Thursday, December 23, 2010

Whose shoes do you walk in?

If you are a bio-mom, you probably get this too, people suggesting that we are extreme and go overboard with our kids.  We are extremists, right?  Wrong.  If you had diabetes and required insulin and dietary changes, you wouldn't take half of your insulin and watch your diet part of the time, would you?  What many people don't realize is that heavy metal toxicity is a real medical can't remove SOME allergenic foods, and take away a FEW toxins, and give SOME supplements to a child who is in recovery from over-toxicity.  They NEED it all in order to recover completely and in the shortest amount of time possible.  This isn't speculative, it's proven, but I am not here to provide you with all of the science you need to believe me, I am here to take care of my children.  I am a mom, that's me!

Unfortunately, until you are forced to walk in our shoes, you don't know this, nor would you need to.  We don't choose this life, we don't want to force a trillion pills down our children's throats, and spend 3/4 of our time in the kitchen making specialty foods, we don't want to watch our children feel different from their classmates, but we also don't want to watch our children suffer in an inflexible world for the rest of their lives.  Their health conditions cause a slew of symptoms that we consider socially unacceptable, but for this I am grateful, because otherwise, we wouldn't have motivation to get to the bottom of the problem.  If teachers weren't telling us our children are unruly and disturbing others in class or if non-verbal children weren't tainted with the misconception that they are mentally challenged and what about the child who has a very loud and wild tantrum in public beyond the age of two, would we go to the extent that we need to in order to see change?  I think as a society, we are too selfish and proud not to do something about these kids.  It is in our research that we begin to learn that it is more than a tantrum, defiance or hyperactivity, there are MEDICAL reasons why our children are different.  They aren't trying to be difficult, they are in pain, they are confused and they need help! The best news is that this is reversible!  And let me clarify that I am not just talking about autism here, ADHD, allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases all fall under this umbrella.  And in my most recent reading, I am convinced that cancer is the end result for someone who doesn't recognize and address their issues with toxicity.

Diet plays a HUGE role in all of these disorders.  When we eat processed foods devoid of nutrition we starve our body of the nutrients that help our organs function properly.  If those deficiencies go un-noticed for years, we begin to see the degeneration of our bodies in small signs like changes in our physical appearance, GI dysfunction, more rapid aging, mood changes, memory loss....and we have been brainwashed to think this way of aging is normal.  It's NOT!  Combine our nutritional loss with the bio-accumulation of toxins and you have a recipe for disaster!  The symptoms are compounded and you start to see our body attacking itself in diseases like arthritis and Lupus, you develop something doctors have come to call Chronic Fatigue.  It's a way to say, "I acknowledge that there is a subset of people who have similar symptoms, but we don't know what it is or what to do about it."  Now that they have a label for it, that gives you the warm and fuzzies, right?  But what do you do about healing yourself?  Don't think you are going to find your answers at your mainstream doctor's office.

In children, the symptoms differ and we are just learning what they are.   We once thought that learning disabilities, ADHD, autism and allergies were all genetic.  Sure, there is a genetic link, but that is just the seed, once it's planted into an environment, it's that environment that determines how it grows.  Are they bombarded with heavy metals from parents who have amalgam fillings that release mercury into their bodies every day, are they breathing and bathing in strong chemical cleaner residue, is there a mold in their home or school, sleeping in beds that release antimony, phosphorous and other harmful heavy metals, have their foods been so limited that they are developing sensitivities to them, are they drinking from bottles or using formula containers lined with leaching BPA and phthalates, are they getting proper nutrition for healthy physical and neurological growth, are they ingesting chemicals from pesticides and processed foods, food dyes, refined sugars and genetically modified foods.....I can really go on and on and on.  Some would say that our bodies are designed to handle toxins, which is partly true, but not as much as we are exposed to daily.  We have really bombarded our homes with unhealthy levels of toxins and we don't even realize it, it's become second nature for us to trust that everything we buy is made safely.  Think again!

Why is it that so many of us are tied emotionally to our food selections?  If we know we can begin to heal ourselves with simple changes to our diet, why is it SO hard for many to make those changes?  But if you were told you had to cut off an arm to remove a deadly flesh eating bacteria, you will jump on the table to live, won't you?  Why does the AMOUNT of time we have on this earth put us in panic mode?  What about the quality of your life?  You are still killing yourselves with poor food choices, just at a slower pace.

When we take away as many foods as our children require, and yes they ALL need complete removal for very specific and medical reasons, they require nutrition that they aren't always getting from their acceptable food list, so the supplements are necessary.  Also, children with gut problems have mal-absorption issues causing the need for additional supplements, and higher amounts of them.  When you delve into the holistic approach to caring for a person who is deficient in many ways, you also learn little tips such as splitting the supplementation up into three doses a day, in order to increase absorption, etc.  The list goes on and on.  When you do your homework, you end up where we are.  You will find that what we do with our children doesn't differ very much for any other bio-medical family.  There is a reason for that, it works!

So next time you think about cracking a joke about or to your bio-medical friend/brother/neighbor/co-worker or you think about questioning the extremity of the things they do with their children, think again.  If it were you, how would it make you feel?  And remember, as long as you are still in your child bearing years, it still CAN be you, this effects well over 1 in 90 children now!  Those are just the diagnosed cases!

Monday, December 13, 2010

What next?

We are at this fabulous plateau, certainly not finished with recovery, but at a nice comfy place.  I am ok with our little bouts of regression, oxalate dumping, yeast flares.  They don't last nearly as long as they used to and are no where near as severe.  I see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Sure, we still have a long road ahead of us, but for the first time in almost three years, I finally feel like all of the hard work is paying off!  It is finally our turn to start climbing to the other side of the fence. 

So...what next?  I am so used to having to research some new treatment option, supplements, protocols, scanning forums and now?  I am actually taking a break from all of that and it feels, well, pretty good!Of course, there is no break in the biomedicine, that is a way of life for us, but just enjoying our family with no questions at the tip of our tongues, it's nice.

So...what next?  Christmas, that's what! 

Monday, December 6, 2010

I finally did it!

I made the appointment with my mercury-free dentist, yup that's right, getting these nasty MERCURY fillings removed.  And why is it that we call them silver fillings anyway, because they look silver?  Well people, news flash, they are 50% mercury!!  We all know that mercury is the most dangerous heavy metal on this planet, hey, so why not fill our TEETH with the junk, yeah, that's a great idea!!  I shake my head at doctors and dentists these days, I really do.  How on earth could this make any sense?! 

Luckily there are fabulous mercury-free dentists out there and we happen to have one right in Easton, PA!  I was terrified to repeat the dreaded drilling, by choice no less, and kept putting off my plans to have my 7 fillings (10 surfaces) replaced with a resin filling (BPA-free of course), but I feel the symptoms of the mercury poisoning increasing.  I have always been very healthy, although lately, I seem to catch every illness that crosses my path.  I am definitely fighting the same gut bugs my kids deal with daily, based on the die-off symptoms when I treat myself and I know I have the herpes simplex virus (at minimum) based on the multiple canker sores I experience so before things get out of control, I want to do some damage control and prevent future illnesses like autoimmune diseases and worse, cancer.  Yes, cancer is the result of toxic overload! 

I am putting my fears aside and, in two appointments frighteningly close together, I am having it done!!  I feel surprisingly excited too though.  The idea that I will be on a path to health....some time after I withstand the trenches of chelation, is exhilarating.  If I want my children to live this life, why wouldn't I treat myself in the same manner?  I want to be around, and healthy, for many years to come.  I want to see my children get married and have their own children.  I have plans to be one of those grandmas who can still dance, drive myself around and has style well into my 80s!!  I know, you are wondering how this little procedure is going to have such an impact, aren't can removing the silver lining in my mouth do all that for me?  What about genetics, right?  Let me just share a little piece of information with you.  A wise doctor once said, "Genetics loads the gun, environment pulls the trigger", about autism.  Autism is just a label on children who are experiencing toxic overload before their neurological development has a chance to mature.  In adults, it looks very different, but the mechanics are the same.  Alzheimers and dementia?  Heavy metal overload!  Multiple Sclerosis?  Heavy metal overload!  All these "aging" illnesses are caused by the bioaccumulation of heavy metals that we are encountering daily.  Our government does a good job of allowing more toxins than we are even capable of testing for, so how could we even know how toxic we are?  That's the point, I think!  What they don't know, doesn't hurt them.  I've chosen to take my family's health into my own hands and more people should consider the consequences of their actions. 

Think before you dump your expired prescriptions down the drain to become part of our rainwater, think before you use another disposable diaper that will take 500 years to decompose, think before you spray your yard and veggies with mercury-laden pesticides, think before you have a "silver" filling installed in your grill!  It's time for change....mine is starting with this one (ok two) small procedure.  Then I can add myself to the chelation progress blogging!  YEAY! Ugh...

The calm

Gotta love the calm before the storm!  I have all of my Christmas shopping done (not wrapped, that would be TOO good), the tree is up and is beautiful as ever and a lot of organizing around the house has me feeling more content in general.  I am an organizing freak and having two boys who un-organize everything I organize has me whirling in a tizzy most days, lol.  I feel so accomplished when I pull a closet apart and put it back together all nice and tidy....OCD?  Just a touch!

We just finished up rounds 43 and 18 with the boys' oral chelation.  They had an absolutely wonderful weekend with the exception of an overtired evening after getting the tree.  They were just behaving like two typical boys who had too much going on for the day.  Since the start of chelation, so much has changed!!  We have even had a few people mention that they can see the progress.  That is like music to my ears.  I know the nuances in my children and I see the changes, but I don't always expect others to see those things too.  The fact that they do is a testament to our hard work.  It's not easy following diets, cooking to order from scratch, reading every label I encounter, sending child-friendly, healthy lunches to school for a 5 year old who just wants to fit in and then, of course, there is chelation!  Last night was one of the hardest nights we've had in a long time.  In addition to dosing them at 10:30pm, 1am, and 5am, our little guy woke between 3:30 and 4:30 with painful teething, darn molars!  Needless to say, I am a zombie today!  He's pretty tired today too, poor guy.  Then coming down off chelation puts extra strain on him.  In fact, speak of the devil, his nap was just cut short, probably the effects of his DMSA wearing off.....he will have a little rough patch before getting back to his baseline some time tomorrow.  Grayson has gone far enough through chelation to not have the post-chelation issues that come with the early rounds.  As we near round 50, I see the yeast becoming easier to control, the SPD is all but gone, all we see most days are normal boy behaviors!

We went to a drum circle at his school and his initial reaction (probably habit now) is to cover his ears with loud sounds. My husband took him into the other room to talk with him briefly, preparing him for the drum circle, and before I knew it, he was sitting next to me drumming along with a smile on his face!  Less than a year ago, he would have kept his ears covered, screaming and crying until we took him out of the environment.  And I am noticing more shyness than he ever had, age-appropriate shyness!  One of his symptoms had been an over-social side, he would talk to ANYONE and usually too much, lol.  Now, I am pleasantly surprised by the bit of a shy side he is demonstrating.  I was really worried, about a year ago, that if I didn't have him right by my side, he would literally leave me to go with anyone who asked him to.  Not something a parent wants to worry about at crowded events, but luckily, back then the mitochondrial dysfunction caused by heavy metals also encouraged him to sit in a stroller or cart rather than walking by himself. 

We have plans to do another hair test some time in February.  There were big changes between hair tests we had done pre-chelation and a year into it.  Now that we are seeing more good days than bad, I am excited to see how things have changed.  With Gavin, I expect to actually see MORE metals since we are so early in the process.  It will tell us a lot about him though and I am anxious to get the big picture. 

I will have to take some time in the near future to jot down the incredible progress we have experienced.  It's nice when you see it all side by side!  That would be a lot easier than reading my blog from front to back!  An idea for a future post...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Which way is up today?

In one word, REGRESSION.  This is one scary word for those of us on this healing journey.  I try to remain focused on the progress rather than the dips, but sometimes sheer exhaustion takes it's toll and we get stuck in a rut.  I can't tell this time if the colds have set us back or if they were already in a regressive pattern that was catapulted forward when the illness hit.  We have bloating, night bed wetting, regressed potty training (in Gavin), sound sensitivities, boys not getting along AT ALL, sleep problems, anger, impatience, low frustration threshold and lots and lots of tears....if it's not one child, it's the other.  Plus, both have had teeth come through in the same few days.  Ironically, it was the same tooth too, well a molar for one and a wisdom tooth for the other, but in the same location, lol.  They have been hit hard between illness, teething, and possibly an oxalate dump all at the same time, I guess one would expect a little bit of regression.  Ok, I've officially talked myself out of the dumps!  Onward, tomorrow is a new day.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Pumpkin seed milk

Being faced with the fact that the low oxalate diet (LOD) is probably a good step for us has forced me to rethink "healthy" foods.  Who doesn't think eating a salad full of spinach, carrots, strawberries and beets topped with nuts is healthy?  (raises hand)  In my past life, this would be high on our list, in fact, there were many spinach and strawberry salads garnished with nuts, doled out to my kids.  But when it is determined that a food, any food, is hurting the body, the previous conception of healthy goes out the window.  It was so hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that spinach and nuts can be harmful!  To a child like Grayson, who tested as having triple the safe amount of oxalates, that is so.

So what does this chatter about oxalates have to do with my heading you ask...pumpkin seed milk.  Well, hemp seeds and almonds are very high in oxalates, SO....out they go.  No more hemp or almond milk for the kids.  This leaves us with nothing but rice milk and BLECH, no thank you!  Rice is a high carb, feeds yeast and is super sweet.  What to do, what to do....we compromise!  And in the end, we have a healthy milk option available at the press of a button, my Blendtec button, that is!  Home made pumpkin seed milk, which is just as easy to make as the hemp seed milk we were making.

Why pumpkin seeds?  For one, it's safe for us LODers and two, it packs a nutritious punch!  With the added benefit of being an anti-parasitic.  How many foods do you know that are high in Magnesium, tryptophan, iron and zinc?  These among other nutrients like manganese, phosphorous, vitamin K, copper, and protein (over 9mg per 1/4 cup serving!) combined with it's omega anti-inflammatory properties make pumpkin seeds a powerhouse food.

I try to remember to sprout the seeds before making a milk out of them, it increases the bio-availability of the nutrients and enzymes and makes them easier to digest, so as long as I just think ahead and toss a handful in a jar of water at night, we are good to go for easy healthy milk!  This step is not necessary though.

I have been using a tablespoon of seeds to every 8 ounces of water, but you can increase or decrease depending on the flavor and/or creaminess you prefer.  Blend, strain, bottle and refrigerate!

The kids both had their home made granola cereal with pumpkin seed milk today and I got the thumbs up!  I tried some in my coffee and I think I even like it better than the hemp milk I have been using which makes it easier, because that means I don't have to make multiple batches of milks in the mornings.  We do also still use coconut milk, but I have been using so much coconut in the form of flour, shreds, oil and sweetener (coconut nectar), that I don't want to over do it, so that is reserved for recipes that have other coconut ingredients in them already. 

So there you have it, another "milk" alternative!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Make your own granola - does this make me "crunchy"?

Nothing could be easier or healthier!  Have you ever glanced at the side panel of a box of breakfast cereal?  Blech!  Sugar, sugar and more sugar, plus all sorts of other allergens like milk, nuts, soy and wheat.  You can make a variety of different cereals for every day of the week!  Put your base together, then add your favorite flavors to make all kinds of granola and not just to eat as cereal, top your favorite home made ice cream or eat right out of the jar as a healthy on the go snack!

Granola has a long shelf life, so this batch is a large one.  It will fill 3 - 2 quart Ball jars, as seen above. I will separate the ingredients below so you can make the base cereal, then you can separate the base into as many flavors as you want to experiment with.  Have fun, try anything! This could be a great activity for little hands....create your own cereal bar!

Ingredients for the cereal base
  • 6 cups regular rolled oats (feel free to add depth by swapping some oats for rice crispy cereal)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 cup coconut nectar or honey (coconut nectar is low on the glycemic index, meaning it's safe for diabetics and doesn't feed yeast, not to mention TASTY!)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
Add about a 1/4-1/2 cup of any of these add-ins, if you add more than this, you may need to increase your wet ingredients above so it's not too dry, just play with it.  The freeze dried fruits will hydrate with milk, just like the boxed commercial cereals.
  • chopped nuts (high oxalate)
  • dried cherries (one of my favorites)
  • dried cranberries
  • freeze dried apples and cinnamon
  • raisins
  • freeze dried strawberries
  • freeze dried mango
  • freeze dried blueberries
  • cinnamon (high oxalate)
  • and if you want to really go all out, dehydrate shreds of pumpkin or anything else for that matter!
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
Combine oats, add-ins and coconut in a large bowl. Set aside.
Combine coconut nectar/honey, water and salt in a small saucepan.
Heat, stirring frequently, until ingredients are all melted together.
Remove from heat and stir in coconut oil and vanilla.
Pour over oat mixture and stir well.
Place granola into 2 greased 13x9x2-inch pans or 1-2 greased cookie sheets. If you made more than two flavors, you can separate them more.
Bake in a preheated oven for about one hour, until golden.
Stir/turn over using a wide metal spatula about every 20 minutes.
The granola will get crunchier as it cools. Store in an airtight container.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Wheatgrass misconception

The name, wheatgrass, conjures up thoughts of gluten, right?  While yes, this IS a wheat product, it does NOT contain gluten.  It comes from the common wheat plant when it's young and full of chlorophyll.  Wheatgrass juice is a powerful raw, living food.  If you buy your wheat grass from a reliable source, it is harvested when the grass reaches it's nutritional peak, this is just before the jointing stage, when the plant is between 7 and 11 inches tall.  At this point, it has accumulated energy which will soon power a massive growth spurt, it's this energy that is captured in the juice.

"Wheatgrass is literally condensed sunlight energy.  It is one of the most potent healing agents on the planet."  -Steve Meyerowitz, Wheatgrass Nature's Finest Medicine

What about growing your own?  Well, if you don't want to ingest molds, I recommend buying yours flash frozen from a reputable source who grows their wheatgrass outside.  Molds release mycotoxins which have a terrible taste and cause side effects such as dizziness, nausea, headaches and vomiting.

In addition to clearing up allergies, reducing colds, clearing skin and even reversing graying (yes, this is true!), here are a few more little known facts about wheatgrass (courtesy of Energise for Life, an alkaline diet resource), oh right, it also alkalizes the blood:

  • Wheatgrass contains over 90 minerals, including high concentrations of the most alkaline minerals: potassium, calcium, magnesium and sodium
  • It contains the essential enzymes: Protease (assists in protein digestion), Cytochrome Oxidase (a powerful anti oxidant), Amylase (facilitates digestion), Lipase (a fat splitting enzyme), Transhydrogenase (strengthens the heart muscle) & Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) (found in all body cells and is known for its ability to lessen the effect of radiation and slow cellular aging)
  • Just one teaspoon of Wheat Grass powder, weighing a mere 3.5 grams, is nutritionally equal to an entire spinach salad weighing a full 50 grams – it packs a punch!
  • Wheatgrass has more vitamin C than oranges and twice the vitamin A as carrots!
  • Wheat grass juice helps your body to build red blood cells which carry oxygen to every cell. By increasing the oxygenation the body you can help offset smog and carbon monoxide and increase your endurance during physical exercise
  • It also contains 19 amino acids, the building blocks of protein
You can get a whole lot more on the benefits of wheatgrass here.

What ever it does to the blood (it's been studied and said that the chlorophyll molecule in wheatgrass is almost identical to the hemoglobin molecule in human blood) has been proven with testing in Grayson.  We had two different CBC panels, months apart,  that showed VERY elevated platelet (also known as sticky blood) counts.  We started giving him wheatgrass daily shortly after that last CBC and have been giving it for a few months.  He had another follow-up CBC and his platelets are completely normal!!  I was told by Dr. Woeller that elevated platelets are very common in kids with chronic intestinal infections which Grayson struggles with, so we weren't surprised.  We were more surprised when they came down to the normal range even though we are still battling the intestinal infections! 

I have read various information from doctors saying that wheat grass is extremely healing even topically, so imagine what it does to the intestinal lining when ingested on an empty stomach and allowed to coat the intestines!  It is known to heal colitis and Chrone's disease.  We have also tested these topical capabilities of wheatgrass.  I had broken out in an awful cold sore that grew fast and furious, I didn't think of using the wheatgrass topically until it had already grown out of control, so I had this sucker for a good week, BUT, as soon as I started using the wheatgrass topically, it dried it up right away!  So when Grayson caught whatever it was that caused this cold sore, and he got one covering his jaw and lower cheek area (yes, HUGE!) I immediately went to the freezer and softened up some chunks of the wheatgrass between two fingers.  We turned his cheek into the green monster, lol.  It took ONE morning of letting the juice dry on his cold sore and it was completely eradicated!!  GONE!  Nothing has ever worked that fast on a cold sore, that I know of anyway!  And his didn't scab, we caught it early enough to reverse it quickly. 

I am now currently in the process of doing my own little test with on effects of wheatgrass on PH.  I have chronic low PH around 5 so I am going to increase my wheatgrass intake until I see changes in my PH, without changing anything else I am doing.  So stay tuned!!  In the meantime, this wheatgrass farmer is the only one I recommend for a quality flash frozen product delivered right to your door!  Yes, it appears pricy, but when you think about how much you are getting, it will last a LONG time and isn't it worth your health?  If you order the smallest box, you are paying only $1.60 per ounce (juice bars charge well over $3 for a 1/2 ounce shot of wheat grass in a smoothie!), if you buy the next size up, it's $1.45 an ounce, and the next $1.40 and so on....I would even recommend going in together with a friend or two and ordering one of the larger boxes, then splitting it, for the cost savings.  I like to be greedy and buy our family one of the 25 pound boxes and drink as much as we need since it's a healthy raw, living food that ensures my kids are getting enough greens in their day.  It's the sneaky, easy way to get your toddlers drinking greens, he he he!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Recipe - low oxalate pumpkin blueberry muffins

I have been experimenting with flour mixes to make a tasty blend that works for muffins, since this is always something I can sneak veggie puree into!  Going low oxalate turned my world upside down and took my kitchen by storm, literally!!  I am in experiment mode which is always messy, my poor husband!

So I took a bunch of different recipe ideas and created this one tasty muffin with my own flour mix...I'm sure it's not the first time this mix has been formulated, so when I say that I created it, I mean that I am just using our needs to tailor the flour mix so that it works for us.  I am not a fan of using too much white rice so this flour mix was created with that in mind, although no low oxalate, GFCF flour mix is complete without some rice flour, lol.  I also think that garbanzo bean flour (moderate oxalate) is a bit strong.  So I blended it's competitor, the lower oxalate black eyed pea, into a flour using my baby, uh, I blendtec!  Talk about an appliance that does it all!

Ok, back to the muffins, here is a picture and you will find the recipe below it.  It is light and fluffy and doesn't have that I'm-not-made-with-wheat taste! 

In a large bowl, whisk together:

1 cup eyed pea flour (I used my blendtec to make this flour from dried beans)
1 cup tapioca starch
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/4 cup white rice flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon guar gum
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Put the following into a blender and whip for a few seconds until nice and fluffy:

1 cup sweetener of choice (I chose 1/2 cup coconut nectar and 1/2 xylitol)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1/3 cup grapeseed oil
2 eggs 
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix the ingredients together and if it requires more liquid, add up to 1/2 cup of coconut milk.
Fold in 1/2 cup of your choice of blueberries, banana chunks, apple chunks or dried cherries.
Fill 12 lined cupcake tins almost full and bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown or until a toothpick comes out of the center of the muffin clean. 

Friday, October 1, 2010

Oxalate wows now?

We had started the low oxalate diet before I posted about it on my blog, by probably about a week.  I have read about how when dumping oxalates, some children have grainy BMs with black specks and Gavin first diaper was full of it this morning!  I have also noticed that his mood is significantly different.  He is calm, patient, content, compliant, plays on his own, his belly is flat (as much as a two year old's belly can be flat, lol) and has practically potty trained himself....although mommy is still too afraid to go out without a diaper, hehehe.  He was previously my awnry child, defiant, demanding, impatient and clingy!!  The change happened slowly over the span of the week, but now that I look back at where we started, I am convinced it's the diet, because nothing else changed!  I am hoping that once we get further into chelation we may not need this diet forever, but I don't know how the diet and chelation work together, if recoveries are related or if the diet is something that is required forever.  There is so little research on this topic, but I do know there are kids who have gone off the diet successfully.  I just don't know what other treatments were combined with the diet.  In one particular case, chelation was not done, but that child didn't have metal issues like mine. 

Only time will tell!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Now what? Oxalates!

I'm trying, I really am.  With Grayson's continued bloating episodes (although they have been MUCH better with the homeopathy) we decided to give the LOD (low oxalate diet) a shot.  Heck, we have been through so many "diets" and restrictions, what's one more, right?  WRONG!  This one is NO fun I tell ya, no fun!  If you thought baking with no gluten and casein was rough, you should see what it's like to bake with pumpkin seed "flour", sunflower seed "flour" and coconut flour.  In fact, I don't even think these "foods" deserve the name flour, they are meals, pasty, ground-up seed meals that I am trying to turn into tasty replacements for our breads, pancakes, crackers, cookies....did I say I am not having fun, because I'M NOT!!!  Grains are pretty much ALL out now.

Why are we doing this?  Well, when we did an OAT (organic acid test) on Grayson, he showed VERY high oxalates, high enough to suggest having a disorder called Primary Hyperoxaluria, although he didn't have the other markers that would suggest him having this genetic disorder. So at the time, we knew we had to remove gluten and casein plus 23 other IgG offending foods, oh and plus most simple carbs.  When we reviewed the oxalate list, it didn't overlap much, so we were forced to put the low oxalate diet on hold while we healed his gut by removing his offending foods.  We just couldn't do everything at once. 

Fast forward almost two years and we are seeing signs that his gut is healing.  We have been able to reintroduce many of the foods he had to avoid in the past without a problem, but oddly, the bloating has continued to be one of our bigger issues.  He starts every morning with a flat tummy and by dinner or bedtime, he is bloated like a pregnant woman!  This tells me that it is something he is eating or encountering every day.  Or it could be the constant balancing act with his dysbiotic gut flora.  I have recently noticed though, that the symptoms aren't pointing in that direction, so we are leaning more towards the foods.  Since he is doing so much better with most foods, we thought we would give the LOD a try, why not, right?  In the meantime, we can hope that the homeopathy will address the very void that causes this problem.  No harm in helping that along though.

I have never met a diet so hard to follow!!  Most of the foods we were eating on the raw foods diet are non-nos on the LOD!  GRRRRR  No nuts or grains, most veggies have to be boiled to reduce their oxalates, carrots, spinach and chard are samples of veggies that are avoided completely.  So all these fabulous recipes I have found, and all these great snacks I thought I was making, could all be contributing to a worsening of symptoms.  (sigh)  I still plan to try to make as many raw foods as this diet will allow with oats, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.  I don't go down easy!!

So far today I have experimented with pancakes and bread.....I am not smiling, nor do I like the way my kitchen smells.  The thoughts of baking with coconut flour conjured up thoughts of these fabulous aromas and buttery sweet flavors...nope.  For some reason, a LOT of eggs are used in these recipes, maybe to help them rise, I don't know yet, but the pancakes, or better yet, I should call them souffle cakes, because they were like boring, fluffy (almost gag me fluff), eggy, smelly pancakes!!  Gavin gobbled them up and wanted more, so I guess that is good, but Grayson hasn't tried them yet.  All I know is if someone handed me a piping hot plate of these smelly bland egg-cakes, I would barf!  Seriously!  I couldn't get past the bite I tried, then I sweetened more, added more coconut flour, still nasty.  Sorry LODers, I am just having SUCH a hard time with this.

So now I have a "bread" cooling on the stove, many of the same ingredients, but quite lower egg to flour ratio, so I am hopeful.  I will keep trying, because if my boys' health depends on it, we will find a way, but I am not sure how yet, lol.  They will need to live on pumpkin seed pancakes, ha ha ha.  Those were actually pretty darn tasty, just VERY hard to flip while cooking.

Ok, wish me luck, I am going to check out my new bread.  And for additional reading, here is some more information on the LOD and why it's recommended for many kids with ASDs.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The name of the game

Two steps forward, one back....that's the name of the game when your child is recovering from the onslaught of daily toxins with a compromised immune system. 

As you might have seen from my previous post, we had a LOT of great improvements occurring, but of course I felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop....and so it did (sigh).  When there are so many overlapping treatments, it's really very hard to know which are causing or helping what.  We spend a lot of time chasing symptoms, trying to address each one as they come and go.  I'm not going to lie, some of it is guess-work, but after two years of this, typically there is some sort of history to pull from.  I have to admit though, this time around, I am stumped, because with homeopathy, there are two possibilities: aggravation or the need for a higher potency.  I find myself confused about whether to take a break or increase the drops.  My gut is telling me to hold off on the remedy and watch for a few days, because what I felt like we were experiencing last night was more of a worsening of symptoms that already exists (not that the remedy isn't a match) but possibly that he is getting too much of it and we are seeing a slight proving of the remedy.  In case you don't already know, proving in homeopathy, is when a person is exhibiting the very symptoms that the remedy is intended to treat.  In a healthy person, giving them a high dose of a remedy causes provings, which is exactly how homeopathy is tested.  In person taking the right remedy, it's possible to see mild provings when they are taking too much of the remedy. 

Want to know how it all went down last night?  Ok, so we had these fabulous days of progress, everything was going great, he was flexible, patient, happy....then yesterday we noticed some minor set-backs like a growing irritation with daily routine, less flexibility, even a slight belly by sunset.  We were thinking that because he had such a rough night of sleep the night before, he was just tired, but now thinking back, perhaps the rough night of sleep was our first indication that something was brewing.  (note to self - when sleep is disrupted, hold off on remedy)  So even with the irritations, he was still unbelievably calm and went to bed GREAT!  He fell asleep fast, which is not usually the case when something isn't right, so again, we were thinking we were right on track.  9:30 pm rolls around and he started crying.  Usually if something like this happens from a bad dream, he just needs a little attention, we rub his head, let him know we are there and he falls right back to sleep.  Not this time!!  An hour later, I was still trying to calm an irritable, crying, frantic and unreasonable child.  He would calm for a short time and it would all start back up again.  He couldn't keep his legs still, he was thrashing and flipping and screaming.  The poor thing was so tired, but he just couldn't relax and sleep. Something obviously wasn't right with his body.  I ran an epsom salt bath for him thinking the warm water and salts would sooth him, well he fought that too, screaming, kicking, holding onto door jambs to prevent from being brought into the bathroom, but I knew he needed it so I calmly reassured him that this is going to help him feel better and get back to sleep.  He tried smacking the water out of the tub and screaming at us.  He wouldn't listen to calm rational talk and he was fidgeting rather than relaxing, so I finally closed the shower curtain so he couldn't see us and I told him when he is ready to start breathing calmly and steadily (his breaths were jagged, frantic, short, choppy attempts) he could get out.  It took him a while to get control over himself, but he did and within a few minutes, he was relaxing against the side of the tub breathing in deeply through his nose and out through his mouth like I taught him.  This has always been my method for trying to get him to calm himself, focus on deep breathing, open the airways, stop holding his breath.  He had been holding his breath which causes panic.  Once he was relaxed, he came out talking more calmly and ready for rest.  He was telling me that he is sad and he doesn't want to go to school because he misses us.  He has always loved school so I don't know, if this is the cause of the mood or the result of something else going on with his body, but it's a sign that something isn't going well.  And that is the beauty of this process, it's all experimental and hindsight tells us more than the moment we are experiencing.  Just because he could be great for a few days in a row, doesn't mean we have crossed a bridge, it's quite the jagged path!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Waiting for the other shoe to drop

To back up a little bit, we had gone up to an LM4 potency of Grayson's homeopathic constitutional remedy, but every time we administered a dose, even just one drop, he would have an AWFUL day and I mean serious regression.  I was so confused, not knowing enough about what to expect, if this was normal aggravation to be expected with healing, if the remedy was the wrong remedy, if it was just too potent for him or were we dealing with completely different things coincidentally timed, like a yeast or bacteria flare, etc.

I contacted our doctor and she felt that the best way to handle this was to go back to the 30C potency and dose it daily, if needed.  That was just about a week ago.  We waited a day to give him the first dose of the 30C potency, so that his body could get back to it's baseline.  We had already been off the previous remedy for two days.  That first day we gave one drop of the 30C remedy and pretty much had a typical day with him....that consisted of some irritation, a low frustration threshold, but overall good mood.  His belly is always flat upon waking in the morning, but by dinner time (sometimes earlier) he is pretty bloated, and to give you a visual, think pregnant woman in her 7th month....bloated - and this day was no exception!

After a few days, we went up to 2 drops, he was having some rough moments still, not handling change well, fighting a lot with his brother, whiny and edgy, argumentative.  Even with the mood fluctuations though, he was still showing progress in other areas.  He asked us if he could go to the neighbors and ring their doorbell to ask for his golf clubs back (she borrowed them to use for her Kindergarten class lesson a few days earlier).  We permitted him to do this all on his own and he DID!  Impressive at 5, I know I wouldn't have done that at 5!! 

We decided to also go back to doing chelation since we had already taken three weeks off for the homeopathy.  Three weeks is our max, any more than that and we have a hard time with them adjusting back to the dose we were using.  So even with all the confusion, we jumped right back in at rounds 38 (Grayson) and 13 (Gavin).  Again, there were still some mood swings, but when Dave brought Grayson with him to his parent's house, he had NO fear of their huge dog.  You have to picture the usual visit ....we get to the front door, the dog (who is HUGE) starts barking his huge deep bark, Grayson runs away from the door and says, "Please put him outside!!"  Then we have to drag him inside behind our legs or carry him in until the dog is settled.  This day, he walked right in, nose to nose with the dog, no hesitation!!  He just turned his head as he was being greeted in doggy language!   He also kept a low belly all day for the first time in many months!

Now at 3 drops of his homeopathic remedy, and still chelating through the round, we being to see amazing days.  He dressed himself in matching pajamas all weekend, even tight shirts that he normally wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole, because they are "toooooo tight" (AKA - sensory).  He participated in a song on tv about sequence.  He NEVER participated in tv show songs when prompted, EVERRRR!  They were singing a song about color sequences or something and then they would prompt the "kids" watching, the viewers I guess you would say, to finish the lyrics completing the husband and I looked at each other, jaws dropped, when we heard him singing along and following the prompts out loud.  His thoughts were very complex and thorough all weekend and he appeared quite mature to me.  He was playing a game on my iTouch called Angry Birds and he loves to play while someone watches and then watch them play.  The game requires you to page past the scene you are in, to another scene, where you have to pan ahead and fire a slingshot aiming to knock down walls to get into them and attack these little creatures at all different levels.  It takes advanced planning and coordination.  This day he was asking his father, "How would you do this one daddy"?  and when he was watching his father play, instead of trying to TELL him what to do, which is the usual, he asked him, "Now, why did you do it that way daddy?"  truly looking for an explanation.  He also showed signs of patience and concern for what others were doing.  He wanted his father to play football with him, but we were getting the deck ready for restaining and he yelled up, "Can you play football with me, Daddy.....when you are done there?"  And all the while, the belly is still REALLY low all day long!

Today, he put his socks and shoes on without a single peep of a complaint.  Normally the socks or the shoes get thrown, because he is too frustrated by the task.  He was given his last dose of chelation as we left the house for the school bus, so I was VERY worried about sending him off to school while he would be experiencing post-round symptoms of yeast overgrowth and redistribution of heavy metals.  He is often VERY irritable, defiant, unfocused, spacey, lethargic, and very bloated....needless to say, this could put a damper on how well things have been going at school for the first three weeks.  So to make things a bit easier on him, I hid the capsule contents of an activated charcoal in a few coconut carob haystacks for snack time, hehehehe.  When he returned home, I was greeted with a smile, and he still had that flat tummy!  Unbelievable!  I had also asked the teacher how he did today, because I gave him mango which he used to react to (I needed a reason to have her report his behavior today, lol) and she said he was no different from any day, in fact, he had a GREAT day!  One thing that was very out of the ordinary today too is that he was exceptionally calm.  He always gets a bit riled up when Daddy gets home, and even more so as it gets closer to bed time, but not tonight.  He was not fidgety AT ALL, he sat at dinner calmly, he spoke calmly, he went to bed CALMLY, no running or hopping or joking around and hiding on us.  I felt like yesterday we had a 5 year old in the house and today he was much more mature than any 5 year old I ever met!  Things like this just don't happen overnight, I find myself saying that a lot with the homeopathy.  Things are definitely changing by leaps and bounds.  And we even took his lithium orotate away this morning with no ill effects!  But like my title suggests, I am still waiting for the other shoe to drop....and hoping it never does.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Recipe, you won't believe it - ENGLISH MUFFINS!!

I experimented with a recipe I found for GFCF english muffins, but they weren't yeast-free (which means the kids couldn't have them) so I tried something different.  I wasn't perfect with this recipe, because I was just experimenting and really didn't expect it to work, silly me!  So in the pictures, you will notice that the tops are a bit puffy (picture below of them cooling on a wire rack), because I didn't smooth them flat, lol.  Unfortunately, they aren't egg-free, but you could use egg-replacer instead of the eggs.

Whisk dry ingredients together
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup potato starch or tapioca starch (arrowroot is not appropriate for the flavor of this recipe)
1/2 cup millet flour
2 teaspoons guar gum or xanthan gum
1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt

In a blender mix the wet ingredients
2/3 cup water
1/2 cup plain hemp milk (or other non-dairy milk)
1/3 cup water kefir grains
4 tablespoons oil
2 tablespons raw honey
2 eggs

Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients.

Mix thoroughly. It should be more like a thick muffin batter than a bread dough.  
Spoon the batter into 8 english muffin tins, which works out to about 3-4 tablespoons each, then smooth them over with a wet finger.  You will see from my picture below, that I don't have english muffin tins, so I folded aluminum foil into strips about 1-2 inches tall (again, I was not precise with this either, lol) and then used a round container about the size of english muffins to make them perfectly round.  Place these on a silpat liner or parchment paper on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Candida - this article speaks for itself

It has been determined by Roman Oncologist Dr. Simoncini, that cancer is, in fact, a fungus.  Fungus, AKA - candida, yeast!  We already know that many of our immune compromised kids are battling this infection daily, but how many adults are following suit, without knowledge?  Perhaps with the treatment of our children's yeast conditions, we will also be eradicating cancer!  Wishful thinking, anyway.  This article is very telling.  Read on.  It's a long one!

Oh, and just for the sake of understanding what a macobiotic counselor is, I have the definition here for you.

macrobiotic counseling: Conducer to adoption of a macrobiotic diet of whole grains, vegetables, edible seaweed, and seeds. The design of macrobiotic principles of cooking is to synchronize one's eating habits with the cycles of nature.

While we do not follow a macrobiotic diet, I thought the basics of this article were great and diet choices in all walks of life can and do effect the overgrowth of candida/yeast.  I have also been learning more about the powers of energy healing, which means the contrary must exist to some extent...negative or imbalanced energy can cause illness.

Candidiasis - The Overlooked Condition

Candidiasis - The Overlooked Condition and
the Missing Link to ‘Intractable’ Disease

by Mitja Fajdiga
I am hopeful this essay will draw the attention of the macrobiotic community to a very common, yet frequently overlooked subject/condition and will prompt macrobiotic counsellors to seriously check out the possibility of candidiasis whenever approached by patients with an immunocompromised condition.
Below, I will substantiate my assertion that candidiasis, the forerunner of systemic acidosis, is one of the most common destroyers of the immune system in humans. In my opinion, the condition of patients with ‘incurable’ disease can be causally related to candidiasis through the mechanism of acidosis and huge acid-alkaline imbalance.

It is my experience and observation that in a candidiasis treatment the reversal of acidosis is the leverage of utmost importance, thus making immunocompromised patients again immunocompetent in the process. Also, this is the only natural way of reversing several ‘intractable’ diseases such as juvenile diabetes mellitus, Crohn's disease, cancer, excessive body weight, plausibly hepatitis C etc.
My lifelong adventure with candidiasis, my acquaintance with ancient diagnostics, and consultations rendered to a number of co-tormented have corroborated my findings on candidiasis and lead to this report.

The Candidiasis Comes for Rescue to Macrobiotics
(and Calls for Immediate Attention)

This is to expose systemic candidiasis as the most frequent condition (i.e. fungemia and acidosis thereof) in modern men and to draw the attention of macrobiotic teachers and counsellors to this treacherous and sneaky condition. It is very likely a pivotal disorder that ought to be taken into account whenever looking for answers to health riddles of modern times not only by mainstream medicine but by macrobiotic counsellors, seemingly, as well.
The yeast organisms of several Candida species that are scientifically recognized as the cause of the systemic candidiasis will be left aside in this report, and I shall instead focus on manifestations of this condition in immunocompetent people before it turns into a full blown state; in addition I will make a brief list of Candida overgrowth manifestations in immunocompromised people that can be linked to the condition by the application of Oriental diagnosis.

Causes for Candida Overgrowth

Reading various macrobiotic essays I wondered on several occasions how come that the macrobiotic community totally neglected the issue of candidiasis. It dawned on me that it could be due, perhaps, to the prevalent notion that the common cause of candidiasis—taking a wide range of antibiotics or other strong artificial medications—was out of the question in those who adhere to macrobiotic principles and refrain from taking any medications whatsoever, thus the phenomenon of candidiasis should have no real existence amongst them.
However, the causes for Candida overgrowth are numerous and many of them are not even remotely pill-related.

I am familiar with the following:
  • Congenital and milk transmission. Candida bacteria (or fungi) are blood-transmitted from mother to the embryo during pregnancy, but more likely after birth by breastfeeding.
  • Lowered intestinal flora due to a non-dietary cause such as chlorinated water, drug abuse, antibiotics, hormonal therapy, dental mercury amalgam fillings etc. In immunocompromised people Candida is replenished in their intestinal flora by their own saliva.
  • Leaky gut syndrome, which is due to:
- Overeating in general; or
- Binging on food with strong expansive energy, such as sweets, sugary soft drinks, fruit diets etc.; or
- Taking antibiotics with strong yin energy; or
- Candida transmutation from a non-invasive, sugar-fermenting organism, into a fungal, invasive state; fungal form of candida can produce very long root-like structures, rhizoids; they penetrate mucosa or intestinal walls; or
- Intestinal colic as result of aggravated digestive stagnation (see * for more, below); or
- Intestinal parasite; or
  • Geopathogenic stress, especially an underground water flow and sleeping close to a strong electromagnetic source such as electric trunk exchanges on the other side of the wall, location of house next to transformers or under power lines.

Prolonged Candida overgrowth in the gastrointestinal tract which initially causes problems with poor digestion, flatulence, lazy intestines and occasional digestive stagnation, can, in turn, induce low blood sugar levels, and lead to unhealthy cravings, carbohydrate addiction and overeating in general. These dietary ailments combined frequently lead to chronic digestive stagnation.
This condition is aggravated by regular consumption of sweets, refined food and too much liquid. Usually, the stagnation takes place in the lower part of the small intestine, next to the beginning of the large intestine. Thus the pressure from stagnated food and heat build up, and the accumulated energy will eventually turn into their opposite, i.e. expansive and upward energy.

Eventually, intestinal colic turns the small intestine into a loose, stagnated place and makes the intestinal walls too porous; this is the energetic mechanism of leaky gut syndrome allowing wasteful food stuff—toxins and pathogenic bacteria, including Candida—to enter the bloodstream making the initial phase of systemic Candida overgrowth possible.
This digestive disorder is incredulously common, when you think of all potbellied people. Teenage girls and young women are not exempt. Even if they avoid overeating their young bodies show a high incidence of Candida overgrowth presence and the effects of harmful dietary patterns. You can see numbers of young people in the prime of their life already endowed with potbellies.

Symptoms of Candida Presence in Immunocompetent People

Candida overgrowth symptoms can be considered as extreme-yin or extreme-yang phenomena.
  • Offensive or acetone smelling breath; or
  • Dry mouth cavity or excessive saliva excretion; or
  • Athlete's foot; or
  • Swollen, enlarged nose tip or hardened one; or
  • In people of Caucasian descent a year-round darkish or greenish or greyish complexion (or even brown complexion; not to be mixed up with a suntan) is apparent or translucent or constant reddish complexion; or
  • Some Asiatic facial features, especially around the eyes, in immunocompromised children of non-Asian descent or protruding eyes; or
  • Flat instep in children even after they reach the age of six or inwardly curved feet; or
  • Constantly present horizontal lines or saggy area under the eyes that can already be observed in adolescence and with individuals in their 20's or darkish, even blackish, sometimes emaciated area under the eyes; or
  • Dark coloured area in corner parts of eye-socket, especially in areas adjacent to the bridge of the nose ; or
  • High cholesterol levels or mal-absorption of fat and protein nutrients; or
  • Food addiction or 'holding back from any food intake' attitude; the latter may in some cases turn to anorexic behaviour; or
  • Cravings for carbohydrate foods (carbohydrate addiction) or salt cravings; or
  • Constant stressful facial expression though the person feels relaxed or sleepy, weary facial expression throughout the day.
Some experts may oppose this list by saying the symptoms should be attributed to various well-known conditions like kidney weakness, diabetes mellitus or other serious conditions in progress. And they are right. However, these symptoms are also attributable to the overlooked underlying condition of candidiasis in progress.

Disorders Characteristic of Candida Overgrowth

They are as follows:
  • Pregnancy diabetes; or
  • Sour saliva taste in the morning irrespective of the food intake of the previous day; or
  • Infections of the tissues adjacent to fingers or on toenails (paronichia); or
  • All too often a cold or overheated body state; or
  • Itchy anus; or
  • Many perpendicular ridges in fingernails indicate several conditions, including acidosis (as a result of candidiasis); or
  • The little fingernail lacks pinkish colouration while other fingernails exhibit it; or
  • Swollen lower eyelids, gradually accompanied by swollen sacks or dark circles under eyes; or
  • Salt cravings (including indulgence in tamari/shoyu, miso or any other macrobiotic spice with high salt content) on the one hand and binge cravings of any kind on the other hand; or
  • Lasting periodontal trouble; or
  • Presence of annoying whistle or humming sound in ears or early loss of hearing ability; or
  • Slow loss of muscle mass or steady body weight gain in spite of regular physical exercise; or
  • Evening bouts of hunger and frequent overeating; or
  • Cellulites (in males and females) or dermal problem, including acne, dandruff-like skin or even leprosy; or
  • Accumulation of fatty pads in the abdominal area in spite of dietary care; or
  • Hair begin to grow grey at an early age, e.g. when person is in his/her 30's or even 20's, or an accelerated hair loss; or

    Osteopenia in younger women and osteoporosis later on; or
  • PMS or infertility disorders in young women; or
  • Physical-mental hypersensitivity (mood swings and food or environmental allergy); or
  • Thyroidal problem due to frequent energy surges in the body resulting from chronic digestive stagnation, i.e. constipation in small intestines; and
  • ·Many other ailments and diseases already listed on the internet and in Candida related bibliographies.

The line between the symptoms in immunocompetent and immunocompromised individuals is indiscernible. It is rather subjective.

Steps in Holistic Treatment
In my experience the required measures include the following:
1. Removal of non-dietary source of Candida proliferation (chlorinated water, drug abuse, antibiotics, hormonal or steroid therapy, geopathogenic stress, dental mercury amalgam fillings etc.).
2. Avoidance of Candida overgrowth proliferating food.
3. Direct suppression of Candida by taking natural alkaline forming remedies, concoctions and dishes.
4. Adjusted diet regimen that can be effective in some cases.
5. Recovery of intestinal peristalsis, measures for digestion improvement and occasionally restoration of healthy intestinal flora by taking probiotic foods.
6. Restoration of immune system by consuming more alkaline forming food on permanent basis and regular physical exercise (may take a year or longer).
This list of Candida treatment measures may need upgrading. Folk medicine is abundant in remedies for acidosis; however, their identification is required, and supplementation with dietary regimen is necessary. In case of ‘intractable’ disease an adjusted macrobiotic regimen is recommended to suit the individual’s condition.

Treatment Pitfalls
Any macrobiotic counsel should include measures for necessary peristalsis recovery of the small intestine, for loose intestinal walls need to regain their natural contracting strength and selective porosity for nutrients and fluids to prevent toxic waste from entering the bloodstream. In other words, if leaky gut syndrome has been the primary cause of the candidiasis flare-up, they combined create a vicious circle and its discontinuation is a must in almost any treatment of Candidosis.

Also, energy surges in the body due to chronic digestive stagnation shouldn’t be occurring again in order to facilitate a successful process of recovery during the early stages of treatment.

Standard Macrobiotic Diet Controversy Linked to Candidiasis
Macrobiotics offers natural remedies as well as alimentary recommendations for acidosis. However, even expert macrobiotic advice on dietary change is most likely destined to fail, if the bean part is not substituted for seeds and nuts, for Candida overgrowth is propelled by strong yin energy immanent in bean (especially soybean) and bean products.

Only yang varieties of bean (adzuki, and perhaps, chickpeas and old broad beans) are favourable to a degree. Nevertheless, until considerable improvement toward restoration of acid-alkaline balance is achieved roasted or cooked seeds and nuts should be the main source of fat and protein nutrients.
In the past the adoption of an adjusted standard macrobiotic diet, supplemented with some special concoctions, external applications or special dish remedies was in some cases powerful enough to bring about inspiring recoveries. Lately, this has been less and less the case, which is due to the conduciveness of the diet's bean part to the candidiasis. It is due to this neglect that it has rendered the standard macrobiotic diet inappropriate and inefficient.

In case of ‘intractable’ disease an adjusted macrobiotic dietary regimen, recommended for more yin, and more yang and yin conditions should be supplemented by special remedies for candidosis; the latter is a must that will make the difference similar to an adjusted macrobiotic diet in the past.
In my belief effective treatment of candidiasis renders the majority of intractable diseases curable. It is a bold prediction, I know. Nevertheless, I am willing to bet everything on it...
However, due to many dilemmas concerning the necessary measures in the holistic approach to the candidiasis mutual efforts on this health issue would be helpful. This could well be undertaken by a macrobiotic forum. Will this report serve this purpose? I am hopeful.
Sundry Insights
  • The daily volume of food intake diminishes considerably once Candidosis recedes. This is probably the major factor in solving the world’s food paradigm. It goes for industrialised as well as developing countries.

  • With Candidosis taken into account many health controversies start unravelling. Tobacco smoking is one of them. Nicotine in tobacco products is a natural acidosis reducing agent and an anti-Candida herbicide, affecting it directly by soothing the acidic state of the respiratory system; with this in view there is a chemical justification to smokers’ intuitive compulsive need to alleviate an overly acidic state in lungs. I don’t condone tobacco smoking, yet I do see its relevance in suppressing acidosis of the respiratory system as result of Candidosis

  • The phenomenon of food binging as supposedly the primary cause of strayed macrobiotics has lately been receiving a flock of disciplinary finger wagging in the macrobiotic community. With the assumption that the candidiasis incidence, except for the rate of its flare-up, is almost the same in macrobiotics as in main stream eaters food binging could have been driven from within, i.e. induced by the condition of acidosis (uncured Candidosis).

  • For a long time it was a great puzzle to me why buckwheat had constantly been downplayed and its frequent intake advised against. Especially, when I realised that buckwheat with its strong contractive energy was an energetic substitute for meat. After taking it several times in a row I didn’t feel well, indeed.

    It remained a puzzle to me until the discovery of Candidosis that provides an explanation—the strong water energy of buckwheat provides ample booster energy to candidiasis and for that reason buckwheat hasn’t been, isn’t and won’t be appealing to the taste of humans, or should I rather say, to their common state of health. Buckwheat does well to the intestine only when candidiasis has already retired considerably.

  • Herman Aihara's book Acid & Alkaline may offer some very helpful information as far as the direction of action at this health crossroads is concerned.

  • It is a well known fact that the western civilisation is propelled by yang activities and by suppressing the yin aspects of life and nature, including our mother Earth. Is it possible that this day-to-day behaviour of the Westerners has been but an intuitive reaction to the prevalent state of an overly yin condition, called acidosis? Perhaps, when acid-alkaline (yin-yang) balance in humans is set on track to effective restoration the general population will begin to appreciate our common mother, planet Earth, and yin qualities of life, spirituality included.
About me:
I came across macrobiotics in 1989 when due to my deteriorating health (I was experiencing slow but steady weight loss, though I had been slim from my childhood after recovery from celiac disease and jaundice) and I was desperately seeking for some sound explanation.
After my bitter encounter with orthodox medicine when the latter proved to be as much bewildered by my health problem as I was myself I decided to venture into esoteric disciplines and studied folk herbal medicine, radio-aesthesia, bio-energy healing, zodiac astrology, chromo-therapy and others.
Macrobiotics offered me basic insights into my personal and common health issues, human behaviour patterns and dynamics in society and nature.

I have been an average economics student and took a degree in international economic relations. However, upon getting familiar with the basics of Oriental diagnosis I became aware of my natural inclination to medicine. Michio Kushi's books Your Face Never Lies and (several years later on) Nine Star Ki gave me the initial impulse to embark on translation of macrobiotic books in Slovene.
Quality macrobiotic books, translation of recovery testimonials and of macrobiotic articles available on the internet were instrumental in my personal quest—becoming somewhat a self-reliant diagnostician. Along the way grew my desire to convey the corpus of gathered practical macrobiotic knowledge to my countrymen.

I gave my first lectures on Nine Star Ki but the response from Slovenian seekers was meagre. At the break of the new millennium, came the incentive of my long distance tutor, Mr. Alex Jack (the president of the Planetary Health organisation and the editor-chief of the Amberwaves Magazine) who presented the Saving Organic Rice Petition to general public in Slovenia; I resumed giving lectures in non-governmental associations, primary and secondary schools, health centres, libraries, youth camps etc. I detest politics yet I didn't hesitate to become a founder member of the Coalition for GMO-Free Slovenia.

In the meantime, through painful personal experience, I pinned down the energetic cause of intestinal colic, i.e. aggravated digestive stagnation. The resulting devastating effects of upward energy surges (for detailed explanation see the footnote in my report) range from cancer in upper parts of the body, yin migraine headaches, cerebral blood vessel enlargements and bursts, seminal emissions in men at night, varicoceles, to severe thyroid and general hormonal imbalance, and endometriosis in women.
My pioneer work is related to making this underrated disorder public by authoring an internet article about it (in English it would read Digestive Stagnation—Seemingly Slight Problem with Dire Consequence, 2004). However, at the time I wasn't aware there is another health concern at the roots of this still waiting to be brought to light.

As of the beginning of 2004, introductory macrobiotic cooking and advanced seasonal cooking classes took place in Slovenia year around with the help of certified macrobiotics cooks. My part in these seminars has been to present the basics of yin-yang understanding of phenomena in nature, yin-yang transformations in human body, the energetics of food, and the healing power of food and home-made remedies.

During all this time, my personal health related quest continued and ended successfully only in March 2006 upon taking a saliva test in a glass of water when it became evident to me that myself had been affected by this silent, and most common invader, called candidiasis.
The recollection process on my illnesses and ailments history combined with Oriental diagnosis revealed to me a striking fact that all my health issues—except for some bruises, cuts and ankle sprains—can be linked to this treacherous condition. I stopped paid counselling and resumed consultations for free until I recover from candidiasis.

Looking up the literature proved my suspicions about the candidiasis (candidosis or fungemia) as one of the most underscored disorders by main stream medicine and overlooked by macrobiotic counsellors and teachers, as well. Thus I decided to write this report.
Mitja Fajdiga -  Slovenia

The article was from this website called Global Oneness.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Recipe - can you guess?

What does every GFCF soy-free individual miss and crave?  The one meal completely engulfed in gluten and casein.  Oh wait, it's no secret, there is a picture right there...

We loaded this baby up with Daiya mozzarella cheese, spinach, mushrooms and Applegate Farms pepperoni.  The crust is made from almond flour and is VERY easy to make!  It was out of this world!

You can even make the crust mix in advance and bag it up for easy access then add the liquid ingredients last minute, roll it out and dress it up.  We chose to make our own sauce, because again, it's a very easy recipe from Elana's Pantry and tastes just like the pizza parlor sauces, rich and tomato-y...that isn't a word, is it?

1 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1 large egg

Mix the wet and dry ingredients separately then combine.
Place the dough ball between two pieces of parchment paper and roll the dough 1/8 inch thick, this will make about a ten inch pizza. Bake on 350 for 15-20 minutes while you make your sauce.

Sauce  (makes 1 cup of sauce)
7 ounces of tomato paste
1/4 cup of water
1 Tbsp Italian herbs
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp minced garlic

Bring ingredients to a boil in a sauce pan (must be where the word sauce pan came from, hehehe, ok sorry) then decrease the heat to simmer for 10-15 minutes until it thickens.  Spread sauce over your crust.

Add your toppings and heat until the cheese melts.

So, where are we?

It's so hard to say right now, I feel like we are at a transition of sorts.  We are still chelating, although it's on hold for the time being, while we try out Grayson's homeopathic constitutional remedy.   Once this remedy kicks in, we should be able to cut back on supplements and treatments, some would even go as far as to say that we wouldn't require chelation any longer, but I have a hard time thinking anything but chelation can remove metals from the brain.  Until I have hard and fast proof, I will just keep going with my gut on this one. I have been told that his sensitivity to yeast and bacteria should begin to decline as the remedy does it's thing!  Light at the end of the tunnel!!  Even with this high hope, I didn't expect to see some of the changes we have already witnessed in him, so early in the treatment process.

We initially started him on a low potency (30C) dose monthly, then moved it back to weekly and now we are working with LM potencies which can be dosed daily and should never be experimented with unless you are under the care of a homeopathic practitioner.  The very first thing we witnessed with the low potency dosing was a change in the way he came down a flight of stairs.  I know this seems odd, but with Sensory Processing Disorder, there are often motor skill delays.  One of the things he has always done is bring his second descending foot down to meet the first on the lower step, then he would repeat it so it look like this: right foot down, left foot meets right foot, right foot down, left foot meets right foot.  He would never lead with his left, nor would he alternate steps which, developmentally, should start to happen by 3 years of age.  We had given him the last of a sequence of doses one night and the very next morning, he flew down the flight of stairs alternating both feet the whole way and without holding on!!  I actually asked him to repeat it for his father to see!  In the past, I could ask him to do this, but he would hold the railing for stability and the left foot was very awkward going down, it was as if using it caused his center of gravity to falter.  I cannot believe the ease he flew down the stairs with!  These kind of things don't happen overnight. 

We also started to see an ability to cope with things that he previously couldn't cope with.  I think there is habit associated with his past frustrations, so he would begin to react the way he used to, then suddenly the coping mechanism would appear to kick in and he would change direction.  This is something that we still see vacillating, but I think these behaviors require some habit changes too.  He has been responding to certain stimuli in a particular way for years now, I imagine he would need to adjust his thinking to match his feelings.  Getting himself dressed (fine motor delays) has always been a battle.  He is now dressing himself completely, when he wakes for school, and coming downstairs to meet us fully dressed!

Sound sensitivities are another area of improvement.  We had a contractor at our house after his very first dose of his remedy and when he started using a nail gun in the next room, Grayson (again with habit) immediately raised both hands to put them over his ears, but he stopped mid-air, looked at me and said, "What is that?".  My explanation was enough for him to put his hands down and continue with what he was doing.  This is HUGE!  He also used to fear motorcycles and recently he heard one pass by while we were walking outside and instead of freakin out, again, he asked me, "What was THAT?", hands by his sides the entire time!  For the first time ever, he chose to listen to and acknowledge the sound rather than fearing it and going into defense mode. 

There has been an overall change in his attitude as well.  In the past, we had many fluctuations based on the condition of his gut.  If his bacteria or yeast were slightly elevated, he could go from happy Grayson to miserable and angry Grayson in a split second.  Even as tired as his new schedule is making him, he is still managing to keep his cool most of the time!  I still see moments of aggravation, but that can also be chalked up to how tired he is now that he is waking two hours earlier than usual, plus we are going to be experimenting with his dosing requirements for a few weeks.  It's not uncommon to see aggravations from a remedy when it is dosed too frequently.  Homeopathy is a game of trial and error, every case is unique, but once the right remedy, potency and dosing schedule is attained, it can literally cause miraculous changes, right before your eyes. And the best part is that these changes will continue to come as the body heals itself!

It is very interesting to have learned that although not so uncommon with mother and child, Grayson's remedy is the same as mine!  Our children tend to have not only genetic links, but there are energetic links to a mother's mood, especially while pregnant.  They tend to take on many of the mother's personality traits in the early years, making it very common for the two to share a remedy.  It solidifies matters that his birthday is a week before mine, we are both the astrological sign gemini and boy do we fit it!

I will continue to document our experiences with homeopathy.  If you haven't considered this path yet, read The Impossible Cure.  You will not only learn about homeopathy and how it works, but you will read a real life autism cure story, as well.  Information and memoir in one.

Recipe - Lemon lavender cookies

These cookies ROCK!  I can't take credit for the recipe, I found it on Elana's Pantry and she found it somewhere else, lol.  Since I don't like to use agave nectar, I swapped it successfully with the awesome coconut nectar.

Even without butter, they are buttery and soft, they just melt in your mouth with such a refreshing combination of flavors.  If you are a fan of lemon, these are a must!

Lemon Lavender Cookies
1 ¼ cups blanched almond flour
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons dried lavender, finely minced
¼ cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons coconut nectar 
1 tablespoon lemon zest
  1. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Stir together wet ingredients in a smaller bowl
  3. Mix wet ingredients into dry
  4. Form ½ inch balls and press onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet
  5. Bake at 350° for 7-10 minutes
  6. Cool and serve
Makes about a dozen cookies

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting a little mushy

I want to publicly say Happy Anniversary to my wonderful supportive husband!  We have been married 7 years today and I can honestly say that these 7 years have been more than I could have ever asked for in a marriage.  Do we have bumps in the road?  Of course, what marriage doesn't, but we learn from them and strengthen the bond we have. 

I don't know, if you have read (or heard on Oprah) the statistics, but over 80% of couples who have a child on the autism spectrum end up divorced.  Now, granted, our child is not autistic, but we live the same life, because his health is a mirror image of a child with an ASD.  We live the diet, the treatments, the supplements, the dreaded lack of coverage from health insurance, the expensive doctors and supplements that our children's health depend on, the new extensive shopping lists and recipes, not to mention the sheer time spent in the kitchen.  It is certainly a stressful lifestyle and then you add to that, the pre-existing family dynamics.  If a relationship is already rocky, this will certainly throw it over the edge.  At a time of such high stress, you will either pull together or fall apart.

For us, living this lifestyle 24/7 has been no walk in the park, but we have always lived in the moment and try to take a lesson away from any difficult situation.  With this, we are learning daily, literally!  As the adults in the family, it's our job to pull together for our children.  We love each other, we love our children and will do anything necessary to keep them healthy and happy.  We take one day at a time, not trying to figure out "when it will be over", because we know that will not help the status of our current lives.  Living in the here and now takes a conscious effort, but it's one worth learning, especially if you are dealing with a child or children who have health conditions that may effect their or your futures.  We approach each day with all the lessons we have learned, but we are willing and open to molding our expectations from whatever it is we learn that day, whether it be about one of our child's personalities, about a new opportunity to make safe and tasty food options for them, or even learning of a new supplement that might help their dysbiosis.  We don't take anything for granted and we know that things can and do change at any given moment. 

So enough said, I just wanted to thank my wonderful husband for being the supportive, hands-on and hard working man that he is.  He is the most selfless person I know and his family always comes first and we are living proof that marriages CAN succeed in this very difficult situation.

Recipe - Raw oatmeal ginger breakfast bars

These hearty treats were so easy to whip up, they are amazingly filling and REALLY tasty!

This recipe requires some easy prep work, but means you have to think ahead a little. I do a lot of sprouting so that I always have something available, which just consists of tossing the chosen seeds/nuts into a glass jar full of water before bed and putting that in the fridge for the night. In the morning you can either use the soaked seeds/nuts for recipes or let them sprout by setting them in a strainer to dry. Just rinse 3 times a day and watch them grow! 

The soaked oats take a bit longer, it's the one exception to the overnight soaking rule, but don't let that discourage you. Just start one morning when you are making breakfast, put the oats in the fridge in a glass container of water (they expand so use more than double water), rinse and re-soak before you go to bed that night, in the morning they will be ready to make this recipe.

-3 cups rolled oats (soaked for 24 hours and rinsed)
-1/2 cup soaked/sprouted sunflower seeds
-1/2 cup unsweetened unsulfered shredded coconut
-2 inch chunk of fresh ginger, chopped fine
-4-5 large dates chopped (these offer that extra sweetness)
-1/3 cup coconut nectar (or to taste, these are not super sweet, just enough to be a touch of sweetness)
-water, just enough at the end to blend it into a thick mixture

Toss it all into a blender, saving the majority of the water until you know, if you need it to make a thick, but wet mixture that looks like a bowl of your morning oatmeal. And yes, you can even stop here and eat it like this! The kids enjoy their oatmeal this way, soaked oats don't require cooking. This means you have preserved all the good stuff!

Ok, sorry, I tend to get sidetracked with the details. So you just toss it all in a blender and pulse until it's chopped, but still chunky. Drop the mixture with a spoon into little circles onto parchment paper-lined dehydrator trays. They don't need space, because they don't expand, so fill the trays up!

Dehydrate overnight at about 110 degrees. Breakfast is ready and waiting when you wake up! Just slice up a side of fruit. Can't beat that!