Much Overdue Grain Brain Family Update

01 Apr 2014 8:22 AM |Alison Buehler

This is a picture of Cecelia dressed up as a unicorn dinosaur singing a song from Frozen. I remembered how behind I was on documenting our progress as a Brain Grain Family when Cecelia threw her shoes today and chose her infamous pink (now more like grey) boots. I thought, "My gosh, it has been weeks since she had done this!"

"This" is freaking out about the texture or feel of her clothing, shoes, jacket, or food. Our family, in a desperate attempt to fix our youngest who was suffering from debilitating sensory integration stuff, decide in a last ditch effort to try and clean up our diet - significantly.

On January first we threw out every last bit of gluten, sugar, and unnatural preservative. Three months later I would say Cecelia is fine. Last night she wore soccer cleats, socks, and shin guards in her game. She dresses herself every morning in time to leave with the boys for preschool. She wears panties and socks (these were the biggest problem) and has two or three pair of shoes she picks from in addition to the dreaded boots. 

I don't think it was the change in food that "fixed" her. It was certainly a big part. Cecelia was existing on carbs and sugars prior to our change. White rice, chicken nuggets, breakfast bars, apple sauce. That was about it. I didn't realize how unhealthy she was, despite the vitamins we fed her daily. We thought it was a phase. We thought she would grow out of it. We thought the dark circles under her eyes were genetic, even though no one else in the family has them. She is the third child, and we were tired.

I do think the change in food boosted her immune system and made her feel better overall. She is so happy, where before she was moody and withdrawn. What I think the change in food did for her is give her the boost she needed to make hard choices. 

The clothes and food legitimately bothered her. She could feel every seam, every lump, every place they hit her skin. She could not tolerate even looking at vegetables. They made her gag. But when she started feeling better, we began to be able to reason with her. She began to find rewards for good behavior enticing, and consequences for bad behavior worth avoiding.

The other huge part of her success was our persistence with behavior. Some of the ladies at my church think I am bordering on child abuse when I don't let her eat the crap out on the table during coffee hour. Her teachers at school feel sorry for her when she has to skip cookies and cakes and jelly beans. Its frustrating to be thoseparents. But that is what parenting is, right? Making the hard choices for your kids while you still can. Cecelia does not leave the table without eating vegetables. EVER. 

And truly, what is the option? Let her eat a diet that makes her unable to function normally? Let her eat food that impacts her to the point of considering medication for our four-year-old? I'll take the reputation of being the crazy mom over letting my kid have the reputation of being the crazy kid any day. I don't think every issue can be fixed with food and behavior modification, but I sure want to rule it out as an option.

So Grain Brain has helped us save Cecelia, at least until we hit hormones:) It has also made a huge impact on our family as a whole. The ironic thing is that Cece has really saved us. I have to go now, but I will write eventually about the huge impact cleaning up our diet has had on the entire family. Gracious, Grateful, Gratitude - That's how I feel about Grain Brain.