Monday, January 4, 2010

Elimination Diet: Halfway there?

Today is the beginning of our 6th week on the Elimination Diet. I can't believe I'm writing this. Five weeks without a Diet Coke. Now that, my friends, is a world's record for this mama.

It's been tough going these past two weeks. The holidays were harder than I imagined on the kids. Our choices were to stay cloistered in our house or enjoy the company of others in the presence of some very missed cuisine. We chose to participate in humanity, but that didn't come without it's own set of troubles.

A few days ago I thought we might just have to call it quits. Not only were the little ones at the end of their rope, but the older ones were generally grumpy and tearful. "How much longer?" "I don't want to do this." They were starting to take it out on each other and wear me down to a nub by the constant asking for this and that. I don't know, I think they must have thought that I would at some point crack and the whole thing would be over. I was near that point.

Let me tell you. I thought I knew what it meant to say, "No," to my children, but I had no idea. Their little eyes are so pleading and their words so sincere. There response EVERY TIME is like they've never heard the word before- utter disappointment. It has given me deep sympathy for those mothers around the world who have to deny their children food because there simply is not enough. I can't imagine how very heart wrenching and discouraging that must be.

With all that said, I believe we are about to turn a corner. We've introduced gluten, nightshades and corn now back into the diet. Gluten is back out and corn is on trial. Hopefully it will get to stay. Yesterday we LOVED eating popcorn again (several times). Other than a rash around the mouth that was noticed last night before bed, everyone seemed to handle it just fine. It might be just windburn; we'll see.

I've been going over and over again the benefits of this diet to keep our chins up. Here's the most recent:

1) No nighttime shin splint pain for the kids (It will be interesting to see if this lasts as basketball gears up.)
2) Between Sean and myself we've lost 18 pounds
3) Much more focus and energy to complete work
4) Everyone is sleeping better at night- no tossing/turning, sleepwalking
5) Skin is clear and bright as are eyes
6) Very few stomach aches
7) The eczema has seen great improvement. Still very dry, but not seeping and beginning to return to normal skin color. The patch on the face that appeared with gluten is already completely gone

I asked Elizabeth(8) how the diet has helped her. She responded, "It's helps me pray more to God because this is really hard. I can pray to Him and trust in Him and it helps me." I'd say those are true benefits.

I'm excited about these changes and keep asking God for clear results with each trial. If corn passes the bar than we will try soy or sugar at the end of the week.

Thanks all of the continued interest and encouragement.


Andrea said...

I KNOW this is hard!! WE will be starting something similar to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet next Monday - very strict, no grains, no dairy, no processed anything or sugars. This time instead of trying to do different plans for different kids, we will ALL 6 be doing it. For TWELVE months! :-o

My 8yo (with no apparent allergies and at 'away' school) is already axiously asking if he can still have this or that and 'but why me too?' He is the one that fights me on stuff like this. And I agree - it is REALLY hard to say no.

But you have a plan and a goal and are working for the better stewardship of the bodies you've been given to tend! Stay strong and perservere!

btw - info on soy - it isn't the 'health' food that it is touted to be. It is VERY high in phytates (these hang on to minerals & vitamins & don't allow your body to have them), enzyme inhibiters (we need enzymes for better digestion and to keep from getting food sensitivities), and phytoestrogens (these depress thyroid function). Just my OPINION, but you might want to look into it further before adding it back...

Angie said...

You are all amzing me! Keep it up! I am missing my diet coke pretty fiercely, too! Our diets are totally different, but I can empathize with the frustrations...praying for you all!

The Balda 6 Family said...

Thank-you so much for the e-book on elimination diet. It has been my top resource. Our family started the diet on January 1st. The boys are "on board", but full of complaining and grumbling. Some moments are a real struggle with their anger over this choice. Dinner seems to be going okay, however last night was a flop. (rice, blackbeans, and ground turkey mixture) The boys also cherish rice cakes with preserves like your family. Boy have we gone through rice cakes! Smoothies are a hit also. Today I am going to try chocolate almond milk and banana shake. We will see. I told my boys 35 days, so I hope we can stick to that. I am realizing from your experience that any reactions to an introduced food delays that number. I wouldn't tell them that just yet!