Saturday, November 24, 2012

day 77 - abbie update

Abbie was a rock star at school for a while, a full 2 weeks...then i made the decision to let some sugar and gluten back into the picture when we left for a weekend getaway.  and....ugh, we've had a bit of a set back.  nothing like what we saw from her in the beginning of the year (thank heavens), but she is not holding her attention like she was when her diet was totally "clean".  her reading teacher, classroom teacher and i have been in constant contact which is a MUST if you decide to do a diet change.  it's a bit of a science experiment, that's for sure.  i am really looking forward to the next few weeks of school to see if i can get her back again.  i know i can, and i am very interested in how many days it takes to go "clean".  

starting monday, here's the plan:  the only gluten will be from spelt flour and i'm going to cut way back on school morning sugar and high salicylate fruits:  no oj or maple syrup to start the day.  i am going to give this two weeks.  if she is still not back to where we got her, bye bye gluten.
thanksgiving was great, talk about impossible to monitor food i just let it slide.  just a bit.  it's so hard!!  you feel so guilty not letting her have the chocolate, the pretzels, the sugar, the gluten...abbie was so good, she'd ask and i'd cave...ok, just one:)  and everyone is listening to you, many not aware of what's going on and i am so conscious of the crazy food mom label.  isn't that lame!?  i'm typing this so i am trying to lead the charge and i had a weak moment...a few of them.  well, we're back on track.  as a blogger, this is one of those "things i'm afraid to tell you".  not gonna hide anything here if i'm really going to help anyone, including myself... this is real life, i'm not gonna blow smoke up the hoo-ha and pretend i'm some perfect genius mom at this:)  i'm sure it won't be the last time i flake, get weak in the knees and whine, "why can't we just be NORMAL!!!!???"  what i have to hope for is that when we do have these slip ups, abbie will start to recognize how the food effects her the days in point, yesterday.

we put up our tree and xmas exploded in our house.  so of course, there was a ton of excitement.  boxes, ornaments, lights, talking stuffed animals aaaahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!   at first, chris and i figured it was normal, the kids were so happy to be helping and's a lot of stimuli.  well, abbie was like a caged animal.  bouncing up and down, over the couch, off the couch, running around...non stop.  mac was a little OC too.  i kept looking at chris giving him the googly eyes and his first five responses were, "oh please, give them a break, they're excited to put the tree up, it's not the food!".  well this amped up, saturday night live hypoglycemic crazy train activity (remember that mike myers bit? hahahaha...)  it kept up for over 5 he eventually agreed, "yup, the kids are a bit crazy".  
i talked to abbie about how she was feeling yesterday a few times.  we talked about the kinds of food we ate, how she was feeling...i asked her if she was at school, what would her teacher say?  she actually said, "i would have lost 5 barbies" (we have a barbie point system set up for behavior monitoring) i think she really got it, which was very surprising.  she's only 6 and it's certainly possible i was leading the witness...but you know what, if i don't point out the food link, how will she do it on her own at this age?  
abbie just sat down next to me and i asked, "how do you feel today versus yesterday?"  
her quick response: "i was a little wound up yesterday".  
ho ho ho ho
i have received a few questions on what exactly we have done with abbie's diet.  
here is quick outline and a great link to check out:
1. no processed food or junk food:  we have cut out all artificial additives, preservatives, artificial colors and artificial flavors.  i didn't realize "natural flavor" = artificial flavor in 99% of the cases...since i don't know what that means, we just don't give the stuff to her.
2. no dairy: we do almond milk, organic rice milk & coconut milk (watch for carrageen in all of them) plus probiotics to keep the gut bacteria healthy.
3. no soft drinks or fruit juices.  the fruit juice thing is new for us...going to cut out oj in the morning before school days.
4. drastically reduce refined sugar consumption: i try to use only organic sugar, honey, stevia, agave or maple sugar when needed.  this also will go down to as little as possible on school mornings.
5. stick with organic, nitrate free meats and poultry.  avoid processed meats and poultry. 
6. snacks are as healthy as I can get...low in sugar, high in nutrition!  kind bars are one of my favorites along with fruits, veggies with a healthy dip, popcorn....
7.  gluten free - I really really really was hoping we would not need to do this, but I'm giving it another go to see if this is a factor with Abbie.
8.  vitamins:  animal parade gold multi-vitamin & mineral supplement.
9.  always bring food, wherever you go.  i know i will insult people, especially family.  i hate that.  this is still smoke and mirrors to a few and i feel so horrible about hurting feelings of wonderful, loving, good-intentioned individuals... but this is not about them.  their food is perfectly ok, just not for abbie.  and i just can't worry about whether her change in school behavior & attention is believed or not.  

the link below outlines the above list in even more detail.  

The Best ADHD Child Diet


  1. what a great, heartfelt post! it IS hard to change and especially so for all of those around you, change forces people to evaluate what *they* are doing and their choices and that makes it particularly difficult, even when your intention bears no bias towards them and are choices only for you and your family. there is no denying the wonderful results you've had with abbie and mac and you are doing a wonderful job! just think, by thanksgiving next year you will be a PRO!!!!

    1. thanks T!!! such a great way to look at it:) here's to be a "pro" someday!!! xo

  2. Linds, I have been there in some aspects... loving, good intentioned adults want to just shower their love on our kids in the ways of food! A nice neighbor of Phil's aunt was at Thanksgiving and she kept begging... what can I give Shannon, here, a cookie, do you want this Shannon? Ahhhhh! People just don't get it. and we HAVE to be the advocate for our kids, and teach them just as you did with Abbie that there will be yucky consequences when they eat these foods! Thanks for posting this. It is such a challenge to go hard core, and there are days in which I just wish she could eat at McDonald's... but then I think, why, just to be like everyone else? In the long run I KNOW that she will be the healthiest of all her friends. You will find the balance, you will find rewards and treats that work for Abbie. Remember, you have come such a long way in a short time. I've been dealing with restrictions for 3 years, and I am still learning! Hugs!

  3. thank you for that amazing comment meg!!! whenever i am feeling weak...sing a long...well, here's my number and i'll call you maybe!!!! hahahahaha

  4. Amazing job,babe! Stay strong. You have come a long way with great results. Don't let them drag you down! Xoxo


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