Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Gluten Free Badge

You may have noticed the new "Gluten Free Badge" over on the side bar.  I think we've been messing around here with this gluten free thing for a couple of years.  When we discovered that Beany had a problem with gluten we went 100% gluten free ... for a while.  The results were very positive.  Beany started growing again, and his "asthma" disappeared.  But the positive results did not just affect Beany.  Builder and Jetter also had some interesting changes.  Jetter, for one thing, slowed down.  He was actually able to concentrate.  His handwriting became legible, and he no longer dealt with asthma.  Builder became less emotional.  His temper tantrums just about ceased and he stopped telling me his stomach hurt.  He was the happy starry-eyed kid I remembered from a few years ago.  I wondered if all this could actually be the result of eliminating gluten from our diet.  But really?  I mean, Builder and Jetter's problems weren't really physical ... I didn't think.  The gluten free diet is very difficult and over time I decided that Jetter and Builder had just matured beyond their problems.  I decided that I would keep Beany on the gluten free diet but we could lighten up with everyone else.  They were thrilled to have their "real" pizza and pasta back.  Night Owl has become an amazing cook and he treated us each weekend with his delicious pizza. 
Of course, this lasted for only a while.  Pretty soon Beany began to realize that his pizza looked different than ours.  He started to notice that while he got plain tortilla chips the other kids were getting that orange powdery looking stuff on theirs and theirs tasted really good!  He also decided he really wanted Social Butterfly's peanut butter sandwich instead of his own. 
 I don't remember when, probably sometime in January, Beany ate a regular piece of bread.  He devoured it.  He must have thought it tasted really good!  I dreaded the next day thinking I would see all kinds of terrible results, but nothing happened.  Okay, so that was no big deal.  We just wont let it happen again.
Some weeks later, there was another incident where he had gluten.  Probably Jetter's birthday when it was too hard to tell Beany he couldn't have any of that wonderfully blue birthday cake.  Then there was Social Butterfly's birthday in March and of course there was vacation when we ate all kinds of food we normally try to avoid.  Finally, April hit and I looked around at the kids and realized some changes had been taking place, slowly, so I didn't notice until they were full-blown.  I noticed Jetter was once again getting into trouble all. the. time for not behaving during school time.  Builder was whining, whining, whining, and "starving" all the time.  And Beany was no longer gaining wait, but had actually lost a few pounds.  And then there was that nebulizer that had spent and entire year packed away in the cupboard.  It was now sitting out on the counter in regular use.  Finally, a couple of weekends ago, I spent  the day in the emergency room with Beany.  Enough is enough.  Dad and I had a long talk about it and while eating gluten free isn't easy, and can be a bit expensive, we realized that this is something we have to do for Beany, and in some ways for Builder and Jetter too.  So I pulled out my GF cookbooks, went to the library to borrow a couple more, changed all the menus back to what they used to me, and we're restarting this journey.  I've realized that the GF diet can't be something special we do for Beany, it actually involves some lifestyle changes.  We have to say "good-bye" to that fast food restaurant we like to stop at after piano lessons, no more ordering pizza, Night Owl is experimenting to find a crust recipe that doesn't really taste gluten free, and we're learning that many restaurants have gluten free menus, you just have to ask.  So it's a big change, and it's not easy because the kids really don't like the different taste of gluten free foods.  I just keep telling them they'll get used to it and we keep on. After a week I'm seeing those positive results again and I'm encouraged.

I'm hoping to post some links to various gluten free sites to offer encouragement to those who are on this same diet.  If you know of any, please leave the information in the comment box.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog. My family also does better gluten-free. My husband, oldest son and oldest daughter need to be GF. The other three kids and I can have gluten, but it's so much easier to just cook GF. Also, my younger son needs to be dairy-free. All I can say is, it's a good thing I like to cook!

I just wanted you to know that there are others out there who understand what you are doing and why. and how.

a Mom in MO