All Change at Park Towers

Well, it’s been a while!  We have emerged from hibernation into spring!  We’ve been ridiculously busy over the last few months – maybe I’ll do a wee retrospective if I get a chance.

I wanted to blog today though as we are about to start a huge undertaking.  Let me give you a bit of background info …  Ruby has eczema.  Not the worst by any means, but it is pretty uncomfortable at times and one of the main areas affected is her face – she gets really flaky eyes and the skin around her mouth goes REALLY red (which everyone assumes is because she licks her lips, but she doesn’t).sal free food 006

While she can cover up the patches on her arms and legs, she really can’t hide her face and it makes her so self conscious.sal free food 009

Her skin is pretty peachy just now compared to how it usually is but you can still see the patches there.  We’re tried all sorts of creams and medication but still she has flare ups.  We tried keeping a food diary to see if we could work out what causes it but we just couldn’t find any connections.

Back in April I phoned an allergy specialist to see if we could find out once and for all what was going on.  The first appointment we could get was October which seemed sooooooo long away, but it rolled around and off we went.

Ruby had all the little pin prick tests – 27 of them to be precise.  They showed that she doesn’t have any allergies to the most common allergens.  After a lengthy consultation with the specialist, we were told that she has intolerance to the chemicals which occur naturally in lots of foods (as well as chemicals which are added, of course).  To counteract this she has been put onto a very restricted diet for the next month as well as various medications for her nasal congestion (which is all linked).  This will eradicate the chemicals built up in her system and then we can reintroduce foods to see what her reaction is.

Of the two Parklets, Ruby is by far the more adventurous eater.  She eats pretty much everything and particularly loves fruit.  Well, on this low salicylate diet, the only fruit she can have is pear, mango and half a banana every other day!!  Her favourites – oranges – are well out the window!  There is a very long list of things she can’t have and some of the things on the list would surprise you – no broccoli for example is a disaster as it is a big favourite in this house!!

Michael and I decided straight away that we would all do this together.  The diet is perfectly safe for everyone to follow and it doesn’t seem fair that we would be tucking into a pizza while she has a potato and lentil bake!  Alexander took a bit of convincing but when we said that we would count up how much we spend on take-away coffees, lunches and ice creams and they could split it he was a little more interested.  When we counted it up it came to a whopping $230!!!  Alexander was sold!  $115 is a LOT of money to anyone – especially an 11 year old boy!

So we bought the book recommended by the dietician and set about drawing up our shopping list.  Thank goodness I am well used to cooking from scratch – otherwise this would be a complete culture shock.  As it was, we cleaned out our pantry of things that we could not have for the next month (at least).  This is it before ….sal free food 010

And this was it after …sal free food 013

Quite a difference, don’t you think?!!!

We went shopping and came back with this pretty uninspiring haul.sal free food 002

I had a bit of trouble with ethics during this shop.  We have to get grain fed eggs but for some reason almost all grain fed eggs are from caged hens and I just can’t bring myself to buy those.  We read the labels of six different suppliers before finding some that were both free range and grain fed!!  Also, the only thing that Michael will find difficult to give up is coffee, however, the only coffee allowed is Nescafe Decaf.  I have tried my very best to boycott all Nestle products for the last decade so I found it very difficult to put it in my basket.  I took the teeniest, tiniest jar and hope that he doesn’t feel the need for coffee if it’s decaf!

We have lots of meat in the freezer to add to this.

It is a huge mind-shift to get into this but if it helps our girl then it will be well worth it.

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