Thursday, October 11, 2012

An Apple a Day? No, Thank You!

Strange title for a blog post, aint it? Well, here's why.  As some of you know, we have becoming devotees of the Feingold diet in our family. We've been on it for several weeks now and have seen some really wonderful results from it.  On FG, there's Stage 1 and Stage 2. We are, naturally, on Stage 1, but I'm chomping at the bit to go to Stage 2.  The only real difference in the two deals with something called 'salicylates.'  Don't ask me what this is exactly. I haven't a clue. All I know is this is found in many natural foods: apples, grapes, tomatoes, berries, certain spices. All good stuff, right?  For some people, though, salicylates can cause health and/or behavioral/learning problems.  This is why FG has you avoid these foods on Stage 1. During Stage 2 you can slowly and carefully re-introduce these foods, one at a time, to test for any possible reactions.
Me, being the inpatient person I am, decided we were ready to try some apples/applesauce.  Of course, I could have been influenced by my two preschool daughters' teachers, who are asking if I can send in appleasauce for snack. I'm already the crazy mom to them, I'm sure, who's asking that my children not use fingerpaints, lotion, or hand stamps.  (If you do FG, get used to certain people thinking you're a nutjob). So, yeah, I admit I rushed into Stage 2 a bit.  And besides, they're apples, for pity's sake! Surely my kids won't have a problem, right? Here's what I observed after a day or two of eating the stuff.
Vika, who had gotten to be such a happy, bubbly, laughing little thing the last few weeks, became, well, grumpy again.  Easily irritated, crying over trivial things.  I swear it's true.  Could apples really cause this? I wouldn't believe it if I hadn't lived it.
And then there's Millie. Prior to our apple experiment, she was amazing us daily with new sounds. She was able to sit still for longer periods of time.  She was becoming a new child. For real.  Enter apples, the sounds stop. she's back to her pointing and grunting for everything.  The familiar frustration of driving with her in the backseat returns.  Hearing her little sounds of wanting to tell/show me something but only being able to guess what it is. Before I was at least getting a beginning consonant or vowel.  How weird is that?
On the behavioral side of things, now I would tell her to do something and she would cross her arms, shake her head, and make sort of a 'nnnnn' sound. That's 'no' for her.  The tantrums returned, along with the screaming.
Mommy had made a big mistake. Fortunately, I was able to almost immediately link these behaviors to the apples. Problem is, apparently, this evil potion, chemical, whatever it is, salicylate, takes a long time to completely clear out of your system. It took 5-6 days until I noticed the kinder, gentler, happier, smarter children returning.  And yay! they're back!!
Let me tell you, I am dying to be able to cook with tomatoes again. Hands down, the hardest food to do without. No spaghetti sauce, tomtao sauce, regular pizza sauce. Ugh. No fun. Or let me rephrase that,  we're thankful to have enough food to fill our bellies, but it sure would be nice to have regular pizza with tomato sauce again. Please, Lord, someday?  But, after the failed apple experiment, I'm not in that big a hurry. Pleasant, teachable, vocalizing children are far more valuable.  

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