Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Karlie's food sensitivies

We took Karlie to see our holistic doctor yesterday. I had wondered if she had sensitivities to wheat or gluten because every time she gets ahold of white flour, she gets constipated. Every single time we go out of town and I don't watch what she eats as much, she has trouble. Even if we just go out to eat at a restaurant, she gets constipated. It does not seem to affect Karis the same way. My doctor tested her and said that yes, she indeed did have sensitivities to both wheat and gluten. She was not reacting to them as much at home because I was soaking my flour, which was making it easier to digest. But she greatly recommended that I try using gluten free recipes as much as possible. She also said that Karlie was highly sensitive to mold, which can also affect her gut. Certain foods can harbor mold, such as grains and some nuts, particularly peanuts. We had not been giving her peanuts at all because of Karis, so that was not a problem, but I am going to try to switch to gluten-free bread products. We tried out a recipe for buckwheat pancakes this morning and everyone liked them. I also tried a recipe for buckwheat tortillas, but they were not so good... I definitely have some experimenting to do! Please let me know if you have a gluten-free recipe that you love!!!! My doctor also said that too much dairy can be a problem for Karlie which was very disappointing. She is so picky that she doesn't like many meats so I was relying on milk, cheese, and yogurt for much of her protein and fat intake. My doctor gave me some suggestions for using coconut milk to make a drink full of fat and protein, so we will be trying to get her to like that to cut back a little on the dairy. Laura also said that her food sensitivities were causing her to not absorb her minerals and vitamins as well and she gave me a recipe for an inexpensive drink that will be easily digestible that will be really good for healing her gut and for filling her with nutrients and also making her more thirsty so she will want to drink more (which will help with the constipation). I will post those recipes soon for anyone else who might want to try them.

We are planning to try this route for April and May to see if there is any improvement. When we travel for Easter and the beach, I will bring my home-made gluten free bread products to give her so the grandparents don't have to worry about what she will eat. Brown rice pasta is fine and I have heard that Udi's gluten free products are good as well. Oats generally have gluten unless specifically stated otherwise.

It is hard to have to be so particular about what she eats but she was definitely having digestive issues and I am really hopeful this will help her. My doctor said that we may even see her gain weight or get taller after she has been off gluten and dairy for a while. She also may begin to be less picky once the detox stage is over. My doctor said that a lot of people really crave the things they are most allergic to and that seems to be true of Karlie because all she wants is bread and dairy. But after being off them for a while, the craving can dissipate and she will like more things. But this this going to be tough because right now she doesn't like many other things. My biggest fear is that she will not drink the coconut milk or vitamin drinks that Laura wants me to prepare so please pray that she will be excited about them so that she will get the nutrients she needs right now.

I would really, really like to do the GAPS diet with her because I know it would heal her gut, but I am certain that she would refuse almost everything permissible in the diet right now. I also do not want to take the chance on her losing any weight because she is such a little munchkin to begin with. So I'm going to just start by cutting out the gluten and hopefully dairy and try to find GAPS-friendly recipes that my family will enjoy. Eventually, I hope to have enough recipes to do the GAPS diet with her for several months.


Arianna Elisabeth said...

Hello! My cousin has gluten and dairy allergies and she even started her own website called the Food-Sensative Foodie devoted to those with food allergies (www.marisavoorhees.com). Some of the recipes on the site might not be exciting for a little one's palate, but I would encourage you to email her with any foodie questions as she is very knowledgeable about food allergies and frequently advises others on diets to help with food sensitivities. Hope this helps! :)

Wendy from Udi's said...

Hi Meg - I'm glad that you figured out Karlie had a gluten sensitivity, but at the same time I know how tough it can be to transition your family onto a gluten free diet.

Since you mentioned us (Udi's) in your post, I wanted to reach out and let you know that we have a Gluten Free Living Community on our website where other bloggers/moms/gluten free dieters can discuss recipes, how to make the transition, etc. If you're interested, here's the link: www.udisglutenfree.com/community.

Good luck!

Lauren P. said...

Hi Meg!

That's awesome you found out these food sensitivities early on and can make these changes. My husband is lactose intolerant and I have Crohn's disease, but neither of us were really controlling our diets. We have finally decided (after feeling sick all the time) to try the Paleo diet for 30 days. I was initially very nervous. I grew up in an Italian home where we lived off cheese and pasta. Making this switch took a lot of preparation up front planning and rethinking our lifestyle. We are still in the 30 days, but have already noticed improvements. The beginning was a little shaky, because our bodies were adjusting, but we are bouncing back better than ever. It has been a whole new experience learning to cook and I feel like I am starting all over but it has been fun (I have found tons of recipes on Pinterest).

Our typical day looks like:
Breakfast - eggs loaded with veggies, bacon, and a piece of fruit or a smoothie with a hard boiled egg and fruit. It has been fun experimenting with new smoothies using coconut/almond milk or organic juice with no added sugar, but adding spinach or cucumbers with fruit. We are planning to try paleo cereal soon (nuts and berries in almond/coconut milk) and on Saturday's we have more time to make paleo pancakes of all sorts :)

Lunch - dinner leftovers (if we have some), salad with shredded chicken, steamed veggies. Not the most kid friendly, but I have seen ideas on pinterest for paleo chicken nuggets and tater tots.

Dinner - I usually do chicken or turkey of some sort and then try and get every color of the rainbow in vegetables on the plate! My recent favorite has been these green chili turkey burgers found here - http://www.elanaspantry.com/green-chili-turkey-burgers/
They are not spicy like I thought they would be and they taste very fresh and light!

Snacks - raisins, anything with almond butter, all types of veggies cut up, no sugar added apple sauce, nuts, and I can't wait to try some of the paleo dessert recipes I have seen.

I am looking forward to seeing what new recipes you try!