Thursday, July 29, 2010

the interesting thing about grains . . .

Refined grains make you gassy.  At least in my experience anyway!  In the typical American diet, we consume so much refined grain - and when we eat raw fresh veggies - which, let's face it, most do not eat . . . most people eat some cooked to death version of vegetables . . . we all think fresh raw veggies give us gas.  Oh, sure, we can purchase some gas-reducing product and hope it works . . . but most would just avoid the fresh raw veggies. 

Well, in switching to a grain-free diet, I eat all the fresh raw vegetables I want.  And I'm not gassy!  I sure used to be though, with the old way of eating.  And I found that when I caved and ate something with refined grains, that same gastrointestinal distress - bloating and gas, came right back.  Since this happened each time I caved and consumed refined grains, and went away each time I gave them up, the only conclusion I can come to is that it is the GRAIN, not the fresh raw vegetables, that causes the gastrointestinal distress. 

Let me be clear, this is moreso the case with the beat-to-death refined grains rather than whole grains.

And it makes sense . . . those beat-to-death refined grains slow down digestion, leaving your food to sit there and ferment in your gut (gas, bloating).  If you stop consuming grain, nothing slows down your digestion and the food can move along at the rate it's supposed to.

The true whole grains will still slow down digestion, but not as bad as refined grains.  I'm pretty careful now, and really avoid grains - whole or refined.  And I no longer miss them.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I forgot to mention . . .

**UPDATE to this post - the vitamins' ingredient list now no longer contains cayenne**

Kaiden is 99.999999% nightshade free, not truly 100%.  His vitamins, Dr. Christopher's Kid-E-Mins, contains cayenne extract. Maybe the extract doesn't contain the alkaloids, or maybe it's at a low enough dosage, or maybe cayenne peppers just don't bother him.  Not all members of nightshade foods affect people the same way.  Some may only be affected by one or two members, while others have problems with most or all of them.

I had rarely used cayenne pepper in cooking, and probably not at all since Kaiden was born.  I was primarily using chili peppers, chili powder, Mexican chili powder, paprika, tomatoes and frozen bell peppers on a regular basis.  I know that fresh bell peppers, eggplant, and paprika did a number on him, and I suspect chili peppers/powders did too - but I used them primarily in dishes that had tomatoes in them - so which was it - or was it all of it?

I don't even give Kaiden the full dosage of his vitamins - only 1/3 the recommended dosage - so the amount of cayenne extract he's getting is extremely tiny.  Still, I worry, even though he's been seizure free for almost 2 months now.

I'm still debating the whole vaccination issue as well.  I know we can fill out forms with the school district and Kaiden doesn't have to be vaccinated.  Nick would like him vaccinated; I'm on the fence.  At any rate, I want him seizure free for a full year before we revisit the issue.  If we choose to proceed, I do have some bentonite clay, and he will have clay baths following any vaccinations to remove the toxins from his system.  And he will only get 1 vaccine at a time.  He'll be far behind, but hey, it's my choice, not society's.  And I think I've already proven I have some idea of what I'm doing! ;-)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Life is about to get very messy!

Kaiden has discovered he can pick up big fistfuls of food.  Oh YAY!!  Most of me is thrilled that he is on his way to self-feeding . . . but the other tiny part of me will miss the somewhat less messy option of me spoon feeding him instead.  I may have to temporarily move some of his feedings into the kitchen rather than the dining room - much easier to clean up after him.  I'd like to keep him at the dining room table so he can watch us eat, maybe I'll just have to get a floor mat to go over the big rug under the table.

He hasn't caught on yet that the handful of food should go into his mouth, but he'll get there.  I've been re-directing his hand, but right now he drops the food just before it gets to his mouth.  I swear he will learn to eat with a spoon before he learns to eat with his hands!  Not that that's a bad thing . . .  He is also consistently reaching for the sippy cup when he wants a drink and doing much better at holding it up to his mouth while drinking rather than trying to drink but pulling it away at the same time, like his hands just didn't know what they were doing yet.

Oh my . . . what a time-saver self feeding will be when he masters it!  I can pump while he eats instead afterward.

He has also discovered wooden blocks and is enamored with them. He picks them up, rolls them around, and flings them.

Kaiden is not crawling yet.  He is still going crazy rocking on all 4's . . . now more so up on hands and knees rather than elbows and knees so it shouldn't be too much longer.  He's getting much better at scooting backward and can go forward a little. 
All this, in less than 2 months of being seizure free . . . while I am thrilled the University of MN was so interested in Kaiden's story, I wonder how far it will go there - if they will actually share the info with their colleagues, or even with their patients - or if it will just get scoffed at and disregarded.  I am thinking I need to make a list of all the states & their universities, and start making more phone calls.  Somebody with authority needs to do a study with variables.  We've done so much with Kaiden's diet but who knows how much of a role being grain free, dairy free, and having Down Syndrome plays into the whole nightshade foods-seizure connection.

Friday, July 23, 2010

A word about radishes . . .

In one word, yum!!

I planted some Purple Plum radishes this year along with some Cherry Belle's.  While the Cherry Belle's produced as expected, the Purple Plum's did not.  It took longer for the root bulb to form, and in most cases, didn't form at all.  What they did, however, was go to seed quickly and produced many seed pods. 

Did you know the entire radish plant is edible?  Most people just eat the bulbous root and throw the rest away.  Don't do that . . . you're wasting an excellent meal!  The roots can be sliced and sauteed.  Sautee with some onion & asparagus, add in the chopped radish leaves and stir over low heat until just wilted.  Add salt & pepper and serve!

Back to the Purple Plums . . . I tried eating a seed pod and was very pleasantly suprised - they are incredibly tasty!  They taste just like the root, except they are juicier - somewhat like a nice crisp juicy string bean - except it tastes like radish.  The flowers are edible too.  They give just a hint of a radish flavor, and would make a lovely (and beautiful) addition to any salad.

So the next time your garden gets out of hand and you think the radishes are beyond eating . . . they're not.  They're even tastier!  Even Lola liked them. ;-)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Latest updates to Kaiden's accomplishements

Even better news for the day . . . this morning I got a call back from the University of MN's Neurology dept - they wanted to hear Kaiden's story and asked for this blog address!!  I am really excited that somebody in the medical community finally listened, and maybe, just mabye this will go somewhere and can help others - either with benign myoclonic seizures, Down Syndrome, or both!

The last date posted for Kaiden's accomplishments was June 25th.  Here's the most recently updated additions to the list!!

Deliberately and clearly signed eat when it was not mealtime. – around 9:45pm. I offered him water because of the time frame and he drank it all. Afterward he signed eat again and took more water.

(Vacation 7/2 – 7/11, not exactly sure of dates of accomplishments while on vacation)

Sits up unassisted on the floor for long periods of time, 45 min or so with no help balancing.

Tries to get our plates/cups while we are eating

Reaches for toys while supposed to be eating

Scooting backward

Signs eat when we are eating and he is not.

Bites down on spoon during feedings and won’t let go.

Stood up straight, at full extension in his walker and lifted his arms all the way up reaching for me to pick him up.

Reaches for everything now!

Weight bearing with arms straight, hands on thighs while in sitting position, rocking back and forth at the same time.

Grabbing bowl of food and trying to fling it off highchair

Purposeful toy play, figured out how to use a lever to get a toy to spin.

Stood for about 20 seconds on his own, and reached for Nick while falling.

Took a couple steps holding onto Nick

Now able to stand and support himself against his Leapfrog table while playing with it.

Monday, July 19, 2010

back from vacation!

Okay so we got back a week ago!  We had a wonderful time, fishing was great except for having to throw back all those oversize walleyes, darn it! Nick brought home a trophy 36" 13lb northern pike which will be very tasty when shared with family & friends.  Overall, we brought home 7 northerns & 3 walleye, 2 of which we shared with the neighbors for looking after our place while we were gone.

Kaiden continues to make strides, he can now sit up all by himself for long periods of time playing with toys.  He does bang his head on the floor a bit, which I have been told is just a sensory learning thing (now that he can really feel stuff!) and he will outgrow it in time.  At least the carpet is padded!

The little stinker is now grabbing the food bowl away from me as I feed him and tries to fling it onto the floor . . . uh-uh, not gonna happen little guy.  Mama went out to Walmart and got a bowl with a suction cup bottom today. Try it now, HA!  I really need to set him up in the kitchen with food in the bowl and let him have at it.  Pudding play, it's called - or in our case with Kaiden's diet, applesauce play.  I may need the garden hose when he's done . . .

Kaiden is firmly in the 12 - 15 month developmental range now - still closer to 12 month but making strides every day!  I still have not heard one word back from his neurologist.  I think he's a lost cause.  So, today I contacted a different neurologist with the University of Minnesota- or rather, his nurse, and left a message.  I hope I hear back.  Also, in reading the local paper today, there was an article on a local family with a child with epilepsy and so I gave them a call.  It was great to connect with another family, and I really hope they try eliminating nightshade foods . . . it certainly can't hurt!

I realize it's up to me to get the word out . . . difficult when the local media says "we are not interested at this time" and the doctors don't respond.  I guess that's what Facebook, blogs, and message forums are for!  Every  now and then I try looking up "nightshade" and "benign myoclonic seizures" in Google and the only things that come up are the things I've personally posted.  Maybe if I post enough somebody else will see it.  I just have to be persistant.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

July already?

How did that happen?  Time sure flies.  Kaiden is really rocking away up on all 4's now.  We're thinking he might actually start crawling within the next week or two!

We're off for a bit on vacation, leaving tomorrow morning and back on the 11th.  Happy 4th!!