Monthly Archives: January 2014

But, But… Coconut!

My plantain pancake.  @ Plantains, 3/4 cup of organic applesauce, cinnamon.

My plantain pancake. @ Plantains, 3/4 cup of organic applesauce, cinnamon.

 

Sorry I’ve been MIA lately.  I’ve been scrambling with lots of appointments and the additional supplements and exercises with the kids has me running crazy!  (In a good way, it’s going really well).

Well, after my son had a strong reaction to getting CC with coconut – I was having issues with my legs, eyes and toes again.  The foot cramps were returning, and as of late, I’ve struggled more with my feet being so asleep  I simply can’t walk for a while after standing without rolling my ankle.  I knew something was going on, but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

My gut has hurt in the same spot for about 2 years.  Basically every time I’m constipated, it just hurts really badly, but there was always a low-level pain there…. tender to the touch.  Left side, right about the spot my stomach empties (slowly) into my small intestine.  If you recall, I noticed how much the peppermint and oregano capsules helped me, and I had been taking some silver – which was helping too.  SIBO is very common with celiac.  I figured, it must just be that.

Even my naturopath said it was likely nerve damage, and I might always have that pain.  My goal was just to make sure I didn’t get constipated – because that is when the severe pain started in.

Well, after over eating plantain crackers several days in a row…. and my symptoms worsening… and feeling sick most mornings after my breakfast shake (with coconut water) I thought – Hmmm… are plantains making me sick? OR… could it be the coconut oil?

The next day I took out all things coconut.

BINGO!
We have a winner!
I have felt SO much better, it’s not even funny.

I don’t think I was consuming that much coconut previously to really notice…  but it makes sense on why I noticed a reaction to “coconut aminos” also.

The interesting thing to me is, I had that food cytotoxin test done – and coconut wasn’t on the list of offenders.

This is a great example of two things… as you consume more of something, it’s easier to tell the reaction, and always, always, always listen to your body.

I know it hasn’t just been coconut bothering me these last two years – in fact, maybe coconut didn’t bother me at all before (it wasn’t on my food cytoxin test).  BUT, as with any auto immune disease – symptoms can change due to so many different things, and obviously my gut imbalances have a lot to do with that.

Can I tell you how thankful I am that God lead me to figuring that out????

It almost made the rice noodles at the bottom of my take out not that big of a deal last week.

ALMOST.

*Yes.  I did have a talk with those people once more.  The commentary before the incident was that “I sure eat healthy.”

I didn’t think much of it… as I didn’t want to (again) get into the whole reason.  I should have just spoken up and said – I have celiac disease.

Should have.

Their error has accounted for many episodes – let me tell you how scary it is to start walking and realizing your feet aren’t following.  Sometimes I’m thankful for my boots that keep my legs upright! I’ve had my ankle just roll (no warning) too often!

Reminder – speak up to keep it Healthy for Him!

 

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord,

are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another.

For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

2 Corinthians 3:18

Recovering Our Children (Part III)

OATS_TEST

It’s been 2.5 weeks since we started the elimination diet on the kids we’re recovering from autism spectrum.  The diet is going … really well.  It’s hard work – but so far, it’s been very much worth it.

If anyone doesn’t think food affects you.  They should have been here the day following a cross contamination of my son with canned coconut milk.  Honestly, I’ve had several “slips” where my kids kindly remind me.  “Mom, I can’t have sweet potatoes.”  or “Mom, I can’t have chicken…”  But this particular day – I made sorbet… and I just completely forgot.  (I don’t make this mistake again!)

My joyful, thoughtful son, turned into a monster for a 24 hour period.  It reminded me of my self on nightshades.  Grouchy, ugly, unable to focus, and just a real turd – for a lack of a better word.  It wasn’t until my daughter said… “Mom, the sorbet… didn’t it have coconut?”

*Face-pop*

UGH.   Dairy, gluten and processed sugars are no-brainers because they ruin the gut lining, but now that THAT has happened… it gets a little tricky with foods that are normally GOOD for you.  We’re not talking soda-pop, just cold-pressed, unrefined, organic coconut.  No coconut oil, no coconut milk, no flour or shredded coconut.

I also made that birthday cake (or actually two options) for my daughter’s 4th birthday, and both of those turned out great.  I avoided coconut, and almonds and eggs… and came up with two really yummy options that were well received.  The major “offender” that day was the honey – but I really felt like they did well, and probably minimally they will do ok with it.  IT’s the over use and abuse of it that causes problems… especially with what we’re trying to deal with.

Speaking of that.  We got to meet with our doctor this past week, and we went over all of our blood and urine testing so far.

First off, all of the kids were super high in manganese.  This contributes to many neurological issues – and disease, including Parkinson’s.  Their suspect is our rural water, but it can also be in well water.  Thankfully we got a Berkey water filter, just a short while after we sent off the kid’s samples, so they will be retested in 6 months just to see if that has helped.  In the mean time, we’re considering having our water tested.

Secondly, yeast over growth and malnutrition.  Two huge ones that go together.

They tested for many types of yeast, so several of the kids had various specific ones that were high.  When any yeast over growth occurs whacky things can happen – like the yeast can take essential amino acids and turn them into things like aspirin in your stomach!

Yikes.

Yes.  That was happening.

So things like lacking Tyrosine (an essential amino acid), that you need to avoid things like OCD, proper thyroid function and anxiety… aren’t existent, no matter how much good food you’re eating.  This explains the extra weird “jerking” movements, and things that look like a tic of sorts, and issues with things like a change of the schedule, or not knowing what to do in new situations without an emotional shut down.  Then there is the oxalate imbalance it causes – very common with kids who have autism (and who have had severe reactions to mercury in vaccinations) as well.  Read about that here.

With some yeast over growth (candida over growth) you might never feel satiated while eating.  Your body will feed off of extra protein and sugars that you eat and make more yeast, making you think you’re STILL hungry – until you get a strong probiotic to get that monster under control.  This can lead to being over weight and feeling out of control.

The kids are now on a powerful 25 Billion probiotic daily.  We have dealt with some die-off issues, and have also done some detox baths (with Epsom salts and Apple Cider Vinegar) to help with the headaches.

With the malnutrition, it’s not just the amino acids, and not gaining weight, or height/development in areas – its vital vitamins for their immune system that are low too.  We have been taking extra of all of these things – but they’re not enough.  So, we’re taking “therapy levels” of these things to get them up to par.

Zinc – 30 mg

D3 + K drops (5-10 drops)

GMO Free Vit. C (1 tsp full = 1000 mg)

Probiotics (25 billion)

Fish Oil (1500 mg)

Vit. B

Eskaloft – (amino acid mix, 2 capsules a day)

Other than the fish oil, I can break the capsules and just put them in their morning smoothie.  Again, time-consuming – but worth it as we work through supporting and rebalancing their guts.

There are other things we need to address, including some low dopamine, and serotonin, as well as some neurotransmitter issues, detoxing issues and a need for glutathione.  This is where we are starting (with the food adjustments, supplements and exercises).

When I bought up MY gut during pregnancy being partly the blame for the issues at hand she reminded me that it was probably more like MY grandmother, and my own mother’s gut health for why the kids were at the level they were, as well the current toxin level in our country  – especially in regards to vaccines, and over use of medicines.  The good news (and I’d say this is great news) that while the kids will have to be very careful with their diets for the rest of their lives, and toxin loads … THEIR own children will have a better chance at a strong immune system and healthy gut, and avoiding auto immune diseases.  So the investment for our kids and their kids and so on – is totally worth it for us. 

We feel really good about things and the direction they’re going now.  The kids are progressing well on their exercises, which help them over come some reflex issues that were not fully developed at birth.  IF your child was on antibiotics that first year of life, or had any other toxin trauma or illness, it’s a great thing to check out.  It can affect their coordination, hand writing, their ability to learn may things and just how they process things.  There are several exercises the kids do – including the starfish (shown here), snow angel, figure eights, deep breathing, knee tapping/marching.  If you look up ADHD and Autism exercises, you’re bound to find a lot of info.  These are also discussed in the book “Disconnected Kids”.

The next two kids in line finished their OATS testing today, and we’ll be sending that in tomorrow.  Five of the kids will be seen at the next 2 month appointment.

OATS (Organic Acids Testing) check for yeast and fungal markers, Malabsorption and Bacterial Markers, Metabolites, Oxidation levels, nutritional markers, Detoxification issues, and amino acid metabolites.  Lots of great stuff in there needed to rebalance your gut – so you can absorb that great food you’re eating!!

Thankful to God for our productive week and all that God has planned through this process.  Healthy for Him!

“So then, brothers,we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.  For if you live according to the flesh you will die,

but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sonsof God.  For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear,

but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”   

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ,

provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him.”

Romans 8:12-17

 

 

Eating Organic, The End-All, Be-All Answer

ORGANIC_FRUIT

Right?

Not quite.

I’ve covered why we eat organic.  Do I think everyone should eat organic?  Well, what I know is – it really isn’t possible.  There wouldn’t even be enough food for everyone to eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should be eating.  (Concerning?  Maybe in the heat of an environmental crisis, and believe me – the thought has cross my mind).

What WOULD happen if I couldn’t get the foods we need?  Well, I would get very, very sick.  I would have to try to eat something to survive, but it would be killing my brain in the process, until I could get the food I need.

Many of the people whom I have met online that eat similarly to me, do so, because they’ve heard it will help their symptoms.  Many have already tried medications, for years… and have gotten sicker as a result.  Steroids and the chemo drugs used to treat many auto immune disease do not help matters.

But is FOOD the only answer?

What made me ponder this deeper was an article floating around Facebook last week.  Several of my “nurse friends” and others in “the field” of western medicine had shared it.  Maybe you saw it too. It was an article about vaccinations and how this particular mother grew up on all organic foods, and a ‘clean’ lifestyle… never vaccinated, etc…  but was doing things differently for HER children, and why.   I felt it was a toss in the face of those of us who feel passionately against vaccines, but I chose to read it – with an open mind.

I came away from the article with many more questions, vs. answers.  I shook my head at the ideology of the article that somehow eating organic and “clean” means you will always be healthy, and that apparently you’re a fool.  You can read the article “Growing Up Unvaccinated” here, and then come back and read what I have to say are the flaws of her reasoning.

First of all, her mother raised them on “all organic”.  I’m not sure why, but I’m going to guess her mom had a reason, which is never stated.  Perhaps she had some diseases of her own, and knew SOME of the benefits, but not all.  This type of lifestyle is generally one of less stress and toxins.  If her father was an art teacher and her mother a ballet teacher – I’m picturing some free spirits.  This is only part of the equation.

Secondly – did they eat gluten, or dairy?  The woman claims she was so sick all of the time, yet it doesn’t matter how clean you eat – if you’re still going to consume things that are inflammatory destroyers to your system.  Gluten and dairy are the first offenders, then nuts, nightshades, and any number of food sensitivities.  She says she took so many antibiotics, that she had a resistance to them.  Um…. I’m not sure of many “crunchy” people who I know of who use antibiotics so readily.  They’re gut killers.  Something doesn’t add up.

Thirdly, environmental toxins.  I wonder if she had a work-up from a holistic doctor to figure out why her immune system was so poor.  While this is extremely sad, and cannot be blamed on one thing – again, you can eat as cleanly as possible, and then dye your hair, live by fields filled with pesticides/drink it in your water, etc.  There are so many elements into the health and functioning of your body than can be assumed by organic living.  Eating clean is just ONE element.  Similarly, not just one element change makes you ‘healthy’.

(side note, it does concern me  how people can be freakish about organic lifestyle, and then turn around and do something repeatedly unhealthy which adds to their demise – hair dye alone, beauty products, cleaners, etc…)

Finally, just as she had a the choice to give her children vaccines, I appreciate our choice to NOT risk damaging our children any further.  A shot doesn’t ensure that you’re not going to get sick…. in fact, that’s only part of the fallacy.  For every person out there who claims “autism and auto immune disease isn’t caused by vaccines” – I shake my head.  “It’s just genetic” they say.  Well guess what?   Everything that we have that is genetic, like autism – also has environmental factors that makes things better or worse, turns gene off or on.  Some reactions are immediate, and some reactions continue to be an inflammation that causes disease over a period of time, weeks… months after the shots or exposure.  Diseases are made better or worse with environmental toxins (food, air, water, and things that are put into our blood stream like formaldehyde and fetal tissue from aborted babies, etc)  Again, we have the choice to take that risk, or not.  For that, I am thankful.  Then there is our court system, specifically for vaccination damage, that also says differently.  Every time they have to award money to another person being harmed by vaccines.  Every time you get vaccinated, some of the money you pay, goes into that account that helps those who are damaged.

For us, the decision to not vaccinate anymore isn’t one to try to throw it in the face of anyone else.  It’s our choice, to protect our children, whom we are responsible for, while building their immune systems to fight viruses and disease.  THAT seems like the best choice for us.  I also want to support and encourage others who wish to do the same.  It’s so ironic the fear-mongering that goes on regarding someone doing something differently that benefits them.  Some how it’s viewed as selfish or ignorant.  Personally, I don’t really care – I know God knows our heart on the matter.

We used to be scared of getting sick, because we spent a majority of the time sick.  One cold always meant croup and asthma attacks for our 5-year-old…. followed by sinus infections for everyone.  Ironically, I don’t feel that way any longer.  The viruses she talks about getting – I’m not scared of, and I think it’s silly to be scared.  While we don’t purposefully go out to collect germs, we do purposefully build our immune systems to be prepared to deal with germs.  There is no need to be scared, because when we get sick again – we know it’s actually GOOD for our bodies to fight these things and build immunity.

(There is a reason why they’re injecting viruses into cancer patients… it kills those cells!)  So a healthy, robust immune system is the answer for us!

So while she was a 19-year-old mom making choices after “getting educated”, I’m a 38-year-old mom of 8 seeing the effects of the choices we’ve made and doing things differently after realizing the TRUTH of sick-care and western medicine…  (and still filtering out the fluoride, but the rest of that stuff… come on, really?  Did she believe in unicorns too?)

Just because you don’t follow the ‘system’ doesn’t mean you can’t think.  I’m starting to see the most “educated” people, as some of the least intelligent.  Being “cruel” by not vaccinating?  Quite the opposite.  The stories she describes of being in the doctor’s office, and being sick – was us…. before we drastically changed things.  When the immunologist suggested we just “try that again” (meaning another vaccination) on my son that had a severe reaction with the H1N1 shot….  I knew we were done with western medicine “specialists” and vaccines.

I suppose she’s right, it’s a lot about personal experience.  I don’t believe in “luck” anyway.  To each his own.

We’re living healthy for Him!

“For the evil man has no future; the lamp of the wicked will be put out.”

Proverbs 24:20

Sugar-Free Paleo Me

flax_crackers

My most recent challenge is coming up with snacks and treats for my children who are doing through the whole food elimination for allergies.  One can’t have coconut, one can’t have eggs, and two of them can’t have almonds.  I’m having to dig deep.  Sometimes I feel like I’m making 5 different meals (counting mine).  Since I’m already struggling with my memory, I may have forgotten things a time or two this week.

One night my daughter with ASD shouted at me, “I NEVER get to have something special at dinner time.”

Whoa.  Excuse me?  NEVER?

Well, that’s obviously NOT true and I’m thinking the opposite might be true.  But this particular evening, she was slightly right – it had been awhile since I had a specific item for her.  After talking through that (gratefulness in all things, and saying NEVER when it simply isn’t true.)… It did light a fire under me to figure out a few other go-to treats.  Now, don’t think for a minute that we don’t eat A LOAD of apples and bananas, and veggies… we do.  But this has challenged me in a new way.  (Thanks for your prayers, I am still smiling – and grateful – although this particular night might not have been my high-point as week ONE wraps up!)

Just to give you an idea of how I’ve messed up lately.  I may or may not have:

-Left the back of the van open while driving away from the grocery store for the second time in 2 months.
-Leave the refrigerator door open almost every day while cooking (thankful for the bell that lets me know it’s STILL open!)
-Left a burner on and almost set some parchment paper on fire from the baking sheet I set on there.

Distracted?  Slightly.

plantain

The first thing I made were plaintain crackers from Paleo Mom.  They are super simple, and she has a great video on cutting a plantain (in half, and then lengthwise in half).  I meant them for my kids – but ended up eating 3/4ths of them.  They were SO good.

I cut them about 20 minutes into the baking, and bake until they are DARK brown.  They harden as they sit - and are SO good.  The outer ones might bake first - so just slide those off and bake some more.

I cut them about 20 minutes into the baking, and bake until they are DARK brown. They harden as they sit – and are SO good. The outer ones might bake first – so just slide those off and bake some more.

Secondly, I made some chocolate flax crackers from healthful pursuit  (they were very well received – see picture at top).  I can’t eat these, because they have cacao in them – also, I didn’t put chocolate in them or on top of them – as sugar is out for the kids…. but they said they were really good! 🙂

I’ve been making a BOATLOAD (no seriously… that’s a number) of smoothies everyday too… for myself, and all of the kids.  They always comment about how much it aids in their digestion.  Green/digestion smoothies all-around!  Next task – a birthday cake for most to enjoy?  Stay tuned!  Keepin’ it Healthy for Him!

“For to set the mind on the flesh is death,

but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.”

Romans 8:6

Reflections By My Daughter

ME_AND_D
Last semester, my children were studying the food pyramid in some of their online courses.

This was quite a challenge… given that Paleo stands the food pyramid on it’s head.  Minimal fats?  How about a majority of healthy fats?  Sorry food pyramid, our bodies prove – you’re wrong.

So, in wrapping up this lesson, my daughter was assigned to write about the food pyramid, and instead – I told her she could write a short essay about the truth about food and disease, however she wanted.

Imagine my giant smile when I read her essay.

“An autoimmune disease called Celiac, is ‘rare’ according to doctors. Many people have problems throughout their lives and doctors only give them medications. Celiac disease is when your body can’t tolerate gluten.  Some people react to crumbs, but others react to bites of whole wheat bread, because it depends on how much it has destroyed your stomach. Gluten can cause the stomach to crack and make holes. This is called leaky gut.

There are a variety of symptoms. Dermatitis herpetiformis is bumps that can form anywhere on your skin. They itch like crazy!!!  A few other common symptoms are tummy aches, diarrhea, behavior issues, and cramps in your legs.  Some can even have asthma.  My sister had asthma, but as soon as we went gluten-free, it completely went away.  She hasn’t ever eaten another asthma pill!

Removing gluten from your diet will help your body heal itself. Still, after people go gluten-free, they may still have problems! But why? Based on the level of destruction in your gut lining, your stomach can react (auto immune reaction) to different things that aren’t gluten, but it thinks that they are. Eating Paleo will help. The Paleo diet removes all grains, dairy and sugar because they are inflammatory foods.

But what if you  still have problems? Going to see a medical doctor might not be the best idea.  Often times, they want to give you pills and unnecessary surgeries that won’t get to the root of the issues.  Drugs are not the right way to heal your body. they just get rid of the symptoms.  All doctors are not like that.   A naturopath doctor is better.  They want you to learn and heal your body naturally.  Instead of pills, they recommend vitamins and supplements and teach you how to heal your body inside-out.

Gluten is unhealthy for us. Period. Yes, people have used grains to fed people in third world countries, but since it is mass-produced and there is an abundance of it, they use it. We are not what we eat, but what we absorb.  Gluten is not absorbed in our stomach, and that is why it causes so many problems.  We cannot digest it.   It is like glue, and our stomachs can’t break it down. More and more people are learning the truth because people are brave enough to stand out from the crowd and help others.”

Ahhhh…. warms my heart.  It’s amazing your perspective – when you experience something first hand.  (and boy has she ever!)

  I can’t wait to see how God might use her!

” Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth,

before the evil days come and the years draw near of which you will say,

“I have no pleasure in them.”
Ecclesiastes 12:1

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