In my recent post describing Martin’s diet, I mentioned that we had added three non-vegan products: eggs (now, duck and quail eggs), ghee, and honey.
I neglected to mention fish oil. I suppose it didn’t make the cut because, in my mind, it falls more on the “supplement” side, and less on “diet.” Fish oil is the most recent non-vegan addition to Martin’s diet. For me, it was also the most difficult to come to terms with, as it is not only non-vegan, but non-vegetarian. I’m certainly hoping that Martin will not be swallowing it for long.
If you think in vegetarian terms, you might be wondering why I decided to allow fish oil. What happened was that Martin’s excellent Track Two doctor wants Martin to have 1,000 mg (in any combination) of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) daily. There are good sources of DHA that are vegetarian, usually under the brand name life’s DHA. I searched and found the highest-DHA vegetarian oils I could. Those oils have plenty of these omega fatty acids for the general population. With Martin needing so much DHA and EPA, however, I was having to give him several tablespoons of the vegetarian oils in order to hit the 1,000 mg mark.
Martin, you may remember from the diet post, was previously showing some signs of ketosis. I want to keep healthy fats in his diet, but not to overdo it. Since Martin already takes MCT oils twice daily, and his diet encompasses plenty other oils, I felt that several additional tablespoons of vegetarian oil with DHA was, indeed, overdoing it.
So I bit the bullet, so to speak—I’m trying to work this into some metaphor about shooting the fish or something, and I’m failing—and got Martin some fish oil, with which I am able to clear 1,000 mg EPA/DHA with only one teaspoon. I was worried about the possibility of an allergic reaction, as one of my brothers is terribly allergic to all seafood. No signs of that so far.
The whole decision reminded me of when Adrian and I thought the hardest thing we would be doing for Martin, diet-wise, was trying to keep him vegan. Then, after Martin’s ASD diagnosis but before we radicalized his treatment, we wondered how we would ever be able to go gluten-free with him. Those days seem so bygone, almost quaint.