January marks the sixth month that my son and I have been eating gluten, dairy, egg, apple and nut free. We started this journey in August of 2013, and I feel like it’s a big deal that we’ve made it this long, and without too much struggle! My biggest concerns are birthday parties and family gatherings. I’ve been happily surprised at the amount of support my son and I have been given. I’m also very lucky that my son is only 2. When I tell him that he is getting a “special Nathan cupcake” he is genuinely happy. At my friend’s house, when other children were eating apples, Nathan gladly ate a large tomato whole! I’m hoping that he outgrows his allergies before he realizes he may be missing out; however, I’m seeing such a positive change in both of us that our diet may become our lifestyle.
At Nathan’s December allergist appointment, our doctor was genuinely impressed with how good Nathan’s skin is improved. Although he still has some tiny patches of eczema on his scalp and knuckles, everything else is healed! It’s hard for me to remember how bad Nathan’s skin was: huge red bleeding patches which hurt him day and night. I’m amazed at how diet change can provide such dramatic results. It makes me think about the how many people live with chronic conditions, and how something as seemingly simple as changing your diet can actually cure you!
The dietary changes produced almost over night results for Nathan, and I noticed many changes in myself. At first, it took some adjusting, and I felt more hungry, and hungry more frequently. Cooking from scratch was sometimes stressful. Now that I know many simple, go-to recipes, and what snacks work to hold me over until the next meal, I’m feeling much better. Better, in fact, than I’ve felt in years! I used to take a nasal steroid spray for a constant sinus infection I would get just about every winter. I was also taking Claritin and Mucinex for a stuffy nose and post nasal drip that would start in the fall and then continue into winter and then spring when outdoor allergies would debilitate me. Since starting eating without dairy and gluten, I’ve been breathing so well and haven’t needed any medication. I still have to see how spring will be, and I’m hoping I won’t need any medication this year! My digestion is also improved. I used to get a stomach ache from eating eggs, but never really made the connection. Kind of like how I didn’t make the connection about my nut allergy for a long time! Now, without eggs or gluten, my digestion is improved and I’m very regular.
So many people have asked me about if my son will outgrow his allergies. If outgrowing his allergies means returning to the standard American diet, I’m in no rush for him to ever outgrow them. Sure it’s a challenge on some days, but most days, I’m very grateful to be feeding my family foods that I’m confident are healthy, full of nutrition, and made with love.