Our 25-year friendship ended in a hospital bed — after a double amputation. Her heart, they said, simply stopped beating.
Although she had ten years on me, Mary and I shared something in common that perplexed us daily — our rambunctious little boys. As a baby, hers would crawl around on the floor looking for cords to yank. The louder the lamp would crash the more it delighted him. Mine was a happy little guy that walked every edge he could find, and crossed every line I drew. To no one’s surprise, they also became instant friends.
After a long morning of shopping together, we sat down hoping to relax and enjoy a little quiet, a cup of coffee and some grown-up conversation. It didn’t happen. Instead, her four-year-old boy began to run in circles. Up over the chairs, across the couch rounding the coffee table and back again. Over and over, around and around he went, howling at the top of his lungs. This went on for what seemed like an hour. He couldn’t stop.
This was bad behavior, even for this kid. The year was 1981. If ADHD was invented then, we hadn’t heard of it. It was also long before it was popular to look anywhere other than a pyramid for nutrition. Mary traced his behavior back to a red Kool-Aid and a hot dog lunch and a sugar cookie for dessert.
Few people, at that time if any, were correlating behavior with diet in children. She didn’t look for an excuse for his behavior — she looked for a catalyst. Through trial and error this mother found what foods would transform her boisterous little boy into an uncontrollable little monster. The most obvious offenders were dyes, sugar and any processed foods.
What Mary knew so many years ago, is almost common knowledge among mothers today. What Mary didn’t know, what Jordan S. Rubin explains in his book The Maker’s Diet just might have saved her life.