Category Archives: Gluten-Free

More fun times for EJ

E is now just shy of 2 1/2 and things have changed a bit from last year.  We recently allowed him to eat too much soy, without realizing it.  When he gets bits of it in his diet over a period of time, then he doesn’t sleep.  We’ve known this from the beginning.  What’s new is that we have finally figured out the link.  Why do his food intolerances make him not sleep?  He doesn’t seem in a lot of pain.  Sometimes we can still hear him refluxing, we know that dairy and soy make that worse.  We always thought that the reflux made it hard for him to sleep.  But in the back of my mind, I knew there was something more.  He was too fidgety for it to be just that.  Almost hyperactive and on those nights, he adamantly will not sleep.  Hates laying down.  This lasts three hours or more, sometimes all night long.

On normal nights, though, he goes down perfectly.  Says his prayer, says, “goodnight, sweet dreams Mommy” and rolls onto his side and goes to sleep.

The link?  RLS.

I finally tried laying down with him during his most recent stint of not sleeping (it lasted about a week).  During that time, he wouldn’t stop moving around.  He finally fell asleep, and I could feel the bed shaking.  His legs were still moving, twitching, bouncing.  I couldn’t believe it.  I put my hands on them, and they still didn’t stop.  He stayed asleep though.

Every night when I put him down, I hold him and sing a song while pacing around.  It’s part of his routine, and it is the only thing that has ever worked for him.  Only this song and only a swinging motion.  Even while falling asleep or getting sleepy on me, he is kicking his legs.  I can’t remember when it started.  A long time ago.

When a child has food intolerances or allergies, their bodies don’t absorb nutrients efficiently.  Even when they eat well.  There is a very strong link between restless leg syndrome and nutrient deficiency.  I was shocked to find that out.  I don’t know why.

I know our food can have a tremendous impact on our health.  You eat to live, or you eat to die.

He is growing.  I think back two years ago, and I can’t believe we survived it.  It was awful.  Now, I believe he is catching up.  His height is closer to 50% than ever before.  He keeps getting taller, and his pants keep getting shorter, yet he’s so skinny they still fall off his hips.  I love that he is finally outgrowing clothes.  I thought he was going to be in 18-24 month clothes until he graduated high school.

Just kidding.  Mostly.

On top of the RLS stuff, a doctor thinks that E’s soy reactions sound more like allergies.  I don’t know about the dairy, it doesn’t seem to be worsening and I let him eat things with butter sometimes.  The soy is definitely getting worse.  He breaks out around his mouth now if he eats something with it, like eczema.  Bright red and irritated.  No hives though.  It only takes one consumption of it to mess up his sleep patterns.

He also still has the nastiest diapers ever.  I don’t know if he could fully potty train just because of that.

Prayers for this are always appreciated.  He is a healthy boy, and such a joy to us.  He is hilarious and loves to laugh.  It could be so much worse, it has been worse, and we can tackle these issues.

And you know what?  I’m still grateful.  I hate that he has gone through so much already in his life, but at the same time, his issues have had a huge impact on the health of all of us.  We have cut out all processed foods from our diets.  We don’t use refined sugar, only coconut sugar, raw honey, and grade B maple syrup.  We are in the process of cutting out wheat and many grains because of our gluten problems (it’s mostly me, but it affects us all).  We eat lots of good protein, veggies, good fats, and we are training our bodies to burn fat instead of carbs for energy.

It’s all because of E.

Then again, his problems probably come from the horrible food I was eating before he was born.  It’s a vicious cycle, but I’m glad to be awakened to it.

 

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How Things Evolve

I knew I needed a change a year ago when I went to the doctor and I weighed the most I’ve ever weighed in my life.  Long story short, I started eating more whole foods and started to go through different diets.

I wanted to juice, but didn’t have a juicer.  So I made lots of smoothies chock full of kale and spinach and some berries, coconut water, flax seed, hemp seed, chia seeds…….and we ate mostly raw and whole foods.  I felt better than I had in…well maybe ever.  I started running with the C25K program.  I ran a 3k, then a 5k.  I lost 30 lbs.  Then our lives got incredibly stressful, I started feeling sick, and things just changed so so much.

We moved, and somehow gradually slid back into eating the same old things we used to.  The sickness that was afflicting me was getting worse, and I felt such a strong desire…a deep need to change things.  So we tried the Whole30 plan.  Basically, it’s a drastic way to shock your body into using it’s own fat stores for energy and helps your body function the way it is supposed to.  The way it was designed to.  To stay away from things that have been domesticated and genetically modified, and from things that appear good for you, like grains and beans, but actually contain a lot of things that our bodies can’t digest.  And a lot of the nutrients in those things are bound by other things that we can’t digest, meaning we can’t really absorb much nutrition.  To add to it, things like gluten can reek havoc on the lining of the intestines, and even work its way outside of the digestive system and affect a lot of other bodily systems.  A lot of diseases and sicknesses can be traced back to it.  This is where my problem was, but I didn’t know exactly what was bothering me yet.  I had gone off of so many things that even though I felt great, I didn’t know what the  culprit was.  The Whole30 plan was so difficult for me because not everyone ate the same way, my kids weren’t totally on the plan, and basically, cooking a million different things and trying to plan ahead only to have those plans fall through and spending way too much on food made me exhausted and tired of trying so hard.  So after three weeks, despite how good I felt, I stopped.  And I fell back into my old ways.  And then the holidays hit.

So after the holidays and a 10 lb gain over two months, I decided to do something similar to the Whole30, but not as drastic.  Enter 21DSD.  The 21 Day Sugar Detox.  There are three levels.  I wanted to use it to work my way to a primal diet, and make my family do it too.  I made it a week, then broke the sugar fast.  But since I stayed off of grains, I realized where my problem was, and I was able to go off of the medication that kept the cramping at bay.

Saturday I ate four pieces of pizza while at my dad’s, feeling like I didn’t want to make someone cater to me.  The whole next couple days I was sick as a dog.  Problem super-confirmed.

Lately, I’ve gone off of grains.  Which is definitely necessary.  I was getting sick at least once a week.  Debilitating intestinal cramping, bloating so much that I looked pregnant again, feeling like I was rotting from the inside out.  Lots of bad.  I went off of grains and beans and sugar for a week, then couldn’t fight the sugar thing at the same time.  Changing everything….no bread or crackers or pasta….it seems so hard.  But then I really got into making new recipes.  I have a great pinterest board for food, and I’ve gotten the hang of making all kinds of things without grains and I love it.  While a lingering part of me misses the ease of eating like most people, and I miss big chunks of bread to dip in soup….it hasn’t been that hard, really.  My bigger struggle has been the sugar ordeal, but by replacing sugar in the things I make with raw honey, real syrup, or coconut sugar, I am starting to get the hang of things.  And my stomach hasn’t had any problems at all.

Until I tested it.

So I’ve come to this conclusion.  That we all have these health issues, sometimes they come on suddenly, but most likely, they creep up on us.  We don’t even realize when they start, because it is so gradual.  We deal with them as best we can, and they keep getting more intense, more serious.  Until one day, the symptoms can’t be ignored anymore.  This point is different for a lot of people.  Some people catch things early.  Some people have massive heart attacks.  Sometimes it’s because they didn’t see it coming, but I bet a lot of the time, we choose to ignore the warning signs.

I believe with all of me, because of everything I have read and seen and watched and researched, that a huge, HUGE majority of these issues are caused by the food we eat.  That even though inactivity can be a big problem, the food we eat is a much bigger issue.  If the food you eat makes you feel lethargic and fatigued, you aren’t going to exercise.  You are barely going to make it through the day.  I’ve actually never seen anyone who had a lot of energy who ate a diet of mostly processed food.  At least, not someone over 30.  It all catches up with us.  I’m realizing, even though I am not even 30 yet, that the choices I have made for the last ten years have greatly affected my health.  And now I have to work a lot harder to change, to institute habits that will get me on the right track.

And what is the right track?  Is it an elusive, intangible thing?

That is a topic for another day.  But I will say this, you can grab ahold of your health and control it, and by doing so, make your life a life worth living to it’s fullest potential each and every day.  It is possible, and if you want it enough, so very doable.