How much do I love my son? Enough to embark on a journey fraught with misery called the Elimination Diet. Yes, it is as scary as it sounds. I myself have decided just to call it the Damn Diet because it’s really fun to whine about.
Scout has been gluten and dairy free for a while now. Well, mostly. I cook gluten-free meals and make sure his home-packed lunches are also, along with snacks. But when Sunday rolls around, I let him have ‘bad’ snacks along with the rest of his class. Sometimes he’ll attend ‘pancake breafast’ with his dad. When he goes to a friend’s house I don’t worry about it. I put butter on his toast. Once in a while we’ll order a pizza.
I’ve always figured, hey. He’s mostly gluten-free, so that should count, right? And honestly when we let him ‘cheat’, the only change I see in him is actually something we can smell. He gets the WORST gas ever. The boy could peel wallpaper, seriously. That is enough to validate that the gluten does indeed work a number on his digestive system, but since he never complains about feeling ill and doesn’t have any sort of adverse reactions, we just breathe through our mouths as best we can and let him try to live as normal a life as possible when he’s out and about with friends or on special occasions.
Lately with all of his frustrations he’s been having at school (and home!) with organization and retaining information we started to wonder if the diagnosis of ADD/ADHD was also something that needed to be made. Bringing him into the doctor, she looked at us with sympathy in her eyes and handed us a packet titled ‘The Elimination Diet’. Basically she wants to check out the possibility of Scout’s issues being food-related first, instead of just automatically giving him another label and putting him on medication. I do appreciate this way of thinking–even though I am the first to agree that there are people who really do chemically need the help of a med, I think it’s smart to exhaust all other possibilities first, if you can. Being someone who typically has the weirdest reactions to medications myself–I can’t even take ibuprofen–side effects can be a very scary thing.
So! Starting next week, our entire family will be on the Damn Diet. Hey, I’m certainly not going to cook separate meals for Sullivan and it’s not exactly nice to munch on Doritos and then toss my son a rice cake. All for one, one for all. Here’s what we’ll be eating: turkey, chicken, fish, some grass-fed beef. Fruits and veggies, of course. (except oranges!) Our usual gluten-free pastas and breads. We eat pretty healthy overall, so that’s not really a stretch.
Here’s what we won’t be eating–everything else! No shellfish or canned fish, no eggs, no peanuts/peanut butter, no cheese or butter. (sob!) No condiments of any kind except mustard, oil and vinegar. And of course, no sugar. Of any kind. Not even honey. aaaak! I’m going to be having HUGE withdrawal symptoms with that one, I’m sure! Look out!
We’ll be doing this for four weeks, to completely start with a clean slate in our systems. Then the idea is to slowly introduce the other foods every few days to see if there is any change in how Scout is feeling or acting. Part of me wanted to wait until school was out, since I have much more control over this whole thing when he’s home all day. But then again we also wanted to get this over ASAP and hopefully have more things to eat by the time we go to our beloved resort toward the end of the summer.
I have to admit, there is a sick part of me that’s kind of looking forward to this. It’s kind of like Boot Camp, a challenge to see if I can really stick to it. Plus I have to believe it may help me rid my muffin top that’s been plaguing me since turning the big 4-0. But Poor Scout. He’s already soooo hating the gf cheating diet he already has! He was complaining about it today, saying the he has it worse than me. I told him that I disagreed, that it is indeed harder for me because not only will I be missing my beloved cheese and sugar but I will also be hurting seeing him suffer through it all. I think the hardest part will be feeling like there won’t be enough variety.
Have you done this diet? If so, any good advice? Most of all, any good recipes???? If you haven’t done the diet hang in there with me….misery loves company, after all!!