I started logging updates in the beginning, but then Christmas and the festivities hit and I totally fell off the bandwagon. I was hoping to log some info as I went and then present it all together once we hit the one month mark (oops we missed that too). December 6th was our first day going completely gluten free and it has officially been one month and four days. I thought I would finally post an update. I've got some pretty amazing stuff to share!
Here is what I started to log during the first week...
We are on day 3 of our gluten free experiment. I am missing my sprouted whole wheat toast with fruit spread or with a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich in the morning. I had crepes yesterday and this morning I stuck to scrambled eggs, bacon and strawberries. I am thinking I am going to have to make some banana bread muffins ASAP cuz I am missing that "bready" element in the morning. It's really the only time of day I would have any type of bread, but I sure did enjoy it.
I know it's way too early to tell, and could be completely unrelated, but I had the most awesome evening with the munchkin last night. She was so much fun and her mood was so light and happy. It's something I don't get to see all the time. She was just playful and relaxed. We just hung out in the living room all evening while Joe was at school. We listened to music, played with some of her toys, and snuggled on the couch, just hanging out and making each other laugh. It was a good night.
It's been almost a week. I have actually dropped a couple of pounds since we started and I feel alot less bloated then I did last week. Coincidence? I am not sure yet, but chances are they are related. I have been slowly going up in my weight since I found out I was pregnant, despite the fact that you really aren't supposed to gain much during the first trimester. I was up 6 lbs., now I am up only 4 lbs. My face is also clearer. That really could be coincidence as that comes and goes anyway. If it continues to get better and then stays better for any considerable amount of time, then I will know if it's helping or not.
Day 7 - One full week!!
We have officially made it one full week. I hate to get my hopes up, it really only has been a week, but it's hard not to deny the differences in the munchkin already. She just seems a bit more calm in general. She still gets mad in a typical toddler fashion if she isn't getting her way, but her reaction time is shorter now. We have the same incidents and issues, but they seem to be a little less frequent. And she calms down more quickly. She just seems a bit happier.
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Now we are up to speed. I wish I had kept up with the updates, but it was Christmas, I was in my first trimester and things were crazy busy as it was.
So where are we now?
My first and main concern were the OCD issues that seemed to be developing for the little munchkin. These were more of a concern then I really wanted to admit. My husband too, was having a hard time admitting that something wasn't right and that we needed to make such a drastic commitment. Even in the beginning, when I told him that I really wanted to try this, that I thought it might help, he commented to me that he didn't think anything was wrong with her and why was I trying to fix her?* This led to some horrible guilt on my part. What if there was absolutely nothing wrong with her at all, that this was just normal two year old behavior and why couldn't I just be happy with her just the way she was? It was a terrible feeling. As conflicted as I felt about it, I still couldn't get over the strong feeling that something just wasn't right and that it wasn't typical 2YO behavior. If we tried it, and nothing changed, then at least it didn't hurt to try.
* I think, this was really more because the idea of going gluten free to fix any problems seemed a far reach to him.
Now that we are a month in, I am pretty amazed actually. I am also pretty relieved. It's so wonderful to see her this way. Her OCD issues are non existent. Literally, there is no trace of it. Whatsoever. When things are done out of her normal routine, she barely bats an eye. She may notice, she may even comment, but it doesn't upset her. This was the biggest and most wonderful change of all. Every time we needed to switch things up, we braced ourselves for the inevitable melt down. I still brace myself out of habit, but time and time again, she just continues to go with the flow now. I can't tell you how happy I am about this.
We can now talk to her and reason with her when things aren't going her way. This was something that was very difficult for us before. There were times when she would start to get upset, extremely upset, and we just couldn't figure out why. She didn't seem to understand why herself. She would become overwhelmed with her emotions and wasn't able to tell us what was wrong. You could actually see a look of panic in her eyes and I really felt like she had no idea why she was so upset or how to calm herself down. You couldn't even talk to her when she would get like this and it was really hard on everyone. Now, this just doesn't happen any more. She will get upset about stuff, but she knows why and can talk to us about it. If she is mad or upset about something, we can explain things to her and reason with her. These incidents now, in my opinion, are perfectly normal toddler behavior. Nothing like what we were dealing with before.
Most of the time, when she woke up in the morning, she would be in a terrible mood. Especially if she was still sleeping and we had to wake her up. She would literally be sobbing and crying and we would have no idea why. We would try different things to change her mood, but typically it was just a waiting game. She would usually be pretty upset until about half way through eating her breakfast, and then would finally start to calm down. Or sometimes she would just stay in a bad mood all the way to the sitter's house. Usually she would chill out in the car ride over and by the time she arrived. Now? She wakes up in the best moods! I wake up first, head to the kitchen to make breakfast and Joe gets up shortly after me, gets the munchkin out of bed, dressed and brings her into the kitchen to eat. I can't tell you how wonderful it is, hearing them interacting on the monitor now in the mornings, when he heads in there. They both sound so much happier. When he brings her into the kitchen, she is all smiles. She is chatty and wants hugs and kisses and just seems excited to be up and starting her day. Our mornings are so much happier and calmer and, this has made a big difference in my life as I now go to work each day in a much better mood myself!
We transitioned her to her toddler bed without a hitch. I was concerned that it would be difficult, as she always had such an attachment to anything that was part of her every day routine and changes normally freaked her out terribly. But all we had to do was pick it up and show it to her. She was excited about it and wanted to sleep in it right away! We couldn't believe it!
I could go on an on with more examples, but I don't want this to get too crazy long. I will save them to share as we go.
I can now say with confidence, that going gluten free has made a major improvement in our lives. To be honest, I knew it wouldn't hurt anything, but in no way did I expect to see such a huge difference. The major concerns that led me to try this in the first place have now been completely eliminated. And it is completely obvious to anyone who spent any decent amount of time with her both before and after.
Overall, she is just so much happier in general. She is more relaxed. More calm. More go with the flow. We have been able to keep her up later, past her bed time, without needing a couple of days to recover from messing with her routine. She just seems like she is "all there". I am not sure how else to better describe it, but when you are hanging out with her, there is a noticeable difference. You now have her full attention and you can see in her eyes that she is right there with you 100%. She laughs all the time and is so funny... she is always making the funniest jokes and I have no idea where it comes from or when she got to be so damn funny! These are all things we would see before from time to time and catch glimpses of, but now this is part of our every day norm.
I am still pinching myself every day at the wonderful changes we are seeing. I feel so grateful to have this wonderful little person in our lives and so relieved that we are getting to know her better and better ever day, in a way we weren't able to before. I don't think I could ever find the words to express how much of a gift that is to me.
I wasn't sure how well going gluten free would work for us. I wasn't sure it would help any, and if it did, if it would even be obvious enough to know for sure that it made any difference. I am now a true believer that gluten can have a terrible effect on some people and that removing it can make a wonderful and huge difference in their life. Our gluten free experiment is definitely now a permanent change.
This post is part of the Healthy Home Economist's Monday Mania Carnival.