Wow, it's been almost a full month since I last posted!! So sorry for the long break but my college classes have started back up and it has been very hectic at our house.
The hecticness was good in a way though, it has brought about some important crossroads for our family. It was very easy to stay on our diet when everyone was home because of snow days, or to fix a full meal because I was off from college classes, or to make sure the boys were eating successfully when their sports were on break. To stay on our path, however, when everything started again full swing was a little bit more of a challenge.
Our weeks aren't overly busy, but they are full. Oliver attends full day Kindergarten which requires him needing a full lunch packed (and for a picky eater it gets challenging) and a snack. Parker attends PreK, half day-three days a week--meaning that I must remember to put a snack in his backpack and a juice those days. The other two days I work at his school and he stays with either my husband or my mother-in-law, which still requires a lunch packed for him. I also attend college two nights a week and the boys participate in Taekwondo four days a week. Needless to say, we are a little bit everywhere everyday.
On Wednesday's we also attend a Bible study. Usually when the boys finish with Taekwondo that evening, they are starving, and we would normally hit up the closest McDonald's to satisfy them. Not anymore. It does take more planning on the diet, but I have found that I able to keep them fed and still stay clear of any fast food. Normally I will make Oliver and Parker a snack around 3:30, and then I will pack up whatever I fed them, put it into a cooler, and feed them the same thing when they get out of class. Often times I fry some chicken in bean flour and then simply put it into baggies and they eat it cold on the way to the study.
The first few weeks that we tried this they balked at eating cold chicken. It didn't take too long, however, for both boys to realize that they could either eat the chicken or be hungry. (Needless to say they eat the chicken now!)
I also try to always plan ahead and keep juice boxes in my vehicle at all times. It is hard when we go to a family function or a church event and the boys aren't allowed to drink the juice offered. I always let the boys have a helping hand in picking out their flavors though, so they often don't feel like they are missing out on anything (and if anything, their friends always want a juice box too!).
Looking back there are few things I would change about the way we eat now, except I would have started it earlier. My boys are healthier and happiness than I can ever remember them being, and I have more energy and feel better about myself than I have in years. I have also found that I don't crave the foods that I used to like McD's, Taco Bell (especially since I heard their meat only has like 33% real meat!!), and other places like that.
I do recommended that if you are thinking of trying a food elimination diet for yourself or your children that you do a little research on your own. Different things work for different people. My friend Jennifer tried the gluten free but found that corn-free actually works better for her child. Whatever you decide to try, give it time and give it a fair go. I've heard different research on how long it takes for the gluten to completely be gone from your body, and the consensus seems to be anywhere from two weeks to one month for a number of individuals. Remember that when you first start a new diet, your body is going to go through withdrawals from the fast foods and the junk foods that you have been eating. Symptoms vary but include crankiness, irritability, headaches and possible worse. Push through, continue on your path, and see how you feel in two weeks or even 21 days.
I also suggest keeping a journal to record the changes you see in your body, your attitude, in your life. Then reevaluate...maybe this particular thing worked for you, maybe it didn't. But don't give up...a healthier lifestyle is only step away. Go ahead and take that step and secure your place in the future!