7.22.2014

Explaining "Special" Diets and Food Intolerance to Children


In September my new book will finally launch. I say finally, because it was 8 years in the making - beginning as an idea in my friend Alessandra's living room in Rome in 2006. As I drove through the mountains looking at the sheep on the hills I figured that sheep, who do little more than graze all day might make good creatures through which to tell a story about food intolerance and living among the herd. 

I had lots of ideas. Most were fairly lame. When I returned home to Toronto a year later, my dear friend Robin would bring up the story  and we'd talk about where it was going. For a long time, it was going nowhere. I knew that Woolfred, the main character was struggling with his intolerance, and that there were elements of isolation. I knew that Woolfred would have to "overcome" his challenge. Truth is - I had no idea what the message was supposed to be. It's not so bad? Get over it? I played with lots of complicated scenarios where Woolfred could end up being a hero. Nothing really worked. Nothing was credible. There was no happily ever after ending. 

Interestingly, it was through writing this book - more than 40 years into having celiac disease that I came to understand how I really feel about having grown up with a food intolerance.

When I think about my personal childhood experience, I've got some very vivid memories. No one wanted to have me over, or pray, have to feed me. I remember a friend's mother being put in the situation of having to make me dinner one evening when my mother was held up. The rest of the kids were served fish sticks and fries (it was the 70's). For me, she unwrapped an entire brick of cheddar cheese and served it on a plate with a knife and fork, explaining - that at least she knew this wouldn't kill me.

Or, there was the time in 3rd grade where I stole a box of the Girl Guide cookies from the case I was supposed to sell. (That's quite a test for a celiac child - here's a carton filled with boxes of cookies!!) I snuck a box into the washroom, locked myself in a stall and ate both the vanilla and chocolate rows as fast as I could. An hour later, I was outed, when I threw them up in the school lobby and everyone had to walk around the mess on the way out the door. 

My food was always referred to as "special" - don't touch that, it's Claudine's "special" hot dog bun, or cupcake. The term was meant to make me feel better - but it didn't. It made me feel like I was inadequate in some way... and needed "special handling". Today the "special" stuff looks just like regular, and there is often more than one kid in the class with an intolerance. I'm sure that this makes it easier - but the feelings associated with being called out are about human interaction and less about the food itself. We want to be known for what we can do - not for what we can't. 

In the end, the story I wrote is Woolfred Cannot Eat Dandelions. He is no super hero - just a sheep with a food intolerance. What this means for him, will be revealed in short order. 

You can read more on the publisher's website HERE.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds great, and a lamb is such a nice, friendly character too :) I hope it does well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies

    1. I receive hundreds of fitness questions every day from people all over the world, but by far one of the most common themes in these questions revolve around the struggles that most people are having with losing that flabby stomach fat that doesn't seem to want to go away no matter what they try.

      Just recently I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow fitness professional named Mike Geary of TruthAboutAbs.com (insert aff link). Now Mike is a well-known expert who deals exclusively with the most effective strategies for losing stomach fat so that you can finally uncover those elusive six pack abs that everyone desires.

      Some of Mike's strategies deal with nutrition aspects and others deal with training techniques, but I was impressed to see that Mike has put together one of the most comprehensive resources for dealing with all of the aspects necessary to finally get rid of that nasty belly fat for good.

      The key is that Mike focuses on the REAL techniques that are going to get you lasting results, and teaches you how to avoid all of these "quick-fix" scams and gimmicks that are all over the infomercials and the internet these days.

      Several of the mistakes that Mike see's every day where people are going wrong in their fat loss attempts are:

      1. Most people are wasting too much of their time doing hundreds of reps of ineffective crunches, situps, and other "abs pumping" exercises in their attempt at losing stomach fat.
      Mike has discovered that there are certain highly effective exercises that stimulate your metabolism much better, and increase your fat burning hormone levels much more. These exercises that Mike outlines are the best of the best for getting a lean, chiseled body.

      Surprisingly to most, the majority of these most effective exercises for stomach fat loss are NOT "abs-specific" exercises. Not only that, but Mike shows you how to combine and sequence them to get the best metabolic and fat loss results possible, changing the shape of your entire body.

      2. Most people are wasting way too much time doing hours upon hours of boring monotonous cardio routines.

      Mike has researched this topic extensively, including an entire course he's taken comparing different modalities of cardiovascular exercise. After all of this research, we've come to the conclusion that the majority of people out there are not doing the right types of cardio exercise. In fact, most people may actually be inadvertantly decreasing their metabolic rate by doing too much of the wrong types of cardio!

      The strategies that Mike reveals in his program go beyond "interval cardio" too.

      3. Most people are failing miserably with fad diets.

      Mike reveals exactly why most low-carb or low-fat diets are actually working against what your body needs to become lean and ripped and maintain it for life! Mike shows you exactly how to stop falling for the gimmick diets and finally develop a truly healthy eating style that you can actually enjoy for life without being overly restrictive. It's actually easier and more enjoyable than you believe!

      Go to Mike's Truth about Six Pack Abs site today and discover the exact system that Mike is using to help thousands of his clients from all over the world get leaner than they've ever been before. This system will help you to lose that stubborn stomach fat that has plagued you for years, so you can finally get that sexy six pack that you've always wanted.

      Here's the: Secrets for losing stubborn stomach fat.

      Don't forget to visit Mike's site today, as he's giving away some great free bonus reports and other tools that might not be available much longer.

      To being lean, strong, and healthy for life,

      Sign off.

      Delete
  2. There is definitely a lot to learn about food intolerance.

    I really like all of the points you've made.

    ReplyDelete