Progress and plans (and a recipe)… and… a FAD DIET????

NOTE:  This post probably has TMI on poop for most of you, so consider yourself forewarned.

Recently, I read about how Amazon ships stuff with extra, box-in-box packaging.  I thought, “That’s never happened to me!”  Well, guess what?  I ordered a 12 pack of 1 lb packages of Eden Organics…  BUCKWHEAT (of course), and sure enough, on the Eden box is a sticker marked “Ready to Ship.  Fulfilled by Amazon.com”.  And that box, along with some puffy air-bag packing material, sat inside of a much larger Amazon box.  That’s just stupid, IMO.

Anyways.  Buckwheat.  Yes, we’re still at it.  And, Fiala seems to be doing much better since we took sugar out of everything, which was on Saturday (more on that, below).  It’s amazing how much difference a few days make.  I did cave slightly, as I’m now putting stevia extract in her buckwheat.  When it was totally plain, she would simply spit it out.  I’m a tad concerned, because the stevia is in a packet (from Trader Joe’s), and it’s mixed with rice maltodextrin.  Maltodextrin is a sugar, and she’s allergic to rice.  However, it appears that her actually EATING is preferable to the minuscule amount of rice maltodextrin she’s getting  (1 – 1.5g per day).  I put cinnamon in her buckwheat, too.  So, technically, she’s getting four ingredients… well, five:  buckwheat, lamb, cinnamon, stevia, rice maltodextrin.  And salt, but that doesn’t really count.

I almost always eat my buckwheat plain and salted, or I boil up a broth with all my old marrow-filled lamb bones, and make a “soup” out of salted broth and buckwheat.  I still think it’s good, but I look with longing at other recipes… like the one that came on the packages of Eden Organics Buckwheat:

Buckwheat Tabouli

2 cups cooked buckwheat, cooled and fluffed
1 cucumber, chopped
2 small tomatoes, chopped
2/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh mint, chopped
2 cups fresh parsley, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp sea salt

Combine all ingredients.  Chill at least one hour.  Serve on romaine leaves.

That sounds fabulous.  Gluten-free and dairy-free, too!  I’m making it, when I can.  🙂

Fiala had a total diarrhea blowout on Saturday morning.  But, I, ummm… had a lemon-berry slush from Sonic on Friday, so it’s my own fault.  Still, that had Martin and I wondering on Saturday morning if it was a) the CORN in the corn syrup, with which the drink is surely sweetened, b) the SUGAR in the corn syrup, c) less possibly, the red dye with which the strawberries are surely colored.  We think it might be the sugar.  Which, I hope not.  Sugar malabsorption issues are difficult to navigate, very complex, and… well, just hard.  To be safe, I stopped putting brown sugar in her buckwheat, which I had been doing.

Just in case, though, I’ve already sent out e-mails to both the local celiac group and the local food allergy group that I’m a part of, asking for tips on a pediatric g.i. doc who is in FAVOR of breastfeeding, because I just don’t want to fight that fight.  I’ve gotten seven responses, four along the lines of, “Formula isn’t that bad,” one saying, “Good luck!  I will ask some of my midwife friends,” and two saying, “Here’s my ped g.i.  S/He supported me fully in my wish to breastfeed at least a year, through all my baby’s allergies.”  So, I have two good names to go on.

I’m sick, by the way, but recovering.  I’m so much better than yesterday.  It’s “just” a cold, but the kind that knocks you out — headache, muscle ache, congestion, sore throat…  Yuck.  I woke up yesterday and had NO energy.  None.  I was having a hard time sitting up, even.  That could be because I went to bed early the night before and did not eat dinner.  I was so sick and so exhausted that I nursed Fiala, ATE A BANANA as there was no buckwheat made and I knew I needed SOMETHING, gave the kids a few instructions, and went back to bed.  That was at about 7:00 a.m.  Ethan brought Fiala in for a nap at 9:00, and we both continued to sleep until 10:00.  When we emerged, I felt still sick, but with some energy.  Everyone was still in their jammies, and no one had done any school work, but THEIR CHORES WERE DONE, and Ethan even went one step further and put away the clean dishes from the dishwasher.  Give that child a medal.

So, the banana.  Fiala was very gassy the rest of the day — well from early afternoon until about 9:30 at night — the kind where she would alternate curling up in a ball to stretching herself out, crying in pain, and doing things like waking early from naptime because of gassiness.  It didn’t, however, give her diarrhea.  Her poop still seems healthy.

And, she tested negative to banana, both prick and patch.  Hm.  I, however, had observed similar symptoms in her when she ate bananas, so negative or positive, no bananas for Miss Fi, who is 11 months old today, by the way.  And, no bananas for me.

That banana tasted SO GOOD, though.  Mmmmm….. 😀

I noticed yesterday that Fiala’s hands looked very well.  Her main places of eczema are her face and behind her knees.  However, she also has eczema on her whole legs and her fingers, too.  I’m sure the finger issue is exacerbated by the fact that she puts them in her mouth all the time.  However, I never medicate her fingers;  I just don’t want any medicine going into her mouth.  So, to me, the fact that her hands are healing means MORE to me than that her face or behind her knees (behind one knee, at least — the other is still quite problematic) are healing, because in the other areas, I’ve been using medication.  Know what I mean?  So, that is very encouraging.

I recently had an e-mail exchange with a reader who was trying to offer me some tips for the diet of both Fiala and myself…  I must say, with all the e-mail I get….  well, I kind of hold them at arm’s length at first.  Some people have written with malice, some with judgment, some with genuine kind helpfulness, and it takes me a bit to sort out the motives of the sender.  Sorry, those who have written.  It just does.  Still, this reader sent me a link to a website of a special diet, and at first, I was thinking, “OK, is this the lady who WROTE the book, and is she trying to get some free promotion??  This website is full of ‘Buy my book for only $24.95!!  Buy our very expensive supplements!!!'”  And, that just rubs me the wrong way.

Also, one of the things the diet espouses is fermented vegetables.  Now, I’m not saying that fermenting things is bad, but some of the claims made by the pro-fermenting gang are just outrageous, and downright false.  Add to that, I had just read this really interesting article that, while it is talking about regular, wheat/gluten bread, specifically addressed the exact same problems I had had with the pro-fermenters.  And, now, I’m reading a website, the link forwarded by a stranger of unknown motives, that says, “Ferment your veggies!”  Ugh.

But… I read a little deeper.  And… it sounds like it may really work for our family.  You can BET that I’m not buying a $45-for-10 oz-nutritional-mix.  Nor am I buying a 2.2 lb package of their special sugar substitute for $40.  No way.  NO WAY.  NO blippety blippin’ way.  I’m probably not even going to buy the book;  I found it at my library (though they’re all checked out and I need to put a copy on hold).  And, I’m not likely to do any colonics, as suggested (ew 😮 ).  But, the diet centers around:

  • four gluten free grains (buckwheat, quinoa, millet, and amaranth — all of which are already in my pantry!)
  • lots of veggies including some that are fermented/cultured
  • “lean meats” — not sure which ones;  I’ll have to get the book
  • not very much fruit, and VERY little sugar
  • particular, healthy fats, like flax seed oil and coconut oil
  • it’s low-dairy
  • AND, it’s does not suggest that you replace “lost” sugars with artificial sweeteners, like aspartame or even Splenda, like South Beach does, which always bothered me.  (It does support naturally derived sweeteners, like stevia.)

Other than the fruit thing and sugar thing, um, we’re already doing most of that.

The idea is to eat things that are easy to digest, and that restore intestinal flora, which will lead to, among other things, a stronger immune system.  Although I don’t think Fiala, I, or anyone in my family (except maybe my husband) has candida overgrowth, I was already on the lookout for something I could provide my family with, that could boost our immune systems overall.  We just get sick too often.  Even if it’s “only” 2-3x/year, multiply that by seven, and there’s an awful lot of sickness circulating around here.

The book/diet is also big on specific food combinations.  I’d have to learn about that, as that would be entirely new to me.

It’s funny, because a couple of months ago, it may have seemed too extreme of a change, but compared to where I’m at now, the Body Ecology diet seems like FREEDOM.

So, obviously, I’m not on it yet.  But, I do plan to get the book, and I think it would be pretty easy to start incorporating the veggies and other things specific to the diet as the things that I slowly add into the diet of Fiala and me.

NO PRESSURE, but if I supply them with three e-mail addresses of people who are potentially interested, I can get a free cookbook.  Again, no pressure.  But, if you’d be willing to help me get a free cookbook, e-mail me.  And, if I get an excess of e-mail addresses (as I only need three), with permission of their owners, I will pass them on to the next person on the list, so you can get a cookbook, too.  (The website says that they will send you an e-mail asking you to opt in to receive e-mails from them;  it does not automatically add you to their list.)

And, MANY THANKS to reader cottagesweet, whose motives appear pure and kind, and now I feel sorry for doubting you.  I look forward to success with the Body Ecology diet, and if that’s the case, even MORE thanks will be due to you.  😀

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About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on September 22, 2009, in Allergies, Babies, Celiac Disease, Cooking/Baking/Food/Recipes, Digestive Woes, Family, GFCF Recipes, gluten-free, Homeschooling, Medical Stuff, The Dear Hubby, The Kids, Total Elimination Diet. Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. glutenfree4goofs

    Ack! I hate the overpackaging, middle man sending kind of nonsense!

    I really hope you start feeling better, I’ve had a similar flu/cold of some sort in fact I just got up again, having trouble even sitting (as you mentioned) and thought, well while I’m “up” I could go online at least. Even that’s making me a bit woozie.

    Something my doctor once told me might help your concern about banana. I was surprised to hear him say “Trust your mommy instincts, you know your children better than we ever could.” I think you are on to something test or no test you know her! You are just amazing, I’ll continue to pray for your resolve.

    I loved the blippety blippin! 🙂 You are funny.

  2. I’m seconding what gf4g says. 🙂 Your mommy gut is a good thing. The allergist swears up and down my son isn’t allergic to tomatoes, but when he’s covered in hives, has horrible bms, and a blistered bum…dude, he’s allergic.
    I really feel for you. I was thinking of you as I walked the grocery late at night last night, and how you had a real idea going with this late night shopping thing. Then I saw the gf cake mixes and I was thinking how much you probably wished you could just try it.
    I will continue to pray for a blessing on you both. I’m only curious and not at all judgemental, but did she have a pku screening at 24hrs old? I’m just throwing out any and all ideas I have. And, if it helps, I think you’re doing the right thing by continuing to nurse her!
    Ade

    • “dude, he’s allergic.” Hahahaha! I’m sorry for your little one, but that made me laugh!

      Thank you for thinking of me! That is touching. Seriously.

      I know she was screened for PKU, but just in case, I looked it up. The only thing that she seems to have of the PKU symptoms is eczema. I really don’t think she has it… but, thanks for the thought!

      And, I don’t think I would ever think you judgmental, Adrienne. 🙂

  3. kj- give them my address if you want. i can always block their spam. i want u to get the cookbook. and i’ll look into the diet too. why not? 🙂

    • Thanks, Henny! I thought of you when I was reading about the diet, in fact!! I know you already do some vege fermentation, right? Did you get that from Nourishing Traditions? (Just curious.)

  4. You can use my email address.

    I missed your posts for a few months during hard pregnancy & moving cross-country, so if you’ve covered this, I missed it. And I already know you are careful with everything, so this is probably pointless to bring up, but does Fiala have a chemical sensitivity? I do and I have to use natural detergents, soaps, & cleaners. Again, I’m sure you’ve already covered this area, but reading your recent posts made me think of it. 🙂

    I think it’s awesome you are still breastfeeding!!!

    Sending prayers up for you and Fiala everytime I think of it!!
    🙂

    • Thanks, Petra!! I haven’t been to your blog in a while, either. I LOVE your new layout. LOVE it.

      Chemical sensitivity was one of the first things I thought of, because when she first started having symptoms, I was already GFCF. Almost all of my cleaners, etc., were all natural (have been for years), but after that, I started making my own detergent…

      Chemicals still remain a possibility, but I think if she has any, it’s only PART of the problem, KWIM? I think. I don’t know for certain. I’m hoping it’s not a chemical sensitivity, because that is REALLY hard to deal with, as I’m sure you know.

  5. Thanks! I’m still working on the content, but I’m having fun with the new blog design. 🙂

    I have been wanting to try making my own detergent… Is it a big hassle?

    The worst part of chemical sensitivity for me is that I have bad reactions to many medicines, even vitamins. Avoiding chemicals in food isn’t too bad (just expensive sometimes – lol).

    I really hope that God reveals all the issues to you soon. You seem like such a strong person. I have great respect for you! 🙂

  6. I just had a thought…..

    My god-daughter always had really sensitive digestion like that. She’d have kaaaa-razy diapers! Her parents always had a huge stash of diapers in the car and changes of clothes because she’d have blow-outs ALL THE TIME! And she’d be fussy at time and prone to sickness.

    Finally, a naturopath helped them so much by diagnosing her with (I can’t remember exactly the name so I’ll just describe it) a system that didn’t work well with straight sugar/carbs. Her uncle is hypoglycemic, so blood sugar issues do run in their family.

    Anyway, the doctor told her mom to only give her carbs or sugar after she had had protein. Her mother had been giving her oatmeal or cereal or something normal like that for breakfast. BAD! (who coulda guessed that!) Anyway, she started giving her three scrambled eggs every morning first thing. And that settled her disposition, digestion, energy! WOW! She was just so much happier! And after she had the straight protein she could have oatmeal, toast, etc. Her body could only handle sugars after it had protein.

    I had forgotten about that. But, it was a lot like Fiala’s constant poop issues.

    • Daja, if you could find out what the name of that “thing” was/is, I would greatly appreciate it. How old is she now? Do her parents still need to be careful about food combinations/order?

      • If she has too much sugar she does sort of “crash.” If she starts to get weird like that, they make her eat some some solid protein.

        That seems to do the trick for her. Her body can handle the carbs after protein. So, she starts her day with three eggs, every. single. day.

        I’ll email her mom and ask her about it.

  7. I admire your sticktoitness as it relates to breastfeeding and Fiala. Still praying for all of you!

  8. Karen,

    I have my first batch of salsa fermenting on my counter right now!! I’ll let you know how it goes.

    Just for variety, have you tried buckwheat pancakes? Soak 1 cup buckwheat flour, 1 cup water, and a little acid, 2 tsp., (like vinegar or lemon juice) overnight in your blender. In the morning, add some salt, baking soda, olive oil, and a dash of your choice of sweetner. I have to add some xanthan gum. The batter will be very thin, like a crepe, but they are good for a change.

    Oh, and I’d be interested in the chef’s take (from your other post) on 30% sourdough (the real stuff, sitting around for 24 hours..) and 70% gluten free grain bread. I read a couple of Italian studies and apparently the gliadin is fully broken down by the sourdough yeast action. This is not the same as a starter used by baker’s yeast. After 6 years, I still find myself wanting the smell/taste of a good loaf of bread.

    • Jill, my problem with buckwheat flour is that the only kind I can find is from roasted (“brown”) buckwheat — YUCK! I cannot stand that flavor. I really like buckwheat groats (raw/”white” buckwheat), and have considered taking some to a mortar and pestle and hand grinding my own flour from it to try and make SOMETHING other than porridge or soup, but I haven’t tried that yet. And, I’m not using any oils yet! Other than lamb fat. So, even your very simple GFCF, egg-free recipe makes me nervous just yet!

      I am intrigued by the idea of truly fermented sourdough… I forgot I intended to Google that study you had mentioned on the phone!

  9. Hi! I just found your blog in my search for a GF flour mix, then bunny trailed to the biscuit recipe (I’ve been looking for forever for a biscuit recipe!!!), then bunny trailed to here. Anyway, I know a little of what you’re talking about with taking food out of your diet to breastfeed. I was on the turkey/rice diet for my son, who is also the reason we are GF/CF here (now I’m on a restricted diet again for our next nursing son). He also tested negative to bananas but reacted terribly. Even now at 3 he can’t eat them even though he tests negative. (oh, with the sonic drink…did you consider it was the strawberry?) When he was a nursing baby he had what I called autistic-like symptoms that mostly went away when I took everything out of my diet.-as long as I stuck to it. The doctors didn’t believe me, but they also weren’t listening to his constant screaming, changing tons of blowout poopy diapers, and not having their baby respond to them. When things were going well he would only poop one poop per week so pooping was a constant topic of conversation here ( actually still is! 😛 ). We’re still battling the doctors. God has led us every single step of the way though, and we are convinced he will continue too. You are in my prayers that God will continue to give you insight and wisdom as you work with the child God has placed in your care. 🙂

    I made up a sheet to track my food and baby’s symptoms. If you want, I can email it to you. It sure helped me a lot (and is interesting to go back through now).

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