Logan inhales deeply. “Ummm,” he says eagerly. He’s taken to asking “Can I smell that?” to everything he sees someone eating—something he knows he can’t have. It kind of breaks my heart, but he returns to his very non-sugary, non-starchy, non-sumptuous meals seemingly satisfied.
They say that 90 percent of taste is smell, so maybe I shouldn’t feel so bad that Logan can’t eat bread or fruit or any other staple treat of childhood as long as he can still smell it. Maybe, having gone almost six months without so much as a grain of sugar, the scent of it is all the sweet he needs. It’s really hard, though when he sweetly asks if he can have a cherry tomato or a green apple and I have to say no.
As I’m always asking myself, will this be worth it? Is denying him fruit for a couple years in an effort to kill off the yeast in his gut and recover him from autism worth the missed pleasure? Cutting out the candy, surely is worth it—but apples? Berries? Oranges?
“Yummm, smells good!” he grins over his sister’s peanut butter sandwich. It doesn’t matter what it is; it’s just the response he’s decided on.
I’m not worried about the nutrients. Logan eats enough kale, cabbage, and other vegetables with his meals to fill in what he’s missing, and he also takes a broad spectrum vitamin for additional support. In fact, since we started the vitamins a couple months ago, he’s taken a nap every day—a drastic change from where he was pre-vitamins. Every day we’d hear from daycare that he’d been loud and disruptive during rest time, yelling and knocking about the room so the other 4-year-olds couldn’t sleep. The vitamins (a special powder with almost 3,000 percent the daily recommended intake of B12 and B6) shut that that down like a light switch.
Success had seemed so close, I could smell it.
Unfortunately, in the past two weeks I’ve felt like an old bloodhound who’s lost the scent. Logan’s meltdowns aren’t back exactly, but they’re getting more frequent than they had been in May. It’s also getting harder and harder for him to focus and follow directions; I usually have to ask him five or six (or seven) times to put on his shoes or take off his pajamas—even then he often needs physical guidance or redirection. I’m also back to literally spoon-feeding him his vegetables, as he fidgets and wiggles and jabbers on—often in baby talk or jibberish—so much he can’t concentrate. Setting a timer has helped, but still, it’s making meals incredibly wearisome once again.
That being said, I did find one super-easy soup recipe I actually succeeded at making. (Of course, I use the term “succeeded” loosely; none of my family members would even take a bite of the creamy-but-bland gazpacho variation. But I liked it.) From The Candida-Free Cookbook, it made our kitchen smell delicious and fresh, like a garden of cucumbers and avocado. I even chopped the onion all by myself—without crying or wearing goggles!
I’m also feeling re-energized after hearing from another local woman who has recovered her son from autism through biomedical and dietary changes. Her 5-year-old has lost his medical diagnosis of PDD-NOS and happily plays T-ball and hockey with friends, she reports. I feel, once again, so strongly that this has to be the right path—after everything we’ve changed, we should be sniffing success all around us.
Cucumber Avocado Gazpacho:
- 2 avocados
- 1 medium cucumber
- 1/4 a white onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- Chicken stock (or water; I used stock)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Blend everything in a food processor until smooth. And that’s it–so easy even I could do it!
Feeling: Pretty upbeat