Thursday, December 31, 2009

Allergen Free Blueberry Muffins



This is only my second attempt at allergen free muffins and they are pretty good!! My toughest critic even gave them a thumbs up, and ate them!

Recipe:

Dry ingredients:
1 1/2 cups rice flour
1 1/2 cups tapioca Sstarch (or flour)
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Wet ingredients:
1 mashed banana
4 ounces of apple sauce
1/4 cup canola oil
1 cup pear juice
1/2 cup brown rice syrup
2 tblspns honey

1 to 1 1/2 cups frozen blueberries

Mix dry ingredients together well and mix wet ingredients together in a separate bowl. Fold wet ingredients into dry mixture and combine well without over stirring. Add blueberries. Scoop into muffin pan filling cups 3/4 full. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool on wire rack. If using paper liners you must cool completely or they will stick to the liners. If not using paper liners grease pan well.

Enjoy!

Saturday, December 26, 2009

And just like that, it's over...

Is it just me or did Christmas come FAST this year? Jack has asked at least four times where the Christmas presents are, it's all we did yesterday, can you blame him? He looked pretty bummed out when I told him Christmas was all done. We had such a nice morning as a family, then had breakfast with our neighbors where I proceeded to talk about allergies far too much. Questions always arrise when Jack can't eat in a social situation which is almost every social situation. The food was delicious though, there and later at my parents. Nice holiday splurging and all without any accidental exposure to Jack!

Made out like a bandit yesterday. Justin gave me a roomba! I am so excited, cleaning floors is always the last to get to...I'm really good at the picking up and putting away so now my new little friend can do the cleaning for me at night! Every time I see it though I think of the SNL ad for the Woomba (aka - the little robot that cleans your noonie)...I'm sure that won't last forever, in the meantime it gives me a giggle. Came home with a Sephora gift card from my sis (we did a secret Santa thing this year) and cash from the parents. Woohoo! And Jack and Harvey have enough new toys to last til their birthdays in the summer.

The new year is just around the corner and this year I have RESOLUTIONS !! I have never been serious about this kind of thing but the timing is perfect because I've had some changes that I've been wanting to make and now's the time to buckle down. Caffeine and gluten out, I'll be blogging more later about why. And bone broths, fermented veggies, and lots more raw are IN. Should be getting results from Jack's blood draw on Monday soon. That could be putting some new healing methods into action as well.

All in all I am very excited about the New Year. I get very sentimental (and sad) over the things that I cannot change. My heart aches when I see other children eating whatever they'd like and their parents able to feed them without thought. It's easy to crave that grass that looks so much greener. I am so very grateful though for the progress we're making, for the changes I see in Jack, and for the health and awareness that he has brought to our family.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Healing power of bones...

Trying to get more comfortable with gut healing foods because I think it will make the transition off supplements easier and will be better long term for Jackaroni. I kept reading about bone broth and it's amazing gut healing properties but my thoughts on it were "ewww" and "probably a pain in the rear". Well, I'm now getting excited about it. We've made awesome progress through supplements and a cleaned up diet....I've been adding superfoods like greens into him and now it's time to get more creative!!

So, here are the basics on broth and how it's done. What's great is that it's not just for soup. You can cook noodles and rice in it, put it in an ice cube tray and add a cube to almost any dish, and make gravies etc with it. It can be made in a big batch, frozen into small batches, and worked into the diet all the time!

Not only does bone broth contain much needed minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium) in easily absorbed electrolyte form, but also the secret ingredient so good for healing the gut: gelatin.

Quoting from "Nourishing Traditions":

Hydrophilic colloids attract digestive juices for rapid and effective digestion....The same property by which gelatin attracts water to form desserts, like Jello, allows it to attract digestive juices to the surface of cooked food particles.

The public is generally unaware of the large amount of research on the beneficial effects of gelatin taken with food. Gelatin acts first and foremost as an aid to digestion and has been used successfully in the treatment of many intestinal disorders, including hyperacidity, colitis and Crohn's disease... anemia...diabetes, muscular dystrophy and even cancer.

Other important ingredients that go into broth are the components of cartilage, which recently have been used with remarkable results in the treatment of cancer and bone disorders, and of collagen, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and other ailments.

Jewish penicillin... modern research has confirmed that broth helps prevent and mitigate infectious diseases.

The test of whether your stock contains liberal amounts of gelatin is carried out by chilling the broth. It should thicken even to the point of jelling completely. If your broth is still runny, you may add a little powdered gelatin to thicken it. Bear in mind, however, that some people have reactions to commercially prepared gelatin, which will contain small amounts of free glutamic acid, similar to MSG.

...remedying infant diarrhea...

Chicken soup has a natural ingredient which feeds, repairs and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine. This inner lining is the beginning and ending of the nervous system. It is easily pulled away from the intestine through too many laxatives...food additives...parasites. [It] heals the nerves, improves digestion, reduces allergies, relaxes and gives strength.

General procedure follows. It is not expensive. A pack of 4 chicken legs at Whole Foods (aka Whole Paycheck) is $3.25. Fish, grass fed beef, or lamb shanks can be used, we're talking $5 at the most.

HOW TO MAKE:

If you are using beef bones, NT recommends roasting in oven first until browned.
Soak bones or chicken legs and vegetables desired (onions, carrots) with 2T vinegar per qt. of water for one hour before heating (chelates more minerals out).
Bring to low boil.
Skim froth.
Keep at barely a simmer for 6-24 hours.
Strain and refrigerate.
Remove fat.

After straining, you can reduce it for an hour or so at a lively boil to make a more concentrated stock. Then freeze in ice cube trays. Pop out and transfer to a freezer container. The concentrated stock or what the French term demi-glace, is really delicious.

We trialed Soba noodles (100% buckwheat) today so hoping Jack tolerates them well. He ate a LOT, loved them, and they're perfect for cooking in broth.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Detox Pathways



I'm going to get deeper into working on our detox pathways. This is just some of the reason why. Our culture has programmed us to treat symptoms instead of exploring why we're experiencing something (headache, nausea, fatigue, etc). What a disservice to prescribe a pill to mask a message that our body is trying to send us!

I've accepted that while I appear healthy (don't get sick often, trim build, etc) that I must have underlying issues to have birthed a child with bloody diapers, rashes, multiple allergies, reacted to *my milk*. Perhaps I had leaky gut but it healed in the 15 months following giving birth that I was on an elimination diet and taking probiotics, and getting away from processed foods. Perhaps that's why my second child was born without any of these issues. Even if I have healed myself shouldn't we all be making a life long effort to keeping our systems clear of chemicals and heavy metals? We can't control a lot of things about our environment but I won't stand by and accept that I can't do anything about it....we still have access to tools that can help our bodies along the way and give us fuller, richer, happier, healthier lives....not to mention the difference it will make for our children and grandchildren. Empowering isn't it!?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Allergies stink...

That sort of sums up our day... One of my biggest motivations for this blog is that it's a great tool to look back on.

I was so excited to receive my big Gold Mine Natural Food Co order yesterday. Some great products, lots of raw and organic goodness. I got excited and used a product called Mirin on some noodles for Jack last night. I read the label but didn't take the time to research it...the ingredients list reads: Organic sweet rice, organic shochu (water, organic rice, Koji (aspergillus oryzae)), organic rice, sea salt. My mind went "okay, rice, rice, fermentation stuff, salt, cool !!". Not so much. Jack ate it all up and I was stoked that we now had a product similar to soy sauce without all the soy and wheat. He woke this morning with an allergic reaction and has been on the pot off and on all day. My poor babe. Got on google (thank the heavens for technology) and found that "Koji (aspergillus oryzae)" is MOLD. Duh. Mother.... There's our allergen. Why I didn't do that yesterday is beyond me.

Not sure how long the reaction will last since this is a first time offense but I'm hoping it's just a day and not a week like some other allergens. His appetite has been great today and he seems fine. Thankfully he's a champ at booking it to the bathroom. I'm upping his amino acid supplement to help restore his gut lining and giving him some extra enzymes to help clear his system of the "pathogen". *sigh*

Tried making the switch to Dandy Blend (http://www.dandyblend.com/) this morning but discovered that quitting caffeine when you've gotten about 5 hours of sleep and got up at 5am is just stupid. Taste was nice enough though! Justin's off work next week so I'll try again when I've caught up on my Zzz's (here's hoping!). Harvey's cutting the very last tooth in his mouth (until 2yr molars) so he's been a bit of a bear...good thing he's so stinking cute!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

At last...

I'm inspired to blog again !! In the brief moments of free time that parenting allows me I've been burried in research and working at wrapping my sleep deprived brain around some very complicated concepts. If there's one thing I've learned it's that I should never stop learning. You would not believe how complex allergies are. I went from the understanding that avoidance was the only route to take to the mindset that healing is possible. I've become familiar with what it means to have high histamine levels in the body, methylation issues, phenol sensitivities, blocked detox pathways, leaky gut, and the complexities of b vitamins. This all relates to Jack but is of importance to everyone and we have cleaned up our diet significantly because of it.

We've been starting our mornings with juiced greens (spinach, kale, chard) which I add to Jack's juice and add to our smoothies. Our greens are going bananas thanks to the rain and cool weather. My goal each day is consuming 75% raw food and getting as much raw foods as possible into the rest of my family. Harvey loves food and shares my palate for intense flavors so he's easy, plus he's still nursing so he really is getting everything he needs. I've worked raw carrots and raw seeds into Jack's daily eating along with the green juice. My new year goals are to begin fermenting my own veggies and making my own kefir. I'm also getting more familiar with quinoa and buckwheat groats and attempting to make them palatable enough for my super picky three year old. Stay tuned.

Included in Jack's diet are lots of snuggles, tickles, and a high dose of physical romping around. He is now attending twice weekly speech therapy sessions and LOVES them. While behind his peers, his speech is coming along beautifully and he never ceases to melt and inspire us. Each new development in his communication makes us beam with pride and hope. Harvey is our little old soul. He's saying a lot and picks up everything as though he's done it a thousand times before. He worships Jack and the two of them are doing their best to turn me grey.

Current favorite raw food recipe:

Raw Pineapple Curry Slaw

1/2 head green cabbage shredded
2 cups fresh pineapple diced
handful of raw flax seeds
1/4 sweet red onion sliced thinly
minced cilantro (I use a lot)
salt, cayenne, and curry powder

Lots more recipes to come. The boys have been entertaining themselves for 40 minutes and Jack's reminding me it's "munch time". Thank you for reading, love to my beautiful family and friends!