Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Contemplating cake

Day 70

My teeny tiny baby girl's second birthday is coming up in a week. I can hardly believe it. Seems like yesterday she was a seven pound six ounce feather resting on my chest. There's a lot I could say about the past two years and how challenging and wonderful they have been, but it's all such a jumble in my head and heart right now I don't think I could write very coherently about it.

Instead ... I'll focus on cake! I am trying to come up with a recipe for a birthday cake that fits all of our restrictions. A month ago or so I was saying "who needs a birthday cake! She's only two, she won't notice that she didn't have one." But then we recently went to a birthday party and Ellie got to help blow the candles out and the look on her face was priceless. I turned to Ian and said, "Cake. She must have a cake."

Monday, June 27, 2011

A rough week

Day 68

Last week we trialed coconut, which we hadn't tried since the early days of SCD (it didn't go well). This time around it didn't go as badly (no hours-long screaming sessions in the middle of the night) but there were enough concerning symptoms that by day five I had to pull the plug. Ellie was frequently telling me her tummy hurt, her sleep was being affected and she developed a rash under her eyes and all over the trunk of her body.

I was so sad about this because I has really gotten my hopes up that coconut would be OK, which would make the diet so much easier. Especially snacks. It seems like so many GAPS-friendly snack recipes call for coconut or coconut oil. And doing GAPS without dairy or coconut is a real pain. There's something so sad to me about baking blueberry muffins with duck fat in them. :(

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Breakfast of champions

Day 62

We have completely changed our breakfast routine and I am loving it, so I thought I'd share. I reported previously that our attempts at juicing were big failures. But I've learned a thing or two about juicing since then. Like carrot juice is a terrible idea for people who are not tolerating sugar well. So we've switched to "green" juice. Another thing I learned is that even green juice can be a shock to the system, so it's good to combine it with healthy fats in the form of a green smoothie.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What our blood can tell us

Day 61

Recently we started seeing a nutrition counselor and one of the things she wanted us to do right away is get some blood tests done. Thankfully I was able to get them all done through our insurance and as the results trickled in, I forwarded them to our counselor. The results didn't say much to me, and didn't warrant an alarmed phone call or email from Ellie's doctor or mine, so I assumed there wasn't much news to be found. But late last week I sat down with our counselor and went over the results and what she shared with me was fascinating. I thought I'd share.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Constipation and the gluten connection

Ellie has been doing great in so many respects over the past two weeks that the fact that she was still suffering from constipation sort of flew under my radar. I was aware that she was not going for several days, but I let it slide just because she was sleeping so well and was so happy during the day. Big mistake.

Last night was the end of the third day of no pooping. After dinner she seemed to have a BM and asked for a new diaper. She was really, really upset and we assumed it was because she was bothered by her dirty diaper. When we got her upstairs and I opened her diaper it was immediately apparent why she was screaming.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The magic of raw foods

Sometime last week we took another bold step and introduced raw vegetables, including the nightshades tomatoes and peppers. It all started with a bad night, which we were suspicious was caused by sauteed red bell peppers. I consulted with our nutrition counselor and she suggested trying dinner the next night with only greens as the vegetables. Ian didn't totally get that message - and was in charge of dinner that night - and made a huge salad with the butter lettuce I bought, but also included cucumbers and tomatoes. I cringed and went along with it.

And Ellie did amazing that night! So amazing that we've had a huge salad at dinner every night since then and she's been doing fantastic. We have previously suspected Ellie was sensitive to nightshades, which I can now confidently say can be ruled out because she is absolutely thriving on tomatoes and peppers.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Finding balance with fruit

Day 47

Since we re-introduced fruit last week I've been exploring what fruits work for us and in what amounts. For example, Ellie is fine having one or two ripe strawberries, but five or six is too many. Half of a peeled green apple is fine, but it has to be with nut butter. If she eats it by itself we head straight to fussy town. Last week I baked some almond muffins that were sweetened with very ripe bananas (no honey) and those too were fine in moderation.

I got a little cocky with all this success and last night had half of a banana and this morning had another half, and Ellie had half a banana with her breakfast. I'm trying to search for words to describe what happened next ... it wasn't pretty.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Moving pieces of the puzzle around

After two horrible nights, we had to go back to the drawing board this morning to try and figure out what had gone wrong. Last night was truly a nightmare. The only solid block of sleep anybody got was from 2-5:40 a.m.

My biggest suspects were too many almond flour muffins or too many strawberries. Ellie had eaten both of these things in very small amounts and done fine, but then we got a little loose with the treats and that's when things went south. I also suspected beef, some spicy food we had eaten and wondered if the increased amount of probiotics was causing problems. So today I chose one thing to keep the same and took everything else out. I kept the probiotics the same, since that's the most important element of the diet. I completely removed the muffins, strawberries, spicy food and beef.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Teething - another layer of confusion

Oh boy. After quite a few consecutive nights of peaceful, quiet, calm bedtimes, Ellie has been refusing to go to sleep the past two nights. This could mean anything. Reflux? Food reaction? Die-off? Teething? Doing GAPS with a toddler involves a lot of detective work.

So I go back to the food journal. OK, yesterday, four things changed. It was the first day I gave Ellie a second dose of probiotics (at lunch in addition to after dinner), it was also the first day I allowed her to have a tiny string of sauerkraut (in addition to the kraut juice), it was the first time she had more than one strawberry (she had 3 or 4 I think) and I foolishly made dinner a tiny bit spicy, adding chipotle powder.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

I am declaring Intro over (!!!)

Day 43

Today Ellie and I had our first raw apple and our first almond flour baked good, which are both in Stage 6 of Intro. Since nobody died or doubled over immediately with stomach cramps, I am declaring Intro officially over!!!

We didn't do every step of Intro and we didn't do every stage in order. God knows we did not do it perfectly. But we did it! We survived, and I think a lot of healing was accomplished.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Adding some tools to the toolbox

Today was our first meeting with our new nutritional counselor. I was very impressed with her and really touched by how much she got what we were going through. I felt very believed, which is not a feeling I come away with after a doctor's visit. So that is a good starting point for a new relationship.

I believe this is Ellie 13th or 14th health care practitioner and retelling her health history has become an incredibly emotionally exhausting experience for me. After the meeting I just wanted to crawl into a corner to get over the emotional process of laying out all that's happened over the past two years. And in fact I did go home and had a really deep sleep during Ellie's nap.