Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One Year!!!

   Today is our very first anniversary!  December 27, 2010 began our gluten free journey.  One year later, I almost can't believe how far we have come!  If you are just beginning to go gluten free, take heart!  It can be done!  When we first started, I thought it would never be possible and that I would always be confused or afraid.  I thought we would always be eating bland foods and the same foods over and over.  I was certain that things like bread, lasagna, delicious pizza and the like would forever be out of reach.  I was wrong and thank the Lord for that!  We have learned so much and it has actually been a lot of fun!  Some recipes were a big flop and I became discouraged but most were just fantastic and we continued our creativity in the kitchen!
Strawberry Shortcake with Coconut Whipped Cream (whip the fat from a can of coconut milk in a chilled bowl with a Tablespoon of maple syrup until desired consistency!)

My first EVER successful lasagna!  Vegan, gluten free and marvelous!  I'll share the recipe soon!

Not just one pizza... (use this crust, sub brown rice for white and proof the yeast first)

...but two pizzas!  Gluten Free Goddess Recipe with a flax egg.  I have even created my own version using this recipe as a guide!  So delicious!

Who knew that the World's Best Brownies would be gluten free and vegan!  (sub blonde coconut sugar, olive or coconut oil, brown rice/sorghum flour mix, cacao powder and flax eggs.  Increase baking time to 30 minutes!) 

The gorgeous and delicious Pumpkin Seed-Teff Bread we made last night!  It is reserved for our Raw BLT's for lunch today! (They look amazing don't they!!!)

   Going gluten free in addition to the changes we had already made to our diet, dairy free, egg free, meat free, whole foods, helped us to finally get healthy!  I am also thankful that changing our diet this way has led us to other natural means of restoring health with chiropractic care, muscle testing, energy healing, and homeopathics.  My children are so healthy and I can't begin to think of where they would be if we hadn't changed our diet and sought answers to their (and my) problems.  My daughter had so many food allergies and intolerances.  She had so much digestive distress and would scream in pain when she needed to poop.  Terrible, terrible pain.  My baby boy was so very unhealthy when he was born.  He was tiny, scrawny and colicky.  He had head to toe bleeding eczema and constipation ~on an exclusively breastfed baby mind you.  He also seemed to be sensitive to lots of different foods that I ate.  I was ill.  Very ill.  There were days I could not get off of the couch.  Days I truly thought I was dying.  We even talked about what we would do if that happened, and soon.  We had no idea just how damaged our bodies were from this gluten.  I am so grateful that God pointed us to Celiac Disease.  Yes, I am grateful for Celiac Disease.  This has been the most incredible journey and I know there is more in store for us!  I also hope that we can be helpful to others who may be dealing with similar dietary changes!  One year ago, I would never have thought we would be on the verge of opening a home bakery or talking about having our own restaurant!  God does great things! 

My daughter, covered in hives from playing with stickers.  The adhesive in stickers is comprised of gluten, casein and latex.

My daughter, healthy and happy!  Helping mommy bake!!

Can you see the bloody spot on the side of his face?  I don't have many pics of his bleeding eczema.  This was actually after he was much better but still had some patches.  We had to add bleach and calgon to his bath water and slather him in California Baby Calendula Cream just to keep him from bleeding.  You can't see the digestive distress, but he had it!

Healthy little man!  Great skin and poops like a champ! ;-)

The three of us, so much better!!!!!!!!!

All four!  Christmas morning!

God has so much in store for us!  Can't wait to see what else we can get ourselves into!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

More Thanksgiving Ideas

You can never have too many recipes or ideas for holiday feasting!  Whether you are here looking for an entire Thanksgiving Day menu, a new gluten/dairy free recipe, or a few new ways to eat veggies this post should help. 

I have actually had the menu for this year planned since July.  I get a tad excited about such things and tend to plan months ahead of time.  Sometimes I stick to the menu and sometimes I change my mind entirely.  This year, I added a few things to the original plan and only changed some minor things. 

Our Thanksgiving 2011 menu:

Artichoke Dip plus Gluten Free French Bread

Massaged Kale Salad  There are a thousand different ways to make this salad!  It's so good!

Cauliflower Mash  We're nixing the mushrooms this year and only doing the cauliflower.  The mushrooms were really good though, you should try them!

Green Beans and Potatoes per my husband's request!  ~I don't really have a recipe for this one.  I just cube some potatoes, add them to a pot of green beans, a little sea salt, some garlic and try not to cook the nutrients out of them! ;-)

Stuffed Pumpkin from The Gluten Free Vegan.  This recipe has lots of vegetables, brown/wild rice and nuts.  It's the star of the show!

We will also be having a separate 'stuffing' that my husband requested.  I just make some wild/brown rice, add some toasted pine nuts, cranberries or raisins, garlic, sea salt and a bit of vegetable broth.  Delicious!

We also have three fantastic desserts we'll be making ~and eating!  We are spending the day at our home and going to my mother-in-law's house in the evening.  I am contributing our desserts to the feast. 

Raw Chocolate Tart (This is so delicious, I can't wait to eat it again!)
Yeah, that was good stuff!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Spiced Buttercream!!!!  These are the BEST cupcakes in the world! 

Adding frosting to the just baked cupcakes!  Soooo good!

Yesterday's post contained lots of yummy recipes and links to savory foods.  Today, I will leave you with more dessert recipes!  It seems that people often find dessert the most difficult to make dairy or gluten free so here are some ideas for you!

Hazelnut Shortcakes ~The recipe is for Strawberry Shortcake but you could use any fruit.  We made it more fall-like with blackberries and dark cherries.  Delicious!

Coconut Whipped Cream to top your pies and shortcakes!

Chocolate Dipped Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls  Make these, they are for real!  Just sub g-free flour for spelt.

Gluten Free Vegan Carrot Cake  ~This is a great recipe and it's delicious!

Chocolate Apples ~These are so festive!

Happy Baking!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Raw Thanksgiving

Well, hello!  It has been some time since my last post.  Blogging has been pretty low on my list of priorities.  I don't know how these other blogging moms do it, I'm not that good!  I just could not keep things running around here and blog regularly.  So, I decided to hang it up for a while and return as I could.  Today, I could! ;-) 

(Can't imagine what would be keeping me busy....my beautiful kids at a pumpkin patch!)

I know a lot of people who are trying to eat healthier or changing their diets due to allergies/food intolerances.  This can be a very daunting task!  It is especially difficult in the beginning and having a holiday devoted entirely to giving thanks over a whole bunch of food does not make it easier.  It was important to me to do this post, and the others that will be coming later this week, because I want people to know they have options.  Tasty options!  You don't have to be gluten free, dairy free or vegan to enjoy these recipes!  They are delicious no matter what your diet looks like!  However if you do happen to need dairy or gluten free recipes in order to keep yourself or someone you love from the terrible effects of food allergies, here are some great ideas to get you started!  Happy Thanksgiving planning!

Last year was my first adventure with a vegan holiday.  We were not yet gluten free but we were dairy free and we don't eat meat.  We ate a mostly raw diet but still had a lot of cooked foods and, being the person I am, I wanted to show Thanksgiving what was up!  ;-)  It is really important to me that our kids grow up knowing that they aren't missing anything by eating this way.  Instead of ogling somebody else's Krispy Kreme donut I want others to ogle their pumpkin cupcakes with spiced buttercream!  I realize that is not necessarily the right attitude but I am exhausted with people always pitying my children and their inability to digest such nonsense food as commercial deep dish pizza or Hostess cakes!  We eat marvelous, tasty, delicious, REAL food and the only thing missing.......unhealthy kids!  It is especially important to me to prove this point on holidays where food is the main event!  So, Thanksgiving 2010 was my first raw food marathon!  I decided to go for the gold, everything we ate was raw!  Keep in mind, I had a newborn, a 20 month old daughter and I was terribly ill from not yet discovering we have Celiac Disease.  If I could do it, you can too! ;-) 

This was our beautiful Thanksgiving spread last year!

Marinated Mushrooms and Cauliflower Mash  ~This was our main event just make sure you use gluten free soy sauce or coconut aminos if you are avoiding soy.

Butternut Coconut Soup from The Raw Food Detox Diet

Sweet Potato Casserole ~This was really, really good but I feel like sweet potatoes are one of those foods that increase in nutrients and become easier to digest once cooked.  If you want a healthier version of your usual sweet potato casserole, use this one but bake and mash the sweet potatoes first!

Carrot Cake with Cashew Creme Frosting from Ani's Raw Food Kitchen.

If you are brainstorming to make your Thanksgiving healthier, dairy free or gluten free, I hope this post was helpful!  Here are a few more blogs with lots more recipes for you to browse!  Have fun!

Gluten Free Goddess Thanksgiving recipes 2011  (these are all dairy free or can be made dairy free also)

Oh She Glows holiday tips  (these are not all gluten free but they are vegan)

Choosing Raw's Carrot Cake Smoothie (delish!!!)  This was our Thanksgiving breakfast last year!  I added spirulina for additional health benefits. 

See you tomorrow with more Thanksgiving recipes!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Giveaway Winner + COOKIES!!!!!

As promised, we have 2 winners to announce this morning!  I decided to do things the old fashioned way and drew names out of a hat!  Well, actually it was a pink bowl but...you get the idea! ;-)

All names placed in the pink bowl!

My husband was the designated contest winner-picker-outer-person!

Congratulations to Patty!!!!!  You are the winner of the Thirty-One Organizing Utility Tote!

Congratulations to Haley!!!!!  You are the winner of the Thirty-One Thermal Tote!

Hooray!  Ok ladies, please send me your preferred contact information via email and I will give you the details you need!  kylebryan.kb(at)gmail.com 

Moving on to cookies!!!  Gluten free + vegan + easy = fabulous and oh so delicious cookies!  Chocolate chip cookies are classic!  One would assume that a gluten free, plant based eater would not be able to have such a classic.  However, the great Karina has created the best cookie recipe and I just wanted to share it with you!  It can be difficult and headache inducing to search for new recipes, especially if these recipes are allergy-friendly!  So, look no further (at least for chocolate chip cookies) I have 'tested' this recipe as a gluten free mom and we totally love it!  I have made this recipe 3 times this month and every time it has come out perfect!  (and I am not very good with cookies so that is saying something!)  I have shared these cookies with lots of gluten-eating-carnivores as well and they have been very well received!  You will not be dissapointed!  So yummy!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway!  Have a fabulous and wonderful weekend!

Monday, July 25, 2011

In The Bag!!! (Thirty-One Giveaway!!!!)

Hello, hello!!!  I have recently discovered the best diaper bag!  I just love it and because Lori is so awesome, you can have one too!  As gluten free, plant-based eaters we must also carry around a lot of snackage in addition to the regular diaper bag goodies.  Soooooo, we will also be giving away my favorite thermal tote!  However, it does not stop there!  Lori has also offered free personalization!  We are just on fire today!!!!

I thought it would be fun to disclose the contents of my bag so you can see just how much I can fit into this fabulous carryall!  The best thing about this bag is that it is actually an 'Organizing Utility Tote' so it has multiple functions!  It would be a great bag if you don't yet have kids or if your kids are no longer in the 'diaper bag' stage!  It would be a really fab beach tote as well!  The 'Thermal Tote' is great for anything you may need to keep hot or cold and tucks quite nicely inside the utility tote!  So here it is....

Thirty-One's Organizing Utility Tote:
I like details, so I will give some to you now!  The Organizing Utility Tote has 5 outside fabric pockets and 2 mesh pockets.  The inside is completely open and does not have any zippers or pockets.  (I use a purse organizer inside mine for all the little things!)

Thirty-One's Thermal Tote:

The Thermal Tote has a zipper top and a pocket on the outside.  The inside is open. 

Now for the fun part!  What is in my bag?  Haha, a LOT!  It has actually taken me about a month to do this post because I didn't want to take my bag apart!  I have it very strategically packed and all I have to do is grab it and go!  However, I really wanted to convey just how much this bag can hold! 
(not everything is pictured!)
In my bag:
-3 stuffed cloth diapers                                                       
-1 wetbag                                                                               
-wipes container                                                                     
-changing pad                                                                        
-nursing wrap                                                                       
-extra blanket                                                                       
-1 extra toddler outfit (dress and bloomers)
-1 extra bow                                                                 
-2 extra baby onesies                                                     
-2 pairs baby socks                                                        
-2 summer baby hats                                                     
-2 burp cloths                                                                
-cell phone                                                                    
-toddler cup of water                                                   
-2 toddler snack cups                                                   
-travel cup for smoothies!                                           
-toddler sunglasses                                                      
-baby carrier/sling                                                       
-Thermal Tote
*sippy cup of almond milk
*container of sliced apples
*ice pack
*stainless steel straw
*2-4 Lara Bars
 -Purse Organizer
*plastic trash bags
*feminine care products
*Dreft stain remover pen
*2 ink pens
*hand sanitizer
*3 bottles of travel sized lotion
*homeopathic teething remedy
*baby powder
*personal care:comb, hairpins/ties, lipgloss
*band-aids, cotton swabs

My bag all packed:

I KNOW!!!!  I love it!  So many cute patterns too!  I always get compliments on this bag! 

Here's how to enter:
*2 separate giveaways: 1 for the Organizing Utility Tote with free personalization and 1 for the Thermal Tote also with free personalization!

Leave a comment on the blog telling me the most obscure item you have in your bag!  The winners will be randomly chosen on Friday morning!  All comments posted before 11:59pm Thursday, July 28th will be eligible!

(To comment on the blog go to the right-hand side and click 'join this site.'  Sign in, you must have a valid email address for this.  Go to the bottom of the post and click 'comments.'  After making your comment you need to 'sign' it.  There will be a box at the bottom that says 'sign' or it may say 'enter' ~sometimes it's different~)

Good luck!!!   If you are not one of the oh so lucky ones who wins this giveaway, you can purchase the bags in this post along with lots of other goodies from Thirty-One!

A Watched Pizza Never Broils!

It's hot, yes?  Even when the air is on, I do not want to turn on the oven!  I'm not going to order out either.  But I want pizza!  Dilemma?  Not anymore!!!

My new favorite pizza!

This pizza is my new favorite for two reasons:  1.  Super simple  2.  Incredibly delicious!

Gluten Free Tortilla Pizza (can also be vegan)
-Gluten free tortilla of choice (Brown rice gets nice and crispy!)
-tomato paste
-toppings *my favorite are goat cheddar, pineapple, peppers, zucchini....you could use anything!

*Place tortilla on lightly oiled baking sheet sprinkled with sea salt.  Spread tortilla with tomato paste and add toppings.  Be careful not to overload the tortilla or it will not get crispy!  Broil on high for about 8 minutes or until the edges start to curl and get brown.

We love it!!!!  We have used a lot of different combinations and they all work just fine!  This is a great way to hide veggies too!  I very, very finely chop bell pepper and zucchini for my toddler and add to her sauce.  I have also used Daiya cheese with great results!  Whatever you like!

If you want a slightly thicker crust you can use two tortillas.  For this option you just spread a very thin layer of sauce between the two tortillas then stack.  Load the top per recipe above and broil to perfection! 

Enjoy folks!  (We certainly do!!!)

Monday, June 20, 2011

WARNING: This Post Contains Poop!

Don't say I didn't warn you! ;-) 

If you are easily grossed out or notsomuch into talk of bodily functions....stop here!  I have a lot of friends that are moms or work in the healthcare field so needless to say, poop is always on the conversational agenda!  I quite literally laughed out loud at my friend Michele's comment about poop....it's so true!  Nurses and nurse aides can talk poop all day long and never think for a second that some people might not be so into it!  The same goes for moms.  Poop is a part of life.  :-)

This particular post is actually about poop stains!  Not kidding, I am seriously doing this.  Poop stains.  Yup!  I have previously mentioned my love of washing cloth diapers and I know that most people are extremely grossed out by this!  Not me.  I will admit that I was scared at first.  Though, once I started using cloth......ah, well.....let's just take a look shall we?  (Yes, there are pictures!  I may have just crossed over the totallycrazyinappropriateblogger line but I don't care!)

The reason I love washing cloth diapers so much is quite simple!  They go in all smelly and gross and they come out all shiny, clean and new again!  It amazes me every single time!  It's like a little science experiment 3 times a week!  When the sun is shining, the level of enjoyment goes up a notch.  The sun is the most useful tool when washing cloth diapers!  I have talked of the sun's bleaching powers before and I know that some of you don't believe me!  I was probably in disbelief myself once.  The time has come for laying all doubt to rest!

This is a picture of one of my fitted hemp diapers after being washed!  My breastfed baby had a massive pooped dipe and the stain stuck around even after I washed the diapers!  This doesn't happen often, they actually come clean most of the time without me having to do anything special.  However, there are some occasions where a little something extra is in order!  Do I panic?  No way!  I go looking for the sun and my drying rack! 

These next pictures are AMAZING!  All I did was place the stained diaper outside on a sunny day and wait!  A few hours later....

PERFECT!  Seriously!

So, even if you aren't yet convinced that cloth diapers are for you.....hopefully I have at least conquered any fears you may have about the poop part! hehe 

Have a lovely day dearies!

*If you use cloth diapers, what is your absolute favorite thing?
*If you don't use cloth diapers, what is your biggest fear or concern?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

You Will Not Win

To Satan,
    You will not win!  I don't care that I have far more on my to-do list than will ever get accomplished in 24 hours or that I haven't slept more than 2 and a half consecutive hours since October.  I don't care how many times I have to fix the vacuum or how many, many loads of laundry I have to do today.  I don't care how many toddler tantrums I will have to work against, how many times I have to deal with a pooped diaper, or how fussy my teething baby is going to be this day.  You will not win! 
   No matter how many items on my grocery list I won't be able to buy because the should-be-well-stocked produce shelves are empty, you will not win!  No matter how crazy my hormones are being or how terrible my migraine, you will not win!  No matter how late I am running on the previously mentioned to-do list because I took the time to type this post, you will not win!  No matter what, you will not win! 
   I will Praise The Lord today and every day!  This world is temporary.  All sufferings are temporary.  You lose today.  You lose tomorrow.  You lose eternity.  We are not yours!  We belong to Jesus! 
  Yes, I will cry today.  Yes, I will be tired.  Yes, I will get frustrated.  Yet, it will not drive me to anything but prayer! 

Just wanted to let you know! 


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The ONE Thing....

There is one thing that really, really bothers me about the way we eat.  ONE thing.

THE DISHES!  Oh my goodness.  We always have dishes.  We even have a dishwasher but always find ourselves handwashing also.  The thing about our diet is....we have to make everything, and I do mean everything, ourselves.  So while it's all yummy in our tummies it is definitely not good for the kitchen sink! (Or for our sanity! hehe) 

Does anyone else run into this problem?  We wash dishes all day long and they are never done.  We generally wash as we go but still they pile up?   Phooey on the dirty dish monster!  I love my cleaning schedule but those darn dishes.....*sigh*.....

So if any of you have some fabulous 'dish-tips'  they would be much appreciated!

If only it could stay this way!  Typically, it will look scary again in no time at all..........

Aaaaaagh!  Back and forth every day!  Clean, dirty, clean, dirty.  At least the food is good, right!?!?!

On a lighter and much more fun note:  It's supposed to be SUNNY outside on Friday!!!!!!!!!!!  I am so excited!  You can bet that my cloth diapers are going to get some much needed sun as well!  Sunshine also means.....BURGER DAY!  We are looking forward to our favorite Quinoa Burgers again, complete with sweet potato chips!  Soooooooo excited!

There are a variety of recipes on the net for sweet potato chips, just give it a quick google if you are interested!  However, I will leave you with my favorite way of making these lovely chippies!

Sweet Potato Chips
4 medium sized sweet potatoes or yams, any variety (long and skinny if you can find them!)
Enough of a high quality exra-virgin olive oil to have about an inch of oil in a stock pot
Sea Salt to taste

*Wash, peel and slice thin your potatoes.  I use my food processor which has a slicing option.  You can also use a sharp knife or mandoline slicer.  Heat the oil on medium heat and drop your potato slices in until the bottom of the pot is covered, just as long as it's not too crowded in there....you're good!  The chips are done when the edges start to curl and the slices bubble a bit.  Lay them on cooling racks lined with paper towels to drain and sprinkle with sea salt!  Repeat as necessary! 

My favorite!!!!!!!!!  Sooooo good!  Enjoy!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mud Cake!!!!!

Sometimes, one must have cake.  True story. 

This cake is chocolate, gluten free, vegan (if you opt out on the honey), chocolate, easy, simple, delicious and oh yes.....chocolate! 

Mud Cake adapted from Fitnessista's Chocolate Mug Cake
Serves 1, Ingredients:
1 Tbs gluten free oat flour
1 Tbs buckwheat flour
1 Tbs coconut flour
1 Tbs cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
pinch of sea salt
1 flax egg (1 Tbs flax meal mixed with 3 Tbs water)
2 Tbs non-dairy milk of choice
1 Tbs vanilla flavored coconut milk yogurt (you could use applesauce but I strongly recommend yogurt!)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
*generous swirl of honey (yes, that is an exact measurement! *wink)
*1 Tbs dairy free chocolate chips

Ingredients for chocolate sauce:
melted coconut oil
pure maple syrup
cocoa powder
~mix together until desired consistency and flavor is achieved (I used a tsp of oil, just shy of a Tbs syrup and added cocoa until it looked like chocolate syrup!!!)

~Spray the inside of a large coffee mug with non-stick spray of choice or rub with coconut oil.  Add dry ingredients and stir.  Add wet ingredients to dry and mix well.  *Honey and chocolate chips are optional.  Microwave for 2 minutes! 
~While your cake is cooking, make the chocolate sauce
~Serve as desired!

Mine was a double batch with a side of banana soft serve!

Double serving, with some serious chocolate sauce!

Pictured here with banana soft serve!  (Not pictured~the GIANT spoonful of almond butter I added!)


Hope you find this cake as enjoyable and simple as we!  The combination of flours is fabulous and the yogurt makes a huge difference!  I shall leave you with the song that is, for reasons unknown, stuck in my head!

Actually, the Tony Benett version is the one stuck in my head....but I couldn't find a suitable youtube.  So instead, you get Michael Buble!  Enjoy! 

Do you ever wake up with songs in your head and no idea why that particular song is the one on your mind?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Healing Baby Colds

Hello all!  Recent events have inspired this post!  Turns out, my babies are sick.  I hate that they are feeling under the weather.  It's never easy for a mother to see her children when they are ill even with something as simple as a cold.  I hope this blog doesn't make it appear that I have everything together all the time, nonchalantly shrugging my shoulders while simultaneously reaching into my well-stocked all natural apothecary for the perfect remedy to any ailment, injury or malady!  That is most certainly not the case!  I am still very new to the world of natural healing, herbs, supplements.....things our grandparents and great grandparents knew instinctively that we have long forgotten.  I am very interested in this 'new' world of natural remedies. (I say 'new' because really we should never have retreated from this way of life!  It makes a lot more sense!)  I have learned a lot since my daughter was born a little over two years ago and I am grateful for the people in our lives who are helping us to further our knowledge of this subject!  However, I most definitely still freak out about my children being sick, as most moms do, and immediately call my mama, midwife, best friend or hit-up facebook for a good venting/freak-out status! (That's what it's for, right?!)  So with this post it is my intention to give you ideas for some great, all natural helpers to use when your kids are sick!

First, I strongly suggest you pick up this book from the library or purchase it for yourself!  "Naturally Healthy Babies and Children" is a great resource for a variety of ailments!  It may say 'babies and children' in the title but there are many adult remedies as well and it's useful for pregnant and nursing mothers also.  The thing about our society today is....we don't know how to handle being sick.  Our kids get ear infections, colds, the flu, bronchitis, fevers, even constipation and we immediately run them to the doctor for an antibiotic or some other chemical-laden medication that will end up doing more harm than good especially over time!  Now, please don't get me wrong!  I am not against the medical world, I certainly think it has it's place but I really think there should be a better blend.  I think the medical and natural healing worlds should work together and that we should first reach for all things natural.  That being said, we need to remember that our bodies were designed with an immune system and a fabulous one at that!  For instance, your body's response to an invador is sometimes fever.  It is best to let the fever run it's course because it is actually trying to make you or your child better.  It is an immune response that signals chemicals in the body to get moving on the 'intruder' and burns away impurities.  We have been taught to suppress this natural response with medication while that may actually be keeping our children from healing as quickly as they could have if the fever had been allowed to do it's job.  A lot of these remedies and natural healing aides are not immediate cure-alls but will help your child to strengthen his/her immune system and allow them to feel better until the malady has passed.  Some of them will help your child to get over their sickness more quickly and others will help prevent an illness from having the ability to invade your child's space by, again, strengthening the immune system!  The remedies listed here that need be ingested are only appropriate for a child old enough to eat solids.  Please read the instructions on any homeopathic remedy to ensure the correct dosage for your child.  If your baby is nursing, you can take the remedies yourself and they will transfer via breast milk to your child!  Here are a few of our go-to remedies for some of the more common ailments:

*For any problem your child is having: teething, colds, congestion, earache, I recommend becoming very friendly with a good chiropractor!  Not all chiropractors are licensed and qualified to treat infants and children so be sure to interview well!  If you are local and need a good one, I have some recommendations!*

For colds/flu:  As a preventative, it is a good idea to make sure your children are getting a variety of healthy foods that include as many organic fruits and vegetables as is possible and please stay away from processed and refined foods!  However, even kids who eat mostly raw foods have days when they aren't getting everything they need so we use a multi-vitamin to 'fill in the gaps.'  I get our gluten-free vegan vitamin drops at the local health food store but you can probably get them online as well.  We also give our toddler vitamin D drops daily in the fall, winter and spring and any day we won't be in the sun for at least 30 minutes.  I have noticed this helping with teething also! 
~Make sure your child is getting plenty of fluids and lots of rest.  A smaller baby who is still nursing will require extra nursing and cuddle sessions.  If your child is bottle fed and seems to be wanting more fluids than usual, you should oblige and, of course, give them extra cuddles!  Green smoothies, fresh juices and water are great for older kids and toddlers.  Children are really intuitive and you may notice them asking for more fluids than usual or 'making up for' what they aren't eating with additional fluid, let them!  Our daughter drinks green milk (almond milk with spinach blended in, sounds gross but you can't taste it).

~Breast Milk!!!!!!!  You will notice that breast milk is a common thread in these remedies.  If you are nursing a smaller baby and also have a toddler or older child who is sick, you can pump some extra milk and add it to your child's cereal or glass of whatever milk they typically drink.  I will give my toddler girl about 2 ounces of breast milk in her sippy cup with her almond milk filling up the rest.  Breast milk is a natural antibiotic and has incredible nutritional stats.  I realize that some people are extremely grossed out by this and it's not your fault!  Our society is scared to death of boobs and I'm really not sure why ~get over it peeps, that's why they're made mmm-k?!?  It will be alright, promise!
~Elderberry syrup/extract is great for colds and sore throats!  You can make your own tincture if you are feeling up to the task (don't use grain alcohol!) or you can buy some in a bottle similar to any other medicine bottle at the Health Food store or online!  Just be sure it's gluten free!  We give our daughter 1/2 a teaspoon when she is sick or anytime we feel she may need an extra boost, like after she has been around lots of other kids or playing at a park or gym.  We take two teaspoons whenever we feel it necessary. 
~Echinacea is a great addition to the body as well.  I prefer drops whenever possible to ensure you aren't ingesting the lactose that typically binds anything in pill form and your body doesn't have to work to digest a drop the way it does a pill.  You will then be more likely to get the benenfits of the supplement.  The problem with some drops is that they contain grain alcohol which is not usable for people with celiac disease.  In that case, look for 'children's drops' because they are alcohol free!  Obviously, you would do this for your kids anyway but if you need the supplement you can just take an increased dose of the children's drops!
~Raw Honey is great for coughs as well as sore throat.  You can give this to your child directly or mixed with warm (not hot) milk or water.  Do not give honey to children under one year of age!

~Congestion:  Often colds/flu come with congestion but there are lots of things you can do to give your child, and even a small baby, some relief.
~Cool mist humidifier  Run a cool mist humidifier in the room where your child sleeps.  The only reason for using cool mist as opposed to warm mist is to reduce the risk of burns.
~Steam bath  Get the bathroom all steamy by running the hot water in the shower and keep the door closed.  You can then strip your child down to their diaper and hold them in the steamy bathroom (not in the shower directly) or give them a bath in the baby tub but set it outside of the regular tub. 
~Nasal aspirator I have had little, very little in fact, success with the standard nose-sucker but I love this battery operated one!  Works wonders!
~Vicks Baby Rub is great!  Just be sure to follow the instructions.  Our daughter sleeps on her belly all curled up in a ball so I put the Vicks on the back of her neck and on her upper back.  I don't want her completely inhaling the Vicks like she would if I put it on her chest, though that is just a personal preference!

For earache:  Again, chiropractic care helps greatly with ear infection.  Typically ears get infected as a result of drainage from another sickness though it may happen for other reasons as well.  The chiropractic adjustment will help to clear the ear.
~Garlic Oil  You can purchase this at any health food store, online or make your own.  Garlic has natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.  We have used this remedy on ourselves as well as our toddler, rarely does it take more than a day to clear up the problem.  This will also help with pain.
~Warm compress will give additional help with pain.  We use warm (not hot) wet wascloths pressed against the infected ear. 

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)  Pink eye is highly contagious so keep your child from touching the eye if at all possible and wash, wash, wash hands!  However, we have found on very, very effective remedy for pink eye.....
~Breast Milk!!!!!  (are you really surprised??)  You can pump extra milk if you are able and place a few drops in a small medicine dropper.  The milk can be dropped directly into the inner corner of the eye.  I put about an ounce per day in a small container and kept it in the refrigerator.  When I needed to give a dose, I just went to my refrigerated milk with a clean dropper.  It will take longer for an adult to completely heal using this method (yes you can apply this to an adult's eye as well, it's ok people!!!) but a child should see results immediately with full healing in a day or two, maybe three. 

Little sicklet cuddling on the couch

Good luck all!  Hopefully, your children won't get the sicks but if they do I hope these remedies will be helpful to you!  Have a lovely day!

What are your favorite homeopathic remedies for some common childhood OR adult ailments???

Monday, May 9, 2011

Recovery Smoothie

Happy Sunshine everyone!  I am so glad the sun is shining today even if I am sick!  I have had some sort of stomach 'bug' since late Saturday night and I can't wait for it to pass! There was a time when I was always sick.  It seemed like it was just one thing right after another and I just couldn't get well.  Of course, I now know the reason for that ~ the dreaded gluten!  Having undetected Celiac Disease for 25 years....yeah, that will get you down!  The damage done to your intestines blocks your body from receiving the nutrition it should be getting.  Obviously, this can have some pretty serious effects especially over time.  Often, a person with gluten intolerance or CD will develop an autoimmune condition stemming from the long term damage gluten does to the body.  In my case, it is Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome or PCOS. 

I am actually really thankful for the road that God has had us travel, we wouldn't be where we are with our diet, understanding, compassion or overall health without it.  I am rarely sick anymore and that is a huge blessing!  However, when the time comes that I do 'catch a bug' I am quickly reminded of the way I once felt ALL the time and how easily we forget pain.  Believe it or not, I am actually grateful for these times as well.  I don't want to forget how I felt before.  I want to remember those feelings in order to fully appreciate how wonderful I feel now and to help others in similar situations.  It's terrible feeling sick and exhausted every single day.  It's not how we are meant to feel.  Yes, we live in a fallen world and there will be disease and sickness until Heaven comes but I also know that healing exists!  I have a long road yet, as many with long term afflictions, but I continue to heal every day and I want to be sure to tell my story so I might be of some help to those who are also searching for the reasons why they may be sick.  I think it's also important for me to share these things so others, though they may not be the ones that are sick, will be compassionate toward those who maybe don't feel so great.  Prior to experiencing it myself, if you had talked to me about having the problems I am going to tell you about here....well, maybe I would have been one to roll my eyes or nod and smile while actually letting everything go in one ear and out the other?  I might have thought, "Well, they must be doing something wrong!"  I may have even been one to think that someone was simply being a big baby about it all.  Sounds harsh, yes?  Believe me, I have been on the receiving end of these attitudes.  They are common, even from well intentioned family members.  People are mean, accusing and judgemental about the things they don't understand.  I have also found that many people assume that pain and sickness are simply the cards they have been dealt and they must get over it or deal with it. 

Well, God made me the way I am for a reason.  I am stubborn and strong-willed!  Sometimes this gets me into trouble but it's also the reason I am here and healing today!  To fully tell my story will take a series of posts so today I will give you a running list of symptoms that I had before I found answers and leave you with a great smoothie recipe!  I hope you will take from this post the understanding that not all ailments fit into 'textbook' descriptions as well as a little bit of compassion.  There are many, many people who suffer from a variety of illnesses and often they suffer silently for fear of ridicule and comments like those mentioned above.  If you are healthy, that is so wonderful and I hope that you will continue to be healthy and make even more positive changes in your diet and lifestyle as so many Americans still need to do.  If you are one who is currently unhealthy, please don't give up.  Even if the sickness from which you suffer has no cure, you can still make positive changes via diet, lifestyle and hopefully discover the wonderful world of holistic health!  Knowing that you have support is half the battle!  You will get that here!  :-) 

I started having noticeable symptoms at 18.  I went to lots of different doctors, had lots of tests and took a variety of medications.  At one point, I couldn't even function without three of the medications I was taking.  I am not one who likes to take medications.  I feel like they are just a mask, I wanted to find the real problem but nobody was able to help with that.  After years of research, trial and error and, most importantly, prayer...I was able to discover that I do in fact have Celiac Disease in addition to PCOS.  Though I believe Celiac is what started it all.  We have been completely gluten free since December 27th 2010 and I am so excited to say that I have been medication free since that date as well!  I really get better every day!  Here is a list of the symptoms I encountered over the past 7 years:
~Migraines  These started when I was 18, though I did not know what they were at the time.  They became debilitating when I was 22.
        *Many symptoms I had were that of migraine equivalent or symptoms of migraine without having the actual head pain.  These were continual symptoms.  They include:  Sensitivity to sound and light, memory loss and word retrieval problems, inability to concentrate, muscle spasms, back pain (I would always have pain down my spine from neck to mid-back that felt like someone injected me with poison!  It was terrible!) and generally feeling 'weird'  ~I know that sounds generic but that's seriously how it feels.  Almost like you are in a dream land.
~Significant and unexplained weight gain
~Muscle twitching and spasms  These actually became so bad that I had to take anti-seizure meds
~Muscle weakness  My muscles would randomly just give out.  There were times I couldn't actually hold my daughter because my arms just wouldn't work.
~Widespread muscle and bone pain
~Abdominal bloating, cramps and pain
~Extreme exhaustion  There were days I couldn't get off the couch.  I would wash the dishes and then have to take a 2 hour nap!
~Kidney stones
~Lower back pain and tenderness
~Low blood sugar attacks
~Loss of strength
~Heartbeat irregularities and palpitations
~High blood pressure
~Anxiety and depression
~Hair loss, including eyelashes as well as hair on the head
~Excessive hair growth in places such as underarms, hands, eyebrows, limbs, and face
~Sensitivity to sunlight  I got a rash every time I went out in the sunshine.  Sigh.  I had to avoid sunlight for almost 2 years.
~Sensitive and very dry skin
~Nausea and vomiting   I was always, always nauseated.  I never had a mentrual cycle after I turned 20 so I always thought I was pregnant.  I must have taken 30 tests because every month it was the same thing....I threw up 3 times a night most nights of the week.  This went on for 2 years.
~Significant mammary growth Ok, I don't know how to say that without sounding vulgar?  Seriously though, I went from a very normal size to a very large and not so normal size, especially for my petite frame.  I still have problems with that and I don't know that it will go away.  We'll see?
~Ganglion Cysts These are common for a lot of people but I get them excessively.  For instance, I have five in my right wrist alone!
~Hormone imbalances
~Bladder Pain
~Food cravings  I had the weirdest cravings when I wasn't even pregnant and I HAD to have it.  I know now that it was my body telling me it needed nutrients because it wasn't getting anything but at the time it was odd!
~Constant hunger
~Mouth Ulcers

As you can see, most of these symptoms are not symptoms you would automatically think of when it comes to Celiac Disease.  A lot of them are from PCOS which I developed, I am certain, because of Celiac.  However, more people in this country have Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance than they realize.  1 in 133 people are afflicted with this disease yet less than 10% of those people know they have it.  It is a bad habit of the medical world and our society today to offer medications that simply cover up symptoms without even attempting to discover the underlying problem.  Unfortunately, this great country is behind in terms of Celiac Disease.  It is still thought of as 'merely a digestive issue,' which is not at all true.  I have a dear friend with cancer who was telling me that her doctor said every single cancer patient he has also has Celiac Disease.  That made me wonder, which direction does that go?  Celiac to Cancer, Cancer to Celiac or both?  It is obvious that a person whose body is not getting the nutrients it needs will end up very ill.  Hopefully Celiac Disease is something we can all learn more about and the best thing is.....you can be completely healthy with the absence of gluten in the diet!  *You will also have to take other actions in order to repair damage that has been done but eliminating gluten will prevent further damage and put you on the road back to health!  Love it! 

I promised you a smoothie recipe and I shall deliver!  This is a great recovery smoothie!  Whether you are recovering from throwing up all weekend (like yours truly, ha!), a long workout, labor and delivery or just  want a fantastic, nutrient-dense drink for summer this smoothie will do the trick!  It's loaded with enzymes, electrolytes, fruits, greens and fabulous flavor!  It's a new favorite for sure!

Pina Colada Smoothie
*quantities are totally up to you!
~frozen pineapple
~frozen mango
~1 ripe avocado
~unsweetened/unsulfured shredded coconut
~coconut water

*Place desired quantities in a blender and blend until smooth!  I typically use more pineapple than mango and only about a handful of shredded coconut.  Serves 2-4

If you have fresh coconut water, even better!

Feel free to use other greens if you prefer!  We like spinach in our smoothies because we get other greens from our juice!