We are a house divided.  Yes, it’s true.  We are still kind to one another, for the most part, but there have been moments when fangs have been bared and tempers tested!

It all started about 3 weeks ago, a normal day, nothing unusual except for the sneezing…

Lauren, my second eldest, came to me with a complaint.  She was tired of waking up congested and having to put make-up on puffy eyes.  Her query to me – 

“Mom, is there anything I can do about this!?”

I shared with her that up until my thirties, I had put up with the same thing.  Sneezing and blowing my nose, headaches and puffy eyes till about noon and then I was fine for the rest of the day.   I read an article about white processed flour and sugar and the effects it can produce.  I decided to cut it out of my diet to see what would happen.  Within a week or two – the “allergy symptoms” were gone and so were the headaches in the morning!  I would occasionally eat freshly ground whole wheat and natural sugars.   I also discovered that corn syrup did a number on my system and was responsible for most of my headaches.

It was during this diet “test” that I realized the true effect of processed food for me.  The hardest part – when I went off, I reacted even worse than I did before I cleaned out my system.  I love to understand “why” things work but I must confess, I really don’t know why this worked for me – to get rid of the processed sugar and wheat.  I just know that I felt much better and the mornings were much more pleasant when I didn’t feel like I had a hang-over!  Just ask my kids – they’ll tell you!

Now lest you be deceived, occasionally I will succumb to the marketing lure for McDonalds – you know, the ” have it your way!”  Only when you say it, say it with a bit of sarcasm like “okay you fool, you know better but you’re forty-something and who are we to deny you what you want?”  Believe me, I pay for it big time afterwards but I never seem to remember that while I’m enjoying my man-made, cholesterol saturated, sodium-filled, artificially concocted sandwich!  And no matter how slowly I eat, the “food” leaves my system faster than it went in!

So back to Lauren.  She went off of wheat and sugar.  She endured the days of not feeling well and all the drainage that goes along with cleaning out your system.  It’s amazing how easily we adjust to feeling good, how quickly we forget how rotten we felt.  She left on working trip with Dave this past Saturday.  Early morning – 19 hour flight…   Dave was going to get coffee and she thought that might help to keep her awake.  Only she drinks coffee like I do – with “stuff” in it.  Lauren didn’t think that one drink with sugar would make that much difference….

She threw-up 3 times on the plane.  I talked to her when they landed in Japan for re-fueling and she was doing some better.  She told me, “Mom, I hate getting sick on a plane but I’m glad to know how much this really does affect me.”  Lucky for her she’s in the Philippines where they eat a lot of fresh food – she should be okay.

So how are we a house divided?  Well, one night we were eating supper outside on the back porch and quite a few diet decisions had been made that day.  We decided to share with Dave, who had been at work all day.  We went around the table.  “I’m off wheat and sugar.”  “I’m off just sugar.”  I’m eating smaller portions.”  and so it went.  It came around to Dave and he said, “Well, it looks as if the only thing left to eat in this house is wheat  and sugar so that’s what I’m on!”  For the most part we are now divided into “wheat, no sugar” and “no wheat, no sugar.”

And just a word of caution if you come to visit us – beware when removing any food item from the cupboard.   If you are taking food from the limited supplies of  the “no wheat, no sugar” camp,  it may cost you a limb!