Today feels confusing. We are learning and moving forward, we think, having cleared our pantry of gluten and sugar, and having clear(ish) goals in mind. The problem is (much like last night’s post) that there is so much conflicting. If you want to see tonight’s dinner, skip to the bottom. If you want to hear my draw-out woeful “I don’t know what the heck we are supposed to eat” saga, then keep reading.
The diet is primarily for Goose, who is diagnosed with an autoimmune disordered called PANDAS. Some of her neurological and skin issues are food-related. Of that we are certain. However, what exactly are the culprits, and in what order? That is the bigger question and harder to answer. Here is what we know (and I’m typing this for myself more than for others tonight, to gather my thoughts and gain perspective!)
-She reacts to artificial ingredients: most strongly to artificial colors.
-She reacts to apples. Some, it seems, more than others. This suggests salicylates. She did NOT respond to apples with any testing we have done- allergy testing w/skin scratch tests, blood tests, MSA testing, nor NRT testing, but she DOES react. I also have a feeling that apples are responsible for the rash that sometimes appears on the backs of her hands. (As an aside, I also react to apples- they make my joints swell and ache, and I have absolutely confirmed that it is apples in the last 2 weeks.)
-IF the salicylates theory holds true, then she should react to almonds. She does not react to tomatoes, which are also purported to be high salicylate (though it depends on whose chart you are looking at…) but she does not react to tomatoes as far as we can tell.
-Sugar. ((((sigh)))) This is the one we are most concerned about now. We think that sugar is responsible for her headaches, and that would be accurate based on the past 2 weeks. She has had 3 headaches, all after high-carb, low protein meals (in which we offered a complete meal but she picked out the carbs.) This seems like a blood-sugar issue where she peaks, gets manic and then crashes rather than a yeast or other underlying issue. But I’m not educated enough to know if this is true. She’s had blood-sugar tests and they have all been fine. I’ve suspected for years that she could have issues related to sugar though and it is seeming more and more like that is true in some capacity.
-Gluten and Dairy: These are more obscure. If she has a blood-brain barrier breach (say that quick three times) then gluten and dairy particles could be causing neuro issues. This is where I am stuck because
1) We don’t know if she has a BBB breach for certain (though this is typical with PANDAS, but I think it can open and close…. need more info!!!) and
2) it’s nearly impossible to take away ALL gluten and dairy at the same time. We are gluten-free and very little, very specific dairy, BUT we’re also using dairy as protein when we have to since getting protein into her is not always easy.
3) We haven’t tested for these issues other than with NRT, where the practitioner says to exclude these not necessarily because of the BBB issue, but because of the yeast/mold/fungus reaction and we need to not feed those issues. Mold is a real concern because she and I lived in a really mildewy environment for 5 years and I do feel that this had a hand in how both of our immune systems work now.
Grains- These we are avoiding due to the “feeding the yeast” theory and with corn specifically, that it harbors mold. But if it’s yeast we’re trying to kill, then all of the potatoes and corn should be avoided and we certainly aren’t doing that. Corn, I think, is easy enough (in the context that we avoid “natural flavors” and corn itself- it is pretty unavoidable as far as packaging, hidden, etc.) Potatoes, while we don’t have them everyday, is tougher. Rice is tough too if we are losing everything else “starchy” also.
Then take into account that the SCDiet says that you can have honey, and hard aged cheeses, and those things are okay in moderation. That is certainly easier than trying to eliminate all sugar (even in fruit!) but it doesn’t address, specifically, all of our health needs.
Another ((((sigh))) here. Twig is wanting to know, specifically, which diet we are following. I’m making it up and learning as I go, but that means you want to change the rules. Should we add local raw honey? No one reacts to it and it’s supposed to be fantastic for allergies, yet if we’re talking blood-sugar issues, then no, we shouldn’t add it. Should we add yogurt? It’s supposed to be healthful and has a lot of probiotics (which Goose takes in pill form as well) and we could use the whey for fermenting foods, etc. BUT some have strains of “benign” strep, which can affect some PANDAS kids, and while it isn’t the same as most dairy, it is still dairy. And if we do add it back, is goat yogurt better?
I seriously need a nutritionist!! (Note to self- call the nutritionist who treats PANDAS kids and ask all of these crazy questions!)
Today we didn’t plan for lunch. D’oh! We keep doing this!!! It used to be easier- grab a sandwich or heat up a frozen pizza or whatever. Now we have to think about it, plan and cook it! So I threw together some nachos with a few corn tortilla chips we had left and some cubes of firm tofu, beans, green pepper, black olives, salsa, and a bit of raw cheese with a slice of very ripe avocado.
Dinner was supposed to be short-ribs, but they got started late in the day and still weren’t done (in the slowcooker) by the time dinnertime came around, so instead I threw together a chicken dish that I called, “Chicken Everything,” which essentially used up all the little baggies of veggies and things in the fridge. It went over well with Twig, who said, “If I ordered this in a restaurant, I would go back to that restaurant and order it again. I really liked it, Goose hated it, and Lil Pea tolerated it and picked out the green peppers, and chicken.
2 chicken breasts
1/2 can sliced black olives
heaping tsp of capers, with 1/4 tsp caper juice
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tsp stone-ground mustard
4 small vines of fresh marjoram
3 grinds fresh black pepper
1/2 roma tomato, seeded and diced
3 cloves roasted garlic (with thyme, salt, oregano)
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 heaping tbs lard
Put lard in cast iron skillet with chicken and start dumping things in. When chicken begins cooking, use metal spatula to chop chicken while still in pan, into bite-sized pieces. Cook and stir until tomato paste and mustard are dissolved into a sauce and chicken is cooked through. Serve with wilted spinach dressed with lemon juice and coarse sea salt and garlic-roasted caulitatoes. Serves 2 adults (if the adults go back for seconds because the kids won’t eat it….)