Around 2 to 2.5 months, Parker started to become really fussy when he was awake during the day. He was arching his back a lot (but didn't have much spit up), crying without being able to be consoled easily and just seemed like he was in pain. He would wake up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night and start crying because he had gas that hurt his tummy. He would also get really upset before he pooped, like he was in pain. After about one month of this...and going on lots of car rides (motion always seemed to help) and bouncing him up and down all day long, and lots of mama tears later, I finally saw two people who both recommended that I try the elimination diet.
I remember the day so vividly. It was May 10th and I was at a BYOB (bring your own baby) yoga class at Blooma and Parker was crying in the class and was totally inconsolable. He didn't want his nook, the bottle, to be bounced, to go to sleep...nothing was working....and after 15 minutes of him screaming, and several mamas looking at me (you know it's bad when you're in a new mom setting and even they are staring at you)....I walked out of the class and just broke down in tears. I hated the feeling of not being able to console my baby. Sarah the owner was out in the lobby and was so sweet. She recommended that I see a baby chiropractor because P seemed really really tight. They got me in that afternoon and Parker screamed the entire appointment. They did some baby massage to loosen up some areas where he was really tight and she recommended I try the elimination diet. She talked me through what I could and couldn't eat on the diet.
I had to give up:
Oh em gee...this was going to be so hard. I decided to keep coffee and wine in my diet, in a very limited fashion because I am a new mom after all and mama needs her coffee and the occasional glass of wine!
I also went to our pediatrician to make sure there wasn't something else wrong with P that I was maybe missing, and he agreed that I should do the elimination diet (although he would've preferred that I eliminate one thing at a time vs. all at once like the chiropractor recommended. He was concerned about the impact on my breastmilk supply, which didn't end up being a problem.)
I started eating lots of fruit, brown rice, avocado and chicken, and slowly I noticed that Parker was no longer waking up in the middle of the night crying because he had to pass gas, or getting really fussy before he pooped, and slowly his fussiness during the day got much better, too. I would say it took about a good 3 weeks to see these changes. As a bonus, I dropped that last 6-7 lbs. that were still lingering from pregnancy. I kept up with the diet because it was not only making Parker feel better, but me, too. I have never eaten so clean in my life, and I truly enjoy eating this way, especially once I was able to find more recipes that were "allowed" once I added a few groups back into my diet.
I slowly started to add things in after about 4-5 weeks on the diet - citrus (surprisingly) was the thing I missed most, so I added that back in. I drink a ton of Spindrift water that has a tiny bit of lemon or grapefruit squeezed into it - it's SO good, better than LaCroix in my opinion! Then, I added in nightshade vegetables, followed by Corn. I did these all slowly and over time to see if Parker seemed bothered by any of these groupings, but I haven't noticed any major discomfort since adding these back in - only an occasional bout of it.
Now, it's the end of June and almost 7 weeks since I started the diet. I have noticed so many benefits from this diet - Parker's tummy still seems to be feeling much better, I've lost all of my pregnancy weight plus an additional 9 pounds (yay!!), and just feel way healthier. I've kept dairy, eggs, added sugar and gluten out of my diet and will plan to reintroduce them all slowly over time to see how both Parker and I feel.
I will say that at first when I started the diet it was REALLY hard, especially to eat out at restaurants. Like EVERYTHING has dairy in it. I felt really deprived, but now I just feel like I am way more mindful about what I'm eating and the ingredients in everything I am eating. I've also been able to explore new recipes and try things I wouldn't normally, which has been a nice way to add variety. I think what I am going to try and do from here on out is the Whole 30 diet, as it is really similar to what I am currently doing, with the addition of eggs. We have reservations at the new restaurant Bellecour with friends later in July, so I will definitely have a cheat night that night, but hope to keep up with this diet as best I can!
Here are a few of my favorite resources for this diet:
Elimination Diet: Yes & No Food List
The Guide to Dairy Alternatives
A few of my favorite products:
I also have two awesome recipes I wanted to share, but require you to add back in a few of the food groups in order to eat them - Chicken Tortilla Soup & Citrus Salad
Image Source (I didn't have a good image, so I used a pretty one from Pinterest for this recipe).
Chicken Tortilla Soup
I was eating over at a girlfriends house for dinner and she made THE best soup, ever! This was before I went on the elimination diet, so I had to wait to make it again until I added back in tomatoes, beans and corn. It is so so yummy!!
Optional: Serve with cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips and avocado.
A perfect salad for summer, and paired with white wine. I found this recipe on Jillian Harris' blog, but made a few tweaks to it.
Combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and top with the dressing. Enjoy!
Last but not least, I have to allow myself to eat something sweet from time to time because I have a major sweet tooth. During this diet I made "banana nice cream" a lot. It's so simple - all you have to do is freeze ripe bananas (I like to break them into pieces to make blending easier too). Then when you are having a craving, throw 1-2 bananas worth of frozen banana pieces into the blender, add some almond/coconut milk and coconut flakes or cinnamon (both optional), blend - and you have an amazing ice cream-like dessert that is diet friendly! If you look for banana nice cream on Pinterest there are a ton of different iterations too!
Thanks for reading...sorry this post was novel, there was just so much info I wanted to share! Email me or a leave a comment below with any questions you may have.