Whether we are at the gym, library, school or grocery store, I always see kids that are toxic with something and deficient in what their body needs. Remember, this is the The Only Reason We Are Ever Sick. And, sick does not always mean a "cold" or "flu". There are lots of symptoms that a body is sick or toxic, even though your child might be feeling or acting fine. Here are the top 5 that I see or hear about from moms regularly:
- Red, blotchy, irritated and/or dry skin, or eczema - this is inflammation being expressed on the outside of the body. It can be all over, and sometimes just in certain places. Although there are plenty of creams and drugs that can be given to combat the irritation, this does not solve the problem. Many times, inflammation will also be expressed in other ways (see below) and these symptoms will NOT go away with the skin medications. Best solution - eliminate inflammation by increasing F&V, EFA (essential fatty acids), Omega-3, Probiotics and Vitamin D. AVOID - sugar, processed foods, dairy, wheat, food colorings/dyes, and additives like MSG and aspartame. This will help eliminate the skin problem as well as eliminating or preventing other problems (as listed below).
- Lethargic/irritated - this is a sign of poor nutrition, especially lacking in protein, and too much sugar. A high-sugar breakfast will lead to a sugar crash, insulin spikes, irritability, and eventually drowiness. A high protein meal will keep energy levels high for a much longer amount of time, even through lots of activity. Ideas: Starting Solid Foods - What?, Early Morning Protein Plate.
- Hard, very smelly poop and/or constipated - this is a sign of too much sugar and not enough water. Make sure your child is drinking enough WATER - fruit juices (with lots of sugar) are NOT an ideal source of hydration. They can actually make the problem worse. Water, or coconut water, is best. This can also be a sign of not enough fiber. The best kind of fiber comes from F&V. Green smoothies are a staple in our diet (1-2 everyday) and serve many purposes - highly nutritious with F&V, a great source of dark, leafy greens (which actually have more Vitamin D and calcium naturally then milk!), high in fiber, very filling, easy and convenient. Fiber helps eliminate waste from our gut. As a side note: I love juicing, and have made some really tasty juices. Juicing is a great way to get a variety of F&V. However, it does eliminate the pulp, skins and seeds from the F&V (which house fiber and most of the nutrients). Blending is optimum. Juicing is ok to do sometimes, but I would add in as much fiber as possible if suffering from constipation.
- Green snot, flemmy persistent cough - the classic tell-tale sign of inflammation. See the foods/supplements above to increase and avoid. Use a neti pot to clear out the nose. Warm water with a little honey and lemon (if you child will take it), helps boost immune function and clears/soothes the throat. Beat the Flu Naturally.