I have mentioned before that we have been considering having our family start a special diet for Josiah to help fight his tumor. We have changed our diet quite a bit over the last year and a half, but we have certainly not been consistent. Our general template for diet was the Paleo diet, which is no gluten, grains, dairy, or refined sugar. It also utilizes natural oils such as coconut and olive oils as opposed to vegetable or canola oils. We have not used flour, sugar, or vegetable oils in our house for this whole time. That said, those things have been IN our house, in the form of cereals and snacks for the kids. I just haven’t cooked with them! That’s where our lack of consistency is…breakfast and snacks! For me, personally, it’s not a matter of “I can’t eat this!” but an issue of convenience. I like having quick and easy meals in the freezer for those days we are busy and I’m tired and the kids just want chicken nuggets and french fries. I like being able to pick up the phone and order a pizza. The kids love those things too, and it’s hard on them to not be able to have those things anymore. When we are at home and I can cook and make the snacks that are healthy, it goes really well! In fact, we’ve had paleo chocolate chip cookies for breakfast before! I can say, they’re much healthier than pancakes covered in syrup, and the kids think they’re really getting away with something!
Now that treatment is over, Josiah should be getting an appetite back and hopefully willing to try new foods, we are ready to go full force! The kids aren’t thrilled about it, but they also don’t want to go through Josiah having chemo again. And it’s worth it to try. I often think, we’ve tried poison; good, clean, healthy food can’t hurt anything. Even if it doesn’t, I don’t want any “What if” questions.
The diet we were looking at is called the Ketogenic diet. Each person has a different ratio based on their individual body, but generally, it’s 80% fat, (the good, healthy fats, such as avocado, butter/cream from grass fed cows, and healthy oils, like olive oil) 10% protein and 10% carbs. It is a safe diet for children as it has been used to help with epilepsy since the 1920’s. Research is promising that it slows tumor growth, as well as helps the body to recover from surgery, and target radiation and chemotherapy if needed again in the future. It’s not a cure, but a complementary therapy. If you want to know a little more in detail how the ketogenic diet works with brain cancer, the Charlie Foundation is a good place to read up on it.
I have found this AMAZING non-profit organization, called MaxLove Project. They have provided our family with the research and support that’s needed as we have worked to change our dietary habits. The organization was started by Justin and Audra Wilford, inspired by their son, SuperMax. Max is currently on the ketogenic diet. I encourage you to read what they’re about, so I’m not simply copy and pasting. Justin and Audra have answered many of my questions, and MaxLove Project has already funded a consultation with a ketogenic specialist. During our consultation, it was decided that we will start with a Modified Atkins Diet, which is similar, but not as strict as the ketogenic diet. Since Josiah is small for his age, we aren’t wanting to limit with ratios, but have a goal to work on increasing his fat intake, and decreasing his sugar/carb intake. You can read more information about MaxLove Project and the Ketogenic diet on their Ketogenic Support Form. Josiah is also on their Meet our Heroes page.
I will be working this week to make a menu to have a plan for every meal and snacks for our family. Planning is probably the most difficult thing for me to do, which is why convenience is so handy for me! We’ve been taking our time, trying to ease into a new diet, which has already changed dramatically. Now, it’s time to jump into it and not look back!