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.