Elimination & A Peek into our Pantry
If you've done an elimination diet before you know how fun they are but if you haven't let me tell you your mindset needs to be 100% there in order for you to accomplish it.
We knew we'd have to clean up Harlo's diet and eliminate some major food elements due to the increasing knowledge of how food sensitivities can affect our bodies. When we decided to tackle Harlo's gut health in October we knew we would need to weed out Dairy, Gluten, Soy, Corn and Peanuts.
Harlo is very used to us talking about food since Jeb and I have food restrictions so we explained that we might need to start eliminating some of those things to help her body get better. We've kept a very open dialect with her so she feels in control as well. The last thing we want is for her to feel is overwhelmed and left out of a decision that ultimately is her choice.
Harlo is a sweet tooth...if she could eat breakfast for every meal she certainly would so in the past we would argue about foods and it was her not wanting to change. This time it's different and obviously her wanting to eliminate her seizures is a big part but I believe that most of it is that we've had discussions and ultimately educated her enough so she could make her own decision. For those of you who know Harlo she's a very determined girl and she doesn't do anything unless it's all in. So with that said we took it all out. With a traditional elimination diet you start on very minimal foods however again we didn't want to cause too much stress so we let her eat foods without all the above (which sounds like there's nothing left!) but I assure you there is!
Having three older kids we are familiar with bringing them up on a very different routine so making changes to "healthy" eating aren't always easy or enjoyable. What I've learned is that all you can do is educate and try different things and slowly swap out. Trust me there's so many more options now that we live in a culture that has become aware of bad food. Our older ones have found foods that they normally wouldn't have tried but did since I simply don't buy the same foods. Regardless, focus on you first then gradually as you educate yourself then it follows suite as you start to educate them and next thing you realize is that your buying habits have changed and so has theirs.
I thought a peek as to what our groceries look like will give you some insight to the balance we make within our home. This is some photos of the last couple times I went shopping!
Our absolute go to's are:
Apples, Celery & Carrots for Juicing every morning
Coconut Oil & Ghee for cooking on the stovetop
Olive Oil & Garlic for dressing on everything
Bananas, Pears & Oranges for every meal
Go Go squeeze & Protein Bars for Jeb on the go
Avocado - We eat at least 1 a day
Organic snacks for Harlo to easily pack
GF Chicken Nuggets & GF Pizza for quick meals
Almond & Coconut milk for cereal & cooking
Organic chicken & beef for all dinners
Simple Mills brand for all their wonderful beautifully made snacks - crackers, cookies, mixes
Cookies for Jeb & Nava, Chocolate covered GF preztels for Harlo and Chocolate hummus or chocolate for me!
Red Lentil Noodles to add to our Wildtree meals or make as buttered noodles for Harlo
Pumpkin seeds & nuts for snacks
Bone Broth for a simple lunch or to add to my crockpot meals
Eggs & GF English Muffins for Jeb & Harlo's daily breakfast.
What our Breakfast looks like:
Jeb eats eggs, GF toast with peanut butter and a juice concoction mid morning but since he's up at 4am he has cereal and almond milk to start his day.
Harlo has bananas & avocado along with eggs and GF toast with butter & chia seeds.
Myself - I have celery juice first thing in the morning then later have Avocado, bananas with chia seeds & PB along with hemp seed oatmeal & coconut milk.
This is usually left overs but if Jeb is working and I don't see him then he'll order Jimmy Johns or grab a burger. Harlo loves the GF chicken nuggets with veggies and fruit. I always throw my left overs together or I use left over meat on a bed of spinach, arugula and other veggies with olive oil, avocado and hot sauce!
Weekly staples in our menu for Jeb and the kids are Tacos and skillet meals using Wildtree, Pancakes, eggs & bacon, Pot roast & potatoes and GF pizza. I also found some amazing seasoned meats at Trader Joes that are easy to throw right on the skillet for dinner. I enjoy cooking so I always experiment with my meals and cook enough for lunches during the week so my meals are always a meat, lots of veggies or salad, a fruit and avocado!
I felt like I was spinning my wheels for years and whenever someone in my family said "What's for dinner?" I wanted to scream and pull my hair out. Once I realized I had overcomplicated the entire process I realized how silly it was. I just had to find a handful of staples and then our menu just rotates. Luckily my family is creatures of habit so they don't mind and I get to play with different foods for my meals since I love all kinds of food!