Thursday, June 28, 2012

A new diet for a new mum

As I've posted about before, when Chip was about 5 weeks old, a lactation consultant recommended that I eliminate dairy to see if it would help Chip's gut problems.  It (or something), so I've stayed off dairy since.  And that's not just milk, yoghurt, cheese and sour cream.  That's everything that those things are IN, including most processed food, baking and so on.  Then, when Chip was 11 weeks, a naturopath suggested that he was also highly sensitive to wheat and yeast, and that I should eliminate those as well.  
I've now been dairy free for about 3 months, and (mostly)* wheat free too for nearly two months, and we're currently in the process of "testing" Chip to see if he's grown out of his sensitivities (...or, let's be perfectly honest, to see whether he was ever actually sensitive at all).  We have some EBM I expressed prior to giving up each allergen, so we're starting by testing those.  Before I add them back, I'll also test him without his Gaviscon, as we don't want to be medicating something I can manage with my diet...
...especially since, while it's been a challenge, it hasn't been SO bad! Some of me actually doesn't want to go ahead with the testing!  (I'm going to anyway, partly because if he can tolerate them, I want him to be exposed to them!).  I get lots of yummy, healthy food in, I don't *think* it's affected my supply (though remember, my supply isn't great to begin with), and it's making it a bit easier to stick to my Pro Points (...more on that later...)
Here are the pluses-- to ME-- of cutting out dairy and (most) wheat:
  • it forces me to be prepared, as eating out is so much harder
  • I can resist loads of naughty things I can't resist for the sake of weight loss for the sake of Chip's comfort
  • it forces me to eat healthy whole foods
  • it's encouraged us to be "creative", or at least move away from some of our staple dishes
  • we've learned how nice some of our staples are even without the cheese- I'll certainly be able to cut down on the piles of colby we used to have in our Monday "ombles" (omelette/scrambles), and on our Mexican nights
But here are the downsides:
  • dairy is a great source of calcium and lean protein, and I do get a bit sick of my alternatives
  • bread is a very useful thing to have on hand as a new SAHM, especially a new SAHM of a kid who likes to nap on people - it was tough adjusting to not being able to just make a sandwich or some peanut butter toast when I needed to EAT but didn't have time; especially given that I also couldn't just grab yoghurt and fruit! (yes, there are gluten free breads, but they generally taste like butt, and Chip may also have a sensitivity to yeast, sooooo....)
  • although we can eat a large variety of things, I am getting a BIT sick of potatoes and rice, and sometimes I really just want a pile of pasta with parmesan cheese (and other stuff, I suppose), or a cheese toastie, or a plate of Watties spaghetti
  • when you tell me dark chocolate is the only treat I can have, my natural response is to EAT ALL THE DARK CHOCOLATE.
And here's a pretty normal day in the life, foodwise:
Breakfast: porridge with chia seeds, banana or dates, almond butter and oat milk [Comment: Oat milk is by far the BEST non-dairy milk out there; I sometimes accuse Phil of using cow's milk!]; decaf coffee.
Snack 1: Crunchy oat-based muesli bar [Comment: not the healthiest snack-bar choice, and I'm definitely missing being able to choose whatever I want from the muesli bar aisle!] or rice wafers with peanut butter.  Fruit (usually an apple or a pear)
Lunch: Almost invariably, a chicken salad using one of those packets of shredded chicken breast (not the pulverised fakey kind, the actual chickeny kind).  Since it's winter, a lot of my favourite salad veges are out of season, though we can sometimes find these at the Farmers' market.  But winter veges make a good salad too- mine's usually prepackaged salad greens, red cabbage, carrot, radishes, microgreens or sprouts, and maybe grated broccoli stem.  I sometimes bulk it out with chickpeas, blackbeans, or falafel made with one of those mixes found in the chilled section, and add some flavour and creaminess with hummus or salsa and avocado.
Snack 2: Vege sticks with hummus or peanut butter, fruit (usually kiwifruit and a mandarin)
Dinner: Last night's dinner was chicken and white bean chilli, a favourite of ours.  Our other planned meals this week include koftas with salad, hummus and falafel, stir fried tofu, and Monday-egg foo young.
Dessert: a piece of fruit, maybe a couple of dates, and a mini bar of Dark Ghana.  Cup of nursing tea.
*by "most" wheat, I mean that I avoid bread and wheat flour.  However, I do occasionally have a handful of glucose based sweeties, and although we are using tamari at home, I won't freak out if there's a bit of soy sauce in a restaurant meal.