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Friday, January 18, 2013

Cooking Experiments

The elimination diet we've been on for three weeks (FODMAPS) has been quite an adventure. I've had to make school lunches every day- something I used to think would be the thing to break the camel's back- which has turned out to be something I can actually handle. Although yesterday my boys were very disappointed with their lunches. I just hadn't had time to go buy or make more gluten/dairy/bean flour- free bread, so I tried to sell the boys the amazing idea of bread-less sandwiches! Doesn't that sound fun and different? 

Yeah, not so much. The boys were less than thrilled. 

I've had to keep ahead of the day and have the ingredients to prepare breakfasts, lunches, and dinners from scratch. It's been fun to experiment with new recipes and bake things I've never tried before. Some recipes have been surprisingly tasty and other I've had to just toss because they were so terrible and my kids were about to go on strike rather than eat the stuff Mama was serving.

When Ella and I grocery shop, she'll ask if she can have the things we used to eat- donuts as a special treat, Fruit Loops, cookies...I'll say no, we can't get those things today. Then Ella will say "Oh, they're not on our DIET." She never knew that word until three weeks ago. Then she'll ask what a DIET is. I'll explain that it's the food you eat. She has been known to try to convince me during the past three weeks that McDonald's food is in fact on our diet. Hm, nice try, Little Turkey. Mama's not falling for that one.

Earlier this week, I was trying a new recipe for breaded chicken strips. The picture looked really tasty, the ingredients were all "safe" for our family, and I thought the kids would get a kick out of having chicken nuggets again. 

The recipe sucked. Totally and completely. It ended up to be this disgusting glob of blegh that I was trying to "dredge" chicken strips through. Whatever. I don't know who came up with this recipe or where they got the picture of their chicken, but mine turned out nothing like that. So I've got all this glop all over my hands, nothing about the recipe was working. 

Meanwhile...

Aidan decided to run around the house singing at the top of his lungs to annoy his brothers. Jonah was trying to do his homework and was having a meltdown about the noise level in the house and the fact that he couldn't remember how to do his math problems. And Ben was arguing with me loud enough for the neighbors to hear because I wouldn't take him to the store to buy his latest obsession- a plastic container to hold his favorite marble. Ella decided to draw with pen all over my favorite crochet pattern book. 

I tried very hard to remember that I love this "joyful chaos". 

Hm. Not all the time.

All I kept saying was "Guys! I need literally FIVE minutes to figure out what to do with this glop of gooey gunk that I'm supposed to make dinner with!! Five minutes!!" But no one else cared. That's the hardest part of this lifestyle, finding time to actually make everything from scratch while still being available for all the kids who need attention. "Wait five minutes" is not a direction that any of my kids have ever understood or been happy about. Waiting is more difficult for them than other typically-developing kids.

Needless to say, the chicken was a flop and I threw out the recipe. I knew I'd laugh with the memory of the Crazy Chicken Night, but getting through it was not so funny. Some nights when I'm exhausted and the kids still have homework and showers to get done, I just want to pop in a microwavable dinner or run through the McDonald's drive thru on our way home from an afternoon of therapies. 

But I know this diet is making a difference in how most of us feel, so we'll keep trying to stick with it. We're going to start "food challenges" over the next month to see how we respond to the foods that we've eliminated with this diet. So I'll keep trying new recipes. Some may work, some may not, but I'll keep experimenting. Hopefully the house won't be so chaotic during the rest of my cooking experiments!


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