So, it has been a year now since Sam began to have real food blended and fed to him via his PEG.
The difference in my little boy is staggering; his weight gain has been phenomenal to the point where he is now a healthy weight/height for his age and is back on the growth chart where he should be!
We keep his immune system strong by giving him a wide range of fruits and veg, making sure his vitamins and minerals are in the right range, thanks to his dietician, who has gone above and beyond to confirm that his meals are absolutely, perfectly meeting his needs.
He has different herbs and spices renowned for their dietary/health properties.
The favourites being garlic, ginger, cinnamon, oregano and the spice that above all other things turns his tube yellow… turmeric.
I know the power of herbs and spices to help us keep well and indeed to fight off infection.
So WHY I ask you, do we as parents and carers not put in as much effort and consideration into our own diets?!
I am pretty certain that I am not alone in making sure my child has the best diet imaginable, while I eat rather less well, shall we say.
Too many years of hospital visits relying on Costa, pre-packed butties and cola?!
As a woman with autoimmune issues its more essential than ever that I keep myself as well as possible.
Recently, after many years of suffering in silence, I was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disorder that conventional medicine can’t really help with, other than to give antibiotics when the inevitable infections take hold.
If this were my son we were talking about, I would be doing everything in my power to ensure that he was healthy and that we found a way to control the condition.
I will admit, the first thing I identified as a major problem for me was gluten.
I don’t have a coeliac allergy, but it was very noticeable that if I ate gluten, within 24hrs I was in pain with a flare up.
So taking what I’ve learnt over 12 months of doing a blended diet for my son, I cut out all gluten. Totally.
Caffeine was another one to go (although I haven’t quite managed to fully remove that one as yet… my morning brew is still an essential).
Turmeric is would appear is a potent anti-inflammatory.
Coconut oil is renowned not only for being a very healthy oil to cook with but also for having anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties.
After a few weeks on antibiotics, feeling utterly meh and having flare ups despite the medication, I was prepared to try ANYTHING regardless of how weird and wonderful it sounded!
Both can be used internally via diet but also externally… as its my skin that’s worst affected I was happy to slap the stuff on and deal with the glorious yellow tinged skin that resulted… but it calmed my skin down a treat.
I also tweaked my diet and added such beauties as these in on a daily basis (although I found taking turmeric in capsule form rather better than the Bart Simpson look).
A week on and I’m feeling better than I have in a long time, pain level is down (not gone I should add, and I did this with the full support of my GP), and the inflammatory responses that have plagued me for years are a lot calmer than they were.
How ridiculous, to have had these items sitting in a cupboard for the past year, regularly being fed to my son, yet I never even considered their usefulness for my own wellbeing.
If it hadn’t been for Sam being a tubie, I doubt I would ever have even thought about them.
Hippocrates was spot on; let food be your medicine, and medicine be your food.
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