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

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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!

 

 

Day Thirty Four. “Monsanto Protection Act” Signed By Obama.

Day Thirty Four.

Do you know what the HR 933 Provision Act is? It is a law that Obama just signed protecting Monsanto, the creator of GM seeds, regardless of how harmful the seeds may be for humans. The law is in act for 6 months until he can find more funding (which he most likely will). Despite over 250,000 concerned American’s signing a petition, people outside the White House protesting, Obama still signed the bill into law on Tuesday. The media kept it in the shadows and the gay marriage topic ruled the tube that day.

Look at this one part of the bill, this is so disturbing to me. Is it to you?

“The “Monsanto Protection Act” effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of controversial genetically modified (aka GMO) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds, no matter what health issues may arise concerning GMOs in the future.” -International Business Times

“Sen. Roy Blunt, Republican of Missouri, actually worked with Monsanto on a provision that in effect allows them to keep selling seeds, which can then go on to be planted, even if it is found to be harmful to consumers, is stunning. It’s just another example of corporations bending Congress to their will, and it’s one that could have dire risks for public health in America.” -International Business Times

I am not asking everyone to stop eating all GMO’s forever, I know this is nearly impossible. I am not asking you to ever stand on the streets and protest or to post to social media about how big and bad Monsanto is and to boycott certain companies. But I am asking you to PLEASE BE INFORMED. Please pay attention to what the Government is doing to our food supply and take action as you see necessary. We owe it to ourselves and our children. The future of real food is in serious danger and you might not know until it is too late.

Remember Frankenfish? The genetically engineered salmon? Well, he has not gone away but you have a chance to make your voice be heard and sign a petition telling President Obama you do not want GM salmon. You can read more about it and sign the petition here: Stop Genetically Engineered Salmon From Reaching Your Plate.

This is a good read if you have the time:

‘Monsanto Protection Act’: 5 Terrifying Things To Know About The HR 933 Provision

I will leave you with a kid friendly, non-gmo recipe for pizza. 🙂 I will post the recipe for the sweet potato with quinoa and kale tomorrow. 

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Quick ‘Pizza’ Sandwiches 

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, whole

2 T. organic olive oil

3-4 garlic cloves, minces

Pinch kosher salt

fresh basil leaves

4-5 slices of sandwich bread, depends on how “loaded” you want them.

Raw parmesan cheese

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium oven-safe bowl toss tomatoes, garlic, salt and olive oil. Cover and roast until tomatoes have popped, about 15-20 minutes. I actually forgot to set a timer so the time might be different. I just kept an eye on them, sorry! When the tomatoes look wilted and most of them have popped remove from oven.

On a baking sheet line bread. Top with tomatoes and grated parmesan cheese. Roast until cheese is browned. Serve with fresh basil on top. You can eat it open faced or fold it over, like in the picture, for the kids.

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!

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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 Fifteen. Real Food. Real Good.

Day Fifteen.

I am finally getting the hang of cooking again. I feels so good. The best part is introducing my kids to healthy food and them enjoying it! I always had the impression that they would hate it. I thought they would refuse to eat things like kale chips, slices of avocado, mushroom risotto…But to my surprise they are eating it and LOVING IT!

I am on vacation so my posting has been hard to get to, but we have maintained our healthy eating and I am coming up with some great recipes! My posts will look a little different until I get home. I will not be listing our food in review every day.

We have decided to put Bradley on a strict gluten free diet. His symptoms have improved, but there are still some we would like to see get better. Gluten seems to aggravate him, even if it is organic. That is a fun twist!

Here are some of the recipes we have made this week: (all are gluten free)

Crispy Kale Chips
Chicken Burgers With Honey Mustard
Taco Bowls
Beet and Potato Soup With Sausage

What are your favorite gluten free recipes that are kid friendly?

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Crispy Kale Chips

Preheat oven to 350. Wash kale and remove leaves from the stem. Toss in a large bowl with olive oil. Spread out on a greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cracked sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes.

Day Eleven. Organic Couponing On A Budget.

Day Eleven.

Top reason I have never eaten organic or cut out all processed foods before is simple: it is expensive! I cannot argue with someone who simply does not have the budget to buy all organic, but I do want to inform you that organic food does not have to be off limits. There are such things as organic coupons, farmers markets and produce shares that make organic items just as cheap. *see day nine where I talk about it more*

Let me start with organic coupons. Tonight is one example of one I am very excited about – FREE organic eggs. Yup, you heard me, F-R-E-E. Thanks to my Publix and their awesome coupon policy I can use Kroger, Target and Whole Foods coupons. Tonight I happened to have a Kroger coupon for a free dozen Kroger brand eggs. It did not specify “non-organic” so I thought it was worth a try! One tip I have learned from my Mother-in-law is, ‘you already know the answer if you don’t ask’. Lesson: just ask! The worst they could say is no, but you might just get an okay. Tonight I just asked, and the manager said “okay”! Yay!

I do know that Publix has started marking their Rudi’s and Van’s gluten-free items B1G1. Both of those manufactures have coupons listed on their website. A couple weeks ago I got 6 loaves of bread for free and 8 boxes of waffles for $8.00! I will get more into organic/ nonGMO coupon match ups soon. It is possible and it is possible to still find free items.

Here is the break down of what we spent last week. I have listed everything we ate at the end of each day so you can get a rough idea what to make. We already had some things on hand that we did not have to purchase, like my huge 50lb. bucket of organic wheat berries and a big bag of organic coffee from Costco.

Whole Foods: $163.21

This included: produce, dairy, meat, cereals, syrup, snacks, & toothpaste, soap, lotion.

Costco: $23.27

Coconut oil, frozen veggies

Farmers Market: $16.00

Raw local honey

Aldi: $12.00

Organic cheese

Weekly Total: $214.48 for a family of 5 with having company over 3 nights.

I hope those numbers encourage you that you CAN do it. Now remember, I am not going to be buying the $13.99 bottle of lotion every week. That huge thing is going to last me a loooong time. Some weeks will be larger, but some will be less.

Search around for local produce shares from farms near you. I have heard from people that those can save you a lot on produce! I have not found one yet, but I am definitely looking. Also, be sure to ask your local super market what coupons they accept. You never know what kind of deals you can get.

**Tomorrow I am going to talk about how to attend parties, go out to eat and even road trips eating only whole, real foods.**

Day Eleven Food In Review:

(clink on the links for recipes)

Breakfast:

Nature’s Path organic corn flakes with milk.

Lunch:

Rudi’s gluten-free bread with peanut butter and raw honey, organic cheese sticks and fruit leather

fruit leather

Snacks:

Kale, blueberry & apple energy smoothie, leftover muffins with honey drizzled

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Dinner:

Gluten free broccoli cheddar quiche

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