Friday, March 4, 2011

Sweating Sugar?

I know it has been a while since I wrote.  I have been trying to figure out what you would think was important enough to actually read.  Well...I got nothing! Ha ha

I am just going to write my life, as boring as it is, with kids who have allergies...My 9 year old son is my next topic. He is a sweet boy who is caring and funny.  My son, Keaton, was bouncing off the walls, it seemed worse after breakfast.  He was getting in trouble at school for fidgeting all the time. His teacher, who did not have any patience with any kid, couldn't stand him anymore.  There didn't seem to be any end to him being an "extreme boy".  One day, like any other day, he was given candy at school.  For some reason he didn't eat it until he got home.  After he ate the candy, I watched him change from the little boy I know and love antsy to a kid who looks like he is on drugs!  His eyes dilated, he could not sit still, he was shaking, and he could not be nice and had no tolerance for his siblings. 

I couldn't stand it anymore, I took him to a few doctors, and the first one did a diabetes test.  It came back negative so the doctor didn't seem to care anymore.  When I questioned him and asked what could have caused this change he told me that he needed to drink mountain dew.  He said the caffeine would help.  OK what?  That is not what I asked. DID HE HEAR ME ABOUT THE SUGAR AND WHAT IT DOES FOR HIM?  So went to another doctor.  That doctor scratched his head and said he could run a diabetes test.

Another doctor tested him for sugar intolerance, which he had.  We also tested for metals in his system.  (Off the charts mercury.)  OH GREAT!  We have deduced is that he got the extra mercury from the chicken pox boost.

Now Please hear me, vaccines are not my enemy.  I am not going to get into a debate on if you should or should not vaccinate your child.  Always research and decide for yourself, my child's situation is my child's not your child's. 

On top of the mercury, he has intolerance to sugar, and other excitotoxins.   After we detoxified from the mercury, the dilated eyes and fidgeting continued until we took all candy/sweets away.  Within a week the symptoms were greatly diminished. How fantastic, right?  I think it is a step in the right direction.  What do we do now?

When can he have sugar, what does it do to him?  I am NOT A DOCTOR, nor do I have a medical mind to offer this situation.  I have found that our doctors didn't either.  Research as well as trial and error has become my new friend.  Ha ha.  It makes me look like I have a medical degree.

What I have found out with my son.  We started letting him have sugar once a month.  He didn't like how he felt when he ate those "treats".  So we waited and did them few and far between.  Today when Keaton has sugar his personality changes to a yucky unloving, ungraceful, mean, selfish, manipulative kid, just as someone who is on drugs.  In the last year, when he eats sugar, he sweats out the sugar.  He smells like maple syrup when he wakes up.  His sheets are soaking wet as if he wet the bed.  His hair is sticky.  OK REALLY?  This is what I can deduce; his organs repel the sugar chemically.  I believe his organs swell and they had to get them out anyway they can. It takes around 3-5 days for my little boy to reappear.

So if you think your children are having difficulties with foods please do not give up looking for what it is happening.  Doctors don't know everything, they know a lot but not everything.  Your body is very smart and reactions are not always throat swelling anaphylactic shock.  Sometimes you might smell something sweet, or your hair starts to fall out, or a rash won’t go away, or a cough lingers; all signs that our house has seen.  If you have them at your house, KNOW YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Let's be truly Thankful!

I just wanted to put out there this little thought.

We should be truly thankful. There is a lot of time that I am not. So here you go...

There are a lot of moms out there who work tirelessly for their children.  There are those moms who drive their kids to every sporting event practice so their child will have a chance to learn how to control their mind and body while doing something fun.  There are those mom who sacrifice and work long hours so that their child will not go without physical needs and wants and in turn they learn what they need and what they want.  There are those moms who stay home and show their children a different type of sacrifice and the children learn to sacrifce for the sake fo others.  There are moms who stay up all night next to the bed of a child with a fever, praying for the child's recovery and their children learn to power of pray and love.  There are moms who plant garden's so their child will have good food all the while the children will learn to reward of hard work as a farmer.  There are moms who learn how to do crafts so their children will learn how to express themselves in creative ways.  There are moms who poor every little bit of themselves into their children so that one day those children will be productive members of society because she is a good person.

Moms are the only people who working tirelessly to put themselves out of a job.  We want our kids to be independent, strong, healthy, good, and important members of society.  When we have done our jobs well these children will no longer "need" us.  It is our goal to push our kids to FINISH STRONG in all they do and we teach them all (most) of it.

As we do this day in and day out, we get very few thank you, if any at all.  Our job seems to worthless to those around us.  Our job takes everything we have and everything we are. 

I just want to say to all those mom who are working tirelessly to achieve their goal of being the best mom they can so that their child will know who they are, know that they are loved, and know that they were given every opportunity whether they decided to take it or not. 
I appreciate all the work you do and I appreciate with great love and admiration the work you are putting into your child even if they don't see it yet.

I am thankful for you!  When you are old and your children's children do not thank them that is when they will thank you for all your hard work.  But for now to get you by until that time comes.  Good job and keep up the great work!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cold out side...time for fun recipes

We have started a few new recipes for the cold weather.  Riley is so excited!

We have recently started buying fruits and veggies that are in season only. Only because I wanted to learn the seasons and to see if they were cheaper, tasted better etc.  This time of year is oranges, pears, squash, and lettuce grows here very well. (I like to order from Nature's Garden.  It is a home delivery box.  I highly recommend it to you if you are looking for organic fruits and veggies.  They deliver it to my door every other week, you can do every week but we are not ready for that yet.)

My kids are not huge pear fans, only because they are picky some times. Ha ha.  So my pears were piling up.  I needed to get them out of the fridge to make room and decided to figure out how to make a pear crisp type dessert.  The kids would have to eat pears if they were in a dessert right?  This is where we ended up.

Pear Crisp

6 peeled pears, cored and sliced
5 TB Lemon juice (you can use less if you don't like tart)
6 TB Rapadura (ground fine, like powdered sugar)
6 TB quinoa flakes (from sprouts)
4 TB Montina blend flour (or flour of your choice this one is gluten free)
1/4 tsp cinnamon (Vietnam cinnamon)
1/8 tsp nutmeg
4 TB melted butter (or ghee if needed)
4 TB chopped pecan nuts (optional)

Place pear slices in a (stone) baking dish. Sprinkle with lemon juice and stir to coat pears.  In a bowl combine sugar, quinoa, flour, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour in butter and stir. And nuts and stir.  Spoon mixture over pears evenly.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until desired crispness of pears.  YUM!  This serves our family of 6. (We really like it and Riley always has 2 servings.)

Jada has been home sick on these cold and windy days.  We just had to make homemade hot chocolate!  Here is where we landed on this one.

Jada's Hot Chocolate (not dairy free)

3 1/2 cups raw milk (or not ultra pasteurized whole milk)
1/2 C Rapadura
1 pinch of salt
3/4 tsp vanilla (no sugar added)
1/2 cup raw cream (or not ultra pasteurized cream)
5 drops of vanilla creme stevia (Optional)

Mix first 5 ingredients together in a sauce pan.  Heat over medium heat while stirring to mix.  Heat until steamy, not boiling.  Pour into a coffee mug.  Jada wanted hers sweeter so she added 5 drops of vanilla creme stevia to her cup.  She drank the whole thing!

Enjoy these sweet treats.  Let me know how yours turns out!

Thursday, February 3, 2011


Ducks are silly little creatures.  I never really thought of them as a pet.  We always went to the neighborhood lakes to feed to ducks on a beautiful afternoon.  Then we found out about and egg allergy.  I was told by the doctor that other eggs might work, quail eggs, duck eggs, turtle eggs...Where do you buy those?

There is a website we were told about duck eggs cost $40 a dozen.  That really wasn't an option for us.  So I found someone who had ducks in her backyard and sold the eggs.  I was so thankful for her!  I started thinking what if something happened to her ducks?  Where does that leave us?  After doing the math and thinking through our time, finances and everything else.  I talked with our community of friends and asked their opinions.  We sifted through all the information and decided for us that we needed to raise ducks.

Our research lead us to the Khaki campbell duck.  This particular breed has been bred for egg laying production.  These Ducks can lay up to 350 eggs per year per duck.  Ducks are not smart at all.  They even need help knowing where they should lay their eggs.  In the picture below is our nesting box.  It has a yellow egg, which is an egg shaped stone.  Where ever we put the yellow they will lay their eggs.

These ducks don't like to fly.  They are really pretty happy hanging out in the backyard.  The ducks love to take baths.  They make a huge mess and spray water everywhere!   I will post a vidoe when google is back up. :)

I wouldn't say that everyone should get ducks!  They can be difficult to care for and they are not anything like taking care of a dog.  I have officially turned into a farmer!  I have to wake up early every morning, even weekends.  I have to have someone watch my farm if I go out of town.  They are smelly, They require constant cleaning and food and water.  So my advise to you if you are thinking about getting ducks DO A LOT OF RESEARCH.  You need to know what it would take to become a duck farmer.

Our little ducks are such a blessing.  Loud and smelly but a real blessing.  We have been considering getting a few more ducks. I will keep you posted. We have ran in to more and more people who need alternative eggs.  It has been great getting know these new families.  For us, having the ducks has been fabulous.  We get tons of eggs, enough to even sell to other families in need and new friends.  (All of those in my community that helped us decide, thanks.  I know we made the correct choice for us)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Eating out HELP! You gotta try this.

I have stated before eating out is really a challenge for us.  I wanted to share a recent experience with you that was just up our alley.

We happened to go to Red Robin (yum) for lunch the other day.  This Red Robin is in Gilbert, AZ (on Stapley and US 60) 1 hour from our house and the likelihood that we will go there again is very small. 

We were taken to our table, (all 6 of us) and the waitress came over to take our drink orders.  Everyone was in the bathroom washing their hands so I ordered for us all. She thought that was very funny that I would know what they wanted to drink.  I honestly thought it was weird that a mom wouldn't know what her family wants to drink...anyway.

She asked if I new what everyone wanted to eat.  I said I did and had a few questions before I got there.  I told her we had severe food allergies and was wondering how to order a hamburger that my daughter could eat that was not going to cost me $15 after we took everything off.  I also asked what was in the guacamole. 

She was very kind and actually worried that we would get something that we couldn't have. (That was a first)  She said she would go find out and bring back what information she had to help us make a decision on what we were to order.

In about 5 minutes, everyone was back at the table circling on the kid menus what they were going to eat and the manager came to the table.  She had heard we have some menu questions and how could she help us.   !!!!what?!!! The manager actually came to the table to help a guest with a question.  I was taken back but started firing away with my questions. 

The first was "What is in your guacamole? Do you make it fresh, does it have seasonings?"  They do make their guacamole fresh every morning.  It is all fresh ingredients and it was not gluten free.  In our case it also had tomatoes in it so we were not able to order it.

The next question was "How do I order a hamburger if I am going to take all the stuff off?  I just need a hamburger patty, bacon, and avocados slices on lettuce.  So you have an suggestions?"  She had plenty of suggestions.  Did you know that Red Robin has menus for all types of allergies?  They have a gluten free menu, a egg free menu, a dairy free menu.  She was willing to bring me any of those menus! Since we fell in all of those categories she suggested that we order a hamburger patty on the side with no seasoning (their seasoning is not gluten free) for $2.50, a topping of bacon and sliced avocado $.99 each and that it would come on lettuce!

She also explained that there fries are cooked in soy bean oil (not our favorite but doable) and that they are not gluten free unless we get no salt.  She also explained that they take great precautions to not let food touch if it shouldn't. She suggested we ordered gluten free fries which are cooked in a seperated frier from the other fries and that they would come in a yellow basket so we would know the difference.  She then asked if she should get going some gluten free fries for the table.  I said of course, yes please and thank you!

The waitress came back and took our order.  She was more than helpful in making sure Riley's stuff didn't get mixed in with the other items ordered and ordered gluten free fries for the whole table just so Riley got exactly what she needed.  And if anyone wanted the seasoning it was on the table and could be added.  The manager, cook staff, and waitress all put on protective gloves to handle all of our food for fear of contamination.  It was total overkill for needs but I really appreciated their attention to detail and to the safety of their guests.

We have been to Red Robin before and never knew these options existed.   I am not sure these differences are offered everywhere but IT DOESN'T HURT TO ASK. The difference a manager can make in helping others with some difficulties is amazing.

Next time you go to a restaurant don't hesitate to ask what they do for your allergy and how they can help you.  You will probably not get the fantastic service we got at the restaurant but if you keep fighting to find out what they can do then you will have more options to eat at than just your kitchen. (and that is nice sometimes)

Next time I find myself an hour from home I will have to look up this restaurant.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Coconut, we are coocoo for coconuts

Coconut flour is my savior in cooking!  It is gluten free and full of all kinds of good stuff.

Coconuts are very good for you.  They are full vitamins and minerals and a great source to replace electrolytes.  Have you ever looked at coconut water?  It is like drinking a Gatorade with out the preservatives and sugar!  We like to add coconut water to our fruit smoothies instead of juice it taste fabulous.

Coconut flour is very high in fiber!  They are a fruit not a grain so they are gluten free and helps digestion.  And it doesn't taste like coconut flakes!  I HATE THE TASTE OF COCONUT FLAKES!  However, I love coconut flour and coconut oil.  I love that they are so fantastic for you and don't taste like an almond joy.  Did you know that coconut oil is one of a few oils that can handle being heated.  Most oils goes rancid when heated and all of their properties change chemically.  Coconut oil stays the same chemically therefore it does what you  need it to do. 

Today I need to make a pie.  Does that make you laugh yet?  No wheat, no nuts, no dairy, no sugar.  Are you laughing yet?  I have been determined to find one that will work.  A little from here and a little from there.  I have a recipe for a coconut pie crust, it comes from "Cooking with Coconut flour" by Dr. Bruce Nife ND.

1/2 cup sifted coconut flour
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2 eggs (duck)
1/2 tablespoon honey
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 tsp salt

Sift coco flour and set aside. Mix remaining ingredients.  Add Coco flour last.  Knead together about 1 min.  Use waxed paper to roll out the crust. (Feel free to tape down the wax paper so it doesn't move a lot)  Roll into a 6 in circle.  This crust is VERY fragile.  Be careful putting it into the pie dish.  You will need to See page 116 of  Nife's book if you need help getting this fragile crust in the dish.  You can email me for more instruction if you need it too. :)

Of course, I am out of coconut flakes, what to do now?  My local grocery store has coconuts.  I decided to process a coconut.  I want to share with you what you have to do.

Step 1:
Pick out a coconut from your local grocery store.  Feel free to shake your coconut to listen for the coconut water to slosh around.  That is all I look for when purchasing a coconut.  The coconut water can evaporate the older the coconut is. Slosh away to get the fresh coconut.

Step 2:
After you have coconut, go get the coconut water out.  You can use an ice pick.  I like to use my cordless power drill.  You need to poke or drill a hole in each of the three brown spots on the coconut.  Make the holes big enough so air and coconut water can exchange and escape.  Put the coconut holes down into a measuring cup.  I like to strain my coconut water while it escapes only because the fibers from the outside can get in the water. Fresh coconuts give lots of water.  My coconut gave us 8oz. of water!

Step 3:
Now let's get the coconut meat.  Put the coconut on a cookie sheet, place in the oven @ 350 degrees until the coconut splits.  It can take anywhere from 10 minutes to 1 hr depending on the coconut.  Typically 10-15 minutes.  The split does not have to be huge.  See below.

Step 4:
Now we get to open the coconut.  I take my hot coconut outside in a tea towel and use the cement porch as the pounding block.  Leave the coconut in the towel and whack it with a hammer until it breaks open.  This one broke open in two pieces.  That is not always the case.  Keep whacking until you know you can get the meat out of the shell by prying with a knife.

Step 5:
Remove the meat from the shell.  I use a paring knife to separate the meat.  It comes out with a brown skin which has to be cut off.  I shave that skin off with a knife.  The skin can be tough and thick which you will have to cut off.  The skin could be water like that just needs to be scraped off.  It will depend on the coconut.  Put all clean white meat in a blender or food processor.

Step 6:
Creating coconut milk.  All the white meat should be in a blender. Add 8oz of water to blender and process on high until meat is shredded and the water looks like milk.  Pour contents of  blender through a tea towel lined stainless steel strainer into a large glass bowl.  Let milk separate.  Use tea towel to "squeeze" the remaining liquid.  I like to squeeze the meat into a ball and twist the towel from the top to release the liquid. The liquid is coconut milk.  Put in glass jar and store in the fridge.  My coconut gave us 12 oz of coconut milk!

Step 7: 
Time to make coconut flour.  The coconut meat that is left in the tea towel makes the coconut flour.  Put the meat on a baking tray. Bake coconut meat on tray and cook @ 250 degrees until meat begins to "brown".  You don't want it to burn.  Stir coconut meat so that is dries evenly.  When it is dry you have flour!  YEAH.
My little coconut made 1 3/4 cups of coconut meat!

If you like a finer flour run through a blender or food processor.  (Picture below is uncooked coconut meat.)
I chose to use the coconut meat uncooked in my pie crust!  YUM!

That is how you process a coconut.  Total time it took for this one coconut was 45minutes.  We got 8 oz of coconut water, 12 oz of coconut milk and 1 3/4 cup coconut flour!  Not bad!  Enjoy your healthy new additives to your pantry.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

It is time for planting.

The winter in AZ is headed out the door!  That didn't take long.  It is time to head to your local nursery. 

This time of year at my house we grow tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, pumpkins, onions, and and snap peas.  (You will need to consider how much sun, water and what kind of soil you have to determine what you can do at your house.) We like to grow tomatoes, better boy and early girl, and the better boy is a fabulous tomato for making spaghetti sauce.  It is a large tomato.  At my house it likes full sun and grows around 20 lbs per plant.  My neighbors love them too. :)  Early girl tomatoes are basically cherry tomatoes.  My 6 yr old son LOVES them.  He says they are a gift from God just for him.  He loves to eat them for snacks while playing and he takes them to school for lunch.  (Isn't that cute?)

Usually we put the zucchini in the spaghetti sauce but our favorite way is to grill them!   We let the Zucchini get super big.  Then we slice them in rings about an inch thick.  We put sea salt on them and let them "cry".  Crying is when the moisture  leaks out because of the salt.  If you do this it keeps the zucchini from being mushy.  Pat dry with a paper towel.  We put them on the grill and season with smoked sea salt and garlic.  We like to call it Zucchini Steak.  YUM!! 

The kids like to eat the snap peas while they are outside playing.  Whatever it takes to get good veggies in them.  I love not having to worry about the food that my kids eat.  I don't have to worry about what types of pesticides or what type of manure and what is added to the fertilizer.  Gardens are more than just food for us, they are a way to know that we are getting exactly what we need and not of what we don't...

Hows and Whens:
I like to plant them the last two weeks of January.  By the end of June all the plants are fried from the sun.  I typically buy the tomatoes, onions, and peas as plants.  I like to do seeds for the rest.  I grab the kids and we go out and plant the seed together.  It is nice to watch something they have planted to grown and produce food that they eat. 

In our back yard what comes around goes around.  The Ducks are a great source for fertilizer for the plants which helps the plants in producing a lot of produce.  All the clippings go to the ducks for food.  Excess produce goes to the ducks too.  They love it. (If they are not afraid of it)  And the circle continues. 

So head out today and get your yard going.  It will be so much fun.  Or feel free to live vicariously through us until the need to start your own garden hits you. When we get everything planted and it startes to produce I will update you on the great things to come.