Isabelle is one year old now and thriving. She has pretty much stopped breast feeding but still gets a little formula. She gets a varied diet of foods high in protein and fat along with lots of non-starchy vegetables, all of which she eats with gusto. Her breakfasts now are gently scrambled egg with spinach puree, kind of a baby version of eggs florentine. She drinks water, mainly, but still likes to sample our beverages at the dinner table. Apart from some formula, she never gets any liquid sugars as juice or otherwise, something I would recommend to anyone whether they are doing low-carb or not. When she was born she was a tiny bit below the 50th percentile for height and weight. Within a few months she began to climb up the growth chart to the point where she is now at the 95th percentile for both height and weight. She is very active, crawls like a bullet and pulls herself up on the furniture and walks while holding onto things. She took her first unassisted steps these last couple of days. Lots of talking, too, but in a language in which we are not fluent. It is fun to witness the emerging personality. She is definitely a go-getter. When Alex was very young his first vocalizations were little sing-song syllables like “daa-daa-ah”. Isabelle’s are more like the sound of a revving motorcycle, “rrrrrRRRR, rrrrrRRRR, rrrrrRRRR”. She has us in stitches when she does that. At the same time she has a sweetness that melts your heart. One smile and her daddy is reduced to a puddle. She adores her brother and lights up whenever he enters the room. Even the cat gets little hugs and gentle touches now that Isabelle is mobile enough to catch her.
She is certainly not demonstrating any adverse effects from a diet devoid of sugar and starch. Perhaps the most interesting development is her position on the growth curve since Alex, Anne and I are all of average height. I have warned Alex to be very nice to her as she is going to be in a position to kick his butt before long. He is actually a very good big brother, gentle and caring.
The other thing we notice is that Isabelle has never had any rashes or illness except for one bout of a very mild malaise with a slight fever a few months back. No rashes at all. I remember Alex used to get yeast rashes and all the usual respiratory infections. In fact, we all seem to be avoiding these things since we started eating low-carb. In the high-carb past, I always succumbed to one or two major colds every year. Now, when these things are in the community, I might experience a day or two of mild sniffles but nothing more. Same for Anne. The other thing I have noticed is that I never get cold sores anymore, either. I used to get them pretty reliably when I went skiing. The UV light at high altitude seemed to trigger it and I would get a few bouts every winter. Now it happens very rarely and, when it does, the sores are mild and resolve quickly. There is definitely an immune system benefit from low-carb that needs to be further explored in the research.
Similarly, I can’t remember the last time Alex had a cold. I think he missed one day of school last year and none the year before. He is a very sturdy little boy with lots of energy. He is good-natured with never any acting-out or discipline issues, at home or at school. He does well academically and has developed close friendships with other boys his age, all of whom we approve of. There are never any outbursts of temper or whining. Anne and I often talk about how blessed we are in this respect. Physically, he is slender like little boys are supposed to be with good muscle development and definition. His skin glows and his eyes are bright. Anne thinks he will be Hugo Boss model material when he gets older but I suspect all moms think that way. I really think the absence of sugar and highly refined carbs from his diet is a major factor in his robust health and well-being. He eats more carbs than the rest of us but there is no sugar in our household and the carbs he does eat are the less-refined types. For instance, for breakfast he will have a one-egg omelette (because one egg is un oeuf) with a piece of whole wheat toast covered in almond butter. Water is his preferred drink. Our biggest challenge with him is when he is outside our home, of course. Everywhere you go people are pushing sugary things. When he is surrounded by his little buddies who are all indulging, it is hard for him not to indulge, too. At his soccer game yesterday, they handed out cartons of some kind of juice-like abomination during half-time and I noticed he drank some. He felt crappy when he got home and spent the rest of the afternoon lying on the sofa. I don’t think he will do that again.
Okay, I am sure these musings about kids and low-carb are of limited general interest. I will, nevertheless, keep you updated on progress in this modest clinical trial of mine. In the meantime, everyone, and I mean everyone, needs to work together to get the sugar and particularly the liquid sugar out of our kids’ food supply. I challenge anyone to show me a shred of evidence to suggest this is not a good idea.