Up until this point I hadn't felt comfortable embarking on the real deal with her. I wasn't sure if a baby could safely eat only stage 1 foods. I didn't want to do anything that could potentially deprive her body and brain of the nutrients it needed. I feared ketosis even though I wasn't totally sure that it was something that I should fear. No one could give me a straight answer - one thing I learned a long time ago is that very few people are willing to give real advice concerning a baby. Everyone is very careful; no one wants any blame. We still had some issues to tackle (eczema, constipation) and something had to change. She was about to turn a year old and I began to feel it was time.
She now eats broth, liver, meat, butternut squash, cauliflower, broccoli and coconut oil. She still takes probioitics and gets lots of sauerkraut juice as well as fermented cod liver oil. Do you see what's missing here? A lot of things compared to the Standard American Diet (a.k.a. "SAD"). But most notable to me is that she does not eat any grains. She also isn't getting any sort of dairy at the moment (though she has in the past and she will again). It's certainly a little intimidating but I was comforted by the fact that there are other (formerly sick) kids who are thriving on the same diet. Also I took a day-by-day approach; I would watch and see what would happen and if she was not doing well then I could instantly pull the plug and add something else to her diet.
Shortly after we began our new regimen I was browsing through Primal Body, Primal Mind. There was a chapter entitled "How important is fat to the brain?" and that's where I discovered this little gem:
The brain uses ketones in a state of ketosis. Cerebal ketone use is prevalent, for instance, in newborn infants nursing on fat-rich milk. The switch to dependence on glucose does not occur until carbohydrates are introduced into a child's diet...
The body preferentially burns sugar whenever it is present, mainly to rid the body of this damaging substance any way it can. Sugar or glucose will also dominate as a source of brain fuel when turbocharged energy is in sudden demand, such as in an emergency. Sufficient carbohydrate stores in the form of glycogen in the liver are always available for this. No one ever needs to consume carbohydrates for glucose to be available to be available to the brain or body when needed. Ever.This was a huge boost to my confidence and I felt sure that we were doing the right thing. It appears that time is proving me right; a month into this change and Juliana is doing really well! She has been eating better than ever, her skin has improved quite a bit, and she has picked up several new skills in a short time period.
These days Juliana is eating at least a half pound of meat each day (lamb or chicken). It's hard to estimate how much squash she eats daily but it's easily half a pound. She's done so well with this that it's time for me to start considering what to add in next... egg yolks? ghee? fermented coconut water? I am also trying to add different vegetables since winter squash is not very easy to prepare.
So that's where we are. It's expensive and it's time-consuming but we're seeing the best results that we've seen so far!