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Thursday, March 15, 2012
Grain 'n' Sugar FREE....how are we doing?
You may be asking (or not) How are we going with this?
Have we noticed any changes in behaviour and physically?
How are we coping as a family with the new eating habits?
How is the food we are eating and what are we eating now?
Are there any problems?
Are we cooking more, spending more time in the kitchen?
How does it compare cost wise to 'regular' eating?
Will we be continuing on with this lifestyle?
Well it has been a new learning curve in so many ways and then a return to the 'good ole days' in others!
What were the 'good ole days?' Well they were the ones when I spent more time in the kitchen. Now days I have so many helpers that I often don't spend lots of time cooking. This is a good thing and yet something I miss too.
With this new way of eating I have found it has required a lot more 'prep time' actually. The meals we have been having of an evening have resulted in more meat and veg meals, not necessarily the old recipes, in fact we have been trying lots of new dinner recipes. We did use some of the ideas and recipes from my first Menu Plan but really did not use lots of the snacks or cakes.
We are still adding new things and trying things that I hope will improve general health and well-being as well as specific foods for particular issues.
So we have spent more time preparing food, especially as we have been cooking cooking breakfast as well as having a lunch that is not sandwiches, which is a fairly quick and easy lunch to prepare.
I have recorded and photographed some of the meals and cakes (it is amazing how some of the cakes etc do NOT look like the recipe pictures) and will share what we thought was a winner and what was a 'dud,' and there were a couple of these.
One of the hardest parts has been feeding our baby. Now, not at regular meal times but the snacks in between. It has been my habit in the past to give our new beginner eaters banana and toast fingers. Now obviously he still has bananas but finding other reasonable quick food for him to snack on has been a challenge.
Has anyone missed the 'wheat' or 'sugar'?
This question is a double edged sword! We have not missed all those foods that contain hidden wheat and/or sugar at all.
The main thing missed is.........BREAD! We have always been a big bread family, we love it. There is nothing more comforting and warming than fresh, warm bread straight out of the oven with butter and jam on it. Yes I admit it typing that up makes my mouth water. I have not missed it though on a regular basis though. Although some of our children have especially. They have asked for bread on numerous occasions and said how they long for bread. This has been a huge adjustment for the children especially and I am still trying to deal with this.
Added sugar not really missed at all. I have eliminated it from my coffee and with out having cereal added sugar is not such a big deal either. Having said that some of our children like either honey, stevia or coconut sugar in their tea or coffee.
We have added honey or coconut sugar to the few cakes or cookies we have made too.
Confession time: We have over the 4 weeks had a couple of nights while watching movies where we did have a few pieces of chocolate. And last night I indulged and bought a couple of cheesecakes for sweets.
What I noticed after both these times was this:
For the older children with the chocolate we had some headaches and an episode of 'silliness.'
Today after the cheesecake we have had very hard to deal with and grumpy younger children, especially Moran and Corbyn ( who obviously regressed from the above behaviour) Some of the older children complained of not sleeping well and being tired today as well as being more irritable too.
Conclusion: wheat and/or sugar does have a negative affect on our family and behaviour.
The other complaint has been a constant "I'm hungry!!"
For snacks we have had nuts, seeds and fruit or vegetables and a couple of times the cakes/ cookies from the menu. I am unsure if little children are still hungry or if it is a result of the 'I can't think of something to do so I need something to eat syndrome' that happens and did happen before we started down this path. So not sure for the younger children.
Saxon seems to be perpetually hungry though, so I am still looking into a way of helping him with this.
For Stephen, myself, Autumn, Eden, Vellvin we have not really hungry between meals at all. If dinner or lunch is late I tend to become a little hungry then but not really between meals.
At the start of this we weighed everyone and took measurements and for some of us there has been a moderate change in weight, (the largest being about 4-5 kgs) and size with drops of up to about 5-6 cm. This was a good result for the older children who were happy about this and the younger children have maintained their weight, except for one child who has lost a couple of kilo's.
The biggest change has been in those family members that I was hoping for with behavioural issues and depression. I am pleased to say that the depression seems to be better with an overall ability to cope as well as a general attitude of 'wellness' as well as less days of actual depression.
Our sensory challenged children, Moran and Corbyn have both had a dramatic improvement.
Moran has been more focused and able to deal with everyday situations.
Moran is being able to stay focused on her lessons better and is finally able to make progress with her reading. She has also become more responsible and reliable wanting and being able to help with home life. In fact she has taken great delight in being able to hold and carry her baby brother.
Moran is also sleeping much better which has been a first for her in her life!! She is also getting up better of a morning and able to start her day well with little encouragement form others.
Corbyn has finally stopped being the 'energiser bunny or a Tigger!' At the end of the day when he seemed to spiral out of control has not been happening. He has been quite able to cope with the end of the day and has been going to bed quite well too. Corbyn has not been as grumpy or easily upset and so the mood of the day is entirely different and better for him.
I am now at the stage where I am planning a new menu (partly done) for the coming fortnight. I am fitting this into pay weeks so as to keep a better track on the cost.
Initially I am sure it cost a little more to replace old ingredients with new and our first fortnight cost was quite a surprise to me. However I admit I have not been scrupulous in keeping track of this previously and so cannot compare with before as I would have liked.
In fact this could vary greatly on whether we were having a 'lean week' or a 'regular week,' depending on bills to be paid and unexpected events etc.
Another aside is I have found it harder to have a 'lean week' eating this way as one of the staples for us had always been pasta, bread and cereals!
What I did notice was our second fortnight was about $500 less than the previous one and I am hoping we can drop it down again with some different food changes and better snack control.
I do know and have had it confirmed by my friend Erin is that we do live in a very expensive part of the country food wise and utilities wise.
For example my almond flour costs me $19 a kilo and for Erin it costs I think from memory $13 a kilo. Our fruit, veg and meat are significantly more expensive as well.
So obviously eating more of these results in more cost than other parts of the country and having a large family increases the cost too.
Will we continue with this?
Yes we will! I am convinced it is beneficial for all of us and that we are eating a much more healthy and better for us foods. The general well being is better and people are not as tired (except form late night movie watching on weekends)
I do need to fine tune it for our family and will be making some changes to suit our family, that may or may not be kept in.
For myself I think that if I would like to benefit from some significant weight loss I still need to exercise. I have been trying to fit this in but just not getting there yet.
I was going to post exactly what we ate each day along with pictures of anything different we tried out but this post is already long so will do that as a separate post.
Well how is that for an honest account of how one family has adjusted to a Grain 'n' Sugar free diet?
I am sure this will not be a continued level playing field as we have not struck our first birthday since starting this so be prepared for more ' real life accounts.'
By the way I have found more blogs and resources I will be updating to my past post for my own information as well as anyone else who may be interested.
Thank you for all your encouragement along the way and I hope you continue to be with us on this journey!
Blessings to you and your homes,