It has been a gradual process.
When Ayla went Wheat and Dairy Free I started shopping differently, but mainly just eliminating those foods. However seeing the difference her diet made to her skin and general health I have become more and more interested in nutrition and diet.
I am a strong believer that we are what we eat….and many many ailments can be improved through our diets. I am also a keen runner and know how important fuelling my body is.
So food for us is mostly about health and I now cook with coconut oil and hemp oil, I love almond butter (the kids still prefer the cheap peanut butter but I add almond butter to smoothies and flapjack!) and have bags of nuts and chia seeds!! My list of superfoods is endless and there are always blueberries for porridge. But the kids to draw the line at algae!!
Not only has Ayla skin drastically improved but she is thriving on her diet. She has gone from a teeny toddler to a strong tall 6 year old!!! In fact both kids do not stop eating and growing!!!
Life in the fast lane!!
I have been thinking about my blog and the fact that I have not really posted regularly for quite a while. I think the main reason is that eczema and allergies have just become a normal part of our family life. I barely think about it anymore. Even when the husband was formally tested for allergies, and we found that he too is allergic to dairy, it was no biggy!
But then recently a friend questioned me on how we deal with Ayla and her allergies as a family, as it had been recommended that her young daughter eliminate dairy from her diet. I realised that things we now do automatically would seem and indeed were quite daunting when newly faced with a restrictive diet in a child.
So it left me thinking there is so much more to share. How we eat and cook when on holiday, when abroad, when camping, children’s parties, school dinners etc.
But added to this Ayla has made me so much more aware and interested in healthy living and nutrition. I would say I have always been healthy but as I have competed in more and more endurance events (half marathons, marathons, half ironman…) I am more and more conscious of how I fuel my body. I have read several books about ultra runners who have converted to plant based diets and much of what they suggest is in fact already part of our family diet due to the allergies. So I shall also include some super healthy recipes for the mums and dads or older kids.
After all…you are what you eat…!!!
I have always loved summer….the sun, holiday, less clothes to wear, to wash, to dry!!
This summer we decided to stretch it out and spent 3 weeks in the South of France. There is absolutely nothing better for Ayla and her skin. The sun and salt water worked its magic along with a Mediterranean diet….she was silky smooth in no time. Seeing her on holiday you would never know how badly she has and still does suffer with eczema.
But it takes work….no wheat, no dairy, constant creaming up and a good healthy lifestyle.
It’s not hard work though, when you reap such wonderful benefits!
We have been lucky this year. The Summer in the UK was really quite good and only today 4th October does it look a bit grim outside. We can cope with this!! And will look forward to around three weeks in Europe next August
I know it has been too long. This winter I will start back with the blog and make more effort!! But for now just a quick update from our 3 year check up for The Eat Study.
We went down to London last week and Cade and Mummy and Daddy had skin prick testing….along with general height, growth for C. No surprises I came back completely clear. However Cade is allergic to grass like Ayla but Daddy has a whole host of allergies!!! I am not surprised as he has severe eczema and I am a firm believer there is always a trigger. So he is also allergic to grass, also pollen, house mites (dust) and big bummer also dairy
In the evening when Ayla goes to bed we often break out the chocolate and ‘treats’…..so now it’s just me and Cade!! When Ayla went to gymnastics last week with Daddy, we dived straight into the Ben and Jerrys!!! I fear I am becoming a secret eater.
Luckily though…day to day eating is pretty much the same as we all generally follow an Ayla Friendly diet.
My new super food! Coconut Oil…..
I am in to smoothies at the moment…..and have been adding all the normal healthy things like frozen berries, banana, honey and more recently spirulina (green algae!). I usually use a base of soya or almond milk as I personally hate the taste of cows milk and obviously its just easier if we all have the same. I make a big jug and then share it out with the kids.
Recently I read about Coconut Oil and have been hunting for some. I brought a jar from Holland and Barratt so have started on it this week. For eczema it can be used both internally by adding to smoothies, cakes etc but it can also be used externally. Ayla has a little dry and sore patch under her mouth from licking (she has had this previously and it became infected). So I am know using the super oil on it the sore area. It spreads on her skin beautifully and much kinder for the face than steroid cream!
Coconut Oil has anti bacterial and anti viral properties as it contains lauric acid. And it is a ‘good’ fat. It is basically just pretty fabulous all around!
So winter is approaching and the last few years have seen snow and real cold snaps! Brrrr and Grrrrr.
We really do not like the cold weather. The cotton suits are back and extra thick dollops of cream. But worst of all I can see Ayla’s skin getting more itchy and dry each week. I definitely have a better understanding now than when she was little, and I feel that at least during the summer we know that we have it pretty much under control so it’s 6 months of keeping on top things.
Now it’s time to get prepared. Order new cotton suits, cotton polo necks and make sure we have an endless supply of cream!
So I haven’t posted for ages again…sorry to anyone reading. But truth me told eczema has taken a real back seat in our lives. I barely notice that it is there lurking on the skin. Summer started late….probably didn’t see any sun until late June….but bam when it came it really came!!
In July we enjoyed some gorgeous hot weather which went on and on for a good few weeks. So I stripped Ayla off and applied just enough sunscreen to stop any burning and let the sun do its magic. Within a week Ayla’s skin was noticeably better and after 3 weeks he skin was silky smooth. To the point that even the teachers were commenting on her lovely skin. With the decent summer and a dose of salt water on a camping trip Ayla has the best skin I have seen on her since she was a babe in arms.
For the first time in three years Ayla is sleeping without her sleep suits I have been slapping on huge dollops of cream for years and years then putting tight suits on and all of a sudden we are down to just centraben and cotton pjs. Gettting ready for bed has become a whole lot quicker.
I know for some people with eczema the summer months can be awful but for us it works. The impact it has on Aylas skin, which has a knock on effect on life in general has even made me consider emigrating….not the only reason but it would difficult go on the pro list!
I have well and truely had enough of this cold cold cold weather. It feels like it has been a six month long winter. Not only does it mean we have spent little time outside, it has been mean mean mean on Ayla’s skin.
The lastest cold spell (March!!!) has really hit Ayla hard. Just when we should be thinking of stripping off and getting some fresh air Ayla has had a massive flare up. Probably the worst she has been for 2 years and has reduced me to tears.
It has not been like the flare ups of old though. Ever since Ayla has been dairy and wheat free she has pretty much been flare up free too. This flare up wasn’t all over but for the first time ever her poor little face has been soooo sore. She has had cracked skin under her ear lobes, an infected sore above her lip (where she has licked her dry lips, causing them to become dry and cracked…which then became infected) and eczema all along her hair line.
Added to this she had an infection to the eczema behind her knees from scratching at the dry skin. But thankfully after a few weeks hard work she is looking good again. This is what we did to clean it up!!!……
1) Emuvate on skin infection behind knees twice a day for two days.
2) Creaming up every two hours (luckily it was the weekend!!) and wearing of sleepsuits all day and night for two days.
3) Germolene cream on cracked skin behind knees after infection had gone to help healing process. Also used on ears.
4) Cold sore cream on lip to stop infection every hour for two days. Then normal cream as dry.
5) Anto-dandruff shampoo every other day/every three days. Relieves itching and helps with flaky skin.
It has been hard work…but I am sure like any parent reading this blog I would do anything to make Ayla’s eczema away!! So please hurry up warmer weather…we need some naked time!!
It is Christmas Eve..Eve and it is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas. I have spent so much time (and money!!) making sure Ayla has lots of yummy ‘Ayla Friendly’ treats for Christmas, – there are biscuits, chocolates, vanilla shakes, crisps etc etc that I completely forgot myself and realised I had nothing in the fridge to even make myself a sandwich for work!!
Oh well….wine and chocolate it is then
Happy Christmas x x x
Sorry it has been a while since I posted, but I am still settling back into work after maternity leave with Baby Bro. Boo hiss boo hiss (work!!)
So it has suddenly turned mega cold. It makes me miserable and it makes Ayla itch. Her poor skin gets so dry in this weather, mainly her neck and joints but everywhere really! We are still trying out the salt baths and I am sure it takes the redness from her skin at the end of the day but I have found I can not bathe her and Baby Bro together so he has his bath first before we chuck the salt in! She did say it stung at first (but that’s like the sea so I guess maybe its working?!).
Let’s get through winter and dream of warmer days……and the motto for Winter is
YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MUCH CREAM!!