Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Us on a Diet

Bye-bye, food dye!

Life has changed for the Wheeless family.

For various reasons, we have put the family on an elimination diet.  Bella & Ben for possible milk, corn, soy allergies... Ben for possible Celiac's disease... Lucy's autism spectrum disorder &anxiety diagnosis that we are hoping to help by eliminating MSG, food dyes, and preservatives.... Adam & I for weight and health concerns.  Alice & Sophie are along for the ride.

We started out with grand ideas of the Whole30 plan, then relaxed a bit to just plain Paleo.  After spending way too much at Whole Foods and tripling our grocery bills, I decided to add in rice, potatoes and legumes for budget reasons AND because researching the heck out of everything convinced me that being imperfectly healthy is better than being perfectly unhealthy.  ;)

So what would you call it?  I guess "clean eating" and an elimination diet to try to pinpoint allergies AND to get them under control.

Right now, we are all off of gluten, corn, soy, dairy, MSG, food dyes, artificial preservatives/nitrates.  We are eating meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and rice in their most natural forms.  Basically, we aren't eating things that come in a box.  ;)

I am tired.  Shopping and cooking in a whole new way (that is a lot more expensive and time consuming, but very necessary!) while dealing with food-related meltdowns & tantrums (the two little ones) and disappointment & pickiness (Ben & Bella) is wearing me out.

It is my Lenten sacrifice though.

I am done doing what is easy and killing ALL of us slowly.  I'm done caving to my sweet kids because I feel bad that they are disappointed.  For the next 40 days (at least) we are cutting it ALL out, and we are going to slowly reintroduce certain foods to see if we can figure out what is the root of the problem.  I am pretty sure we will be permanently off of gluten, and definitely not letting my kids anywhere near MSG, food dyes, corn syrups, etc for life.  

It hasn't been easy, and we are just getting started!  I think I will be so glad though that I finally put in the research, time effort, and money to get this family on the road to a healthier life.

In other news, I am still very up and down about losing my sweet Blaise Augustine.  I still can't believe it happened.  Some days,  I feel okay and other days, it is so fresh & raw that I just wish I could crawl in a hole and be alone.  The good news is, I have an amazing support system and take a lot of joy in the kids I have on this side of Heaven.  

I can't run away from it... it is something I have to get through day by day, minute by minute.  I tried to bury it under being busy, but it just resulted in a full scale epic meltdown.  Now that Adam is back from Atlanta and my hormones have settled somewhat, it is time to really talk and pray my way through the grief.  

It's the hardest thing I have ever done.    

It makes this new way of eating seem like a piece of cake.  A gluten-free, soy-fre, dairy-free, corn-free, organic cake.  ;)


H said...

Gluten-free definitely seems to make a difference for me. And limiting dairy where I can (but as long as I don't overdo it, I'm OK). But when I eat a regular doughnut now, I definitely feel like doo-doo afterwards. It's just not worth the cramping, coated tongue, mind fog, fatigue, etc to me anymore. Gluten has also been linked to some autism issues, so even if Lulu isn't showing any physical symptoms you might find that GF helps her too. xo

thetysonfamily said...

Love you TONS and so glad to catch up!! Praying for you all, always!!!! xoxoxo

Cam Wollner said...

Elimination diets are so hard, but can be so worth it. We did a diet that sounds a lot like the one you describe last January-March and while we didn't get all the answers then, tests have shown that Sadie can't have wheat, Patrick can't have dairy and we've learned that if Mae has gluten or casein she stops speaking and is in constant pain for about two weeks (she's on the spectrum). It's been about 15 months since we started this diet journey and we've been able to add a lot back in, and looking back it has been so worth it. Food allergies/intolerance aren't fun but they can make such a huge difference once they're figured out! It's awesome you're doing this. I know it can be overwhelming!