Monday, March 22, 2010

Trust Your Intuition and Thank Goodness for Jumpy Frogs

My Advice – Trust Your Intuition…….We have been beaten into a blur by the major food companies, the drug companies, and institutional forces to believe that they know better than what we do on how to care for ourselves. It is time to fight back, one parent at a time.

I am a lawyer with three children who represented children in crisis for many years. In addition to being a lawyer, I am also an entrepreneur, the founder of Spelt Right Baking Company in Yarmouth, Maine and a food and nutrition activist.

Many of the children I represented were abused or neglected, in state custody or in the criminal justice system. Most were diagnosed with a range of disorders - ADHD, OCD, ADD, Asperger's, etc. and were on psychotropic drugs. None with whom I worked seem to improve on the drugs.

I was bothered by what I was observing with a system that diagnosed without investigating causes and I brought this to the attention of the judges, probation officers, prosecutors, and others in the system, but it seemed as if no one was paying attention. They viewed me as a wing nut. At one point, my personal life intersected with my professional life and I knew it was time to make a change and a difference in a completely different venue.

My own son, who was 6 years old at the time, starting experiencing problems similar to those of my clients. At times he was disruptive, out of control, simply miserable. The provisional diagnoses started pouring in: PDD (pervasive developmental disorder), ADHD, Asperger's, and others and then along came the recommendations for psychotropic drugs.

I simply couldn't go that route. I wanted to find the source of his problems. This is where intuition kicked in. I knew that he was perfectly fine, even brilliant, at times and at other times, he was off the wall or in his own space, unable to communicate. I wanted to know what was triggering him. Few of the professionals could give me an answer. They looked at me as if I were strange, some sort of renegade because I questioned their assumptions and answers. Intuitively, I knew they were offering the wrong choice (why are we drugging so many children in this country?) and that what my gut was telling me was true. So, I went searching for answers on my own.

After years of research, heart ache, and trial and error, my husband and I found the simplest of answers. It was what was on our plates! We determined that our son had certain nutritional deficiencies combined with significant sensitivities to certain foods and food additives that impacted his health and behavior significantly. We learned that he is intolerant to common wheat (triticum aestivum), which some people find incredibly difficult to digest, and that it gives him headaches, digestive issues, and symptoms that make him appear to be on the autism spectrum. We have since learned that such reactions are not uncommon, but the cause is often overlooked. He may become withdrawn or incommunicative when he eats modern wheats. We also learned that he reacts to certain additives in foods: high fructose corn syrup makes him hyperactive; red and yellow dyes cause reactions including red hot ears and meltdowns and preservative BHT makes him shut down. We should all react to such chemicals. They are not foods; they are toxins.

Here again is an example in which intuition and trusting our own bodies come into play. This child, our son, has a brilliant intuitive body. His “smart body” rejects the chemicals that are put in commercial foods (for commercial gains) because his “smart body” knows they are not food and that they are dangerous. His “smart body” rejects the monoculture of modern wheat because much of it was designed for convenience not for human nourishment.

By participating in the standard American diet, most of the rest of us sit, like those frogs, in slowly heated water until it boils and kills us with cancers, diabetes, heart conditions, arthritis, and other symptoms of a broken diet. We are taken by surprise that the toxic food and chemicals we have consumed for so many years lead us down a sickly path. Unlike the frogs that meet their demise in that slowly heating water, my son reacts like the frog that is dropped into boiling water and immediately jumps out. His body knows immediately when something is bad and he reacts. Thank goodness for those jumpy frogs.

When our son has a clean diet (which we try so hard to maintain), he is completely without reactions. His brilliance shines. When, on the other hand, he has exposure to one of the offending foods or additives, he has the reactions described. We have learned through our research that these types of reactions have been studied and are well known in Europe, but that the US turns a blind eye. See His life has changed dramatically since we changed his diet. He no longer carries any diagnoses, is not on any drugs, has many friends, and is now in the GIFTED program in school (though still is not great at getting his homework in on time). We want to share our story to help other families.

In the process of realizing that our son could no longer eat common wheat, we searched for alternative grains and found the ancient grain spelt to be a wonderful choice. Spelt is an ancient cousin of wheat that has kept many of the nutrients and attributes that have been lost with the modern wheats. Unable to find “kid friendly” spelt products in the market place, I made some at home. One day, he sadly told me he was missing bagels and pizza dough. I started modifying recipes to use spelt.

One day after trying my homemade spelt bagels, he gave me two thumbs up and I knew we were up to something good.

In 2007, we decided to home license our kitchen and test market the bagels in a few local stores and cafes. Again, they were a big hit. The orders became so large that within a year, we decided to create our own bake house. We consider the Spelt Right Bake House a little slice of heaven here on earth. It is perched above the Royal River on the coast of Maine in a historic mill which is powered by the beautiful river that surrounds it. Sunshine streams in to greet us every day and the flora and fauna migrate with the seasons.

We now sell Spelt Right products and tell our story throughout New England and New York in Whole Foods, Hannafords, independent health food stores and cafes, colleges, schools and hospitals. Stop by a Whole Foods market some day and you might just be treated to a sample of a Spelt Right bagel and receive an earful from a mother with a story to tell. For more information on Spelt Right or its owner, Beth George, please write to or see

1 comment:

  1. Beth, My son is ADHD and I am working on changing his diet a little at a time. I got fired up and bought some spelt a couple months ago. But when I got home and was ready to bake, I couldn't find recipes. Can you point me in the direction of some spelt recipes and conversions in existing recipes?

    Thanks, Penny