Bio-individuality and the Diet Romance
Who doesn’t love the excitement that comes with starting a new diet? It is almost like being in a new relationship. You are eager to jump into it, you imagine all of the ways your life will change for the better, and dare I say it, you may even imagine that all your problems will be solved! But as with most relationships, our expectations are not usually met- the anticipation often exceeds the result. Luckily, as in any failed relationship (or failed diet), we learn more about ourselves, and our own needs, helping us become better equipped and more prepared for the next step in our lives.
There are numerous diets that claim the ability to heal chronic diseases. These range from juicing diets that claim to cure cancer, to food protocols that claim that they can reverse food intolerances. I cannot truly endorse any of these diets resolutely. Although, I do believe that many diets have their benefits, it is important to understand that no two people are exactly alike. Believing that one therapeutic diet would have the same positive effect on all who try it is naïve. Don’t get me wrong, we have all fallen for the promises and the testimonials. We have all blindly followed the map to health and happiness (complete with flashing lights). But it is time to get real. We are moms. We have to be smart and careful with the choices that we make with our own health and especially the health of our children. We are bio-individuals. This means we are unique. A food that is beneficial to us may be harmful to someone else- even our own children. It took me a long time to accept that the perfect diet for my daughter was not going to be the diet that would work for me. That’s okay.
So where does that leave us moms? If there are no definite answers and no magic cures to fix our family’s ailments, should we just throw in the towel? Absolutely not! As moms we know our children the best and given that very special gift and responsibility, we are the best suited to make an educated decision as to what choices may be best for our children. Moreover, if we try something new, as mothers we are the best judges to assess what benefits, side effects and behavioral changes may have occurred. Countless times I have discovered that a specific food would cause my daughter to be more agitated or reactive than normal, without any of her typically physical reactions, such as eczema flare-ups and red/itchy skin.
From what I have learned throughout my journey, the best course of action that any mother can take when caring for a child with a chronic condition, is to educate herself. Learn about the condition. Learn how conventional medicine treats this condition. Talk to your child’s doctor, and if you are not satisfied with the treatment or the results you are getting, don’t feel ashamed to seek an alternate opinion or remedy. However, if you do choose an alternate path, be sure that it is an informed one and that you are being guided by a healthcare professional. You can do great things for your family, but realize that no one achieves greatness completely on their own. Get support.
So, just as in any relationship, we live, we learn and we take away lessons that make us stronger. Enjoy the learning process. Dare to try something new. Enjoy the fact that you do have choices. Most importantly, be true to yourself. Listen to your body and observe your children closely, so that you can figure out what will work best for you, and for them, too.