Sunday, October 28, 2012

Bye bye bread! Bye bye cheese!

When Jack was about 3 weeks old, I decided to sit down & do some research regarding some strange signs he was exhibiting. I knew that the pain he was experiencing when he ate wasn't normal, as well as the wet sounding burps with no spit up. I discovered he had silent reflux, but I did not want to have him put on medicine. I read that almost all babies with reflux have an intolerance to something the mom is eating (or to their formula) so I decided to cut out dairy, which is the most common culprit. Three days later, he had a really bad day, & I realized I had eaten a lot of bread that day, so I cut out gluten as well (which is the second most common culprit). That removes a lot from your diet, folks! However, about 48 hours after removing gluten from my diet, he stopped showing signs of reflux & his demeanor continued to improve over the next few days. A lot of his gas went away as well. I'm really thankful to have found a natural way to make him feel better, even if it means giving up a LOT of delicious things!

I use almond milk in my cereal, & found coconut milk ice cream to be a good treat. There are a lot of gluten free products available, including sandwich bread, brownies, crackers, & more. You can tell they aren't the same as their gluten-filled counterparts, but it's easy to feel fulfilled & not deprived for the most part. I think the hardest part is eating out. Most of what is available at restaurants isn't something I can order, & it means not getting some yummy things that I used to get, like breakfast tacos or the occasional Krispy Kreme at MOPS (yummmm...). But I like being somewhat forced to eat healthier. Removing gluten almost guarantees healthier dinner recipes & snacks. My gluten-free granola has more nutritious grains, & dairy substitutes often have less calories. No more saucy casseroles, no fried stuff, etc.

Josh & I have slowly been refining the way we eat for a long time. Pregnancy always messes us up since I tend to eat a little more hormonally for nine months, but now we're getting back on track. As much as I don't think I would have ever chosen to do so voluntarily, I can now see going gluten-free as a lifestyle. I wouldn't mind using alternative milks long-term (I've never been a milk drinker anyhow), but I would like some cheese back in my life! (I plan on trying to eat some dairy in a couple of weeks to see if that affects Jack or not, since I'm not entirely sure it is necessary to remove from my diet like gluten is.) I'm certainly not suggesting that gluten is evil or that milk is bad, but it might be something we choose to limit, if not cut out of our diet long-term.

I am interested to see how I feel being gluten-free for a few weeks. I know a lot of people report feeling better not eating it. I'm sure part of it is that the diet removes a lot of the yucky stuff (like fried foods) which always makes me feel better! We also plan to eat less meat (& what we eat is organic, grass fed already) & more vegetables & snack on fruit instead of processed foods. You know, the obvious things - but aren't they so hard to actually do?? I don't mean to sound like we eat horribly. We don't. We eat a lot of organic & natural foods, no high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils, etc. But we definitely want to cut out most of our processed foods & eat more whole foods.

I'm also hoping this Jack-led-diet helps me lose the rest of the baby weight. Let's be real, that would be a great perk!! I lost a lot in the two weeks following Jack's birth, but still have some work to do. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to the gym in a couple of months when I'm more comfortable leaving Jack in childcare.

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