Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Our Diet Decision (Kati)

As I read the book "Breaking the Vicious Cycle" by Elaine Gotschall I started to cry. I knew in my heart that getting rid of the starches, sugars, and grains would be what I needed to do to heal my gut pain and help my girls to grow. I just *knew* this was the answer since the things that were not allowed on the diet were the same things that hurt my belly (and yet, that I had somehow been unable to stop eating).

My husband, however, was not so sure. One more diet change? We had already done gluten-free, followed by gluten-free + casein-free, followed by gluten-free + casein-free + corn free + soy free. Not to mention all the supplements and prescriptions the doctor had the girls on. He wasn't sure that pulling all the grains would be healthy, nor was he sure that this would be the magical answer we needed. We argued. I cried (I'm not usually a crier). He acquiesced. Maybe because of the tears? Who knows.

So with a doubtful husband we began the journey. I did a LOT of research and basically lived on the PecanBread yahoo board for a couple of months as we started. We set August 1 as our start date and for the last two weeks in July I researched, planned, and educated my two girls. Bath time should have been called "you are a prisoner while I draw diagrams of the human digestive tract" time. I cleared the pantry, restocked the pantry, and finally August 1 came and we started. The first two weeks were awful. I took more time off work. I worked harder. We *thought* we noticed a difference in ZiZi's language skills around day five. We were sure there was a difference by day ten or twelve.

I told my husband I thought it was definitely working and that I needed to hear it from him. He confirmed with, "If it hadn't been working we would've stopped it by now." Not exactly a ringing endorsement, but it was totally his style to say it that way.

For a little fun and flavor we have thrown in components of the Low Oxalate Diet (LOD) as well. Somewhere around day 20 we realized my youngest had an oxalate problem. Then I did a little oxalate research and suddenly realized that I had symptoms of an oxalate problem for a full year and had not known what it was called. Thank goodness we have the internet - where would my medical degree be without it?

In addition to layering in some of the LOD information we have also slowly moved more toward LOD meets GAPS. A friend of mine was on GAPS while we were doing SCD. I had always been a big fan of the Weston A Price research and the Nourishing Traditions cookbook prior to going on SCD. Once I read Dr. Natasha's book I realized my hundreds of hours of internet research to come to the same conclusions could have been avoided. Doh!

So our family combines SCD / GAPS / LOD and it is nothing but fun in our kitchen! The girls and I have improved, although it is never as fast as I would like. ZiZi's improvement has been the most dramatic, mine has been decent, and Ani's has been minor. Although ZiZi had the most neurological symptoms prior to the diet (and strangely, they have healed faster than her gut symptoms) according to much of our testing Ani's gut was in worse shape. So I try to keep that in mind when I am frustrated with how slowly Ani's healing is going.

Slow and steady wins this race, but sometimes we get impatient waiting for the progress. So I will soon layer in another couple pieces to this puzzle (we'll give homeopathy and NAET a shot soon) to see if I can't shave off some time from my kitchen sentence for good behavior!


  1. Kati you are so funny! I love to read your stories. Our family is about to start the GAPS diet and I really find your blog helpful. Thank you for taking the time to help us all. We have been thru so much of the same things. You really make me feel better and I really look forward to healing our family.
    Take care,

  2. Kati - I am amazed at what you've been through. I am also amazed at what a great writer you are! I have a lot more to read since I'm starting at the beginning and reading through to the 'current' and I've started late in the game! I'm so proud of you. I didn't know many of these details when I saw Ani and ZiZi this summer.

    Aunt Barb