Saturday, March 17, 2012

Which diet for you?

I have been getting lots of emails about special diets for kids on the spectrum, diets for leaky guts, diets for female issues, etc. The burning question is what diet will fit the need at hand. The problem is, each person is different so there isn't an exact diet to follow. Don't get me wrong, there are a good handful of diets out there that serve as a wonderful outline for following but you need to take it all in with prudence.

When I first started realizing that Tate had issues with leaky gut and Autism; I read everything I could get my hands on. My first very favorite read was "The Viscous Cycle" by Elaine Gotschall. The book gave me a huge intro into gut issues and lead me to take on the SCD diet it outlined. The Simple Carbohydrate Diet is a diet that took out all grains and uncultured dairy and many more things to heal the gut. I followed that for Tate for a year. We saw great improvements but in the end, with the limited food selection, he became allergic to eggs and almonds on top of all the other things he was allergic to.

We then tried a few other diets which each came with some good and not as good points. The problem was not the premise of the diets, but the premise that Tate could not fit into a diet. No one really can fit into one particular diet. We all have different dietary needs. What we need to do is tweak along the way, listen to our bodies and change as we see fit. The problem we have in our eating today is that we don't pay attention to what our bodies are telling us.

For instance, I am a believer in cultured dairy. Pure, good, raw dairy. I have cultured it for years. We don't drink fluid dairy. I have made yogurts, used pastured butter, raw cheeses , etc. Then, in an effort to heal some ailments in our family, I decided to tweak a little of what I was feeding my family. I have a son who was suffering from acne. He is a good eater, he is healthy and has done everything to help his skin. I believe completely that skin issues are a manifestation of problems with diet. Through my motherly gift of inspiration, I knew that he needed to go off all dairy. In addition, I had a son with a rash on his backside that has been persistent for quite some time. He LOVES yogurt. Tate, or course, can't handle dairy at all and hasn't had it for 5 years. My husband and number 3 child have stuffy noses. Even with my cultured, raw dairy; I believed whole heartedly that dairy had to go. I have some good troupers in my house who obliged their mother and wife and went with it. Amazingly, not surprisingly, the rashy backside completely healed, only to return when he ate yogurt one day. He decided that that was not worth it. My stuffy nose group sound much clearer; the one with acne knows completely that his acne is a result of dairy intake along with hormones. If he eats it, he will have large acne eruptions by the next day. If he doesn't, it is much, much more under control. I never knew I had an issue with cultured dairy until I quit. I realized that when I did eat cheeses or dairy products, I felt bloated. I no longer have that feeling and my stomach is nice and flat. I feel great and absolutely desire no dairy, whatsoever. 

It was a little challenging at first removing all dairy as an enchilada just isn't the same without cheese. But, it is now easy peasy and I find food actually tastes  much better without it. Really, we don't miss it. There is a wonderful coconut ice cream that we enjoy as a treat to substitute when you just have to have ice cream. 

If you want to feel better; if you want to heal your body and change your life; you will never, ever go wrong with taking the garbage out of your life. Take away the sugar, the uncultured dairy ( or all of it), the processed foods. Going gluten free is always good to help heal the body. Don't eat soy products. Eat organic foods. Eat local. Cook things yourself. Limit your meats. Drink green smoothies. Drink lots of water. Don't drink soda! 

If everyone just stuck with those basic rules, a majority of disease would be gone. Weight would be under control. 

If you have eczema or stomach discomfort, keep a food journal and try to pinpoint what is making you sick. If you avoid that food for some time, at some point you will probably be able to eat it again. Tate used to be allergic to over 32 known allergens; we are down to about 3. You can heal your body. 

Listen. Pay attention. Do your body a favor. Eat for your health and vitality. When you adopt this behavior, you will stop feeling that you are depriving yourself of certain foods; you feel that you are blessing yourself with certain foods. 

I had a great email from a husband who was thrown into a gluten free/ paleo diet after his wife emailed me a couple weeks ago. Their son had just been diagnosed with Autism. I gave the wife my lecture on going gluten/dairy free for their son and didn't hear back. The usual. Few go with it. When I saw the email from the husband, I thought I was going to get the lecture from him about what I told his wife. Quite the opposite. It was an email telling me of the amazing changes in their lives after just a week or two of the diet. He has diabetes and after just one week, his insulin levels have decreased by one half. Amazing. They are convinced. I am so proud of them! It always works. Always. 

You can still enjoy food, if not more, when you start eating right. Food will start to taste better. 

I made these little gems below today from the wonderful blog, The Sprouted Kitchen. You can find the recipe here. Soooo yummy. A little guilt free Almond Joy. Dairy free. Gluten free (when using gluten free oats).The only sweetener is a little maple syrup. A perfect treat for a girl who loves her chocolate. 

I am so not deprived. My mouth and tummy are very happy. Eating healthy can be delicious. 


Jodiane said...

Glad you gave up dairy. This was a great post. So true that most people won't change because it's too hard/weird to eat a healthy diet. I am glad the husband who emailed you was so positive. That is awesome you are helping other people.

Heidi said...

Shari, I typically use local raw honey to sweeten everything. I do want to start using Maple syrup. Is there one you recommend?

Shari Goodman said...

I usually use the real maple from Costco but I am sure there are better ones out there. I don't use it too often. I also use raw honey and lots of coconut sugar and coconut sap. They do real well in baking.

Heidi said...

Thanks Shari! I have often wondered how good the real maple syrup from Costco was. I will have to try it now.

I love coconut sugar too.

The Johnsons said...

I too was one of those you talked to about going off milk...can't say it's completely out of our diets. However, since doing more raw and cultured and cutting down LOTS, my son, who is severely asthmatic, has had no episodes! And THAT is amazing! Thank you!

Christi said...

I am really trying to steer my family toward "real" food, and find the healthiest diet for us. I am torn, though on a couple of things. What are your thoughts on the "wheat for the man" and "land of milk abd honey" phrases in the scriptures?

Shari Goodman said...

I still believe Wheat is good for us but the problem is that wheat has been so adulterated here and it is way overconsumed. That has caused us to become allergic and the what to become hard to digest. If we work on healing our bodies from what we have done to it and process our grains the way it used to be, sprouted and organic, then, the good, healthy properties of wheat and other grains are still good for us. Same for raw milk. Since we have destroyed our guts , we lack the enzymes to break down the proteins in milk. Milk used to always be cultured as well.

allie said...

Thanks for sharing this. I have to say dairy is something we don't eat and I see a difference our family when we have had it. I am still figuring my kids out. We have allergies and picky eaters and it throws me off sometimes. We are not completely gluten free but headed that way. :)

allie said...

Thank you for introducing me to the backyard farmer! It is so fantastic! Local raw honey is yummy!