Ultimate Reset: 4 Things You Should Know About Day 4

I’m finished with Day 4 of the Ultimate Reset and I just have to share some tidbits that you should know if you’re wondering what life is like on a detox where you eat real food:

1. You will sleep better than you ever have in your life. I kid you not. I fall asleep fast and I sleep hard. I have intense dreams and I move around/wake less than usual.

2. You will wake up naturally. I honestly cannot remember the last time I woke up without TJ or a screaming baby yanking me out of bed. But this morning, I woke up at 6:04 am and felt like jumping out of bed. This was so odd to me, but was a welcome change for sure.

3. You will have to fight the urge to exercise. Again, eating so clean and removing toxins from your body is serious work. Because of that, the developers of the Ultimate Reset say to stick to very low impact exercises like yoga and walking. I promise, I tried to stick to this rule when I went out for a walk with Jonah in the jogging stroller this morning. But the avocado groves were so beautiful, the wind was just right, and the temperature was just so perfect…I couldn’t help but run. I have this calm, boundless energy I just had to release and it felt amazing. And it was the best run of my life. I will try to abide by the law from here on out.921

4. Food will begin to explode in your mouth. There is much to be said about sitting down and enjoying your food versus simply shoveling in whatever you can on the go. Our society has two major flaws that I have been guilty of taking part in, but not from here on out. One flaw is that major food companies invest millions of dollars to get us addicted to poor tasting food. This widely available “food”  that is filled with salt and fat is low on nutrition and in many cases does the complete opposite for your body of what food is really intended to do.

The other flaw is that our society moves so quickly, we don’t stop to be a participant in the experience of our food. Just tonight I got to sit down alone at my dining room table and eat in silence. This never happens, but what a sacred time for me to be thankful for food from the earth to nourish my body and I made it myself. Not a deep fryer and a freezer.  I got to taste the amazing flavors each vegetable offered to the dish along with their textures and flavor profiles. That’s a lesson we should all learn to incorporate into our lives and our families.

Here is what I enjoyed today:

Fruit plate with plain organic yogurt

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Lentil-lime salad and Greek Salad

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Tomato Cucumber Salad and Quinoa Veggie Stir-fry

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Lickin’ Lentils

I’ve just finished Day 3 of the Ultimate Reset and I am really enjoying it and am already seeing the benefits. I’m sleeping much harder, my energy level throughout the day is up even without my beloved coffee, and I’m thinking clearer. I’m weighing myself tomorrow, but I’m trying to focus on how I’m feeling and not the numbers.

Even though I’m having to do a lot of planning ahead with safe meals for Jonah and prepping myself ahead of time so I’m not neglecting playing with my kiddos, I’m really loving the recipes so far.

I’ve had my eyes opened to just how much I was eating when I got stressed out throughout the day or simply out of boredom. I’m finding that when I get stressed for any reason, I simply need to acknowledge the issue and vocalize it somehow. Whether it be addressing an issue head on with my kids, bouncing something off TJ, or praying it’s much healthier than stuffing my face to temporarily feel better by numbing myself.

I’ve also realized how dehydrated I’ve been chronically. I’m drinking between 1-1.5 gallons of water every day and am feeling amazing just from that change. I also don’t feel the urge to be snacking because of it. I even had a headache yesterday from caffeine withdrawals and found drinking more water took care of it rather than running for the Tylenol.

By far, one of my favorite finds is the lentil-lime salad I had with lunch today.

Oh, mylanta! If I could have been called a lady while licking the bowl, I would have. I won’t hold it against you if you need to…you do what you gotta do!

Lentils are great sources of protein and fiber, so any way you can incorporate them into your diet is a win.

lentils

LENTIL-LIME SALAD

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked green lentils
  • ½ cup grated raw carrot
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1½ tsp. sesame oil (or more, to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice (or more, to taste)
  • Bragg® Liquid Aminos or Himalayan salt (to taste)(optional)
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin (or more, to taste)
  • Herbal seasoning (to taste; optional)

Directions

Cook lentils until tender, but don’t overcook. (Or use Trader Joe’s steamed Lentils) Add carrots and cilantro mix well. Stir oil, lime juice, salt, and spices together in a small bowl, then gently stir into the lentil mixture. Let sit, covered, in refrigerator for 2 hours. Adjust seasonings if needed. Even better the next day! Serves 1.

Nutrition (as prepared above per serving)

  • 320 calories
  • 8 g fat
  • 1 g saturated fat
  • 0 mg cholesterol
  • 50 mg sodium
  • 48 g carbohydrate
  • 17 g fiber
  • 19 g protein
  • 944 mg potassium

Here’s some other highlights of meals I’ve had. I know, I’ve been suffering.

greek

beans

eggs

oatmeal

sushi

 

Ultimate Reset: Day 1

I was planning on starting my Ultimate Reset journey yesterday, but an admission into the hospital for Jonah’s anaphylaxsis Friday night and yesterday thwarted that attempt. I was even thinking of just holding off altogether since my house has been full of emergency and stress lately it seems, but I decided that this is my normal whether I like it or not. It’s not a leisurely day most days here and I am not coping well with the stress. I’m eating through my emotions, I’m having a hard time finding the energy and the will to workout with everything going on and I’m losing focus on me amidst it all (and losing tons of hair on my head).

The Ultimate Reset is for me to accomplish something for myself. It’s for me to find a permanent way to cope with everything that is out of my control and enjoy food in a way that might inspire me to help Jonah more in the end in ways I haven’t thought of yet.

In many ways, especially after our second round of anaphylaxsis with Jonah in two months, I am mourning a loss. I come home from a near death experience like that and feel completely out of control and saddened by all he has to deal with knowing he has 14 food allergies and so many can cause this life threatening reaction. I find myself just wanting to eat everything he can’t for him or overcompensate food experiences being over the top so that my kids feel a normal relationship with food rather than the bear that it is.

Anyways, I decided late last night that I have to do these 21 days for myself and just like deciding to have a baby, there will never be a perfect time in your life. I need to do this to be a better mom who feels better physically and emotionally. I need to see that I can do something difficult (cooking separate meals for me while still cooking everything for Jonah’s safety in the house) and finish strong despite it.

Day 1 was actually really nice.

Breakfast was simple and good even though I usually hate eggs.bfast

Lunch was awesome because of the creamy garlic salad dressing. That will be a keeper recipe. I branched out and ate tomatoes even though I hate those too because of the anti-cancer properties, but I really like it in a salad. It was my first Miso soup, and being totally honest, I wasn’t such a fan. Luckily, if you want you can swap out a recipe for another one in the same phase, so next time I’ll do that instead.lunch

Dinner is something we’d have any time anyways. Salmon, potatoes, and asparagus. So good. dinner

The supplements were easy to deal with today and I drank so much more water than I have that I felt full, but not as bloated as I have the past couple of weeks. Ultimate-Reset-Alkalinize

I’d say it was a good start and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

 

21 Days: Reclaim, Release, Restore

Beachbody-Ultimate-Reset

The streets of heaven are paved with broccoli stalks and lined with trees brimming with fruit to pick. There’s a never-ending ocean of kale and it rains freshly juiced beets and carrots from ominous artichokes in the sky, I’m sure. Or at least that’s how I have been imagining heaven for the past few months.

Really.

I have felt so unhealthy I actually day dream about this stuff.

The more hairy things got with Jonah’s deteriorating health, the worse I got with my own. I wish I could tell you what I ate the past few months, but by and large it was anything I could stuff in my mouth in a moment that would simply stop the audible sound of hunger coming from my stomach. Some days I didn’t eat anything until the kids were in bed because it was just that bad of a day.

Sure, I had days here and there where things were my usual…

But some days I found myself mindlessly eating out of frustration that Jonah couldn’t eat anything at all. That’s smart, right?! Well…if he won’t eat, I will. Mature, I know.

Let’s not even broach the topic of what chocolate does to a stressed out, over-tired, worried-sick Mommy. The sick relationship has had a break-up coming.

The bottom-line is that I have not felt like myself. I feel unhealthy, off-kilter, undone and it’s showing.

Even though this seems daunting and intimidating, especially given I make everything from scratch for 14 food allergies to tend to, I have decided to begin a 21-day journey doing the Ultimate Reset. UltimateReset-Supplements2

The program-

The Ultimate Reset is basically eating three meals a day from a tested meal plan with recipes included while taking supplements that work in phases to reset your body to maximum health.

Whether it be from the toxins you eat from a not so stellar diet, environmental pollutants, or health issues, each and every one of us can benefit from ridding our bodies of these things and start with a clean slate.

Week 1 is all about prepping your body for change to release toxins. It’s about reclaiming your health by putting good food into your body. You slowly decrease consumption of meat and dairy, which are known to tax your digestion and cause inflammation that are known to be the breeding ground of disease to take a foothold.

Week 2 is the week where you are releasing all of those bad toxins that have built up over time in your tissues, clogging your cells and blocking absorption of nutrients. I’m really looking forward to this week because I feel like I’ll be working on the same thing Jonah is in getting everything good I can into my body with food to help, not hurt my body. At this point, you will be eating a full vegetarian diet.

Week 3 you restore your metabolism to maximum efficiency, putting nutrients, enzymes, and pre-and probiotics back into your system. You’ll cut back further on grains and will be eating mostly fruits and vegetables. The good news is that you can incorporate Vegan Shakeology into the mix. Yes, please.

Remember, this is re-teaching you about food and how it makes you feel when you eat it. No crash dieting, no starvation, no harsh laxatives or missing work so you can be by a bathroom!

My Goal-

For a couple of years now I have been researching on my own what food really does to your body. I know a lot in my head, have implemented things slowly into my life on by one to create habits for my family, and have seen first hand how food is our medicine. I’m really looking forward to my eyes being opened on how I can improve even more. It’s something that means a great deal to me since cancer runs very strong in my family and I have had my own scares that have really made me stop and think about how God wants us to view our bodies and what we put in them.

I’m hoping to have more mental clarity, drop a few added pounds I’ve gained from not eating my norm, and have more energy to keep up with the demands of two little people who never slow down and get the jump start I need to get back to my habit of working out harder than ever while training for my 10K mud run in June. An added bonus would be to stop all the hair loss I’ve had from stress in these past few months.

This is a time to really focus in on me and commit to doing something that will make me a better version of myself…a better wife and a better Mommy.

Come With Me-

This weekend I’ll be buying the food and getting ready for my first day! I’ll be updating the blog on how the process is going…the good, bad and ugly. I’ll post pictures of the new recipes I get to try out and how it is not only impacting my body, but how it impacts my relationship with food and how it relates to my health. Hopefully you will be able to relate and I can be of some encouragement to someone along the way on their own journey to better health. So come with me for the ride!

 

Catching Up…Literally

We have a lot to catch up on. And I’m not just talking about the fact that this is the longest stint away from the blog I have ever made since it’s inception. I’m really talking about our Jonah.

It took months for us to finally land ourselves in the hospital with Jonah to finally get a clear diagnosis of what he was dealing with.hospital

At his worst Jonah:

  • lost over 5 pounds
  • stopped eating for days
  • stopped drinking for days
  • Vomited everything he did try to eat, even though it was never anything but a puree
  • was banging his head all day
  • was screaming all day, thrashing himself on the floor
  • was constantly sick with an ear/sinus infection from overproduction of fluids from out of control reflux

After being put under a special allergy-friendly anesthsia (who knew anesthesia was made up of egg and milk?!) to diagnose Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE) by doing multiple biopsies on Jonah’s esophagus, we got on a new medication and were sent home on our way after three, long days. Only time would tell if it would help and waiting for biopsies to come back positive would let us know how to proceed.

The problem with being in severe pain for months on end in Jonah’s short lived life thus far means you don’t have the energy or the desire to learn new developmental skills. He has fallen behind on speech, on walking, and especially on food consumption.

The fabulous news is that one week after being discharged and on new medication, Jonah gained 1.2 pounds. The very first weight gain since he turned 9 months old. He started eating and drinking again immediately, screaming all day was reduced, and now I can’t keep enough food in the house for him for the week because all he wants to do is eat now!foogtherapy

We will be working hard for the next six months to get him to where he needs to be developmentally since he has lost out on some valuable time. He will be doing Occupational food therapy to get him eating more textures without choking or vomiting, Physical therapy to get the low muscle tone in his trunk up so he is able to really start walking on his own, although he gets better every day the more we practice. We will also be doing Speech to get him expressing more, but lucky for him Mommy is his SLP probably too often.walkingMy background being in Speech, I never in a million years thought I would the mom on the other side of the therapy table. It was a numbing experience and it’s still one I digest daily because you are so blind to things that are second nature as a practitioner when you are the mom of your child who is struggling. Regardless, I’m thrilled he is cognitively intact and that he will catch up quickly now that he isn’t in pain.

He is also working closely with his Allergist where just this past week we diagnosed two new allergies, 14 total,(rice, carmine) that have a delayed response. This means that he doesn’t have the same type of reaction you would expect when he eats them (hives, anaphylaxsis, eczema, etc.) but consuming these things over time impact the amount of EE found in his esophagus as time passes and will do a number on his digestive tract making it hard for his immune system and absorption of nutrients to operate as they should.

As you can tell from pictures, Sadie has taken on such a helpful and sweet role with Jonah in helping out with feedings since he loves to eat for her and being his biggest cheerleader while he learns to walk. She has done so well with often times having to take a back seat while we have tried to figure out what was wrong and give him the attention he has required. She’s been working hard every day asking and reciting all of his allergies so she can help tell people what her little brother can and can’t have to eat. She’s so mature sometimes, but we can see that life has required it too. We’re so proud of her.

apple

Since getting him on his new treatment plan he is:

  • Eating all day long. I think he is making up for lost time.
  • Eating new textures. Before he would only eat puree, if that. Crunchy things would be gagged and thrown up immediately, but not anymore.
  • Gaining weight. In the first week out of the hospital, he gained 1.2 pounds!!!
  • Interested in walking and is able to take 8-10 steps unassisted, though still prefers to hold our hands.
  • Banging head/screaming fits have diminished. This will take a while to deal with because now it’s a learned behavior for his frustration and he doesn’t have many words to tell us when he’s angry.
  • No more writhing in pain!!!!
  • Sleeping through the night.
  • He has a playful, rambunctious, silly side we see more and more every day and many more smiles than ever before now that he isn’t hurting.silly

 

New Allergy Update & Menu Plan

marshe

There is a fire lit inside of me and I am blazing the trials making Jonah’s life as normal as possible when it comes to food. I realized two crucial things this week through his Evaluation for Occupational Therapy and Allergy appointments…no, make that three things: 1) My little boy is seriously a champ, 2) He has some real food aversions from bad experiences and associations with food thanks to all of the allergies, reflux, and anaphylactic responses, and 3) he has a lot stacked against him with his new, updated, and revised list of food allergies diagnosed today.

What’s the updated list you ask?! I am writing them here, posting them on the fridge, and handing them out to family because, frankly I can’t remember them all of the top of my head:

  1. Dairy*
  2. Wheat
  3. Egg*
  4. Peanut*
  5. Cashew*
  6. Soy*
  7. Strawberries
  8. Pork
  9. Stone Fruits (mango, peach, plum, etc.)
  10. Avocado*
  11. Banana*
  12. Kiwi

* indicates a strong enough reaction to elicit an anaphylactic response (banana is one we experienced first hand last week)

We’re hopeful he will grow out of many of these, although the strong allergens may end up being lifelong issues. Only time will tell as he is old enough to do challenge tests to see at a later time.

As his Mama, I want him to have as many choices as he can. I desire for him to begin to have a fun, explorative, and healthy relationship with food despite his rough start. I want him to thrive, grow, and find joy in the things that he can eat without growing up feeling like he is missing out.

I am coming to a point more and more in my moments of desperation figuring out all the puzzle pieces to this little man that my children belong to the Lord and I truly have no choice but to surrender it all. My kids have been given to us to care for and God has chosen us to be the ones to tend to their needs. Whatever they are, or how complicated they are, they are ours for a reason. Even if I don’t see the end.

I am so thankful for so many reminding me this past week since his scary trip to the ER that we are enough for our Jonah. I feel completely inadequate at some point every day.

It feels like swimming in the middle of the ocean at night time knowing there are sharks wading the waters as you swim. But…

Like I said, he is a champ. And Sadie is an amazing cheerleader for her brother. TJ is a great encourager.We’ve got this.

Here’s what we’re eating this week:

Snacks:

Juicing Project:

A Diagnosis for Jonah

ALLERGIST:

This past week we clocked plenty of time with Doctors for Jonah. We first worked with a new, highly recommended Allergist who is was concerned about a couple of different things with him. One of the most pressing issues was the nutrition aspect of things since he has so many multiple severe food allergies established on top of vomiting and refusing to eat or drink. He put Jonah on an amino acid/protein powder that I will attempt to add to things I will offer him so when he does eat, he is getting the most nutrition rich-brain healthy stuff he can get. He also suggested testing him for delayed allergic responses from foods he commonly eats that he may be having a reaction to internally that don’t necessarily show up overtly that we may be missing that could be a culprit in making things not easily digestible for him. We’re examining our thoughts on this before we subject him to more allergy testing given his diagnosis.

It’s quite the puzzle, these food allergies.

HOSPITAL:

The big day was the morning spent at the local Children’s Hospital getting a full GI X-ray study done. It was half a day spent where they had to force down barium and restrain him down on the table and take a quick series of pictures of it going down. Ugh…this was not fun nor easy. Then TJ and I had to force down more barium in a separate room and wait 45 min so they could take a picture further down his digestive track, and then wait more time for another picture further down, and so on.

Jonah was so brave through it, especially because he can’t stand being put on his back. Drinking barium when you can’t eat anything anyways was so sad, but he was such a champ.

DIAGNOSIS:

His GI Specialist called us on Friday and said his anatomy looked fine and his Esophagus had no damage, but he has a hefty case of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). This is when acid from the stomach pushes up into the esophagus, causing pain. His gagging has most likely been his way of telling us something hurts, and his vomit episodes most likely have been because of the acid. He’s also probably had a lack of appetite because of the pain.

Hopefully this is a condition he will eventually grow out of and it can be treated with finding the right dosage of medication to control what comes up.

His Doctor is still recommending we work with an Occupational Therapist to get him up to speed in eating and to be comfortable with other textures that he hasn’t been able to get down, but is confident we will get there when things are under control.

There is still a chance there is something else going on in addition to this diagnosis, but for now this is what we are going with until there is some more cause for concern.

WHAT WE THINK:

To be honest, we are so incredibly relieved. We were bracing ourselves for something so much more serious and complicated. Doctors start throwing around “developmental delays” and “severe rapid weight loss” and dealing with multiple severe food allergies on top of seeing your kiddo screaming for hours on end writhing in pain and you immediately go to the worst place. And there is no greater pain for a parent to see their child struggling and not know why or how to help them. The great news is that in reality, this is something very treatable and common.

The very best news is that the past 3 days have been so amazingly wonderful when it comes to food consumption for Jonah. He went from eating 2 pureed fruit/veggies totaling in about 8 ounces for the day to eating an entire bowl of oatmeal, two homemade breakfast cookies, turkey, veggie puree, a rice bar, and 3 meatballs in one day. This is more food than he has had in months and it’s been like this all weekend.

His demeanor as a result has been so much more energetic, he’s happier, and he looks so much healthier in his coloring. It’s an amazing transformation when the boy eats something!

THANK YOU:

Although there are still things that need to be worked on and worked out, I have to say thank you so much to each and every one of you who have lifted our family up in prayer, offered encouragement, meals, time, daily text messages of positive thoughts and prayers, and an ear to listen as we have dealt with Jonah’s declining health in the past few months. It’s been such a scary and pragmatically difficult time for us and I cannot say how much appreciation we have for the people who have stood by us. I’m so looking forward to getting back to normal soon and winning at all of the things I have been failing miserably at lately (set my alarm for 5:30 am to workout as an example). So, thank you!!!

Jonah’s Health Update

If you don’t know how we got here, this post might be helpful.

I’m not sure how to put into words what life has been like with Jonah for these past few months, but especially in these last few weeks. I think there is no greater pain than watching your child suffer through something they can’t tell you and be able to do nothing but wait.

In the last weeks, Jonah has gone from eating normal, allergy-friendly table foods that were age appropriate to eating to purees, to nothing, and back to purees. He’s had okay meals sporadically, but by and large he has been living off of minimal food and drink despite our best efforts. He has been gagging himself or simply throwing up food he eats numerous times a day or simply refusing. His demeanor is not the same. Sometimes we have good days, or good parts of days, but overall he is clingy, grumpy, crying and irritable.

Our grocery budget has ballooned just in an effort to find something he will eat and we have probably thrown away 90% of it. The two types of purees he will eat at some point throughout the day are expensive.

Jonah has gone from a hefty 24 pounds to 21 pounds in a two month period. This is a substantial weight loss for his age and we have to be proactive in getting a diagnosis to avoid any more weight loss that can turn into developmental issues for him not reaching milestones when he should as a result.

I have no idea how he isn’t in the hospital by now feeding from a G-tube and suffering from dehydration. All I can say is that God feeds him manna from heaven every night because he somehow always has a sopping wet diaper and a good poo waiting for us in the morning regardless. It’s truly a miracle to us.

Next week he goes to a highly recommended allergist in the area to run in depth tests on his allergies, talk about challenges for the current ones he has, and figure out a way for him to be accurately tested for Celiac Disease.

He will also go in for an in-depth 3 hour long X-ray study to look at his entire GI track to see if there are possible growths, blockages, etc. by his GI Specialist at CHOC.

He will also be starting Occupational Therapy at the hospital with a food therapist to work with him and with us to try and find a way to get eating food back where it should be regardless of the diagnosis.

We’re also adding into the mix working with a Natropath who will brainstorm any other things I can be doing naturally to relieve him at all and make him feel better.

His primary Pediatrician is in on it too, as you can imagine.

So, we have a full team of 5 professionals on our boy ready to get to the bottom of the issue.

This is not an easy thing for us whatsoever. It’s painful to watch. It’s frustrating to live through when so much of our lives revolve around food. It’s a hard balance juggling everything with my precious Sadie who just wants some attention when I have a screaming baby boy who hasn’t had a thing to eat or drink all day and I’m honestly afraid to put him down because I don’t know what’s wrong with him.

We covet your prayers as we head into this next week. Pray that we find clear answers quickly and that there is a solution we can work with to bring Jonah back to where he should be…a thriving baby boy.

We will keep you posted.

Menu Plans Revolve Around Declining Food Consumption

To be honest, the last thing I have wanted to write lately is about our beloved weekly Menu Plans. I still stick to doing it for the sake of staying on budget, but writing about food when all I do is think about food and the lack of it actually staying in Jonah’s belly is an emotional topic for me at the moment.

We still have no answer for what is wrong with him and there is something wrong.

For about a month and a half it seemed like everything had miraculously fixed itself and all we had to deal with was food allergies. His screaming and crying all day writhing in some indescribable pain every day had stopped suddenly and he was the happiest little guy.

But in the last few weeks things took a turn in the wrong direction. It started with gagging himself. At first we thought he was just doing it for attention or playing a game. But then gagging turned into throwing up. Then it was just throwing up all the time at meals or right after eating. Self-gagging or not, it doesn’t stay down. It went from eating normal (allergy-friendly) whole, table foods to regressing back to purees, and now hardly anything all day without throwing it all back up again.

The screaming and crying started back again today, especially when it’s meal time. People in public looked at me like I was crazy this morning because I was attempting to run my errands with a boy who was beside himself no matter what I did. There is nothing I can do to make it better. He would be the same way at home, so I might as well get something done. That kills me.

This whole ordeal is heart wrenching. There’s no other way to describe it when something you need to survive is hurting your child and you can’t figure out what it is and it’s taken this long to have answers.

So, food is all that revolves in my brain. I spend all day thinking about trying new snacks, baking new things he might keep down, cooking something he won’t refuse, spacing food out, trying to offer nursing more, stressing his liquids, his wet diapers, his poops per day, his weight loss, his vitamin intake, his nutrition, his sleep habits, his demeanor, his…

We’re starting the diagnosis process day after tomorrow. Pray for him.

Right now I just hate food.

Here’s what we’re eating despite it all this week:

  • Chicken Sausage with Roasted Veggies
  • Maple Butternut Squash Soup
  • GF Felafel
  • Quinoa Stir-fry
  • Vegan Pesto