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When I started this blog, I was a young mom trying to save money without destroying the planet.  Now my blog is about SO much more than that, but my computer savvy friends have discouraged me from changing the name/locations of my blog.  However, I do still address ideas that are directed at both decreasing my (and transversely your) environmental impact without spending gobs of money or being too trendy.

But much more important to me now is health- particularly the health of my children.

I really respect people who are this serious about nutrition BEFORE they have kids (or who never have kids).  Because I've always been aware of nutrition, and always had this vague idea that I should eat healthier, but I never had any motivation to do so until I had kids.  Then, all of a sudden, I was completely and totally responsible for the health and well being of another human, and a totally helpless one (at first, anyway) at that.  It was a responsibility that I took very seriously- with my first came my chemical free revolution, at least in the home and in out personal care products.  But I was still pretty loose about what we ate.  We ate what most Americans would consider healthy, with occasional transgressions (hello chicken nuggets...).  Then came Oliver.

Oliver was born perfectly healthy, with the exception of high birth weight and really REALLY bad infant acne (man was it bad...).  And he continued to be until around 6 months, when I took a weekend trip sans kids to Las Vegas for my sister's bachelorette party.  I was still nursing Oliver, but didn't have enough pumped milk to get them through the whole weekend, so I had my husband supplement with formula.  It was pretty much downhill from there.

What followed was about 18 months of constant illness, eventually extending to both kids.  Oliver developed several very serious upper respiratory infections and ear infections and his breathing was impaired so much so often that by 11 months they were already wanting to diagnose him with asthma.

Obviously it's impossible to know what was going on in their bodies at the time, but I have some evidence based theories.  Both had signs of food allergies in infancy, but Izzy grew out of it or had no outward signs by the time she was a toddler.  BUT she ended up still getting an ear infection early in Oliver's cycle of illness (they both had bilateral ear infections at the same time.  It was fun), and I took them to the doctor, who of course prescribed them antibiotics.  And those antibiotics caused enough gut dysbiosis to reboot her food allergies, leading to the months and months of further ear infections and upper respiratory disease.  After research and allergy testing, I finally stumbled upon Nourishing Traditions.

And it clicked- it just made sense to me.  I followed the principles outlined in the book- soaking grains, increasing meat and bone stock intake, and increasing intake of probiotic fermented foods.  I also gave them short term theraputic doses of B complex vitamins, powdered probiotics, and cod liver oil and avoided the offending foods (dairy and wheat).  After 9 months my kids were asymptomatic and could eat anything.

As we move on, I continue to love and learn about food and how it nourishes our body.


EnCompass Insurance Brokerage said...

I just recently began my food pilgrimage. For a while now I was on the fence on whether or not I should completely cut out meat and dairy out of my diet and my kids(can't really help my husband unless he wants to help himself)Within the last few weeks I have come across so many different blogs that reference Nourishing Traditions. It's so crazy to me, almost like a sign. I immediately reserved it from the library, still waiting for it. Apparently it's a popular book! I should probably buy it to have it handy. It's just the beginning for me so I'm trying to move forward in the right direction. Slowly but surely gathering the info and not beat myself up over not being perfect all the time. Just learning as I go. Glad I found your blog!

Brandislee said...

Glad to help! I definitely wouldn't recommend giving up meat (and neither would Nourishing Traditions!) but to instead focus on sourcing better meat- grassfed/pastured (depending on the meat) and generally raised in the manner most healthy for the animal. Meat is not at all the villain it is made out to be in the mainstream medical community. Instead of blaming the obvious- the gobs and gobs of processed foods we eat, they villainize meat and healthy fats (like butter, lard, tallow, coconut oil, and olive oil) people have been consuming for thousands of years without problems. Dairy is another story- I think that the right kind of dairy can be an important part of the family's diet, especially for those who do choose to avoid or limit meat. BUT some people don't do well with dairy. I really hope you enjoy the book and get a lot out of it- I came across it in much the same manner, I kept coming across references to it in blog posts and on health forums, and I was just like "I wonder what the big deal is??" I devoured the first sections of the book (the part before the recipes) in like a day and it seemed both mind blowing and ridiculously obvious and intuitive at the same time- like my gut was saying "YES! This is the way your family needs to eat!" It was totally life changing.

And don't give up on your husband- mine was wary (but didn't complain) from the start, but now he's the biggest cheerleader and preaches to everyone he knows about our version of a healthy diet. But you're right, you can't help them unless they're ready to help themselves. I just cooked/bought the food and he ate it. You can't really preach at them, they'll totally rebel.

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