Titus and Food, a war for the ages

Several months ago I shared about the battle against food our little dude has fought, and how very specifically the Lord has provided for us throughout this struggle.

I have felt so helpless in knowing what and how to feed our son that we resorted to feeding him just a few foods and praying we’d get to a good baseline and finally understand what was causing his problems. We weren’t getting there. I started to research a specific healing diet (GAPS), but kept running into foods recommended that we were pretty sure caused some serious damage to our son’s intestines. As only the Lord can ordain, I stumbled on an article recommending working with a nutritionist who can not only provide insightful testing, but also individually guide and direct the healing process. I emailed the nutritionist to see if she ever worked with parents of young children. Her response was quick and so very kind. We set up a 15 minute phone conversation to get started and she and her assistant have been such a pleasure to work with thus far!!

She ran some blood and stool tests and the results were both expected and surprising. His body doesn’t seem to be giving off enough enzymes to digest his food properly, there might not be enough acid in his stomach to break the food down initially, the immunity of the lining of his intestines was pretty compromised, and we were still dealing with blood in his stool.  They even found white blood cells in his stool which definitely indicates his body is waging war on the food he’s been consuming and his intestines are bearing the brunt of the collateral damage.

The blood testing gave us an idea of which foods his body was definitely recognizing as invaders, and the results of this test were actually pretty shocking. His biggest reactors were melons, sunflower, aramanth, soy, corn and several vegetables. You know what he didn’t react to?? Dairy!  That doesn’t mean for sure he won’t react to dairy, but this also gave us a good idea of foods he should be ok eating, especially on a rotational basis, so we will be able to open up his diet to include more proteins and fats which he has seriously been lacking!

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Our list of “NO!” foods for now.

Armed with my newfound knowledge, I took off for the “expensive” grocery store and wandered the aisles searching for foods we could stock our fridge with that would be tolerable, nourishing and healing for our little man.  I kept thinking about how 3 1/2 years ago I felt so lost after Hope’s dr. told me to eliminate just dairy and soy from my diet. I had no idea what I was going to eat! I chuckle now because we have come so far in our understanding of food and it’s place in our lives and I am so thankful for the Lord walking with us through such a unique trial. I found what we needed, only half balked in sticker shock upon checkout (unfortunately eating whole quality food tends to cost a pretty penny) and made my way home in time to get a cage free chicken in the oven before we had a support appointment. Before bed that night James made Ghee and I shredded the roasted chicken and used the bones to make bone broth. My friends, we have officially arrived as whole-food hippies.

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Ghee, aka “liquid gold”

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Homemade Bone Broth and Ghee. 

We’re on day 3 of no more formula and I think Titus might be settling into an ok rhythm without it. (Maybe. He’s not thrilled with something lately but it might be the molars pushing their way uninvited to the party of this dude’s life.) This was my biggest fear. We were relying so heavily on formula for his nutrients and calories because I wasn’t sure what else to feed him, but it turns out he either developed an intolerance to corn and sunflower because of the formula, or it wasn’t the greatest for him in the first place. I’m so glad we went through with the testing because while it was expensive, to find out the very food we were feeding him was causing him damage is invaluable information! So now we’re basically loading everything he eats with olive oil or ghee to get him enough calories and fat and taking one day at a time. We still have to work through adding in food slowly, but knowing there are more than 4-5 foods he should be able to eat safely is so incredibly freeing to me. The hardest part is keeping him from grabbing his sister’s peanut butter and jelly sandwich and making a mad dash for the door while stuffing his newfound treasure in his mouth. (Not that this has happened..twice..or anything. *sigh*)

My hope in sharing this today is that some mom in the lonely throes of identifying offending foods will know she is not alone! Your individual process will be different because every one of us is unique and no healing process will be identical, but there are those of us who understand what it’s like to avoid restaurants, parties, play dates and events because food isn’t safe and it’s easier to just stay home than watch your little one’s face fall in despair as they realize they can’t eat what everyone else is eating and they definitely don’t understand why.

It is possible to heal, but it takes a lot of work and planning, and I am so incredibly thankful for my little tribe who works together for the good of our little man.  (Most of the time..)

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Bailey helping me plan out the next day’s meals and snacks for Titus. His big sisters care deeply for him and I absolutely love it.

 

And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3 ESV)

 

 

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