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Monday, January 25, 2010

GF/CF Update...

So we've been gluten-free, dairy-free now for 2 months and I wanted to post an update on how things are going.   First the logistics of it. I don't believe eating this way is more expensive because I don't buy the prepackaged, premade products. I've figured out to buy large quantities of the sweet rice and I grind it into flour in my Vitamix. This is so much more economical for us. It's a little more time consuming but worth it. Basically, I am baking bread, muffins, or cookies several times a week so the little's have something to snack on. Family dinner consists of a GF/CF meal that everyone can eat. I'm no short order cook. LOL! I can make any meal GF/CF just by changing up the flours and using soy or rice milk in place of regular milk.

Sean and the boys are not GF/CF and they have their own cupboard with their snacks, cereals, etc. in it. Out of sight, out of mind for the little's. Now, when the guys have out their crackers, bread or snacks the kids know they can't have them and they will say "nope, they have wheat and dairy". However, last weekend when we were at a friend's house we were in the sitting room and there was a cake full of dairy and wheat sitting on the dining room table. I happened to spy Kyalynn  very subtly picking teeny pieces of icing off of the knife and placing them in the palm of her hand. No doubt for a forbidden snack later. LOL! When I yelled at her she immediately went and washed her hands and none of the forbidden food entered her mouth. Thank God! I want a truly accurate picture of whether this diet is working or not and even a tiny bit of wrong food can change that picture.

So are we seeing any changes? Oh boy, you bet! We are seeing changes overall in each of them but Kyalynn's changes have been the most noticeable. If you remember, Kyalynn was only able to say one or two words together early last year and by the middle of the year was starting to put several words together to try and make a sentence. The sentences were not full sentences, nor were they grammatically correct. She also resorted to ALOT of screaming because she wasn't able to get her ideas/points across to us. She understands sign language but isn't able to form the signs with her hands. So she understood us but couldn't talk back appropriately to us. Well, in the last 2 months she has made GREAT improvement! She is speaking in sentences! Correct sentences! Let me give you an example of before and now. Before: "cereal, daddy". Now: "Daddy, can I please have some Rice Crispy cereal for breakfast?" !!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

She will yell up the steps for me and correctly and clearly ask me a question. Now she isn't going to be giving public speeches any time soon by any means but she has come amazingly far in these 2 months! Also, her screaming episodes are few and far between. She still screams but usually only if she isn't getting her way. :) And when reprimanded they end so much quicker now. She is more attentive and social and is often going to give hugs to her brothers and sisters. She also reads to Nolan. He loves this Wonder Pets book (for some odd reason!) and she will say "Nolan, come listen", and proceeds to read him the book. It's been a godsend to me as he was wanting the book read over and over and over again every hour. LOL! Another huge milestone is that she is eating EVERYTHING put in front of her at meal time without gagging or screaming. Seriously folks, this is something to write home about! She is eating rice, beans, bananas...all things that she couldn't keep in her mouth before. (She had serious sensory issues with it) She still has some problems with salad but I will give her points for trying. She will put the salad in her mouth and chew and chew and then when she goes to swallow the gag reflex kicks in. She will try a couple of times and then she's done, but at least she tried! We also just started doing the chelation therapy clay baths with her and are hoping this brings even more improvement. We are thrilled with her progress. In fact, we've had comments from friends and family at how much difference they see in her. Many say that it's like night and day! When we had our adoption get together the one dad took Sean and I aside and commented on the changes he was seeing in her since our last get together. I am so glad we aren't the only ones observing her new lease on life!!

Gabriella's changes are a bit more subtle but there nonetheless. She seems to be more happy and her tantrums have decreased significantly. Before she could scream about the slightest thing for 30 minutes. Now if she starts screaming and I tell her to stop she will settle down within 5 minutes. Trust me, that's such a blessing, especially for the ears! LOL! She too has begun eating most things placed in front of her during meals. She will still complain (but even that's less often) about the food she doesn't like but she still eats it. Sometimes it is with much gagging and even that's done with drama. LOL! This girl is our drama queen!! :)
She is much more affectionate and attentive and even, I daresay it...obedient. Thank you Lord!!

Connor's progress is slow but steady. It took longer for us to see any changes with him but again, we have had numerous comments about how calm he seems, and that if he gets hyper and is told to settle down he seems to do so so much quicker. The thing I notice most with him is that I am able to talk or explain what I expect or what he did wrong, etc., and he is attentive, looks me in the eyes (most times), and is able to repeat back what I just said. This is MONUMENTAL! I will say that he is much more pleasant to be around and is doing so much better at trying to be a nice brother and doing the right things. The therapist told us that a signpost of whether this was working for him or not would be if we could see that he was trying, really trying, to obey us and to tell the truth. Honestly, I can see that he is trying and that is progress! The lying is still an issue but isn't as vindictive as before. Little steps but oh what a big difference they make!

And last but not least, little Nolan. He just makes you smile, doesn't he?! He has taken to this diet like ducks on water....swimmingly. LOL! He prefers dried cranberries to cookies and loves to eat carob chips in a bowl.  Tonight he rebelled against rice at supper (LOL!) but usually eats everything without problems. This diet has just made him even more yummy and delightful in every way. :) The only issue I am thinking on right now is that it may be too much soy for him. Although he doesn't drink soy milk in his cup he will have it in his cereal and I do cook with it. Our butter is also made from soy too. So...contemplating that. He is growing well and talking alot (you should hear him say "thank you" :) ) and very active. LOL!

So that's the run down. Just thought it would be helpful to anyone that is thinking about implementing this diet to see that changes are happening for us and in my book it's been well worth the effort! 


Salzwedel Family said...

What positive changes for you all! Sounds like an answer to prayer indeed.

Beth E. said...

A lot of hard work for you, but oh, the benefits! :-)

Awesome news...praise God!

steffany said...


Donna said...

You may have already posted this but I'd like to know more about where you buy your bulk products and your recipes. I want to make the change here too!

Tereasa said...

Thanks for sharing! Sunny received an RX yesterday. Lots to consider. Would you consider doing a post re: why you decided against meds?

Tina said...

It sounds like you are on the right track for the littles! Sounds like you are eating with the littles, I will assume, it is just easier since you are with them all day long?

Tereasa said...

Hey girl. How'bout some recipes?

I was thinking about Sunny the other night and all of a sudden I remembered that she is allergic to wheat and eggs. Duh! No one ever talked to me about it. I know she wasn't on a special diet in foster care. It showed up as a slight allergy on one of her medical records. I tucked it away in the back of my mind and just now remembered. I guess I gotta give the diet a try. Now what??