Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A Gluten & Dairy Free Journey

Tomorrow is day one on a new life journey for our family.

Everett is a kid I can hardly put into words.  If you know him, you completely understand.

He is truly one of the most compassionate caring boys you will ever meet.  He loves everyone, hugs & kisses  all those in his path, shares everything he owns, and wears his heart on his sleeve.  He is the life of the party, adored by many, full of fire, always on the go, incredibly impulsive, and a wild child.  I absolutely adore him with all my heart.

He has been "busy" since he turned 2.  Since starting school this fall his impulsiveness & busy body personality has made reading difficult.  He's smart, loves math, and loves school.  But we have realized something has to change for him to thrive in school and be the best reader we know he can be, and we hate to see him struggle when we know how bright he is.  It's incredibly difficult.

I have done a lot of research, and honestly Everett fits the label of ADHD perfectly...it's like it was written about him.  However, it's just a label that doesn't highlight the boy he really is.  Just like Ollie Faith - I don't see her diagnosis I see her - same with Everett Mason.  You see the qualities inside of Everett can not be taught.  He is full of the character & personality that people only dream about having.  What God gifted him, others work their whole life to try and be better in that area.  He just naturally has that gift.

Medication really is not an option on our table.  I don't want to "lose" the spunk because that is what makes him so stinking great.  It's not something we are ready to dive into until we exhaust other options first.

I truly believe God sent me on my fitness journey to prepare for my son.  To fully understand the way that food nourishes our bodies, and how what we eat controls our health.  I have done amazing things in my own personal health, and I have started to apply that to my family, but I can do more, and have much more to learn.  Because of my own personal journey, I can embrace nutrition changes, before I changed myself I would have NEVER talked about dairy or gluten free - I would have thought it was ridiculous...but alas here I am now.

After much research & the help by some amazing friends & family in my fitness community, I believe Everett has a food intolerance or possibly several.  We are in the process of getting his hair & saliva tested to see exactly what foods may be triggers for him, but until those answers come back...we are going full throttle gluten & dairy free.

If you read about food intolerances & how they impact the body you will start to see what I mean.  It's truly amazing the power of food when you really learn about it.  I believe food can heal or hinder the body, and it's up to you to decide how to fuel it properly.

Within a week, two tops - we should see if this is our solution.  It's a little overwhelming, and in our rural area not a seamless transition.  Kroger forty-five minutes from home may become my best friend!  Fortunately they had an entire area dedicated to gluten free/dairy free items.  And luckily for me Everett really doesn't like dairy products to start so it's easier to pull.  I have great options for breakfasts, lunches, & snacks & honestly dinner has been gluten/dairy free without me even trying for quite some time.

I went today and filled my cart with the proper snacks or items I can bake with to get his nutrition spot on.  I have a bag of snacks for school that he gets for snack time & on special occasions so he doesn't feel left out so all our bases are covered.

Please pray for us that this is the answer we are seeking.  I know many people won't "get" my new age thinking, and that's OK.  Just please be supportive & positive on our new journey - it's not right for everyone, but it is right for us.  I honestly didn't see myself even posting a blog about this because I don't want Everett to be pointed out as "that" kid, but I believe there are other kids out there just like him, and their Moms don't know yet - and since I vowed to educate about Ollie - I will do the same with Everett.  We all need to learn right??

You would assume that after having a daughter with Down Syndrome & going through Open Heart Surgery this would be a piece of cake...compared to Ollie it is, but honestly anytime your child has a need that you can't fully figure out, it's hard.  So just pray for us that God guides us to the right answers for our family, & I know in time he will reveal that answer to us.

Thanks friends!!  And if you see Everett around town - give him a hug - he'll be sure to squeeze you right back!!

Oh and if you are a gluten/dairy free family - any helpful tips or advice is great appreciated as we learn more areid54@yahoo.com


  1. we thought our 3 month old had a dairy allergy (she had bloody stools) so I gave it up for 3 weeks to find out she really didnt. the website godairyfree is a lifesaver!! Everything you could possibly need to know is on there and it tells you what is safe at fast food places.

  2. We've been gf for close to two years now. Made a world of difference for Jacob and I. Jacob is also allergic to peanuts, sesame and eggs and I am allergic to soy. The whole house is lactose intolerant and we have been dye and artificial ingredients free since I had my first child back in '87. I have to admit, gf is the hardest because we own a BAKERY!!!!! I am not going to lie - I miss bread and fluffy bagels and fat pizza crust.... but, it is what it is and we know how important it is to nourish our minds, bodies and souls...

    feel free to email me if you want recipes or ideas...

  3. Godairyfree is a great website!!

    Good Luck Annie!

    Mason is Dairy Free and I am for most of the time.

  4. Girlfriend. God Himself led me to this post right this minute. I JUST hung up the phone with my mom and dad where I boo-hoo'ed about Siley. I think he and E may be long lost twins!! I love how you phrased it -- this spunk is part of who they are. It's a gift! Just needs a bit of...channeling. :)

    We tried GF/DF a year or so ago. It seemed to help but then it didn't...honestly, we probably didn't try hard enough. His pre-school teacher today suggested eliminating dye...but any dye he ends up with is so minimal around here. Still, we may try harder. We're sorta desperate for a solution. :)

    Praying for you and proud of you! You love those babies so well, Mama.

  5. Beachy's has a boat load of gluten free items.

  6. Annie, best wishes and boy is your family fortunate to have you fighting for them every step of the way. I've been slowly coming to the conclusion that I need to try GF. Recent events have made me realize I have to do something, somewhere if I am going to be healthy. I will be following to see how Everett does and what soem of your GF solutions are. I have no idea where to start, but I do know the options are more plentiful than they used to be. At least they are here in Calif. Most menus even offer GF options and the grocery stores seem to really cater to this choice. I don't think it is "new age" or anything like that, I think you are an educated mom who is doing what's best for her family. Ann

  7. We are a GF house and while it seems overwhelming in the beginning (and expensive) it becomes easier and eventually becomes the only way you think. The only thing I wonder about, as the wife of someone with allergies and as a teacher to many children with allergies and ADHD, is trying to remove both at once. It may be easier to pinpoint which one is the culprit if you try eliminating one or the other. We removed dairy for a bit, while eating gluten free, and found it didn't make a difference, for us. I'm sure if we removed both at once and saw the results we did (because of GF diet) we would have kept both out. Just something to think about. I hope everything goes well for your sweet boy! Feel free to email me if you have questions about GF substitutions or cooking. Best of luck to everyone! :)

  8. Hi! I have been reading your blog since Ollie's surgery, imagine my surprise when my 5 year old, Angel, told me about the boy she sits with on the bus everyday named Everett! She absolutely adores him, thinks he is hilarious! So glad you decided not to give him medicines that could possibly take his personality away. I've had concerns about my 4 year olds inability to sit still and learn new things and have been told to try drugs and I refuse to do so. Never thought about her diet! My husband and I are changing our eating habits to lose weight, think I will just add the kids in on that and try some gluten free!
    Hope it all works out well for Everett!

  9. You'll do great in finding the right solution for Everett. If there are sceptics, they won't be once they see him thrive. I also believe that food is everything in health. Check out Amazon for gluten free products. If you have prime, you can get free 2 day shipping.

  10. Hi Annie! I have nominated your blog for The Liebster Award. Please stop by my blog "Full of Light" to participate!

  11. I have a daughter who started the gluten free/ no high fructose corn syrup journey almost 2 years ago in an effort to deal with constant stomach issues. It has made ALL the difference in her life. It has NOT been super difficult, but we eat lots of raw food anyway. The dining hall at Notre Dame has some gluten free options, I send her gluten free bread for toast from a bakery here at home and she has to a car to get fresh stuff. I have a friend who is a food chemist and owns an organic store here so she has helped with suggestions along the way. Good luck!

  12. I'm no doctor. But from what I've learned the kids usually crave what their bodies can't tolerate. I did exactly what you are doing. No Gluten no dairy. I put my son on Almond milk. He didn't care for it, but I needed something to cook with. Then I found out when his test came back, no almonds but he could have milk. So be careful until you know. I felt bad I was cooking with what he shouldn't have had for about a week and a 1/2. My son does like dairy, but he has never LOVED it. So it made since when they said milk was fine.

    Disconected Kids...you need to read it We too were not interested in medication. I truly didn't believe it was right for us.


Thank you so much for your kind words & support! I love hearing from you & read each and every comment you leave for me! ~Annie


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