It had been about a month since our last soccer game…
(Start here: http://dyefreetreats.com/blogs/blog/14092925-becoming-aware-of-food-dye)
I can't remember much about the day. All I remember was being at my wits end with my sweet daughter, #2. For some reason we could never see eye to eye. But it was more than that. She couldn't even focus on the why. And today had pushed it too far. My husband and I had tried everything, discipline wise and we were at the end of the rope. And that's when I remembered that last soccer game. That was it. I decided in that moment that we were going to try a little experiment. From that moment on #2 was not going to eat anything containing food dye.
I'm not even sure what I was expecting to achieve by removing food dye from her diet. I may have just been hoping for a miracle.
The next few days I was religious about reading labels and making sure that she ate a perfect dye free diet. And, to tell you the truth, life went on as normal. I didn't notice a major change in our lives. I had heard that it takes three days for artificial food dye to get out of the system, so I decided to be diligent and patient. After all, I had been giving her Nesquik strawberry milk every single night prior to this. It was sort of a before bed tradition. Maybe it would just take a little longer.
Our first week went well. No major improvements to report, but I wasn't going to give up. I had no idea what I was in for as we headed out on our family vacation.
First there was the traditional "special event" breakfast of butterscotch sticky rolls made with Jell-o brand butterscotch pudding. I didn't even look at ingredients. I just assumed that since I had made it, it was OK. 6 hours later we were sitting in a vacation cabin starring at each other wondering what had happened to our sweet little girl. I finally had enough sense to Google the ingredients in the Jell-o butterscotch pudding... sure enough, yellow 5.
We couldn't believe what a dramatic change our daughter had undergone. Things didn't seem to be that different all week long, but now I could see it.
Three days after “The Jell-O Incident” we had our sweet little girl back. That lasted all of 5 hours. Lol, life just goes that way sometimes I guess. We were obviously still getting used to our new life style as our 2 children were offered each a package of Smarties.
#2 had maybe gotten two or three Smarties in before I realized what was happening. I explained the situation to her and she gladly gave the Smarties back to me (AMAZING!). Unfortunately it wasn't soon enough, within 30 minutes she was completely out of control throwing a tantrum, screaming and kicking on the floor over a simple book her brother was holding.
I can't always tell each day the difference it makes to live life free of artificial dye. But I know without a doubt the moments we live life with dye in our systems. And nothing is worth that.
What early mistakes did you make going dye-free?