A New Journey
In the months after Bunny was born I did a lot of reading on down syndrome. One of the things that caught my attention was that kids with down syndrome are more likely to have celiac disease. I knew that we would most likely be transitioning to gluten free at some point but the thought completely overwhelmed me. Bunny has never had issues with gluten that I have noticed so I have dragged my feet in making the transition because it's admittedly hard to change something when you aren't seeing negative effects.
However, Bunny is not my only child as we all know. One of my daughters has had a few symptoms that have been troubling me for awhile. Then a few months ago her behavior really began to take on an aggressive trait that I didn't think fit her heart. I began researching. I read both this book, and this book. They are both about food allergies in children and some common and uncommon signs of a possible allergy. They also address deficiencies and how to correct those. My conclusion after reading those books and applying it to all of my children's symptoms was that we were possible dealing with food sensitivities if not allergies and I definitely needed to consider omega 3 deficiency for one of them .
I considered getting them tested and I may still do that but in the meantime I decided that we would take out gluten because gluten and dairy seem to be the main causes of problems. In all honesty.....I think dairy would be way harder than gluten so I decided we would see how it went on gluten free first. My goal was to start off as gluten free and transition to grain free as time went on and the kids got used to the changes.
The first week was really hard. I had a meal plan (as I always do) but walking through Trader Joes I almost had a panic attack as I had to pass by our tried and trues for lunches. I thought "What am I going to feed my kids??"
I explained to the girls why we were doing it and they seem okay with it. They are used to eating different than other people but they know that we are trying to make good choices for our health. The first few days they seemed more emotional than normal but other than being hungry all the time they seem fine with the changes.
Then a week in I made a big batch of guacamole and we ate it with organic blue corn tortilla chips for lunch one day. Both girls had a bad reaction to it which made me realize we needed to tweak things even more and really work on getting those grains out. I have to admit that those chips are my very favorite lunch and I was pretty sad. However, getting myself out of the rut of my same very favorite lunch has made me eat a much healthier lunch with a much wider variety.
I suspect that we may need to cut dairy too. At least for awhile. Did you know that one of the signs of an allergy is that you crave that food? Well Baby is a dairy fiend. She also happens to have pink circles under her eyes which is another possible side effect to a dairy allergy. I have no idea how I am going to pull off no dairy. Bunny definitely has a dairy sensitivity. I already avoid dairy for him. His face gets bright red when he eats dairy and his digestion gets all out of whack.
I have been journaling our food intake and anything weird I see during the week. I honestly feel a little crazy about the whole thing but I truly just want what is best for my kiddos. Yes staying up every night making food and having dry scaly hands from all of the dish washing is not my favorite but it's totally worth it.
This week has been the calmest our family life has been in months. There has not been one explosion all week. There have been tense moments but I was able to talk the girls down before it got bad which I was not able to do in the past. The girls are also falling asleep right away each night and getting a better night's sleep.
We did also start a new chart system this week which I think is greatly contributing to the peace and love in the home but I know it's not the only reason. Emotions were raw and out of control before and they have been reigned in. I feel that it is too soon to say anything for sure but I definitely feel positive about where this is heading.
For myself I feel like I have more energy and my moods are more stable. I can go almost to bedtime (the kid's) without feeling like I am going to lose it. And believe me, that is saying a lot because dinner making time is crazy time around here! I don't feel as tired in the afternoons either. Prior to launching my investigation on my children I had also read this book (I highly recommend this book to anyone who deals with mood issues!) for myself and was beginning to think I should make some changes because I was feeling irritable ALL the time!
So that's what's new with us. I have once again tweaked things to make things more complicated for myself. Oh and we no longer have cable....but that is a different story. Maybe next week I'll decide we need a large pet to make things even more exciting around here.
**The pictures are from a family trip to the park last week. We unsuccessfully tried to teach the girls how to ride their bikes (Yes Boogie is 8. We suck). We're not giving up though!