How To Raise A Food Ninja - Emotional | Atlanta Taekwondo

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Jill Mashburn reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
via Facebook

I'm so glad I did the 21 Day Primal Challenge. I accomplished the most all encompassing challenge of my life. I thought it would be life changing, and it was, but not just for me, for my whole family. I and up earlier then I used to get up, and feel like I have a purpose and a reason for getting up. The food was a challenge, even though I had cut out bread about 10 months ago, and was cutting out artificial sweeteners, I never tried to cut out all refined sugar and carbs. There is sugar in everything!!! Why?

I was doing a lot of challenges, arm challenge, plank challenge, but I had to slow down on them to focus on the Primal Challenge. It was hard to find food to eat at a few different times during the last 21 days. I fixed meals for my family and chose not to eat them, so what could I eat??!! Salad was my friend, you can put anything on a salad. I say I chose not to eat what was not on the challenge, because I am not allergic to it, but I wanted to stick by my commitment. I really enjoyed the results, after the sugar cloud cleared and I felt so much more focused. The mental changes have been such a plus. I have conscientiously noted things and people in my life for which to be grateful. I enjoy my nightly tea and downtime. I'm still working on "me" and I feel like I didn't get it all worked out. I have lost 8 pounds, and inches from top to bottom, thank goodness! I will continue to maintain so many of these changes for life. I know I will continue growing in journey. My success is on so many levels that's its hard to put them all down in words, but a few things:

Saying "I won't eat that" because I chose not to is empowering.

Learning what I can eat, outside of processed food, is rewarding.

Making an impact in my husband's and son's life by demonstrating a new commitment to improvement is powerful.

I do not want to lose this feeling of purpose and strength, I am so proud of my journey and so much more certain of myself. My choices are mine, and I have to be committed to myself. Now, off to do squats and pushups.

Gloria Palmer reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
via Facebook

The 21-day challenge came along right when I was attempting to hit the reset button in a few areas of my life. I liked that it wasn’t just an eating plan, it was more comprehensive and included setting positive habits, especially at the very beginning and very end of the day. These are the times of day I am typically the least disciplined. Combine this with the group support and coaching, it has really helped me complete the program. I didn’t weigh or measure myself, but I can definitely see that my abdomen has gotten flatter, my jeans fit better, I can see more muscle in my arms, and I am steadily getting stronger. The daily 25 push-ups (“girl” push-ups for me) has steadily improved from barely being able to complete 5 sets of 5 all the way to being able to do a set of 20 then a set of 5. On the food front, at the beginning I think I went through some kind of withdrawal and I was really foggy for a few days, then I felt like I was constantly jumpy & hungry (eating a lot of fruit helped this), and then things stabilized and now I feel much more satisfied and solid. Now when I’m hungry, I’m able to experience hunger without it always being accompanied by a mood swing or a craving (think HANGRY!). Another participant mentioned a “re-wiring of the brain”, and I can relate, essentially the program has put a halt to some “event in life = I need to eat/drink this to cope” cycles and I feel more in control. Overall this has been a very positive, empowering experience for me.

Ana Marcos reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
via Facebook

My photos don't accurately reflect how awesome I feel inside, but these measurements sure do!!! My clothes definitely fit different.

Highlights of what this challenge helped me do:

* Eliminate processed food, especially sugar and carbs (big win for me!)

* Make time in my day to do the things that are important for me - reflect, affirm, meditate and move (workout).

Overall, I eat healthier, sleep more, and have more energy to be a homeschool mom, an afterschool educator and massage therapist!

Jill Kulcsar Mashburn reviewed Atlanta Taekwondo
via Facebook

It's a great work out and it's fun. Meeting new people, but keeping friends in the mix. It's a challenge and, for me, I'm learning confidence, self-defense, and building strength.

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How To Raise A Food Ninja – Emotional


If you think your child has ever behaved poorly after eating certain foods, you could be right. U.S. News and World Report Health reports that certain foods can affect mood. These foods can trigger chemical and physiological changes within the brain that alter your child’s behavior.

Often times, children do not eat regularly or get too much or not enough of a certain food group. This can lead to mood swings causing the child to be cranky and, therefore, have a harder time managing their behavior. In addition, a diet high in processed foods, sweets, refined flour, and caffeine can lead to anxiety and depression in children. To keep children emotionally healthy, parents can increase healthy foods, decrease unhealthy foods, and guide children in developing a positive relationship with food.

  • Increase Nutrient Rich Foods: “Children who eat healthy are able to cope with stress and regulate their emotions better,” says the American Psychological Association. Consuming foods that have the right vitamins and minerals as well as protein and complex carbohydrates keeps children’s body properly fueled and their brain chemicals leveled out.
  • Decrease Energy Dense Foods: These foods can be anything from processed and sugary to dried fruit and nuts. Although the latter have healthy fats, they are still high in calories so eating them in moderation is key. Processed and sugary foods should be limited since they provide no real nutritional value and actually hinder proper emotional regulation.
  • Develop a Positive Relationship with Food: Just like babies, children know their bodies: they eat when they are hungry and don’t eat if they are not hungry. Parents often are to blame for the poor eating habits their children develop. Although the intention is good, parents who require a “clean plate” at meal time may be contributing to their child’s unhealthy relationship with food. Parents should also remember to set a positive example, at meal time, by choosing healthy foods and proper portions.


A healthy diet can have a huge effect on a child’s emotional development. Learning to choose healthy foods as a “normal” habit will make a child’s relationship with food positive. It will also help keep their brain chemicals leveled out and keep children from being moody. It will also help prevent conditions such as depression, anxiety, and ADHD. For children who are already diagnosed with a mental health problem, nutrient dense foods will help manage their symptoms, so they become more emotionally stable.

In our next blog, we will begin exploring, in depth, the effects of food choices on the social development of children. Stay tuned!