It’s amazing to think how far I’ve come from my “healthy” form of the standard American diet (as in I didn’t eat nearly as much crap as the average American, and I’ve actually always been very health-conscious, yet it was still pretty unhealthy). And yet, I still have some ways to go. I’ve taken the next step, which is cutting out grains, a decision I made mainly because of my poor digestive health and the fact that I have two kidneys to heal and I’d like to have another baby some time soon!
It’s also amazing how I thought I was getting my little boy off to the right start when we started the weaning process. Breastmilk was his main food until some time after his first birthday (this is good), and I fed him meat (good), butter (good, but not enough of it), veggies (negligible), fruit (not so good), small amounts of whole grain (not good), small amounts of pasteurized cheese (not the best), yogurt and kefir (would have been better if not sweetened). Sadly, he got no egg yolks, bone broths, or organ meats–I had no idea these things were important! I also had no idea that he had gut issues. Well, I kind of knew. We knew soft cheeses and ice cream upset his tummy, and I avoided pasteurized milk like it was poison (it probably would have been). No refined sugar, no food additives, no juice, processed food very minimal–even crackers, a typical staple toddler food, were something he only got occasionally. So when I noticed he was starting to get little dark circles under his eyes, I was very dismayed. And I had this gut feeling his horrible meltdowns were related to food sensitivity. I thought I had done everything right when he was a baby, how could he have food allergies?
I’m certain that my pre-conception and pregnancy diets were not good enough to produce a vibrantly healthy child. My breastmilk was also likely not ideal as my postpartum diet was lacking in many nutrients (didn’t help that my poor digestion impaired my ability to assimilate nutrients). We believe he has a gluten sensitivity and a salicylate sensitivity. This means he can’t have grains, most fruit, and many vegetables. This means he will thrive best on animal products (kind of goes against Michael Pollan’s mantra: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants–I still think he’s cool, though). But how will he get all the nutrients he needs? This is the question I posed to Primal Peggy of The Primal Parent, who eats a similar, although even more restricted diet. I am adding in certain things to his diet that will help him get everything he needs.
My 3 Year Old’s New Menu Plan
raw dairy: currently drinks raw milk, plan to make our own raw kefir
meat: currently eats cooked meat, plan to eat more rare meat, hope to eventually add some raw meat
eggs: currently eats scrambled, plan to add raw yolks
organs: currently none, plan to add sweatbreads and liver, hope to eat some raw
seafood: currently eats cooked fish and shrimp, plan to add raw, and include oysters
vegetables: low salicylate veggies, limited amounts of moderate salicylate veggies
fruits: very limited, ideally none
grains: no glutenous grains, very limited “safe” grains
fermented foods: currently only yogurt, plan to switch to cultured condiments and add kefir water
bone broth: currently only when we have homemade soup, plan to make sauces and find other ways to add in more
fats: plenty of butter with foods, food cooked in lard, eats fat with meat, wonder if I should just have him eat butter plain?
supplements: currently takes Carlson vitamin D3 drops 2000 IU (if I remember), and Nordic Naturals Childrens DHA from cod liver oil (if I remember), Jarrow’s Yum-Yum Dophilus probiotic (I only remember if his tummy is bothering him), obviously need to be more diligent, would love to switch to higher quality fish oil and probiotic (but don’t think we can afford them right now).
Anyone think he needs some other supplement? Vitamin C? (Don’t know how much raw liver this kid is going to eat.) All raw animal products are from pastured/grass-fed animals. I don’t know much about how to select safe raw seafood–does anyone know? I’m assuming wild-caught, here, but anything else?
My New Menu Plan
My menu will look very similar to the little boy’s, except I’m eating veggies to my heart’s content, and I can have coconut oil. My grain consumption will be even less because it’s much easier for me to say no to them than it is for my son who only understands that he likes them. My supplements are much more numerous as well. Daily supplements: Alive! Women’s Formula whole food multi-vitamin, Carlson Cod Liver Oil, Carlson D3 drops (I take 4000 IU), Jarrow Formula Adrenal Support, generic B-complex, Source Naturals Essential Enzymes digestive aid, Neprinol AFD (anti-fibrin systemic enzyme for my kidneys), Chinese herb formula from my naturopath. I sometimes take: Jarrow Formulas probiotics, Jarrow Formulas Co-Q10. I very infrequently take other supplements. I am really hoping there comes a day when I can get everything I need from just FOOD. Or at least just be down to D3 and fish oil.
So wish us luck! Especially on the organs and raw meat. Bleh.