Project End Alopecia (Gluten-Free): Day 1
May 27, 2018
It was late on Saturday night when we decided to give gluten-free or gluten-low diet a try in an attempt to figure out if gluten has anything to do with Little Claire’s alopecia all this while.
That means on Sunday morning we were not quite prepared for a gluten-free breakfast just yet. Here’s how the day went.
Meal #1: Breakfast
Cereal consisting of:
- 3 teaspoons of Mesa Sunrise cereal (not gluten-free), although the company makes gluten-free cereals too. The cereal is never the star of the dish, I just added some for the crunch factor and a little carb to start a toddler’s day.
- A few raw almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds (nuts are from NOW Foods unsalted raw energy nut mix, and sunflower seeds are organic. Both packaging say non-GMO but no mention of GF so I suspect they may contain traces of gluten).
- About 1/3 avocado diced.
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds (ELAN chia seeds which are organic, non-GMO and gluten-free as most chia seeds are)
- Organic cow milk, about 1/2 cup.
- 1 teaspoon Nordic Naturals Baby DHA Liquid
So about half of her breakfast contained gluten and the rest (avocado, chia seeds and milk) should be gluten-free.
We did our Whole Foods run mid-morning, and I got the following to stock up Little Claire’s brand spanking new GF pantry 🙂
- Peacock rice spaghetti
- Bob’s Red Mill GF all purpose flour blend (I realised that the pack of quinoa flour I have at home isn’t labeled GF so there is a possibility it may be cross-contaminated in the processing facility)
- GF cereal – Nature’s Path Whole O’s
- ELAN organic, non-GMO and gluten-free almonds and walnuts
- hOMegrown sprouted organic pumpkin seeds (hOMegrownlivingfoods.ca — they make raw, gluten-free, grain-free, sprouted nuts and seeds)
- Bragg’s liquid soy seasoning to substitute our conventionally fermented soy sauce (I started with the 473ml bottle as I wasn’t sure how it was going to taste, but turned out really yummy)
- Chocolate coconut peanut butter spread for her bread/toast, non-GMO and certified gluten-free from Wild Friends Foods (check out their interesting range of products)
- GF ice cream for the occasional Sunday treat and the ice cream cones we got previously are already GF (we got the SO Delicious dairy-free ice cream)
These should kick us off to a good start as we are already well stocked up on rice, quinoa and rice noodles for carbs, particularly with summer being here we have lots of other carbs alternatives such as corn and potatoes.
Hot Tip #1:
Check your vitamins, supplements or medication for hidden gluten
I recently updated a previous post to indicate my intention to move Little Claire away from the Mielle Organics Tinys & Tots hair vitamins. There is no indication of the vitamins being gluten-free either, so it makes sense to look for an alternative right away.
I spent a long time at Whole Foods to drill down to 2 options. Side note: MOST multi-vitamins in the market are made with synthetic (man-made) vitamins. You can tell by the ingredients label when you see the breakdown of the vitamins with all those chemical names.
There as only a handful of supplements that are labeled as GF, and I picked 2 options. Another side note: We don’t actually NEED to get vitamins, however knowing Little Claire, we can’t just take her Mielle gummies away from her abruptly or we’ll never hear the end of it. We need something to transition her to so that we can slowly wean off later on.
The 2 options are:
- Nordic Naturals Children’s DHA Chewable from Nordic Naturals. We’ve been using Nordic Naturals Baby DHA Liquid (no flavour) since Little Claire was 1, and I am happy enough with the ingredients listed in the children’s chewable version as a transition vitamin. They are labeled Gluten Free and Non-GMO, and Nordic Naturals is the gold standard of the DHA industry in my opinion. I had been hesitant to give this a try before due to it having ‘strawberry flavour’, but the flavouring is barely there (more like just an aroma) and it is not sweet at all. They also come in liquid version.
- Animal Parade Children’s Chewable Vitamin D3 (sugar-free) from Nature’s Plus. The only ‘synthetic’ vitamin I’ll be happy to accept is for vitamin D, as we all know that the major source of vitamin D is sunlight and that foods don’t provide adequate amount for our daily needs — I wrote about vitamin D and alopecia in more detail in an earlier post.
Little Claire picked the DHA Chewable (option #1) as her ‘big girl vitamins’ as she is familiar with the Nordic Naturals branding 🙂 so we’ve completely swapped out Mielle Organics with this.
Hot Tip #2:
When starting Gluten-Free diet with a little one, stock up on all the basics
Transitioning a little one to a GF diet for the first time is a big change for all involved. It is a good idea to get a variety of all the basic staples that they are already eating. In our case, that includes cereals, oats, nuts (almonds and walnuts are her faves), pumpkin or sunflower seeds, peanut butter or any other kind of spreads, noodles, pasta (in shapes that they like), ice cream, etc. We make our own cookies so we’re covered there (the choc chips I have at home are already GF).
You don’t want to get stuck come meal time because your little one insists on having their favourite fusili pasta and you don’t have them on hand, so you either (1) fight to give them rice or quinoa or other GF alternatives — a battle you probably won’t win, or (2) you give in and serve gluten pasta just for that meal and ruin the GF plan. Not a good idea either way, so stock up on their favourites and all the basics.
Meal #2: Lunch
Since we were out and about when the little tummy started rumbling, we chose to eat at a nearby Greek restaurant. We ordered rice + protein (chicken & prawns) + Greek salad which usually comes with pita bread. They confirmed that the pita bread isn’t GF so we asked to sub it with roast potatoes for a small extra charge, which was totally cool because their roast potatoes are to.die.for. Win-win.
I can’t call this meal GF for sure, but choosing foods that aren’t clearly sources of gluten is a good start.
Afternoon snack was a bowl of honeydew melon.
Meal #3: Dinner
I made stir-fry beef with onion, tomato, green onions, and mushroom with black sesame oil, seasoned with demerara sugar and Bragg’s soy seasoning. Served with cooked tri-color quinoa.
This is probably the first of our intentional GF meal for Little Claire!
Of course the day isn’t complete with a essential oils treatment.
We can’t do oils as it’ll be too greasy for school tomorrow. Our weekday regimen for topical treatment is organic ginger juice with a few drops of cedarwood essential oils + cypress essential oils. I wrote in detail about the use of ginger for alopecia treatment in an earlier post.
Today’s status: Our starting point
I took some pictures to document the status of her alopecia today. We’re having quite a few patches at the moment, and although we’re seeing regrowth coming out through these patches (our essential oils treatment definitely helps), they are not fast enough to outpace recent elevated loss.
It seems like something is triggering the loss to occur more violently lately, so we’re trying hard to ‘sit back’ and anxiously wait to see if cutting out gluten will be of any help.
Stay tuned and check back for my updates right here on this blog.
SC | Winning Alopecia
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