I'd like to think that we eat fairly healthy meals here in our home. We do eat at home around the table most of the time. We tend to avoid prepackaged meals as much as possible. More than anything, this has to do with cost. I've learned that it's not as hard as it seems to make something from scratch. There is a lot of cost that goes into those grocery store packages, preservatives and transportation costs. But, nonetheless, even though I assemble our meals, most of our foods are well processed, especially our snacks.
Over time it's become more apparent that not all foods are agreeing with all the people in this house. Three of the kids have regular bloating and stomach aches. Two have eczema. The youngest two have extremely dry skin and the beginnings of what will be much worse eczema if allowed to continue. Two have recurrent fluid in the ears and infections. I have a crazy thyroid cyst and Sean teeters on the edge of high cholesterol. I've also noticed some of the kids really struggling some days with retention and concentration in school. They say it feels like they are in a fog or that their brain feels "fuzzy".
As this whole scene has unfolded in the past few months, it has sent me on a reading frenzy. Some of the books I've read have been:
Understanding Childhood Eczema
Discover your hidden food allergies and lose weight
Food Allergies and Food Intolerance
Allergy Exclusion Diet
The End of Overeating
When I learned that my friends from church, Heidi and Michelle, had done the elimination diet with great results, we began to consider if this would be a viable option for our family. (Let me know if you want the specific information and I'll send it your way.)
In short, we will be eliminating 11 groups of food completely from our diet for three weeks. These groups are: gluten grains, dairy, soy, corn, peanuts, eggs, nightshades, red meats, caffeine, alcohol and sugar.
This process should clear out the system of any current food sensitivities. Then it will be a systematic introduction of each group with a tracking of any allergic/sensitive responses such as increased pulse, temperature, hives, upset stomach, irritability.....
We've been anticipating this now for over a month and for the most part everyone is on board. Today we cleaned out the pantry, fridge and freezer making those foods inaccessible. We stocked the shelves with our new staples so that all is ready for Monday morning. I'll be updating this blog on our progress, recipes, price/product comparisons and results.
As one would imagine, we've thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving. For our last day of "normal" eating, calzones and omelets have been unanimously requested.