Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Elimination Diet Begins

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.



Saying good bye for now.


mom24 said...

I love the 'grieving' daughters shot - lol! I'm excited to know what you end up figuring out since those symptoms are surely indicators of gut/flora trouble. "Nourishing Traditions" (by Sally Fallon) was the book that changed out dietary lives around here, if you have time to read some of it....

Saralyn said...

Wow! That sounds tough. Rooting for you and hoping it yields sucess.

jennie said...

Let me know if you need help with menu ideas. I know it will be hard starting out, but you can do this and it is only for a limited time. You will feel great when you are done.

Brooke said...

I have always wanted to try that, but have been too lazy for follow through. I know the results will be totally amazing for your family. Keep us posted!

mom24 said...

Had a great recipe tonight & want to share. You estimate the amounts you need for you family size. I cook it all in a LARGE flat frying/saute pan with a lid.

*Sautee onion & carrots in olive oil until starting to soften.
*Add large amount of loosely chopped cabbage.( Add other chopped veggies that you have on hand and like, such as mushrooms, or peppers).

*Add chopped chicken chunks that you have leftover from roasting.
*Salt to taste (we LOVE Herbamare).
*Add approx. 1/2 to 1 cup chicken broth. (Add cornstarch if you want it to thicken, but we don't.)

*Once all items are added, stir and cover until cabbage is steamed but not mushy and chicken is warmed up.

This takes time if from scratch, but is quick if you have the leftover meat and variety of veggies on hand. We serve ours over brown rice.

Hope this helps!

Angie said...

Praying this helps you find answers! I know it will be tough, but I've seen it work for many families!

i am kind of cracking up though...your daughter is going to grieve something like All Bran? not cocoa Puffs? Too funny!

Praying for you all...glad you are there to support each other!

Heather L. said...

I can't wait to hear how this goes -- and I'd like to check out a few of the books you've mentioned.