Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pumpkin pie latte...

...with FRESH pumpkin puree!  Beat that Starbucks! This is why it's nice to have some fresh pumpkin puree laying around...

This recipe is made with you caregivers in mind.  A good steamy cup of java to get you going so you can take care of those kiddos.  Why not spend a little extra time on you today, you deserve it?

I just put a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree into a small pot and heated it with a little pumpkin seed milk (use milk or substitute of your choice) to thin it slightly and then added:
  • a good amount of pumpkin pie spice
  • coconut sugar which tastes like brown sugar
  • some xylitol to taste
  • vanilla  
Blend with your cup of coffee (I used the magic bullet) and top with foamy "milk" of choice and a dash of pumpkin pie spice.

Not only is this tasty, preservative-free and sugar-free, but it offers a shot of real vitamin A, great for flu season!  Oh, and one bonus is that it doesn't cost $4.

Now, if you are a camel milk drinker (or even, if you are not), I MUST show you how fabulously it froths for a latte!!

Here you have the camel milk poured before frothing.  As you can see, it doesn't require much.

Check out that foam!!

And there you have it!!  HUGE frothy latte milk in seconds.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

How to make fresh pumpkin puree

There is no better fall flavor than pumpkin, mmmmmmm!!

Having a little pumpkin around can add the warm fuzzies to many dishes including soups, cookies, cakes, waffles, pancakes, and even drinks like pumpkin pie latte and smoothies!

If you are like me, you know the risks of using canned foods and avoid it like the plague, which leaves you with no other pumpkin puree options.  Here you will learn how to make it so it comes out just like the canned stuff, thick and rich tasting.

The trick to the right consistency and flavor is roasting it!!  Be sure to buy pie pumpkins, also known as sugar pumpkins.  They are grown for eating, unlike carving pumpkins which are grown for size, not flavor.  I like to prepare a few at a time and freeze my puree in one-cup servings for easy defrosting.  In the recipe below, I bought four small pumpkins and it yielded 5 cups of puree.

If like me, you rarely find time to work out, cut up a few pumpkins!!  It's seriously labor-intensive, but well worth the effort!  Try not to chop a finger off in the process....

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, then wash the pumpkins, cut them down the middle, scoop out seeds and cut into chunks, leaving the skin on

Place the chunks into a baking dish, skin down

Bake for about an hour

Scoop out the meat and puree until smooth

This process can take a little time and some repositioning, because roasting the pumpkin dries it out, be patient and work the puree in the processor until it's smooth

When finished, you can use it immediately, store it in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer in freezer safe containers (glass is safest) leaving room for expansion.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Back to the grind

We all took a break from chelation for a month, while we were on the Alinia and passing through the new moon.  Grayson had gotten very sick so we stopped our rounds and decided to wait until the parasite meds were done.  Getting back on track is never easy.  Any time we have taken a break from chelation, the first round is R-O-U-G-H!! 

Today is no exception.  We spent all night waking so we are all tired.  We woke at 1am and 5am for our doses and Grayson woke at 2:30am because he wet his bed and then again at 4:30am with a horrible dream, then he got up really early, because he wet his bed AGAIN!  This is par for the course, so we will just go with the flow.  Today will be a lazy, rainy day in front of the tv and napping. 

The kids have been fighting horribly since starting this round.  They have this push/pull relationship while on round.  They do things specifically to prove to one another that they are in charge, things that aren't necessarily nice and it instigates a lot of fighting, but it goes both ways with them.  If it's not one, it's the other, pushing or pulling to get a response. 

We finally have found an adrenal cortex that Grayson tolerates, Enzymathic Therapy's ADRENergize.  We are SO excited, because we have not been able to support his adrenals for the past three years which worried us.  We know a lot of his moodiness is rooted in adrenal fatigue and worried about his adrenals crashing.  The past two weeks, he has been tolerating reasonable amounts of this adrenal cortex and his moods were finally very consistent!  So today, I am increasing it to assist with the round, since chelation stresses the adrenals.  We also recently started L Theanine, an amino acid which assists in cases where histamine is high (causes mood problems and anger too).  Theanine has a calming effect. 

So far I am still feeling good (with the exception of being tired), I also increase my ACE (adrenal cortex extract) while on round. 

Here's to hoping our additional support will ease the transition back into chelation.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The perils of parasites and Pyroluria

Pyro-what?  Who is a pyro?  Isn't that somehow related to fire-starting?  I didn't know what pyroluria was either, that is, until I read and identified with practically every symptom on the list, with the exception of substance abuse.

Let me go back a few steps though.  As you recall, we were treating the family for parasites, because Gavin was diagnosed with Dientamoeba Fragilis.  We have completed the Alinia and Gavin's progress since the treatment is nothing short of astounding.  I have often said that you just don't know your own child until you have witnessed them in a place of wellness.  Even I didn't realize the impact of my own words as it relates to Gavin, until now!  He is a changed child.  I didn't even know my own child, neither of us did.  His real self has always peeked through the shadows occasionally, but never have we seen such consistency, ever.  He is beaming with humor and happiness, he is calm and shows clarity and focus in all that he does and most amazingly, he has not shown even an ounce of defiance!!  Time outs were becoming so bad that it felt like he was spending more time in time out than out of time out....did you catch that?  lol  It was so bad that we created "the calming space" in an effort to put a positive spin on time out, somewhere that HE could choose to go to relieve stress and recharge with some calm toys.  Since creating it, we haven't even had to use it!  We went off the Alinia and within a day, he emerged as this confident, well-spoken, and very well-behaved three year old.  I knew parasites were nasty buggers and had read that they are capable of destroying good health.  Never in my life did I think a parasite could cause so much disdain, but I will honestly never ever take health like this for granted again.  Our mental stability relies heavily on our health.  I can't stress this enough!!  I have said over and over again, that I don't believe that kids are "being kids" when they are defiant and I have seen the changes in Grayson with the Clostridia overgrowth, but this....this is still astonishing me!

So back to the Pyroluria.  Another huge wow for us, me included.  On my constant quest for better health, I stumbled upon this under-diagnosed condition that not only appears to fit me, but our boys too.  It's highly genetic and it's symptoms are profound by comparison to the ease by which it can be controlled.  Pyroluria is basically a fancy way of saying a person is deficient in vitamins B6 (pyrodoxine) and zinc. Let me sum it up for you....better yet, Nora Gedgaudas will do a better job than I ever could.

"Pyroluria is a genetic metabolic condition long recognized by the field of orthomolecular medicine and orthomolecular psychiatry.  As many as 50% of those with autism, 40% of alcoholics, 70% of schizophrenics, 70% of persons with depression and 30% of persons struggling with ADD may have pyroluria underlying these conditions and make them very difficult to reach with traditional and even holistic therapies.  –But pyroluria isn’t limited to these populations.  As much as 10% of the population may have this metabolic condition and not know it…but may have lifelong symptoms associated with it that tend to worsen with age…and stress."

And regarding how it effects children, I found this statement which is exactly what we are dealing with in our own two children.

"Although children tend to be more easily diagnosed than adults, the symptoms are consistent: poor tolerance of physical and emotional stress, mood swings, depression, noise and other tactile sensitivities.  Later symptoms can range from severe depression to chronic schizophrenia.  Accompanying physical symptoms can include pain, seizures, even complete physical debilitation."

All that from a simple B6 and zinc deficiency??  All that and more!  You would never connect it's oversimplified treatment with the significant health challenges it is capable of causing.  The reason a person is so deficient in these nutrients is because of a byproduct called kryptopyrroles created from the synthesis of hemoglobin.  Kryptopyrroles bind very tightly with zinc and B6, making them unavailable to the body.  Krypopyrroles tend to increase with stress and age, which means, this disorder will only snowball, if undetected.  Do you know ANY mainstream doctors who will diagnose something so simple to rectify and without the use of prescriptions?  Since they have about half a day of nutritional training in all their years of med school, my guess is that they won't even know what it is.  But they should, because it has it's hand in many illnesses being misdiagnosed as mental disorders, and medicated unnecessarily.  If you are a regular reader, you already know how much I DESPISE covering up symptoms with medication.  Our body cries out to us for help, telling us there is an imbalance somewhere, and we shut it up with medication.  If only we spent half the time discovering what CAUSES these imbalances, we could spend more time enjoying our lives!

So let's see, if you or someone you know can identify with Pyroluria, here is a list of the more common symptoms from Nora's website.

The following includes the most common symptoms associated with the condition Pyroluria.  If you answer “yes” to 15 or more of these then further testing may be worthwhile:


1. Little or no dream recall
2. White spots on finger nails
3. Poor morning appetite +/- tendency to skip breakfast
4. Morning nausea
5. Pale skin +/- poor tanning +/- burn easy in sun
6. Sensitivity to bright light
7. Hypersensitive to loud noises
8. Reading difficulties (e.g. dyslexia)
9. Poor ability to cope with stress
10. Mood swings or temper outbursts
11. Histrionic (dramatic) tendency
12. Argumentative/enjoy argument
13. New situations or changes in routine (i.e., traveling) particularly stressful
14. Much higher capability and alertness in the evening, compared to mornings
15. Poor short term memory
16. Abnormal body fat distribution
17. Belong to an all-girl family with look-alike sisters
18. Dry skin
19. Anxiousness
20. Reaching puberty later than normal
21. Difficulty digesting, a dislike of protein or a history of vegetarianism
22. Tendency toward being a loner and/or avoiding larger groups of people
23. Stretch marks on skin
24. Poor sense of smell or taste
25. Feel very uncomfortable with strangers
26. Frequently experience fatigue
27. A tendency to overreact to tranquilizers, barbiturates, alcohol or other drugs (in other words, a little produces a powerful response)
28. A tendency toward anemia
29. History of mental illness or alcoholism in family
30. Easily upset by criticism
31. Sweet smell (fruity odor) to breath or sweat when ill or stressed
32. Prone to acne, eczema or psoriasis
33. A tendency toward feeling anxious, fearful and carrying lifelong inner tension
34. Difficulty recalling past events or people
35. Bouts of depression or nervous exhaustion
36. Prone to frequent colds or infections

Again, if you have answered yes to 15 or more of these then consider testing further using a urinary screening test for the presence of elevated kryptopyrroles via Bio Center Lab in Wichita, Kansas (Phone: 316-684-7784 or 1-800-494-7785). Here is their web site for more information.

Testing for this condition is simple, relatively inexpensive and readily accessible to anyone without a prescription.

I answered yes to 27 of these 36 questions.  In fact, I had 15 of them before I even got to 20!  Since supplementing (as well as treating my thyroid with the iodine protocol), I have had energy, I wake ready to go, I feel good most days and oddly enough, I have my dream recall back almost nightly now! We've taken a small break from chelation, so I am sure I will return to some dark days before I emerge as the beautiful butterfly, but boy am I learning a lot in the process of healing!!

If you want to learn more about Pyroluria, I highly recommend the following literature:

Journal of OrthomolecularMedicine: The Discovery of Kryptopyrrole and its Importance. Vol. 10,No. 1, 1995

Pyroluria A Blood Disorder Causing Hard-to-Treat Depression and other Mental Health Conditions

Pyroluria: Overview


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lemon dressing and more...

Finding a healthy dressing is all but impossible, with ingredients like sugar, high fructose corn syrup and oils high in saturated fats, or even worse, soy in EVERYTHING, dressings top the list for unhealthy "health" foods.  You make yourself a great healthy salad full of fantastic vegetables and then top it off with that nasty stuff from the grocery store....why?  Because it's easy.  Well, I will give you easy AND healthy.  Make your own, it's easier than setting the table, and just as quick.  Before long you won't even think about it, you will just pour a few ingredients into a blender without measuring or worrying about what ingredients to use.  Even my 6 year old knows what goes into an easy dressing and has been creating new concoctions since he could decide what ingredients he likes and doesn't like.  His newest idea is to make a sunbutter dressing, and why not?  There are coconut peanut dressings, so our next creation will be just that, sunbutter coconut dressing!  Stay tuned (wink).

But for now, let's talk about lemons.  Lemon is probably one of my all-time favorite flavors...lemonade, lemon cookies, lemon bars, I add lemon to my kefir and to my chicken....and even better, they are AWESOME for you in so many ways.  Lemon is a liver detox, it will alkalize your PH, it is a blood purifier, a diuretic, relieves gallstones, reduces mucus, is a natural antiseptic and antibacterial, and because of it's high potassium levels, it can help control high blood pressure.  So needless to day, a little lemon in your diet goes a long way and I am about to share the easiest, tastiest lemon dressing with you right now.

You can pour this over salads, chicken, fish, all kinds of veggies, and you might catch me licking it off the spoon...over and over and over again. In fact, I just had a salad with it and can't seem to get enough of the remains off the plate, right now!

Since I tend to just eye-ball my dressings, these measurements are not exact.  Play around with what your taste buds prefer and write it down!

I use the Magic Bullet for my dressings, but any blender will work.  Add all ingredients below to your blender and blend:

-lemon juice and avocado oil (about 50/50, just a tad more oil than lemon)
-1 large clove of garlic to about 1/2 cup of the above ingredients
-1 Tbsp xylitol (or sweetener of choice, I like this because it's light)
-1-2 tsp dill
-a few twists of some fresh ground pepper

If you like it sweeter, add more xylitol to suit your taste.

You could make this recipe with any citrus: lemon, lime, orange, grapefruit or any combination, especially, if you juice your own!

GFCFSFEF and low oxalate pancakes!!

These rock!  Going on the LOD and being free of every baking ingredient known to man-kind makes it a challenge to find a good pancake recipe.  I am big on avoiding rice whenever possible too, so these are actually rice-free too!!  I have been tweaking this recipe to make it hold up to good old fluffy boxed pancakes.  Sorry, these aren't quite as easy to make though.

We like a lot of flavor in our pancakes. These are hearty and flavorful and they fluff right up when cooking even without eggs or gluten!  We like the flavor enough to just grab one in our hand and eat it up.

They are nice and fluffy and they even cook just like boxed pancakes, if you leave the batter thicker.  No uncooked gluten-free goo here!

When I am batch-cooking pancakes, I like to make my batter a little on the thin side, because I like our pancakes thinner, to stretch further.  I usually will triple this recipe and freeze enough for three to four more breakfasts!  I just toss them in the toaster and voila, done in seconds.

Wisk the dry ingredients into a medium bowl
-1/2 C. black eyed pea flour (grind dry beans on grain grind setting in blender or food processor)
-1/2 C. pumpkin seed flour (grind in blender or coffee grinder)
-1/4 C. water chestnut flour (you can get this at Asian markets very cheap, it's a must for volume)
-2 Tbs chestnut flour (this gives an awesome hearty flavor to the pancakes)
-2 Tbs coconut sugar (or swap and add coconut nectar into wet ingredients)
-1 Tb garbanzo bean flour
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp cream of tartar (I rotate this out by swapping it with apple cider vinegar occasionally, but I prefer the cream of tartar)
-1/2 tsp salt

In a smaller bowl, wisk the wet ingredients together
-1 C. water (I usually start a little less and add more as I need it so I have a desired consistency)
-1 Tbs vanilla
-2 Tbs oil of choice (we like macadamia nut)
-Add any substitute liquids (ie - coconut nectar or apple cider vinegar)

Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and wisk until smooth.  Let this sit for a good 15-30 minutes until the consistency thickens up enough, it WILL thicken over time!  This is usually when I turn the griddle on and let it slowly heat up to temp so it's good and hot when I start.  You will have flat flabby pancakes, if you try to cook them on a less then hot griddle.  I should have taken THOSE pictures so you can see how many times I have rushed and ruined the whole first batch, lol.

This is the finished product without doctoring, thick and hearty!  They can be used as bread, topped with ghee and/or VCO and fruit or even eaten just like they are.  My kids have had them each of those ways and they NEVER get bored of them.  With a diet so restricted, that says a lot.  We have only three breakfast options that we rotate and they always look forward to their pancake days!  They love to make sandwiches out of mango slices and their pancakes.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The big picture

I have been adding to my "Recommended reading" tab lately, because I think the big picture is more than just that ONE trigger, ONE reason we have sick kids, or are sick ourselves.  Just like we've been brainwashed to think one magic pill will cure our illnesses, we also think there must be one reason we have the "illness".  The truth is that our environment has become so polluted, we are living such toxic lives, that it's just a matter of time before each of us reaches our tipping point.  For our children who are the products of evolution involving over-toxic lifestyles, that is happening sooner and sooner.  I know, I have written about this before, but it's a big part of the big picture.

I see many parents who jump to the conclusion that because their child or children regressed after a particular vaccination, that this vaccination was THE it wasn't.  I don't believe that for a minute.  Was it the tipping point, it sure was!  But that doesn't mean it's the ONLY cause for the regression or downward spiral.  And what about the parents who throw their hands up, because their child was "born this way"?  We must view each of our lives as having a large bucket to maintain.  We are filling it too fast!  This bucket is overflowing for those of us with CFS, autoimmune diseases, autism, allergies, Fibromyalgia, frequent infections, hypothyroidism, adrenal starts the flow of events that unfold before us every new day, the events we chalk up to "old age".  So why are our children being born with them?  Our job is to figure out, for each of us, what we need to do to maintain that bucket, BEFORE it tips.  Removing toxins, controlling pathogens, eating healthy and organic, avoiding dangerous chemicals and ingredients, knowing what our bodies react to and avoiding those things, identifying and replenishing deficiencies....this is how we remove the sludge that builds up in the bottom of our buckets.  If you make this a lifestyle change rather than experimenting with spurts of attempts, you can imagine this bucket is the dehumidifier with a hose permanently attached to your sump pump, lol!!  It will drain regularly and maintain your bucket.   Once you realize the impact your actions have on the rest of the world and how in return, that effects your health, you will also take more interest in the big picture!

If we don't start maintaining our lifestyle before having children, it is inevitable that they will somehow reap the *rewards* of our choices.  And yes, this can and does appear even before birth, in utero.  Many things are passed onto our children before they are even born, like heavy metal toxicity which passes on for at least three generations, and pathogenic diseases like Lyme and Syphilis, overgrown microbes like bad bacteria and yeast (candida), nutritional deficiencies that often get worse in pregnant and lactating women, antibodies that we carry (good and bad), and then there is the passing of pathogens and toxins via breast milk and so on. 

The problem is that we don't realize this soon enough.  We usually figure out that we even have a "bucket", when it's already been tipped over.  Why is this?  Simply put, because doctors do NOT have this knowledge....not the kind of doctors we are told to see regularly.  They push medicine and if you are well, they don't see any need to help you.  We are indirectly learning to rely on pharmaceuticals rather than trusting our instincts and using common sense to prevent and treat our ailments.  When did we lose touch with prevention?  Ask your grandmother about castor oil, fish oil and using salts and natural foods to heal!  As soon as big Pharma came into the picture, our priorities did a 360, and we didn't even see it happening!  Unfortunately for my family, my children are the reason we have figured this out.

So now my life-long "calling" is to research and find the reasons this is happening to us as a nation, and educate myself and others about how to avoid and change it.  Many are willing to listen, in fact they want the information, but there are those who are just stuck, they are so stuck in their over flowing bucket that they are drowning in it, they don't even know which way is up.  Some people are beyond recovery emotionally and it's directly related to how far their health has declined that they believe in nothing, they are so wrapped up in their own sadness that they can't even see the hope anymore.  I am sad for them, because I would love more than anything to point them in the right direction, but I have to accept the fact that not everyone wants help.  I will not stop trying though!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Quick or right?

The question here is, do you want to heal yourself and/or your children quickly or properly?  I see a lot of biomed moms reaching at straws, looking for the magic bullet to heal their kids TODAY.  This is some sort of a mesh between biomedicine and our brainwashed alopathic medicine way of thinking, isn't it?  We are so trained to think we can pop a pill and cure a disease overnight.  The key word there is cure....we aren't curing ANYTHING by popping a pharmaceutical pill.  What are you doing?  You are suppressing symptoms and making things worse.  If you don't get to the root of the reason for the symptom in the first place, you aren't healing or curing anything.  But this isn't the purpose of this entry, actually so I will try not to get sidetracked.  Darn hot-buttons!!

My point here is that even us biomed moms can get caught up in wanting to try anything that will heal our kids even faster.  Well, I have news for you moms, it took years for this sort of genetic mutation and environmental damage to do it's work on you (your mom, your kids) and it's going to take just a teeny weeny bit more time to heal your children from this passed on type of toxicity.

I am certainly not suggesting that anyone stop looking for ways to think outside of the box or to help your child heal faster, BUT with that said, also be prepared to just settle for the tried and true to get you through.  I spend just about every day reading, learning and researching, as well as connecting directly with other moms who are going through this very same life. The recurrent theme I see developing is that those who heal most thoroughly follow a very strict diet, they work on nutritional deficiencies and they get the metals out.....for years.  When the metals are removed, all the rest will fall into place, it's that simple really, but patience is the key, because it is going to take time.

When we first decided on low frequent dose oral chelation we were convinced that we would be doing this for a year tops and we would have our perfectly recovered healthy child at the end of the tunnel.'s been two years  (3 with biomed) and although we have come a LONG way in recovery, we still have such a very long road ahead of us.  Our children are virtually indistinguishable from their peers, but this doesn't come easily.  They are still on hoards of supplements, require special diets, and will probably require years of slow, safe detoxing.  The part to come to grips with is that this is ok.  It is going to take a lot of dedication, sacrifices, perseverance and time, but that is ok, isn't it?

A lot of people question who they should trust when it comes to chelation, DAN! doctors or Andy Cutler and here is my take on this....Andy Cutler is a biochemist, meaning he is specifically trained to know what these chemicals do in our bodies.  He understands their half-lives and how they work, not to mention the fact that he recovered himself from being horribly ill, using this very same method of chelation. How many doctors out there do you know who are chemists? None.

So next time you get the inkling to try IV chelation, because you think bigger is better or a glutathione push, because well, glutathione is low so that MUST be the problem, right?.....or you hear about some new trendy supplement that claims to cure it all, don't get caught up in the glory, just take a deep breath and remember that recovery is not a sprint, it's a marathon.