Monthly Archives: December 2013

Sugar-less Egg-less Cookies

PUMPKIN_COOKIES_EGGFREE

I spent all day cooking and baking Sunday.  What’s new, right?

After church, I planned my day in preparation of our week as we start school back.   My goal was to make something to have on hand for each of the kids that are dealing with their food sensitivities, plus make things for the rest of the family.  I made soup, bone broth, paleo granola bars, paleo granola, pumpkin cookies (That I will share) and pumpkin rolls.

So far we’ve really noticed how much calmer (the children being treated) are and I’m going accredit a lot of that change to no sugar.  No raw honey, and no maple sugar…  It’s crazy to realize how much cane sugar is put in so many cured meats also!  (Even the “good stuff”…)  It made me really wonder, why make something organic, and gluten/diary free – then add in cane sugar or nightshades??  Crazy!

So here is a share if you’re needing a treat for someone you love, who is avoiding sugar, honey, maple sugar, and eggs…  Or you just want a healthy cookie – try this! (adapted from my friend who didn’t know the source)

Paleo Pumpkin Cookies (sugar free/egg free)

1 can of pumpkin puree

3 cups of almond flour

16 dates (mixed in food processor, or just cut up into small bits)

2 teaspoon vanilla

2 t. baking soda

3 t. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375

Mix together and scoop out onto unbleached parchment paper on a cookie sheet and flatten before baking for 16-18 minutes.  Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God;believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms.

If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 

And if I go and prepare a place for you,

I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.”

John 14:1-3

Recovering our Children (Part II)

foodcytotoxinlist

So, I haven’t updated since we got back from our first appointment to recover our kids.  When I say, “Recover” – I mean figure out their vitamin deficiencies, food sensitivities and toxin load… the things that can majorly contribute to how kids feel, act, process… and how their immune system functions.  It’s a similar process to what I’m going through, but since each of them is different, the process looks a little different as well.

We took blood and urine samples for food cytotoxin testing as well as yeast, metals, amino acids, etc.  So far the food portion came back.  It was a little over whelming for me at first – trying to wrap my mind around just how this will look for our family.  They all had MULTIPLE sensitivities, which indicate a leaky gut issue – and gut repair needing to happen.

Thankfully their doctor recommended we start with the biggest sensitivities first – and work our way to the smaller ones.   That seemed more do-able for me.  So, we took their level 2 (take the food out for 8 weeks) and 3 sensitivities (take the food out for 12 weeks) and we started right after Christmas.  The older two (ages 11 and 10) are doing well with it and have been very helpful figuring out which supplements might be an issue, and really eating what is placed before them, happily.  That makes MY job a lot easier – since this is a lot of work honestly – to make sure everyone has what they need at each meal.  Since this is just the first group, and the first time we’re doing this – and knowing I have more children, and much more time involved to help recover them – I’ve been praying for an extra dose of JOY to make this happen.

I am grateful this is an option to do this.  I am thankful we have food for them to eat…

It’s a blessing that we’re already Paleo eaters and very clean with our diet – that ruled out many of the chemicals (MSG, BHT, etc) as well as the GMOs and Grains… corn, rice, gluten… etc.

Since I’m already well versed in making some of my own “weird foods” – I figured this couldn’t be THAT much harder – right?? 

It’s not “hard” really – just a lot of work, and time.  I remind myself that it is an investment in their future – and that they deserve that of me.  It’s not THEIR fault this has happened.

Tonight it was time to get creative.  The other kids are having scones with breakfast.  Some of the kids who are treating their food allergies can’t have coconut, some can’t have eggs, others can’t have honey…  so I wanted to make them something special too.  Here is what I came up with for some special waffles for them:

waffles_eggfree

EGG/COCONUT FREE PALEO WAFFLES

2.5 cups of almond flour

1 cup of arrow root flour

2 T baking soda

2 T Palm sugar or date sugar

1 cup coconut milk or almond milk

2T lemon juice

1/2 cup apple sauce

I had my older daughter taste test – and her eyes lit up.  She was very thankful.  My heart sings…

I could totally understand where she was coming from.

As I walked through the grocery earlier today… I was looking at all sorts of foods for them – and thinking why do they put _____________ (various ingredient that my children couldn’t have) in those.  I began feel frustrated…  and sadness seeped in.

I am not alone, I told myself.  I’m not doing this alone.  We will get through this.

Just as fast as I was hurting – God was right there, to remind me how many people are suffering, just like me and our family.

We aren’t alone. 

That we need to continue to be vocal, and encourage others because our group is growing… and God is guiding.

 There are more and more people waking up to what our food and medical system are pushing/offering…  and I believe we’re on the right path.

Thank you all for your encouragement, and your notes and love.  It means a lot to me.  2013 has been better than I ever imagined.  If 2012 was the lowest of low of loneliness and fear, God certainly went above and beyond in putting me in touch with so many people who I could share with and love on, and I thank Him.  May 2014 be one of continued health and recovery for us all as we strive to be healthy for Him.

 

“But when the right time came, God send His Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. 

God sent Him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that He could adopt us as His very own children.”

Galatians 4:4-5

Time Saver or Slow Killer?

One of the things we get from our food-coop is fruit in bulk!  So thankful for the option!  We eat a lot of apples!!  An apple a day... keeps the doctor away!

One of the things we get from our food-coop is fruit in bulk! So thankful for the option! We eat a lot of apples!! An apple a day… keeps the doctor away!

I wanted to bring back up the subject of a microwave, because this seems to be a misunderstanding, even among many health blogs I read.  I never understand how I can be reading something where someone is super concerned and fine tuned in their diet…

and then they use the microwave.

WHY?

I get it.  It’s easy… it’s fast…

But honestly?  Nine months later and I don’t miss mine a bit!

A few months ago someone inquired about us not having a microwave… someone who overheard the conversation and piped in, “Well, they’ve realized that they don’t really put off much radiation… they’re perfectly safe.  We even had a family member test how many radiation it was putting off, and it wasn’t harmful to stand by it.”

This woman’s husband is actually a doctor… so of course she seemed educated on the matter.  I didn’t need to try to change her mind, clearly she felt like she was doing the best she could, and had the right answer.  I didn’t expect her to know all I had read, or knew on the subject.   I did speak up that the radiation to the food that was warmed up (nutrition killed), molecular changes, etc and she didn’t know much about that.  Other than, she “couldn’t live without it.”

I remember thinking the same thing.

We used to use ours all the time.

It’s amazing how, once you present something as “not an option”… how you really don’t need something any more at all… I didn’t need it before either – I only thought I did.

Well a couple of things happened recently that I wanted to share with you, because I thought they were worth mentioning.

One was, a podcast I listened to with a nutritionist from the gluten-summit, who talked about a study she had done with people who had compromised immune systems – and those who had food warmed up or “cooked” in the microwave.  They were low on WBC (first immune fighters) and also anemic (low iron in their blood).  Any guesses as to why?

The nutrition was killed in the food they ate (read more about that here)… and their bodies weren’t able to function like they were designed to do.

The other point, our chiropractor brought up in regards to nutrition being killed, and molecules being transformed during the “heating” process is quite concerning…  because I used to warm baby food up in the microwave… ALL THE TIME.  But he was talking about his son’s science project that he had him do, to teach him the effects of microwaved food.

He took 3 plants with no other variables, other than the type of water they were given, and lined them up, watering them each day.  The first plant got room temperature tap water, the second got microwaved water that had been cooled to room temp, and the third got rain water-cooled to room temp.

Well guess what happened? 

The rain water did the best for the plant, and the plant with the microwaved water…. died.

So we’ve seen things being passed around between Facebook, and email regarding putting your cell phone in the bra, and the increased chance in breast cancer… with a phone next to the skin of your breast.  Consider eating food with radiation and mixed up molecules that have killed the nutritional value.   Don’t think for a minute that microwaving your food “isn’t a big deal” … because it totally is.

Even hospitals recognize not warming up baby’s water for “milk” or formula in the microwave, and they know plastics aren’t good in the microwave either..  there is reason for this, as it kills the nutritional value.  Why is this important for babies and suddenly NOT for our other children, and ourselves??

I don’t know about you… but my body needs ALL of the nutrition from my food it can get, or why bother eating??

Nourish your body – healthy for Him.

“He will prepare the people for the coming of the Lord.”

Luke 1:7

 

 

 

GELATIN Spells Health!

This green gelatin, is great for smoothies and things that you don't WANT to firm up.  Same great benefits without binding together!

This green gelatin, is great for smoothies and things that you don’t WANT to firm up. Same great benefits without binding together!

So, I had seen and read a lot of information about grass-fed gelatin, and how to make healthy ‘jello-jigglers’ and fruit snack type gelatin, but I didn’t really “get” the health benefits at the time.

Honestly?  It sounded kinda gross.

There was gelatin offered in a red can, some in a green can… I didn’t want to get the wrong one!

Fast forward to few weeks ago, the Spunky Coconut (a blogger, and cookbook writer that I follow – who has celiac disease, and a child with autism) shared some health information about what SHE noticed about jello, and her daughter’s digestion.  You can watch the clip here.

Basically, she noticed how her daughter’s digestion improved greatly from eating lots of jello, so she made up a recipe of a paleo friendly  “milk shake” that contains gelatin (make sure you get the GREEN gelatin, it’s non-clumping for things you don’t want clumpy!)

Gelatin is not only important for your digestion {for your immune system} - check out this amino acid profile!  Gelatin rocks!

Gelatin is not only important for your digestion {for your immune system} – check out this amino acid profile! Gelatin rocks!

So, after gathering those ingredients and trying that out,  we also had great success with our children who needed a little “help” in that area.  I experimented further… making some things with the RED gelatin as well… things like jello jigglers, and this awesome “gut healing sorbet” from grass-fed girl.

The red gelatin is great for gummy snacks and "jigglers" (the more gelatin, the firmer they are)

The red gelatin is great for gummy snacks and “jigglers” (the more gelatin, the firmer they are)

What learned was, if I’m going to use the cute little gummy bear shapes… you need to use more than 2 T of gelatin!  Those didn’t turn out.  But, since then – I’ve seen more recipes like this, for “gummies” vs. jello-jiggler types, and I even made some marshmallows with the gelatin – (the kids said they were the best marshmallows they’ve ever had!)

GEL_JIGGLERS

For the jello jigglers, I just took one glass jar of organic (no added sweetner) juice, and dissolved 2T+2t of red gelatin over the stove, then poured it into a glass 9×13 to set over night.  They come out perfect every time.

SO, SO, SO good for the gut and an easy win for kids too!

GEL_MARSHMALLOWS

“Jesus answered, ‘The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel:

The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 

And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart

and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  

The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:29-31

Flu-Nada?

1378784_482487655191838_518922884_n

Very interesting new product out on the market called “FLUNADA” for cold and flu relief for people ages 4 on up!  It’s a nasal spray targeted to help you by helping your immune system do what it does best.

I heard about it through a nutritionist I follow, and snagged a coupon online for $3.00 off as well here.  Check it out – it might be of interest to you.

Learn about FluNada here.

I just knew you’d like to know about that today.  Hoping your week of JOY is going well this Advent.  Stop. Pause… reflect!!  What ways are you being healthy for Him this Christmas season??  (Yes, stress management counts!)

“And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.”

Luke 6:31

 

Friend or Foe?

AIP_DIP

Christmas time and the holidays can be a real source of stress for people with food issues.  It’s usually much safer NOT to eat, than to consider the risk of getting sick.

For me, I’m always concerned about getting sick somewhere away from home – and because the issues attack my head… more importantly, wondering how I will drive home.

Yes, it’s safer just not to eat.

So, what about those parties where everyone can bring food… and it seems like a good idea – because you can just bring something that is safe for you. Right?

Well, the probably is usually the same issue at any buffet line, or group gathering…  cross contamination. 

Recently our girls had a tea they were invited to with their friends.  It was group gathering where each person brought something to share with the group, a fruit, a veggie or a baked food of some sort.  Since we were supposed to feed 20 people, we bought 2 large veggie platters, each with a dip (gluten-free, dairy-free and one was nut free, and AIP safe).  Each dip had its own spoon, and we had some tongs also.

At first the people in charge of the food were just placing everything on the same table… obviously not aware that crumbs from one can get on another – and whamo… someone is sick.  Thankfully someone who “gets” our situation got another table for our food… only it was put at the end of the food line.  Again, an issue – because with plates full of gluten-filled food, they would be approaching our veggie platters.  I came up with the idea to place the foods at the front of the line – so that they would be able to stay safe, and I kept the cookies and fruit I made for the girls at our table – separate.

It’s a fine line between “protecting” your food, and then making people have complex about touching your food…  We wanted people to feel welcome to take it, but at the same time, keep ourselves safe.

The girls were just thrilled to feel more “normal” and go through the line…. something they rarely get to do.  I just wanted to stay on top of the situation, so they weren’t questioning the safety of the foods, and whether or not they would be sick later.

For the most part, it went really well.  Almond dip ended up on the tongs for the veggies so they were getting mixed in with all of the veggies – making those a unable to be eaten by myself, and the tongs unusable… but over all – not a big deal, because I was looking for it and they didn’t make their way to another plate or anything.  It was well worth the effort for the smiles on my girl’s faces.

“That was the best tea ever… don’t you think mom?” They celebrated afterwards.

“Yes, I do…” I answered.

My job was complete!

Here are the dips we used.  AVOCADO DILL DIP, (Green one), and then an Almond Butter “Fruit” dip (that we used for veggies too and used less coconut milk so it was thicker).

 

” A scoffer seeks wisdom in vain, but knowledge is easy for a man of understanding.  Leave the presence of a fool, for there you do not meet words of knowledge.”
Proverbs 14:6-7

Auto Immune Cookies

AIP_COOKIES

I’ve been trying to figure out a way to make something I can tolerate for quite a while.  I’ve tried coconut flour cookies – but honestly? They’re not the easiest to choke down.  I do eat AIP pancakes a few mornings a week, but yeah… they’re pretty dry.

I knew I came up with a winner when I ate the entire pan in one sitting.  (9 cookies)  Oops. 🙂

Autoimmune Cookies

2 bananas

1/2 cup raisins

1 cup of GF coconut flakes

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2 tsp. baking soda (or not, I’ve forgotten this and they are ok).

 

Mix all together, and scoop each spoonful onto a baking sheet (lined with non-bleached parchment paper),  bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes. Makes about 9 large cookies.  Wait for them to cool, and don’t follow my lead of eating them all at once.

“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving,

 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”

1 Tim 4:4-5

Big Deal.

FLOUR_BOX

We hosted our very first “Paleo” Thanksgiving this year.  The year before, we were “just” gluten-free, so it was still pretty easy to have many things to purchase, vs. making it all from scratch.  Personally, I think many of the nut flours smell so much better than just empty calorie “rice flour” and GMO corn, which is what most of the processed gluten-free items are.

We made 4 pumpkin pies, 1 pecan pie, 1 apple pie, and 1 chocolate cream pie.  We also made persimmons cookies, pumpkin rolls, zucchini bread, World’s Famous Bread (by Against All Grain), 2 pastured turkeys from Tropical Traditions (around 12lbs a piece), 2 pans of sweet potato casserole, cauliflower mash (with 4 heads of cauliflower), a huge bowl of organic fruit, and a very large organic salad with golden beets, cucumbers and radishes, and rainbow carrots (which were beautiful!).  For condiments, we made cranberry sauce and pan gravy (which was SO good… and I don’t even like gravy!)

We had left overs for several days…  but with all of that baking, it’s not a wonder that you go through bags and bags of nut flours!  I had been buying the Honeyville 5 lb bags of flour for $35, but when the price bumped up to $50 a bag before Thanksgiving, I nearly croaked!  I started searching for plan B – and found a BOX of finely ground GF flour for $150 on Amazon.  Granted, the box didn’t seem super easy to work with – but when you go through LOTS of nut flours… 25 lbs is nice to have on hand!  Also, it’s cold enough to store it in our mudroom vs. the fridge.

FLOUR_TOP

Speaking of cold.  We were grateful it was cold the weekend of Thanksgiving, because we were able to store our pies and much of our food in the trunk of the car in the garage.  We totally ran out of fridge space!!

We had much to be Thankful for.  While I was greatly missing my family in Iowa, being busy making the entire dinner offered me some therapy.  My Mother-In-Law did all of the clean up after the meal, and that worked out great (for me) too.

Thanksgiving_PALEO

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,

since as members of one body you were called to peace.

And be thankful.”

Colossians 3:15

You Provide the Way

ANNVOSKAMP

I love Advent.  The preparation of the arrival of our King’s birthday.

The celebration, the colors, and sparkles.  All that glitters and shines…

But there was a time that I equated Christmas with let-down.

Every time Christmas came around, I knew I was going to end up feeling… disappointed or almost depressed with how Christmas didn’t go…

That was a self-focused spirit I had.  One centered around self, vs God.  It was a greedy spirit that I vowed not to pass onto my children through list-making and present grabbing.

Gifts is one of my love languages.  I love gifts.  I felt loved when I was given thoughtful gifts, and I enjoy loving on people through gifts as well.

So, how do you think when I got this GIFT?

Loved?  Actually, yes.

Very.

{From Ann Voskamp’s Advent Devotional book “The Greatest Gift”}

“In the thin of Advent, you may not even know how to say it out loud: ‘I thought it would be easier.’  And your God comes near: I will provide the way.  You may not even know who to tell: ‘I thought it would be different.’  And you God draws close: I will provide the grace for the gaps.  You may not even know how to find the words for it: ‘I thought I would be….. more.’  And you God reaches out: I will provide Me.”

As I read this words in a puddle of tears this week.  I thought… “Wow God.  I am so much more, through You.”

I did think life would be easier… (after all, I worked too hard to be sick – I was “healthy” )

I thought it would be different…. (Life is so different than I imagined… so much more difficult.  This hardly seemed fair.)

 I thought I would be “more”…  (I gave birth and am helping to raise 8 children, perhaps this will be my greatest accomplishment in taking part of His plans. Maybe I was trying to do and be too much outside of that?…)

In those moments… that I knew I was dying in the worst imaginable way…. suffering and falling apart, suffocating and abandon… in front of my children, without the understanding of my family… or my friends.  With no answers to gather sympathy of a formal “diagnosis”…  I was probably the emptiest and most alone I’ve ever been in my life, even though I was at peace with dying.  The physical pain was out weighed by the lack of being heard, and lack of understanding – that God knew, NO ONE else could provide.

He had be right where He wanted me.

He is the gift.

Just as He promises – we are NEVER alone.  His gifts come with a purpose.

 that peace of knowing exactly what was going on, and providing the WAY to get me out… and restoring my peace through His knowledge, power and strength.

If you are suffering this day, might you reach out and hold God’s hand…  He will provide the way, He will provide the grace, and HE will provide Himself…  He hears YOU.

You are never alone.

“For the Lord disciplines the one He loves,
    and chastises every son whom He receives.”

Hebrews 12:6

Hope. One Word.

ENDURES

My word of the year: Hope.

It stemmed from my lack of hope that plagued me throughout 2012.  Then finally starting down my alternative healthcare journey in December, following the week of Advent that started with HOPE.

I need to cling to Him.

That branch that God lets out to us… that one that says, “I AM here.  Hold on.”

It couldn’t have happened at a better time.  I was finally ready to try anything.

Before then, my hope was in doctors, in the field of western medicine… and in finding a diagnosis to know how to “treat”.

The more fruitless appointments I had with specialist after specialist, the more certain I became of “names” for what I was feeling – the more I realized I didn’t NEED that down on paper.  I needed to take responsibility for the necessary changes to heal my body – INSIDE OUT.

Our symptoms are just our body crying out.  I recently heard a functional nutritionist say our bodies can’t talk – so they “cry” by showing us symptoms.  It’s our symptoms that help diagnosis us… but that’s all wrong.  Our symptoms should be our sign that our body is unhappy and something needs to change.

But when and why have our ideas on trouble shooting health issues changed?  When my children were babies and couldn’t talk – they cried when they were unhappy.  Determined to stop the crying, I would see if they were

hungry?

tired?

wet?

over stimulated…

I didn’t drug them up and ignore them.  Right?

Right.

Yet western medicine tells patients:  “You have crohns, take this.  You have colitis, take this.  High blood pressure?  Take this.  You have cancer, take this.”

If you have any type of a disease, there is a breakdown in your body that needs addressed.   You might have to DIG, but it’s basically tweaking these top 4 issues in your life:

  1. Giving your body the nutrients it needs to heal and maintain health. (The Paleo Diet is a great start, but figuring our food sensitivities are a must – let food be your medicine!)
  2. Making sure our bodies are able to utilize and transport oxygen. (Many people are low on Glutathione, and Co-Enzyme 10 at the cellular level, making it difficult for your cells to transport oxygen throughout your body!  Supplements help me as well as regular exercise.)
  3. Eliminate as many toxins and poisons as possible. (Household chemicals and beauty products are the worst, but STRESS and emotional baggage counts in a big way too!)
  4. Improve your digestion and your body’s ability to eliminate toxins. (Diet, Probiotics, sleep and exercise!  You should be pooping 2-3 times a day, but at the very least – every day.)

This is the type of list I’ve been working on this year.  Foods – adding in foods high in nutrition and went from a gluten-free home to a Paleo lifestyle.  Oxygen – from supplements, and trying to sleep with my mouth closed so I get more oxygen while I sleep has been a plus!  Progress.  Toxins – we have totally revamped our beauty products, and any “cleaners” in our house, as well as I got my amalgams all out of my head, and did chelation to remove metals from my system and we stopped getting vaccinated.  Emotional stress just including eliminating people or feelings that drug me down.  Digestion – I’ve been working steady on this since Feb. when I switched to the Auto Immune Protocol Diet, and I started taking MSM, and increased my Magnesium and Vit. C…  I take probiotics, enzymes, HCl and eat lots of kraut and Kombucha daily!  I also had my hormones balanced – Estro-DIM and Armour Thyroid helped in those areas.

Yes, I’d say this whole past year – has been one of Hope.  It’s honestly felt like a year long Advent season for me.  As God drew me close – so I could hear Him…  I was blessed with more time with Him, my husband, my family – and things of eternal value.  The transformation of health has been secondary to the spiritual blessing He continues to give.  May you be blessed with a reflection and transformation that helps you to be Healthy for Him.

“but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.”

Isaiah 40:31

 

 

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