Thursday, 5 January 2017

New Year Wishes

It is January 5th. I have had five days to reflect on some of the things I hope to achieve in 2017. I love this time of year. It has that September back to school feel.  We gain minutes minutes of sunlight each and every day as we head down winter's bell curve towards spring.  Whether you lean towards resolutions or goal setting, or you are perfectly content with where you are, this time can be full of newness.

I have tried to organise my thoughts for 2017 into areas I need to work on and explore more of. Some of them are harder than others, while some should come quite naturally (I hope).  In no particular order, my 2017 will look something like this:

No More Gluten! 
On December 23rd we received W's official Celiac diagnosis.  He has a biopsy in follow up to his positive blood test.  J also has a biopsy scheduled for January 20.  We (I) decided that the simplest thing to do would be to make our entire household gluten free. This does not mean I won't eat gluten outside of the home, but we greatly reduce the risks of cross contamination by eliminating it at home. My past weeks have been a whirlwind of baking new things, cleaning out toasters and cabinets, vacuuming ALL the crumbs and packing lunches and snacks.

I toyed with the idea of turning this into a food blog but thankfully much greater cooks than I already have magnificent blogs and resources.  I may from time to time share the things that we are doing to adapt, but that is about it.

Find a Babysitter/ Date night
W is three and we have never had a babysitter. My in-laws help us out from time to time, but we have only gone on about five dates since he was born (three of those were to celebrate our anniversary).  This is not a sustainable pattern. It is becoming more evident that we need to spend time on our marriage so we will be instituting a once a month date night (or afternoon).

I have been seeing a really great Chiropractor who is finally helping my tendinitis,  In addition, I have been working with a trainer to strengthen my running patterns and will be taking an 8 week training course specifically for runners in the new year.  I also have a fairly big goal to run Wild Horse Traverse in June. I am setting one race goal this year, and this is it!!

"This challenging point to point race starts on the beautiful beaches of Okanagan Lake, in Kelowna, BC and traverses through Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park, along the Kettle Valley Railway (KVR), past vineyards & parks on the Naramata Bench and finishes on another beautiful beach, all the way in the quaint town of Naramata."
I am spending time on body image. I am not sure exactly what form this will take yet, but it might involve a social media cleanse, unsubscribing to emails etc.  I find myself in this rabbit hole of researching "health" and fitness things ALL the time and it is exhausting. So this is more a note to myself to work on this :)

I would love to hear your goals for the new year!

Friday, 21 October 2016

Fall Happenings

I can not believe that in a few short weeks my little boy will be three years old! Things have been busy around here as we prepare for his party and a visit from Grandma (my mom). She will be flying out on November 3rd and I can't wait. I haven't seen her since May so a visit feels far overdue.

I also wanted to give an update on a couple of things.  We found out a few weeks ago that W tested positive for Celiac in the tTG-IgA blood screening. We have a follow up appointment in early December with a Paediatric Gastroenterologist.  Until then, we are to continue giving him a normal diet with gluten.  Jay will also be tested early next week as we suspect there is a chance he could also test positive.  The odds of a false positive for a toddler are fairly rare but the gold standard for diagnosis is a biopsy. I am not thinking about that right now and will deal with it as it comes.

But, guess what! Weston is having such great success on the potty! His lactulose combined with daily Lansoyl seems to have been a magic potion for us. Thank goodness.  If you want to know more about how thing are going feel free to send me an email.

In lighter news, I have been taking part in a one-month HIIT challenge and have to date completed 10 of the 12 classes required to finish the challenge! Exercise is helping me focus and forget about all this other stuff at the same time.

I also saw a new physio who gave me some new exercises to work on my glutes.  On a positive note, when he tested my strength I was much stronger! I have come terms with the fact that tendonitis is just going to cause pain.  He told me to try to stop thinking about it because sometimes that can make it worse. I laughed and asked if that meant I was imagining it (at this point anything is possible) and he went on the explain the mind/body connection. I am a bit sceptical, but I am trying to not feel down about it in the morning when it hurts and I swear it might work just a little.

I am sharing the quote below because it has been a powerful mantra for my Fall.  I am looking forward to the rest of the season and preparing for ALL the holiday things.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Trials and Tribulations of Potty Training

I haven't been doing a lot of running these past months. Partly due to injury, but more so due to all of my attention being diverted to W's potty issues.

I mentioned previously that we have had a couple of Dr's appointment due to withholding and functional constipation. I have been reading everything from peer reviewed medical articles, naturopathic articles and mommy blogs to try to help him work through it.

While our Dr. initially prescribed Miralax, I have reservations for a couple of reasons. For one, it didn't help us. His blockages remained but watery poop passed around them, leaking into his diaper up to nine times a day. I also found evidence that Miralax has many adverse side effects. Most concerning is the fact that it has never been approved on label for pediatric use.  You can read more about that here if you are interested.

I am sharing a short listing here of potential remedies for other parents who might need help navigating this tricky issue.

More water: If you are going to add fibre you need to increase water. In an attempt to get more fluids in W we also give him juice once a day. This is something I hadn't done before but there is a water content and many juices have a laxative effect (papaya and pear if you can find it). We have also tried to make it more fun with ice cubes and new water bottles.

Lansoyl or mineral oil: At our last appointment our Dr. was very receptive to our concerns and suggested we try Lansoyl - a fruit flavoured mineral oil jelly that can easily be mixed with jam at breakfast time.  *mineral oil should not be given to infants.

Flax meal: I try to ensure W has a high fibre and nutritious diet. That said, I have been making a concerted effort to sneak in additional fibre where possible.  Flax meal in peanut butter is one solution. While peanut butter can be a binding food (= leads to constipation), we do give him it once a day mixed with flax meal and topped with the Lansoly/jam mixture mentioned above.  I also made these muffins on the weekend and they were a quick family favorite.

Reducing binding foods: through research on naturopath and health food focused sources I have read that there are a number of foods that can contribute to constipation in children.  Frequent offenders in our house include bananas, too much dairy, and apple sauce. In retrospect, I realized things used to replace eggs as binding agents often make the list.

Increase beneficial foods:  We have all been eating more pears, prunes, coconut oil, figs etc. in an attempt to model healthy gut behaviours.  There is some great information on this site and some pin-able reminders too.

Calm Magnesium Supplement: This powder is easily mixed in water or juice and has a lemonade taste. 

Magnesium, a gentle laxative, helps to prevent constipation by relaxing the walls of the colon. This role of magnesium is very relevant when you are under stress, have anxiety, or have too many worries. Magnesium, normalizes tension on colon walls allowing for a normal peristaltic action. Also magnesium attracts water and allows you to bring in more water into your colon.

Additional remedies: Aloe vera gel apparently works quite well but I have yet to find a way to disguise it enough for W to take it.  Ex-lax will work in a pinch (I have used it past the 7 day mark) but it is habit forming.

I also suggest keeping track of all bowel movements using a calendar. There are some really good resources online (see here).

We have had small victories. We went from 7-8 days to a 4 day gap. Still too big, but I am hoping with time things will improve. As always, advice would be great!