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.

I can once again say how grateful I am for my trusty food journal. I was able to look back at that bad night and see that on that day I had fed Ellie some mashed cauliflower that I had stored in the same container as the meatloaf, which had caused her problems. So I am now also quite confident that beef is out. Thank goodness I canceled my order of 1/2 a cow. :)

Anyway, since we've added raw vegetables Ellie has been steadily improving. Two out of the past three nights she's slept through the night. And two out of her last three naps has been over three hours (her norm is about two hours). I can probably count the number of three hour naps she's taken in her life on my two hands. There's lots that's been written about why raw food is so healthy for us, but the basic gist of it is that raw food has many enzymes that assist our digestion and help us absorb nutrients. This is apparently very true and very vital to our health!

Another major development of the past week is that Ellie and I have been steadily increasing our probiotic. When I first started taking probiotics I experienced extreme fatigue. But after I got to one capsule a day the symptoms totally went away. I was able to double up to two capsules and then increase right to three capsules with no side effects whatsoever. Ellie is having an easy time with the probiotics too. It seems like the more she takes the better she does, and I've never observed a problem with her that I was able to link back to the probiotics. She is taking about one capsule a day right now. We're working toward her taking four a day and me taking eight a day.

As things get better, the diet feels much, much more sustainable. There is much more variety in our diet and I am really enjoying salads as the weather warms up. I've also been making homemade mayonnaise with duck egg yolks. The best meal I've had in the past week was broiled salmon with dill, a huge salad of butter lettuce, tomato, cucumber and pepper with mayo dressing and steamed asparagus with mayo on top. To top it off, I was able to enjoy a divine glass of white wine with dinner. Delicious!

Intro was so hard and Ellie and I were so miserable and I am just now feeling like we've come out on the other end alive and well. I know there are varying opinions about whether a nursing mother should do Intro at all, but for us there was no other way. And now our diet is so much more expanded than it was on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or our previous elimination diet. And we are still nursing. We did it!


  1. Fantastic, Annie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well done!!!!

  2. I have much to read yet, but I'm thrilled, having read through all the posts up till now, this evening, to have you say that your diet is more expanded than when you were on SCD. Such progress, but I know it was so confusing and frustrating when you were in the midst of it in the weeks before this post.

  3. Hi Alicia,

    Yes, looking back with lots of hindsight I think the best part of GAPS Intro for us was that it was like starting solids all over again and we were really able to tease out what foods were issues and what weren't.

    That said, there were foods that I feel like I "forced" and told myself they were working that we were feeding Ellie on Intro and she's no longer eating (duck egg yolks and goat yogurt are two examples). The big lesson there was that I needed to keenly pay attention to how Ellie was doing, and not keep feeding her foods just because Natasha Campbell McBride said everybody can tolerate them.