Friday, April 29, 2011

Big Changes Part II...Finally!

Part I can be found here.

So I have come to the conclusion that I can drastically improve BuggaBoo's tooth and jaw health through diet, and hopefully head off any problems in Doozer. Also I hope to be able to finally cure the weak spots in my teeth that have plagued me since before my marriage. I have tried fluoride and it does not work for me.

So we've started introducing animal foods back into our diet. Last summer we started with eggs, and a few weeks ago we added more variety, starting with fish. Now we eat some beef and we had a bit of pork at Easter and there was this one time I had some fried chicken. We are trying very hard to be conscientious about our choices. We eat sustainable fish such as sardines and pollock. We buy our beef from local pastured steers.

We have decided to make an emphasis on eating the whole animal, especially the parts that other people don't want to. My freezer is full of bones, livers, tongues, and hearts. We feel that it is more respectful to the animal to use all of it; that if it is going to give its life for our benefit we better be sure to make the best use of its body. The positive to eating the parts no one else wants is we get the most nutritionally dense foods available, so we don't need to eat as much.

Are we perfect? No, not by a long shot. But we try. Eating out is the hardest, because most restaurants don't use humanely raised meats. But I wish they did. Heck, I really need to do my part and only buy at the places that meet my standards, but my budget would basically permit Chipotle and they already make a super killer vegetarian burrito.

Right. So, the benefits of this? Well, let me tell you. For months, months, I have been having problems with brain fog, lack of energy and motivation, major problems with speaking and typing, and just all around feeling like my whole life was an out-of-body experience. Seriously, it was so hard for me to speak sometimes; my tongue felt so huge in my mouth it was impossible to form words. Simple, easy words. My fingers didn't want to obey my befuddled brain signals. I made a lot of typing mistakes. And I just felt listless, needing 12+ hours to feel normal, but never getting that with little children in the house.

After starting to eat fish again that all cleared up. It felt wonderful to be able to think, to be quick again. And I do not think it was only the magical omega fatty acids. I was taking an algae based DHA supplement and eating lots of ground flax and I didn't see any improvement.

May I say that I feel that is a major downfall of being veg*n? The whole movement tends to break food down into their nutrients. Are you craving beef? Then it must be the iron or protein or fat or something. It can't be the beef. It can't be something we haven't discovered yet, or heck, even be a synergistic reaction between everything in the beef. To satisfy the criteria of veg*nism all foods must be their components and nothing else.

So, we eat animals. And we feel okay about that. Okay, we adults feel okay about that, BuggaBoo is still having a rough time with it. I don't blame the kid, his whole life we've told him it's sad to eat animals. Then, BAM! It's all okay to eat them. Poor confused child. We're treating him very gently, giving him lots of time.

We're still trying to get into our groove. I have been feeling heavy after meals recently; I'm taking that as a sign to lighten up. The first few weeks I couldn't get enough eggs, meat, fish, or bone broth. Now I'm feeling fuller, which is reassuring to me. I feel I am working to fill my deficiencies, and that just feels right.

There is so much more I want to implement in our new diet besides animals foods. That's just part of it. More fresh and raw veggies would be amazing. I'm learning how to soak and sprout my grains to reduce phytic acid and increase nutrient absorption. I'm experimenting with fermented foods, which taste amazing and help bring my internal flora and fauna into balance. I'm learning more about healthy fats and why animal fat isn't such a scary thing after all, and how vegetable oils can be downright terrifying.

But! All of this is just skimming the surface. And I have done a lot of reading and researching to get here. Too much to go over at 11:00pm. So let me wrap up by saying I'm happy where we are in our life, and I'm excited to see where we go from here. As always, comments are encouraged, opposite viewpoints are respected, but let's be civil.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Almost Human

After writing this I got seriously sick and eventually called The Hubby home from work and was thisclose to calling an ambulance if it weren't for the fact I didn't know what to do with the kids if I were taken to the hospital. To put it as delicately as possible I was having quite a bit of stomach troubles, so it was hard to me to drink anything OR keep anything inside me. It got to the point where I stopped sweating and I felt as though my sinuses had collapsed on themselves.

I'm pretty sure now it was some sort of food poisoning from a fast food place, since nobody else is even showing signs of being sick. I am most grateful for that. I am also most grateful for distracting movies, such at Babies and The Secret of Kells. And do me a favor and don't watch a trailer for The Secret of Kells, just watch the movie. It's that good.

Anyway, I'm much better now and even feeling up for a very short walk. Thanks for all the concern, I really appreciate the love.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Part II...To Come Soon

I came down with the plague or something. I'm suspecting H1N1, but my symptoms actually fit malaria better. Whatever. I'm feeling quite better, but I foresee another day or so of laying a-bed. My sister and the Hubby have been indispensable these few days, so this is a public show of gratitude. I love you guys, thanks for all the help!

So I'll be posting Part II as soon as possible.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Big Changes Part I

So I hinted in my last post that we aren't exactly vegetarian anymore. And if you aren't exactly vegetarian, then you aren't at all, because it's really an all-or-nothing proposition.

I have strong feelings about eating animals. I've been vegetarian for over four years and vegan for about 2.5 of those years. I read and prayed and studied scripture about this, and I came to the conclusion that animals are not for consumption unless needed for health. I believed that due to modern science and food availability veganism was the healthiest and most spiritual way of eating. I felt that eating animals when not needed was sinful.

Well, I still have those same feelings. What is different is now I believe that for me and my kids eating animals will contribute to our health.

This all started with BuugaBoo's teeth. He had some major reflux as a baby, and will still spit up sometimes if he eats or nurses and then runs around. It runs in The Hubby's side of the family. His first teeth erupted at 3.5 months, and he had a mouthful of pearly whites by the time he was one. They were beautiful.

Right after he reached his first birthday his front upper teeth began to decay. This is him around the age of two, notice his upper teeth:

And I don't know why he looks so old in this picture, must be the angle and the lighting. Believe me, this is when he was younger, he has a ton more hair now.

My midwife and pediatrician chalked up his tooth decay to the reflux. A dentist we saw said it was due to night nursing, which I totally disagree with. We became extra diligent about brushing his teeth and the decay stopped. It got to the point that when we took BuggaBoo into a pediatric dentist the dentist didn't even know he had decay, he thought BuggaBoo had malformed teeth. It took a lot of insistence on my part that his teeth came in perfect for him to believe us. His confusion stemmed from the fact that BuggaBoo's side incisors were worse than the middle ones. He said the only way that would happen is if his side incisors came in first. When I informed the dentist that exactly what happened, he then agreed that the decay stemmed from the reflux.

A few months ago BuggaBoo's teeth started decaying again, despite the fact that we were careful to brush his teeth and he's been nightweaned since 20 months old. This is what his teeth looked like on his third birthday:

So I started reading a lot about how to nutritionally heal cavities, because the proposed plan of action was fillings or extractions. And I ran across this thread and thought, "Huh? Tooth spacing? Baby teeth are supposed to have GAPS?!"

Why, yes, yes they are. Like so:

The gaps provide ample space for the adult teeth to erupt. Did you know that teeth are supposed to be straight? Straight teeth are normal, braces are here to correct jaw deformities. Wisdom teeth are supposed to stay in the mouth. In order to have enough space for all your adult teeth you need to have wide dental arches.

Notice this diagram has all molars present and the teeth are not crowded. Compare this drawing to this mold of a narrow dental arch:


Actually, that last example looks a lot like my bottom teeth. Here is a picture of my top teeth:

I always liked my unique teeth, I like the way they look. They are very tight, so flossing is a big problem for me since I often shred the dental floss. Also, if I get kissed too hard or I accidentally bump my mouth my teeth will slightly split my bottom lip, and I often get canker sores from that.

I went in for a braces consultation once and the orthodontist said he wanted to pull 4 of my molars(!) to make room for the other teeth. I asked why they wouldn't pull my wisdom teeth (I still have them, they have not erupted yet) and he never gave me a good enough answer.

Where was I? Diet? Right. So I had always thought that teeth were the result of genetics and that was that. So I was surprised to run across internet mommas who had fixed their children's teeth issues with nutrition. And the way they were healing their teeth was by eating animals products.

The nutritional regime that seems to work the best is lots of raw milk and milk products, lots of animals fats, lots of organ meats, lots of bone broths, lots of cod liver oil, lots of fermented foods, lot of raw eggs.

So, in the next part I'll talk about how this jives with our family.

Part II here.