We got her results. I cried. I panicked. I regrouped. I settled down. I figured some stuff out. I feel better about it. I said I wasn't going to talk about it anymore but this has had a significant emotional impact on me so I'm talking about it as my week in review. My week has been emotionally dealing with this situation. And what affects me emotionally affects my health - especially my adrenal fatigue and Candida.
So why all the tears and panic about my daughter's leaky gut and food sensitivities:
1) Regret. I knew about this two years ago yet I didn't REALLY deal with it. I fixed it enough to make her visibly look healthy and then I got lazy. Now she has vitamin deficiencies. I felt really bad;
2) The panic of not knowing what I am going to feed a kid that can't eat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, cane sugar, etc, etc, etc. Even for a clean eater this is/was an overwhelming task;
3) The panic on not knowing how I am going to have TIME to feed her this way when I'm going back to work in two months;
4) Anxiety and sadness over having to TELL her (over and over and over) all the things she can't eat. It feels so mean to say "you can't eat ice cream anymore", "you can't have a perogy", "you don't eat Tim Hortons muffins anymore", "I can't make you a yogurt parfait". It is brutal and the list goes on and on. We are a food loving family. It breaks my heart to take away all the things she loves. And to know she probably inherited my leaky gut, which is something she will battle with for a lifetime.
5) The panic of not knowing how I'm going to control what she eats when she is not in my direct care.
So how did I get to feel better about all this in such a short time.
You can't live in the past. I had a good cry, felt shame and regret about not having dealt with this better/sooner and just let it go. I can't turn back the clock and there is no point carrying around guilt. I just need to look forward and keep my energy for the journey ahead. I'm going to need it.
When you set your mind to it, search the internet, shop (lots) all the natural food isles, and cruise around Pinterest - you CAN find alternatives even for someone that has a very restrictive diet. I have already found some great alternative foods she can eat, that aren't very labor intensive and that don't have any of her food triggers. A couple of new things in our pantry/go to list:
- Red Mills Gluten free bread. Has a bit of yeast and sugar but a great bread alternative she will eat;
- Corn cakes and brown rice cakes. I spread sun-butter and low-sugar jam on these as an alternative to a sandwich. She can even take it for lunch;
- Almond yogurt. She loves it. I thought it tasted gross but its not about me;
- Quinoa crunchies. Got them at Bulk Barn;
- Home made Granola;
- Nature's Path Gluten free cereal's and granola bars; and
- Home made coconut milk ice-cream.
Its early days and we have been stumped a few times but we are keeping her fed. A milk replacement has caused a couple of stand-offs. She doesn't like almond or coconut milk. But she agreed to have brown rice milk this morning so we are making progress. And thankfully berries and fruit are in season so our fridge is overflowing with produce. So I have hope that we can figure this out - one rice cake at a time.
To say I have been in crisis mode over figuring out what do about going back to work would be a significant understatement. I have been freaking out. I'm all over the pace. I won't get into details (in case my boss is reading - lol) but we have decided that me dropping off and picking up our three children at three different day-cares is just a recipe for severe adrenal fatigue. So that option has been taken off the table. I'm not doing it. It would not have been a smart decision and I don't know why I was considering it for so long.
We are pursing finding a nanny to come to our house on a part time basis. That's the only way I think we can do this and keep our sanity, our health and keep eating clean. And I don't know the first thing about finding a nanny so another adventure taking place in this house. Plus there are other ramifications of this decision to consider like what if a nanny quits part way through the year and we have given up all of our already in place child care alternatives. And what if we decide after a year to go back to daycare. Will we get another before and after spot at the school? Will our old daycare be able to take us back? Lots of unknowns. And I'm Type A. I don't do well with unknowns. I'll keep you posted on how this all turns out..................
Kids are very resilient and they don't have the anxieties that we do. She is totally accepting of this situation. Maybe because she doesn't understand the big picture impact. And maybe because I have worked my butt off to still give her tasty meals and snacks. And her best friend just found out she can't have dairy this week either (happy/unhappy coincidence). If I just set raw veggies and chicken in front of her six times a day I'm sure I'd be getting a fight. But we have been eating lots of great food. Just different food. So she is taking it with a grain of salt. I'm very proud of her.
Figuring out how to deal with her diet restrictions when she's not in my care is going to be a work in progress. First thing was having a heart-to-heart (cry) with my mom and discussions with the in-laws that this is not a part-time diet. And I need support at the very least from those in my house. So if you are going to stay at my house and be part of our everyday I AM NOT FIGHTING my own family on the food choices for my children. So no sneaking her cheats. No eye rolls behind my back. No making me explain over and over and over again why she can't have a muffin even if it "only has a little bit of egg in it". My foot is down. Support this or don't come here. Or come here and deal with a very grumpy Mama bear.
People are okay with it if you explain yourself. Its all about communication. Once I let my Mom see how badly of a toll this was taking on me emotionally she got on board. Sometimes trying to act tough and look like everything is perfect doesn't help because then no one knows what you are going through. Showing your weaknesses is not always a bad thing. It can actually be quite helpful.
As for leaving the house. Well, this is something I still have to figure out. She's going for a play date this morning and I'm sending her a packed lunch and snacks. School and birthday parties are another story but I have two months to figure that out. And my brother's wedding in two weeks (with a full Ukrainian buffet, desserts and candy bar) with be another story. But we'll just take it one day at a time.
Now given the fact I was a bit "edgy" this week and stressed out, it was pretty amazing that I stuck to my diet and my Candida symptoms didn't come back. I didn't get my late afternoon anger flaring up. I was a bit moody but in a normal "I have lots on my mind" kind of way. I had a couple of bad sleeps but I still didn't feel tired during the day. So the Candida diet and anti-fungals seem to be working. And I got my own blood work back and things have improved SIGNIFICANTLY. I am still on the path to health. I am starting to be able to handle a bit of stress. Progress.
On a completely unrelated matter............I learned how to do a pistol squat this week. A one-legged squat. This is totally a bragging moment. Sorry. But I'm excited about it. I can do three on each leg before they give out. And I have to grunt like I'm in labor. But I can do it.
Set a goal. Persist. Achieve.
And fuel yourself with clean food to make it easier.........................here are some ideas from our week to help you out.
|A chocolate Candida muffin with home made coconut ice cream and cacao nibs/coconut. Who says eating clean has to be a hardship.|
|A "taco" salad for lunch. I fried left over chicken with Mexican spices, onions and peppers. And topped with a fresh salsa made with tomato, onions, cilantro and lime juice. Fresh, clean, delicious.|
|Steak, cauliflower grilled on the BBQ and salad. No carbs. Candida friendly. Delcious.|
|Stir fried brocolli slaw and cauliflower with shrimp. You can make a Candida friendly stir fry using gluten free stock, coconut amino's and ginger.|
|Home made chocolate coconut ice cream with a couple of dark chocolate chips and marshmallows for my daughters.They make gluten free cones. Handy!|
|Grilled curried cauliflower. This was good. Man we eat a lot of cauliflower.|
|Breakfast of eggs, tomato's and grass fed sausage. Not sure if they contained sugar. Not having them again - felt like I had a Candida flare that day and felt tired.|
|One of my daughter's lunches with gluten free bread.|
|Lunch I made for Baba. Coconut milk cauliflower soup - yummy - recipe to come this week. She didn't get much bread when she was here but I think she ate pretty good tasting food. Just different than what she is used to.|
|My home-made gluten-free granola. The kids love this stuff.|
|Vega one protein pancakes. With a hard boiled egg.|
|Salad with chicken and Candida friendly salad dressing - EVOO, Coconut Vinegar, Stevia and spices.|
|Steak (again) with tossed salad and zucchini salad.|