Friday, March 28, 2014
Although I have written many times about the importance of fat in our diets, I am going to write about it again. Today on NPR, I heard a broadcast that lambasted the old recommendation of a high carb, low fat diet which my generation was raised on. According to new studies, this diet is linked to a massive increase in the rate of obesity and diabetes, Alzheimer's and ADHD, and any number of other epidemics. I am in contact with about a dozen people every month who have children with behavior issues, sleep issues, epilepsy, low energy levels, concentration problems, and other issues which, in my opinion, are caused by a poor diet. Too much sugar, too many carbs, and not enough fat are at the root of it all. And yet, when I suggest people make the change to a high fat, low sugar/carb diet, they step back and lower their eyes. I tell them that all it takes is one afternoon. For one afternoon, they need to take the time to throw away all the high sugar and high carb items in their house, and then go shopping for the healthy replacements. I also suggest, as our nutritionist did to me, that they give their children teaspoons of oils at breakfast and dinner. Alex and Izzy get fish oil in the morning and other oils in the evening. Alex simply cannot function without them. If we go a couple of days without our oil supplement, he gets low on his fat intake and he gets irritable, tired, has trouble sleeping and becomes antsy. Fat is the brain's friend, and therefore your friend. So, eat fat, you will sleep better and so will your children. In the seven months since we drastically changed Alex's diet, we have had our lives returned to us. I have been able to train, to work with The Baby Alex Foundation on fundraisers and other development projects. I can think clearly, and my stress level is significantly decreased. My life's focus has shifted away from a sick child and toward a more functional everyday life. The only hitch to all of this is when Alex gets off his diet, we have a few days of scrambling around to make it right...that's hard and it reminds me that we live with a brain injury. But it also reminds me of how far we have come.
Our new Baby Alex Foundation website is up and running. Still at www.babyalexfoundation.com, this site has been modified and updated to reflect our mission to support pediatric brain injury patients and families. We have added two pages on various therapies Alex has used with much success, as well as a sampler of our new initiative called Alex's Library. This summer, we plan to complete three of these libraries outside the CT Children's Medical Center's 2 NICU's and 1 PICU. We have identified the rooms and will need to begin painting and furnishing, as well as stocking these rooms with over 3 dozen books that have supported our efforts as parents of a preemie, a child with brain damage, epilepsy and cerebral palsy, as well as our determination to find meaning and inspiration from our experiences. Decorated in Foundation colors-gray, black and orange-these rooms will be furnished with deliciously comfy sofas, chairs and rocking chairs. The rooms are intended to serve as a quiet place for families to sit and think, read and contemplate, and most importantly, find hope while their child is in the hospital. We hope to have children's hand prints all over the walls with inspirational quotes and photos. Once Alex finishes his own book about his childhood, we plan to make these books available to take home.
Friday, March 7, 2014
The Run Baby Run Baby Ultra is officially on the ultra calendar. Check it out at www.runbabyrunbabyultra.com. And today, we open for registration. Although this is a baby ultra (25+ miles), we may aspire to increase the distance in the coming years. For all the runners out there, please join us on August 9, 2014 for our inaugural race. The course starts and ends at the Sanbornville, NH Poor People's Pub, travels through the quaint town of Sanbornville, then turns up and over Moose Mountain on dirt roads and trails, back down into the bustling town of Wolfboro, joins up with the Cotton Valley Rail Trail, then cuts through some rugged trails and dirt roads to return back to Sanbornville. I've run the course so many times I can't count, and I love it. I hope our runners will feel the same. This is a fully self-supported race, and all runners must carry their own water/food. There will be just one resupply stop at the half way point in Wolfboro. In addition to a $50 entry, there is a $250 fundraising minimum. Finishers awards to all, and the top three fundraisers will win a grand prize, plus race t-shirts, hats and giveaways from Poor People's Pub. All funds raised will go toward funding our research grants and patient and family support projects.