Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Low-grade reactions...finding the cause

I have been having some very low-grade reactions(minor throat itching) the past week or two and decided to try and get to the bottom of it today at my BioAllergenix appointment.

We tested the last things I had treated last time(lavender EO, nutmeg, Tulsi Tea, Green tea w/Honey, and Chamomile) and came out fine with all of them. Yeah!


I then started with my toiletries, bringing in my prior "bare bones" baking soda and olive oil, along with some soaps, facial cleansers, two shampoos and some lotions.

For *my body*(your mileage may vary), this is how I came out:
Jason Fragrance Free Shampoo-ok
Gluten-Free Savonnerie Shampoo--NOT OK
Badger Balm-ok
Jergens Original lotion-ok
WAHM-made Lemongrass Ginger Castille Olive Oil bar soap-ok
Velocity facial cleanser-ok
Velocity facial moisturizer-NOT OK
Olive oil-ok
Baking soda-ok
Aquaphor-ok
Burt's Bees Milk and Honey Lotion-NOT OK

So, basically I can use the ok items and be pretty sure I'm not dragging myself down. I guess I will use scant olive oil or coconut oil on my face as a moisturizer, baking soda for teeth brushing until I test some toothpaste, and coconut oil for deodorant(yes, it does seem to be working!).

Having taken care of my showering ritual, I went to the next near-constant in my day-to-day life: Breakfast.

I have been having oatmeal with blueberries and either slivered almonds or sunflower seeds pretty consistently for breakfast. Sometimes I have fried eggs on toast, but don't want to have that every day.
Here's how I came out:

Oats-ok
Almonds-ok
Sunflower seeds-NOT OK, especially when tested paired with the oatmeal

When I was avoiding so many things, one of my main oils was sunflower oil. I wonder if using it during the peak allergy stuff is what triggered my body to react to it as well? Who knows?

Point to ponder: many dried fruits have sunflower oil in them. I know Craisins do(one of my snack staples), as do the dried blueberries from Aldi(which I use sometimes on oatmeal in lieu of frozen blueberries).

Interestingly, sunflower oil is one of the top ingredients in the Burt's Bees Milk and Honey Lotion. I'm bringing it next time to retest and see if it's ok after being treated for Sunflower oil.


Next was a bunch of supplements. As of now, all I am taking is a fish oil, since that's all I have that I know is safe. I would love to get on a multivitamin, but that will have to wait until I have the money for them...maybe in a few months. In the meantime, I shall eat the best I can.

Here's how I fared there:
Twinlabs Allergy Multi-caps--NOT OK! This was about the worst thing today.
Evening primrose oil-ok
NOW brand Quercetin-NOT OK
Twinlabs Quercetin + C -ok
Sambucol Syrup-ok
Sambucol Cold and Flu Tablets-ok

So, I can put the Sambucol, Quercetin + C and EPO in my arsenal. The others I guess I will toss. I used most of them up already, anyway.


I also decided to have weeds treated today, since nothing is pollinating right now and it'll be way easy to avoid.
Last fall, I did grab some ragweed and put in a bag for later. Tested it today and sure enough, I am *still* weak to it. So I *definitely* wanted to have weeds treated. The treatments helped immensely this past fall, but not completely. Hopefully with being able to completely avoid it, it will work all the way this time around.


So, in a nutshell, I got a good idea of what to use in my daily regimen, what to put in my medicine arsenal, and was treated for the ingredients in Astroglide, weeds, and sunflower seeds(and oil).

We'll see how things go next week when I retest!




TMI Ahead
for those who might find it useful...

I have been having issues off and on with either the spermicide-free condoms we had been using, or else the paba-free Astroglide. So, , I brought some in to be tested, and --guess what-- the Astroglide is BAD BAD BAD! The doc entered all of the ingredients into the system and treated me for that as well.


Here's to better health!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Allergy sufferers--Use Care with Essential Oils!

I am much better.

Since going to the family doc and then doing some reading about Esinophilic (sp?) Esophagitis, I strongly suspected the throat thing was an allergic response. Totally new(well, my *awareness* of it anyway--I've had minor episodes of difficulty swallowing before) to me, but an allergic response nonetheless.

I had started using Lavender EO in the shower maybe a week to ten days before I got the appt to the family doc. So, since that was a new thing, I cut that out of my regimen. It seemed to be helping my skin clear up, but I'd take a normal throat over clear skin.

I also looked in my food diary for the last 2 years and it seems after I'd had melted cheese, sour cream, or cream cheese that I would have difficulty swallowing(but nothing like this recent episode), so since the Sunday before Thanksgiving I have been essentially dairy free. I had been treated for milk already, and the food diary notes were from before my treatment, but I figured what the heck--dd is dairy-free so I may as well go dairy-free with her for the holidays. It will encourage me to make dairy-free holiday treats, right? I'm interested to see if my skin clears up, too. I am going to give it a month or two to see if I see a difference in my skin.

One thing I did not regularly notate in my food diary is the type of body care products I was using at the time. I know that I was using Lavender EO soap during part of that time, and it is entirely possible that it was the Lavender EO getting me and not the cheese.

So, yesterday I went to my BioAllergenix appt and brought a bunch of foods to test that I suspected. I also brought TTO, my Lavender EO, and my Thieves' oil. TTO and Thieves' oil(that contains Lavender EO) were ok. When she tested the Lavender EO I brought I was so totally weak, I could not believe it! I am normally very strong and am a bit harder to read with muscle testing, but it was like the life was sucked out of me when I had this tested!

So, that pretty much sealed the deal in my mind that it was the Lavender EO that caused the reaction.

I did get treated for it,( along with the Genetic Predisposition to Tomatoes and some other things) and I will bring it next time to see how I do.

I think I just really need to not overdo it on anything. Especially something so volatile like EO's.

You live and learn.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Difficulty Swallowing--Allergy?-Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

I've fallen a bit behind in my updating! Please forgive the long post!

I went ahead and did the Hydrocarbon treatment about a month ago. Retested it today and am strong. So, that is good. (Yeah!)

I suspected our water softener salt was bothering me(something about the shower and when I wash my hands at night...products? the water itself?) and brought in some of the salt and tested weak to it. I was treated for Water Softener Salt. Still need to remember to bring the salt in again to test again, but I am not experiencing the itchy throat during/after I shower and when I get up in the night and wash my hands after using the restroom. (Yeah!)

I also had a Water Samples List scan done and Tap Water(!), Arsenic and Aluminum came up and I had those treated. The doc was able to test the Aluminum today and I am strong there. (Yeah!)

So, in general, I have been doing pretty well. I have had very minimal reactions. I don't remember the last time I had one of those mega-itchy throat/palate/ears/runny nose/sneezing attacks. As a result, I am starting to notice other symptoms lurking about that I missed before when I was dealing with all the immediate allergy reactions.

About 2 weeks ago, I started having a feeling of having a lump at about the base of my throat and some difficulty swallowing. Looking back, I *think* this began when I had made meatloaf and had put 1/4 cup of ketchup in the 2lb loaf and had some for dinner. (I know, I know, what was I thinking???) Two nights in a row. And two nights in a row I had heartburn about an hour after eating it.

So, I am fairly certain it was the tomatoes that started it. I have been putting off the tomato treatment for some reason. I have been treated for the general "Tomato", but have not been treated for the Genetic Predisposition toward tomato. That is next on my list, I believe, since my dad has difficulties with tomatoes.

I had gone to the family doc last Friday about my throat and she seemed to think it was due to acid reflux and irritation. She also ordered a thyroid test.

I followed the family doc's instructions to take Pepcid, but I haven't really noticed any difference while on that. In fact, I felt worse the first few hours after taking it yesterday. :(

In my internet perusals, I came across the condition called Eosinophilic Esophagitis. Turns out a friend's child was diagnosed with this and I didn't know what it was so I looked it up. I was surprised that the adult description fits me very well. It is a condition where, in response to allergy, the white blood cells form in the esophagus in these little things called eosinophils and cause inflammation. It's a fairly new diagnosis in adult medicine.

I really cannot afford to go to another doctor--much less a specialist and testing. Whether I have this condition "officially" or not, the approach is the same: Figure out what is causing the allergic reaction and avoid/treat that allergy. There are medications to take as well, but nothing is promising or really recommended for lifetime use.



So, I went to the BioAllergenix doc today. I brought my list of suspect foods and she muscle tested me for the things that she had available to test me for. I was strong on all of them.

After much talking and looking over my charts and past history, she suggested a re-scan of the Second Procedure on Mother Tincture, since that was not available when I first started. So, I did this scan and most of the Groups came up as Multiple Responses, which means I had a trace response to more than one item in each Group. Unfortunately(for my inquiring mind), it doesn't break it down to exactly what it was my body was reacting to. I decided to go ahead and be treated for all of them today and fast for 6 hours rather than break it up and attempt to avoid a lot of things until tomorrow and have to repeat the process again later with different foods.
(The reason I can do only 6 hours this time is because they were ALL Multiple Response. If I had any actual foods come up, I would have to avoid until tomorrow.)

I'm a bit hungry...but I will survive...in the meantime the kids are going to have to fend for themselves!

Next...Genetic Predisposition for Tomatoes.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

How I'm doing...preparing for Hydrocarbons treatment

I seem to be doing pretty well with the water softener treatment. My throat no longer itches after I get up to use the restroom at night, so I guess it really was the water! Also, I haven't reacted to lettuce or other veggies that I would react to before (and suspected the water). Wow. Makes me rethink(again) about what all we subject our bodies to in making things "better".

Speaking of which, I plan on my next treatment being for Hydrocarbons. I was muscle tested for these last week as a result of my complaint that my throat itches, my hands itch and my face feels funny(kind of a shooting/stinging sensation) and sometimes I even experience sneezing when I read the newspaper on Sunday's at the in-laws. The doc's immediate response was "Hydrocarbons" and she got the vial and muscle tested me on it and sure enough, I am weak in that area.

She printed out the list for me last week so I know what to avoid. Half of it I don't know what it is. This is going to be the hardest thing so far to avoid. I basically have to avoid touching/breathing/wearing anything plastic or gasoline/oil/diesel based. Yeah, fun. Good luck finding underwear without any stretchy stuff in it! Oy. No polyester, acrylic, rayon. Pretty sure spandex is included in there, too.

So, I am figuring out my wardrobe. I think I might look like a ragamuffin when I go to my appt. Oh well. I hope I can find some sort of cotton gloves to wear so I can drive home with ease! Hey, they might work for me to be on the computer, too, right? ;) Not sure what else I can do and not be exposed to stuff. I'd stay up all night the night before and then go to the appointment and come home and sleep if I could...

I am also supposed to avoid reading/touching books, magazines, newspapers due to the hydrocarbons in the ink. Man, I'm gonna be so bored!

Foods I have to be careful with. I think I may have to put dinner in the crockpot(nothing canned due to the bpA in the lining of the cans, and I assume I should steer clear of plastic-packaged foods) before I leave for the appt. I have some of our own chickens that I think will be perfectly safe since they weren't wrapped in plastic. Veggies, too. So, I'm good there.

I thought I was really doing good avoiding plastics in our home, but when I see the extent they permeate our lives....wow. Just wow. We are still far removed from what is truly "Natural".

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

BioAllergenix Update

Today was quite the adventure. More for the doc than for me, lol.

I had been doing pretty good allergy-wise and wasn't sure what to make an appointment for, so had gone a few weeks without an appointment or treatment. Also, my last treatment was a hormone treatment and I was kind of waiting a month or so to see how that went before I went in again. Just because.

Then I tried tomatoes again. I swear I need to throw all those tomatoes I canned 2 years ago out to the chickens! They get me every time! Granted, the reactions are less and less, but those particular tomatoes are horrible for me! I have been able to eat tomatoes from this year's garden and been fine with them, for the record.

I had used the last jar of canned whole tomatoes last week to make spaghetti sauce in the crockpot. As soon as it heated up, I smelled it cooking all day long and was experiencing brain fog, sort of tunnel vision, pressure in my head/neck and intermittent nose and throat itching.

I did not eat the stuff, though. I made myself something different to eat that night and served the spaghetti up to my family(who, by the way, fared quite well on it).

Since then, I seem to have been reacting(usually quite mildly) to lots of stuff.

In the last week I have reacted to(from worst reaction to least):

Broccoli and Cauliflower(day 1 was immediate chapped lips, day 2 was itchy throat/ears, copious drainage, more chapped lips)
Newsprint(face/hands itch if I read a newspaper)
Nachos(no tomatoes on these-this reaction was more of a gut reaction-blah!)
Red Cabbage-(itchy nose/very mild itchy throat)
Various herbal teas-(mild itchy throat)
cinnamon or citric acid-suspects in the teas
Garlic?

I had kept a diary of what foods I suspected and gathered up little samples. I went to the appointment today armed with little baggies of corn chips(yellow and blue), cauliflower, broccoli, red cabbage, a cinnamon stick, and 3 different teas to test. I also asked them to test me for B vitamins and garlic(another food I've had trouble with, though I love it so much!).

Then the doc did muscle testing on me while holding each of these(out of the bag, since she suspects Hydrocarbons to be another problem with me in relation to the newspaper thing. She tested me for those, and they ARE a problem!)

Here's the results:

Corn(vial): OK
Corn chips(both yellow and the blue w/ sesame seeds): OK
Cinnamon: OK
Cauliflower: OK(!)
Green Cabbage(vial): OK
Broccoli: NOT OK
Red Cabbage: NOT OK
Orange and Spice Herb Tea: OK
Red Tea: NOT OK
Tension Tamer: NOT OK
Hydrocarbons: NOT OK
Water Softener Salt: NOT OK
B vitamins: OK
Garlic: NOT OK

The theory we came up with between the cauliflower and broccoli was that I washed them both with the softened water. The cauliflower has a really tight head, so didn't soak up the water like the broccoli did. That was our guess before we tested the water softener salt, and I was VERY weak to that. So it may not be the broccoli getting me, but the water. I suppose the cabbage *could* have water on it still, but I got it from deeper in the head of cabbage, so I don't think it is nearly as likely.

The Red Tea and Tension Tamer teas I have yet to (over?) analyze.

The Hydrocarbons have to do with the reason my face and hands itch incessantly every Sunday when I read the paper. Sometimes with magazines the same thing happens. Acrylic has bothered me for a long, long time. This is a very difficult one to avoid coming into contact with (all plastics), and I need to plan things out like what I wear and eat and touch before I get treated for that. Maybe next week. Not sure what I will be doing with my time after that treatment if I can't read or be on the internet.

I opted to have water softener salt treated, since I can just use the bypass spicket water at the house. I just have to remember not to use the other water!

This is the first time the doc has had a patient come up with problems with water softener salt and she is very interested in seeing how I do. I am, too! I had long suspected the water softener salt with my prior corn allergy, but kind of put it out of my mind once I was treated for corn. Guess I should listen more closely to my body and respond accordingly, eh?

Now...off to find something to eat that hasn't been touched by softened water... and see if I can digest the info I've been given today and analyze some more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

How to Avoid Genetically Modified Food

I have written an article on Helium.com and thought I would share it here:


You may have heard about the debate over whether Genetically Modified(hereafter denoted GM) foods are safe to consume. It is likely that many people would rather avoid GM foods until the research indicates that it is indeed safe. That is what this article will help you to do.

There are currently 12 GM plant species approved for commercial food production in the U.S.
These consist of:
1. Corn
2. Cotton
3. Potatoes
4. Tomatoes
5. Soybeans
6. Canola
7. Sugar Beets
8. Rice
9. Flax
10. Some Squash/Zucchini
11. Papaya
12. Chicory (Radicchio)

Also, it would be wise to keep in mind:
*Wheat is also in the works to be GM in the near future.
* Much of the milk in the U.S. is taken from cows given rBgh/rBst(recombinant bovine growth hormone, genetically modified by Monsanto and given to many herds to promote more milk production). Monsanto is trying to make it illegal for those NOT using rBgh/rBst to be able to say so on their labels, because people might think there is something wrong with milk containing these GM hormones and not buy it, and that would hurt (Monsanto's) business.
*Conventional beef, pork and chicken is fed a GM corn and soy diet.

How do we effectively avoid consuming GM foods? Click here to read the rest of the article.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Our Chickens-Survival of the Fittest


We had the misfortune last Sunday night to come home at dusk to most of our chickens in a lifeless trail between the garden and coop. I had left home a little after 6. Before leaving home, I checked on the chickens, who we had let out to free range in the garden that I had picked clean the other day. They seemed happy so I left them out and planned to be home in a couple hours to close them inside their coop.

Now I am wishing I had gone ahead and herded them into the coop before I left, because if I did they *might* have survived. I say "might", because a few years ago dogs had climbed over our chicken fence and killed all but one of our chickens. :-/

We definitely suspect dogs are the culprit in this case as well. Most of the chickens(19) were killed and left for dead, presumably so the killer could run after and kill the next one they saw. Only one of the chickens had anything eaten off of it, and that one was found far away from the others.

I took pictures of each of them(yuck), as well as of the line of them from the garden area to the coop where they were running toward safety when they were killed. Randy called the police to file a report and the animal control officer came and took pics and took a statement. We have been watching every night and haven't seen any sign of other predators that would do this. I figure it was someone's dogs and when they came home with a mouthful of blood and feathers, they probably decided it might be wise to keep their dogs on their property where they belong so they wouldn't get shot.

The 6 chickens we found alive the next morning were up in trees near the house, on top of a rabbit hutch we have out back and in some other unknown places. I am thankful we got to keep at least a few of them to provide us with eggs(once they start laying).

A pic of the line of dead chickens from the garden(the edge is at the left of the picture) to the chicken coop:

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Are you spending as much as you "should" on groceries?

I recently came across a copy of the Official USDA Food Plans: Cost of Food at Home at Four Levels. Considering the average cost of food in July of 2009, it breaks the cost down into four categories: Thrifty Plan, Low-Cost Plan, Moderate Cost Plan, and Liberal Plan. It breaks it down to age of child and age of man or woman and you can figure out what groceries "should" be costing you.

I figured it for us, using the Thrifty Plan figures. According to that, we should be spending $152.30/week, or $660.10 a month. Wow. My goal each month has been to keep it under/around $500. I guess I find this is a bit encouraging(since we've been close to that each month, but I haven't kept a close eye the last few months to be sure...) and gives me some perspective. I am really doing all right, at least according to the government's standards...

I think at the start of next month I will keep a closer tab on what I am spending, just to see for sure how I am doing.

Check it out for yourself and do the math and see what you can learn about your own food spending! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BioAllergenix, continued

I went in for my appointment the other day.
I have been having little bouts with my allergies off and on while outside(pollens? mold on the corn?). I have NOT been taking an antihistamine on a regular basis(though I did when we were hauling wood for a day or two) so I am still doing better than I have done for years.
I had also been reacting to some food(s). I wrote down my suspected allergens to present when I went in.
I have also been having a really hard time sleeping for the last 2 weeks or so.


My doc checked out my list and got kind of an idea of what REALLY bothers me most. Then she went and got the little vials that I believe are leftover from when they did NAET and have been used with me at the same office with AAT. She picked out my suspected ones that were available in the box(there is not nearly the same selection as with either of the computer systems), and routinely handed them to me one at a time and did muscle testing. The only one that I tested weak to was Tomato. Not a big surprise as my dad has tomato allergy and I know I have been eating it my whole life and was probably allergic to it much of that time. Also, from previous research I have read that the nightshades can be difficult to treat just once with success. I'm sure it doesn't help that I have been processing them a lot the last month or two--lots of exposure, there!

I was glad to be able to test some of my other allergens with the muscle testing and find they were ok: garlic, basil(the closest I could get to mint-they are in the same family), mushroom, and coconut.

So, after loading the BioAllergenix system up with the grasses, good ol' corn, tomato, peppers and beans(my other suspects), I was treated for them. I went home and stayed inside with the windows closed until this morning. Ate only a hamburger(no bun) and pickled beets for dinner, had Craisins and raw pumpkin seeds and raw milk for a snack.

I slept better than I have slept for weeks! Yay!
I have tomatoes ready and waiting to be made into sauce, but I think I am going to let them wait a few more days before I greatly expose myself to them again. Give the treatment a little longer to hold, ya know? (I have no idea whether it would make any difference to wait longer or not, but I figure it probably couldn't hurt anything!).

Ginger Mushroom Chicken Soup - Good for what ails ya!

I have been reading a lot lately about the different foods that are good to boost our immune systems, and decided that since the kids are fighting something(as am I) after going back to school, I would try to implement many of these foods into a soup.

I decided to start with good ol' chicken soup, and work from there.

Here is what I came up with.
I put an * next to the especially immune-boosting foods.

Ginger Mushroom Chicken Soup

3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 medium onions, chopped
*5 cloves of garlic, minced
*1 heaping TB of minced Ginger (I used Ginger People Pantry Essentials Minced Ginger)
*4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 1/2 cup hot water and sliced or torn(I added the water to the pot too)
*Generous quart of chicken stock(bone broth is even better!)
3-4 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced

Put oil in your soup pan and cook onions and garlic until translucent.
Add Ginger, shiitake mushrooms, chicken stock, carrots and celery.
Bring to a boil, turn down and simmer 10-15 minutes, or until carrots and mushrooms are tender.

Enjoy hot with whole grain (or Gluten-free) crackers.
Makes about 4 servings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

How to make Bone Broth

Bone broth is very simple to make, and much better for you than a canned broth from the store. It contains many minerals that are made readily available for the body to absorb, as well as a whole host of other good ingredients. It is more flavorful AND less expensive! It contains no added MSG, and you can easily regulate the sodium level and fat levels. I guess Grandma knew what she was doing when she was making her chicken stock for chicken soup when you were sick!

When I buy a chicken, I generally assume that I can stretch it for at least 3 meals. The first meal is based on roasted chicken and side dish veggies, the second meal is a casserole/sandwiches/wraps/quesadillas from the remaining meat, and the third meal(and fourth?) is soup made from the bone broth/stock and whatever remaining meat there was on the bones and of course added veggies.

Method 1: Crockpot
The way I have been making bone broth for the last few years has been to roast a chicken, remove most of the meat from the carcass, and put the carcass in the crockpot full of water to cook overnight. I include whatever veggies and spices I am in the mood for. I usually include:

A few carrots, washed and broken in half.
A few stalks of celery(especially the leaves)
A whole onion, including the skin
About 1-2 tsp of salt
About 1 tsp of pepper
A splash of Apple Cider Vinegar to help break down the bones quicker
A few teaspoons of dried herbs of choice

The next morning, turn off crockpot and allow broth to cool. Strain through a colander, remove meat from bones and put broth/meat in containers. Freeze or use within the next few days.

Method 2: Pressure Cooker
Last weekend I roasted a chicken and took off most of the meat. I didn't want to have the crockpot running all night, though, and have to deal with it in the morning, so decided to try making bone broth in the pressure cooker.

I put my usual chicken and veggies in the pot, filled it about 1/2-2/3 full with water(read your manual for how full to fill your own pressure cooker), and added some fresh herbs from my garden(few sprigs each of marjoram, basil and flat leaf parsley).

I brought it to pressure(15lbs) and cooked it about an hour and a half, then took it off the heat and let it cool on the stove rather than running cool water on the cooker.

This bone broth is AMAZING, compared to the Crockpot method! I think I will be doing it this way from now on! I used the broth a few days later to make an Awesome soup. Mmmmm!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Comparison of AAT and BioAllergenix

Many people have asked about the differences and similarities between AAT and BioAllergenix.
These comparisons are based on MY experiences. Others may have a different experience, since allergies effect us all differently, and physicians may choose to work slightly differently as well.

Advanced Allergy Therapeutics(AAT):

The basics:
  1. Is paid for on a per-visit basis.
  2. Testing is done with strength-testing by the doc, while patient is hooked up to the computer with an arm band.
  3. Treatment is only for one item/set of items in some cases, and consists of a 'thumper'(for lack of a better term) that is run down the spine a few times while the signal is being transmitted through the arm band.
  4. Avoid the treated substance for 2 hours.
  5. You work through a preliminary list of what you proved "weak" towards, and once you get done with that list you can pick and choose what you feel you are having problems with. You will be tested for that suspected allergen and if weak, then you will be treated for it.
  6. The next time you go in, you will be tested for the previous treatments to be sure they held before you move on to the next testing/treatment.
Pros:
  1. I like that there is a lot of one-on-one contact with the doctor. In my opinion, this gives the doctor a fuller picture of where the patient is health-wise and helps to treat the whole person, not just the allergies.
  2. You can be retested for anything, if you suspect a treatment has not 'held'.
  3. The avoidance period is a mere 2 hours. After avoiding so many things for nearly a year, I could avoid anything for 2 hours!
Cons:
  1. You are not able to treat as many allergens at one time as you are able to with BioAllergenix.
  2. Can get costly if you have a wide range of allergens.
  3. Is a much slower process than the BioAllergenix, especially if you have many allergies.

BioAllergenix(also referred to as Allergicare in some forums):

The basics:
  1. Is paid for in a lump-sum charge for the year(other docs may choose to do it differently and have different pricing).
  2. Testing is done by the computer while you are hooked up with 'clamps' on your fingers and it scans through MANY potential allergens.
  3. The first visit/test will bring up any number of foods in 18 Groups. The first treatment is for egg, and the next treatments will be on different days for whichever food groups that need to be treated. In some cases, many items in a Group will come up, but you can be treated for all of those items in the Group.
  4. There are many other tests/scans available. They include foods, pollens, pharmaceuticals and illegal drugs, cleaning products, and also include things such as anxiety, ADD, etc. Not sure how it does it, but it does it somehow!
  5. Treatment involves the computer and a laser-light type tool, which is run over your skull and down your spine multiple times(eyes open, eyes closed, breath in and hold, breath out and hold) and on different points in your arm/hands and feet.
  6. Avoid the substance(s) until the next day(you can expose yourself to it after one full sleep cycle/night's sleep)
  7. Once you have made it through the basic scans, you can wait and see how things are working for you as your body gets used to the new way of doing things.
  8. If you seem to still be having problems, you go in and can request treatment for those problems.
Pros:
  1. Has the capability of scanning for thousands of potential allergens in one appointment.
  2. Scans are relatively quick, as is treatment. Once you get past whatever you test allergic to in the first 18 groups, on the next scans you will be treated for ALL things that come up.
  3. Since it is paid for in one lump sum, you may be saving a LOT of money with BioAllergenix as opposed to AAT, if you have a lot of different allergies.
  4. Can go beyond allergens and test for other possible health problems.
Cons:
  1. Many may not be able to afford the one lump sum payment, or be able to justify it if they only have a few allergies.
  2. Once you have gone through a particular scan, you cannot have that scan run again, as your body will not 'read' the same way and may give false information. You can, however, be retreated if you have a suspected allergen(such as ragweed and chenopods in my case).
  3. The avoidance period after treatment (keep away from the substance until you wake the next day) can be difficult, depending on what you are avoiding. You may be asked to fast completely, so be sure to go to your appointment with a full stomach! Try to schedule late in the day if you can to make it easier on yourself.
  4. Women who are on the first 3 days of their periods should wait to come in to be scanned/treated.

Both types of treatment have been helpful to me and have been life-changing. I have been somewhat frustrated with BioAllergenix as I was hoping to be allergen-free by now(I started just a few months ago), but perhaps my hopes were a bit too high. In any case, I have been feeling worlds better after having these treatments--better than I have in years! I can handle a sneezing fit here and there, since before I could not breathe through my nose through the months of August and September!

I am also enjoying being able to eat "normal" foods and not have to look at every ingredient on the label before eating anything. (Well, I do still read every label out of habit and watching our diets for unhealthy ingredients, but the point is, I don't HAVE to!)

Above all, I am so glad I can go to public places and not have reactions such as itchy nose, sneezing, itchy throat, and brain fog within minutes of walking in the door and fatigue after leaving. The grocery stores and church potluck days were not my favorite days for some time, merely because of the smell of the foods and people's fabric softener, perfumes, etc! But since being treated, I have gone to these places without thinking too much about it and have not had the brain fog and fatigue I dealt with for so long!

Praising God for working through these treatments and helping me feel better! Thank You, Lord!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos


I decided it was time for a meatless dish, and since my allergies aren't making me miserable I decided to make the slightly labor-intensive Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos. I haven't made them in over a year due to my garlic and legume allergy and inability to find a corn-free tortilla. The time has come!

I didn't measure everything exactly, as I didn't want little bits of stuff sitting in the fridge, but here's the basic recipe.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

~1 lb bag of black beans, cooked in the crockpot and drained

~5 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped up--enough to make about 5 cups

~3 cups of chopped onion
~4-5 cloves of garlic, chopped
~1T minced green chile(I substituted minced banana pepper from the garden)
~small amount of oil
~3-4 tsp ground cumin

~1/2 c lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped(I substituted flat leaf parsley from the garden-the cilantro is now coriander, lol)
~2 TB lemon juice(I substituted lime juice)
~heaping teaspoon salt

Tortillas-you choose the size you want. Of course, if you are Gluten-Free, be sure to use GF tortillas.

1. Sort, rinse and cook your beans in the crockpot early in the day/the day before. Mine took about 5 hours on high, but higher altitudes and different water may vary a lot. Canned beans can be used as well. (about 4 cans). Drain and set aside.

2. Peel and cube sweet potatoes, put in pan and cook as you would mashed potatoes until tender. Drain.

3. While sweet potatoes are cooking, chop onion, garlic, and chiles and cook in oil in skillet until tender. Add cumin and cook a little bit longer, stirring well.

4. Put beans in mixer, start it on low. Slowly add sweet potatoes, then cilantro, lemon juice, salt, and lastly the onion mixture.

5. Heat tortillas briefly so they are warm for folding. (I used the microwave for about 30 seconds or so). Put some bean mixture on each tortilla, roll it up and lay on greased pan.

6. Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes. Serve with your choice of toppings.

With this recipe, using Gordita-sized tortillas, I was able to make 16 burritos. I probably could have filled them more, but I didn't want to make them so big my kids couldn't eat them! :)

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Chard...Groundhogs...and Tomatoes


The kids are gone camping and I got to fix myself an "adult" lunch today.

The Five-Color Silverbeets(aka Rainbow Chard) in the garden needs to be picked, so I decided that I would incorporate it into my lunch.

I picked about 5 large leaves of chard and washed them. I cut the stems to about 1/2" pieces and the leaves I cut/tore into pieces and set it all aside.

I also had 2 slices of bacon calling my name in the fridge.

I cut the bacon into pieces and cooked it in the cast iron skillet.

I then added 2 garlic cloves, minced and a splash of lemon juice to the skillet, followed by all of the chard. I stirred it up a bit and put a lid on it for 4 minutes.

When the timer beeped, I went in and took the lid off and stirred it and put it into a bowl.

That's all 5 large leaves! It really cooks down!

Yum!



On a side note, as I was going outside to take a pic of my lunch, I met a new *ahem* Friend.

This would probably explain the reason many of my tomatoes have been 'taste-tested' out in the garden! Argh!

Speaking of tomatoes, earlier this week I peeled, cored, seeded, chopped 17 lbs of tomatoes and made them into salsa and put it in the freezer in 2-cup increments, in quart freezer bags. I really did not want to deal with canning once I did all of that other work, especially at the height of allergy season and with a potential food allergen of mine. Just didn't want to push my luck too far. By the time I was finished, my nose was itchy and runny, but I wasn't miserable like the last time I canned tomatoes!

Today I am picking tomatoes, coring them, and putting about 9 or so in a gallon bag and freezing them and stacking them in the freezer. The less I have to deal with tomatoes during this allergy season the better. I fully expect my body to be able to handle making tomato sauce in the winter just fine, but don't want to push it for now. And I feel this method works fine for adding them to soups, making cabbage goulash, and probably even making spaghetti sauce. I take them out of the freezer and run them under warm water and the skins slip right off.
So far I have gotten 9 gallon bags of tomatoes.
Organic, home-grown tomatoes in the dead of winter. Double-Yum!

BioAllergenix-Human Body Scan

My allergies have been bothering me off and on, but it has been nowhere near how horrible I have felt in the month of August in OH for the past 5-6 years. And I am not taking any antihistamines unless I have a reaction that drives me nuts with the itching ears and throat(and that hasn't happened often).

The last couple of days I have found that I reacted to a few foods I have reintroduced and been doing fine with until recently. Now, the pollen counts are extremely high here and my environmental allergies are bothering me off and on(again-much better than any other year, but they are there), so I assume that my body fighting the environmentals might be what tips me over to the food reactions. They have for the most part been pretty short-lived. For the record, what I have reacted to(and not every time) is: apples, organic grapefruit, romaine lettuce(maybe), and tomatoes/peppers. Maybe garlic.

Last week, I went in and had ragweed, grasses, nettles, and chenopods, along with some other weeds re-treated with the BioAllergenix system. (I checked out Pollen.com to see what the dominant pollinators were when I was reacting, and did a little "scientific research" that involved finding the plants and exposing myself to them when I felt fine to see what happened. ;) ) I do think it is getting better, but there must be some other thing out there that I am allergic to that I haven't found out yet.

The doc wanted to do a scan that had some more pollens and such yesterday, but I decided I was more interested in the Human Body scan(what I previously mistakenly called the Total Body Scan). My thinking is that maybe there is something going on in my body that I am not responding to the treatments 100%.

In my understanding, the Human Body scan is scanning the different systems of the body, seeing how well they are working. I have no idea how it works or how it fixes things, but I figured it wouldn't hurt anything to go ahead and try it. These are NOT allergy-type things here now.

So, I did the Human Body scan and ended up with 8-9 things that came up. I won't bore you or embarrass myself with all the details, lol, but for most of the things I had an explanation or something I could put my finger on that related to what came up. I will give a few examples:

One of the things was the Temporal Bone, which is at your temple. It is associated with Temporomandibular joint disorder(TMJ), which I have had problems with off and on. Interestingly, on the way home, I felt that type of pressure in my face/jaw, but it went away in a short time.

The Omental Tenia also came up. I had no idea before what it was or what it did, and was enlightened as I looked online last night. It is an apron-like 'organ' in the body that covers the intestines. Interestingly, it has something to do with the immune system, digestion, healing, removing toxins...a whole host of jobs! Here's the site I found the most helpful info at: Omental Procedures

That's just two of the things that came up. I don't know how this works, but there has to be something to it! Even my chiro didn't know about all of these health issues I have had!(some of them even minor!)

Although I am still dealing with mild environmental allergies, I am still glad that I went with BioAllergenix. Things are so much better this summer than last summer! Last night was our Awana Carnival for the kids to kick off the new year. I have come to associate it with a pocketful of kleenex, a raw nose and throat, itchy throat, being hot and tired and wanting to just GO HOME already. Last year I could not eat any of the foods that they had available. Last night, I only had to blow my nose once and was able to have popcorn and a bit of cotton candy. I did have a bit of throat itching and have been tired, but I will take what I can get!

Praise the Lord for the blessings He gives me!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Things are looking up and BioAllergenix Visit

On Monday, we got back from our vacation to visit family in Colorado. Man, I miss the mountains!

I wondered before we went whether I would have problems with my allergies while I was in Colorado. I have been off of my allergy medications(store brand Claritin or Benadryl) for a few months now. I have only taken the Benadryl once or twice when I reacted to something I couldn't put my finger on but decided to nip it in the bud before it got too bad.

So, I did pack my Claritin and Benadryl just in case. I never did feel the need to use it, though, despite the Cottonwood trees and the sagebrush doing their thing, and it being haying season! I had a few brief bouts of runny nose and a few sneezes, and a few times that my throat/nose/eyes barely itched. But these came and went and other than using a tissue or two and using my NeilMed nasal rinse kit once or twice, I was fine as far as my allergies went!

The only thing I still have a sensitivity to that I can say for sure is chemical fragrances/smells. And those might just be normal reactions. I still have a bit of a hypersensitive sense of smell, and people's perfume makes my nose itch and throat/ears itch a bit sometimes. So does walking through the aisles full of cleaners or of pesticides and such in the stores.

When we came back to Ohio, I kind of came in fear and trepidation. I have dubbed August in Ohio as "Hell Month" because for about 5 years now every August has been completely horrible as far as allergies. It is when ragweed season starts, plus the corn plants begin to get moldy and who knows what else was a contributor. I spent the whole month of August in the last few years with completely clogged up sinuses that a rinse kit couldn't touch, taking Sudafed(the old kind) that just took the edge off, and still having itchy red watery eyes, itching ears, maddeningly itchy throat, sneezing, runny nose(yet clogged--how does that happen?). My skin even itched, even though there wasn't a rash to be seen! Just miserable. And this was when I was on daily antihistamines!

As a sidenote--My most horrible August allergy experience was 2 years ago when I decided to learn to can tomatoes. I didn't care if my "hayfever" was so bad, I was going to can those tomatoes! Horrible experience--hot, humid, no A/C......extremely itchy all over and runny nosed, miserable experience. Months later, I discovered I was allergic to tomatoes and FINALLY made the connection as to why I was even more miserable canning the darn things! Ugh!

Ok, back to the original topic--my allergies when we got back to Ohio.
My SIL is usually my barometer with the August allergies. I "fondly" remember after Ivy was born, SIL and I had what we *thought* was the most horrible cold of our lives and were standing in front of all the cold medicines in Meijer trying to find something we could take. We were both SO miserable and stuffed up and just felt horrible. Overall, though, her allergies haven't been nearly as bad as mine. She usually gets by on a little Benadryl when she needs it and has eaten *almost* whatever she wants with no problems, but come August she is almost as bad as me in the allergy department. The second thing I said to her when we came back and I saw her(the first was "Hi!") was "How are your allergies?" and her response was "Horrible! They have been bad all week!". I was glad...for me, not for her...because....


Da-da-da-Daaaa!

My allergies have so far been extremely minimal for this time of year! Nothing worth taking a Benadryl for or a daily Claritin. I have done the Neilmed nasal rinse once since we came back due to a little stuffiness but otherwise I am feeling pretty good! :)

Praise God! I don't know how the therapy I have been going through works, but it does seem to be working!


BIOALLERGENIX VISIT
I went to what I believe is my second-to-last BioAllergenix appointment for awhile, and then I will take a break and see how things go and maybe go in if I feel I am having any problems.

The testing I had done was an IgE scan, and they ran it on Mother tincture and on Total Tincture.

The things that came up were Poplar Trees, Sole Fish and Thyme(I knew there was a reason I didn't like thyme!).
I don't remember the last time I had sole, I tend to avoid thyme, and the poplar trees allergy might explain my slight off-and-on sneezing that I experienced just a little bit of while up in the mountains(aspen trees are in the same family).

So, I got treated for these and avoided them for the rest of the day.

I am so thankful to be feeling so much better than I have for some time. I don't remember a summer, EVER, not feeling miserable from allergies at some point(usually on a regular basis).

Praise God! :)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Glimpse of My Garden Produce


Here is what I picked out of the garden.
Royal Burgundy Bush Beans, Lazy Housewife Beans(these are horticultural), Cherokee Wax Bush Beans, a small Marketmore Cucumber, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Costata Romanesco and Golden Zucchini, and Five-Color Silverbeets(Rainbow Chard).

I'm cooking the chard now(boiling in small amount of water and plan to use a bit of cider vinegar and sugar when I serve it). I am also having the green beans, one of the Costata Romanesco zuchinni and the Yellow Crookneck, all fried in extra-virgin olive oil along with marjoram, parsley, basil and oregano from the herb garden and a clove of garlic and an onion from the store. Mmmmmmm....

I think I see Zucchini Brownies in my future!

Here's my dinner!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

BioAllergenix Protocol 4B

I just got back from being tested/treated for BioAllergenix Protocol 4B. It included various drugs(OTC, Rx, substances such as nicotine and caffeine... and ...not so legal stuff such as meth, cocaine and pot) as well as things having to with them, such as neurotransmitters that have to do with the whole body functioning properly.

The things that came up for me were:
Group 93 Trace Response-Calcium Channel (neurotransmitter)
Group 94 Trace Response-ADD (I've often wondered if I was borderline)
Loprox
Cialis
Group 103 Trace Response-ACT(Achetocholine inhibitor)
Marijuana


Same treatment as before, and nothing to avoid other than my calcium supplements. These aren't too hard to avoid.

I am feeling a LOT better lately. Sure, I have a few things I would like to see change still(who doesn't?), but I think I am almost to feeling NORMAL now! I have stopped making different meals for me and the family. I am still picky/careful about what we as a family eat, but we are all eating the same thing now. This is a BIG THING, and I'm sure others that have gone through this allergy thing or are going through it can truly understand.

Praise God!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More Chick Pictures :)

I got out there and took a few more chick pictures to post. These were taken two days ago, about a week after the previous pics. They grow so fast!

The Cornish Rocks--look at the legs on these guys!




The Delawares.

BioAllergenix Update

I have made it through all 13 of the Groups I needed to have treated in Procedure 1.

I also went through Procedure 2 testing, which amounted to LOTS of foods and things pertaining to foods and ended up having Smell Balance and Red Beans treated. I was able to have them treated at the same time, 3 days ago. I had to stay away from pungent odors and beans until the next day. Fairly easy to do.

This morning, I went in and had Procedure 3 testing done and ---gasp!---NOTHING CAME UP! It included inhalants/environmental things. On each of the Procedures, there is just SO MUCH that it covers, that it is impossible to describe it in a few sentences. There have been 17-26 different categories in each test, and many of those categories have more than one page of things it checks for.

Since nothing came up on Procedure 3, I was able to move on to Procedure 4. This Procedure is broken down into two different tests, so I just did the first one today. It included many drugs, as well as some emotional things as well. What came up for me was Zincum Cyanatum(a homeopathic that, had I a homeopathic doctor to go to, would likely have been prescribed for me because of how I have been feeling lately), Norgesic(Orphenadrine) -which, interestingly, happens to be related to Benadryl(diphenhydramine), and Group 76 Trace Response, which was Anxiety.

So I was treated for these things and just do a 4 hour fast.


I am almost done with allergy treatments for the time being. Since Wednesday, when I had the rest of the foods tested/treated, I have been cautiously reintroducing foods here and there. I had cherries for the first time in a long time. The first time I had them, I had mild palate itching/runny nose, but it went away and hasn't happened since when I have had them. I went to eat at the Dairy Freeze yesterday(for the first time in 2 years!) and did not react to a thing!

I have gone off of the Claritin completely(although I might bring it with me when we go to my sister's wedding in CO--just in case). Last week I did react to something that made me reach for the Benadryl. I will probably keep the Benadryl around just in case for awhile. Just because. I'm not sure whether sagebrush was on the list of things I have had tested/treated, and I suspect that is one of my triggers in CO.

There is another half of Procedure 4, then there is an IgE scan. There is an update they are going to get next weekend that includes a Total Body Scan, so that will likely be my last one for awhile. After that, I will take a month or so to let my body mellow out or kind of get used to the new balance and see how I feel and go from there.

Things are lookin' up! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

The Great Update

It's been awhile since I posted, so here I go with a Big Update.

The Cornish Rocks are growing like crazy. Some of them too much, IMO. We have had to put a couple down because they seem to have lost the use of their legs. We now have 30 chicks left of the original 49 that made it to us alive on delivery. I don't believe we will be ordering this breed again. There are just too many health problems and I feel it's not humane to encourage their production in buying them...plus we just lose SO MANY! Our other batches of chicks we have only lost one or two due to health problems. With these, I have lost count of the number that have died unexplained deaths. :-/

Here's how big they were last week, and my kiddos too. :)


The Delawares are growing and are so alert and inquisitive. Every time I go in to check on them, a few of them are perched on the edge of the horse trough they are in. I know it's time to move them very soon. We were able to find a new home for our 4 adult chickens last night, so once I get the coop cleaned out and the pesky rat problem taken care of, we plan to move them to their new home. :)

Here is a pic of the Delawares and our daughter last week and boy the Delawares have grown in the last week! I need to take another pic!

The garden has been keeping us busy as well. Here is a pic of the main veggie garden. This is the first year it has looked this neat. I guess having more time to be outside, along with religious mulching, really makes a difference!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Chicken Moving Day


The Cornish Rocks are just over 3 weeks old today, and were very crowded in their horse trough home in the hot shop and ready for a change. Randy made a chicken tractor this week from materials we had laying around the farm (how's that for frugality?) and I moved the Cornish Rocks to their new home this morning.


In case you are wondering why they are so ugly looking, it's because they are getting their adult feathers. A molting chicken isn't the prettiest thing you ever did see, is it?



Once I got the Cornish Rocks moved, I cleaned out the horse trough, put some more wood shavings in, and transferred our Delawares over to the horse trough. They seem to be happier with their new surroundings, and hopefully they won't be trying to escape from here like they were the galvanized tub!



So far, I am very impressed with the Delawares. We have not lost ONE chick in this group, and they are very friendly and inquisitive birds.


Just for kicks, here is a pic of our other 4 chickens. We plan on passing these birds on before the Delawares are ready to take over the chicken coop. (Any takers?) The two roosters are Easter Eggers(aka Americauna), one hen is a Silver Wyandott and the other is an Easter Egger mutt that lays brown eggs. We get from 0-2 eggs a day with these gals, usually 1 or 2.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Our Cornish Rocks...

Well, so far we are less than thrilled with our Cornish Rock chicks. This morning is the first day that I have gone in to find them all still alive. We had been finding one or two every morning that didn't make it through the night. I don't know whether it's due to having so many chicks in one space or if it is simply due to their genetic predisposition to not be nearly as hearty as a heritage breed. We've raised a few batches of chicks before these guys(at least 3, maybe 4?) and never had this bad of luck with chicks....

I believe we have 44 chicks now out of the 50 we ordered.

As per the instructions where we purchased them from, we started taking their food away at night and giving it back in the morning when they were 5 days old. Since doing that, we haven't had any more deaths(yet) so I don't know whether the other chicks were having heart attacks from eating too much or what.

That said, I think we will be leaning even moreso towards raising heritage chickens for meat in the future. Our Delaware chicks we are getting for egg production are supposed to be shipped on Monday, so we will see how they fare once we get them...hopefully better than the Cornish Rocks! And hopefully the Delaware's genetics are such that they lean towards the larger size of the breed and not the smaller side...

Just my two cents for today. :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Runzas


I made Runzas earlier today so that dinner would be ready when we got back from my Allergenix appointment this afternoon and I wouldn't have to deal with cooking then.

I got the recipe from my mom, who got it from my grandma. Mom made them quite often while we were growing up. I have no idea where Grandma got the recipe, but they are a fairly frugal meal, though time-consuming. I often double the recipe and freeze half of them for easy lunches and dinners.

Recipe:
Runzas
4 1/2 cups flour(I used King Arthur Organic Whole Wheat today)
1/2 cup sugar
2 pkg (1/4 oz each) yeast(or 5 tsp bulk yeast)
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup shortening(I used butter)
2 eggs

Filling:
1 pound lean ground beef
2 small onions, chopped
4 cups (or so) chopped cabbage
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In large mixing bowl, place 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast and salt.
Heat milk, water and shortening to 120*-130*. Pour over flour mixture. At this time, add the eggs. Beat mixture with electric mixer on low until blended. Beat 3 more minutes on high. Stir in remaining flour and knead until smooth and elastic(approx. 6-8 mins, less if you have a Kitchenaid mixer). Place dough in greased bowl, cover and let rise until double(1 hour).
Meanwhile, brown beef and onions in a skillet. Add cabbage, salt and pepper. Cook until cabbage is wilted.
Punch down dough: Take handfuls of it and roll out into a rough circle. Top with about 1/3 -1/2 cup of meat mix. Fold into triangles and place on greased baking sheets.
Bake at 350* for 20 mins or until golden brown.
Serve hot.

Makes about 12 Runzas, depending on how big you make them.

Notes: I had to add about 1/2 cup more flour today, probably because it's a pretty humid day. You may not have to.


I have been known to be short on time and have a hankering for Runzas and making a "Runza Pie" as well. I basically cook the meat/onion/cabbage mixture and spoon it into a pie pan and top with biscuit dough and bake. Easy and yummy! :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

We've got Chicks!


Bright and early this morning....well, it wasn't bright since the sun wasn't even up yet...*yawn*...but anyway, early this morning we got the call from the Post Office letting us know that our chicks had arrived and were ready to be picked up.

Randy did the honor of driving into town and picking them up, leaving me to wake up a bit and find the light, chick feeder and waterer and other accoutrements to accommodate the wee fellows.

We had ordered 50 male Cornish Crosses. What we got were 52 total, with 3 of them not making the trip alive. This is to be expected, I suppose. So, 49 chicks in all.

They are out in the shop in an old horse trough. Can I say I find it hilarious to watch them huddle together, their eyes in one collective droop, and then the whole group falls asleep and sways off to one side and then all their eyes pop open as they wake up, startled, and start the whole process again? So funny! They are eating and drinking well already--I am going to have to refill the feeder in a few hours, I think. I only filled it about half full to begin with, but guess they are hungrier than I thought!



So...we need to get on the ball with building the Chicken Tractor....and within the next 7-8 weeks or so, we are going to have to find a chest freezer to put half of these guys in (our friends are getting the other half). Then we get to eat Real Pastured Chicken for at least awhile(half the year at one chicken/week), provided things go well and good.

Cheep-Cheep!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Allergenix-What it's like

In my best understanding, the Allergenix system has four protocols, or large groups of allergens, for which you are tested. These are: General foods, Whole Foods, Inhalants and Medications(which I believe have two parts).

When I went in to my first Allergenix testing, I had to turn off my cell phone and take off all jewelry. I also had to be well hydrated, and drink a water solution with some sort of additive added to it(sorry, don't remember the name).

The woman put some KY-jelly stuff on each of my middle fingers and hooked these metal clamps (for lack of a better term) on them. The metal clamps were attached with plastic coated wire to the Bax3000 Allergenix box, which is connected to the computer. She then pulled up my profile and ran the scan of I believe 350 foods. The lights were turned off to help me relax and have an accurate reading. I sat there with my hands up and fingers not touching while it did the scan.

The 350 foods are broken down into I believe 12 or 13 groups and if you come up allergic to more than one food in a group, don't despair, as you can be treated for the whole group in one treatment.

Allergenix follows the guidelines of NAET more than AAT in that they want to treat eggs and dairy before they treat anything else, even if you don't prove to be allergic to these top two food allergens.

So, the first day I had egg treated. The second visit I had milk treated. When I have something treated, I have to avoid it in all forms(food, on skin, breathing) until the next morning(one sleep cycle). I also have to avoid going shopping or out to eat for that amount of time, due to risk of exposure to what I was treated for.

I was told I may react to the treatment for the next day after the treatment, but the reaction should be mild and after that the allergy should be gone.

You can have up to 2 treatments done in one day, as long as they are 4 hours apart. I was going to make 2 appointments a day for the next two weeks, but the secretary suggested we take it on a once a day basis and see if I am able to avoid the things when they are doubled up or not. For instance, my next two things to be treated are vitamin C and then B-vitamins. If I were to have these both done on the same day, I would probably have to fast for the rest of the day, and I'm not sure I want to do that. My blood sugar tends to run low without fasting!

So, there's my little synopsis of Allergenix. :)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

From AAT to Allergenix

It has been awhile since I have posted about my allergy treatments. My apologies! I have been busy finishing reading The Unhealthy Truth, planting the garden, and taking care of the kids full-time now that they are out of school. :)

My last allergy I had treated was Cat Dander. I was warned that this one very often has trouble holding. I'm not sure whether it held or not, but the cats aren't driving me nuts so maybe...


As I have mentioned earlier in my blogging, my AAT doc was getting the Allergenix system and I have started on that. It is a flat fee for the year to do the Allergenix, and I think I would have spent that flat fee on doing the rest of my allergens through AAT, especially if I had to have some treated more than once. So, last week I had the first Allergenix testing done, along with one treatment, and I went in on Tuesday this week and had the next treatment done.

So, just letting my readers know that I have switched over to Allergenix. If I am having some difficulty still, and we can't find it on the Allergenix system, I can hop over to the AAT system and pull up individual allergens and do the strength testing and treat them that way. From what I understand, the Allergenix system doesn't allow the user to do that.

More about Allergenix later! :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Book Review: The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O'Brien

If you or a loved one has or suspects they have food allergies or sensitivities, you owe it to yourself and them to pick up a copy of The Unhealthy Truth by Robyn O'Brien.

Written in much the same mindset as Seeds of Deception, Omnivore's Dilemma, and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, O'Brien takes the topic of food even further with even more studies and helpful information for the allergy sufferer. She also makes it personal, as the information she found and shares in this book pertains to her own children's health and the health of the coming generations.

The fact that carries through the entire book is that food in other countries is far better than is our food in the United States, but it doesn't have to be that way. Our American food contains additives that are banned in other countries(even Russia!) due to the studies that have shown links to disease and the response of citizens saying they don't want this "junk" in their food. McDonald's and Walmart have taken the "junk" out for other countries, but continue to add them to food for people in the United States. In addition, much(can I say Most?) of our food is Genetically Modified/Genetically Engineered and we have no idea, since it does not have to be labeled as such in the United States! There have been studies with links to diseases such as cancer, allergies(could the increase in allergies be due to the GMO's in our foods?), and even obesity linked to GMO's. Yet our government continues to use them and not label them. O'Brien suggests the reason other countries mandate GMO's to be labeled while the United States government does not label GMO's has to do with the differing health care systems. Ours tends to be money-driven, and the more sick people there are, the more money the pharmaceutical companies will get to treat the sick people, so there is no incentive to label GMO's even though they have been proven to cause health problems.

Would we like to make an informed decision when we shop? Then we need the foods containing GMO's to be labeled, so we can decide whether to subject our bodies(or those of our children) to them.

In addition to the GMO issue, O'Brien also tells of her frustration with Monsanto and the Food Allergy and Anaphlaxis Network(FAAN), issues with soy(whether GMO or not), rBGH hormones added to milk, as well as the other colorings and artificial flavors and such added to our foods. She gives helpful advice on how a family can "wean" themselves (or their kids) from the unhealthy foods to healthy foods and healthier bodies.

I admit to feeling ever more jaded now after reading The Unhealthy Truth, but I'd rather have the facts and operate on those than to shop with ignorance and pay with the health problems in myself and my family. We cannot depend on the government to watch out for us. The government seems to have "make money" as its' top priority, rather than having healthy citizens. We need to watch out for ourselves, and we need to arm ourselves with the information to do so.

One sentence really stood out to me as I finished this book: "Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good." It is better to do something and take a step away from all of the meddling that has been done to our foods, than it is to freeze and do nothing. Good advice. A little change is better than no change at all.

Having read The Unhealthy Truth, I have found ever more reason to take another step away from the conventional American diet. I hope my health, and the health of my family, will be the better for it in the long run!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

AAT- Flowers

At my most recent AAT appointment, I had Flowers treated. Let me just say, mowing the lawn today was a much more pleasant experience than it has been for some time!(Ever???) And to actually be able to SMELL the freshly cut grass (and dandelions and weeds...) and not start with the itchy throat and sneezing?!? Mmmmmmm..... I did have some mild congestion and very mild palate itching by the time I was done mowing for about an hour, but NOTHING NEAR what my experience has been in the past.

My AAT doc is getting the Allergenix system in the very near future, and I am looking forward to being able to see all of my allergens on one page(I hope!) and to not use up so much time with the strength testing. Having a list will really help me to prioritize which allergens to have treated in what order, and to better decide when I am satisfied enough to be done. :)

In what I have observed in myself, I think these will be the next things I will have treated:

Coconut-this is currently the hardest thing for me to avoid, though not nearly as difficult to avoid as corn. It is in soaps, shampoos and lotions, as well as being a popular ingredient in many food items---read: palm oil.

Nightshades-tomato, peppers, potato, eggplant, etc. I miss real pizza and spaghetti and salsa!

Garlic-along with Asparagus, which I had on Sunday and reacted to with slight nausea, a hot/flushed feeling and stomach pains and had work through my system with the symptom of my back and legs itching a lot the last few days. :-/ I could do with avoiding Asparagus, but I sure do miss my garlic!

And the following that don't always bother me/may have already been taken care of:
Celery, Cauliflower, Berries(that I eat off and on-I think it is the Rose family ones that get me if I overindulge), Nuts, Stone Fruits



In trying to decipher what exactly it was that bothered me on Sunday, I had my doc run through the food suspects and came up with the Asparagus as what I am allergic to. I had him check me for garlic(allergic), onion(not allergic and have been eating w/no ill results), mushroom(not allergic! so I have added it back in and feel fine with it) and nightshades(allergic).


Here's looking forward to my visit next week and I am hoping they have the Allergenix system up and running by then!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Chicken Breasts and Veggies on the Grill


So I finally went to the store yesterday. I tend to hold out until I just cannot stand it any longer, and I have to be in the right mood to go with the kids(who are usually with me pretty much wherever I go). So, yesterday was it.

I was in the mood for veggies, so I went to the store that I think has the best produce: Kroger. I could have gone to Meijer, but I was really not up to the HUGE store and navigating through it with all of the extra non-grocery impulse items there. So, Kroger it was.

I got a whole cartload of fresh fruits and veggies, frozen turkey breasts that were on sale, some tuna and some burgers for the grill, and then a bunch of frozen veggies and some whole grain bread/buns. The checkout lady was very impressed with my selections and made a comment (with raised eyebrows, lol) on how we are eating healthy. I did break down and let Ivy pick out some apricots, but held her off of the Barbie fruit snacks(whew!).

So anyway, I was in the mood to grill last night and this is what I did:

I had some chicken breasts in the freezer--less than a pound, but I figured I could stretch it to feed our family of 5.
I threw these in a bowl, poured some extra virgin olive oil, lime juice, rosemary, and sweet oregano from my herb garden and salt and pepper and let them sit there for about an hour.

These went out to the grill in my new 'grill wok', lest some of my precious chicken fall through the grate to the coals.

Once the chicken was done, I threw in a bag of green/wax beans, about 1/2 a pound of sliced mushrooms(which I recently added back to my diet!) and a purple onion chunked up. I also put some of the chicken marinade on them, figuring if there were any bad germs in there, they would be good and cooked when all was said and done. ;) So, the veggies had the olive oil mix on them as well.

I also got some corn on the cob from Kroger and Ivy did a very good job of shucking it for me. :) They were pretty cheap and a good preview for the summer! I could have done these a la my sister-in-law and left them in part of the husks(minus the little silks) so they wouldn't turn black, but I was fine with keeping Ivy busy for awhile and doing without the husks. ;)

I also made coleslaw to fill out the meal. Sorry, it's not pictured, but amounted to a head of purple cabbage chopped up, a bit of leftover onion from the fridge, and a chopped up carrot. Dressing was sugar, apple cider vinegar, oil, mustard and salt.


This was a very yummy meal, if I do say so myself! I hope to do it again in the next week or two!

Cost breakdown:
Chicken: $1.67
Corn on the Cob: $.94
Frozen Green/Wax Beans: $2.29
Purple Onion: $.50
1/2 lb Mushrooms: $1.50

Purple Cabbage: $1.52
1 Carrot: $.25

Extra Virgin Olive oil, lime juice, spices, leftover onion, etc. Let's say $1. I don't have any idea exactly how much these all cost, but they were already in my kitchen and are usually all readily available. :)

So...that comes to: $9.67, plus I have a TON of leftover coleslaw to serve for another meal!

Sure beats eating out! :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Ordering Chicks!

After much research and pondering, we finally decided on a dual-purpose breed of chicken to raise that we can use for both egg production and for meat.

Drumroll please.....................Delawares!

Delawares used to be one of the standard breeds used for meat production in the 1940s and 50s before the Cornish Rock/Cornish Cross breed was developed and became the standard meat chicken. They also lay huge brown eggs. The Delawares do, however, have some variability in body size, depending on which hatchery you order them from. So, rather than risk getting some skinny meat chickens, we decided to order Delaware hens and then some Cornish Rocks for the meat chickens this year. We might just get a rooster with the hens anyway, and if so, all the better. If we like the size of our hens, we will likely raise our own meat chickens from eggs next year.

We plan to let our egg layers free range - at least when our garden is not at its prime. During that time they will be confined within the fence of the chicken coop and let out occasionally(usually in the late afternoon/evenings) when we can watch them and minimize damage to the garden.

Our meat chickens will go into chicken tractor(s) a la Joel Salatin.

I ordered the chicks yesterday from Welp Hatchery, which I have heard good things about from the BackYard Chickens Forum. I had to search quite a few places to find a place that still offered Delawares, but was glad to have finally found them! So, hopefully within the next week or so we will get the early morning call to pick them up from the post office and I will have pictures of the little cheepers soon!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

AAT-Tree Pollen

Yesterday I went to my AAT appointment with hopes that my Wheat/Grains have been holding. It is(yeah!) so we moved on to some other things.

The doc tested me for heavy metals, which I had done some reading on in the last week or so after having to be retreated for Wheat/Grains. Apparently, there may be a link there with hard cases and having to be retreated. I seemed to test fine for the heavy metals, though, so that was a relief. He pretty much held the vials of the metals to my abdomen and did strength testing. He also tested my liver points, yeast/fungus and it all is looking good.

Once we got that done, he asked how I was doing symptomatically. I told him I am on the end of a cold, but have noticed obvious allergy symptoms now that the trees and lilacs have really started blooming. It turns out lilacs fall under "Flowers" with AAT, so we let the computer prioritize between Trees and Flowers and Trees won without a doubt. So, I had trees treated.

It took some time to get through the many many different tree families. I think we ended up with 9 families to treat, and then after that we had to break down some of the families to the little components and then have those treated. Of the 9 families of trees, I remember the following: Cottonwood(no surprise there!), Black Walnut, Scrub Oak, Sycamore, Yew, Cherry and Arborvitae(or something like that). I pretty much held my breath on the way to the van and then on the way to the house.

From here on out, I get to pick and choose what I want treated and when! At the top of my list is Coconut, as that is the hardest thing for me to avoid now, followed by nightshades, garlic, mushrooms, nuts, legumes, and some veggies and fruits.

Oh, and my AAT doc is getting his Allergenix system in 3 weeks, so perhaps I will hold out until then to go back.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Allergies and Ear Infections in Children

Since this topic came up recently with a friend of mine, I thought I would give my experience here as well.

When my daughter, Ivy, was between the ages of one and two years old, she had chronic ear infections. Sometimes I would be oblivious of the fact, since she has a high pain tolerance, and the doc would diagnose her when we were at the office for another reason.

Mind you, this was occurring before I became aware of how many allergies I actually had.

Anyhow, they persisted even through FIVE rounds of antibiotics, starting with the usual Amoxicyllin and working up to the Augmentin. Once we got to the Augmentin(twice), the family doc finally gave up and referred us to an ENT.

The ENT had Ivy's hearing tested, and she was indeed having some difficulty hearing everything. Not enough to be overly worried about, but enough to keep a close eye on.
We then had the ENT actually look in Ivy's ears, and sure enough he could tell she had obviously been going through a LOT of trauma due to the infections. He recommended putting tubes in her ears ASAP but could tell that I wasn't too hip on that idea if there was another option. I asked him about food allergies and his opinion on them in relation to chronic, persistent ear infections. He responded that he had actually seen a case in which the child was allergic to milk and had chronic ear infections and when the milk was taken out of his diet the infections went away. He was a bit skeptical at that point, as the ear infections came back a few months later, but his skepticism vanished when the mother figured out that the child was getting cheese at daycare(the daycare provider had figured that "a little wouldn't hurt"). Once the dairy(cheese) was eliminated from the diet, the chronic ear infections again went away.

The ENT suggested I go off of dairy myself(I was still nursing her at that time) and take Ivy off of all dairy. We did this, and at the next month's checkup, her ears were healed and her hearing was back to normal! The ENT and I were both thrilled with these results, and we obviously didn't get the tubes put in. Ivy and I both continued to be dairy-free until around June of the following year(about 6-7 months).

Once Ivy's ears were healed, I did use xylitol for Ivy as was used in this study. I used the powdered form purchased from the health food store, and figured out the proper dosage. I fed it to her from a spoon. Even now I give her gum with xylitol if she is fighting a cold(as that is what usually precedes the infections). I also gave her Sambucol to help boost her immune system if she seemed to be fighting something. If I was fortunate to find it, I gave her the Sambucol with Echinacea for 3 weeks, then the regular for a week, then rotated back to the Sambucol with Echinacea. You don't want to take Echinacea continually, because it loses its immune boosting power if you do.

Since that year(2007), Ivy has only had one ear infection(a year ago last April). She does get dairy now, but I cut way back if she is fighting a cold or other illness. I don't push the milk; she gets maybe a cup a day, if that. We do have kefir, yogurt and cheese, but not everyday.


I had suspected milk allergy in my second son, Hunter, as he also had a lot of ear infections as a toddler. I didn't have the knowledge of allergies behind me, though, to figure it out and help him better. I wish I had, and had been able to keep him from going through those painful times!

At the next visit to our family doctor, I reported our experience with the ENT and the success of avoiding the tubes simply through avoiding dairy in our diets. She replied, saying most people would rather just get the tubes than have to worry about what their kids are eating all the time. Wow. People would rather put their kids through (unneccessary, in the case of allergies) minor surgery(that carries risks) and antibiotics that further compromise the immune system just for their own convenience? Talk about treating the symptoms of the illness rather than dealing with the underlying problem! I am betting that those who ignore(or are ignorant of) the allergies will have it creep up later in life. An ignored problem doesn't always go away; it often has a habit of showing up somewhere later on...often more serious and harder to deal with.

As a sidenote--I think there is a correlation to my kids' ear infections and to the introduction of milk products at 1yo. I was still nursing when my kids were that age, so I didn't give them plain milk, but they were getting other milk products at that time, and that's when the ear infection problems started. So, that said, if you have allergy issues in your family, I'd recommend waiting way past the 1 year mark to introduce dairy products, as milk is the most common allergen in babies and children.