A Day at a Time

When we decided to go gluten and dairy free for K.bear we saw results almost instantly. Therefore, keeping up with the life changes we implemented were quite simple to accept. However, not all people can or will see results that quickly making a commitment to change ones former way of eating may at times seem like an impossible task. If you and your doctor feel that making a complete diet make over is necessary and a good option then; I encourage you to stick it out through the long haul. I know it is hard and can be expensive. However, if food is your enemy then food is also part of your solution.

Our bodies did not become overloaded  over night. Years of build up in our systems are just now being passed onto our future generations. I’m afraid we are just at beginning of discovering how severe the many years of convenience and overly processed foods have been on our bodies. When combined with increased pesticide and environmental pollution the havoc our bodies have endured is now showing its face. With the increased cancer statistics, autism rates, tumors, mental health disorders, celiac disease, childhood allergies, diabetes, and blood pressure it is paramount that we go back to our roots. You might need to dig deep to find your perfect solution but going back to the way our great ancestors once did I think is a great place to start. The deterioration didn’t happen in a day so it is unreasonable to expect to see results in a day. It may take time and patience, but if you are having problems and searching for answers then  it is a good assumption that a commitment is going to be needed. The key to healing is time; the healing is your health and your future. (Tweet That)

Gluten Free School

Sit down and grab a cup of your favorite beverage {mines usually coffee}. We are going to school today … 

So we hear the word gluten but do we really know what it is? It is a word plastered on the side of grocery store products and appears to be all the rage with fad-dieters, but what is it? Today we will be taking a closer look and tomorrow we will dive into the truth that lies behind dairy.

Gluten is the protein composite that makes our food have that stretchy, elastic consistency that we all love and crave. Gluten is a protein found in the grains wheat, barley, and rye. {oat too due to manufacturing and the extremely high likelihood of cross contamination.} It is the protein composite that makes your pizza dough stretchy and gives your bread that special bounce. It is believed that as many as 1 in every 133 persons are affected by gluten in some way.

What is an intolerance or gluten sensitivity?  

Non Celiac Gluten Sensitivity {NCGS} is the bodies response to ingesting gluten; cramping, bloating, and discomfort. NCGS was not recognized as an actual diagnosable problem until recently. It is the bodies reaction to the protein composite without the deterioration of the small intestine. {Although, I tend to personally believe after prolonged exposure you would find similar deterioration and nutrition deficiencies as you see with actual celiac disease patients.} 

What is celiac disease? 

At this present time there’s no medical consensus on how to diagnose gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity. Until recently medical doctors did not even think it truly existed. It has since been proven that those individuals adults and children alike that do in fact test negative on a celiac disease test but are still symptomatic may benefit from following a gluten free diet regardless of the test results.

Many people suffer from chronic digestive disorders such as celiac disease, and for them gluten is truly evil: their bodies regard even a tiny crumb of it as an invader/enemy. After enough gluten exposure this autoimmune disease begins to severely  damage the small intestine as a result of trying to ward off the enemy; causing both great gastrointestinal distress and nutritional deficiencies. The proven long term effects being cancer, infertility, and osteoporosis. 

How are adults and children diagnosed? 

A series of blood tests looking for specific antibodies maybe administered and possibly an endoscopy in search of intestinal damage. It is not uncommon to get a false negative on these tests especially with children as their tiny bodies are changing so rapidly. The treatment is the exact same regardless of an actual medical diagnosis.

Is there a cure and or treatment available? 

Yes, do not eat gluten; not even the tiniest crumb. {Yes, we really do have a gluten free toaster slot and never double dip a knife in butter, jam, or peanut butter. I am the crumb police in our home.}

What are some signs and symptoms to consider gluten as a cause? 

There are literally hundreds of symptoms but the most common are; abdominal cramping and discomfort, diarrhea or constipation, anemia, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, headaches, brain fog, and tingling of extremities. {the fire she would start with her feet}

Fun facts; 

As many as 15% of people with ADHD may in fact have celiac disease, and adopting a gluten-free diet may relieve some if not all of their symptoms.

Many people who have celiac disease do not know it. If all these people were diagnosed, celiac disease would be more common than type 1 diabetes. 

Help spread awareness and share this. My goal is to never let anyone experience the unknown road that we once had. 

GF/DF in a Day

There I was holding the key that could potentially save my sanity and help my sweet little girl. The years of unanswered questions, fears, sleep deprivation, behavior problems, intestinal discomfort, and parental heart ache have come down to this. A child who can not tolerate gluten and dairy.

 I question if this really could be so simple? Simultaneously my stomach hurts at the thought of changing our entire family’s diet. Besides do I even fully know what gluten is? There seems to be a dairy issue too. Is she lactose intolerant or is it a protein issue? As fast as I feel comfort on this new path to healthy living; I’m equally overcome by the anxiety of those questions left unanswered.

Out of complete desperation and a certain confidence that I’m onto something; I begin to empty our pantry. I make a few phone calls to some gluten free family friends: I’m absorbing, learning, and reading at lightening speed. I was determined to never experience the tantrum I had the day before. The helpless feeling of not being able to help one of your children is not something any parent wants to experience; and, for once I am hopeful. We are doing this regardless of what others might think or say. I trust, follow my mom-instinct, and believe that God is holding my family in His hand through all of this. 
I proceed with our pantry transformation; in less than 24 hours I managed to rid the house of most everything that could be to blame. The ways of our past regardless of how healthy were no longer: as I prepared countless bags of noodles, unused cereal, cans of soup, and baking supplies to donate. I knew exactly what needed to be done. In order for this to work and really be tested we needed to give it our all: we would give it an honest shot one to three months of living without. 
After only 3 days of being gluten and dairy free this child I had birthed three years prior had been reborn. She was anew. She was sleeping through the night, extreme tantrum free, potty issues had subsided, and the fire she so often tried to start with her feet had been put out. She was playing pretend and being a kid. Imaginary play and interacting in new ways as if she was embracing a newly discovered world. Tears of joy, happiness, and relief flow from my eyes. We have been blessed with the opportunity to meet our daughter again for the first time and guess what; she, is pretty darn amazing!

If you missed it…..My Special Note and Thanks.

Are you considering an extreme diet change; gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegetarian, etc. 
1. Consult your physician. {I was extremely confident in our family’s decision and that our pediatrician would be fully on board with this choice. I called her 1 week post K.Bears diet change and she was completely supportive and in agreement with all of the choices we had made.}
2. Start small; you do not need to take the same extreme measures we did. I just happened to have enough nutrition knowledge and experience with this to know in order for us to see a significant result everything needed eliminating and then at a later time could be reintroduced. I also knew that with the high risk of cross contamination and potential increased hereditary links it was important for the entire family not just K.bear. 
3. Find a community, support, a friend, or I invite you to even rest here knowing you and your family are not alone. 
Join me tomorrow as I begin to break down the technical terms “what is gluten”, “what is casein and whey”….