Thursday, September 28, 2017

Marketing Artificial Color To Children Should Be Illegal (Amazing Story)

I’ve got some real idiotic news about Trix Cereal… but first let me explain why I’m so angry about it. If you’re part of the Food Babe Army, I doubt you’re filling your carts up with Trix and Lucky Charms at the grocery store. That’s because you are some of the smartest consumers out there when it comes to your food. You know what to look for on an ingredient list, what additives to avoid, and how to keep the GMOs out of your diet.

People sometimes criticize me for writing about processed junk foods like Trix because they think it’s obvious how unhealthy it is… but there are still a lot of people out there who do not know this information. They do not know what additives like Yellow #5 and TBHQ could be doing to their health or the health of their kids. They do not know that there could be Roundup weedkiller in their Cheerios, silly putty in their french fries, or wood in their cheese. We still need to reach these people! That’s why it’s important to keep raising awareness of these issues.

I also want to keep y’all informed as to what’s happening in the processed food world so that you can spread the word to your own friends and family who need to know this information. Our movement is growing, but there are still SO MANY people we need to reach… and this sad news about Trix really helps make my point…

General Mills just announced they’re putting the artificial dyes – Yellow #6, Blue #1, Red #40 – back into Trix Cereal because they were “besieged” by customer complaints since they removed these dyes two years ago.

You may recall, General Mills announced with big fanfare a couple years ago that they’d remove chemical dyes from all their cereals and replace them with natural colors like turmeric extract, vegetable and fruit juices. They later claimed sales of the dye-free Trix “exceeded expectations” along with great feedback from customers, which makes it even more perplexing as to why they suddenly pulled a 180. They’re going to start selling their original version of Trix with “neon bright” fake colors as soon as next month (both versions will be available).

Who is asking General Mills to put artificial dyes in their children’s food? Are you or anyone you know actually calling up General Mills and complaining about the color? Do the fake colors really make Trix taste better? I really want to know the reasons why anyone would want their children to eat Blue #1 and Yellow #6.

I truly believe if consumers knew that these colors are derived from petroleum, what they do to their bodies and how they have been shown to affect children, they would not want to eat them. We clearly still have so much work to do and need to keep spreading the truth.

Removing artificial colors from children’s diets can produce remarkable results

The Feingold Association recently thanked us in their newsletter for our successful petition which got the artificial dyes out of Kraft Mac n’ Cheese, along with a story about how one little boy’s life was changed forever when artificial dyes were removed from his diet (following our petition). They graciously granted me permission to publish the entire story here to reach more people and impact as many lives as possible. When I launched the Kraft petition, I received countless letters like this one, and I know that thousands of you are having the same experiences. I hope you read and share this story below with your loved ones and keep sharing the truth about artificial food dyes. 


Cameron — a little boy with no speech and endless tears

From birth, Cameron was “different.” He was very moody, angry, hated being touched and would not sit still —EVER. He hated car rides, being in a stroller, being carried, sung to; you name it. Other than video games, he hated everything. He never slept for more than a few hours at a time and averaged about five hours. He woke up at night for no obvious reason 5-15 times a night until the age of 5. He spit up every time he ate until he was 3 years old, and he would break out in hives all over his body. At 1 1/2 we took him to an allergist, who said it was food sensitivities and he would outgrow it. He didn’t.

Cameron’s behavior was horrible. In stores, he would run away and hide. In the car, he would scream until he vomited and he gave me two black eyes before he was three years old. He couldn’t speak; he would make sounds but no distinguishable words. We took him for a hearing test, which was fine, and they recommended occupational therapy. He was very uncooperative, but we continued with it two times a week for a year.

When Cameron was four he started speech therapy, but he hated it. He would scream until he began vomiting. He wouldn’t participate with his speech therapist but would kick, hit and spit at her. She suggested medication to help subdue his outbursts. He didn’t know the alphabet or colors but was very good at math. We started thinking he was mildly autistic. He still was not sleeping and was getting hives daily. He craved food with dyes like a junkie craves heroin.

Cameron started 4-year-old kindergarten, and it was horrible. He hated it as much as his teacher hated him. He was the worst-behaved kid in a classroom of thirty-five 4-year-olds. His teacher also suggested looking into medicine, as she didn’t think he would be able to function in mainstream school. But I was firmly against medicating him and started considering homeschooling.

Here is a sequence of pictures I took as Cameron ate a blue lollipop (before I learned about additives). I can now see how he became progressively more miserable. In the last two pictures, there are tears rolling down his cheeks. That final picture gets me every time I look at it! 

The following day, I took him for his first allergy appointment. The allergist said he had sensitivities. “Nothing to worry about. It won’t kill him. He should outgrow it by age 4.”

My “Ah-ha moment”
In the spring of 2013, I saw an online petition calling for Kraft to remove dyes from its mac & cheese because the additives could cause ADHD, mood swings and hives. This was my “ah-ha” moment!

The previous night, Cameron had eaten Kraft Mac & Cheese and he didn’t sleep and was covered in hives. I decided to try taking out food dye for a week to see if his hives went away. They did! We were amazed that after only a few days, he didn’t severely itch. After a few weeks, when he had had very limited exposure to food dyes, I noticed his behavior was different. I thought maybe he was getting sick.

Then, Cameron gave me a hug all on his own! This had never happened before. What’s more, he was waking up only a few times a night instead of ten. He wasn’t so angry, and he wasn’t as itchy. And, after thirty days of being dye-free, he could SPEAK! Nearly perfect, clear words that everyone could understand. For the first time ever, he said, “I love you.”

I spent most of that month in tears because of the life-changing miracles that came from removing dyes. He literally learned his colors overnight. I spoke with him about these changes, and he said his body didn’t hurt as much as it used to and his head didn’t buzz as much. I then realized my son spent the first five years of his life in constant pain and didn’t know he was supposed to feel any different. We were dye-free for three months and doing great; then, we went to a 4th of July parade. He was perfectly behaved until I let him have some cotton candy, and all hell broke out! He was yelling, crying, screaming, curled up in the fetal position having a complete breakdown. This reaction to dye took five days to wear off.

How the additives affect him
If Cameron ate the petroleum-based dyes, artificial flavors or preservatives eliminated on the Feingold Diet he would experience these reactions: anger, body & joint pains, hives, impaired learning, ringing/buzzing in his ears, stomach pain, anxiety, rapid & loud speech, bipolar tendencies, and the inability to follow simple directions.

I decided it was all or nothing. No food coloring, ever!
Things were much better that winter, and I also noticed a major change in Cameron’s dad. He cut back on his dye consumption. (He was completely addicted to Jolly Ranchers, Sour Patch Kids and Mountain Dew.) But now, he wasn’t as angry at the world like he had always been and was just nicer in general. Who knew that dyes could affect adults? (They also affect pets. My dog will rip up toys if he eats anything with dye in it.)

He had felt miserable so it’s no wonder he acted miserable as well.
By March of 2014, we were about one-year dye-free, and Cameron was complaining about body pain again, and he had what doctors kept referring to as eczema. That’s when I stumbled across the Feingold Diet and thought, “This sounds like the symptoms Cameron is having now right down to the ADHD and behavioral issues.” I ordered the membership materials and have never looked back. The Feingold Association provides a long list of brand-name foods that are free of dyes, artificial flavors and the three worst preservatives. They also show how to test for salicylate sensitivity. We removed all preservatives from Cameron’s diet, and things slowly began to improve. (Preservatives are hard to identify because of loopholes in labeling laws. Chemicals like BHA, BHT and TBHQ can be hidden in the ingredients in a product or sprayed on the insides of the packaging and do not need to be listed.) I kept a daily food & behavior journal for Cameron; if it went in his mouth, it was written down. This was a huge help in identifying a possible culprit. 

After being dye-free for just thirty days, Cameron experienced the following:

1. Hives subsided
2. Anger diminished
3. Started speaking
4. Learned his colors
5. Slept better at night
6. Body pain lessened
7. Developed compassion & empathy
8. Began to socialize (He couldn’t handle being in public places with any number of people prior to this.)

Cameron started kindergarten, free of artificial colors and flavoring at the same school where two previous teachers “suggested” medication. Three months into the school year, he was awarded “Student of the Month.” He no longer needed speech therapy or an IEP. The therapist had no explanation as to why he suddenly could talk, but I am 100% certain it is from removing the additives. His occupational therapist contacted me three years after her last meeting with him, saying she couldn’t believe the progress he had made. She said she assumed he would always have major issues.

Food sensitivity avoidance has become our way of life. We follow the Feingold Foodlist almost 100%. Cameron still has “eczema” flare-ups occasionally, but they are not as severe. There are zero behavior issues that we deal with now. Cameron sleeps an average of eight hours a night, seven days a week. He has never been sent to the principal’s office, and he actively & willingly participates in school. We still need to tweak his diet on a regular basis and watch for things, but it is much easier now. We also found Cameron can have reactions to dyes in soap, shampoo, temporary tattoos, toothpaste etc., so, all of that must be dye-free also.

The last accidental food coloring exposure was in May 2014. Within twenty minutes of ingesting a microscopic amount of red dye 40, he was curled into the fetal position, lying on the floor, under the table in a restaurant, experiencing severe body pain & itching. An hour after ingestion, his speech became loud and rapid, and he was unable to hear us when we tried to speak to him. For two hours after exposure to the dye, he repeatedly used the word “what.” His behavior became manic, but while this subsided quickly, the body pain lasted several days. We have found that soaking in a bath with baking soda can lessen some of the symptoms as it helps draw out toxins. We went dye-free in 2013, to try and clear up the hives issue. I never in a million years would have thought additives in food could be linked to Cameron’s behavior, but after seeing the cravings for and withdrawal from food coloring, I can honestly say it should be illegal. It is addictive and mind-altering, just like any other drug.

Success at last!
After consulting many allergists, dermatologists, pediatricians & pediatric rheumatologists for more than five years, and not getting help, we finally figured out my son’s issues. It began with an online petition and continued with the help and guidance of the Feingold Association. Happily, Kraft removed the synthetic food coloring from its Mac & Cheese in 2016.
~ Feingold Association Pure Facts Newsletter, September 2017


I am so moved by this story and would love to see these dyes banished from our food forever. I hope this information helps every family out there who is affected by the dyes in our food. Please share this post and Cameron’s story with your loved ones. You never know who it may help! 

Xo,

Vani

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5 for (Almost) Friday

Hi, friends! Happy almost Friday to you!

I was planning to share this blog post tomorrow, but I never finished my post for today (because the $40 internet on the plane was so terrible), so I decided to publish it a little early. I thought this round-up would be a great way to share some of the fun things from my week so far, so here are 5 for (almost) Friday!

1. I just had to share our recent video podcast with Mobius Media Solutions – We chat about the business side of Designed to Fit Nutrition, specifically where we’ve been and where we’re going with the business. Also, please note how uneven my skin looks. We filmed this podcast at the beginning of the summer before I started using the Rejuvenating line. For comparison, check out this video that we made just last week. I’m wearing the same exact makeup in both videos, but it’s quite the transformation, right?!

2. I can’t get enough sweet potato toast in my life lately – I used to eat it all the time, but forgot about it until recently. On Sunday, I sliced up a couple of sweet potatoes and stored them in the fridge until I was ready to eat. Then, I just nuke a slice in the microwave for 2 minutes, heat in the toaster oven until perfectly browned, and top with nut butter, ground flax, pumpkin seeds, etc.

3.  I’m weirdly in love with this Extra Mile Long Sleeve. It’s simply the best and it’s definitely a step up from my usual athleisure! The fit and fabric are much more “sophisticated,” which means it’s a top that easily transitions from inside to outside the gym – everything from running Saturday morning errands with Qman to grabbing happy hour drinks with Mal at our favorite bar. Let’s just say, it’s a piece that gets A LOT of wear nowadays! FYI: My “diaper bag” is from Skip Hop but I use it as a combo diaper bag/gym bag/purse. I love it so much!

4. I got a manicure the other day, and I’m obsessed with this color. Fun, right? I actually use to think that manicures were the biggest waste of money, but now I look forward to having a fresh one every couple of weeks. There’s just something about new nails that makes me feel so good!


5. I am making these 3-Ingredient Pumpkin Brownies the second I get home from San Francisco. They look so easy, so delicious, and, hello, only require three ingredients. Sign me up!

Question of the Day

How’s your week going?

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When Bloggers Come To Town

(Sung to the tune of “When country comes to town!”)

On Tuesday I took the train up to Washington, DC, for a special dinner with Dietz and Watson. I’ll be sharing more about the dinner in a week or so, but I wanted to recap the rest of my visit with Anne! We spent a lot of time weighing options for accommodation for the night, from sleeping on her couch to going to a Kimpton hotel. There was a conference going on that had all hotels at $700+ so we found a simple little basement Airbnb in the U Street area to crash for the night – close to the restaurant and close to Sweatbox, where we went for an early morning workout. I gave Anne the bedroom and took the futon for the night. It wasn’t glamorous, but it worked!

I LOVE Amtrak! My train arrived around noon and I spent the afternoon working in the Airbnb before needing some fresh air and sunshine.

I made my way to Meridian Park and walk/ran around for 3-ish miles, taking running breaks to chat with my mom and sister. My legs were still really tired from soccer, so I didn’t want to push it. I did have fun running up these stairs a few times!

Back at the apartment, I showered and put on my best face!

When bloggers come to town, you help each other take pictures! 😉

We walked to dinner and had a glorious time at Kapanos. I’ll share the what and why soon!

When bloggers come to town, they make you get up before sunrise to exercise!

Anne had an invitation to try out Sweatbox and brought me along. We were staying just a block away, so at least we didn’t have a commute! Anne’s friend Chelsea and fellow-blogger joined us as well!

The class was cool because the studio was dark and the lights gave the room a club effect. I love workout classes in the dark, especially first thing in the morning! We wore MyZone heart rate monitors (we have these at my home gym too!) and used a mounted computer screen plus the light-up bike to motivate us to push into the highest zones. Only about 25% of the class was on the bike, and the rest was done in “boxes” where we had TRX, weights, and room for plyo and planks.

I enjoyed the workout, the class style, and the data! It wasn’t one of my biggest burns because we did a lot of weights, but by the end of it I felt like I got a great total body workout. The instructor, Mark, was great too! Super helpful and nice to us newbies.

When bloggers come to town you have to take them to the best eats!

After quick showers, Anne and I headed to brunch. We walked to Slipstream, which was a cool cafe with coffee, light bites, and cocktails (for the later hours of the day, lol.)

The coffee was INCREDIBLE! Mine tasted like caramel (even with no sugar!)

We each had our eye on loaded toast.

Anne had avocado and whipped goats cheese with egg, and I had smoked salmon with greens, egg, and a potato hash that was too oniony to really enjoy. (I asked if there were onions involved and was told no, but didn’t want to send it back.)

When bloggers come to town, it’s always fun to compare notes, especially when you have twin posts!

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