This blog chronicles the miracles and struggles of our daughters, Emily and Olivia. Emily was born 15 weeks early and had many complications, but she continues to amaze us! Olivia, born in China with heart complications, is also beating the odds. She joined her forever family (us!) when she was four years old and has been doing wonderfully! UPDATE: We started homeschooling August 2009 :)

Thursday, July 12, 2007

An egg. Who knew?

I underestimated the power of an egg. Bet you did, too!

Sunday morning Emily woke up on the wrong side of the bed and throughout our morning routine, we were unsuccessful in changing her mood. In a hurry to get off to church, I looked for something quick for breakfast. Trying to limit sugar and offer more protein, Andy suggested I give her one of the hard boiled eggs in the fridge. Running late, I peeled an egg for each girl and put them in sandwich bags for the road.

Once we arrived at church and were climbing out of the van, Emily said, with a little wonderment, "do I feel normal now?" Andy and I were both a little by surprise by that comment since we had both just noticed that during that ten minute drive to church her demeanor had changed dramatically for the better. At the time, we didn't put two and two together, but we were surprised and curious about her sudden change.

Heretofore we've been at a loss to explain or resolve these occasional mysterious Jekyll and Hyde episodes. As I was retelling this latest episode with a friend and wondering what snapped Emily out of it, the unusual breakfast on-the-go came to mind. We joked about the power of an egg (protein), but I had doubts any food could really react that quickly. Just in case we were on to something, I figured it wouldn't hurt to boil up some more. If nothing else, they could be a protein snack.

Fast forward to this morning. Emily woke up in a funk again. Crabby, whiny, irritable. After two hours of fussiness and unfinished chores, I was starting to get annoyed. That's when I remembered Sunday's turn around and brought out the eggs! Truthfully, I didn't expect much (or I would have tried it earlier!), but I was at a loss for what to do with my little basket case and figured I had nothing to lose. To my surprise, within ten minutes, I had my happy go lucky kid again! Just a coincidence? I'm not so sure. Now, I'm almost eager for her to be in one of those moods again just to test this remedy again! If it works a third time, it'll leave no doubt. And I'll be busy boiling more eggs! She was great the rest of the day!

I'd heard others testify about the power of protein, but hadn't yet made the personal connection--until this morning. I was so amazed and did some Googling to make sure I wasn't making too much of a leap. I'm happy to report that I don't think I'm crazy. I actually found quite a few articles that support my finding about the importance of proteins as mood stabilizers. Here's an excerpt from one:

"Brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, are the frontline regulators of our moods. Some neurotransmitters, such as serotonin and gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), help calm us... And there’s an important connection between the food you eat and the neurotransmitters your brain produces. ... The protein in eggs quickly stabilizes your blood sugar and provides amino acids for your neurotransmitters."
-entire article here:

Got eggs?

I also came across many related articles that tie diet to ADD. She has not (yet?) been diagnosed as such, but we've long seen difficulties with focus and distractibility. I'd heard all about the diets/supplements before, but was skeptical it'd make much difference for all the effort involved. However, now I'm beginning to wonder. If an egg can cause such a dramatic change, I can't help but think of other possibilities. It's both daunting (to try to unravel) and exciting! And all the more reason to be hopeful :)

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