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Is Your Diet Making You Sad? One Mom's Amazing Journey

Jennifer Mix-Hickman

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I was working hard. I was on an extended business trip and away from my husband and three kids and I was on a mission to get the work done. Up at 6 am and working until 10pm, I didn't have much time to eat. But an amazing thing began to happen. Even though I was working hard I was beginning to feel better. I began to pay attention to what I was eating and realized there was a connection. I normally eat cereal in the morning but on this trip I wasn't. I was having a smoothie.

I lived life in, what I call, a “fog". For the parents of newborns, you know this feeling. It is that feeling that you are so tired that you feel like you have to super-focus just to concentrate. It is almost like you want to wipe the cob webs out of your mind. I have lived like that constantly and didn't even realize it. In college I would sometimes re-read the same section five times realizing I couldn't understand the concept I had just read.

I have always had allergies- cats, dogs, dust, etc. I got allergy shots that didn't work and I have been taking allergy medicine for years. I also had a whole host of other aliments that I never realized were coming from the foods I ate: feeling bloated, nauseous, gassy, and a stuffed up nose.

So what was making me sick? Gluten. Gluten is in wheat, rye, barley and malt. No wonder I couldn't wake up the next morning after having pizza and a beer! So I did a self-test. I quit eating breads. I would feel better. Then I would eat a bagel and feel tired. I began to notice a pattern.

Reluctantly I told my husband, “I think I am allergic to gluten. "

It isn't all bad. A lot of good have come from this discovery. Some of the benefits of finding out my food allergy:

  1. I lost weight. I have lost about fifteen pounds this last year mainly from not eating what my body could not tolerate. I didn't do extra exercise or cut my calories. I just didn't eat what I was allergic to.
  2. I am alert. I am now able to focus and talk to someone clearly. Before I would feel like I was confusing at times.
  3. I simply feel better. Now that I am no longer bloated or effected by my allergies, my body feels so much better and alive!
Then my attention turned to our son Preston who was almost nine years old. I thought back to myself in school having to concentrate in that fog. I began to wonder if he was suffering the same as me.

We had many meetings with Preston's teachers, and even with the principle, about his not being able to concentrate. We had him tested for many things, including Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADD. Everyone commented that he wouldn't concentrate in class but that he was smart. As parents to him, I can tell you he was quite frustrating to teach. Homework was a long drawn out battle. There was something effecting him, but no one seemed to know what it was. Was what he was eating causing him to lose focus?

Preston had many of the same signs as me:

  • He had dark circles under his eyes
  • He had a stuffed up nose
  • He had loose stools and an achy tummy
  • He had eczema as a baby
  • He would wake up tired and had difficulty in getting up in the morning
  • He had difficulty in concentrating
  • He would wiggle around in his seat
  • He was impulsive and lacked self control
We tested it out and put him on a gluten-free diet. Then a miraculous thing happened. Preston's “ADD" seemed to go away. His grades this last year in fourth grade were wonderful and his teacher thought he was great. At home it was like he was a different child. He became patient, loving and a cuddler. Now when he occasionally eats gluten I can actually tell because his behavior changes.

I truly wish that all parents and teachers would consider a possible food allergy instead of ADD when considering a child's problems at home and in the classroom. When I see a child acting out with dark circles under their eyes I want to scream out, “ALLERGIES!" But I figure the parents might wonder who this mad woman is. Instead I decided to write an article. There is less a chance of a parent whacking me one!

Having this type of diet has made things challenging. But now, just over a year later, I can tell you that it is much easier. Many restaurants accommodate people with food allergies and super markets are beginning to carry various allergy free foods. At home, cooking is easy since you can substitute various things for wheat.

This may seem like a panacea, or a cure-all. But if you stop and think about it, you are what you eat and if you are eating something that is essentially poison for your body, there is going to be some problems!

Do you think you or your child might have a food allergy? First I would do some research. (To find out more about food allergies you can go to ) You may not be allergic to gluten, but there are a whole host of food allergies to find out about including nuts, dairy, casein, wheat, etc. Next I would recommend doing a self-test for a week, just like I did. Watch your diet, note how you feel. Finally, you should talk to a medical practitioner and discuss your findings.

There very well could be a link between your happiness and the food you are eating.

Now that I have cleared out those cob webs, I sure do wish I could re-take my SAT test!

Jennifer Janelle Mix-Hickman
Jennifer is releasing a new workbook journal next month that will help guide you through the process of self-discovery. Check the website for more. Unlock the Mystery. Discover the Truth.

Jennifer teaches fun and interactive seminars guiding others through the process of self-discovery. Ella Nova offers seminars and tools to help unlock the mystery of our personalities.
Ella Nova PO Box 1763, Colleyville TX 76034


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