The Josie Experiment… The Results are IN!
Four months ago, I decided to do a bit of an experiment on my daughter, Josie.
She had become a very picky eater. And that lack of variety seemed to be contributing to some hefty moods swings and behavioral difficulties. It was getting pretty bad.
So, I ordered her some Juice Plus+. JP+ is a concentrated dose of 30 different high-quality whole fruits, vegetables and grains, backed by 20+ years of peer-reviewed research and recommended by numerous health and medical professionals.
I knew these delicious little chewables would fill the gap in Josie’s sad nutritional status, bolstering her immune system with necessary vitamins/minerals and providing more internal balance of blood sugar and hormones.
I was HOPING that they might also work to change her cravings as well! (Fingers crossed on both hands!)
I ALSO decided to jump at the chance to grab some JP+ chewables for myself. Because…
1- I do the typical mom thing of making sure the kids have the best of everything and then I take the leftovers. Yikes. It was time to change that pattern. Time to add a quality supplement to my own diet AND change my habit of giving away the best pick of everything.
2- I have a ginormous sweet tooth! And I thought that gobbling down these gummy-like supplements would take the place of other sweet things. (They do have capsules too – but you can see why I passed by those) 😉
3- If I ordered my own supplements, my sweet Josie could get her chewables for FREE! For up to four years! The Children’s Health Study rocks!
So… I’ve been doling out “the goods” at breakfast time every day for the past 4 months. I even give some of mine to happy-go-lucky little Ashton.
We have also added some plant-based JP+ shake mix to our afternoon smoothies. The kids look forward to our new rituals every single day!
But… Has my experiment worked??
Well, my tiny daughter has a BIG personality. She likes to call the shots and she’s prone to more anxious reactions when she gets frustrated or upset. OF COURSE, no one is looking to give her a giant personality change. She’s still the same passionate gal! But I HAVE seen some visible changes nonetheless.
She may get ruffled by a big emotion… but she doesn’t often “melt down”.
She may have a strong response to something that is frustrating her, but she doesn’t yell at me for unexpected things like before.
She is no longer on that back-and-forth teeter totter ride of happy and hellion. No more bi-polar, manic depressive insanity! Phew!
Well, unless she’s in the midst of a huge growth spurt and it’s been over 30 minutes since I last gave her food…
Or unless it’s within the hour of her bedtime and she’s been really active that day (I swear, kids can turn quite evil in this last moments before bed!).
But I have truly seen a marked change. And so have other moms that spend time with Ms. J. She’s more in control of herself now.
This experiment has also made Josie more aware of what “healthy” means. Candy is still her favorite thing in the world and she wants to own an ice cream store / ice cream truck some day (true story!). But she knows that her body needs real food, too. And she is fully aware that I am much more willing to give her those favorite treats when she eats that up that real food first. Which has led to many a compromise between us (I’m thankful that we can work as a team now!).
Now, that doesn’t mean that she has miraculously dropped her picky eating habits. Bread and butter, without the crust, is still her favorite food of course! Well, besides candy. But there have been some pretty sizable changes in the right direction.
After shunning almost all veggies within the past year, she will now eat all colors of bell peppers (hooray!).
She will have a few bites of roasted broccoli or romanesco (broccoli and cauliflower hybrid) every now and again.
She willingly lets me put a huge handful of spinach into our smoothies, thus making that beautiful bright pink color she loves disappear (THIS is huge… Many of you parents of little tykes know how important food appearance can be).
On a daily basis, she asks for a bowl of cut-up apples/pears/peaches/oranges… whatever fresh fruit we have in the crisper that week.
In my opinion, that’s a LOT of great change in a 4-month period!
Of course, I might be a bit more relaxed about food with her since I feel that Juice Plus+ acts as a bit of an insurance policy.
And I can honestly say that I’m putting in a ton of time and effort to be a more calming force in her stormy world (especially because her not-so-gentle growing toddler brother causes her to have relatively more stormy moments these days).
I can’t say that just the action of gobbling up that small handful of chews every morning is the ONLY reason for Josie’s progress. But it certainly plays a big role!
Especially because a recent vacation with the grandparents left her without her chewables for three whole days. AND it promptly led her to a barrage of emotional roller coaster moments (NOT a typical occurrence during her frequent sleepovers). That’s proof enough for me that the benefit is there!
As for me and MY JP+ journey…
Taking the chewables has noticeably reduced my sugar cravings. For real! I am still shocked! AND when I do eat a bit too many sweets, my tongue now feels kinda numb and overstimulated. I never noticed that sensation in the past…
At times when I burn the candle at both ends, it prevents me from getting sick.
When the kids and I do get sick, it has helped provide a tool for quick recovery.
And the best change of all… It has reminded me that my own self-care is just as important as the care I give everybody else!
I am eating a big serving of the fresh berries and the last avocado in the bowl instead of saving them all for the kids. I am more frequently eating a real lunch instead of a PB&J (oftentimes that extra leftover helping from the awesome dinner I cooked the night before!). I have been putting the extra effort in to make a big salad with dinner even when I’m pooped after a long day. I have been eating in a much more balanced way.
So, I’d say the experiment has worked! And we’ll keep going with it!
If you’re interested in your own experiment, hit me up! I’d be happy to answer questions or get ya started.
Now… I just gotta work on my balance and consistency with exercise… Stay tuned in for that!