Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred and Nineteen: ADHD and Hyperactivity in Kids. Help us Spread the Word!

Great news!  The FDA has just announced that it is considering banning certain food dyes (specifically Red 40 and Yellow 5), because of a possible connection between the consumption of these additives and hyperactivity in children.

Of course, this isn't news to us.

We've been talking/writing/blogging about this issue for years ever since our son began experiencing health and behavioral problems when he was 3 or 4 years old.

Those of you who have followed our son's story know that he is now a healthy, thriving 13-year old. But that wasn't always the case. When he was younger, his health and behavioral issues were so severe that doctors suggested he had everything from ADHD to Asperger's Syndrome.

And every diagnosis came with a drug solution.  HOGWASH!

We weren't buying it. Instead, we started paying close attention to the relationship between what he ate, and how he behaved. It took us several years to figure it all out, but by eliminating artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners, along with removing industrial wheat from his diet (and adding in spelt), we were able to completely turn his health and behavior around.

No drugs. Just good - and real - food.

So we couldn't be happier to hear that the FDA is finally catching up with Spelt Right on the issue of synthetic food additives and their negative effects on our kids.

This is such an important issue - Please help us spread the word!

Also, check out some of our past articles on the relationship between synthetic food additives and hyperactivity in kids.

Down East Article on Spelt Right and Its Mission

So, here is picture of the kid, now 13, additive free for 6 years, always
 drug free, all natural diet, and one of the sweetest brightest folks I know.  
He is an incredible chef.  Last night's dinner was made completely 
by Spencer.  Marinated beef tips with a reduction sauce, sauteed tofu, 
tons of garlic, fresh veggies, special homemade sauces, all in a stir fry. 
 Diet change has been worth every moment.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One-Hundred and Eighteen (On Being GOOD)

Scanning world events, I remind myself that I have very little to complain about.  Japan and its honorable people have been swallowed by a big wave; the unleashing of nuclear radiation is an unimaginable horror; the turmoil in the Middle East continues with airstrikes against Libya and the unending wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.  The world is turning upside down.  Those of us sensitive to its woes feel the sting even if we are not personally experiencing it.

And despite all of these horrors and feeling the sting only from afar, I am thankful for a moment with a bit of normalcy, a moment when you feel the world is o.k., just because there are good people and good events and good things to eat.  

GOOD.  That is how a friend described me today, and that simple description made me smile, while temporarily placing my personal challenges aside and keeping the onslaught of world events at bay.

GOOD is GOOD.  It is important to reflect and appreciate that GOOD people exist even in the midst of world chaos and personal struggles.   The GOODNESS magnifies the more it is shared.

It is the GOOD in others that strengthens us during challenging times and the GOOD that we can offer others that can help ease their pain.

Today, I received two very special gifts from some very GOOD people.  One is a gift certificate for a massage with my favorite Masseuse from two folks in the banking industry who have watched as I have tried, sometimes with success, but mostly with many roadblocks, to build this passion I call Spelt Right Baking Co.   The other, a much bigger gift, was a life boat, and a line of oxygen, to help me stay afloat while I enter unchartered territory to grow this business that has become my obsession.  For all of these, I am thankful.

Today's very GOOD recipe.  Grilled veggies inside of a Spelt Right Pizza Dough Bun.   Fully thaw and rise a Spelt Right Pizza Dough Cut into 8 equal balls.  Slightly flatten balls, coat lightly with EVOO, and place on grill.  Once browned on one side, flip and brown the other.  Make sure bread is baked through through.   Grill vegetables to your preference, add  goat cheese. Yum.

And appreciate that GOOD FOOD is EXTRA GOOD when made with Spelt Right.  For the health benefits of SPELT, please check out this link

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lunch Box Chronicles: Day One Hundred and Seventeen (On Saving the World)

In a world in which nothing seems predictable, from civil wars in the Middle East, to union busting in Wisconsin, rising oil and gas prices, and millions of kids going hungry, I often shut my eyes and wonder if I can, just in a small way, make the world a better place.  It sounds so trivial, but it is real...can improving just one life, once in a while, make the world just that much better?

I have to believe it is so, or else, the meaning of existence would not mean much at all...So, how is it that some of us have the curse that we feel compelled to make the world a better place, and other of us, can just exist, being satisfied that we survive day-to-day without harming anyone in our path?  I am one of the cursed...I am driven by the need to "do good" on some level in my life.

For many years, I represented 100s of kids, kids in trouble with the law, kids struggling in school, kids who parents tried, but simply couldn't withstand the rigors of parenting.   There was a lot of pain, a lot of lecturing, a lot of re-shaping, and too much disappointment.  There would be a team of social workers, psychologists, teachers, probation officers and lawyers working with these kids and families, but sometimes, the dysfunction was so hard wired, or the damage from the abuse so irreversible that, no matter our best efforts, the kids would fall through the cracks, and eventually become adults who also fell through the cracks.   I started to feel as if each child's pain became my own.   Ten years into it, I left to maintain my protective shell and to help my own family.

Years later, after leaving that world, I occasionally have a fleeting encounter with my past. Was that young victim a past client of mine?  Is so-in-so now in prison?  And, how many babies did she lose to state custody?  But, sometimes, a glimmer of what it means to make a difference walks through the door.

And, indeed that is what happened this week when I was sitting in the bakery.  After a steady stream of walk-ins, one tall well-dressed man walked in the bakery.  "Beth?" He said, "Yes?"  I answered.  He continued, "You may not remember me, but you represented my son several years ago when he was a teenager."  "Oh yes," I said, "How is he doing?"   He continued, "He is doing wonderfully; after the dark period in which you represented him, he turned himself around, got into college, did really well, and now works in finance.  I just wanted to say thank you and wish you good luck with your business ventures."  Slightly stunned, I said "You are welcome; and please tell your son, I say congratulations and if he ever wants to invest in his attorney, I have a great business."  We both said good-bye with a smile and a nod.

I guess one small gesture can make a world of difference, even if it just for one kid.

And, with this, I offer a way to help you make someone's life better, just for a fleeting making a damn good Spelt Right Pizza.   The way I prepared this crust was one of the best I can remember.

Ingredients:  One Spelt Right Pizza Dough, fully thawed and risen, stretched out on a stainless steel pan oiled with extra virgin olive oil.  Preheat oven to 450F.  Let dough rest in a warm place while on the pan.  It gives it a lighter crispier texture.   Top with your favorite toppings.  I used Frank's Pasta Sauce, made in Cranston, RI., Hannaford Mozzarella Cheese, sauteed mushrooms, and Trader Joe's Calamata Olive Tapenade.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending upon how you like your crust.

Critique:  A pizza that has the possibility to make the world a better place.  Enjoy.  Stop and smell the roses and the pizza.