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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

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

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

 

Paleo Pumpkin Snickerdoodles

COOKIES

In the season of all things pumpkin, I’ve been on a roll.  I often print out lots of recipes and pull from them later on what I might fix.  Unfortunately, I’m also known to print out things that I assume are paleo, and they are not.

I’m getting better at understanding which flours work for substitutes and how to work my way around even a regular recipe to make it work for Paleo.  So when the Pumpkin Snickerdoodle recipe graced my pile, I knew it had to be transformed “Paleo”.  My kids and husband said these were like pumpkin cake, so I’d say that is a success!

ROLL_INSUGAR

PALEO PUMPKIN SNICKERDOODLES

1 cup of coconut oil

1 cup of coconut sugar

2 large eggs

tsp cinnamon

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. vanilla

Pinch of salt

1 can of organic pumpkin

1 1/2 cups almond flour

1 cup arrow-root flour

1/2 cup coconut flour

COATING (in small bowl to roll balls into before smashing):

3/4  cup of coconut sugar or date sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

*****

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine ingredients for cookies, and coating – separately.

Take small amount of dough with cookie scoop, and drop it into the coating bowl.   Roll in bowl to coat and drop on lined cookie sheet.  Flatten all cookies with a small square of parchment paper before baking.

Bake for 10 minutes until golden brown, and cool before eating.

 

 

 

 

SMASHINGI thought I’d share something positive with you today, but I’m feeling really horrible.  I’m pretty sure it’s some pastured pork that I tried again – yep, I’m pretty positive it’s grain finished.  It’s days like these, that I just hurt all over, I can’t barely bend my fingers to hold something and my head throbs…  that I think – UGH, Lord, really?? Praying to enjoy this moment and being grateful for the struggle!  My go-to verse for my less than ideal days, when there is no time for pity-parties?

“But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

2 Cor. 12:9

 

Too Difficult To Understand?

Following a nature walk with my kids, this is their collection of things to show the seasons are changing!  Thankful God gives us variety, and allows US to change through our seasons of life.  Glory to Him!

Following a nature walk with my kids, this is their collection of things to show the seasons are changing! Thankful God gives us variety, and allows US to change through our seasons of life. Glory to Him!

My friends and I concluded another Bible study this past week.  In the past 9 years we’ve grown a lot towards the Lord, but there is always more learning  and relearning to be done.  We covered 12 women in the Bible, and some very difficult topics over the past several months.

Specifically Gomer (Hosea 1:2-11, 2:14-3:5) was the most difficult woman for ME to embrace.  Her story was one of prostitution, and unfaithfulness.  She deserved nothing, and yet, her husband – a pastor, continued to come after her – and court her.

It was the story of Israel and of God’s love that is full of UNDESERVING mercy and grace.  In the story, I really disliked what God was saying; that this man, a pastor, was called to some things TOO difficult to understand.  That’s life, isn’t it?  Often times, we don’t understand!)   As if being a pastor called to married a prostitute wasn’t horrific enough, he was publicly shamed for obeying God.   Then, after a broken marriage and children, she continued to be unfaithful and leave the marriage.  What did God call him to do?

Get this:  GO AFTER HER and court her.

Whoa.

Really God?

Yes really.  Think about it…

This is the type of love God give US – each day.  An unconditional love that we do not deserve.

This is not the same shallow, conditional, “love” of the world.

While I’d love to consider myself the righteous pastor man in the story, always obeying God and following His will while being hurt undeservingly, I know in my heart I’m very much Gomer.  I’m making mistakes constantly, ignoring God plenty, and in need daily renewal when my unfaithful heart goes astray.

I share this with you because in our final lesson of our study, the study guide asked, “What Bible lessons that are difficult for us and why…”  and this Bible lesson was still on my heart.  I thought of my attitude towards difficult situations that challenge me to truly love people who have hurt me deeply.

I’m called to do that too…  I know that.

I thought of how I used to really avoid people when I didn’t understand their struggle, as in, “whew, glad that’s not me -quit your belly-aching.”  Ironically, now it’s much so easier to draw close to those who share a similar struggle – they “get me”… we have a common bond and we don’t have to hide what is going on.

Yes, God has changed me.

Before this season in my life, I was immature in the level of empathy or understanding I had.  I was obviously limited by my experience.  Maybe a better way to say it is; my experience was limited and so was my heart.

But I can see how God has molded me, and continues to do so through this journey…  and I’m grateful for that gift.  I’m able to meet people in that place where THEY feel all alone, and unheard, and not understood.

I hear them.

I’m able to encourage them, and point them to His truth in healing!

In my darkest of moments, I learned how God understands me and my situation, more than anyone else could.  Might I love like Him, even when it hurts.

“He gives strength to the weary, and increases the power of the weak.”
Isaiah 40:29

Essential Enzymes For Health!

The brand on the right we get from Vitacost.com  and we get the "Buddy Bear" enzymes for the kids from Amazon.com.

The brand on the right we get from Vitacost.com and we get the “Buddy Bear” enzymes for the kids from Amazon.com.

Do you have trouble digesting food?

I do.

My kids do too…

The two symptoms of this are either stools passing too quickly, or not quickly enough.  Either partly digested food in stools, or sitting on the potty for WAY too long.

Going to the bathroom should NOT be such a chore or a panic… especially on a daily basis.

That’s NOT normal.

Personally, I had no clue because going to the bathroom is kind of… well, personal.  So you don’t really discuss it.

At least I never did.

A couple of weeks ago at my reunion, when I talked about being sick with some close friends they had this “ah-ha” moment when they recalled being in the bathroom, waiting on me, A LOT.

{Again, it’s so not cool to talk about what you do in the bathroom.}

But honestly?  It’s a fact of life – and it’s crucial to your immune system and health.  Shame on us for NOT talking about something that could help save our lives, or at the very least improve our health greatly.

I was even embarrassed to bring up my horrid gas issue, a few years ago, with my doctor.  (Who told me that gas was GOOD, and normal… NOT this gas.  Seriously.)

If you have problems with either of the above, gas or bloating… and you’ve cut out dairy, gluten, and sugar…  you maybe need to look at digestive enzymes.  There are enzymes in raw food that helps our body break those foods down and turn them into energy.  When we cook food, eat processed food (dead food), or preserve foods – they lose those digestive enzymes, and they are difficult for our bodies to break down and process to USE as our bodies are trying to HEAL.

I used to feel like I had tumors in my gut … a lot.  Had I not had a CT scan to prove there were no growths, I wouldn’t have believed it!  It was as if food would just “sit” … and not process or VERY slowly enter my intestines.  It’s common for people with MS to have troubles with constipation.  It has to do with nerve endings and I believe gastroparesis.  Read more about Gastroparesis here. 

If you don’t think constipation is just as big of an issue as malabsorption, just consider the amount of toxins your body is trying to get out of your system – and then, imagine them just SITTING in your gut… absorbing into you body.  See an issue?  Yes.  Digestion is very important.

Here is the back of my digestive enzymes.  As you can see they help you break down protein, fats, carbs, fiber (and milk sugar, if I drank milk!)

Here is the back of my digestive enzymes. As you can see they help you break down protein, fats, carbs, fiber (and milk sugar, if I drank milk!)

This has been a tremendous help to our family.  Children who were once unable to absorb foods, or were so constipated from their leaky gut damage - a big help!

This has been a tremendous help to our family. Children who were once unable to absorb foods, or were so constipated from their leaky gut damage – a big help!

“Let the morning bring me word of Your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in You.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to You I entrust my life.”

Psalm 143:8

Overuse of Antibiotics?

Antibiotics
Yep, it’s cold and flu season, just around the corner… actually quite a bit of flu and colds have been around these parts lately.
My husband and I were recently talking about the last time we used antibiotics.  It’s been well over a year… praise God!  That’s pretty much unheard of, in our family of 10.
My daughter dropped a plate on her foot, and had a complete blow out of her toe on the first month of this year.  The doctor on call gave her antibiotics.  We filled the prescription… but decided against giving them to her, unless she showed sign of needing it.  Instead, we kept it cleaned daily with hydrogen peroxide, and wrapped it up for at least a month, and she was fine.  Five months later the toenail fell off, and a new one was appearing.

Things like sinus infections and ear infections have been avoided by using tools like our neti-pot and a 50/50 mixture of rubbing alcohol and apple cider vinegar (with the mother) in each ear for a 5 minute soak 3x a day.

Even when we do get something – it doesn’t linger on forever like it used to.

I call that major progress in this household, and a credit to better gut health!

Now I’m not always against antibiotics, it’s just NOT my first line of defense or second… or… I want to do what I can naturally, before going down that route.

So when DO we need antibiotics?

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal had a handy chart that listed out some times when antibiotics were effective, and when they weren’t.

If you read through the list, many of these things can be avoided in other ways by drinking lots of water, getting plenty of rest, taking vitamins, eating clean, and taking care of your immune system with probiotics and things like cod liver fish oil.

But what do we do when and if we DO get sick?  How do you combat the monster to attempt avoiding antibiotics?
Here is a little list of things we have/do to help things turn around quickly:

1) Drink lots of room temp. lemon water

2) Take zinc and extra vitamin c – up to 500mg an hour (a non-GMO powder form is also good for smoothies for sore throats!), and Sambucol (that has black elderberry and safe for ages 2+ up to adults) or Black Elderberry syrup.

3) Use the Netipot to help clear nasal passages from bacteria/germs and help them dry out.

4) Coconut Oil rub with the following essential oils mixed in (oregano, peppermint and lavender) on the neck, back and chest

5) Bone broth soup from pastured chickens or grass fed meats

6) Oil pushing/swishing in the morning is great to get additional bacteria out of your mouth/throat.  Put a spoonful in your mouth and swish around for 15 minutes, and then spit into the trash can.  (It also helps whiten teeth!)

7) Local raw honey and cinnamon 3x a day

8) Baths for fevers to keep body temperatures down and cotton PJs (Actually I just learned how fire retardant clothing is not good for you – so this winter I’m only buying breathable cotton PJs!)

9) Exercise and sunshine, as you can.  One thing that is great about being sick this time of year – is going outside IS an option.  Extra Vitamin D and sweating out toxins helps!

10)  Good rest.  (One of the reasons I struggle a lot with my issues – is I’m such a POOR sleeper!  Naps and plenty of rest at night is so important to restoration and repair.)

We let fevers run during the day, and give motrin at night for comfort if need be.  A low dose of melatonin is also safe to help kids rest when they are sick, or coughing.   We set up a croup tent as needed for our younger children (under a cardboard table, with a sheet open on one side, when my child needs help to rest through coughing fits.

A special concoction a friend shared with me is going to be added to our list of “treatments” – not to mention it sounds heavenly for winter time.  Enjoy this “tea” recipe.

If you do have to have ANTIibiotics (which kill ALL of the bacteria in your system), make sure you up your PRObiotics, to help replenish the GOOD bacteria in your gut, following the dosing regimen.  You should be taking 8-15 billion a day as an adult, so bump it up to 20-50 billion after antibiotic use, if you’re normally a healthy adult.  If you’re like me, who normally takes 50 billion, bumping it up to 100-200 billion might be a better idea.

If you don’t have any of these products on hand, perhaps now is the time to get them so you’re stocked and ready!  (No one likes to find these things when they’re already not feeling well!)

And…  If you’re wondering some reasons on WHY over use of antibiotics is getting such a bad rap?  This information might help fill you in.

Your gut health is SO important to your immune system, and ultimately your brain and organ function. We need to take good care of it to be Healthy for Him!

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

James 4:7

I Will Not Be Ashamed

In less than 72 hours I’m going to my 20th class reunion.

A mixture of feelings comes over me… 

Excitement.  I’m going with my husband, and for the first time in our 15 years of marriage with 8 children we will be “alone” without kids.

Anticipation.  We’re running a 5K together, and my last one of those was pretty painful, so I have some mixed feelings… but overall, positive.

Concern.  For a weekend of events centered around food and drinks… I know it’s going to come up.

“Why aren’t you eating? How about a drink?  What is wrong with you?”

A shot a of wheatgrass.  The only type of shots I will have.  Something that builds up my health, and my immune system.

A shot a of wheatgrass. The only type of shots I will have. Something that builds up my health, and my immune system.

It’s really not that complicated.

It’s not that big of a deal either… It’s not like I’ve been a drinker for years.  I’m not sure why it bothers me to just say what is “wrong”… or what is going on…

But socially, it’s just one of things sometimes you’d like to pretend doesn’t exist…

There’s a part of me that wants to just speak up and get it over with so we can get it off the table, and move on… but I know there will be more questions... and the selfish side of me wants to talk about other things… anything but looking in the rear view mirror.  Just for the weekend.

Now don’t get me wrong… I enjoy talking, sharing, and helping others…  I do – I love it.  I thank God every day that I have the opportunity through my struggle to help others similar to myself.

But … (and you know what I mean), sometimes you don’t want to talk about it with people who don’t understand.  There are parts of me that are frustrated even looking back to high school, and realizing I was sick then – and didn’t know.

I’ve realized it’s a bad heart attitude.   It’s kind of like saying, “I don’t want to share the gospel with unbelievers… they don’t understand.”

Sometimes, the very people who don’t think they need information, are the ones who do… and how do we learn if we don’t hear?

So, if you could say a pray for me – that if there is anyone there who needs to learn about natural healing – or disease and the gut connection – that I might be able to serve them in some way (?)  I’d appreciate it!

(I promise to keep my health preaching to a minimum.)  Who am I kidding?  Hide this gift?  No way.

Here’s to reminiscing about positive memories in the past.  Enjoy your weekend!

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?

And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  

And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”

 Romans 10:14

Birthday Brownies

BROWNIE
“Are you excited for tomorrow mom?” my 3rd son inquired of me yesterday, face all aglow.

“Why do you ask honey?” I questioned back as I was busy tending to dinner preparations and had my mind on other things.

“Because it’s your BIRTHDAY!” he exclaimed.

“Oh.  That.” I said, as I continued cooking dinner.

“She’s NOT excited for her birthday, because she can’t even have cake!” reminded my 2nd son.

I couldn’t help but giggle at the perspective of my children…

Maybe they were right… maybe the idea of no cake made it seem less like my birthday.  Maybe I could avoid turning a year older altogether?

At least they remembered…

I just explained that with it being father’s day, and our busy week – it wasn’t going to really be MY day, and that was ok too.  (Enter in the wah-wahs)  Honestly, I’m just thankful to be alive and on the path to keeping me healthy .

THAT is what I’m celebrating this day.  Thanks be to God!!

Since we still have left over ice-cream cake from my 3rd daughter’s birthday this week, I didn’t feel the need to make them more cake for my birthday…

But I did feel motivated to whip up something that would be the least of all evils for me – in case I wanted to splurge and have a BITE of it.  We’ll see how I feel about that tomorrow.

Birthday Brownies…

Yes, that means they’re chocolate.

I’m not supposed to have chocolate, but since getting some of my fillings out – I haven’t tried it, Errr… tested it to see if anything has changed.  (I know I really shouldn’t ever have it – but again, I’m pondering a bite.  Maybe I will just smell them… but if I change my mind – they will be ready?)

Listen to me justify.

I would say nuts, nightshades, grains, and soy bother me most… so after much searching, I came up with this from beyondthepeel.net and I renamed them birthday brownies for my selfish:

BIRTHDAY BROWNIES

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil or coconut butter
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/3 honey (or omit)
  • 3/4 cup coconut palm sugar
    1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1 cup shredded coconut

** I added enjoy life chocolate chips – just because I’m naughty like that – always.

8×8 pan or 7×9, 325 degrees, for 35 minutes.

They smell good anyway…  Mmmmmmmm. Warm brownies.

Enjoy my “birth verse” today… as we must put on our armor of God everyday!!

  “…take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.”

Ephesians 6:16

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