Sunday, April 1, 2012

Where We've Been

Still here, only 4 weeks left till graduation. I would love to say that we have been busy packing the house up, but instead, I have been obsessing over food.

As I mentioned (in passing) in this post, Emma and I are eating gluten and dairy free. This is not our first time trying either gluten or dairy free.

We first started our dairy free changes in 2010 after Emma had 2 rectal prolapses within a month. The post I linked too is really long and parts are a bit gross, but I will recap here

- August 2010 (4y, 8m old)- Emma has 1st prolapse. Her doctor prescribes laxatives and "more fruits, veggies, and whole grains." We already ate a bunch of that, but added more. Things seemed o.k.
"Whoola Hooping"
August 2010

-September 2010 - Emma has 2nd (larger) prolapse. Received a referral to a Pediatric GI doctor, the wait is 2 months. I decided to cut dairy from her diet to see if that helps things at all, while also drastically reducing her laxative.
"Fun in the Mud"
Nevada, IA Jeep Show
September 2010

*Did you know that the more a person takes a laxative, the more their body depends on the laxative to poop? Can you imagine someone needing to rely on a laxative from the time they were 4? I couldn't so I only used it when I thought she absolutely needed it. Which wasn't very often.

"Dancing with Cousins"
NH October 2010

"T.V. time"
NH November 2010

-December 2010 (the day after Emma's 5th b-day)- Met with the pediatric GI doctor. Took x-rays and poked her tummy. "Give her a laxative daily and feed her more fruits and veggies. Oh, and she is fine to go back on dairy". Seriously? Again with the fruits and veggies? The x-ray did show that she was full of poop (haha, we already knew that!), so we did laxatives for a few days till she seemed to be empty, but after that I stopped them 

"Happy Birthday Baby!"
Tangled 3D
December 21, 2010

-January 2011- At some point during January, we ran out of soy milk, so we figured might as well see how she does with cows milk. A little milk on her cold oatmeal for breakfast, and by dinner time she had the sniffles. No fever, no other symptoms. So, I started researching dairy issues. Turns out one of the symptoms of dairy intolerance is stuffy nose. 

As Emma was having a hard time falling asleep that night because she couldn't breath, and the fact that she-no lie- went through an ENTIRE box of tissues the next day, we decided that dairy was out. Up until recently, we would be a little lax here and there and let her have a bit of cheese (or mac and cheese once a week), but there was to be no drinking of cow's milk. 

-February 2011- As I was researching dairy intolerance, I came across gluten intolerance. All of Emma's symptoms were on the list. Plus some of the autoimmune markers run in our families. I called up the doc and asked to have Emma tested for celiac disease. It was done but the results came back negative. If only I knew then what I know now... Anyway. I still decided to try the gluten free diet for her. I followed along so she didn't feel left out of anything. 

January, February and March of 2011 ended up being pretty crazy and the gluten free diet fell to the wayside. It wasn't until this past March that our lives seemed to really settle back down. 

I don't remember exactly when I noticed it, possible as far back as when Emma and I were in NH from Sep-Dec of 2010, but Emma started having really grody farts. So bad, I dubbed them "trucker farts" because all I could think of when she let one rip was some fat greasy trucking dude leaning over to let one go. 

Yeah, they were as bad as the image portrays. 

Finally, at the beginning of this year, I couldn't take it any more. I needed to know why she had farts that were worse than any adults I had every  heard. I eventually had enough energy and I started researching again. 
"Sparkling in the New Year at a friends house in AZ"
January 1, 2012

"Tasty homemade gluten filled (i.e. Whole Wheat) tortillas"
February 2012

-March 2012- All my research lead me back to celiac disease and gluten sensitivity/intolerance. I decided to just go for broke and cut both dairy and gluten from her diet (because many people who have problems with gluten, also have problems with dairy and other foods). 

This isn't really the recommended route to go because you need to be eating gluten in order for your body to be reacting to it. All the tests that can be preformed to test for celiac disease or gluten intolerance need to be done while on a gluten filled diet.

Not wanting Emma to have to make such crazy changes on her own, I committed to eating only what she is allowed to eat. 

It took about a week before we noticed that she stopped farting. When she does occasionally fart, she will look at me and say, "That was a normal fart" with a big smile on her face. She's right. Now her farts are what you would expect from a petite 6 year old (not a 50 something fat trucker). 

Turns our she isn't the only one feeling better. I have so much more energy, I've lost 5 or more pounds, I don't feel bloated, and I just feel better. 

I did slip up once in the first 2 weeks without even thinking about it while Jared and I were out to eat. I had some noodles at a sushi place and for the next 3 days, I was so lethargic I would have to lay down after walking about 20 steps. If I was sitting on the floor (trying to play with Emma) my body was too heavy and I had to lay down. Thankfully it passed, and I am now much more vigilant. 

We have been making an effort to get outside more (seeing as we seem to have more energy)

Smoothies every day

Self Portraits 

Homemade gluten free noodles- They were a little thick, but still pretty tasty. 

And our new (to us) work horse to help make every day as healthy as can be. The Vita-mix. So expensive, so worth it. 

We make smoothies everyday, at least once. Just about every day we have smoothies for breakfast. Some days we will also have a smoothie for snack or lunch, depending on what we have in the house. 

One smoothie is always a greenish smoothie, meaning we throw some veggies in it. 

Jared and Emma have started requesting that instead of me serving salad (a beautiful chopped salad that looked awesome and tasted even better), that I should just throw a few hand fulls of the salad into a smoothie and serve it with dinner. 

So I do green smoothies more nights than not. I still eat my salad, because I love to eat my salad, but I am happy that they happily consume some salad, even if its in a smoothie. 

Wow this is a long post. If you made it this far, thanks for hanging in there and letting me vent a bit! I will probably be writing a few more posts about this because I feel everyone needs to know about gluten and the problems it can cause. For now, I will leave you with a book recommendation.

Even if you don't have kids, I highly suggest you read this book. It is a fairly easy read, nothing crazy heavy, but there is some awesomely scary connections between what we eat, and how we feel and act. It really is an eye opener and a great starting point for figuring out if the foods you (or your child) are eating is causing more harm than good.

Check your library. If I had the money, this is one I would buy and hand out to everyone I know and love. 

But, seeing as I am not made of money, I will just urge you to borrow it from the library instead. 

Until next time, have a great day!

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