Jacob is the coolest kid. He’s the hard-working one in our family. Ask him to do something, he’ll do it. Set him a challenge, he’ll achieve it. Give him a goal, he’ll reach it. He was the one that used to get up with me at 5.15am to go to spin class or strive to beat his run record time after time. Energetic kid, right? Eeeeh, not so much.
This boy trains like a beast and sleeps 10 hours a day but just isn’t well. He’s constantly tired, pale, sick and can’t focus, and following a quiet comment from his trainer last week, I set myself the goal of figuring it all out.
With my mother-tiger hat on, anything for my boy, I did do something a little alternative, but also incredibly scientific. Jacob had a blood analysis done, which means we got to see his live blood cells under magnification. HUGE magnification even. All on the big screen. It was the coolest thing.
Straight away we saw amaaaaazing stuff, like big red blood cells and different types of white cells but we could see lots of nasties too. I’ll save the details since Jacob is 14 and probably wouldn’t appreciate his whole medical history outlined on a blog post but in summary it’s surprising that Jacob gets up in the morning. Among other things, his white blood cell count was low, his red blood cells were weak and unstructured and the amount of zig-zag or stressed out cells was alarming.
I won’t tell you what the arrow is pointing to, but it’s not good.
I wish I could draw on here like a big blackboard because this, although obviously not cool, was amazing and I feel compelled to draw big diagrams to show you. The doctor could tell us so many things about Jacob’s history by looking at the state of his blood. What a mess. Longer story short, Jacob is eating nutritionally well, but none of that nutrition is getting anywhere. His systems are super weak.
Straight away we moved to causes. Experience, tests and feedback from Jacob have all pointed towards a hypersensitivity to sugar for a start. Not the fabulous natural fruit type, or the gorgeous organic honey type, but the no-use-to-anyone-nutritionally-only-there-for-comfort refined white sugar type.
Sugar has no real nutritional place in our systems. I see so many of you cringing. I am too! We don’t need it. It serves the purpose of taste and comfort only. It’s extremely addictive, don’t I know that for sure, and is about as good to us (I want to use the farmer’s expression my Dad uses because it’s the only one I can think of right now but I won’t).. it’s about as good to us as a useless thing that’s really really useless.
And as the doctor is saying this, Jacob is hiding behind her invisibly mouthing “HELP ME!” and doing the cut-throat sign. He was never a kid that got many treats but he could see the last of the Oreo biscuits and sugar on his weetbix, plus infact the weetbix themselves, slipping away as she was talking.
And so today we start the difficult journey towards getting Jacob healthier. Step one. Two weeks entirely sugar free. And no. I’m not just another person that has jumped on the Pinterest-fuelled bandwagon in order to do something that seems almost cool to do. We’re doing this because we have visual scientific evidence that it needs doing. We are doing this for health. For fitness. For waking up refreshed, for getting rid of dark circles under eyes, eliminating sore tummies and getting a little colour in our cheeks.
So today is day one, and tomorrow will be day two, I'll be posting recipes, updates and poking a little fun at ourselves just to make light of the fact that OMG we really are giving up sugar! Did I say we? Not sure I meant to say that. Jacob is keen, 100% dedicated and looking forward to feeling better. Today was the day we made lists and figured out recipes. Tomorrow the plans turn into action. Hope you can tag along.