Tuesday, August 12, 2014

"My Stomach Hurts"

Let me tell you a little about our journey with food, and where we are now. Ever since Ben and I were first married it's been a struggle to figure out how to make his stomach happy... a very unsuccessful struggle. Then as kids have come along it got to the point with some of them that EVERY day was complaints about stomach pain. Ugh. A lot of denial on my part, and a lot of inspiration from very dedicated relatives, I think we've finally gotten to the point where we are beyond the daily pain of food. This is by no means authoritative research I'm talking about here... its merely our trial and error, a little bit of book knowledge and a lot of cooking :)

For my husband, we have done dairy free for a long time. Next we added gluten-free, which like most GF people, we went for traditional replacements like GF noodles, cookies, bread, cereal. Little did we know that is really an unhealthy diet. This brought improvement but not relief. His uncle's family pointed him to VitalZymes digestive enzymes, which are a great life-saver for public and restaurant survival. Then after being GFCF for ages and still getting stomach attacks, he stumbled upon SCD diet which, to grossly simplify it,  is about avoiding carbs and grains. A very similar diet with a really good cleanse introduction is GAPS but be warned it's pretty intensive, but it works to heal and also maintain a damaged digestive system. Now with a combination of the things we've learned this is what works for him:

  • Eliminate almost all refined sugar.
  • Avoid dairy, we like hazelnut and almond milk as replacements.
  • Eat lots and lots of vegetables.
  • Organic as much as possible. 
  • Organic eggs!!! (We LOVE our farmer's market!)
  • Limited grains, mainly rice.
  • No pork, very minimal red meats.
  • Eat good chicken (healthy and hormone free) and fish. 
  • Bone broth!
  • Snack on nuts and seeds and fresh fruits.

For a typical dinner I aim for 2 servings vegetables, 1 serving of meat and probably half the time 1 serving of grain. It's very similar to a paleo diet and I've found googling paleo recipes to be really helpful and pretty tasty.

Now eating this way is not cheap, and a gluten-free/grain-free diet is not for everyone. The kids and I are not dairy and gluten free. Maybe our intestines are not as damaged as my husband's had been, or our systems are not as sensitive. Either way, I do different versions of our meals for Ben if there's things he shouldn't eat. We still use cheese, but we are mostly switched to Almond Milk for the bulk of our drinking, cereal eating and cooking. Between that and eating more fruits and vegetables our family finally seems to be free from the constant "my stomach hurts." Which makes me a happy mom!

Here's some resources if you want to learn more:
Book: Eat Right For Your Type (based on your blood type)
SCD diet - tons of information online if you just google it.
GAPS diet - really great

And just like that... summer's over!

May 22nd to Aug 6th was the extent of our summer, and since we were fortunate to have a job again, but unfortunate not to have vacation time or money, we spent the summer at home. BUT, we were super fortunate to have the Tracey Family and Nana come to visit in July!  We took them to the Beach, Bowling, Army Aviation Museum and of course treated them to boiled peanuts :) It was a houseful of fun and noise... can't wait until we can do it again!
These kids did not want to leave the water. They had so much fun they played until they were fried! Take me back!

Of course you can't come to Ft. Rucker without seeing a few helicopters. This museum is such a fun place to step into the life of an Army Pilot. Everybody left with a pressed penny to remember it by.