Home business, home education and health challenges: what makes us tic?

Posts tagged ‘gluten’

SCD, here we come!

Alright, we’re ready. On Saturday we went shopping and bought everything we need for the SCD Intro Diet. This is supposed to last for three days (give or take a day), and it cost us R164. That’s really, really good for three days for our family, so I think perhaps it won’t last as long as I’m hoping. But some of that stuff will last longer than three days, like the eggs, so we’ll see.

I spent most of Sunday (the bits where we weren’t at Church), preparing for the diet. I have given my family their “last meals.” (Pies and crisps. I know. Don’t judge me). I have cooked up a gigantic pot of chicken-and-carrot soup, 36 meatballs, 8 bowls of grape jelly and a dish of purèed carrots. I also have 40-odd eggs in the fridge, just waiting to be breakfast!

Now, I don’t know how long this lot is supposed to last, but it feels like about two days’ worth. Except the jelly – that’ll get us through today only. Again, we’ll see. The intro diet is supposed to take between two and five days, so we’ll re-evaluate on Tuesday night and decide what to do next. I foresee another full day of cooking in my future, though.

Here’s what I hope to achieve from all of this preparation:

  • Fewer headaches (especially for Goldilocks and me);
  • Fewer stomach cramps (especially for Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood);
  • Better concentration (esp. Papa Bear and Goldilocks);
  • Fewer mood swings (all of us);
  • Better skin (mainly me);
  • Fewer allergic reactions (all of us but especially Papa Bear);
  • Fewer nightmares (Red Riding Hood);
  • Better sleep (all of us, but esp. Papa Bear and me);
  • More energy (the Big Bears again); and
  • Better focus.

When I list these like this they really don’t seem that serious. One might even wonder why we’re bothering with such a strict diet and lifestyle change. But the thing is that the headaches are really debilitating at times, leaving the girls in tears and me wishing I could get away with tears! The girls spend a lot of time doubled over in agony at their stomach cramps (and their relief is our demise as they expel the offending bubbles. Sorry to share but this journey is important to me and I need to remember as much of where we started as possible so that when I look back I can see real change).

My skin breaks out all the time. It’s painful and decidedly embarrassing, given that I really am too old for this kind of thing. I’ve even had to cancel client meetings because of my skin (or headaches, or tummy troubles). Papa Bear and Goldilocks battle to concentrate and often Papa Bear’s not even here, despite being physically present. He also battles terribly with hay fever, and his hay fever, tiredness and tummy troubles have kept him out of meetings and appointments, too. Not being able to concentrate affects us all and I imagine things can only improve if we have better moods and better focus.

My vision for the outcome of this new eating plan is that we will have energy, joy, focus, time (because of better sleep and better planning), success (because of more confidence and fewer canceled appointments), and all-round awesomeness. I know the beginning is very tough indeed, and I don’t expect it to be easy, but I am looking forward to the long term results. I’ll keep you posted.

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Short(ish) history

In high school, ongoing cramps, skin break outs and head aches caused my parents to cut wheat and dairy out of my diet. My mom had been diagnosed with these allergies, so it seemed a good candidate. Towards the end of high school my doctor prescribed the Pill for my irregular periods and bad skin. I’d been on antibiotics many times in my life for colds, ‘flu, tummy bugs and more. I was also put on Prozac for depression. Once I cut out wheat and dairy, my cramps and headaches improved, and so did my moods (although at that time I didn’t connect the mood swings with my diet). For many years I lived only on salad and fruit, and I felt fantastic. My school marks improved, and I had energy.

I lost a lot of weight, which wasn’t really a good thing, but it was a natural side effect of my strict diet. And nothing cured my chocoholism!

When I met my future husband in 1995, things changed. He loved pizza,  pies, pasta, coke and coffee. We shared red wine and Italian dinners and a lot of fun. I was young and in love, and felt as if things couldn’t be better.

Gradually, my brain grew foggier and foggier. My waist line expanded, and my face got puffy. I started feeling tired and lethargic. Slowly, I noticed that I was feeling less motivated and more “down in the dumps”. With a personal and family history of mild depression, I didn’t think much of it. I kept fuelling my lifestyle with coffee and chocolate and, having decided that I’d never been truly allergic since I’d never been properly diagnosed, I was merrily consuming every pastry, pasta, bread and cheese known to man.

By the end of 2000 I was regularly bedridden with killer migraines. My lower abdomen looked permanently 6 months pregnant. My husband and I tried to fall pregnant. Coming off the pill had only two effects: irregular periods and severe pain in my lower abdomen. Eventually it was so bad I could hardly walk.

A trip to the doctor led to minor surgery to deal with a lesion on my uterus, the result of either endometriosis, polycystic ovaries, or something else. We were told we’d never fall pregnant, so we stopped trying. Needless to say, a year later we had a gorgeous, completely healthy little girl.

I was exhausted. I could hardly get out of bed, and felt a constant need to sleep. My baby had been sleeping for up to 12 hours a night from a very early age, yet I felt as if I’d been hit by a truck. That’s when I went to a nutritional specialist. She “officially” diagnosed lactose and gluten allergies and advised that I avoid all sugar.

I heard and obeyed. Within two weeks, I had energy, I was upbeat, I could think, and things looked better than ever. Since then, we’ve had another child, and I’ve stayed pretty much gluten-free. However, I remain firmly addicted to chocolate, I battle with migraines, and my skin isn’t very good. So I’ve decided to do something about it, and this is where I’m keeping track of it.

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