Sunday, May 29, 2011

Figuring Things Out

Since we are all on a health journey, and we can't figure everything out all at once, it can sometimes take a long time to realize something is just not working. I was trying to do low-carb and all I got was incredible cravings for things like sugar and starch, hypoglycemia, and stressed out adrenals. I gave in to those cravings and have been doing better ever since. I have even included the dreaded cane sugar at times. Popcorn probably isn't a wise choice, and I think I'm probably allergic to it, but I needed fuel! I just can't do the high fat diet, it takes a while to switch over to fat burning and if you don't want to make the switch you have to live on pounds of veggies and that is something I was not going to do. Vegetables contain anti-nutrients and polyunsaturated fatty acids that stress our body. I am still including root veggies, but have definitely not felt guilty that I don't eat a bunch of raw veggies everyday. We are not bunny rabbits! Fruit is a much better fuel source and increase metabolism which I have definitely experienced. I don't get cold hands and feet nearly as much, and I think clearly most of the time now! Josiah and I are both sleeping better, while we still have our bad days, that is to be expected when you've spent your entire life eating wrong, he just has some sleep issues that need to be worked out. Behavior is overall much better as long as I am giving him enough food. He is even eating the chicken soup! Gelatin is very anti-inflammatory, anyone who has inflammation should be taking it everyday.

I think I will continue to do GAPS in principle, but I will not follow it like a regimen anymore, everyone is different and needs different foods at different times and I think strict diets could do more harm than good. I am so glad that I have this freedom to listen to my body and give it what it needs and not feel like I'm 'feeding the bad pathogens'. That may be the case but if you give your body the right fuel it will be stronger to deal with those pathogens. I will not be calling our diet GAPS anymore because we are not sticking to it. I will continue to do nutrition research, just not on GAPS all that time. This is not meant to bash the diet at all, it does work for people, and maybe at some point we will go on intro for some more healing. I still want to be grain-free. I follow many of the principles like not eating industrially processed foods, and eating whole natural foods. But I want to nourish my body, not stress it out!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Rough Day

Wow, so Josiah finally went down for a nap after about a 15 minute temper tantrum that escalated when I tried to remove him from the offending toy. He became uncontrollable. I hate days like this, he has done this a few other times, it really scares me, what happens when he is older? I do not think this is a discipline problem, its clearly something going on in his body. Yesterday we went to Chipotle for my Birthday, I avoided the suspected wheat, but there definitely could have been some cross-contamination and we both had corn. He was hyperactive the rest of the evening and didn't fall asleep until 10 pm despite only having two 10 minute naps (car rides).  This is so hard for me, we still bed share and nurses whenever he wants at night, and I am pretty much the sole caretaker 24/7. Ryan helps out some but he is only around a few hours a day during the week and is very tired after work. I am fine with having to take care of the parenting and housework, its just days like this that really challenge me. I can't stand it when he whines and pushes me around and is crazy. We had a bit of a break from that for a couple weeks while being wheat-free. I just can't seem to keep our diet right. 

I am also constantly concerned about his growth. Today I weighed him and while our scale is pretty iffy at times he was the same he was last month!(which was the same the month before that and the month before that.. and so on!) I am so confused. I hate comparing him to other kids his age but its hard not to when he is so far behind in not just growth but communication and verbal skills. I don't care if he has a high IQ, I don't care if he goes to Harvard or not, but I do know a child needs to be learning continually how to say words and communicate what they want and how they feel. He is always learning new words thankfully, but is still having trouble putting words together, and being able to express himself. He went through a phase last year where he would ask "whats that?" he hasn't said phrases like that in a LONG time, although he has learned some of the common ones like "all done". So I am definitely going to be working on getting him to talk especially since he still uses jargon speech a lot. That might really help him to verbalize how he feels, its hard to know when a food is making him feel bad if all i can go by is his behavior which like today could be a delayed reaction or could be the strawberries, grapefuit? I just don't know anymore.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Update 5/25/11

I feel like going gluten free has saved the quality of my life, no it has not saved my life- only Jesus can do that, but I now feel like I can take on the world whereas before I had debilitating fatigue, brain fog, mood swings, etc. Today I am trying really hard to be grain-free, I feel much better. Yesterday after I had a bowl of popcorn I felt sick, not stomach ache sick just tired and blah feeling. Josiah seems to be doing much better overall. He still gets hyperactive at times, but he is much more easy going. It also seems like he's growing, we will be measuring him in two days when he turns 28 months to see how much, last month it seemed as though he didn't grow at all. He has put on some weight which is amazing since he hasn't in many months.

I have gained weight as well. I know some of it is water weight as I am pre-menstrual, but I haven't weighed this much since I was pregnant! Actually it is my pre-pregnancy weight of 108. I am hoping to maintain that weight and not drop down to 102 ever again. I didn't feel healthy and I know I didn't look healthy at that weight. But now I know I was just malnourished, no matter how many good foods I ate I wasn't absorbing them. I think it is the same situation as when I was a kid and stopped growing, I so wish they had done more testing on me to see if I had celiac disease and/or gluten intolerance. I think it is the number one cause of kids not growing. I don't know if I'll ever have definitive genetic testing, but it doesn't matter I know I was reacting to it and now I know I need to avoid it-possibly for life.

My appetite has increased dramatically though. I have heard of this happening in the beginning of going grain-free because the body is trying to get all the nutrition it can to make up for the time it was starving. I have been doing the soup now for over two weeks, a few days I skipped. I am making another batch tonight from chicken bone broth that I had simmering all last night. I am hoping this one is very gelatin rich since I included 4 chicken feet! I hope Josiah will actually eat this one, he only had a few bites of the beef stock steak soup. I will also be limiting dairy because I do not digest it very well and if I have raw kefir it causes the pain in my legs to flare up, I still don't have a definitive answer about what it is. I've heard it is mercury toxicity, die-off, or caused because protein types don't do well on fermented foods, I just don't know for sure. One day I hope I can introduce small amounts of kefir, and I want to try raw sour cream.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Gluten Free Living

I am learning that it is extremely difficult to avoid gluten. I just learned that even Mcondald's fries have gluten! read the ingredients:
Potatoes, vegetable oil (canola oil, hydrogenated soybean oil, natural beef flavor [wheat and milk derivatives]*), citric acid (preservative), dextrose, sodium acid pyrophosphate (maintain color), salt. Prepared in vegetable oil ((may contain one of the following: Canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil, hydrogenated soybean oil with TBHQ and citric acid added to preserve freshness), dimethylpolysiloxane added as an antifoaming agent). *CONTAINS: WHEAT AND MILK (Natural beef flavor contains hydrolyzed wheat and hydrolyzed milk as starting ingredients).

Not that I want to be eating McDonald's fries, but now I know that it might cause a setback in our healing if we do happen to have some. Not to mention most fast food places use wheat products in practically everything!

Here are some other sources:


What to look for on labels:
• Always read ingredient labels -• For example, a number of Tea’s may contain barley
• If the food contains any of the ingredients on the hidden sources list,  then you need to contact the manufacturer and ask them if the product is 100% gluten free:
o Modified Food Starch (In North America, most are GF)  o Natural Flavors (Most are Gluten Free) - o Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein (HPV) - o Hydrolyzed Plant Protein (HPP)  - o Dextrin o Seasonings


Gluten Sources That You Might Not Think About:
Chapstick, toothpaste, vitamins, Medications, coffee mate,

• Chapstick, Lipstick
• Dairy Substitutes
• Licorice
• Malt or malt flavoring
• Modified food starch
• Playdough
• Brewers Yeast
• Prepared cake frosting
• Soy Sauce
• Medications (esp. in tablet form: Over the counter, prescription, and herbal supplements)
• Toothpaste
• Salad Dressing, Soups, Gravy (Malt Vinegar /wheat)
• Seasonings
• Malted Beverages
• Communion Wafers
• Vitamins



I have also read that the 'broth' that they inject into poultry to plump it up could contain gluten derivatives. Malted barley is added to a lot of processed foods that I need to be aware of. Another thing that needs to be addressed is that other grains contain different kinds of gluten like corn, rice and millet. So even though we have seen improvements going off wheat, rye, barley, and oats, we haven't stopped eating corn. I do get bloating and fatigue from corn. Josiah has some bad behaviors after eating corn that would lead me to believe that all grains needs to go from our diet, which the full GAPS diet does do, it was just hard for me to stop altogether because popcorn was such an addiction. I didn't have any for almost two days and I felt really good. I am eager to see the results of eliminating all grains. I need to figure out if I am going to be a food nazi with the gluten, will I eliminate anything with 'natural flavors'? According to some celiac websites those things are gluten free, but according to one doctor, since he says corn has gluten, that food additives derived from corn will also be a problem.

Maybe the reason people with gluten intolerance don't ever heal is that they still eat a lot of the gluten containing flours like rice. Rice has the lowest amount of gluten so that is why they probably don't notice the overall effects. That is why the GAPS diet is so good at helping people heal- it eliminates ALL grains, and ALL industrially processed foods! And then with the addition of meat stocks and healthy fats it helps to rebuild the gut wall so that when someone eats a gluten containing crumb they won't be paralyzed! That is unless they have a true allergy, but I have heard stories of people who thought they were allergic and turns out they were able to reverse it and not fear gluten anymore. It is encouraging that we may not have to be so careful in the future, but I will be considering leaving out all grains for the rest of our lives except maybe for special occasions. We will see!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Update 5/15/11

What do ya know its almost 9 PM and I'm starting to feel better-a symptom of adrenal fatigue. Today I crashed, big time. Josiah slept horribly and I spent the day fatigued and foggy brained. It seems like the days we get good sleep are the days I can function pretty well and the days he sleeps bad are the days I don't want to do a single thing. I also think I may have had an illegal yesterday, possibly in the salad dressing. I am so bloated today and Josiah is back to the way he was. He's really hyperactive right now when he should be winding down for bed.

I am hoping we can get back to seeing improvements. I know there will always be good days and bad days, I am just hopeful that someday we will both be 'normal'.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Update 2

Today is a wonderful day! Despite that its gloomy and cold out, I am so happy. We had a good nights rest and a very good morning. I noticed  immediately that Josiah wasn't trying to line up his cars and was actually playing with them. He's been slowly starting to do this over the last few weeks but it was especially prominent today. He is also much more calm. Last night he was cranky, but I don't blame him- we had ice cream and popcorn. I am really looking forward to days where we have no sweets or popcorn, hopefully today is one of those days I can stay on track. When I got the negative results to his allergy testing it had me throw up my arms thinking well then I don't know whats wrong with him! But then I realized those tests don't detect delayed reactions and can even give false negatives for gluten intolerance so I am not going to say he is not sensitive to anything because we're obviously seeing improvement after just a week of no wheat, rye, barley or oats. I've also kept sweets and fruit to a minimum.

His diet has been: eggs, bacon, sausage, coconut egg and honey muffins, ground beef, some ice cream and popcorn, and half a glass of raw milk one day

and for me: all of the above and soup, sauerkraut, butter oil, cashews, and watermelon (which I've eaten way too much of since yesterday and it gave me horrible bloating afterwards)..

Today my mind seems much more clear and a general sense of lightness, whereas before I just felt weighed down and like I couldn't think straight. Another one of my symptoms over the last couple years has been that I've had more and more problems with speech. I have to consciously think about what I'm trying to say otherwise I may mess up words. It is really frustrating when you have to search for words. Even Ryan has  been increasingly more frustrated with me, I'm hoping that it will get better and I am more able to comprehend what others are saying and then be able to respond with clarity. I also have issues with multitasking, if I am reading or paying attention to something and Ryan says something to me I have to stop everything I am doing and listen intently or else I miss what he is saying. You can imagine how frustrating that is when I have to keep saying ''what?" The obsessiveness on my side has calmed down a bit today, I think my acne is drying up after a week of nothing but picking at my face and chest because I was breaking out a lot, my face looks awful, but I feel better. 

Another exciting improvement is that Josiah has gone down for a nap early today and yesterday!! I cannot even believe it, I thought I would be struggling with him until the day he gave up his nap entirely but now I can see clearly he was having problems with food and it was causing him not to be able to settle down. 

I honestly didn't think a day like today would happen so quickly especially with all the cheating we've been doing, but it sure is a blessing!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Update

Josiah is so calm today that I don’t want to screw up the diet at all because I want to keep my happy boy around! I’ve been seeing major improvements just from eliminating gluten products, I have had popcorn and some sugar in ice cream but otherwise I’ve been pretty good. My tummy is much flatter! I used to have a big bloated tummy that was probably unnoticeable unless I showed  you Winking smile.

I eat the soup I made pretty much everyday, but I find that it does cause either 'die-off’ or a reaction and I have trouble falling asleep. Other than that I have been eating our regular diet, minus the gluten flours. I did try making coconut flour muffins, they turned out really good! Josiah thought they were cookies. I had another bout of hypoglycemia, but that time I knew I needed to eat promptly, and yet it still took a while for me to go back to normal. The two times it has happened I ate very low-carb (with lots of protein and fat) the day before. I do feel a lot better when I add in corn or milk since I’m still breastfeeding a lot. Josiah is not eating that much better unfortunately, he won’t eat the soup and I’m just too wiped to be making more at this point and I still have a huge container of it left, we will see about next week. He definitely needs this diet, I wish my health was better so I am more able to cope with doing it myself.

I am hoping at some point I can forget about popcorn and things that I crave, but it was just too hard for me to eliminate everything overnight, as long as I keep on trying to make progress I think things will get better. I felt like I accomplished a lot when I went to the store and saw all the food I can’t have and didn’t try putting it in my cart! Even despite being hungry and craving sweets! Shopping is probably one of the hardest things when you are giving up stuff.

I have been very tired, the last two nights we’ve had storms and our ceiling sprung leaks! They are still working on it but hopefully tonight it is not going to rain so I won’t have to be up late tending to it. I am really looking forward to bedtime. Since we’re not being strict about the diet I haven’t been writing down reactions because there's just too many variables, I do think my digestion is better though. Just need to figure out how to ease into it without causing too much detox because I know I have heavy metal toxicity and if I stir things up I could do more damage than good!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Hypoglycemia

Josiah woke up at 5 AM this morning and I was DEAD! I had water with lemon and tried resting on the couch, but I realized I was starting to get the same reactions I've had before when going low-carb- rapid heartbeat, numbness in extremities, barely enough energy to move, and nausea if I think about food (which I really needed to eat!). I tried to just take a nap, but it got worse so I had some honey and it got better, but it didn't go away until i had some peanut butter. This is a really scary experience for me, it made me not want to eat any soup and pretty much halt the diet. I taxed my adrenals by not eating enough to keep my blood sugar from dropping too low. I knew better but I guess I thought I would be okay since I only had one GAPS intro meal yesterday. Guess not! So I am definitely backing off until I can get a feel for how much food I need to eat to prevent hypoglycemia, while still trying to heal. I may not be able to do the intro at this point and just head straight to the full GAPS diet. It is obvious I need some major healing.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Intro: Day 1

My Mother's Day gift to myself is starting the GAPS diet :) !! It just seemed to be the perfect day to do it. I started the day off with some sourdough pancakes, then had bacon and cucumbers for lunch so that I had energy to go shopping and prepare a big soup! So technically tomorrow will be our first full day. I am already having cravings though :( but I am not even going to contemplate what would taste really good right now.

The soup I made was a whole pot of chicken bone broth, a zucchini, head of cauliflower, a carrot, a butternut squash (which by the way takes forever to peel and chop! thankfully I bought a real nice sharp knife!), and two onions. I blended it then put in the meat from a whole chicken. I have to say blending it probably was a mistake, it was easier for me to eat, but Josiah wouldn't even take a bite! He seemed to be upset that it didn't looked like his favorite chicken soup with carrots. Next time I will make sure to leave the carrots whole.

I am probably going to have to go back and do intro again with him, I am not at the point where I want to starve him until he gives in and eats soup. I think just eliminating grains, sugar and fruit is a huge step and a lot of healing will take place for him. I am eliminating dairy for six weeks, but I will start ghee in a few days making sure I am not sensitive to it. I hope he'll at least try this soup, if not then I will have to make him some other kinds of meat that he'll eat. We'll see how tomorrow goes and how I feel, I will probably be going through some major sugar withdrawal. I don't know how long I want to stay on stage 1, I will probably wait at least a day maybe two.