Day Fifty Two. Eat Healthy + Gain Weight = Happy.

Day Fifty Two.

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I never thought I would see such a drastic change in my son just by changing his eating habits. I knew that eating healthy has it’s benefits, but I would have never guessed I would get these results so quickly. This update on my sons health makes me tear up with happiness. All those nights spent worrying if my son was growing, why was he hurting, does he have some major illness, etc…all gone, just a memory and a memory that seems like it was years ago, not just a few months.

If you are just joining my blog let me fill you in on our journey. My three year old son suffered several “symptoms” that I could not let pass by anymore and I had to get answers.

  1. He never had a normal bowel movement, it was always diarrhea and frequently would have whole undigested food in it.
  2. Horrible, horrible foul smell from BM’s.
  3. Was very irritable.
  4. He wet the bed.
  5. Would wake up several times throughout the night whether it be a bad dream, tummy ache or just restlessness. At 3 years old he still had only “slept through the night”  maybe 3 times. Sleep stretches would be no more than 3 hours at a time.
  6. Nail biting.
  7. Poor weight gain, which eventually started to get to weight loss (this is when we took him to medical doctors).
  8. Poor growth, short stature, although this was less concerning being that both my husband and myself are shorter.
  9. Extremely picky eater. Poor appetite.

It might not seem like a lot to you, but for me as a mom I just knew something was not right. We went through several different tests which all came back clear for any major problems. Whew. All we discovered was that he had high fat content in his stools and had trouble with nutrient absorption. Our GI Specialists suggested taking him off gluten to see how he responded.

We not only took him off gluten but we proceeded with a 60 day detox of all GMO’s. I started seeing results almost immediately. His attitude seemed different. He was a happy kid again, as the weeks go by things keep improving.

  1. His bowel movements look normal. No more diarrhea. Food is processed and it smells SO much better.
  2. He was happy. Still whines like your normal child, but nothing like before.
  3. No more bed wetting! Bye-bye pull ups!
  4. Sleeps 12+ hours a night. Seriously, amazing.
  5. Still bites his nails, but I think it has to do more with just being nervous. It did stop for awhile, but that has returned.
  6. February 2nd weighed in at 31 lbs. June 2nd weighed in at 35.5 lbs! 
  7. February 2nd he was still wearing 24 month clothing. June 2nd he now fits 4T perfectly!
  8. “Better” eater, still picky, but he does not gag on food anymore.

I cannot say enough about our new lifestyle and how much it literally has changed our life. Whenever we slip out of our diet due to a vacation or pure laziness I can tell the difference. It is really weird how quickly your body responds to poor eating habits. You start craving sweets and fats more, you get irritable,  it’s a beast. The opposite happens if you increase healthy foods and good fats. Your mood lightens, your are happy, you feel energized and sweets are a thing of the past (haha, yeah right!).

I know I have been lacking on posting, Summer has been super busy. I know you understand, right? Our littlest started walking, she is such a monkey and always into trouble. The other two are just as busy as ever, parties to attend, vacations, swim lessons, etc… I really do want to be posting more and cooking more but life has taken over. I will get back into a regular routine very soon. All Summer vacations are over at this point. We just have one more major event… My Husband and Brother-in-law have been working tirelessly on creating an iPhone app and I have been writing for them as well. I will be announcing their app Thursday, it goes public Friday, and I couldn’t be more excited for them!

 

 

 

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Day Fifty. Gluten Free “Toll House” Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Day Fifty. What is that one food that brings back fond memories for you? You know, it is the meal or dessert that every time you make it you go back to a certain memory and it brings a smile … Continue reading

Day forty five. Keeping Up With The GMO’s. {health update}

We are chugging along on our little challenge of keeping our home GMO free. While we have noticed significant changes in our health, we still struggle. I would love to say if you stop eating GMO’s all together it will be a magic “cure all” for everything. It isn’t. But it has caused improvements and I would hope to think in the long run, several years down the road, we will reap the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Our son, who is the whole reason this “non-GMO for 60-days” started has been cleared for not having Celiacs Disease. I am so relieved to know that we do not have that hard, life-long battle ahead of us. My heart goes out to those Mom’s who do have children who suffer with this disease. His biopsy also came back negative for a lactose allergy and negative for any enzyme deficiencies. AND he gained 1 pound, he was most excited about this! Praise God!

His GI Specialist was very intrigued by our new diet changes and asked several questions. It was nice to connect with a Doctor who did not just throw medicines and a “diagnosis” at us. He agreed that staying away from processed foods and gluten could only benefit his little body. He also was pretty sure that he has a high gluten intolerance, while not full blown Celiacs, he just cannot process gluten the way he should and reacts. Over time, if he continued to eat gluten without changing his diet, he could develop Celiacs later in life.

We have done a “test” and gave him a small bit of gluten at dinner one night- not telling him – just to see how his body would respond. I was pretty surprised (and sad that I caused this) but he wet his bed, started biting his nails, was super irritable and complained of a tummy ache over the next couple of days. Poor kid! Thankfully, we know what causes his problems and I am learning how to cook gluten-free. If you have a favorite gluten-free recipe please share!

I have a follow up with my GI Specialist on Wednesday this week. They have been pretty vague and really will not give me much information as to the results of my colonoscopy over the phone. Talk about frustrating! They just tell me to “keep taking your medicine and we will talk at the appointment”. I will have a whole post on that medicine and it’s nasty side-effects and why I stopped taking it. It should be fun talking with the Doctor about it on Wednesday 🙂

Did you get a chance to guess the secret ingredient yesterday? If not, take a look at these ingredients and see if you can guess this product from the ingredient list before reading the answer.

Know Your Product Icon

#8

CORN SYRUP, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WATER, CELLULOSE GUM, CARAMEL COLOR, SALT, SODIUM BENZOATE AND SORBIC ACID (PRESERVATIVES), ARTIFICIAL AND NATURAL FLAVORS, SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE.

The Answer:

Screen Shot 2013-05-06 at 9.47.39 PMAunt Jemima Original Syrup. Full of sugars, artificial and GMO ingredients. Yum. Why not try a pure maple syrup instead or maybe some local honey? We love the 365 brand from Whole Foods.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Day Twenty Nine. Super-Hero Powers Conquer Toddler Endoscopy.

Day Twenty Nine.

It is late. I still have not posted my “Know Your Ingredients” for today (I will post that tomorrow)…I am more than a few days behind on posting about the procedure… I have been overwhelmed with Doctors visits, calling for appointments, setting up babysitters, homeschooling, preparing nutritious meals, blah-blah-blah…you get the point.  I am a Mom to 3 small children 🙂

Let me back up a couple days. Thursday night was the “night before” the big Endoscopy. How in the world do you prepare a 3 year old for an Endoscopy…??? I submit to you a get super hero power party. It was a brilliant plan that worked perfectly. We picked his favorite super hero, The Hulk, and planned a little party for dinner to get him strong and brave for the Doctor’s appointment. He picked what he thought would make him strong for dinner and dessert. He picked chili, baked potato’s (with a little coaxing) and finally for dessert, chocolate cake with chocolate covered strawberries. Love his taste in dessert. We had balloons, specials presents for the morning of the appointment and cake with candles. Yes, we had to have candle because apparently we had to sing him happy birthday, who knows, but he got whatever he wanted! 🙂

He was to stop eating at midnight until after his appointment, which was not until 11:00am the next day! We planned a family movie night and stayed up late so I could stuff him with more snacks. I did not want a hungry child crying the next morning. I prepped him with talk of a “super hero cape” he would wear, the hospital gown, no eating or drinking in the morning so the Doctor could use his super-hero powers to see through his stomach. Yes, that logic works for a 3 year old, he thought it was awesome. And we even got a Hulk tattoo for his arm where the IV would go.

The morning of the Endoscopy went well. He complained a few times of being hungry, but we had plenty of distractions in the form of new toys, coloring books and actually buying iPad games instead of always only getting the free ones. We went to the Doctor and brought along his Build-A-Bear dressed in his super-hero costume, Batman. *Cute note: he named his bear Peanut Butter Chocolate Batman – all his favorites.* He jumped up into the bed, changed into his super-hero cape and threw his hands behind is head and was relaxed. The Doctors and Nurses kept laughing at how cool and collected he was. He was helping ME be more relaxed by how calm he was taking it. When he woke up he didn’t remember anything., an answer to prayer! He was a little groggy and whiny for about 10 minutes, but then he perked back up to his normal self and was staaaaarving 🙂

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We will not know any results from the test until later this week. Initial results looked good. No cancer, no ulcers. Because we had him on a gluten-free diet for over a month the Celiacs Disease was done by biopsy. The Doctor was not very happy that he had been gluten-free for so long because it could throw the test….oh well.

I know some people would question why we would put our 3 year old through such a traumatic test. The only answer I can tell you is because I felt that it was necessary for OUR family. It was a decision that did not go by without a lot of prayer, time, research and consideration. I actually scheduled this test 2 other times and cancelled because I just felt it wasn’t the right time. So it was not a flippant decision. I am not saying it is the right choice for everyone, it was just right for us.

So now we wait for results. I am anxious to know, but feel at peace that whatever it may be we can handle it.

I posted the recipes for our get super-hero power party already. Here are the links:

Beef and Black Bean Chili

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Death By Chocolate Flourless Cake

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Day Twenty Eight. Endoscopies, Flourless Chocolate Cake and Chili. Oh My!

Day Twenty Eight.

The big day. I am dreading it with everything. Thinking about the endoscopy makes my heart skip. Will he remember it? Will it cause him pain? Are we making the right choice? All these things are racing through my head. As a parent you never want to see your child hooked up to IV’s and in a hospital bed, never. You never want to cause un-necessary trauma and pain to your child. But at the same time, you hate seeing them in pain. You cannot stand to see them struggle and look to you to help, but be helpless. You see where we are torn?

I know I set out for this 60-day challenge to heal our bodies naturally…and I still intend on sticking to the plan. After everything I have learned I am even more certain we are in the situation because of what I have fed our family. But, after a lot of thought we felt it necessary to go through with the endoscopy just to make sure we are not missing anything big. I truly feel the way we have been eating has changed a lot and I love what it is teaching my kids about food and where it comes from and how to grow it. That being said, we should have some sort of results fairly quickly. We are going today, 11:00am. It has been a long journey and I feel anxious. I know this is not the “end” but it is the “end” of a lot of questioning. I am excited about that.

To prepare our 3 year old for the endoscopy he was not allowed to eat anything after midnight and nothing to eat or drink after 7:00am. His test is not until 11:00am, ha! That is a long, long time for a 3 year old boy to wait to eat or drink anything. He is usually the first one awake, 6:30am, by my bed…”Mom, get up. I am staaaaarving.”  Oh this will be fun. Very fun. Why do they make the appointments so late for little kids!?

We prepped him last night with a “party”. The party was a Hulk party. The goal was to get Bradley nice and strong before his big Doctors appointment. He requested chocolate cake with chocolate covered strawberries. I was impressed with his palate. My boy loves him some chocolate 🙂 I found an uh-mazing recipe for a flourless chocolate cake. Even if you are not gluten-free you must try this. So we had baked potato’s with chili and the flourless chocolate cake. We all stayed up late and watched a movie and ate lots of popcorn and grapes (trying to stuff him silly so he wouldn’t wake up staaaarving).

I will post tomorrow with the results of the endoscopy. For now, here are the recipes for my chili and the flourless chocolate cake.

Beef and Black Bean Chili

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Ingredients:

  • 1.3 lbs. organic grass fed beef (we got it at Costco)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can organic dark red kidney beans, keep the juice.
  • 1 28oz can organic fire roasted tomato’s (I used Muir Glen)
  • 3 t. paprika
  • 2 t. cumin
  • 3 T. chili powder
  • salt to taste

Preparation:

Brown the ground beef in a medium skillet. Remove excess fat and set aside. In the same pan sauté onion until soft, add the garlic and cook additional minute. Add the beans, tomatoes and spices and stir. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and then stir in the beef. Let it simmer for 30 minutes up to 4 hours. You could also put this all in the crockpot and let it cook all day.

Death By Chocolate Flourless Cake

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Taken from: Gluten Free Cooking.About.Com

This easy recipe for flourless chocolate cake with silky chocolate glaze is a decadent finale to any special celebration.

This recipe is an adaptation of Flourless Chocolate Cake by Linda Larsen, About.com Guide to Busy Cooks. This version is smaller than most flourless chocolate cake recipes but don’t let the diminutive size fool you, one small wedge delivers a big dose of buttery rich chocolate flavor!

If you have a 7-inch tart pan with crimped edges and a removable bottom the cake bakes up with fanciful fluted edges and is easy to remove from the pan after baking.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 6 1-ounce squares coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • For Glaze:
  • 2 1-ounce squares coarsely chopped semisweet chocolate squares
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon milk OR light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Agave syrup OR honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350°FSpray a 7-inch tart pan with removable bottom with cooking spray. If you don’t have a tart pan, use a 6 to 7-inch springform pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray the paper.

  1. Melt 6 ounces of chopped chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over medium low heat. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted and smooth.
  2. Add sugar and salt and reduce heat to low. Cook while stirring for about one minute, until sugar starts to dissolve.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Whisk in eggs, one at a time. The mixture will look smooth and glossy.
  4. Use a mesh hand sieve to sift cocoa into mixture. This prevents lumps. Whisk until the cake batter is smooth.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for about 25 minutes. The center of the cake should be just firm to the touch, but be careful to not overbake the cake or it will be dry.
  6. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Invert the cake on a plate.
  7. To prepare the glaze, melt 2 ounces of chopped chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in the same saucepan you used to make the cake. When melted and smooth, remove the pan from heat. Add milk and Agave syrup OR honey and vanilla and stir until smooth and glossy. Let the glaze cool for about 3 minutes before pouring it on the cake.
  8. Pour all of the glaze in the middle of the cake. Use a silicone or rubber spatula to spread the glaze evenly over the cake, allowing the glaze to evenly run down the sides of the cake.

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The green specs are little green sprinkles because we had to “hulkify” the cake 🙂