Feingold Diet Helps ADD and ADHD Symptoms

Everyone experiences some of these symptoms once in a while, but it is the intensity and frequency that can indicate when it is not a normal condition and where diet could play a part.  This material is for information only and is not intended to replace appropriate medical care.  

For my family it all started with my youngest who complained of an itchy tongue.  We have learned so much about food and follow the Feingold diet avoiding artificial colors, red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6, blue 1, artificial flavors, vanillin, preservatives, BHT, BPA and TBHQ.  These chemicals effect my kids and so many others who may not even realize it's all in what they are eating.

 If you are having problems with your childs self esteem, impulsivity, aggression, test results, reading, sleeping, mood, etc. try avoiding these chemicals.  You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  You will need to give yourself time to read labels while shopping and maybe invest in a good pair of readers!

Kids and adults who eat products containing a chemical additive that they may have an intolerance for can exhibit 1 or more of the following problems.  

Behavior Problems

  • Constant motion
  • Running instead of walking
  • Inability to sit still
  • Inappropriate wiggling of legs/hands
  • Poor self-control, unpredictable behavior
  • Disruptive behavior / disturbs others
  • Unresponsive to discipline
  • Abusive behavior, unkindness to pets
  • Destructive behaviors: throws, breaks things
  • Little or no recognition of danger to self
  • Inappropriate noises
  • Excessive or loud talking, interrupts often
  • Aggression
  • Perseveration/repeating of an activity
  • Touching things or people excessively
  • Chewing on clothing, other objects
  • Scratching, biting & picking at skin
  • Workaholic habits
  • Low frustration tolerance
  • Demands immediate attention
  • Irritability
  • Overreaction to touch, pain, sound, lights
  • Nervousness, panics easily
  • Mood swings
  • Low self-esteem
  • Depression
  • Frequent crying
  • Suicidal thoughts

Learning Problems

  • Impatience
  • Distraction
  • Failure to complete projects
  • Inability to listen to whole story
  • Inability to follow directions
  • Accident prone
  • Poor muscle coordination
  • Difficulty writing, drawing
  • Dyslexia/reading problems
  • Speech difficulties/delays
  • Difficulty with playground activities, sports
  • Eye muscle disorder (nystagmus, strabismus)
  • Tics (unusual or uncontrollable movements)
  • Seizures (if combined with migraine or hyperactivity)
  • Auditory memory deficits (difficulty remembering what is heard)
  • Visual memory deficits (difficulty remembering what is seen)
  • Difficulty in comprehension and short term memory
  • Disturbance in spatial orientation (up-down, right-left)
  • Difficulties in reasoning (simple math problems, meaning in words)

 Health Problems

        People who have symptoms of ADHD that respond well to dietary management also frequently have health problems such as:

  • Ear infections
  • Asthma
  • Bedwetting (enuresis)
  • Daytime wetting
  • Stomachaches
  • Headaches, migraines
  • Hives, rashes (urticaria)
  • Eczema
  • Leg aches
  • Constipation, diarrhea
  • Congestion
  • Seizures (if combined with migraine or hyperactivity)
  • Resistance to going to bed
  • Difficulty falling asleep
  • Restless / erratic sleep
  • Nightmares, bad dreams


Description: http://www.feingold.org/images/3BBULRD.GIFWhere do food dyes come from?
Those pretty colors that make the "fruit punch" red, the gelatin green and the oatmeal blue are made from petroleum (crude oil) which is also the source for gasoline.
You will find them on the ingredient labels, listed as "Yellow No. 5," "Red 40," "Blue #1," etc. The label may say "FD&C" before the number. That means "Food, Drug & Cosmetics." When you see a number listed as "D&C" in a product, such as "D&C Red #33" it means that this coloring is considered safe for medicine (drugs) and cosmetics, but not for food.
Description: http://www.feingold.org/images/3BBULRD.GIFWhat are artificial flavorings?
They are combinations of many chemicals, both natural and synthetic. An artificial flavoring may be composed of hundreds of separate chemicals, and there is no restriction on what a company can use to flavor food.
One source for imitation vanilla flavoring (called "vanillin") is the waste product of paper mills. Some companies built factories next to the pulp mills to turn the undesirable by-product into imitation flavoring,
Description: http://www.feingold.org/images/3BBULRD.GIFWhat are BHA, BHT and TBHQ?
Those initials stand for three major preservatives found in many foods, especially in the United States. Like the dyes, they are made from petroleum (crude oil). Often, they are not listed in the ingredients.
These chemicals may be listed as "anti-oxidants" because they prevent the fats in foods from "oxidizing" or becoming rancid (spoiling). There are many natural, beneficial anti-oxidants, but they are much more expensive than the synthetic versions.
There are other undesirable food additives (MSG, sodium benzoate, nitrites, sulfites, to name a few) but most of the additives used in foods have not been found to be as big a problem as those listed above. 

Description: http://www.feingold.org/images/3BBULRD.GIFFood additives are not new. Artificial colors have been around for more than 100 years. (Originally they were made from coal tar oil.) And children have been eating artificially colored and flavored products for decades.
But then . . . most children ate these additives infrequently. They got an occasional lollipop from the bank or barber shop. Cotton candy was found at the circus. Jelly beans were given at Easter, orange cupcakes at Halloween and candy canes at Christmas.  Today . . . the typical child growing up in the United States is exposed to these powerful chemicals all day, every day.
What the child growing up in the U.S. in the 1940's got:
What the child growing up in the U.S. today gets:
White toothpaste
Multi-colored toothpaste, perhaps with sparkles
Sea Treasures Instant Oatmeal (turns milk blue)
Corn flakes
Fruity Pebbles
Toast & butter, jam
Pop Tarts
Cocoa made with natural ingredients
Cocoa made with artificial flavoring, & some with dyes.
Whipped cream
Cool Whip
No vitamins (or perhaps cod liver oil)
Flintstone vitamins with coloring & flavoring
White powder or bad-tasting liquid medicine
Bright pink, bubble-gum flavored chewable or liquid medicine
Sample school lunch:
Meat loaf, freshly made mashed potatoes, vegetable. Milk, cupcake made from scratch.
Sample school lunch:
Highly processed foods loaded with synthetic additives, no vegetable. Chocolate milk with artificial flavor.
Sample school beverage:
Water from the drinking fountain
Sample school beverage:
Soft drink with artificial color, flavor, caffeine, aspartame, etc.
Candy in the classroom a few times a year at class parties.
Candy (with synthetic additives) given frequently.

Environmental Chemicals
Artificially colored, flavored, scented, or preserved non-food items can also cause a reaction when inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

Pesticides used outside the home are easily tracked inside and are readily inhaled and absorbed through the skin.  Children are at high risk of exposure since they are more likely to crawl on the floor and play in the grass and on the school playground.

Perfumes/Plug Ins
Today, fragrances are made primarily from petroleum, and can be just as harmful as petroleum based food additives.  When inhaled, they go directly to the brain, where they can trigger an immediate reaction. 


New Awareness - Essential Oils Lavender

It is with great gratitude I write this post.  A good friend of mine, Wendalyn Cole Kirpanos recently introduced me to Essential Oils.  Thank goodness for her patience.  Wendy is full of knowledge about EO's and follows an organic lifestyle.  I admire her so much.   I had dabbled with essential oils in the past but never to the point of realizing their true potential. 
I want to share what I am learning about EO's.  I will start with lavender.
Essential Oil Lavender
I keep a bottle in my pocket.  This was my first purchase a couple weeks ago.  I read up on lavender and I just couldn't wait to try it.  I just placed an order for a 2nd bottle to keep at home.  Lavender has come in handy in so many ways, there are so many uses for it!  
Recently a friend burned her finger taking something out of the toaster.  I knew  lavender would help soothe and heal quickly and I was able to say "I have an oil for that."  A drop is all it took to take the sting away and the blistering healed quickly.
Headache?  Apply lavender on your temples or at the base of your skull.
Monthly cramps?  Rub a couple drops in a clockwise motion where it hurts.
Restlessness?  Close your eyes and inhale for a few seconds from the bottle.
There are so many reasons to love lavender.
Lavender oil is one of the most calming oils.  Not only is it a relaxing agent, but is commonly used to relieve tension, treat aches and pains, treat skin conditions, and used to enhance circulation and respiration.
For these reasons, Lavender oil is also used as a massage oil. For those with ADHD, Lavender oil can be massaged into the feet and shoulders to help regain grounding.  Try it, it really works!
Popular applications include adding drops of Lavender oil into a hot bath and soaking, or combining it with water in a spray bottle or mister.  I read somewhere about a woman who hated entertaining her family because there were always arguments and tension.  She put a few drops on cotton balls and put one in each room of her home.  She said the family disputes were replaced with peace and family enjoyment!
Today, lavender is most commonly used for anxiety, depression, mental exhaustion, insomnia, scrapes and wounds, digestive problems, headaches, skin problems and women's health problems. In addition to this, lavender can be used to treat exhaustion, heat exposure, fevers, aches and pains, over-exertion, jet lag, rashes, sprains, sunburn, sunstroke, bruises and burns. It can also be used as a disinfectant and insect repellent. Lavender is an antiseptic, natural antibiotic, sedative, and can detoxify.
These are conditions that make the pharmaceutical companies a lot of money.  Many OTC medicines can be replaced with essential oils.  Of course, always consult your physician and do your own research.
Essential oils are a natural way to heal darn near everything.  They are affordable and a little goes a long way.  The foundation of essential oils and aromatherapy date back 1000's of years.  I look forward to sharing my experiences with essential oils.

Usage Tips
+ Inhale lavender essential oil to soothe and 
relax the body and mind.
+ Make an herbal tea by mixing 2 drops of 
lavender essential oil with 1 teaspoon of blue 
agave syrup and adding to warm water.
+ Add 4–5 drops of lavender essential oil to 
a bath gel base and use in warm bath for 
+ Drop 1–2 drops of lavender essential oil on 
your pillow to aid in a restful night of sleep.
+ Massage several drops of lavender essential 
oil on feet to promote relaxation.

From Young Living:

Soothe minor burns by applying 2–3 drops of lavender essential oil to the affected area.  THIS ONE DEFINATELY WORKS!!
Rub lavender essential oil on dry or chapped skin to moisturize the affected area.
Add a few drops of lavender essential oil to a cotton ball and place it in closets and drawers to scent linens and repel moths and insects.
You may be able to minimize the appearance of scar tissue by massaging lavender essential oil on or around affected areas.
Place a few drops of lavender essential oil on a wet cloth or dryer sheet to deodorize and freshen your laundry.
Diffuse lavender essential oil to minimize seasonal discomforts.
Rub a few drops of lavender essential oil onto your hand and spread over your child’s pillow to help him/her sleep.
Diffuse lavender essential oil to set the mood for a baby shower or social gathering.
Diffuse or inhale lavender essential oil to calm your mind, body, and spirit after a hard day’s work.

What have you used lavender essential oil for?


Save The Arts....

Fine Arts in schools are so important to our children.  My niece posted this on her facebook page. I wanted to share it here.


TBHQ and ADHD - What do they mean?

TBHQ is a preservative found in many of today's foods and especially convenience and snack items.  This preservative helps the food to not go rancid too quick.  Shelf life is an important part of our food manufacturers.

TBHQ stands for Tertiary Butylhydroquinone.  This is a chemical preservative in the form of butane. The risks and side effects of this chemical creation far outweighs the benefits.

ADHD.  ADHD stands for attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder.  ADHD is a behavioral disorder that effects 8 - 10% school age children.  I believe it effects far more and reaches far beyond childhood.  Boys are about 3x more likely to exhibit ADHD.  Kids with ADHD act without thinking, have trouble focusing and are hyperactive.  Some kids can display rage.

We were out and about this weekend and although I limit purchases from vending machines, I gave in on a Payday.  This is a peanut, caramel candy bar.  I glanced at the ingredient list and somehow missed TBHQ listed but there it is:

Peanuts, sugar, corn syrup, nonfat milk, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, contains 2% or less of: Partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean and cottonseed oil), salt, carrageenan, mono- and diglycerides, TBHQ (preservative), egg whites, and soy protein.

My son is paying the price for eating that .90 cent candy bar.  He is restless, impulsive and not feeling strong in balance.  He is having a hard day at school and got in to it with one of his best friends at recess.  I so hate seeing the effects of chemical reactions in my kids.  One of the worse parts is the after effect.  His self esteem plummets.

You may be interested to know that TBHQ is in fast food fries.  It is in the oil which allows food preparers to heat the oil at super high temps and use the oil over and over again.  There are just 3 fast food places I know of that do not use TBHQ in their french fry oil and they are 5 Guys, In n Out, and Wendys.

A home remedy that works for us is a warm Epsom salt bath.  The magnesium in the salts help restore balance.  I am also using essential oils and am seeing success.  More on that to come!

We avoid artificial colors like Red 40, Yellow 5 and 6, Blue 1, artificial flavors like VanillinBHABHT and TBHQ, as well as high fructose corn syrup.  Its not as hard as it sounds, and if I would have held my own and not caved at the vending machine, I would not have been reminded how miserable these chemical additives are.

Studies on BHT, BHA and TBHQ

Bully Box

Can you spot a bully?  What do you think a bully looks like?

A bully is not all inclusive.  Bullies are many.  Boys, Girls, Grown Ups.
Its widespread and can happen anywhere.  It should NOT be accepted as "kids just being kids" or kids just fooling around, any should never be accepted as a phase.

What are different forms of bullying?

1.  Repetition
2.  Imbalance of power
3.  Intent to harm

Bullying can take on the form of many things:
1.  Verbal
2.  Physical
3.  Social
4.  Cyberbullying

Everyday in our country kids wake up and are afraid to go to school.  They can suffer anxiety, depression and increased episodes of sadness and lonliness among other things. Some kids are very good at hiding this but inside they are hurting. These feelings can last well into adulthood.    Bullies tend to bully those who may act different and look different.  Bullies seldom bully when no one else is around, they want an audience, they want to feel powerful.

Bullying should never be tolerated. Too many times a bully will say if you tell, you are a tattle tale. This drives even more fear into our kids. Teach your children to tell a trusted adult, mom or dad, grandparents, a teacher. We cannot fail our kids. Education is key and we have to continue to raise awareness about this very important issue. To put our heads in the sand and act like its not going on is irresponsible and could be considered illegal.

I recently proposed a bully box at our school. The idea is so simple. You provide a box, something like a Valentines Box that can remain confidential. You could either have short forms to fill our or blank pages of paper. Kids could use the bully box as an outlet if they are being bullied, saw someone bully or even "think" they may be being bullied. The papers could be looked at by an administrator to "weed out" issues like my friend would not sit with me at lunch or those girls won't play with me today. They then could be passed on to the social worker. The social worker and administrator could now know something that they may not have known about before. If this kind of system helps just one person, it is a success. Lots of times there are some kids who know a person is being bullied. This could also help them communicate what they are seeing happen. Being able to express this kind of thing is so important and kids may not want to go to a teacher because they don't want to be labeled a tattle tale. Its a terrible cycle. I don't know if the bully box will be implemented. It could be called anything if they don't want to use the word bully. What do you think?

If the bullying gets worse and you need additional help, consider the following if:

Someone is at immediate risk of harm because of bullying.....Call the police 911
Your child is feeling suicidal because of bullying.....Contact the suicide prevention hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Your child’s teacher is not keeping your child safe from being bullied.....Contact local school administrator (principal or superintendent)
Your school is not keeping your child safe from being bullied.....Contact the State School Department
Your child is sick, stressed, not sleeping, or is having other problems because of bullying..... Contact your counselor or other health professional
Your child is bullied because of their race, ethnicity, or disability and local help is not working to solve the problem.....Contact the U.S. Department of Education’s Office on Civil Rights

Food Dyes like Red 40, ADHD and More

Could it be possible?  If you are wondering if your child's anger outbursts, temper tantrums, impulsiveness or aggression could be linked to what he eats, keep reading.  If you child has been diagnosed with ADHD or has tendencies you may want to look at what they are eating both at home and school lunch.

If you live in America and eat or serve your kids "snacks" it is most likely you are being subjected to artificial food dyes.  If you are drinking enhanced or flavored water, it is likely you are being subjected to artificial food dyes.   If you are eating soft serve ice cream or going to fast food restaurants...well dyes are in many of those foods too.

What are artificial food dyes?  Red 40, Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Blue 1 are the top 4 in the US.  These are additives the FDA does not restrict from our nations food supply.  Those pretty colors that make the "fruit punch" red, the gelatin green and the oatmeal blue are made from petroleum (crude oil) which is also the source for gasoline.
You will find them on the ingredient labels, listed as "Yellow No. 5," "Red 40," "Blue #1," etc. The label may say "FD&C" before the number. That means "Food, Drug & Cosmetics." When you see a number listed as "D&C" in a product, such as "D&C Red #33" it means that this coloring is considered safe for medicine (drugs) and cosmetics, but not for food.

Kids today eat differently than their parents and grandparents.  30 years ago a lollipop was a special treat for sitting during a haircut.  A trip to a fast food restaurant was an occasion.  Today, kids are bombarded by food with artificial colors.  Take a look in your pantry and fridge this week.  I bet you'll find some red 40, blue 1, yellow 5 and 6 lurking in there.

If your child has ADHD or tendencies like hyperactivity, aggression, rage, self esteem issues, impulsiveness, take a look at what they are eating.  Try an experiment and remove these artificial dyes for a week or 2.  You may be re-introduced to a brand new kid!