Low-carb baby n=1 three year progress report.

A couple of days ago, our neighbour’s teenaged daughter called to ask if we had some fresh basil to spare. I cut some sprigs and put them in a baggie which she came to fetch. As I came back into the house, I passed Issy who was busy with some toys in the hallway. Without looking up, she said, “That was nice of you, Dad”.  My wife and I exchanged looks of incredulousness. This is something we find out selves doing a lot these days with our little daughter who seems so advanced for her age.

Issy has acquired a large vocabulary and is very good at expressing herself, often using multi-sylable words and complex grammar and syntax. She is very self-assured and polite. She is always saying, “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, “no thank you Dad”. She loves books (one of her brother’s good habits she has picked up) and insists on a number of them being read to her at bedtime. We have noticed that it takes only a couple of readings for her to accurately memorize the text which she then recites as though she is actually reading. She announces each book by its title and author and seldom makes an error when reciting the story, page by page. All of this before her third birthday. We think she may be exceptionally smart and are looking forward to her pre-school which starts soon so we can get an objective opinion on that (I am acutely aware of the fact that all parents tend to think of their kids as exceptional).

Of course, if there is something extraordinary going on here, I attribute it to her dietary history. She continues to thrive on her LCHF toddler fare. She eats with gusto and likes a lot of the things she finds on her daddy’s plate. In the morning we share my usual breakfast of frittata with tomatoes and mayo. Occasionally, when I have more time, I make a plate of over-easy eggs with lots of salt, pepper and cayenne with fried tomato and maple flavoured bacon all doused with mayo and green salsa. She wolfs that down. She still eats the special foods we prepare for her including pureed meat sauces and veggie dishes like creamed spinach but she loves our dinner entre’s like barbequed salmon or ribs or steak and will still try to grab a sip of wine when we aren’t looking. She is tall for her age and slim and fit. And she is as tough nails while being the most sweet and charming little girl when she wants to.  She is stubborn as all get out. When she has made up her mind about something there is no compromise. It’s “my way or the highway”. As difficult as this can be at times, I really admire her tenacity even though it often drives her mother to the brink of madness. I am comforted by the thought that nobody is ever going to push her around. She is definitely the dominant personality of the household.

I try to take Issy with me on errands as often as I can and on the occasional overnight trip just to give my wife a break. She is already asking when I am going to teach her how to drive the car, something her almost teen-aged brother has never mentioned. He is perfectly content to be chauffeured around with his nose in a book or some kind of electronic device yet he is still very capable when it comes to driving the boat or the garden tractor. He continues to do really well, too. He is a fine young man at the age of twelve. He is slim and fit even though his idea of a good time is hours in the basement on his xBox wearing a headset so he can play with his buddies from school and god knows where else. He is currently taking his fourth level in sailing which entails spending all day on the water in a small dingy over the course of two weeks. In the winter we ski every weekend and school holiday, something he has been doing since he was three. He isn’t as low carb as Issy, having developed some bad eating habits before we went all in with LCHF when he was two. In both their diets, though, there is no sugar. Alex eats a bit more starch but we have recently switched to all gluten-free products. Issy tends to pick up on his bad habits and likes to eat some french fries if we are in a restaurant and will eat a rice cracker or two at home. They both like sweets but are usually satisfied with things like my low-carb ice-cream, whipped cream with berries and sugar-free freezies. I was hoping Issy wouldn’t develop a sweet tooth having had no exposure to sugar from the time of conception but, for whatever reason, that was not to be. It just means that I have to make sure we have a good supply of my ice-cream on hand along with other wholesome treats like the cookies my wife makes with coconut flour, flax meal and sugar-free chocolate chips.

They both continue to be very sturdy when it comes to community-acquired infections. When a virus comes around they might get the sniffles and a cough for day or two but no really serious malaise. Issy still remains remarkably fever-free and still has not had a diaper rash (although the diapers are pretty much gone now). Neither of them has ever had an ear infection or sore throat. All of this, I attribute to the diet, of course.

Although we haven’t had as much time in the sun this summer as we would normally do because of my “career transition” (more on that to come), both kids seem remarkably resistant to sun-burns. We learned over the years with Alex that, although we usually used sunscreen, he didn’t appear to really need it. Even in the most direct sunlight, he never burns as his skin turns to a radiant, golden brown. It appears the same is true for Issy. Both of them are sporting a very healthy glow as we approach the end of summer and we tend not to bother with sunscreen most of the time now (I know this is heresy in the eyes of my derm colleagues but the more I learn about the metabolics of cancer, the less I am convinced that skin cancer is simply due to sun exposure). Alex, having been on the water all day, every day for the past two weeks without sunscreen, now looks nicely tanned but not excessively so.  I think there is something going on here that is also related to their LCHF diet.

And, of course, both kids are beautiful. Alex’s feet are almost as big as mine now so he has a growth spurt coming. He is well muscled, slender and fit. He has big green eyes and eyelashes so thick and long that they are often the first thing people notice about him (mostly women and gay men). It is not unusual for complete strangers to comment on his eyelashes. He is also very photogenic. The camera has always loved him. Both his mother and I have been telling him that he should consider modelling as a way to generate income for the college fund. He thinks we are crazy, of course. And, Issy, with her piercing blue-green eyes and little button of a nose, shows signs of a visage of great beauty in development.

I don’t mean to be superficial about appearances because I think true beauty is a deeper and more complicated trait than simply how one’s integument looks. While, I think that their diet has a lot to do with their skin tone as well as their physical development, I also think that it gives them a mental and emotional benefit, as well. Poise and self-assuredness are attractive as are a sense of humour and joie de vie. While both of them are fit and sturdy and radiate a glow of good health, it is my hope that a diet that promotes brain growth, intellectual function and a healthy, stable emotional state will provide the underpinnings of true beauty.

Alex has a razor-sharp wit, does well academically and is no slouch intellectually while it appears that Issy may be truly exceptional in terms of intelligence and social development. If that turns out to be the case, I would speculate that this will be due to the intra-uterine and epigenetic effects of a ketogenic diet during her gestation and infancy as these are the things that distinguish her dietary history from that of her brother.

All in all, as we celebrate Issy’s third birthday this week, the n=1 is everything I had hoped it would be. I cannot imagine a healthier or more well developed child of three. Although she is bossy as heck, we are so happy she has joined our family. There is much love in our household and a sense that it is going to be a wild ride, as well, with the best yet to come.




8 thoughts on “Low-carb baby n=1 three year progress report.

  1. Children are the gifts of gods and nothing less but everything more for we so fortunate whom believe. — Mutual love. The gift of life.

    ..I have alway’s believed that soap, washing away our natural oils, is a major contributor to our cancer epidemic.

  2. A great post Jay and truly wonderful children. You and your wife must be so proud. May they go forward guided by the compass you have given them. It’s hard to imagine they could have been given a better start in life. Good health to you and yours.


    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    Thank you.

  3. Lovely news. I suppose the interesting question is how much is attributable to diet and how much to a remarkably nurturing family. I expect one of the major differences with improved diet is mood and disposition. A toddler spared the challenge of frequent swings in blood sugar would presumably have an easier task integrating and managing emotional reactions through language. During such a critical period of neural growth and reinforcement of neural pathways, the advantage would amplify itself, like the compounding of interest. The remarkable emotional maturity is not surprising, then.

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    I think you may be right. Thanks.

  4. Dr. Jay

    Whenever you use the English word God, most everybody jumps to the European Christian God and The Holy Bible and it’s believers and followers which I am not part of. — I believe it’s Jewish and Middle Eastern and European WASP mentality that has no place in the rest of the world.

    I believe all of the stimulants, wheat flour, fruit, milk, vegetables, alcohol, all hybrid a thousand times over to increase their sugar content by the Egyptians and those before them and then spread throughout the middle east and europe and eventually the rest of the world thousands of years ago, Asia and the Inca in America and probably many others also originating and hybreeding and processing sugars and starches.

    Nobody knows the true beginnings.

    These stimulated people imagined and dreamed up gods of their own and rationalized their murderous plunder of the entire earth.

    White people and before them northern africans.

    God is that child and the birds and the rabbits and all living things. Even plant life.

    The magnificence of life and living.

    Without words.

    Particularly english words.

    When I say God, I am referring to the totality of spirit and beauty that just makes us glow and tingle with warm delight. Love is a good word.

    I ordered through PayPal from your link here, two separate DVD’s of My Big Fat Diet to be sent to two different elders here in Whit Earth, Minnesota to two Native American Indians friends of mine. $34 each.

    Weeks later nothing so I emailed Christian. — He emailed back immediately an apology and that he is out of the country and to mail him the addresses. I did that right then. — I heard nothing back.

    A month later again and still the Documentary’s have not arrived.

    Two separate addresses plainly shown on PayPal and the email I sent him.

    These people have serious health matters and his months of delay in not appreciated.

    I emailed him again last night and am waiting for a reply. I will go to PayPal if he still is stalling or not taking care of this.

    I knew you would want to know about this.

    Thanks, Tom

  5. Over the years I bought two different times the $34 one and had no problems as well as the $60 one that can be viewed by audiences. No problem with any of those. I haven’t gone to Paypal yet. Still Waiting. Thanks, Tom

  6. Didn’t you hear Jay? US News and World Report said of the Paleo Diet:
    “Experts took issue with the diet on every measure. Regardless of the goal—weight loss, heart health, or finding a diet that’s easy to follow—most experts concluded that it would be better for dieters to look elsewhere.”

    Torturing those poor kids with such a hard to follow diet. Oh, the misery. Those kids look so put upon and miserable and, and, and… NOT!!!!!!!!

    They look AWESOME!!! Way to go Jay. Keep up the good work!

    Moral of the story:
    Don’t read a news magazine for dietary advice. They’re writing outside their scope of practice.

    Be well,

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    Thanks. The kids are thriving.

  7. I emailed Christian again last the week of November and said I couldn’t imagine him taking my money and not sending the DVD’s.

    He responded that he was insulted, he had sent the DVD”s out twice to each of the provided addresses and to send him my address and he would send them once again.

    I sent him my address and I finally received the two DVD”s at my address a few days go.

    Over four months in the offing. — I don’t believe he ever sent them until the last ones to myself just now.

    Both addresses were proper and correct for the two parties that were to receive them the whole time and are addresses of long standing.

    Just giving you the update.

    I got my DVD’s.

    Thanks, Tom

    Dr Jay’s Reply:

    I am glad it worked out in the end. I haven’t spoken to Chris or Mary for ages so I don’t know what would have been the issue on their end. Thanks for your continuing support.

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