2010 is already shaping up to be the Year of Food for the Greenhab family. I blogged here a few weeks ago about how we're finally buckling down and focusing on what we eat this year. Then last week I checked in to mention the Meatless Monday and Eat From Your Pantry challenges I'd joined.
We've been doing quite well with both, by the way. Mr. Greenhab has happily accepted the fact that his Mondays will be meatless. He even recorded a cooking show last weekend and asked "Mmmm...can we have this for Meatless Monday?" (I did a little happy dance in my head!) I've moved beyond my fall-back plan (pasta) and have even broken the spines on a few cookbooks I've had forever.
The Eat From Your Pantry Challenge hasn't exactly helped me to green my food routine, but it has inspired me to get all the junk out of my pantry and freezer so that we can have a fresh, healthy, sustainable, new start. I'm considering January a month of purging and planning.
And speaking of purging... We were just handed an all-new, somewhat unwelcome, challenge last week when we discovered that our 4 year old son may have a milk allergy. It's kind of a long story (which you can read about here if you're interested), but suffice it to say he has some behavior problems that don't fit neatly into any diagnosis. We randomly heard about someone else with the same issue and learned that the protein casein, found in milk, can cause this type of behavior.
We took Fletcher off of milk immediately and, within a day, we noticed a huge difference in his behavior and attitude. It honestly felt like nothing short of a miracle! I quickly adjusted a few things - switched cow's milk for soy, ditched the cheese, and found a few dairy-free snacks. So much for emptying the pantry; it was suddenly filling up again.
The more information I read and experienced people I spoke to, the more I heard that I would need to take him off of gluten as well. As you may know, GFCF (gluten free, casein free) is also known as "the Autism Diet", which has been of enormous help to some autistic children. Fletch was doing so well that we didn't think eliminating gluten was necessary. He had done a complete 180 and was such a sweet boy now! Until yesterday, that is.
Yesterday all of the whining, arguing, negotiating, name-calling, and power struggles returned, so I think that we will have to eliminate gluten as well, to see if it makes a difference. After seeing a glimpse of what a sweet little boy he can be, it's worth a shot to see if we can bring that boy back.
At this point, I feel as if I've been pushed into the pool without my floaties and it's sink or swim time. I've read at least eight thousand food labels in the last two days. Because every prepackaged item at the grocery store seems to contain either gluten or milk, I've finally been forced to do some of the things I've needed to do all along -- make more from scratch, buy organics, shop the perimeter of the grocery store, read labels, and eat real food.
It might not be the "slow and easy" way I envisioned greening our food, but it could certainly be a blessing in disguise. Now to convince my 4 year old of that!
PS~ If anyone has experience going CF and/or GF, or you have experience with other food allergies, I'd love to hear about it!