GMO’s and Gluten Intolerance. Our Journey Of Healing.

I has been 3 long months of being absent from the blogging world. I am now more than half way through my pregnancy with our fourth baby (it’s another girl!) and feeling a tad bit more energy. I have been anxious to share our health update with you for a while now, but having the time amidst pregnancy, homeschooling and 3 children has left little time for blogging.

 

Our journey started in February, you can read about that here. I was on a quest to heal my then 3-year-old sons gut naturally. He was displaying  reactions to something he was eating and I needed to figure it out. We totally re-vamped our diet, eliminated GMO’s and gluten and started our healing process. We spent 60 days on a very strict, organic, non GMO, gluten free diet. I will be the first to admit it was extremely difficult at first, but after a few months it became habit and we were used to it.

 

Fast forward to 9 months later, how are we now? Well, for one, I am pregnant. Something that was not supposed to happen again (according to Doctors). But, to me, the biggest change we have seen from our lifestyle change is in our son. He is now four and has never been healthier or happier. We were able to introduce gluten back into his diet 2 months ago…I think I can hear angels rejoicing! Before I start getting emails about how horrible gluten is and how I should keep him away from it, hear me out.  At first I got so excited and started baking up a storm, a gluten wonder world….it tasted soooo good after months of gluten free. We quickly realized that his body was going into gluten “overload” and it needed to be in small amounts and less frequently. We have now figured out a good balance. We eat a gluten free diet during the week and then on the weekend we allow him to “cheat”. The nice part with this is we can go out to eat, over to friends or church without having to be a gluten-nazi about it. It has been so freeing! His sleep has drastically changed. He finally sleeps through the night, no more bed wetting! The dark circles under his eyes are gone, his poop is normal and he is getting taller and gaining weight at a normal rate. Looking back, I am so glad we made this change, my only regret is we did not do it sooner!

 

For those of you considering a diet change, gluten free or non GMO, my best advice for you is to start slow. Unless you have severe problems like my son, then I would go cold turkey. You can do it, you will feel a difference and be grateful you made the choice in the long run. I would love to hear your stories and support you through your journey.

 

I have not had much time for cooking up new recipes these days, but the colder weather has inspired some new soups. Here is one we had most recently and it was so good I had to share it. It is also a Paleo dish, double bonus.

 

Roasted Sweet Potato, Sausage and Kale Soup

photo-66

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into but sized chunks
  • 1 T. coconut oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1-1/2 lbs sausage (Applegate Farms makes good ones!)
  • 1 bunch of kale, chopped and stems removed
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 5 cups of homemade chicken stock
  • 1/2 t. fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/2 t. red pepper flakes
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Spread sweet potatoes onto a baking sheet and cover with coconut oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast until tender, but not falling a part, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. In a large pot brown sausage (I removed it from the casing or you could slice them)
  5. Drain off excess fat and add onions, sauté until translucent. Add more coconut oil if needed.
  6. Add garlic, sage, nutmeg and red pepper and cook an addition 1-2 minutes.
  7. Pour in coconut milk and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
  8. Reduce heat to simmer.
  9. Add in kale in batches. You could lightly sauté it first in a separate pan or just add it directly to the soup. It’s up to you!
  10. Let the soup simmer for about 10 minutes to cook down the kale and then add in the sweet potatoes.
  11. The long the soup simmers, the better the taste!
  12. Add salt and pepper and serve hot!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. I know we have MUCH to be thankful for in our home this year.

 

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 

 

Advertisements

Day Thirty Two. When Answers Are Not What You Wanted To Hear.

Day Thirty Two.

What a weekend we have had! Sometimes life comes at you so fast you feel like you got blindsided and left for dead. This weekend was one of those… I had a colonoscopy that revealed some unpleasant news, two of my kids got a nasty stomach bug and my littlest is in the middle of teething hell. It has been a fantastic weekend, ha! 🙂

I started this journey a little over a month ago, I have learned so much that I would never change, but it has also been the most challenging month for our family on so many different levels. It seems in my quest for health we have gone through MORE health problems. I feel like we are on a roller coaster and at the moment we are on the huge downward plunge – I guess I just need to hold my hands up, close my eyes and scream until we reach the end and start to climb up again. Sounds like more fun anyways.

We are waiting on several biopsies to confirm for sure, but my initial results revealed Crohn’s Disease. We did catch it at the very beginning, to which I am so thankful, but I was still not ready to hear THAT. I am a young mom, have very small children, have not even been married 10 years yet…I should be in my prime for health and now I am getting slapped with a second disease that has no cure, just management. It was tough to hear.

My Doctor wanted to start me on medication right away to heal my gut. Quick Fact: roughly over 500,000 Americans suffer from Crohn’s Disease. In other Countries this number is drastically different. I wonder why….GMO’s perhaps? I am not sure how long I will need to be on the medication, she made mention for several years. My plan is to take it long enough to get my colon healed and then, hopefully, slowly wean myself from it by eating the right foods and continuing the healing through food.

So many thoughts have been running through my head. I am trying to “not even go there” right now and wait for confirmation on the biopsies. The only change I needed to make right away was to stop breast feeding my baby. Wow, I was not ready for how hard that would be or how upset I would be over it!

I had the unique experience to actually SEE inside my gut, to see that damage that has happened in my short 20 something years here on earth. I am even more concerned and passionate about eating healthy and the way God intended us to eat. So, on that note. Here is a good Know Your Ingredients, Name This Product for you. Leave your guesses in the comment section and check back tomorrow for the answer (oh and the results from Bradley’s Endoscopy!).

Know Your Product Icon

#4.

STRAWBERRY FILLING (CORN SYRUP, DEXTROSE, STRAWBERRIES, CRACKER MEAL, APPLES, WEHAT STARCH, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CITRIC ACID, XANTHAN GUM, RED #40), ENRICHED WHEAT FLOUR, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL, CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, WHEY, DEXTROSE, SALT, BAKING POWDER, BAKING SODA. VITAMINS AND MINERALS; NIACINAMIDE, IRON, VITAMIN A (PALMITATE), VITAMIN B6 (PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE), VITMAMIN B2 (RIBOFLAVIN), VITAMIN B1 (THIAMIN HYDROCHLORIDE), AND FOLIC ACID.

Day Twenty Four. Ignorance Is Bliss, Or Is It?

Twenty Four.

You have heard the popular saying “ignorance is bliss” before, right? I always thought this was true, until now. Let me explain. I am the type of person who cannot watch the news, it stresses me out! I immediately go to the worst of the worst scenarios. I cannot even watch movies that depict a dooms day type of feel. My mind just wanders to the “what ifs” and I quickly spiral downward from there. Are you like that or is it just me?

Since watching the movie Genetic Roulette my world has been turned upside-down. My perfect world of food and what I thought was “healthy” has been altered. I feel so confused. Part of me wants to say I will never eat anything with GMO’s again…take that government! But then the lazy part of me says, you are crazy! You are saying you will never eat out again, never have a caramel frap, never…you see where I can go with this. I am driving myself nuts.

I know…you are thinking, well it seems like being ignorant to what you eat would be better off for you, less stressful and you could have a little bliss in your life. True. Probably very true. But my family is sick and now I know that our food is causing this sickness and I simply cannot be ignorant to the matter. No matter how many times I have just wanted to go through a drive through and grab chick-fil-a to “make my life easier” I just can’t. I know the pain my son would be in after eating it and I won’t do it to him. Even if it means I have to make sacrifices to my perfect world of ease and comfort. I will do it for him, for us. Hopefully we won’t have to be as strict as we are right now forever, but if we do I want to be wiling to accept it.

I do feel pretty selfish at times. I have had a harder time the last few days “sticking to the rules”. I am just tired of constantly reading labels, having to plan every.single.meal.and.snack. Nothing is that quick and nothing goes without thought. I have been having a bad attitude because even though we are spending all this money on crazy expensive organic and gluten free items my son still has problems. I guess I was thinking they would magically go away after a couple of days? I need to remind myself that this is not as bad as some other situations people are going through, put my complaints into perspective.

All of us, no matter how much we have, desire something we don’t.” -Beth Moore

Here is a recipe for our “Tink Drink” and “Hulk Juice” smoothie that my kids LOVE.  It is super easy and tastes great!

photo-33

Tink Drink and Hulk Juice

2 cups kale, washed

1/2 c. lemonade

1/2 c. fresh pineapple

3-4 dates, pitted

handful of ice

Blend and serve. 🙂

Day Twenty Two. Roller Coaster Symptoms and Emotions.

Day Twenty Two.

I feel like I am on one big roller coaster that is never ending. It is exhausting both physically and emotionally. Just a couple days ago I was on top of a mountain with joy over my sons poop being “normal” and today I am in a deep valley with worry and fear because his symptoms are bad again.

Have you ever been there as a mom or dad or even just a friend or relative? You know, the over analyzing every teeny tiny detail and fact until your head is spinning so fast with information you give yourself a headache? Yeah, that is me. As I type right now I have a horrible headache, but my mind won’t stop thinking. It is a terrible problem.

Today was just a bad day for my poor son. We had a fun day planned with celebrating Dr. Seuss’s birthday, attending a book reading, crafts and games at a local book store plus we had snow – which in Georgia is a rare thing – but he did not have any fun. In fact, he was extremely irritable, cried, whined, complained the entire day. He complained his head hurt, his tummy hurt, he felt like he was going to throw up but couldn’t, was pale, no appetite and just didn’t feel good. By the end of the night he picked at dinner and then went upstairs and felt like he was going to throw up again. He fell asleep on the floor in the hall…he looked pitiful and I felt horrible.

As a Mom you want to do everything you can to help your children when they are hurting. It hurts so deeply when there is nothing you can do to relieve the pain. I want to take it from him so bad. But all I can do is pray, consult experts and Doctors and try to live as healthy of a life as possible. It just doesn’t seem like enough.

So tonight I go to bed with a heavy heart for my son. I am crying out to God to heal him or to at least point us in the right direction for answers so we can help him. Have you ever felt this way before for someone you love in your life? How did you handle the situation? I would love you advice and prayers.

I will end with a happy thought. My son LOVES muffins, I mean, he has an obsession with them. I made his favorite blueberry muffins organic and gluten free. My Husband even made a comment that this gluten free recipe was better than my normal recipe. THAT says a lot…to me at least 🙂

photo-30

Gluten Free Blueberry Muffins:

2 c. Gluten free baking mix

1 c. raw organic sugar

2 organic eggs

1/2 c. organic coconut oil

1 c. organic vanilla yogurt

6 oz fresh organic blueberries (I would have liked more but this is all I got in my farmers market basket)

Preheat oven to 375 and line muffin tin with paper. In an electric mixer mix the sugar, oil and eggs until fluffy.  Add the yogurt and stir. Slowly add the flour and stir until no more lumps are seen. Add the blueberries and stir gently.

With an ice cream scoop place a good heap of the batter into your pre-lined muffin tin.  I made 17 medium sized muffins.  Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

 

Would you take a minute and vote for our blog? All you have to do is click on the buttons! Thanks!

picket fance blogs

Day Sixteen. Genetically Modified Salmon, Swimming To A Store Near You!

20130220-114205.jpg

I received this alarming email this morning and thought it was worth sharing! Please take the time to read and be informed!

California Senator, Dianne Feinstein cosponsored S. 229 and S. 230, introduced by Senator Mark Begich [D-AK] on January 31, 2011. These bills would have required the labeling of genetically modified salmon and banned the approval of genetically modified salmon by the FDA, respectively. Both these bills have been referred to Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. Unfortunately, the 112th Congress did not take action on either of these bills before adjourning. In order for these bills to be considered again, they would have to be reintroduced in the 113th Congress.

 Senator Feinstein continues:

“I am concerned that the FDA is using a regulatory framework for animal drugs to assess the safety and environmental consequences of this product. This drug approval process was not designed to regulate genetically modified foods, and I am concerned that the process does not allow for the release of important health and safety information, nor does it provided adequate opportunities for public comment.”

Deadline: 11:59 PM, April 26th, 2013

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced today that it is extending for 60 days the comment period for the draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) pertaining to AquaBounty Technologies’ application for AquAdvantage Salmon. The comment period runs until April 26, 2013. PLEASE LEND YOUR VOICE TO THIS IMPORTANT MISSION.

Please take advantage of this extended commenting period and forward this important petition to all of your close personal friends and family!

AquAdvantage Salmon are Atlantic salmon that have been genetically engineered to reach a measure of growth commonly used in salmon aquaculture more rapidly than other farmed Atlantic salmon. This is commonly linked to “reaching market size” (about 2-5 kilograms or about 5-12 pounds) in less time than other farmed salmon.

The draft EA and preliminary FONSI are one step in FDA’s evaluation of the AquAdvantage Salmon and do not indicate an approval of the application. The National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) requires FDA and other federal agencies to perform such assessments whenever a major Federal action is taken.

Sign the petition to tell the Food and Drug Administration not to approve GE salmon AND, if the Obama Administration insists on approving these genetically engineered fish, it should require the fish to be labeled!

For more information on GE salmon, see the Center for Food Safety GE fish campaign website