Julia woke up this morning looking like she had been hit by a train. Purple-ringed-puffy-eyes, sneezing constantly, and constant scratching at her skin.
Me: “Jules! Are you feeling okay this morning?”
Julia: “Yeah mom, it’s just…..my legs….I’M ALL ITCHY!”
One look at her and I knew the last week or so of “bad food choices” was catching up with her. Since we changed our diet last September, she hasn’t looked this bad. Thankfully, the food changes have never been a battle with her. Once she realized that her “itchy skin” was clear when she ate good things, she had not been tempted to go back to a diet of goldfish and pizza. Of course, that’s not to say that she hasn’t had those things in the last 11 months, but it’s been limited.
This past week, those things have not been limited, and it is showing all over her.
Julia is on the team at her gymnastics place. She practices with her team 16 hours a week, which is 4 hours per day. Working out that much, in the middle of the summer, she burns so many calories that I would be tempted to challenge her appetite with a teenage boy! She eats more at one meal than the rest of her 3 siblings, combined! She is a hungry girl on gymnastics days!
She has snack time half way through her practice. They don’t have much time to eat, so it’s a small snack. By the time she gets done with practice at 4:00 p.m. she’s STARVING! The past week, she told us that she’s been taking the left-overs from her friends snacks…..Chex Mix, Goldfish, crackers…..and eating them after practice was over.
Me: “Julia, why are you taking their snacks?”
Julia: “Mom, I’m starving!”
This apparently had been going on for sometime, but she never had said anything to me. Then it hit me. Julia is really no different than me (and a lot of other people…) when your starving you crave simple carbs and sugar. But when your starving, a diet coke, goldfish, cookies, or chips that you crave are not really what your body needs. It needs nourishment: an apple, almonds, fruit, greens….
I asked Julia what would help her so she’s not tempted to eat her friends’ snacks. She maturely said “Mom, please pack me a snack for after practice, so I won’t be so hungry.” And so I will.
This past week of poor food choices for Julia was a confirmation of why our family changed our diet in the first place. The diet changes for her are doing something, and I’m not just a crazy mom packing her homemade granola bars and baby carrots! It was a good reminder to Julia too.