Jewels: The entire of premise of the Personal Chef Approach™ (PCA™) is to help people get organized and prepare healthy meals that go from fridge to table in a snap. I derive such joy from hearing how much the approach has enhanced my members lives through giving them more time to enjoy their families and friends, to saving money, and to a marked reduction in sick days ever since they’ve been able to sit down to a delicious home cooked dinner nightly. But nothing could touch my heart more than hearing what premium member Kendra has graciously shared in the following guest post….

Kendra: When you have children, there is nothing you want more than for your child to be healthy and perfect. I have learned over the years, that the word “perfect” is a relative term.

Adam at two years old

It became apparent in our eldest child’s development that that he was not “perfect” as the absolute textbook definition goes. I recall a family friend (who has a teaching degree, and 30+ year career of teaching children who are exceptional) telling my husband and I that she felt perhaps our son was autistic when Adam was about two. Maybe it was the way she said it, but it sounded to me like it was the worst thing imaginable. I was both devastated and livid at the same time.

The diagnosis itself was something that did not come easily or swiftly. It wasn’t until Adam was six or seven that we finally had a definitive answer. We went through three doctors, and three different diagnoses. One doctor thought he was perhaps hard of hearing (he didn’t speak until he was four and was almost five before he would speak sentences). One doctor thought he possibly had either “Fragile X” or “Obsessive Defiant Disorder”, and another thought he was something else entirely. That was the last straw. We were almost at the end of our rope when finally several months later two professors in the area of child psychology and psychiatry diagnosed Adam with “Aspergers Syndrome” which is in the Autism spectrum.

With that diagnosis, our lives changed forever. It not only made life easier on us – understanding how to help our son, but on him helping himself too. One thing that changed, our home became very structured, almost regimented when he was younger. The routine brought relief to Adam, and in turn made our lives easier.

Aurora City Cafe by Adam

Adam is a very artistic, very intelligent (he graduated with his class with honours from high school), and a very sensitive, caring person. So much goes on behind those eyes, you can literally see his spirit. He is a blessing.

Limiting artificial food coloring, additives, and preservatives is crucial

Along with routine and regiment of a structured home came what Adam can and cannot have to eat and drink. For him, the more food colouring/additives/preservatives (ESPECIALLY anything with red dye in it) the more manic, OCD and anxiety riddled he becomes. It’s like literally watching a switch being flipped in his personality when he intakes things he shouldn’t. Thankfully, with Personal Chef Approach™ (PCA™) I don’t have to worry about that for him anymore, I can more easily control the ingredients he consumes.

While some of our structures we had in place when he Adam was younger don’t exactly work anymore, we’ve learned how to adapt our household along the way. The PCA™ has been a godsend in my home. Each week a menu goes up, it tells my son exactly what meal is on what day so he knows what to expect and when. I cannot tell you how much relief it brings him, and me. Thank you Jewels! Thank you for the PCA™!

Jewels: I am actually quite familiar with the symptoms of Aspergers. I have several close friends, who like Adam are highly intelligent and extremely talented, but have been diagnosed with Aspergers. I can honestly say it had never even dawned on me (before Kendra’s kind words) how useful the Personal Chef Approach™ can be in providing those quick healthy meals and snacks without harmful triggers, and in coping with the necessity for routine. I’m overjoyed by the realization of yet another way the PCA™ can make people’s life just that little bit easier, healthier, and happier – so thank YOU KENDRA!

Adam all grown up today, and so very talented

BTW, the text book definition of “perfect” can also be described as mediocre, and in my book boring. One of my friends wrote me the most beautiful letter once that changed my perception forever. He said that although he often knew he was different than the other kids at school, he learned to channel what others saw as his weekness’s into the very strengths that brought him huge success in life, both in his personal life and career. I have every faith that you’ve been a parent so in tune with your son’s needs, he is indeed perfect, and exactly who he was always meant to be.

PS. It would be remiss of me to overlook what day it is. My heart goes out to all of the families who lost loved ones in September 11, 2001. It’s important to take a moment to collectively reflect and mourn their loss. How have you paid your respects today?

 

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  • September 11, 2012
    9:37 am

    I have known this boy since I used to hound Kendra to push his pushchair and watched him grow into an amazingly talented, intelligent and kind hearted man. At times I miss the days I’d get a letter in the mail addressed in quirky boys handwriting addressed to “Aunty Rachel” but then see him today and am just in awe of him. Kenny and Alan have never treated him like less of a person because of his ‘title’. He’s in the company of Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton as they had the same “title” but I’ll take Adam any day over those two. I hear his favourite Jewel’s dish is the stuffed meatloaf.

    Reply
    • September 12, 2012
      10:05 am

      Judging by the photos, he was so adorable as a whipper-snapper, and drop dead gorgeous now. I love the photo in the tux with a glass in his hand – “the name is Bond, Adam Bond!”

      Reply
  • September 11, 2012
    10:27 am

    I have tears in my eyes as I write this – Kendra – I have a cousin who has Aspergers as well as ODD and I see the impact it has on my aunt and her household – it’s a very challenging journey for them all.

    I’m going to share this blog post with my aunt in hopes that she will look into the possibilities of diet playing a factor with the triggers you mentioned.

    Your post is an eye-opener on many levels.

    And Adam is such a handsome, talented young man – LOVE his Aurora City Cafe! My Life as a Teenage Robot was such a fun cartoon!

    You should be so proud of yourself. As a mother of a special needs child, I know what it’s like to receive news that your child is “different”.

    I look upon that now as a blessing. And I can surely see you do too!

    I wish much happiness and success for Adam.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful post, Kendra!

    Reply
    • September 12, 2012
      10:11 am

      There is nothing wrong with being different – our differences should be celebrated (it’s mediocrity I dislike). Adam’s needs were just different than most children (although more and more children today are diagnosed on the autism spectrum), and luckily he had loving parents who recognized that and provided the support he needed to become the man he is today – full of potential I’m sure he will achieve.

      Reply
  • September 11, 2012
    2:21 pm

    So much wisdom here as to how additives can affect us negatively. The closer to nature a food is, without additives, the better it will be for you and your health ultimately. I question so many things we took for granted over the years. I mentioned to Jewels today that I am not so sure about having a flu shot this year. I got ill last year after having one and am still fighting to get back to having a better run health-wise. But, one thing I can do now is to stay on top of things using PCA to keep healthy meals at reach every day. Since getting out to shop can be difficult through the winter months, I can shop when the weather is good, cook up different entres and freeze them in portion sized packs, ready for me at any given time. I need to plan ahead, so this way of cooking works so well in my single adult household. Plus, planning ahead makes me conscious of what I spend, a need when funds are limited. Truth be known, I’d rather have extra funds to allocate to art supplies and PCA allows me this little extra when every cent counts. Thank you so much for all your hard work on making these recipes, Jewels. I know we all appreciate the help!! Hugs to you and Daisy!

    Reply
    • September 12, 2012
      10:15 am

      Ruthee – I think a healthy diet should always be our first defense against poor health. There are more ominous problems brewing with our food supply that we need to become collectively aware of and demand change. So much of chronic disease in the western world is directly linked to pesticides, preservatives, and most ominously genetically modified food.

      Reply
  • September 11, 2012
    2:45 pm

    Love you guys!! xoxo Life with Adam has been such an eyeopener in so many ways. I’m definitely blessed. :) BTW Jodi, he’ll be THRILLED you know what My Life as a Teenage Robot is.

    Jewels, thank you for affording me this opportunity to write this. Thank you. xoxo

    Reply
    • September 12, 2012
      5:17 am

      Kendra – my ten year old, Jaden, LOVED J9, lol! He’ll never admit to having a crush, but I’m pretty sure that’s what it was!

      Reply
    • September 12, 2012
      10:17 am

      Any time Kendra! You and Adam touched a lot of hearts with this one, and hopefully helped some families in the process.

      Reply
  • September 11, 2012
    11:07 am

    PEACE TO ALL PEOPLE OF THE UNIVERSE ART?GIULIO ANGELINI LOVE LOVE LOVE

    Reply
    • September 12, 2012
      10:12 am

      Well said Giulio.

      Reply

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