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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

Stretching Pennies Eating Gluten-Free

photo

I always get asked how I make things work financially with how we eat.

Isn’t that expensive?

Honestly, there are lots of ways you save money when you stop buying JUNK.

There are plenty of ways you’re saving money when you’re not stopping by for a pop here, or a treat there, and you never eat out.

So is it REALLY expensive?  No, it’s just a totally different way of thinking.

I read an awesome tip this week… and I wish I could remember where so I could give credit to whoever mentioned it… but they were discussing your crock pot doing lots of work for you busy moms who are trying to feed their family well, along with ways to save money!

Two of my favorite things!!

So, I followed their tips this weekend, and I made a roast one day (bone attached), and left the liquid in the crock afterwards.  I added the bones and scraps back in, added a bit more water and put it back on high over night.

The following day, I strained it for broth to save for SOUP for our next meal!  I’m going to brown some grass-fed hamburger and make some potato and veggie soup with mega-nutrients and flavor!  Yay me!

(Not to mention that’s a super easy way to make bone broth – because you can do it with various meats on the bone.  Instead of getting bone-less skin-less, chicken breasts, which are more expensive, get the GOOD stuff on the bone and provide your family with supplies for TWO meals instead with more quality nutrition!)

Keeping it Healthy for Him and saving money to boot!

I also wanted to share that along the struggle of doing things “differently” than the majority, you’re going to come up against opposition.  Don’t be afraid to take those opportunities to educate others about why you’ve made the choices you have.  Don’t get upset if they don’t understand or agree with you, you don’t need their permission to be on a different path.  Be thankful for our differences in God, and embrace any opportunity to teach if someone is asking to learn.  It’s not upsetting to me if everyone doesn’t get why we do what we do…  God never promised easy but He’s with me every step of the way!  Thanks be to Him!!

“Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, 

slow to speak, slow to anger; 

for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

James 1:19-20

Off to the Doctor…

My folder gets thicker and thicker, and I feel more and more prepare to explain myself.

Today I travel to another long-awaited appointment… and I am filled with hope. Pray for answers for me!

I thought I’d update you on my eye. Wednesday will be 3 weeks with uveitis… I’m down to steroid drops 3x a day. It’s definitely not gone, and probably aches the same, but visually – the redness looks better. It’s the swelling inside, that we can’t see that is concerning – they say. From what I’ve studied on the matter, it seems most people have flare ups from discontinuing treatment too soon – and it comes back worse, and sometimes won’t leave.

I am willing to be patient.

Each morning I wake up and can feel this “haze” over my eye…. like someone has been scratching it with sand paper. The entire eyeball aches, and it appears a red filter clouds me from seeing true color from it also – but is definitely improved over all. I thought I’d share the progress with you. Warning, the image after the first week is freaky – only because my eye is dilated.

(and I’m not wearing make-up! Gasp!) Hey, you were warned!

You can definitely see less red on my most recent picture… however the swelling is about the same. It doesn’t hurt to the touch, and I can tolerate a lot more light in my eye for limited amounts of time. That’s huge progress in a short time. I know that raw apple cider vinegar has been helping!!

Several times I’ve felt as though I was getting it in the other eye as well… so far, so good. Just achy, and fatigued. I’m sure it’s just part of the empathy the other eye experiences. It’s definitely a blessing NOT having the eye dilated… it’s amazing how that tires your eyes and letting that much light in causes chronic headaches. Praise be to God for the progress made!

Patience, patience, patience. (repeat) All in His time.

“For whatever is born of God overcomes the world;

and this is the victory that has over the world – our faith.

Who is the one who overcomes the world,

but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”
1 John 5:4-5

Connect The Dots!

Yummy Spinach Salad with hard boiled egg, and bacon – salt and pepper, and olive oil – DELISH!

Let’s play – shall we?

At what age does our body start falling apart?

30?

40?

50?

I’m too young for menopause, I’m told by friends.  Yet my OB confirmed last year that’s exactly what was going on based on several signs I was experiencing.  I’m guessing she knows best.

My mom was 42 when she went through menopause.  I thought THAT was young.  I was only 36.

Uncommon?

No, especially not when you have celiac disease… it’s one of the related symptoms.  Early menopause.

So some symptoms I’ve been having this year, I’ve tied to celiac, and menopause…

Except this chronic fatigue I’ve been having.

After adjusting my protein intake, and making sure I was getting enough calories and the right vitamins, and checking my blood sugars for a time… and trying to get plenty of sleep – I STILL didn’t seem to have energy.

I’ve felt like I”m forcing myself to go through the motions most of the time – forcing myself to workout, do chores, etc –  and I’m dragging heavily.

I’m normally a TURBO type of personality… and I’ve always lived on little sleep – but sleep hasn’t been able to fix this – and it’s gotten worse.  More sleep leads to MORE night waking and night sweats – {and with that some WHACKED out dreams…  although, some are kind of funny.}  I’m on the right vitamins that normal celiacs are lacking.  Boosted Vit. Bs and D, iron….  I don’t know if I’m absorbing them all yet, but I know my body is absorbing more than it was…

I noticed when we packed for vacation in May – I was dragging…  I thought it was the ordeal of the food and packing, etc for 10 people.  But I was majorly procrastinating.

That’s unlike me.

It continued through preparing for school all summer – forcing myself to move… and then again when we traveled to Iowa in August – the trip I look forward to for months…   and I couldn’t seem to move, and my attitude wasn’t one of sadness or anger – it was more of “Meh” – I don’t really care.  But I knew I did care…  it was really strange.

SO. Very. TIRED.

SO let’s see… what could be going on:

Night sweats

Insomnia

Fatigue during the day (like I’m stuck in CEMENT type of fatigue)

Hair STILL falling out, 2.5 years after having a baby…. {in DROVES, mind you.}

Headaches

LOW blood pressure.  Often.  {As in, when I stand up – or squat down then stand up – I’m about to pass out as I’m trying to walk – also vertigo.}

Low Motivation – NONexistent.

Sore Throat (chronic) – this time I’m on week 4?  Not in my glands up high, more in my throat – but it’s detectable, just enough to be annoying.  I usually just pop a few Motrin, and I’m on my way.

So I started looking through my books, I had realized most people don’t just have ONE auto immune disease with celiac disease.  Could I have another?

I ask my mom… what other ailments did my grandparents have…  and that’s when I discover not only did my maternal grandmother have thyroid cancer….  my maternal grandfather had GRAVES disease.

Graves disease, and other auto immune thyroid conditions often show up from untreated celiac disease.  The genes are interrelated.

Awesome.

I would really just like to get fixed up and go back to normal now…

Or at least functioning… {without faking it.}

SO, my Dr. was going to send me to an endocrinologist…. but that office wanted my thyroid level checked first.  Fair enough.  The last time it was checked was 2009 – it was 1.34, and within the normal range.

We’ll see how THIS experience goes… 

I’m going to be positive, that it will be better than my last (ordeal) one – and pray it’s an easy and quick fix.  (Hey, God said pray SPECIFICALLY!)

All I know is, this ISN’T normal for me, and I don’t feel like myself.   It’s not getting better despite my gut healing, it feels like it’s getting worse.

Thanks God for another reminder on why I need to fight hard for my kids.  I praise You, oh Lord – for this gift of this information now.

I’m trying to remember, I can’t WILL myself better… But God, my healer, can help me.

He said, “If you listen carefully to the Lord your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees,

I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, who heals you.”

 Exodus 15:26

Mouths and More…

One of the main signs of knowing your gluten sensitivity has led to celiac disease – is vitamin absorption…  but gluten sensitivity signs can show up before that point.

What do you look for?

Much of the celiac disease information states teeth of a celiac patient – can be shaped oddly. Tooth enamel can also deteriorate from the gluten sensitivity… often people have frequent mouth sores, defects in enamel, or lots of cavities.

For me, my teeth were always … odd, and I called my mouth the million dollar mouth.  Not because it was special – but because my parents lovingly poured a lot of money into it – to give me a decent smile.

When my permanent teeth came in, it was evident there were major problems.  (Actually, my parents might say there were major problems before this – as I had such anxiety of going to the dentist that I had to see a pediatric dentist – specialist to get me straightened out.  He scared me to death.)

My biggest issue was my mouth was too small for the amount of teeth I had.  Then there was my main front tooth.  It came in side-ways and is an odd shape.  My brother’s lovingly called me “Can-opener” – saying I could work for coke, in a machine… opening cans for consumers.

You can imagine the trauma.

I had to get 4 permanent teeth and one baby tooth pulled… and then I was delighted to get braces in 5th grade.  I took care of my teeth diligently.

When my braces came off my freshmen year of high school, I had my first 8 cavities.  We chalked it up to the braces – but I still remember thinking… HOW did that happen so quickly?  Basically every molar had a cavity.

I guess I had soft teeth?  (ironically, years later my husband said the same thing about his teeth – soft enamel, lots of pits)

Then maybe a year later, I had a very odd cavity in one of my front four teeth… I never had build-up or issues, just this hole hidden on the back side of my tooth.  It seemed kinda strange.

I always flossed… and didn’t eat loads of candy, or drink pop. *shrugs*

Even after braces, and getting all four wisdom teeth pulled,  I got a new retainer, to ensure my teeth stayed in place.  I never wanted to look like a can-opener again.

Fast forward to marriage and pregnancies… 

I threw up quite a bit throughout my pregnancies.  Morning sickness was often all day sickness.  With my first, it was everyday – like clockwork (often after a bowl of cereal)  I began to hate the taste of any type of cereal because I had thrown so many up.

Then, with my 5th pregnancy, I just knew it was twins because the sickness was all day and night – no warning – cover your mouth and RUN FAST!  AND, because some in our family weren’t too thrilled about our back to back childbearing, I tried to hide the pregnancy, while losing 15 lbs that first trimester.  It was miserable.

By this point, I was pretty used to just puking and functioning.  Lots of people get sick during pregnancy.  I also seemed to get lots of short lived stomach bugs, that the rest of my family avoided.  (Looking back, much of it could have been gluten as well – I can see lots of issues in pregnancy, and in between them – where celiac kept poking it’s ugly head around.)

I believed, because of all of that,   I had some serious gum recession.  Between child 4 and 5, I had a gum surgery to help rebuild my lower front gums and a few “curtain pulls” on my uppers.  If you don’t know how they do this… Google that, it’s a whole lot of fun.  That was about 10 years ago.. my recession is much worse… now than it was before that procedure.

Again, I use a super soft brush, it’s not the brushing – or too hard of a brush.

Even with chronic sinusitis I have had – I could almost FEEL my gums receding.  I can’t always explain it – other than, it’s very painful – swelling and pain.  It feels like my teeth all have cavities, and my gums are all bleeding.   That’s how I usually know to start taking my antibiotics.  (which I used to keep on hand – I always had mastitis, sinusitis, several mouth sores or a chronic sore throat).

(Just a side note – since I’ve gone gluten-free…. I’ve had one flare up of mouth sores from cross contamination – it lasted for a week…  I have had no sinusitis).

How ironic.

On my children, they ALL had this brownish plaque that was very strange.  I scraped it off with some tools at home on a regular basis, but the dentist said it was very odd for a family to have this – that wasn’t Asian, or their diet didn’t contribute to it.  You see, our kids never drink pop, or juice, they don’t eat a lot of dark foods, nor soy sauce…  the was really no explanation.

Ironically, after going gluten-free – it’s GONE.

Seriously – ALL vanished.  It’s crazy!  (Good crazy!)

In the process of the last six months of being sick, I did have another thing happen with my teeth – my front tooth had an area just “flake off” from the enamel up by my gum line.  (see picture above)  More evidence of lack of vitamins – similarly to our finger nails or muscle cramps, our teeth can show that lack of vitamin absorption too.

Anyway – for what it’s worth…  Your mouth can be a good tell-tale of what is going on in your body.  Don’t discount it as normal, like I did.

“Christ is your example, and you must follow in His steps.  He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone.”

1 Peter 2:21-22

What To Eat?

So, I mentioned I found some helpful cookbooks at the bookstore.  The next question I had was…what CAN I eat?

Love this cookbook, lots of great ideas that are practical and delicious. Helpful for a newbie like myself.

If you’re ever looking for more veggie dishes to make yourself or your family, vegetarian cookbooks are super helpful.

I was relieved to find these great books, as well as lots of online resources.  GLU-ten is hidden in a lot of foods as a preservative or binding compound…  but it’s also in other things I needed to be watchful for.  Mainly, GLUE or things that might have glue type properties.  Licking envelopes, and things like tile grout have gluten in them too.  Not that you’re ingesting grout – but it is a powder, it’s difficult to control.  The more I learned, the more I realized WHY my friend said she would pray for discernment for me, with EVERYTHING I put into my mouth and came in contact with.  It’s a great thing I’m up on how to read labels – praise be to God!

I can eat my sweet potato chips.  THAT is great news, since that was a majority of my carb intake before.  I think it’s NOT a wonder that I loved them so much, they didn’t make me sick!  I can also eat all of the beautiful fruits and vegetables God made for us to enjoy.  SO thankful!

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?  Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”  Matthew 6:25-27

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