I'm a Christian wife & homeschooling mama, saved by faith through grace. I changed my family's diet from SAD (Standard American Diet) to healthy, delicious & nutritious traditional foods. I've recently discovered there's a name for the way that I eat. It's called Primal or Paleo (I like the diet and think of the men and women who worked hard from sunup to sundown, constantly on the go, eating meat, berries they picked, cheese they made. I do not believe in evolution). No grains, legumes, refined sugars, and no/limited dairy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fat Bombs

Fat Bombs - a weird name for a delicious treat

Fat Bombs were created to give a little satiety and blood sugar boost, and possibly a chocolate fix when you really need one. They're delicious and quite nutritious! An easy way to get that oh so good for you coconut oil in! (Carrington Farms oil is available at Costco for a very reasonable price, and is a good brand!)

In food processor, add:
12oz coconut flakes or shreds
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup coconut oil

Process until it starts to look a little wet - that's the oil separating from the coconut. You don't want it to separate too much, or all the chewy stuff will be on the bottom and you'll have a layer of oil on the top, which isn't super pleasant to eat. Or maybe that's just me and my texture issues ;)

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Sausage and Zucchini Hash

A fast and easy meal that is super yummy.

Ground pork with Italian seasoning & salt in patties in the frying pan, then add shredded zucchini and some oil.
Cool until zucchini is browned, but not black, turning sausage patty once.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Homemade Almond Milk

I make almond milk for my family. My husband has smoothies for breakfast and we're at a season of life where my older three kids have cereal or oatmeal for breakfast, so they use this almond milk.

1 bag raw almonds 12oz
1 gallon purified water
1-2 cups honey

1 handful soaked almonds
1 quart purified water
a couple dashes powdered stevia
blend and strain. Refrigerate.

Soak almonds in purified water with a tablespoon of salt overnight.
Rinse the next morning and make the milk.

Use 1 cup almonds in 4-5 cups purified water. Blend for 90 seconds.
Strain. Repeat.
You can use the leftover almond pulp in baking, just go.ogle "almond pulp recipes"

Real food meals on a budget and snacks

I was talking with a dear friend about budgeting groceries, easy meals and snacks. She wanted the ideas written down, so here they are. I'm sure I won't be able to remember them all now, lol.

I can't afford to buy most things organic at this point in our lives, so I do the best I can. We get meat at Costco and sometimes from farmers. I am able to get some frozen organic vegetables, organic fresh baby carrots and salad at Costco for good prices.
I shop at Aldi for most of my other food. They have great prices and good variety on fruits & veggies. Aldi is a great company and treat their employees well. They have processed foods, but they also have a lot of whole foods. I use their raw almonds to make almond milk. A bag of almonds at $4.29 makes over a gallon of almond milk for my family.

I do meals pretty basic - meat, veggie and sometimes fruit.

Pork loin - cut your own or buy precut. Season to taste. Bake at 350 for 30minutes or until done. Some seasonings could include:  coconut aminos (use in place of soy sauce), honey and garlic for a teriyaki type flavor;  honey;  honey mustard;  crush pork rinds and add taco seasoning (I make my own with cumin, oregano, salt, chili powder and garlic powder), dip pork in crumbs and fry in coconut oil or bacon grease.

Chicken thighs with skin on - sliced mushrooms and wine; honey mustard;  coconut aminos, honey and garlic; salt; kale on the bottom, chicken on top, salt.

Ground pork - cook with italian seasoning and salt for homemade sausage; shred zucchini and turnips and saute, then mix with ground pork, form into patties for Sausage Veggie Burgers; hash - shredded veggies with ground pork and seasonings.

Veggies:  roasted veggies (turnips, carrots, celery, zucchini, yellow squash, etc) - cube and toss with oil and garlic, minced. Roast at 375 for an hour or so; frozen green beans; peas; broccoli, cooked or raw; fresh veggies and hummus.

Snacks:  fruit - apples, clementines, celery with pb, plums, peaches, grapes, mangoes, watermelon, etc.

Dessert/pick me up:  Fat bombs - 1/4 cup cocoa powder, 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/3 cup honey, 8 oz unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut - blend in food processor or high powered blender. Plop into a lipped plate or pie plate, spread and score into 36 sections. Refrigerate.
Chovocado pudding

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Three and a half months later...

It's been three and a half months since our MRT tests and modifying our diets to remove our sensitivities. 
E4 was 17lbs in January and now she is 21lbs 9oz! She started sleeping through the night within a couple weeks of changing our diets. She's very chubby and solid and happy (when she's not acting like a cranky toddler ;). She even has neck rolls that I have to clean out! That was never a problem until the last few weeks!

I'm also feeling better, my stomach isn't hurting when I eat, thanks to some healing with Gastrazyme, my stools are pretty regular/normal, my skin is pretty clear and I feel pretty good. 

It is clear to me that the test was accurate, through the dramatic change in my little lady (whose chubby feet can be seen above). Over 4 1/2lbs in under four months is pretty amazing. She's absorbing nutrients and she is not nursing for 95% of her calories. It's a relief to know what's going on and have her feeling better, with some pressure off of me. Sleep improvements have been quite wonderful, as well.

I have some friends who are doing the MRT testing, I'm looking forward to seeing their results and hope that they get the help they need, as we have. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Homemade healthy Wendy's Frosty type smoothie

Hen I was sick a couple weeks ago, all I wanted was a frosty. But because of refined sugar and dairy, I couldn't have one from Wendy's. So I asked some friends for help, and my friend, Kristen, showed me a recipe for mousse and said to add ice and blend it.
The first time I made it, I didn't follow the directions and added too much cacao powder, but it was still yummy.
The second time, it was perfect.
The third time, I tried following the recipes use of dates for sweetener, but there were hard pieces.
The forth time, I made up my own recipe, using my experience from the first three times and viola! Delicious!!!

Knockoff Wendy's frosty chocolate smoothie

1 can coconut milk
4-5 Tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
1/2 cup melted honey

Blend well.

Add 2 cups ice (I use the little balled ice from son.ic).


Monday, March 4, 2013

One month update

I talked with Anne Fischer Silva, of A New Leaf Nutrition, again today, to touch base, so I thought I'd update here.

I can't believe how well we're doing. E4 is eating 50% or more of her calories herself and has put on a pound or so. I haven't weighed her, but she's definitely heavier! She's not having the allergy facial rash and is sleeping very well.
I freaked out a little during the first couple weeks, because we were getting the toxins out of our systems and there was some residual reaction, but once that was gone, things improved immensely. She's regularly sleeping from 7pm-5am, when I nurse her and put her back to bed for an hour or two.

I was sick for a whole week a couple weeks ago, and while I would nurse her, DH was making her pork chops and she was eating almost a whole pork chop at every meal!

We're eating foods off the list I posted a few weeks ago and it's so lovely to have options and variety!

Anne is having me take betaine hydrochloride with pepsin to help with my digestion, which is exactly what I need. My body will get used to making enough of it's own after awhile.

I was just talking with a dear friend, who has been there through this incredibly difficult journey, and she said I should share this - E4 would survive now if I suddenly couldn't breastfeed anymore. She wouldn't be happy about it, but she could.
Two months ago, that was not the case. We are greatly blessed and so happy to have these tests and Anne to help is.

ETA: I weighed E4 today and she's gained 2 pounds in 5 weeks. Amazing. And answers to our prayers for a happy baby.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I had a gastritis attack on Tuesday. I couldn't be vertical for more than about 2-3 minutes before starting to feel like I might hurl, as well as dealing with intense stomach pain that didn't let up until late afternoon/early evening. It feels like labor, only without a break between contractions. I think I'd rather deal with labor. Thankfully, my husband was able to come home early to take care of our family. I was recovered yesterday, with what felt like trapped air in my abdomen, rather painful, but a relief from the day before.
I took three activated charcoal capsules, a cup of slippery elm bark tea and half a cup of marshmallow tea (after spilling almost the whole jar of marshmallow root onto clean dishes) over the day to help absorb whatever toxins or irritants that were in my system. I have no idea what triggered it or why it happened. I'm thinking it must be from detoxing from the foods I'm sensitive to.

I've been noticing over the last 9 days that my stomach is a bit finicky. I can't drink very much while eating or I feel full and uncomfortable. I can't eat a lot at once, either, or my stomach doesn't feel good. I'm currently not feeling very good, because I think I overate, even though I didn't feel full. My theory is my stomach is trying to heal and figuring out exactly how to do that and digest properly, so there are some kinks being worked out after who knows how many years of being damaged.

E4 stopped sleeping well a week ago, but slept through the night again last night! (Praise the Lord!) She's pooping a lot and that's what she does when her tummy is recovering. So, while gross, it's good. I believe she's teething and may have a little cold and thus the not sleeping well the last week. I was afraid the new diet wasn't working afterall, but it seems to just be regular teething woes. I forgot that could happen. :)

Continuing onward!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Week 1 after MRT results

I talked to Anne Fisher Silva last Monday, January 28. E4 & I had ham that evening for dinner and she slept amazing. In fact, she slept much later than she normally does! Tuesday, she was a happy little camper and in a great mood. She's been having detox symptoms all week, cough, diarrhea, rash on the face, general crankiness after the first couple days. She's also teething, so the crankiness could be attributed to that. Tuesday night, after the first full day without our sensitivities being consumed, she went to bed at 7, woke at 1030 coughing, so I nursed her, then went back to sleep until 7!!!am (she has been waking at five for quite awhile to nurse and then will go back to sleep for 30-60 minutes, before being up for the day, usually), I nursed her and then she went BACK TO SLEEP again until 9:45am and was in a wonderful mood! She's NEVER slept that much and that well before. Her little body really needed the rest! She slept right through her morning nap! Wednesday, she was less demanding and crotchety than usual.
I couldn't believe that the changes in our diet could work so quickly, and was very hesitant to get too excited. My friends were rejoicing, though!
Wednesday night, she went to bed and slept until 645, nursed, then went back to sleep until 9 or 10! I was excited, but didn't want to get my hopes up, because I knew, from past experience, that it could fall apart at any moment.
My body was exhausted, even though I was getting much better sleep, so I told Anne about it and she said my body was probably trying to catch up and relaxing from having to be hypervigilant all the time.
I started detoxing the first or second day, lots of bathroom trips. By Thursday, E4's nose had cleared a lot, she has a little bit of snot sometimes, from teething, but not all stuffy like she has been most of her life.
Thursday night, E4 woke at 0245 and fussed a little, but went back to sleep. She woke at 645, nursed and went back to sleep for a couple hours. On Friday, she had red patches on her cheeks, a classic reaction sign for her, and I freaked out a little. Thankfully, I have rational friends who helped calm me down and talk me away from the edge (of going back to what I thought had been working). She was very cranky and didn't know what she wanted, just that she was cranky. I was taking a charcoal capsule every couple days, to help remove the toxins from my body. I emailed Anne, because I was freaking out and asked about my mint toothpaste, mint lotion and mint handsoap. She told me to discontinue use of ALL mint products, so I tried making my own toothpaste. First attempt failed, I can't stand the baking soda taste. Second attempt - successful!
I took another look at E4's MRT test results and noticed that her reaction to fructose was nearing the avoid zone, so I'm wondering if we just need to be really careful how much fruit we consume, since it has fructose in it.
I found something on a website 
that made a lot of sense involving detox and symptoms and die off and I believe this is what was happening with E4 and me. "Many people confuse these symptoms with allergies or food sensitivities within the first two to three days and attempt to stop the healing process before it is concluded and consequently not allowing the first important phase to complete its task to recuperate. The body should allow at least 10 days for the first phase to complete and this can be longer for others who have more severe conditions. "

I felt better after reading that, and decided to stay the course. Afterall, we've tried everything else!
Friday night, I put E4 to bed at the normal time, but she kept waking up. While I was trying to get her to sleep, E3 woke a couple times, crying and saying "ow". I had a bad feeling, so I let E4 out of her woombie to crawl around and play, since she clearly wasn't going back to sleep, and brought E3 to the couch and got her some towels and a bowl. E4 was happy as a little clam, crawling around and eating pork that I'd cut up for her and put in a Snack Trap. Not too long after, E3 threw up. After a few hours, everyone was back to sleep and E3 and I slept on the couches in the living room. I was glad the next day was Saturday. DH took care of the kids in the morning, so I could sleep in a bit. E3 hasn't gotten sick again, but E1 says he doesn't feel good periodically, we'll see what happens.
E4 is doing pretty well now. I gave her a bath with baking soda and epsom salts to help with the detox. Lord willing, she'll be over it soon!

All that to say, I'm pretty impressed with our progress in the first week, and am cautiously optimistic. We're going to be doing the MRT with E3, too, since she still has some food issues and I don't know exactly what they are.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

So, what CAN I eat?

Baker's Yeast
Cabbage (close E4)
Catfish (Close M)
Cauliflower (close E4)
Cayenne Pepper
Garlic (close E4)
Green Peas
Lima Beans
Mushroom (Close M)
Pineapple (close E4)
Pinto Beans
Tapioca (close)
Tuna (Close E4)
Zucchini (Close M)

(Close) means it was close to being a sensitivity, so I'll limit those to 1-2x a week.

MRT Test Results & Finally - A Plan

E4 with her allergy rash cheeks

I read an in December. So much of it hit a chord and rang true with me for E4! She continually became intolerant to foods that we would have regularly, she and I weren't healing, etc. I've tried SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet), I've tried just eating paleo, I've tried lots of stuff, but I always end up back to eating 6-7 things. I'm tired and can't continue eating that way for several more months. Weaning E4 isn't an option, because I'm still about 90-95% of her food source. At least she's getting antibodies, vitamins and minerals from my breastmilk. She is now 13 1/2 months old and I'm happy to continue breastfeeding her until she's ready to eat enough to support her body.

We've tried allergy testing. First, we did the regular blood test at our pediatrician's office. It came back negative for everything for E4, but E3 tested positive to being allergic to egg whites. I expected E4 to be allergic to eggs, as she had gotten hives on her face right after eating eggs the three times she had them. So, we went to a local chiropractor who is knowledgeable in nutrition. Dr. Mallory Rupp performed an IgG ELISA test for E4, which I blogged here. It helped some, but since it will show negative for foods that we haven't consumed in the previous three months, when we tried some of the non-reactive foods, E4 still reacted. With the egg allergy concern, we took E4 to an allergist. Dr. Jeff Nelson, at Midwest Allergy and Asthma, is such a wonderful guy. He's kind to the kids and really listens to my concerns and my ideas on how to proceed, as well as telling me his opinion and offering any help he can. He did a scratch test on E4's back and  she came back allergic to eggs (I wasn't surprised). He gave us a prescription for Epipen Jr, just in case.

Finally, I read the article on Nourishing Our Children, and I wrote to Anne Fisher Silva that night! I was praying that she would be able to find us some answers, but I was also very cautious and not convinced it would help, as nothing else had solved E4's problems. I had a couple very hard periods, where I didn't want to keep nursing, but I couldn't stop, since E4 couldn't eat anything except chicken and honey. Anne wrote back a few days later and asked me to give her a call. I called and we talked for about twenty minutes. She thought she could help. She wanted to test me, as well as E4, since I'm nursing her. She explained in our call yesterday (the one with results) that because my body is sensitive to certain foods, it can't cope and ingesting my sensitivities, along with hers makes my toxic load too big and spills into my breastmilk. This is what I had been thinking all year, but I still believe that my breastmilk is better than anything else I could have given her, since everything else has some of her allergens or intolerances in them. We did try a special formula, but she wouldn't drink it and it turns out that she's very intolerant to some of the things in it. I was going to try to make her the Weston A. Price formula with goat's milk, but I had a hard time finding the goat's milk, then wouldn't have enough of a supply to keep making it regularly.

The foods that I had been regularly eating for the last month are chicken, garlic, honey, peanut butter, chocolate, occasionally lemon juice for Garlic Lemonade, and bananas (but only every other day or less). E4 was only able to eat chicken and honey, without having sleep disturbances, but she was having facial rashes and hives. I was unable to pinpoint what was causing her rashes in the last couple weeks.

Our appointment was scheduled for February 4, at 5:30pm. She said it would probably take a couple hours, so I planned for my husband to be around to play with the kids, while I was on the phone downstairs. A couple weeks ago, I wrote to her in desperation, asking if it was at all possible to move the call up, because I was barely hanging on with being so limited. She had a time that was available, so yesterday at 3pm, it was finally time to go over our test results.

She ordered the MRT (Mediator Release Testing) for E4 & me, and the GI Health Panel for me. These tests were expensive, but for us - completely worth the cost. On the GI Health Panel test (it tested stool over three days and saliva on the last day), the only thing that wasn't right was my mucosal lining in my intestines. The normal range is 400-880. Mine is 14. That is not good, folks! No wonder I have trouble digesting foods! Anne said that usually the reasons for such a low number are bacterial infection or food sensitivities. I tested negative for bacteria, so it had to be food sensitivities.

Next, we looked at the MRT test, which showed any food sensitivities, and isn't limited to only things I've consumed in the last three months. It turns out that I'm sensitive/intolerant (I'll use those interchangeably) to almost all dairy (goat, cow), Black Pepper, Scallops, American Cheese, Hops, Clam, Mint, Cola, Peanut, Cottage Cheese, Pistachio, Cow's Milk, String Beans, Dill, Sweet Potato, Blue #2, Tomato, Green #3, Turmeric, Grapes, Vanilla, Hazelnut, Whey. I'm not surprised by the grapes or peanuts, but pretty surprised by a lot of the other things.

E4's results showed that she's sensitive to:  Asparagus, Maple, Banana, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Sesame, Corn, Shrimp (I suspected), Cow's Milk, Almond, Hops, Apricot, Onion, Broccoli (wondered), Raspberry (not surprised), Chicken (WHAAAAAT? But explains her facial rashes), Sweet Potato, Cottage Cheese, Tea (Black & Green, no more kombucha :( ), Garbanzo, Walnut, Goat's Milk, Yellow Squash, Hazelnut.

E4's IgG ELISA test showed that she was intolerant/sensitive to:  Apple, Green Beans, Cashew, Eggplant, Grapes, Grapefruit, Lemon, Oranges, Peaches, Pears, Sweet Potatoes, White Potatoes, Black tea, Avocado, Bay Leaf, Iceberg Lettuce.

She's minimally intolerant to Carrots, Cauliflower, Celery, Cocoa, Cucumber, Green Olives, Onions, Oregano, Green Pepper, Spinach, Strawberry and Tomato.

I will be cross referencing all four lists to come up with one list of foods I can't eat, and use the foods that showed little sensitivity in the MRT tests to try out.

Anne said that there will probably be some residual reactions leftover from the foods she's intolerant to getting out of our systems. My friend, Holly, preemptively reminded me not to freak out if E4 had any detox symptoms, and to stay calm and ride the wave. Love her. Anne also said that we don't know how much any one thing is affecting her, so we're keeping these foods out for six months. Anne wants me to make bone broth with good bones and the veggies that are ok for us both. Bone broth is very healing, and will help my mucousal lining grow back. Since I won't be able to have wine, she suggested a brand of vodka, Tito, to try with unsweetened cranberry juice & stevia.

I'd like to talk about Anne for a minute. A lot of care providers (drs & nutritionists) do their best to support us and are kind, but they don't truly understand. I've also encountered many providers who had been dismissive of my symptoms and issues (8 years ago). I didn't know what to expect from Anne. I was so appreciative to find her kind and sensitive, willing to truly listen and work with me. I've had to become an expert on E4 and me, I haven't been able to trust anyone else to know what's going on with us or usually have much helpful advice. It was so nice to have someone to talk with that understood my concerns, what I was talking about and have some helpful information and action plan. This was our last resort. I had nowhere else to turn and nothing else to try. I am so thankful the Lord provided the Nourishing Our Children's blog post and for Anne and her experience. I teared up several times yesterday towards the end of our call and was positively GIDDY the rest of the day! We have a plan! Help is available!! Praise the Lord!!!

After all we've been through, I would've paid three times as much to have answers. I wish we'd known about this three years ago!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Garlic Lemonade

I'd heard of garlic lemonade about 5 years ago, but it sounded so weird and gross that I never tried it...until recently. I googled for a recipe and came up with Simply Blessed's website.
Since I didn't have the exact ingredients on hand, I modified it into my own recipe.

Garlic Lemonade
3 1/2 cup boiling water
2-4 Tbsp pureed/minced/pressed garlic
1/4 cup raw, local honey (you can always put more in, if you need - I eyeball it)
1/2 cup pure lemon juice (I can only find this at Costco. It's organic and a good deal, and JUST lemon juice)

Pour boiling water over garlic and honey, wait a little while and mix.
Add lemon juice & mix again.
Strain and drink. I just strain into a cup, a cup at a time.
You can leave the garlic pulp in it, if you'd like, but it's pretty potent!