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supplements

It's OVER: Weeks 8-12(ish)

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It's OVER: Weeks 8-12(ish)

I am SO happy to announce that we had homemade pizza tonight!! With cheese! 

It's taken me awhile to get to this blog post, but have no fear, we made it through 12 full weeks on the 4R elimination diet and I am here to tell the story.  

Judah and her fancy curcumin drink.

Judah and her fancy curcumin drink.

Weeks 8-12 were pretty much the same as weeks before. For the most part uneventful, so I will try not to bore you with the same old. In a nutshell:

  • Pinterest is my best friend. Why didn't I think of using this meal planning tool before??
  • We started Judah on a DGL supplement --which is essentially a licorice powder supplement that helps with inflammation. She was supposed to take it 3x a day with meals. I was NOT good at remembering this. Also, the extra step of giving her something to eat 3x a day that it can be mixed into was quite a challenge. The other supplement we added in was Curcumin. Mucho thankful for the fizzy tabs that can be put into water with a citrus taste. Much easier than trying to get her to swallow a capsule. 
  • The forum response to Judah's itchy rash was a bit disappointing and the reason we ultimately decided to add in the rest of the supplements. Basically, her issue was a bit to complex to just give advice over a forum. It would require a consult with Dr. Aviva (or another doc, I suppose), and we just can't swing that right now. Plus, I figured we might as well give the last step to the 4R program a shot, first. 
  • By week 10, I found myself sneaking chocolate when the kids weren't looking. I know! So bad.  I have a problem. ;)
  • Before we started the elimination diet, Simon had this kind of bumpy, pimply skin all over his arms and was spreading to his torso. I had read that it could be a sign of gluten intolerance-- and by week 10 I realized it was completely gone.
  • I took the kids to visit some friends in New Hampshire for the day. ONE DAY and the food prep was overwhelming. I didn't want our friends to have to accommodate us, but I needed to make sure we had enough snacks and lunch and dinner so that the kids wouldn't be cranky pants all day long. It was difficult and I began (well, continued, probably) to become extremely SICK of the time commitment that goes along with super clean eating and food prep. Was definitely, definitely feeling DONE. 
  • There was one day that I was scrambling at home because food was completely gone from the previous week and the car broke so we couldn't food shop until dinnertime.  Exhausted, hungry and walking through Whole Foods, I picked up some turkey dogs for dinner. I mean, they were 1/2 legal... boy, oh, boy did my stomach pay for that choice!

Week TWELVE was an exciting one! Judah could see on the calendar that we were at the end so during the last week, we scrolled Pinterest, giddy, deciding which foods to add back in first. We decided to take it easy adding food back in by doing a sort of food challenge to see if we had any poor reactions to certain foods. Overall, we seemed to handle everything well. We did notice that nightshades made us feel bloated and gassy. 

Eggs are back. YUM.

Eggs are back. YUM.

We added eggs back in first, followed by nightshades, cocoa powder +honey or maple syrup, then beef and vinegar and yeast. We saved gluten and dairy for last. Once I started eating gluten again, I felt lots of brain fog and an overall "yuck" feeling-- it hasn't seemed to last but I do notice that processed food and refined carbs/sugar makes me feel  weird (which makes sense!). Unfortunately Simon's bumpy rash has come back slowly-- which tells me that it probably is gluten. He still eats it and I am trying to weigh just how important it is for him to stop eating it considering that, at this point, it's his only symptom. 

DAIRY was the big one. I waited and waited to add this back in. Not sure the best way to go about it, we eventually decided to start with a locally sourced, grass fed, organic, un-homogenized plain yogurt. Judah was in heaven. I only allowed a small bit a day, anything to her was such a treat. A week and a half in though, I noticed eczema on her hands.  We were all super bummed. It was the coldest week we had all winter and she was washing her hands a TON-- I wanted so badly to think it was from that. We cut out the yogurt and the rash went away :(  Next I decided to give her some cheddar cheese made from raw cow's milk-- NO PROBLEMS! We have continued to try cheese of different kinds either from raw cow's milk or cheese made from goat's milk and she has been doing great. It is SO nice to be able to garnish some meals with cheese!!

Mike's bday treat-- vegan, gluten-free, paleo raspberry chocolate tart from  Bakerita

Mike's bday treat-- vegan, gluten-free, paleo raspberry chocolate tart from Bakerita

At this point, we are still unsure what her tolerance for dairy actually is, so we have decided to limit dairy to home only so that we can be sure of the source-- and even at home we eat it in small amounts. It has been working well so far. I am so pleased with our results: Judah's eczema is gone, we know where Simon's rash was coming from and I feel like life is SO much easier now that I can eat brie and get Chipotle take out! YUM!

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One Family Member Down: Weeks 5-7

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One Family Member Down: Weeks 5-7

First one down.

First one down.

It was getting too easy. Something wasn't right. Well, for starters, Mike was back at work and that meant...we lost him. There was just no way I was going to be able to prep enough food that he could eat (while driving) from 8am- sometimes 8pm!  It just wasn't happening. So he took one of the team (insert sarcasm) and went off diet when he was at work. At home, he still followed the diet, mostly for Judah's sake. Unless she was sleeping-- because then I would catch him sneaking candy ;)

Now, I only had to focus on planning breakfast, lunch and snacks for the kids and me. We were finding this particularly easy given our new go to: Quesadillas . Slowly, I realized that I wasn't quite off the hook. We had fallen into a routine of eating these EASY and TASTY but PROCESSED tortillas every. single. day. And we weren't eating nearly as many vegetables.

I wish I could say that I snapped us out of it and made delicious fresh, eat the rainbow type lunches for the rest of our diet, but I didn't.

The quesadillas were too convenient. And good. And FILLING. 

At the week 5 mark, I finally sat down for long enough to figure out what supplements we would add to Judah's diet. I knew we would do a multivitamin that contained zinc and was hoping to get her started on L-Glutamine to help repair her gut lining. To my surprise, L-glutamine is not appropriate for children under six years old. So we started her on a Rainbow Light vitamin to start. I chose Rainbow Light for a few reasons: price, food-based, contained zinc and also contained prebiotics and digestive enzymes. 

Our choice for Judah's multivitamin.

Our choice for Judah's multivitamin.

Here are a few more happenings from week 5:

  • PUMPKIN. We went pumpkin picking! We brought the pumpkins home and gutted them for seeds, made our own pumpkin puree and from that we made pumpkin muffins and pumpkin chia seed pudding as two more breakfast options!
  • We made the very best CHICKEN WINGS! Oh my goodness gracious, they were spectacular. Middle Eastern flavored chicken wings from Paleo Diet Basics.  Only thing is, we quickly realized how turmeric stains EVERYTHING. And stains and little kids do not mix well. 
  • Granola! Yum. A long time favorite recipe changed a bit to accommodate our diet. Granola on coconut cream with berries? All kinds of YES.
  • Meal planning was easy! The kids seem to have favorites by this point which makes planning simple. Well, at least every other week :) 
Our pumpkin adventure! Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin chia seed pudding and...

Our pumpkin adventure! Pumpkin seeds, pumpkin chia seed pudding and...

During week 6 I was tired. I attended a really long birth and really long births mean extra planning on my part for when I leave my kids. I dream of the day I can leave them with the sitter or drop them to their grandparents and say "Whatever you are eating, they can eat!" 

Sigh. 

  • Meal planning was hard because I was tired.
  • We had friends over for dinner for the first time since we started this and it was a success! They brought a salad and I made roasted chicken, root vegetables, rice and butternut squash bisque! It feels good to eat with friends, again.
  • We modified an old favorite this week from the Minimalist Baker! We nixed the tahini sauce (because of the sugar) and instead added on a mixture of sauteed onions, black beans, garlic powder, oregano and apple cider vinegar.  Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowls.
  • Judah started with a yeastlike rash that she had before which was extremely frustrating. We decided to cut out all fruit except berries and see what happens. She is such a good sport and amazes me everyday. Not one complaint. 
  • I, on the other hand was considering modifying my diet to include eggs and tomatoes. I didn't even care about the sugar anymore! All I wanted was eggs florentine! 

Gwenyth Paltrow SAVED my week 7. As I was on the verge of tears trying to plan meals for the week, I happened upon some of her recipes from her cookbook "It's All Good."  So many to choose from! We chose to try  lamb for the first time!  We didn't like it (lamb, that is) but that's besides the point. We also discovered millet, too. How wonderful it was to eat NEW things. 

  • Frustrated by Judah's rash that kept appearing every few days, I decided to hit up the Healthiest Kid's Forum and while waiting for a response I decided to keep a food log.
  • Mike and I had a wedding to go to this week and we did NOT stick to the diet. It was very nice to eat cheese and crackers. I will say that. And I loved being able to stalk the appetizer trays during cocktail hour. Literally stalk them. But the next day, I was feeling all sorts of sniffly and headachy. Just no fun and so interesting that my body reacted that way.
Pumpkin muffins! 

Pumpkin muffins! 

We are pressing on! Well, three of us are. This is certainly not easy but it's getting better. I've learned so much already. Judah's rash has made me want to throw in the towel many times but I'm learning to be patient, to not jump to conclusions and to persevere. 

Until next time! 

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