Sunday, 29 January 2012

When your toddler’s favorite word is ‘fart’... know that one of a number of things may be at play. It could mean that he’s growing up in a household of all boys. Big boys who think it’s hilarious when he says it. Hence the fact that he’s heard it a lot. The word. I mean. Or well...
When a 21 months old starts gleefully shouting that word hundreds of times a day I laugh. I roll my eyes a bit. I also take stock. That much farting does not signal healthy guts. That much farting is an indication that, as we say around here, "I got somethin' bad inside of me!" The holistic, slightly-crunchy mindful eater and food-intolerance aware mama in me starts to take a look at all the contributing factors. Factors like a flare up of Caid’s eczema that has left little clumps of bleeding itchy rash-patches on both legs and around his nose and mouth and won’t go away no matter what cream I put on it. Factors like raging mood swings from all three boys. What‘s that you say? Raging mood swings from Mama? No! Factors like Caid’s crying, writhing-on-the-floor fits whilst holding his belly and crying, “My WAIST! My waist!” Factors like Mama’s serious bout of depression and constantly recurring yeast infections and general feeling of malaise. Then there’s the constant farting. From all five concerned parties. Cue gleeful toddler shouting “FART! FART!”
We had already looked into some of this late this summer. Caid and I both went on an elimination diet. Eating loads of veggies and meat and a tiny bit of fruit. It started helping, but then school started and things went steadily downhill from there until voila! We found ourselves subsisting on a diet of Pamela’s cupcakes and buckwheat chocolate chip cookies. WHAT?! They’re gluten and dairy free! Okay, so I’m exaggerating a bit. However when you add in the number of Dr Peppers per week and the bi-weekly trip to Carl’s Jr. for a low-carb burger (they have lettuce instead of a bun--brilliantly gluten free!) things were perhaps a tiny bit out of control. 
The thing is, the sugar made me feel better! For about 30 minutes I’d feel like a million bucks. Then, not so much. A mama’s gotta have more than 30 minutes. So this mama was eating a lot of sugar. So apparently were my children. Because after 4 days of an elimination diet designed to heal up our guts and help us begin to identify the culprits, Bridger had a total flip out. He ran up to his room yelling, “I just need to let out some anger!” When I went to check on him he grabbed two fist fulls hair and explained wild-eyed, “It’s just that, I realized I got completely addicted to sugar. I don’t know how it happened, and I’m really mad at myself for letting it get so out of control. But when we’re having just like, meat and veggies, it’s really hard. Because all I want is sugar! And it’s REALLY hard at school because all the other kids are having all KINDS of sugar in their lunches!”  Yeah. He’s nine. Wise little man.
Asher had two days of meltdown-centrals at meals. It got so bad last Thursday (yep, same day B freaked out. They were tag-teaming that night.) that I finally put him in the bath as a last resort. Which didn’t work. So I climbed in with him. Which didn’t work. He was screaming and crying. Finally I fed him his dinner, whilst holding him, in the tub. Not so pleasant to clean up afterward, but I figure I got an avocado-skin treatment out of the deal and it did finally help him calm down. Was it withdrawals? Two-year molars? A battle of the will over what he wanted to eat and what I had to offer? No idea. But dude, I will say this: that kid puts the ‘melt’ in ‘meltdown!’ Poor Bridger asked me, “Mama, do you think that Ash is getting teeth or something? or is he kind of always going to be like this?”
we're eating a lot more of this these days
Tantrums and freak outs aside the elimination diet is going really well. It’d be faster to tell you what we CAN eat. Fish, poultry, lean beef, lamb, non-starchy and low glycemic veggies (except nightshades like peppers and tomatoes), low-glycemic fruits, coconut milk or oil, olive oil, and fermented foods like kombucha, fermented veggies, etc. We’re also taking a supplement before meals that seals up our guts and lets them heal up a bit. 
The report so far? I feel GREAT! My mood has been happier and more even than it has in MONTHS. The boys moods are evening out. The skin on Caid’s mouth looks better. Scott reports feeling more clear-headed and well than he has in months. Plus, there are definitely fewer toddler call-and-response sessions of “FART!” 
Ever done an elimination diet or cleanse yourself? With your kiddos? Any helpful tips to offer?

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