Many of my clients are grandmothers (or aunts or sisters) who had to learn about dietary oxalates the hard way. It took a labored and often expensive and protracted search for relief from their own health issues before they discovered that dietary oxalates could play a central role in their feeling broken.
The perplexing answer to their suffering was to “quit health foods.” Sure enough, doing so is bringing them relief from joint and muscle pain, exhaustion, bladder issues, depression, and anxiety. Grandma is living the single most profound and rewarding life change ever! This is a big deal.
But for years, they taught their children the virtues of consuming foods like spinach. They were doing their best, confidently believing “all vegetables are healthy.” Their past “knowledge” did not serve them well, however. Foods they’ve long promoted proved to be the problem. Ouch! The unmanageable pain that brought them to a sea-change in their understanding may be lifting, but other baggage sets up in its wake.
While regaining their health through oxalate-aware eating, grandmothers suffer a multi-faceted psychic tumult as they wrestle with the disturbing understanding: Some of their long-cherished foods can be quite harmful to anyone, including their loved ones.
My Daughter Feeds Her Child High Oxalate Foods!
Low-oxalate grandmothers are now troubled with a heart-breaking challenge: How to save the babies from oxalate toxicity in a world unwilling to consider the possibility?
They have science and experience on their side. In my book, Toxic Superfoods, I cite various studies by experts insisting that spinach and other high oxalate foods are detrimental to a child’s development. But ignored evidence is powerless.
To protect their grandchild (or any young person, including grandnieces or nephews etc.), they must convince other adults that a high intake of oxalates can be harmful, particularly to growing children and their developing brains. Grandma’s legacy needs work!
But, humans don’t welcome change. Grandmothers busting though the front door announcing their joyous, precious news about oxalates don’t get high-fives and accolades for sharing a profound insight. Adult family members are unlikely to gleefully agree to menu changes and fall in line behind her, easily tossing aside conventional beliefs and shared traditions.
Is there any hope that the ship of the family will turn around and sail off in this new direction in time to help the very young? Attempting to change minds and hearts can be an emotionally dangerous high seas journey. Storms are ahead, dear grandma.
How do we navigate this course correction with all its potential tumult and conflict? Can grandma withstand what’s to come? Can we save the babies from oxalate damage and preserve the family relationships that are also critically important for children?
Read my next post (“Grandmother’s Love Feels Like Pain”) and explore how to understand and handle this sticky situation.