressive “official” nutritional guidelines, those of Brazil, as well as from earlier suggestions from readers, as in this great NYT interactivegraphic. It captures readers’ responses to food rules by Michael Pollan. He is, of course, the promulgator of the well-known advice: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
Get as much of your nutrition as possible from a variety of completely unprocessed foods.
Eat as much home-cooked food as possible, which should be prepared according to Rule 1.
Use salt and fats, including butter and oil, as needed in food preparation.
When you do eat out, try to eat at restaurants that follow the same rules.
These are only snippets of the entire set of rules to follow. Please go to NYTimes.com to read the full article. These are easy tips to follow, and will have a great impact on your health. Eating healthy, making those good choices should be easy. We just have to put our minds to it, and make the right choices!
There are studies that suggest that there are certain foods to avoid with ADHD. The first is an obvious one, sugar. Studies have shown that sugar could make children who are hyperactive more hyper, destructive . The larger amounts consumed could make that hyperactivity worse. They simply get amped up and cannot sit still. The more hyper children get, the harder it will be to pay attention. A double whammy for those with ADHD. Our bodies crave sugar since we rely on glucose, but studies have shown that ADHD can make those cravings even stronger. Sugar in moderation is best for everyone, period.
Sugar is in nearly everything today. Sugar can be disguised in its many forms as well. This makes finding it tricky. Read the labels and look for some of these sugar disguises: high fructose corn syrup, sucralose, malt syrup, maltodextrin, dextrose, cane sugar, molasses, dextrin, rice syrup, saccharose, sucrose, maltose, and corn sweetener. Sugar by any other name, is the same! Remember that!
The next items on the list of foods to avoid include artificial dyes and preservatives. Studies have shown that these ingredients could also increase the level of hyperactivity in those with ADHD. These artificial dyes and preservatives are in nearly all processed foods. Keeping the amount of processed food consumed in the diet to a minimum is key. This is for those with or without ADHD. These chemicals are not good for our bodies. The chemicals I speak of are things like Red #3 (Carmoisine), Red #40 (Allura red), Blue #1 (Brilliant blue), Blue #2 (Indigotine), Yellow #5 (Tartrazine), Yellow #6 (Sunset yellow), Green # 3, and Orange B, as well as the food preservative, sodium benzoate. So the fun fruity cereals like Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms are filled with a ton of these colors and preservatives. Try cereals that are free of dyes like Cheerios or oatmeal. Serve 100% fruit juices instead of sodas and fruit cocktails. Read the labels and you will find more options to chose from.
Foods that cause allergies should be avoided as well. Reading the labels in this situation will help you avoid the common culprits in this area. This includes wheat, gluten, corn, and soy. Here again, studies have shown that these food allergens could cause the inattentive and hyperactive symptoms to increase. You can speak to your doctor about testing to see what foods your child might be allergic or sensitive too. A process of elimination will be necessary to give you the best ADHD diet.
There are theories that say the presence of certain substances, rather than the absence, in one’s diet could lead to exacerbation of symptoms associated with ADHD. Talk to your doctor and find out if an elimination diet could be an option to improve health. A well-balanced diet with the fewest amounts of processed foods may improve health and have a positive effect attitude.
Could diet and brain function go hand in hand? Have you ever considered that the food you eat is having debilitating effects on how well your brain could be functioning? What if there is an argument to explain why parents of children with autism, ADD, ADHD should consider looking at all options to help their children. Think outside the pharmaceutical box (or bottle), when you search for ways to improve brain function for your child.
Diet and nutrition are critical components of the overall treatment plan when you are searching for answers. However, there is no one cause for ADD, ADHD or autism. I am learning that there is a trilogy to consider when seeking treatment for these disorders. You have to look at therapy, medication and diet as options for treatment. Food can be medicine, but you have to consider that we are more than just what we eat. Our bodies are optimized through what we eat, digest, absorb and how the body utilizes said food, nutrients, vitamins and minerals. The body can have a reaction to the foods we eat. The reactions can include allergies, sensitivities to food, and sometimes an intolerance to foods. A close look at digestive health is important. If the body has digestive problems, food is not utilized correctly, and that can lead to the brain not functioning correctly, thus contributing to symptoms of ADHD/ADD and autism.
A child needs an adequate diet in order to have healthy growth. To ensure that proper nutrition is being met, parents must include an array of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids. To support brain development and prevent certain neurologic disorders, this is particularly necessary in the first few years of life. When children are older, these important nutrition standards are still important. A lack of certain dietary components, such as protein, or an insufficient number of calories can negatively affect a child’s learning and behavioral abilities. As well, if your child has a vitamin or mineral deficiency, that too can certainly interfere with learning and behavior over the course of a school year.
Another idea regarding the causes of, and treatment for, ADHD/ADD and autism, have grown from the thought that certain substances that are present, rather than absent, in a child’s diet may lead to or worsen the condition or symptoms. The suspected harmful substances include artificial food additives, preservatives, sugar, or other elements that can cause allergic responses or yeast infections. According to these theories, eliminating such elements may eliminate or lessen the symptoms of ADHD. That can be a further topic of discussion later. For now lets focus broadly on what foods matter when searching for ways to diminish ADHD/ADD and autism symptoms.
When you look at what has been discussed so far, you see that dietary deficiencies can make the symptoms of ADHD/ADD and autism worse. So lets look at what those foods could be. First , an important contributor to optimal brain function is protein. Protein-rich foods help the body create neurotransmitters, which are chemicals the brain releases in order to communicate with brain cells. Foods that are high in protein can include lean beef, poultry, pork, eggs, fish, beans, nuts, dairy and soy. Starting your day with a high protein meal can get the brain functioning early, but you should still add more protein through out the day. Make sure that meals are balanced include vegetables. complex carbohydrates, fruits, and protein. Protein and fiber can help prevent a surge in blood sugars, which when elevated, can cause symptoms to be worse.
I have also learned that doctors recommend that children with ADHD/ADD may want to be tested for nutritional deficiencies. Knowing what needs to be focused on, will make treating much easier. Some common deficiencies can include zinc, iron, magnesium, B vitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids. Zinc regulates dopamine in the brain, iron is important for making dopamine, and magnesium helps with attention and concentration and has a calming effect on the brain. You can find zinc, iron and magnesium in lean meat, nuts, poultry, and seafood. B Vitamins also work to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. When dopamine levels are improved, there can be a reduction of aggression and anti-social behaviors. Omega-3 fatty acids are important for proper brain and nerve cell function. According to ADDitudemag.com, “A new study, conducted at Göteborg University, in Sweden, concluded that daily doses of omega-3s — found in cold-water, fatty fish, such as sardines, tuna, and salmon — reduced ADHD symptoms by 50 percent. Dr. Sven Ostlund followed a group of ADHD children aged 8-18 who took fish oil daily. Within six months, there was a noticeable decrease in ADHD symptoms in 25 percent of the children. Another study showed that omega-3s tend to break down more readily in the bodies of patients with ADHD than in those without the condition.”
Overall, the importance of diet in assessing and treating ADHD/ADD and autism is very important. Think about what is on the plate of those affected by ADHD, ADD or autism. Optimize the benefits of the foods, so that the body can utilize the foods and give the brain a boost. A healthy diet mightreduce symptoms of ADHD by reducing exposure to artificial colors and additives and improving intake of omega-3 fats and other nutrients. However, no matter what motivates you to eat better, it will improve ones chances at a healthy and long life.
Came across this story featured on MindBody Green and it made me smile. You can find the good, when you look or seek and accept it. Here are 13 Inspirational Childrens Book Quotes to make you smile.
MindBody Green featured Dr Lawrence Rosen, who wrote, “I have a profound connection to children’s literature. When I was young, my parents read to me often and instilled in me the joy of reading. I was transported by the tales, my imagination whisking me on amazing journeys to fantastic new worlds.
Even today, when books struggle to compete with movies, TV, the web, and mobile apps for our kids’ attention, reading to my children has taught me that there is still a tremendous, unique power in sharing stories.
That’s why, as a pediatrician, I’ve chosen to fill my waiting room and exam rooms with favorite children’s books rather than TV screens or toys. I love walking into a room and finding a parent sitting on the exam table, child on lap, reading together.
Below, I’m sharing some of my favorite inspiring quotes from children’s literature. I hope they inspire you to share one of these stories with a child in your life.”
1. “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
Time can heal, and time can give you the opportunity for growth. Growth that is needed to stabilize your life and wellbeing as a whole. During that growth, and discovery period, learning what makes you tick and tock, is the most important element. Time for me has allowed growth in many areas, and a healing process continues. Not every step has been easy, but was necessary.
As a parent, setting a good example for your children is a key element to being an effective or good parent. One of the big influences in this period of growth and healing has been counseling. Finding a safe place to explore and expose the things in life that can be inhibiting growth and fulfillment, is scary but necessary. You can learn so much about your self, good and bad. Counseling is where those areas can be addressed and corrected over time. In our most recent period of growth, it was noticed that small traits in one of my children, may have grown into a larger issue. Its scary, but the issue is being met with an open mind, and a positive approach. One of the most common childhood disorders today, which can continue through adolescence and adulthood, is ADHD. What is ADHD? Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) includes symptoms such as difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).
Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. It is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often. To be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must have symptoms to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.
Children who have symptoms of inattention may:
Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
Have difficulty focusing on one thing
Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
Not seem to listen when spoken to
Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
Struggle to follow instructions.
Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:
Fidget and squirm in their seats
Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
Be constantly in motion
Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.
Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:
Be very impatient
Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
Often interrupt conversations or others’ activities.
Being in the early stages of exploring this possibility, I can see that there is a lot of research to be done. Treatment for ADHD varies, and the options all have risks associated. The healthiest and safest route will be taken, no doubt about that. Time will guide us to the right options and will continue to stabilize this journey.
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow.
Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.
With Thanksgiving just a few days away, it definitely sets the mind to think about and reflect on the things that I am grateful for in my life. Consider today as the beginning of a week to be thankful for yourself too.
“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.”
To show people that you are grateful, you have to make it a habit to tell people thank you. It is so meaningful to express your appreciation, sincerely and without the expectation of anything in return. When you truly appreciate those around you, they will feel it and see it through your actions and energy. You will soon find many others around you, because the energy of gratitude that you express will draw more people to you. Truly appreciate life, and you’ll find that you have more of it to share with others. When you practice gratitude, you are practicing a sense of respect towards others. I think in this day and age, that dynamic needs much focus and attention.
“We need to regularly stop and take stock; to sit down and determine within ourselves which things are worth valuing and which things are not; which risks are worth the cost and which are not. Even the most confusing or hurtful aspects of life can be made more tolerable by clear seeing and by choice.”
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