Wednesday, October 31, 2012

We're not nuts after all.

My family thinks I've gone nuts.  They are all supportive of our new nutritional ways.  But some of them don't want to hear the details, others don't understand the severe change, and everyone is panicking about Christmas.

My parents and grandmother were able to come visit us this past week, and we had a wonderful visit!  I think they may have been dreading the visit just a little.  Along with the 4 crazy kids, nonstop schedule, and too-early wake up calls, they were afraid I would be serving carrots and tofu all week.

I'll admit it.  Implementing a diet overhaul is very daunting and overwhelming.  It can affect everything -- playdates, picnics, weekends, travel plans, parties, guests, and definitely holidays.  

But what began as a month-long challenge has now morphed into our new way of life.  As my husband said, we would eat dirt every day if we knew it would help our kids.

And help is an understatement.

This sweet little boy is GREATLY benefiting from these changes. 

He is definitely still a little boy, but his ability to reason, focus, 
communicate, and cooperate has improved so much.

I was interested in my parents' view of our diet and our children's behavior.  I didn't want my personal reports or observations to be products of mere wishful thinking.  But they all commented on the big change in Caleb's behavior. (And they even enjoyed the food....or, at least that is what they told me. =)  

From the beginning, we felt God was leading us to implement these changes.  And now I am humbled to see how He cares so much for our sweet Caleb (and the rest of us) that He opened our eyes and hearts to these ways to help him.

So what have we been up to?



And more baking.

Throw in a little Clifford.

Some big messes.


A homemade castle.


Beautiful fall weather for a pumpkin patch visit.


And I think our family is doing quite well.

We're still working on getting the right Christmas card picture.

But I think that's going to take a Red Sea miracle.

 Wish this sugar-free mama "good luck" on Halloween.

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

You Know What They Say

You know what they say.

Put a southern girl on a diet, and she will still find a way to eat bread.

Well, maybe that's not a popular saying.  But it's the truth.

I love me some bakin'.  Cakes.  Bread.  Pies.  Brownies.  Cookies.

I have always had physical success upon cutting white flour from my diet.  More energy.  Less brain fog.  Flanks disappear (my lifelong nemesis...)  But I so miss my baked goods.

By cutting out processed foods and taking more control over what  our family eats, I was somewhat expecting to have to gear up for this mental battle once again.

Boy was I wrong.

We are in week 3.  No gluten.  No sugar.  No dairy.  We were not changing our eating habits to lose weight.  That was truly one of the lower priorities in this food journey.  But I have lost 6 pounds.  Bob has lost about the same.  We are all feeling good and not the least bit deprived.  The kids are doing very good on this, and even Eveley (our biggest skeptic) is coming around now.  Caleb is doing amazingly well with his new food habits.  I had a feeling that this food change would make his potty training experience look easy.  I'm glad I was wrong about that too!

I have been so surprised at the number of people who have been encouraged to do something similar or to just re-examine their food choices.  So cool.  Let's encourage one another in this process.  I'll be honest with you.  If I cheat, I'll tell you.  (By the way, I still use organic milk in my coffee.  Dairy was not a concern for me, but we are cutting it out due to Bob's - and possibly the other boys' - sensitivity issues.)  When it's hard, I'll tell you. that time I decided to fry a week's worth of chicken tenders while helping with homework, dealing with boy's stomach bug, and having 2 little rascals hanging on my legs.  Not my best idea.

Here are a few things I am learning:

1.  Don't take the kids grocery shopping with you.  Ever.  Period.  It will remind them of all the wonderfully sugary and colorful things that they have been missing.  Big mistake!  You will become the evil, horrible monster mother who never lets them have anything.

2.  Moderation is still the key.  Just because baked goods (with almond flour and honey) are legal, doesn't mean you can eat as many of them as you wish.  Even if they are warm delicious chocolate cupcakes.  Or else you will get really sick.  Just saying.

3.  Don't take the easy way out -- As much as I am tempted to do so, I cannot clean out our pantry of processed goods and simply refill it with "gluten-free" products.  Those items can contain just as many weird ingredients as the other, more familiar gluten-containing products.  I promise you can make some of these things very easily just using a few simple ingredients and a really snazzy cobalt blue Kitchen Aid.

4. Let your kids get involved with making their dinner - as much as possible.  This gives them some responsibility and ownership for the food and has seemed to make them a bit more eager to clean their plates.

5. Get your spouse on board.  If you are a mom and trying to cut processed foods, you will find yourself in the kitchen a lot!  And you will need to grocery shop more often.  At least in our house, the fresh fruits and veggies don't last much longer than a week.

And to answer one question:  we buy our almond and coconut flour here -

There are tons of great recipes out there, and I am enjoying trying many of them!  Eveley and I have started a tradition of baking something when she comes home from school.  This is our time to chat about her day without the stress of homework or the other kids distracting us.  So far, we have made bread, cookies, muffins, fried chicken, butternut squash fries, and tonight it was chocolate cupcakes.

 2 Thumbs Up.


We believe this diet food journey is here to stay.  I don't see myself feeding my kids some popcorn genetically modified to include a bit of roundup anytime soon.  I know I'm not a scientist or very smart in this area, but that seems pretty clear.

I guess the proof will be in the pudding...or the pumpkin muffins.