Monday, March 05, 2012

Out with the old, on with the new

I've spent the last few weeks in preparation. For about 8 years, after a series of 8 rounds of antibiotics for mastitis and strep throat and a trip to Tanzania, East Africa, I have dealt with a host of digestive ailments. I found that eliminating gluten from my diet helped, but it didn't cure me alltogether. The final straw was drawn when I began to experience joint pain in my elbows and knees. I'm 32 years old! I have five children! I really want to be healthy to raise them and I really want to be able to have more children-without debilitating pain. I'm on a mission to get healthy! I'm primarily using the "Guts and Glory Program" as given in the book, "Restoring your digestive health" by Jordan S. Rubin, N.M.D. and Joseph Brasco, M.D. I tailored my diet slightly and will follow the guidelines of the Specific Carbohydrate Diet to some extent as well. For example, the guts and glory program state that I have to use goats milk to make my 24-hour fermented plain yogurt. I HATE goats milk. I couldn't do it. I just can't. So I will use cows milk. I do not believe I have any issues with Casein, so I think I'll be fine. If not, I just won't eat yogurt!

I know many of you may be familiar with the GAPS diet. I think GAPS could have worked for me but I chose not to adhere to this diet. I felt more comfortable using the two diets that are primarily for digestive health. That is my primary concern. I think if I restore my digestive health, possibly my hypothyroidism will go away and the joint pain as well.

Here is something I won't be eating: fresh ground, whole wheat bread made with quick rising yeast. I also am not a fan of feeding this to my family, BUT it is better than the store bought bread.

I decided to make things easier for me over the next few months, lunch would be simply sandwiches. Peanut butter and Jelly or uncured deli meat, maybe grilled cheese. Because I will be feeding my family so much bread (way more than normal-typically we eat only 1 loaf of bread a week-tops) I decided to go ahead and give sourdough a try. At least that way I can feel good about the bread they are eating. In the picture is my sourdough starter. I have now just 2 more days until I can make bread for my family with it. I'm so excited! I really hope it works!

Baby food. Lots and lots of baby food. Green baby food. Samuel is turning a bit on the yellowish side from all the carrots and sweet potatoes! So I made sure to make him baby food including brocolli, spinach and peas. Although essentially every batch of green baby food has plenty of carrots in it to make it slightly sweet. He has to like it to eat it! I also made him food with beef and with chicken for protein. For breakfast I made him soaked oatmeal, bananas and ricotta cheese. I'm trying to make sure and give him some form of protein with each meal and I'm continuing to keep him gluten free and any gluten free grains he has-are soaked in something acidic before cooking.

Totally random picture-we finally found the best place for the boys to enjoy there train set-the dining room table! It is technically our school room but I have found we do most of our school work at the kitchen the table so this works perfectly! We actually let Benjamin sit on the table in the midst of the track and he just loves it. He is getting so much easier as he gets older and can entertain himself. His favorite thing to do is play with his train track, play outside, and he is even starting to enjoy looking at books at length.

After making so much baby food I quickly ran out of ice cube trays to freeze it in so I turned to my muffin tins for help! I wouldn't really recommend this because they are harder to get out. I just let them thaw for about 10 minutes and then used a butter knife to kind of pop them out. Steve tried banging them on the counter upside down, but then he realized he was warping the pan. So don't try that one at home! On a small side note-making homemade baby food isn't really hard at all. Just takes the planning to do it and then you get it all made and you don't have to do it again for a while. I'll probably keep making it for Samuel for a while-until he refuses it. My toddlers (1-2 year olds) don't chew their food well so I end up with terrible poopies to change. It makes sense to me to continue to give them purred food until they can really chew up food well. Even Benjamin who is 2 1/2, I have started using a food chopper to chop up his rice into small bits. I won't go into details as to why, but you can imagine why I would need to do this. His diapers gave me all the evidence I needed. Okay, enough of this.

This is the best kind of play-do! Benjamin got his whole body into it! And I let him have it-I knew he couldn't hurt the bread!

We allow our boys to choose the meals we have on their birthdays. Micah requested cinnamon rolls for breakfast. Because we had so much going on the weekend of his birthday I decided to make it easier on myself and since I was already making bread the day before his birthday I just made an extra loaf and rolled it out, spread 1/2 stick of butter on it, sprinkled it with cinnamon and brown sugar, rolled it up and cut it into rolls. Don't they look delicious! Unfortunately I ruined them by making sucanat icing to put on top. The sucanat was way too strong and it totally masked the flavor of the rolls. Next time I will make regular powdered sugar icing. At least now I know such a simple and easy way to make the rolls. My family will love these as an occasional treat.

I just thought this picture was so cute. Look at Samuel with the atlas! Our little geographer! He turned a year old yesterday! My baby is growing up! My, the time goes by so fast. I will post about his birthday later!

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