Monday, November 29, 2010

Mulling over Millet, Pondering Spelt, and now Mama's gone green

First things first... broccoli!  I think we may have a pass.  Today will be day seven, and we've had no issues.  Jake's had one bad diaper, but I'm going to chalk that up to a crumb of some sort.  The rest of the week went well. 

With this recent run of passes, I'm really considering trialing millet this week.  I've been eating it once or twice a day for a few weeks now and it doesn't bother him through my milk.  I have millet puffs in my pantry just waiting to be presented on his tray.  The thing is... we have a busy week.  AND The hubs is out of town.  What to do?  The last time hubs was out of town, I trialed ascorbic acid.  It was our last fail. 

Spelt is a new grain option I've come across.  (I have been learning way too much about food lately)  Spelt can replace wheat in almost any baking.  Spelt has more protein than wheat, yet the protein is supposed to be easier to digest.  If I soaked the grains, it should make the proteins even easier to digest. I may start introducing spelt into my diet and see if Jake reacts.  Maybe after a millet trial pass.  Nothing wrong with some positive thinking, right?

 Food for thought. 

In the meantime, I've found a way to make millet tortillas/flatbread out of just millet flour and water.  They are not quite as good as a corn or flour tortilla, but they serve the purpose well.  I've used them to hold some beef fajitas, scrambled eggs and even slathered a little butter, sugar and cinnamon on them for a treat.  It's been satisfying my need for a "bread" while I'm eliminating wheat.  I found the recipe on the Book Of Yum blog.  Sea shares some really great gluten-free, vegetarian, and TED recipes.   Click here for the recipe.

Another new food item in my elimination diet... Green Smoothies.  I may be addicted.  Here is one I made this morning:

Creamsicle Green Smoothie
1 cup low fat plain kefir
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
2 handfuls fresh spinach
2 small clementines, peeled
1/2 cup frozen mangoes (to ice it up a bit)
1 Tbsp Flax Oil
1 Tbsp Agave Nectar

Combine in a blender until smooth.  It was almost as good as a creamsicle!  I was so full and satisfied after, too.  The great thing about these green smoothies are a.) you can't taste the "green" and b.) you can use any fruit, frozen or fresh, and get a great result. 

I think this elimination diet might be turning me into a health nut. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Survived First Thanksgiving, now we're going "green"

We had Thanksgiving early this year.  I was so glad we were hosting because that meant I had a little control over the menu.  I was able to partake in the turkey, sweet potatoes and steamed broccoli.  All the other food looked fantastic (especially the pies), but it was easy to avoid those foods.  The elimination diet is getting so much easier.  I think mostly because of the huge difference I see in Jake.  He's happy, well rested and feels good.  Jake had his own little feast of sweet potatoes and his favorite freeze dried pears. 

My family all knows about Jake's FPIES, so I tried to relax as much as I could without following everyone around with a dustbuster and insisting everyone eat at a table.  Only once did someone try to feed Jake some whipped cream.  I was calm.  I didn't over react.  I just grabbed Jake and said, "oh he can't have that!".  Trying not to be that crazy over protective Mom, yet knowing I need to be if we don't want him sick. 

With all the family over, I don't think Jake's feet ever touched the ground!  This lessened my crumb paranoia.  He was passed around, loved on, snuggled, hugged and kissed over and over.  He loved it.  By the time everyone left, we did a scan of the floor and it wasn't bad.  Accidental ingestions, diverted

It was a great first Thanksgiving for my little man. 

In other food news... we've passed white potatoes.  I wasn't too surprised.  It's one of those things he's kind of had off and on.  I say we're safe now.  He's not a big fan of them, however!  Not enough flavor, I guess?  They are rather boring.  I need to try an oil so I can bake some of my fabulous french fries for him. 

I think mangoes are safe.  We did four days of freeze dried, then tried fresh.  The last day he was a little fussy, but not sure if it was the mangoes or not.  He didn't really like the fresh ones.  Too tart, I think.  He loved the freeze dried ones, however.  They come in big slices, so I put them away for now.  He won't eat the fresh ones, but the freeze dried ones will be nice to have once he gets a little older and can bite pieces off himself. 

So, our next trial?  I'm being brave.  I think having two passes has made me feel like branching out.  Branch, hee hee, since our next trial is a green little tree looking veggie... Broccoli!  It's so different from any of the foods he's had. It's so healthy.  It's GREEN.  It scares me.  He's never had anything green.  But I feel brave.  I eat broccoli almost every day.  Since he's so sensitive to my milk, I'm taking this as a good sign. 

Today I grabbed some broccoli that had already been steamed yesterday.  I steamed it AGAIN.  It was practically falling apart.  I diced it up.  He LOVED it. I think he liked seeing something rather than orange or white on plate!  He ate all of it.  Then he signed for more.  I wanted to give him more, but I refrained.  I really want this one to pass.  I will do it "right". 

Millet... the next brave step.  I've been eating millet for breakfast every day for a week now.  It's not bothering Jake through my milk.  I've been pre-soaking the grains in plain Kefir hoping to make the proteins even more digestible.  Nothing wrong with some extra probiotics either!  It's making me feel a little more comfortable about possibly trialing millet soon.  Those little puffed millets would be a perfectly easy thing to give him as a snack.  I will probably wait until after Christmas.  Although, I don't have a lot of patience.  I think I'm getting greedy now.  We'll see how broccoli goes...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What CAN you eat?

This is the question I am constantly asked.  Here is what I've eliminated...
  • Rice
  • Oats
  • Wheat
  • Corn (ascorbic acid, corn syrup)
  • Bananas
  • Quinoa
  • Beans, legumes of all kinds
So I guess that makes me gluten free?  Thankfully I still have dairy.  Here was today's menu...

Breakfast - millet mixed with cinnamon, agave nectar, walnuts, raisins
Lunch - baked potato topped with Fage Greek Yogurt and Salsa.  Plain greek yogurt tastes just like sour cream to me and it contains 20 grams of protein in one cup!  Fills me up.
Dinner - Baked Chicken "breaded" in almond meal, spaghetti squash and broccoli

I'm constantly snacking throughout the day on..
  • Fruits (apples and pears mostly, clementines)
  • Veggies (carrots, celery, red peppers) with Trader Joes' Yogurt and Chive dip
  • My Trail mix (sunflower seeds, papitas, almonds, cranberries and dark chocolate nibs)
  • Milk
  • Coconut Bliss Dark Chocolate frozen dessert
  • Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate with Almonds
  • Peanut Butter
  • Plain Kefir mixed with some agave nectar and fruit
  • Organic vanilla yogurt
I'm keeping things pretty simple on the dinner homefront.  Grilled steak, chicken, pork chops.  I made ground turkey burgers the other night.  I used lettuce as my bun.  I baked our own french fries and made a "clean" ketchup.  The ketchup was disgusting.  Nobody quite does it like Heinz.  I use an organic spaghetti sauce and add it to my ground turkey and veggies.  Instead of pasta, I just put it over spinach.  Odd, but it works.  I have a chicken soup recipe I plan to make tomorrow.  I'm leaving out the egg noodles.  I'm taking a lot of my regular recipes and trying to make them fit into my elimination diet.  Nobody around here really seems the wiser.  The kids and the hubs are eating the same things I normally make.  I'm just tweaking them to meet my reqs. 

I do miss pizza night though.  At least I still have my chocolate.

Doctor visits

We had two doctor's visits yesterday. 

General Ped 9 month visit - went great.  Jake is staying on his curve.  He weighed 19 lbs 4 oz.  He's a short little dude, but staying on his curve.  He's reaching all his milestones appropriately.  Our doctor seemed like she had read up a little on FPIES since our last visit.  She just said she hadn't seen it before, and just really hopes he outgrows it by 3 or 4 so he won't have any recollection of it.  I agree. She asked about our allergy visits, what his recommendation were.  She didn't have too much to offer, just to keep doing what we're doing.  No vaccines, just a toe prick.  Iron levels were normal.  Yay! 

GI Follow up visit and nutritionist - disappointed.  First, our visit with the GI was really just that.. a follow up.  He threw out some ideas, but at this point I feel like the allergist has really taken ownership of Jake's diagnosis.  GI did say something funny... "So Jake's allergic to rice and air?"  ha ha, yes pretty much everything. GI mentioned Jake could try Alimentum Ready to Feed formula. It's corn free.  Well, I looked up the ingredients, it contains ascorbic acid.  Really I don't think there's a formula he could totally tolerate.  I'm fully committed to nurse him for the next year at least.  He seemed a little concerned about Jake only pooping once or twice a week.  They are soft and formed, so I'm not worried.  My other son was EXACTLY the same way as a baby.  And now he's fine.  GI said if his poops become very hard to try prune juice.  As if it's that easy.  Try prune juice.  I will trial it at some point.  I did find some organic prune juice that contains no ascorbic acid.  Only at Whole Foods though. 

After the GI left, the nutritionist came in.  I was really hoping to pick her brain about different grains, different food families, some ideas of what to try next.  She kind of looked at me like a deer in headlights.  She was no help at all.  She kept saying he looked healthy and my breastmilk is all he needs.  Well that's great, but not FOREVER!  She wouldn't recommend anything because the doctor hadn't ok'd any other foods.  Huh?  I tried rephrasing myself several times, but in the end I think I knew more about food then she did.  She hadn't even looked in Jake's file before she came in.  Didn't even know his name.  Very disappointing. 

GI asked that I make an appointment for three months from now.  I didn't.  I'm not sure what his role is for us.  If Jake's vomitting were to return without a known cause, then yes.  If his symptoms still existed after removing the offending foods, then yes.  If he was having bowel issues, yes.  Maybe in three months things will be different.  I don't know.  I should probably go ahead and make the appointment.  It doesn't cost us much to go. 

We're done with doctor visits for a few months at least.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Getting back to baseline, again

Is this what we always do?  Try to get back to baseline?  I feel like we're on a hamster wheel sometimes. 

Lots of factors this week.  Major quinoa ingestion at the beginning of the week, patch testing (showing quinoa and wheat reaction), accidental ingestion of corn starch (by me), shredded wheat (possible sleep disturber?).  I'm trying to put all these pieces of the puzzle together.  This week has been an off week for Jake.  Back to bad sleeping, tummy pains and lots of gas and burps.  All because of my diet.  I'm glad I know about the quinoa, now.  It all seems to make sense.  I think because so many other people have been successful with quinoa, I never attributed any of his tummy pains to it.  I just assumed it was safe.  No more assuming

I'm eliminating shredded wheat from my diet.  I'm limiting myself to two pieces of bread a day.  The bread I eat doesn't seem to bother him.  But I think the shredded wheat does.  Last week I was out of the cereal and ate toast for breakfast... last week he slept better and felt better.  I haven't had the shredded wheat in a few days.  Last night he slept better.  Up only twice. 

This week I'm going to finish up our mango trial.  I'm pretty sure it's a pass.  I'm going to start white potatoes, which I'm also sure are a pass.  Meanwhile, I'm going to try millet for myself.  I want to see if it disturbs his sleep patterns. If not, I'll stick with it a while, and maybe this will be the first grain we try.  I think for anything major, I'll try it through my milk, first. 

As much as I like to cook, I do like to eat out, too.  I found this amazing vegetarian, all organic, all local little cafe in my neighborhood.  FINALLY!  I can eat out.  I had a yummy salad from there yesterday.  They know exactly what is in everything they make, it is all made right then and there with all fresh ingredients.  They didn't seem bothered by me asking for ingredients for everything. I felt normal.  Maybe Jake can eat there, too, some day.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Patch Test Results - I'm so confused

Jake's FPIES triggers from our experience (which trumps any patch test) are RICE, oats, bananas and corn (in the form ascorbic acid).  Here are the results from his patch test:

Definite reaction - Oats, green beans and QUINOA (wth?)
Slight reaction - wheat, banana, green pea
No reaction - milk, soy, corn, chicken, turkey and RICE (wth?)

So what do I do with this information now?  How did rice not have a reaction? Rice has been his worse FPIES reaction.  This alone makes me not trust any negatives he had.  And quinoa?  I eat a lot of quinoa.  Quinoa looked just as bad as oats on the patch test.  Now that I think about it, I didn't have much last week.  He slept better last week.  Maybe it is all related?  I feel like I need to process all of this.  I feel lost now.  I was hoping this test would reffirm things, but all it has done is left me confused. 

We're supposed to watch the patch spots for the next 5 days, recording any changes.  Call back to the office with our observations.  Continue to feed him foods we know are safe.  We may start trialing those foods that tested negative.  I don't know.  I didn't plan on trying any of those foods until he was a year old. 

I guess this is where I use my Mommy instinct more than medical advice.  I think we'll still continue some fruits and veggies before I do anything big.  I just need to step away and process this new info.  I need to do a little more research.  Maybe millet?  I wish we had a grain.  But the slight reaction with the wheat has me worried.  I'm definitely staying away from quinoa.  I know he reacts to corn.  I'm curious about edamame... it's soybean, but is it a legume?  Is it related at all to a green bean? 

All this testing did was provide me with more questions than answers.  *sigh*

Monday, November 8, 2010

Patch Test Today

Today was the big day.  I took my little lunch cooler full of cooked chicken, turkey, rice, green beans, peas, banana and quinoa to the allergist.  He supplied the milk, soy, oats, corn and wheat.  In two days we'll hopefully see some results.  Jake was a trooper.  Clapping and smiling in the waiting room.  Being as still as a nine month old can be in the exam room where he got the patches applied.  Now we wait.  He doesn't seem too bothered by them yet.  I'm not sure what exactly to expect.  Based on my diet I think milk, wheat, quinoa, chicken and turkey will be OK.  That pretty much sums up my diet these days.  I'm expecting reactions from peas and beans, due to some tummy pain a few weeks ago.   Definite reactions from rice, oats, corn and bananas. 

But then I wonder.  What if they come back OK?  What if it doesn't work?  I KNOW he had reactions to these four.  Rice and oats were the worse.  I'm counting down the hours until Wednesday morning.

Here's the proof with the patch...

In other news, I think mangos are going to be a pass for us!  No reactions at all.  We did freeze dried mangos for 5 days.  I stopped trialing for the patch test.  I would like to give him some fresh mangos.  Maybe this weekend.  Then I'll call it a definite pass.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

This and that

Mangos!  I don't know why, but yesterday I grabbed the bag of freeze dried mangos and gave them a taste.  They melted right in my mouth.  I couldn't resist.  I had planned on white potatoes (boring), but I just didn't feel like it.  We have no big plans this week.  We're recovering from a whirlwind of busy weeks behind us. Jake is feeling good.  Why not?  I had a good feeling about them.  Jake LOVED them.  We're on day two right now.  No signs of a reaction yet. 

I have been very strict on my Elimination Diet.  And guess what?  Jake just seems to be getting better each day.  Last night he was only up once at night.  ONCE.  I just about fell out of bed when I looked at the clock and it was 3am.  I was so confused.  Is the clock right?  He's just now waking up?  He nursed and went back to sleep until 6.  Wow.  The night before he was up only twice.  I hope this is a new trend.  I hope being so strict in my diet is paying off.  It's certainly paying off on my waistline!  Ha. 

The countdown is on until our patch testing on Monday.  I need to start putting a few things in the freezer to take with us for the testing.  I'd hate to be cooking up six different things on Sunday evening.  Knowing the procrastinator in me, I'll probably be doing SOME cooking.