A lot of people ask me if we've seen a difference with the boys' allergies. I honestly don't know how to answer that. We tried having Arden go off his meds (Tobin has used up all his Flonase, and we haven't gotten a refill, so he has been off that for a long while now). Sometimes he seemed to be all right, but other times he was definitely having problems. So he has kind of been on and off again with the Singulair and Claritin. Without the Flonase, Tobin has definitely been having difficulties breathing through his nose, but seeing as how he HATES using the nasal spray, I'm not sure if putting him back on Flonase will really help much.
The fact is, it has been a HORRIBLE year for allergies! Even those of us who don't typically have issues have struggled from time to time. The weather has been strange, and Dayton is a very bad area for allergies anyway. And I'm honestly not sure how (or whether) GAPS is supposed to help with seasonal allergies, as opposed to general immune problems.
Below is an email I sent to my friend Bethany to try to verbalize some of the thoughts I've been having about our involvement with GAPS. I thought it might be helpful for those who have kind of followed us on our journey.
I’ve been doing more thinking, reading, and praying about our diet, trying to figure out what the best thing is for our family. I’m not convinced that GAPS is helping with the seasonal allergies that the boys deal with (and others of us from time to time), nor am I totally convinced that we shouldn’t use any medical intervention to help them deal with the symptoms. Ideally, yes, I would love for them to not have to be on daily meds. But Ted was for a number of years and is showing improvement without any intervention…I have hopes that perhaps the boys will outgrow some of the severity of their allergies, just as I have pretty much outgrown my horrible allergic reactions to bee stings and ant bites.
That being said, I know God has had us on this food journey for a number of reasons, and I know that many of the changes we’ve made will be permanent. At the same time, I am ready to include some other foods in our diet…but I’m more than willing to take it slowly, since the sheer amount of information is overwhelming, to say the least! I find myself agreeing a lot with this post.
I just read it this morning, and it kind of confirmed what I was thinking after doing some reading from the Kitchen Stewardship site.. I was thinking that I would soak where practical and reasonable—mostly bread-type things—and simply grind my own wheat for cookies or baked goods. (Really, soaking/sprouting and THEN dehydrating/grinding for occasional treats seems a bit extreme to me, given we haven’t really had issues with digesting even the bad stuff—not that it’s an excuse to eat whatever, whenever, just that from a physical standpoint, we aren’t FORCED to go to extreme measures to make sure our bodies don’t react.) There’s obviously still a lot I need to learn, and I would like to do more reading, hence my willingness to go VERY slowly! In the meantime, there’s always the Ezekiel bread from Trader Joe’s, LOL!
While I felt a clear leading from God to start the GAPS diet at the beginning of the year, I don’t really feel any particular urging in my spirit as to what to do now. I kind of feel that it’s one of those issues where I’m supposed to use my God-given brain, seeking His best for our family, and not burden myself with guilt over what other people say I am “supposed” to do...
So, basically, I'm thankful for what we've learned and the healthy changes we've made. I know we'll keep a number of those changes. But slowly we're adding more options--we had (soaked) bazmati rice with our dinner last night, and it was SOOOO wonderful! Really missed having rice the past 7 months! And as I mentioned in the email, we're using Ezekiel bread for sandwiches, which is AWESOME! I love having PBJ or grilled cheese sandwiches as options for taking lunch with us somewhere or a quick lunch here at home.
Next step is learning more about soaking and sprouting our own wheat, getting our own sourdough starter, and other things that will help me get back into making bread and pizza crusts again.
So...that's where we are for now!