Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Basic Pasta

Last night's dinner was simple and successful. For lots of reasons.

1) We all ate the same thing.
2) I could see in Jack' face that he was thrilled about it.
3) Everyone liked it, Jack asked for seconds and when I dished up his seconds he asked for the serving to be bigger.
4) He asked for it again this morning. (and I happily gave it to him)
5) It was all organic!

1 lb organic grass fed ground beef sauteed, 20 ounce jar organic tomato sauce added. 8 ounces organic brown rice penne cooked al dente and stirred into sauce mixture.

Paired it with a green salad and had watermelon for dessert! Next time I'm going to add some pureed steamed carrots and squash to the sauce.

After the kiddos went to bed we stayed up to eat chocolate covered almonds and watch tv - trust me, we deserve it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A plea!



Well, either the boys are having simultaneous "brain spurts" or the fish balls...er, uh...cod liver oil supplements are having a positive impact on them! They are both advancing in langauge and responding well behaviorally so we will definitely keep up with them!

I read this morning that babies are born with increased gut permeability (leaky gut). Why I've never heard this before is beyond me. The purpose for this is that their guts will allow immunities into the blood stream via mom's milk which makes perfect natural sense. HOWEVER, this single handedly explains to me why allergies are on the rise. See, in a perfect natural world the food mothers eat would be free of genetic modification, pesticides, pollution, dyes, nitrates, preservatives, flavor enhancers, and other chemicals. So babies are being born absolutely bombarded by these immediately (whether breast or formula fed). Add to this western medications, vaccines, electromagnetic fields, flame retardants, chemical cleaning agents, our nasty "drinking" water, and you'll see that underdeveloped immune systems are not designed for this type of toxic overload. I believe we are ALL affected by this but for those who are more sensitive it's not merely a stomach ache, lethargy, or a pimple, it's autism, ADD, PDD, allergies, alzheimers, auto immune disorders, cancers, etc!

I have and will continue to look at Jack's allergies as a gift. It has made our family more healthy and aware and my hope is that as this rises in our culture that those of us who have worked so hard to make the changes necessary for HEALING will be heard. The public deserves to know that this will affect them eventually and they deserve to know that there are reasons for it and ways to escape it !!! These are positive changes, not eccentric behavior, but NECESSARY action. I hope that children like Jack will grow into charismatic leaders whose stories will be influential because of their direct experience with this environmental indicator.

Hmmmm, perhaps the fish balls are helping my brain too! I just want to hug all the mamas out there who are spreading these kinds of messages. Our children are THE FUTURE, how can we ignore these rising numbers? Eat real food today !!! Thank you!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Fermented Veggies


For my birthday I've asked for a fermenting crock and I'm already excited. Three weeks til my birthday and four to six weeks of fermenting and I'll be able to update on the results! Benefits of fermented veggies are endless. Our modern diet fails to provide some of these benefits as the fermented foods that we do eat are refined and no longer contain dietary and medicinal diegestive enzymes. I'll probably start with a basic cabbage sauerkraut as cabbage is a non dairy form of lactic acid and is high in vitamin C and contains vitamin A. Once I get good at that I may try to get fancy and make kimchi!

Kids are being especially cute this morning....sharing and taking turns without my having to ref! Jack has recently become scared of "scary ones" in movies. We were watching The Princess and the Frog and he was getting all scared so I told him that the scary one was naughty and would get a time out and then be a good boy. TOTALLY WORKED! Sometimes I'm a genius.

We found a preschool for Jack and he'll be starting in the fall. It's a great little in home one and I think their part time program is going to be perfect for him. He has been initiating conversations with other children lately which is huge for him and not only is it strengthening friendships it is also growing his confidence and that has been magical to watch. His questions are hilarious sometimes. He and his buddy Chase were eating lunch together on Monday and he turned to Chase and said "Do you like to chew it Chase? And swallow it into your stomach?" and Chase was like "Yeah!". Kids are awesome.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Fish Oil - Yummy


Started these for the boys and I yesterday. Will update any benefits I notice in a couple of weeks. I tried them about eight months ago but Jack wouldn't eat them. Yesterday they loved them, ate them up like candy. Maybe because I don't give them candy. They're little strawberry flavored gel caps that look like round vitamin E supplements. I thought I'd have to cut them open and spread the oil on rice bread with honey but they really don't taste fishy and the boys love them. "Balls are yummy!!!" (that's what she said).

Monday, March 8, 2010

GMO Corn and Allergies


Genetically Engineered Corn May Cause Food Allergies
Posted by: Dr. Mercola
March 03 2010 | 2,079 views


By Jeffrey M. Smith

The biotech industry is fond of bragging about their genetically modified (GM) crops that “resist pests.” This conjures up images of insects staying away from GM fields. But resisting pests is a euphemism for contains its own pesticide. When bugs take a bite of the GM plant, the toxin from the plant splits open their stomach and kills them.

The idea that we consume that same toxic pesticide in every bite is hardly appetizing. But the biotech companies insist that the pesticide, called Bt-toxin, has a history of safe use. Organic farmers, for example, have used solutions containing the natural form of Bt-toxin—produced from Bacillus thuringiensis bacteria—as a method of natural insect control. Genetic engineers simply remove the gene that produces the Bt in bacteria and insert it into the DNA of corn and cotton plants. Moreover, they claim that Bt-toxin is quickly destroyed in our stomach; and even if it survived, it won’t cause reactions in humans or mammals. Studies show otherwise.

Bt spray is dangerous, the GM version is worse

Mice fed natural Bt-toxin showed significant immune responses and caused them to become sensitive to other formerly harmless compounds. This suggests that Bt-toxin might make a person allergic to a wide range of substances.1,2,3

Farm workers and others have also had reactions to natural Bt-toxin,45678 and authorities acknowledge that “People with compromised immune systems or preexisting allergies may be particularly susceptible to the effects of Bt.”9 In fact, when natural Bt was sprayed over areas around Vancouver and Washington State to fight gypsy moths, about 500 people reported reactions—mostly allergy or flu-like symptoms. Six people had to go to the emergency room.10,11 Now, thousands of agricultural workers in India exposed to GM Bt cotton varieties are reporting those exact symptoms; they don’t react to natural cotton.12

The Bt-toxin produced in the GM plants is probably more dangerous than in its natural spray form. In the plants, the toxin is about 3,000-5,000 times more concentrated than the spray, it doesn’t wash off the plants like the spray does,1314 and it is designed to be more toxic than the natural version.15 In fact, the GM toxin has properties of known allergens and fails all three GM allergy tests recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and others.16

GM pollen may cause allergies

Bt-toxin is produced in GM corn and can be eaten intact. It is also in pollen, which can be inhaled. In 2003, during the time when an adjacent Bt cornfield was pollinating, virtually an entire Filipino village of about 100 people was stricken by a disease. The symptoms included headaches, dizziness, extreme stomach pain, vomiting, chest pains, fever, and allergies, as well as respiratory, intestinal, and skin reactions. The symptoms appeared first in those living closest to the field, and then progressed to others by proximity. When the same corn was planted in four other villages the following year, the symptoms returned in all four areas—only during the time of pollination.

The potential dangers of breathing GM pollen had been identified in a letter to the FDA in 1998 by a UK government committee. They had even warned that genes from inhaled pollen might transfer into the DNA of bacteria in the respiratory system.17 Although no studies were done to verify this risk, years later UK scientists confirmed that after consuming GM soybeans, the foreign inserted genes transferred from the soy into the DNA of human gut bacteria. If Bt genes from GM corn chips, for example, also transfer, it might convert our intestinal flora into living pesticide factories—continually producing Bt-toxin inside of us.

Lab animals react to GM crops

Studies confirm that several GM crops engineered to produce built-in pesticides provoke immune responses in animals. A Monsanto rat study on Bt corn showed a significant increase in blood cells related to the immune system.18 Pesticide producing GM peas19 and potatoes20 (not Bt) also provoked immune responses in rodents.

Allergic reactions are a defensive, often harmful immune system response to an external irritant. The body interprets something as foreign, different, and offensive, and reacts accordingly. All GM foods, by definition, have something foreign and different. According to GM food safety expert Arpad Pusztai, “A consistent feature of all the studies done, published or unpublished, . . . indicates major problems with changes in the immune status of animals fed on various GM crops/foods.”21

In addition to immune responses, several studies and reports suggest that GM foods are toxic.

http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2010/03/03/genetically-engineered-corn-may-cause-food-allergies.aspx

Sunday, March 7, 2010

What we're doing/have done and where we're at!

For the sake of logging our progress I want to lay out what we've been doing and where we're currently at here.

Dietary:

Jack has IGE allergies to the following, from most severe to least:
(food)
Peanut
Dairy
Egg
Tree nuts
Soy
Corn
Red grapes
Green peas

(environmental)
Dust mite
Dogs
Mold
Cats

Jack has IGG allergies to the following:
Sugar cane, apple, apricot, cranberry, red grape, grapefruit, lemon, orange, papaya, peach, pear, rasberry, oyster, almond, amaranth, barley, kidney bean, lima bean, pinto bean, soy (huge!), coconut, corn, filber, wheat, lentil, oat, green pea (another huge), peanut, pean, rice, rye, spelt, walnut, asparagus, avocado, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, garlic, lettuce, oion, bell pepper, sweet potato, white potato, pumpkin, radish, zucchini, tomato.

This indicated leaky gut (increased permeability) and got the ball rolling for the need to intervene beyond avoidance of allergens.

For the record, here's what tested as SAFE to eat:
Meat of all kinds, honey, banana, blueberry, pineapple, strawberry, fish, buckwheat, sunflower, beets, mushroom, olive. So that's mostly what we're working with. He does seem to be okay with the rice bread and Ian's alphabet potato fries that I give him with digestive enzymes.

Developmental concerns:
While Jack never experienced a regression in development we did begin to notice a drop off in progression around age 18 months when other children were passing him up verbally. His language came on late and lower than his peers. He has some delays in fine and gross motor skills but continues to progress and isn't far behind. Language came on stonger and faster when we began enzymes and removed soy and corn from his diet. He evaluated about a year behind in language back in October and the gap is closing.

Symptoms of leaky gut that have improved:
Anxiety is gone, improved ability to concentrate on tasks and regulate emotions. Tantrums are seldom, digestion has improved, looks healthier physically, increased appetite, and seems more tolerant of food rather than getting less and less tolerant like before treatment.

Supplements:
Basic multivitamin (contains A, C, D3, E, Calcium, Chromium, Magnesium, Molybdenum, Selenium,and Zinc) which is free of all allergens, very important! I also give him extra magnesium at night and extra molybdenum separately. Perma-Clear by Thorne which treats the gut lining with L-glutamine and N-Acetylglucosamine, contains quercetin which is a natural antihistamine, and probiotics. Digestive enzyme blend which helps break down the food he eats so that particles of the food are less likely to get into his blood stream causing an allergic response, also the enzymes give his body a vacation and hopefully will stimulate the production of enzymes in his own body. Vitamins are dosed once a day and perma-clear and enzymes are taken before each meal.

Jack is attending a preschool language group (speech therapy) through the school district and he loves it! He knows all of his classmates' names and loves greeting them and he adores his Teacher Sandi. I'm researching nearby preschools and looking into starting a part time program in the fall. In our (unbiased, lol) opinion Jack is doing amazingly!! He has had set backs but so understandably so when you look at what he's had to deal with. He is such a good big brother and is a very loving little boy. We're still working on independance so I utter the words "Jack can do it !!" at least 20 times a day but I'm slowly noticing him complete tasks on his own that he used to barely attempt before yelling "help mama hellllllp". He is three years old after all. He loves to draw, paint, play, dance, sing, and go to playgrounds. He's doing wonderfully at amusement parks, we're even considering a Disney trip soon. Before I would have thought the crowds and attractions would be too much for him but now my only concern is having to pack allergen free food! Of course now that Jack is a little dreamboat Harvey has started to form opinions and is climbing everything. He is a wrecking ball! I'm sure he'll mature out of this phase soon though and then I won't know what to do with myself. It's taken me two days to write this up but I want it to look back on!!

Allergies and Delays Article

DEVELOPMENTAL DELAY AND THE ALLERGY CONNECTION

Parents are perplexed and concerned when their child has shown normal development during the early years of his or her life but suddenly stops progressing as expected or even regresses at 18-30 months of age. Children who experience cessation or regression of speech and developmental problems are often diagnosed as having Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) or even Autism. Unfortunately, children who fall into this classification typically receive speech and occupational therapy because a majority of health care practitioners are not aware of other treatments. Thus, many parents are not aware of the causes of their child's problems and do not have much hope for future improvement. Some physicians regard the terms Autism and PPD as classifications rather than diagnoses--convenient terms for children with similar symptoms and behaviors but different underlying causes. In the developmentally-delayed child it is important to look beyond the symptoms to understand the causes of the problem. Interestingly, food allergies often are found to play a key role, and when dietary restrictions are added to other treatments including supplemental vitamins and minerals, dramatic improvement in a child's condition often results. Johnny seemed to be a normal child until age two and a half when his speech and behavior showed marked deterioration. His problems included decreased eye contact difficulty with loud sounds, no expressive speech, chronic bloody noses and recurrent ear infections. He became easily fatigued and displayed aggressive behavior. His medical diagnosis included allergies, fatigue, severe expressive speech delay and pervasive developmental disorder. He appropriately had been receiving speech and occupational therapy.

What Can Cause a Developmental Delay?
Often allergies are the link which connects behavior problems, developmental delays and recurrent infections. Allergies are most commonly thought of as adverse reactions to inhalants such as molds, pollens (trees, grass, weeds) and animal danders (cat, dog). Allergies are much broader in scope, however, and are caused not only by inhalants but by the food we eat and the chemicals present in our air, food and water. Allergies can produce readily identifiable symptoms like hayfever and asthma, but their effect can also be more subtle as well. Allergies can affect any part of the human body, but most importantly, the central nervous system. Children who exhibit the following problems may benefit greatly from allergy tests and treatment: frequent ear infections and developmental problems The focus of initial allergy tests could include tests for pollens, molds and any food ingested twice per week on a regular basis.

How Are Food Allergies Tested?
Under the controlled supervision of a family physician, a single food elimination diet is a simple approach which a parent can employ at home. Often a food which a child particularly craves is the one to which he is allergic. In a single food elimination diet, the craved food is eliminated from the child's diet for 10 days and then reintroduced. If symptoms arise, it is a good sign to parents that this food is causing the child's medical problems. A more comprehensive approach to allergy testing is a multiple elimination diet. In a multiple elimination diet, the following are eliminated from the child's diet for approximately 14 days: milk, chocolate, wheat, corn, eggs, craved foods, citrus, preservatives sugar, additives, peanuts. During the two weeks of the test, the child is prescribed a diet of fresh fruit, vegetables, chicken, turkey, fish and grains (oat, rice, barley and rye). Then eliminated foods are reintroduced into the diet, one day at a time, as a food challenge. If symptoms such as headaches, rashes or abdominal pain develop, that particular food is a likely culprit and should be eliminated or restricted from the child's diet. Johnny was tested for food allergies at age 3. Once the foods he was allergic to had been identified, food immunotherapy was added to his treatment. Two days after starting the food immunotherapy, the results were so dramatic that his teachers were astonished. Within two days, Johnny was reading, counting from 1 to 10, saying the alphabet and speaking in four to five word sentences rather than uttering just one or two words at a time. His difficulties with eye contact, fatigue, aggressive behavior and attention span all significantly improved once he began allergy treatment. While all success stories may not be as compelling as Johnny's, his illustrates the impact of identifying the underlying cause of a medical problem on a child's life. If a food allergy is discovered, changes in diet are relatively easy to implement and can make an enormous difference in the well-being of a child.

What Can Parents Do?
If your child suffers from developmental delays, contact a pediatric allergist or your family physician to investigate the possibility of food allergies. With all that is now known about the links between allergies, chronic infection, developmental disorders and undesirable behavior, parents are advised to consider food allergies as a cause of these interrelated problems. Physicians can derive great benefit by listening to parents talk about their children and interpreting the parent's comments medically. By supplementing medical expertise with clinical judgment and old-fashioned common sense, doctors can practice the art of medicine as well as the science of medicine and thereby provide children with the best of care. Richard E. Layton, M.D., practices specialized pediatrics, allergy, and preventive medicine and maintains a private practice in Towson. He has over 29 years experience in pediatrics and is president of the Maryland Association of Innovative Health Care Practitioners.