My baby. Slept through the night. She woke up once to nurse, and so I grabbed her close and I only realized it was morning because Jeff’s alarm started going off. That means it was 5:30-ish, but still. She slept from 10pm to 5:30. Yes! Then she went back to sleep until 8:30, whereas I woke up abnormally chipper and energized at about 7:15 with no prompting from her. When she was really little she only woke up once or twice a night to nurse. She was pretty easy, and it got to the point where I’d just sleep right through it and barely remember it all. She sleeps right on the side of our bed, so I don’t have to get up to grab her. Anyway, then teething. She started getting those bottom teeth and she wanted to nurse like 4 or 5 times a night. Still, I got to sleep through it mostly, but it is harder to get up in the morning on those nights. Ever since then it’s been up and down, but usually at least twice a night, often times 4 or 5 times. I thought this was teething or growth spurt related, but it’s been going on for a while and I think she’s just hungrier than she used to be. So we’ve been giving her sweet potato and banana. She likes them! She always gives us a very surprised look with the first bite, but then she gets excited and leans towards it with an open mouth and grabs the spoon and gnaws on it. So fun and cute. One day we gave her a little infant cereal, but I had my doubts about giving her grains, even though everyone has been telling me that they are the best to start with. But it just doesn’t make sense to me. Why would I want to give her a processed food to start with? I know, they say because it’s the least likely to cause allergies, but I’m not so convinced.
Just a few weeks ago I learned about this thing called “GAP Syndrome” aka “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”. Basically my understanding is that we have a whole universe living inside of us. All different kinds of yeasts and bacteria, specially suited to live in our bodies- specifically in our guts. This is why yogurt and other “probiotics” are good for us. We NEED these cultures of bacteria and yeast to be healthy. They help us break down foods, they help us flush out toxins, they help us control what we put in our bodies. These cultures have evolved with us. They are vital. They also help keep bad bacteria and yeasts at bay by controlling their populations in our bodies. Unfortunately, the way that we live today has put this relationship in jeopardy. We are frequently treated with antibiotics but are not given the probiotics nescessary to help rebuild these populations.
Sometimes, the bad bacteria and yeast grow in number (for a number of reasons, not just antibiotics) and they cannot be controlled by the good microflora. And what do the bad bacteria and yeasts thrive on? Sugar, for one, is eaten by the yeasts and produces alcohol in your gut. They also feed on gluten. Basically, the modern American diet is the perfect thing to keep these bad cultures thriving. And it’s a vicious cycle. People now have a whole host of issues that were just not really around 100 years ago. Many digestive issues, skin problems, allergies, autism, ADD, psychological disorders, the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, doctors are having a terrible time diagnosing this stuff, just because so many people have so many different combinations. Well, the theory here is that it all ties to this GAP syndrome, and that we could fix a whole host of problems by simply fixing what we eat, and in turn, fixing our gut. This doesn’t mean that all sugar and gluten, etc, are BAD. It simply means that if we have this issue (which many of us do), then we should stop eating all the stuff that feeds the bad guys and we’ll get better. They say they’ve actually cured autism in their own kids by doing this diet. Isn’t that amazing?
Anyway, I’m not saying that this is for everyone, or that everyone needs to subscribe to this line of thinking- although I find it pretty hard to refute. Regardless, what really gets to me is that we all just assume that if we have a problem it has something to do with our own bodies or it’s just the way we are. We just don’t work right, and so we have to take drugs or something to fix ourselves. This theory basically says that we do work right, and that we don’t have to be slaves to drugs or disorders any longer. We can simply change the way that we eat. It makes perfect sense to me. It’s worth a try at least.
Anyway, if you’re interested – here’s a youtube video with the woman who wrote the book on this.
This makes me hopeful and energized. I feel like most issues in life are of this nature. I have faith that problems can be solved and people can be healed. Things that seem so impossible can be simple. When I was younger I wrote lots of songs. I sang and played guitar. I would say that I do those things, but honestly I haven’t in the past couple of years. Occasionally I’ll just be thinking or writing or whatever, and I’ll be reminded of some lyrics in one of my songs. I’ll find that a line I wrote about something entirely unrelated has just become relevant in a whole new way. It’s fun. Anyway, today I thought of this one:
Too many people believe in digging for the truth
but I’ve found through the years
it tends to burst up from the ground
and as soon as I stopped falling
and scratching at the earth
the moment came to greet me.
My sweet, sleepy baby.
We went to the park and she went on the swings for the first time. She seemed… invigorated.
I’ve started making bread. It’s so amazing hot out of the oven, slathered in butter. I’m dreaming of apple butter already. I’m hoping to just continue to make bread forever. There’s something about the simple work that makes me feel like I’ve done something really good, really worthwhile. I mentioned that to my sister and she said that the people she’s been reading all about say that life should be made up of 3 things- “bread work” (which is work done for sustenance), community service, and recreation. I think they were really on to something. Perhaps that’s why I’m at my happiest when I’ve had a day where I’ve worked in my garden, made a good meal or two, spent time with the people around me, and gone to bed with a good book. Things don’t have to be so complicated.
Quote of the day:
“Do the best that you can in the place where you are, and be kind.” -Scott Nearing
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Friends of my parents experienced what you’re talking about with their second daughter. She was born with a whole host of developmental delays and was diagnosed with autism AND celiac disease right around the same time. So they figured a lot of her difficulty in mastering little things was due to the fact that her body couldn’t function eating grains and pastas and whatnot.
They changed her diet (and theirs, to some extent) and noticed a marked improvement in her functioning. Of course, she’s still autistic, but a higher-functioning autistic and is responding well to her therapy.
They live in California, but were able to come east for my wedding. I remember G (the little girl), when she came into my parent’s house right before the ceremony, made a BEELINE for my parent’s dog and sat there for a good while absolutely entranced by the dog. She chattered away to the dog in nonsense-language, but I remember being struck at how much BETTER she seemed.