About eight years ago I received a phone call from my son's school stating he had become uncontrollable in class and had to be physically removed! It was conveyed to me that I must immediately come to school for a formal meeting with the principal, my son's teacher, the district psychologist and a "witness". Oh great, what now? My son who had severe "reactions" whenever he ingested refined sugar, had been doing so well since I took sugar out of his diet. Why then the phone call? I felt like I had been invited to my own lynching.
When I arrived my son, who was petrified, was seated between his teacher and the principal. I sat down and the principal introduced me to everyone in attendance and asked the teacher to give an accounting of the day's events. She stated that my son had started the day wonderfully, that the day had progressed well and she was very pleased with the correct answers he had on his papers. She said she had even congratulated my son and several other students for their outstanding achievements that day.
Then she said "out of the blue" my son jumped up on his desk, started dancing, kicking over things, hollering and overall creating chaos and refused to come down. She said she had no other choice than to contact the principal and have my son physically removed. Then the principal asked the psychologist to speak. She spoke in frightening terms, giving my son "names" for the kind of behavior he displayed. She spoke of therapy, medications, even "special education", where they work with children who have "his kind of problems".
When it was my turn, I said the only time he had displayed any bad or outrageous behavior in the past was when he had eaten SUGAR. I could not imagine what had happened to make him act that way. I said that under no circumstances would I allow my son to be medicated, nor did I want my child to grow up being labeled as schizophrenic. Then I turned my attention to my son. I asked him if he knew why he did what he did, but he said he did not. He said he was doing really well all day, had gotten all the right answers on his classwork and was feeling really proud of himself. The teacher, he said, was so pleased with his work that she rewarded him and several other children with CANDY!
Did you say candy? Immediately my fear of being lynched turned to anger. Don't teachers know what sugar does to children? Wasn't she aware that the numerous Health and Emergency Cards I had filled out at the beginning of the school year clearly stated my son was ALLERGIC TO SUGAR - DON'T EVER GIVE HIM ANY! Why were we all here? Probably to uncover the fact that on occasion this teacher would give the children candy as a reward. And, upon further recollection, the same times in the past, when my son went BONKERS immediately afterwards.
Well the principal was mortified, the psychologist was confused (mainly because she had been so convinced that it was a chemical imbalance in his brain), the teacher was nearly in tears, the witness agreed with me, and my son looked at me relieved to find the truth without his expulsion. The principal reprimanded the teacher and the school issued a bulletin to all teachers and their aides to NEVER, EVER GIVE SWEETS AS A REWARD. One giant point for the good guys! I went home and told my husband what had happened. He agreed that sugar was the cause. The reason he was so sure is because he is a Doctor of Chiropractic and a Doctor of Nutrition, is completely holistic in his practice and is the reason we all had been off sugar for more than a year. I was pregnant at the time and did not want to have any more SUGAR-ADDICTED children.
If you think about it, most children start their lives addicted to something. Because sugar is so prevalent in our society, it is probably the number one substance to which our babies are born addicted. Mothers consume massive amounts of sugar during their pregnancy, then either formula feed their babies (which contains up to seven different kinds of refined sugar), or mothers continue to eat sugar and breastfeed. Anyone ever wonder where colic comes from?
In adults, we would call it hypo-glycemia or panic attacks, and more. See the correlation? Or how about constipation? Refined sugar messes up the digestive tract and makes it difficult to have regular bowel movements. I overheard a mother tell a group of women that a doctor confirmed it was normal for her infant to have a bowel movement once every five to six days. That is just plain nuts! Food needs to get through an adult system in just fifteen hours after ingesting, and in healthy babies even less, or it rots. The rotting food poisons the body from the inside out. I wanted to tell that mother what I knew, but I didn't want to preach nor did I want to tell her something she wasn't ready to hear.
A few months later, I bore a healthy son at home, in my own bed. I continued on a no-refined sugar diet which was heavy on fruits and vegetables, cooked and raw, plus an assortment of extraordinarily delicious desserts which I created that contained no refined sugar, and breastfed my son. He thrived and was a remarkably healthy and easy baby. With such success caring for this baby, I decided to have one more child. Following the same "formula for success", I bore another son at home.
A couple of years passed without incident, and with my sons radiantly healthy, we decided to give our children a part-time, preschool experience, one where I was required to work in the classroom at least once a week. This worked well for me as it gave me the opportunity to make sure nobody gave our sons anything containing sugar. The only problem was I could not be there all the time, and the "snack mom" would tell my toddlers the food was safe. My sons would eat the snack and immediately become ill.
Those well-meaning mothers would not hear me when I said sugar was the culprit, but what could they possibly know? Their toddlers had mucus running into their mouths for one entire semester. They were also going into surgery for the second time around because the tubes that were placed into their ears were clogged up and became painful. There had to be a way to educate these people without insulting them, a way to show them that eating the way we do does not "deprive" our children of a normal childhood.
My husband, who has always loved the food I prepare, suggested that I write down all my recipes and create a healthy cookbook. Well, I did just that, and the editor the Los Angeles Times Food Section heard about the way we eat - sauces, salads, dressings, side dishes, soups, breads, other baked goods, but most importantly, desserts - with NO SUGAR! How could anyone eat sweets and not get sick, not feel guilty, and still enjoy the flavor to which they were accustomed?
Due mainly to publicity from the Los Angeles Times article, my cookbook, Pam's Favorite Recipes, is now in fifty states and six countries, and is going to print for the fourth time.
Pam Krause is a freelance writer, the mother of three healthy boys, and wife of Dr. Gerald Krause, D.C. who lives and practices in Redondo Beach, California. They can be reached at (800) 404-4770, and the cookbook which sells for $24.95 in the U.S. ($26.95 outside the U.S.), can also be ordered through this number.
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