Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Does he really need ALL of those?

I think I could write a book on Grayson's daily intake of supplements alone!  When a child needs so many healthy foods removed from his or her diet, supplementation is the name of the game.  The list is long and can vary from day to day depending on his needs for any given day. The usual looks like this: two enzymes for gluten and casein, two enzymes for carbohydrates, a No Phenol enzyme, two multivitamins, four cod liver oil gel tabs, two drops of grapefruit seed extract, liquid calcium, and one probiotic....on days when he is coming down with something or has a cold, we add zinc, vitamin A and additional vitamin C.   Another challenge with supplementing is that we need to be very cognizant of the ingredients to be sure they don't contain anything he is allergic to and just about every supplement has a filler of some sort, mostly likely containing gluten and/or casein.  Probiotics are often made from dairy and vitamin C from citrus.  Many, many children's chewables are made with "natural" citrus or pineapple flavors.  So we buy most of our supplements from specialty providers online, like Kirkman Labs and Houston Enzymes.

The role of enzymes in this diet is huge and may even allow us to reintroduce many of the foods he is slightly sensitive to.  If you were to ask Grayson what the enzymes are for, he will tell you that "they are for badestion", ha ha ha.  Translation = digestion.  The link between food allergies and the lack of enzymes is very common, so with the added enzymes every time he eats, they provide him with the ability to break the foods down further.  Leaky gut syndrome comes from undigested food particles which actually make their way out of the intestines and into other parts of the body!  Weird, isn't it?  There are enzymes for many different foods and just about EVERYONE would benefit from additional enzymes in their diet.  Enzymes are naturally occurring and are only available in raw foods so once you heat a food over about 100 degrees you kill the enzymes, which then requires your body to use it's "stash" to digest the food you've just eaten.  You can actually deplete your body's enzymes by eating only cooked foods.  Raw foods provide just enough of their own enzymes to break itself down, there is no excess.  So when your body is forced to give up it's enzyme stash to digest foods on a daily basis, other parts of the body begin to suffer and you become more susceptible to illness.  When you see a fruit decomposing, going bad, those are enzymes at work.  The reason you don't feed a baby from a baby jar, put it away and then continue feeding from that same jar again later is because of enzymes.  The mouth contains enzymes and when you put the spoon back into the baby jar, the food in the jar comes into contact with the enzymes on the spoon, digestion actually begins to occur, yummm!

This child never ceases to amaze me.  He saw me swallowing my cod liver oil and wanted to do the same with his, which are of course chewable.  I promptly explained that his are chewed and mine aren't.  He was content with that answer...that day.  When we ran out of his cod liver oil and again he witnessed me swallowing mine.  He said, "It's fine mommy, I can just take yours!"  I told him he would have to swallow it like I do and he very convincingly told me he could do it.  So who am I to hold back a child?  I handed him one and expected to see him gag and choke on it, but you've got to live and learn, right?  He immediately popped it in his mouth and like a pro, guzzled some water and proudly opened his empty mouth for me to inspect!!  Can you say determination??  Who said reverse psychology doesn't work??  If you want to get a three year old to do something, just tell him he can't and you will be greeted with childhood optimism I wish we all still had.

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