I swear most friends and family either cringe or smirk when I say that we are “looking into”, or are “trying out”, a new “diet”. Of course our “diets” are never about the traditional reason people choose them – to lose weight. Nope, my primary objective is to find out the healthiest and most inflammation reducing, nutrient dense foods to eat.
Having had about a decade of being afraid of food, at times, because of health problems and the associated stomach pain, I will walk the line eating mostly healthy food, yet occasionally making “poor choices” and putting my taste buds OVER my gut bugs! However, after only a few days of eating badly, I will “suffer the consequences”. Really, it’s just sad to put my “body and mind” through the wringer for a few moments of… “heaven”. Of course, many will say things like… “ah we are all going to die anyway”,… “I eat that all the time and it hasn’t killed me yet”,… and my all-time favorite… “It’s just food!,… How bad can it be?”
Well, the funny part in all of that is, it might be called food,… but is it?
I think sometimes if it killed me instantly it would be a far better way to go then to struggle for years and years spending time and money, seeing doctor after doctor, to help you try and return to a life that once was. Does anyone really want to die a slow and painful death? Like c’mon, no way! But that is the reality, it seems, for most of society today. We are slowly being consumed by this evil snake (unhealthy food) that is taking us alive and eating us whole! And it’s not just me saying this, there is lots of research out there if you take a few moments on Google and look into the disease and illness stats over the last century. We are getting sicker and sicker and worse yet… so are our kids and at a much younger age and often faster rate.
Chronic Inflammation seems to be responsible for a large part of it. Sounds like it is the root of many things plaguing society today from auto-immune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke & heart disease to even some forms of cancer. It has been shown that some children with Autism have a form of chronic inflammation in the brain as well. Whenever there is chronic inflammation, the immune system keeps on fighting and sometimes attacks the body. Many believe, in the case of Autism, that it hinders good gut bacteria which in turn effects the brain. Of course it’s much more complex than that, but in a nut shell… yeah… inflammation is bad, especially for some children and adults with Autism.
For our family, this makes sense because I had gut issues (severe ulcerative colitis). At one time I had been on every drug under the sun for the disease and STILL had to have 2 major surgeries. It is a journey that I would never wish on anyone else, let alone my own kids. Since it’s often hard for adults to explain what pain they are in – for kids or those “non-speaking” it is almost impossible to know exactly what’s going on inside. On a personal note, I’ll have you know that having Ulcerative Colitis sucks! It’s painful, debilitating at times and takes over your life!
Soooo, with that all being said I am constantly searching for foods to add, and what to eliminate. I track what is working for Oskar & I, and what is not, and based on that, we continue to tweak our diet. Oskar and I, have been on the Nemechek Protocol for over a year now. He made great gains with his motor planning, awareness and eye contact. His relationships with family also improved over the summer. With the protocol you often see the return of old behaviors and some new ones, but I will explain all the details in another post. Dr. Nemechek doesn’t say you need to eliminate things from your diet. According to him, once the inflammation is healed it doesn’t matter what you eat, but eating healthy is obviously best.
So my search for the perfect diet – aka eating protocol continues! In doing so we, as a family have tried out many of them. Gluten-Free/Casein-Free (GFCF), was our first step, and at the time seemed daunting. It was easier for us to eliminate the Dairy at that time than the Gluten because wheat seems to be in EVERYTHING. Since then we have gone on to try many different versions of the following; Grain-free, Auto-Immune Protocol (AIP), the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Feingold Diet, Gut and Psychology (GAPs) Intro diet, the Nemechek Protocol, and most lately the Plant Paradox diet.
Eating healthy, is a constant battle that we all struggle with. It is incredibly personal. Food has a way of making us feel, that few other things can do, as quickly or predictably. Food can span time and space; taking us back to our childhood or to far-off lands. It can comfort us when we are sad, or even give us a sense of home. We can all imagine our favorite treats, cheats or deserts and describe them with amazing clarity, even taking time to add little details of sight and smell. Over the years and through the discovery of new and exciting foods, we have started to replace some of our “sinful pleasures” with healthier choices. I look forward to sharing them with you, discussing more about the many diets we have tried, as well as our adventures in eating!