Monday, May 4, 2015

Dieting - Elimination Style

For the past month or two Joy started complaining about being really tired.  She would ask to go to nap, she would lay on the couch and watch her sisters play.  No matter what we were doing she was always tired.  She also has this weird habit of saying she is "SO hungry" and begging for food but as soon as we sat down to eat she would be full without even taking a bite.   Her tummy is always bloated and her skin eczema has been bad still.  The tiredness thing made me a little concerned.  We thought that maybe she was anemic since she doesn't eat enough food to get the necessary nutrients.  I took her to get some blood work done to see if that was it, and hoped that it wasn't something much more serious.

We didn't really have a doctor so we went straight to a lab and had it done.  I warned Joy about what would happen and she seemed okay with it because it would help us find out why her tummy was always hurting.  This little girl was such a champ!  The place had nothing to make it more "kid friendly".  I just held her on my lap and she watched the whole process without flinching, crying or making a sound.   About halfway through she said in a quiet, deep voice "Ow, that hurts"  and then she was done!  I was so proud of her.   We got some pizza afterward to celebrate (her favorite food).

The results came back completely normal so we were relieved but frustrated that they didn't give us any answers so we took her to a new doctor - Dr. Jensen.  He is an integrative M.D. and wow, what a difference!   He actually LOOKED at Joy,  he spent half and hour with us (as opposed to the 2 minutes we are accustomed to) and I felt like he actually was trying to figure out what was causing her symptoms rather than throwing a prescription for zantac or hydrocortisone cream at us.  He wanted her to go on an elimination diet for 3 weeks, hopefully her symptoms will clear up and we will slowly introduce the eliminated foods back one at a time to see what/if any of them is causing all her problems.

SO,  we started the diet.  NO: dairy, eggs, gluten, various grains, corn, oranges, peanuts, soy, meat besides chicken and sugar.   Wait, what?!   Rice is okay.  Thank you God for rice!  I found a 1 week meal plan with recipes for this exact diet and that has helped immensely.  We are ALL doing the diet to make it fair for poor Joy and who knows?  Maybe it will help us in unexpected ways.

Paige is doing great on it. She had a few days of cracker withdrawals but is fine now.  She is the happiest and loves spaghetti squash spaghetti.

Joy is having a good attitude about the changes because she knows it is to make her feel better.

Josh is being a good sport, I am impressed.

I am trying not to die and spending 5 times longer in the kitchen than I normally do.

Claire is not. happy.   Here she is crying over carrots for lunch and sweet Joy is trying to console her.

"This is good." has a new definition for us.  It used to mean,  "This food tastes great by normal people's standards! I would serve it to guests!"  Now it means,"I can swallow this."

Rice pancakes are "good"

 Zucchini, apple, banana, rice flour brownies are not.

Today marks one successful week on the diet.  We have noticed little, if any change - which is discouraging.  But we are sticking it out for three weeks so we can say we did and be sure, once and for all that it is or isn't a food sensitivity.

It's not all bad.  I kind of enjoy the challenge and it is broadening our horizons.  
The biggest plus to this diet is that the girls have stopped begging for food 24/7. Knowing that your next snack is going to be a vegetable makes you not so hungry.