Thursday, December 16, 2010

Got Leftover Pork Roast? Make Green Chili!

I made Pork Roast with potatoes and onions the other night and for some reason the kids were just not that into it.

Rather than try to get them to eat it in the same form (again), I decided to do something different.

I made Green Chili.

I don't have an actual recipe, but all I did was put the remaining roast(maybe 3 servings worth, if that) in a soup pan (yes, this is the one I use and the same kind mom used when I was growing up, it was also known as the "macaroni and cheese pan") and break it up. I also threw in the odd pieces of potato and onion and the juices from the roast pan.
To the leftover meat/veggies, I added a can of green chilies, some water to rinse out the chili can, a can of drained, rinsed navy beans, some cumin(maybe 1 teaspoon +), a sprinkling of oregano and dried cilantro, and salt.

I let this simmer for a bit and voila! Green Chili!

I added a dollop of Daisy Sour Cream, because everything's better with a dollop of Daisy, right? ;)


Friday, December 10, 2010

Healthier Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

I have been hard pressed the last few years to find a homemade hot cocoa mix that was both yummy AND free of hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated creamer, lots of additives and loads of sugar. Oh, and I want to be able to just scoop out mix, pour hot water, stir and drink. I don't want to bother with heating milk on busy school mornings.

I recently stumbled upon this solution and thought I would share it with you.

Healthier Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix

You will need:

1 16 oz can of Ghirardelli Premium Hot Cocoa (I used Chocolate Mocha)
1 9.6 oz box of Carnation Instant Nonfat Dry Milk

A container in which all of the above will fit. (I used an empty 54 oz. Nutiva Coconut Oil container.)

I find it quite convenient that both the cocoa and the dry milk contain 12 servings. :)
Dump the cocoa and the dry milk into your empty container, put the lid on securely, and hand to a child to shake as they jump on the mini trampoline.

Use a heaping 1/3 cup per mug of hot water(exact measurement would be 1/3 cup plus 4 TBSP).

Now you have a fairly healthy hot cocoa mix--just add hot water!


According to my calculations with the nutrition facts, each serving contains:
Calories from fat: 15
Total fat: 1.5g
  Saturated fat: 1g
  Cholesterol: 5 g
Sodium: 185mg
Total Carbohydrate: 45g
  Dietary Fiber: 2g
  Sugars: 40g
Protein: 10g

I would be willing to bet you could do something similar with dry whole milk or alternative powdered milk mixes but I have not tried that yet and of course, the nutrition facts would be different.

If you want a little bit more of a "creamy" drink, you could add a smidge of half and half. But I'd be willing to bet you probably won't feel the need with this mix.

I think this would be good to give as a gift---simply package up in (decorated?) jars with a nifty handwritten card with instructions.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Homemade Spreadable Butter without Trans-fats

I have been frustrated trying to find a product that is spreadable yet truly trans-fat free. Plus I want a product that is soy-free AND affordable.

Land O Lakes Butter with Olive Oil is a good choice, though fairly expensive in my book.

I have been also able to find Soy-Free Earth Balance. But, it still has a lot of additives I would rather avoid, and it doesn't spread very well out of the fridge.

 Here is a little tip I wanted to share for anyone looking for an alternative. It's great because you get to choose your own butter(organic, raw, regular, etc) and your own oil(I use Bertolli extra virgin olive oil-you may want to use a milder tasting oil).

All I do is get out my Bella Cucina Rocket Blender - 10029 and put in a stick of room temperature butter and 1/2 cup of oil. Blend until combined and creamy, pour into a container with a lid and put in the fridge. Voila! You have spreadable butter right out of the fridge!

Now, off to make grilled cheese sandwiches for the kids...

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Writing on Helium is a site where writers can go and practice their craft. I've only stuck my toe in the water, but hope to write more in the near future.

Here is a link to my latest contribution, a poem about my miscarriage.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

How to Dehydrate Apples: Using my new Excalibur Food Dehydrator

Aah, the smell of apples and cinnamon! Who needs chemical room fresheners when you can have the real thing and eat it too?

Apples are fairly inexpensive this time of year.  I picked up about 12 pounds the last time I went to the store.

Last week, I sliced up some of the apples and put them in my new Excalibur Food Dehydrator.  They turned out quite tasty and all but one of the kids loves them (as do I!). Dried apples make a great nutritious take-along treat for backpacks and to keep in the vehicle for the "I'm hungry" mantra I seem to hear a lot lately. Packing a little something in the car has often saved me a (unhealthy and expensive) trip through the drive-through.

The process is quite simple: Wash the apples (I try to get unwaxed apples if I can), core them and slice about 1/4".  I sprinkled them with Simply Organic Cinnamon(a Frontier product, also available at Meijer) and popped them into the dehydrator.

Some may choose to put sodium bisulphite or citric acid or some other anti-browning agent on their apples. I choose not to use these things because they are not necessary, are highly processed and are one more thing I don't need to be putting in my body. I don't care if the apples are beige rather than pristine white--and the cinnamon rather negates the whole idea anyway. 

I dried my apples for 11 hours at about 130*. If you are a raw foodie, you can do them at up to 125* for a longer period of time (specific instructions are included in the Excalibur book that comes with the dehydrator) , until they are dry and leathery, pliable but not brittle.. There should be no crispness when you bite into them.

Testing the warm cinnamon-y apples before they are done is a treat, too! And far fewer calories than apple pie!

The timer on my dehydrator makes it so easy to use. My apples got done in the middle of the night, the timer turned the dehydrator off and my apples cooled by morning so I could jar them up.

Each tray held one pound of apples. I did 5 pounds yesterday and they all fit in a gallon jar.

I wonder what I shall try drying next? I think I need to go find some more apples...

Monday, November 15, 2010

My first Chiropractic adjustment

I FINALLY went in today for my first ever chiropractic appointment. I've been toying around with the idea for over a year, since I know the immune system is connected to so many different parts of the body and I'd wondered whether I had something out of whack(how's that for a proper term?) and that was why I keep having to go in for "tune-ups" for allergies.

I'll spare you all the details, but the main part of my appointment I wish to report on is my shoulder/neck/jaw issues. What finally pushed me to make the appointment is that I have been dealing with minor TMJ and bruxism and last week my dentist told me I need to do something because my teeth are getting damaged. The dentist offered to make a mouth guard to the tune of over $200, but admitted that it wouldn't cure the grinding--it would only prevent more damage to my teeth.

I wanted to address the problem at the root, both to try to prevent more TMJ damage and to avoid wearing the dreaded mouth guard at night. I had braces as a teenager and STILL have dreams about wearing the stupid head gear and retainer! I absolutely hated those things and don't ever want to go back if I have any choice whatsoever.

I've had neck/head/shoulder tension for over 10 years. A year or two ago, a friend who does massage worked on my neck for over an hour but couldn't get it to loosen up and commented on the tension in the shoulders as well.

Turns out, the immune system is closely connected to the first rib(which was out). So, there very well might be a connection there.

So...we'll see how things go these next few weeks now that I've had that whole area adjusted.

I also got what I dubbed as a "free sample"(lol) of the Bax Aura. I don't recall what the handheld device's full name was, but they referred to it as a PTL. There is a program in it that is specific to TMJ and that was used on me as well. It has a laser-light that is shined(shone?) on the different points, just as the laser with the Bax3000 is used.  I am the second patient with this chiro to have the PTL used for that purpose, and the first patient was seriously considering surgery and had this done and has so far avoided surgery since it's gotten so much better.

Here's to good health! :)

Saturday, November 13, 2010


This week I went in for a "tune-up" once my body had settled down from all the stress and stuff.  I just had a couple minor things to treat, but while I was there I was introduced to the BaxAura.

Let me tell you, this machine is amazing! I was impressed with it just with the 5 minute conversation about it. From what I understand, the machine tests with a cuff much like a blood pressure cuff rather than the finger clips used by the Bax3000. It also has the ability to make homeopathic remedies! It can also tie physical problems to emotional stuff that happened in the past.

We don't have the resources to put toward treatments with this system, but boy would I love to do it and post about it!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Many thanks for your thoughts and prayers

The Lord has been good to us.  These last months I have been awash in the prayers of friends. God has given me a peace that passes understanding and while I don't completely understand why we lost our wee one, I know that one day we will meet that child in Glory.

It has been said that never is heaven so real than when you have a loved one that has gone there before you. This is so true! I lost my grandmother a month(almost to the day) before our baby died. So, I imagine grandma up there caring for my babe until I make it up there one day. I have no idea whether it works that way, but it's a comforting thought.

The last 6-7 months have been the most stressful our family  has gone through so far in our lives.  But the Lord has carried us through the storm and been with us all the way. There were days that I just wanted to wallow in grief, but He beckoned to me through the darkness and has brought me closer to Him.

I have learned some things about myself through this (not all of which I shall share online in the public domain). I have had my perspective on life changed and my view of the world around me sharpened a bit.  I have had certain things whittled away from my life(style) and hopefully I won't be trying to glue it all back on, because that just wouldn't be pretty. (Why do we try to put back what the Lord has taken from us? Wouldn't we rather be a masterpiece than a damaged piece of stone?)

In the midst of my grief, I was amazed at how the Lord made Himself known to me. The beauty of the world around me---the deep blue sky and bright pure white clouds nearly brought me to tears one day. Something we usually take for granted and don't even notice as we rush through daily life.

I need to take more time for the Lord and in His word, the Bible. There is so much to learn there.  There is much to be discovered in simply being still....and knowing He is God.  I am learning to listen for the still small voice of God in this busy world...and to do my best to do what He says.

I need to feed my me that very much includes music, reading/writing, creating, and finding time to be by myself.  Much as I love my family, I am an introvert and need that time alone to recharge.

I found it very healing one day as I was out near my plants and propagating...bringing new life from the old plants.  I enjoy gardening anyway, but found this act to be very symbolic. (I do that--see symbolism in things most people wouldn't notice. Don't know if it's just how I am, or if it's been ingrained in my with my English major education and reading and etc...)

I know this is all quite random, but I just wanted to post a little update. The Lord is at work--may we allow Him to do in us as He wishes!

As a friend posted the other day: If you are not willing that God should have his way with you, then, in the name of God, be miserable--until your misery drive you to the arms of the Father.

I find a lot of truth in that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Please excuse my hiatus from the blog...

We lost the baby and I ended up having a D&C and am currently recovering from that. Also, the same week of the surgery, our computer broke down.
I hope to be back up and running and blogging more regularly soon!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pregnancy, Hiatal Hernias and Pesky Old Mold

Yep, that about sums it up, folks!

My gastro symptoms skyrocketed even more last night and I finally took a Pepcid Complete, which did help.  That was a relief, since I was beginning to wonder if I was reacting to something allergy-wise and inching towards anaphlactic shock or something. I've never had that experience(nor do I ever want to) so I am not exactly sure what it is like.  So, yes, a relief when the Pepcid did some good.

I went in to the chiro/BioVeda doc today and told her all my sorrows. ;)
She determined that I had a hiatal hernia causing a lot of my problems and adjusted me for that. I got some relief from that immediately(Praise God!). From my understanding, the stomach is attached to the uterus, (among other things) and as the uterus is moving with the progression of the pregnancy, it is pulling things all akimbo and that is why it was getting worse. Glad to have that figured out!

I also picked up some Multizyme digestive enzymes, so hopefully in a few days my guts and I will be happy. :)

My allergic reactions that are here and there are to Pesky Old Mold. I did not get treated for it today. Instead, I am going to set the bowls of water around the house again and get an idea of what room(s) are safe for me to camp out at after my next treatment(for the other rooms/areas).

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Fall Allergies....They're Baaaack!

Yesterday was the first cool fallish day.  It was the first day that, according to, Ragweed, Grasses and Nettles are almost in full pollination mode. And it's only supposed to get worse the next few days. :(

Yesterday was the first day that my allergies were really beginning to bother me. This is good in view that yesterday the pollen count was at a 9.4 on a scale of 12. Before AAT and BioAllergenix/BioVeda, if it was even registering, I was reacting.  A few nights ago, I started taking one Benadryl before bed because I would wake up in the night with my throat itching. We have a box fan in the window and something must pollinate at night. If anyone has any ideas what it might be, please tell me!

Last night was the pits--I took 2 Benadryl because my sinuses were completely clogged and the Neilmed Sinus Rinse bottle couldn't break through. (I should have started earlier with the usually works like a charm)  I woke up a lot with the itchy throat/runny nose. I find that if I can get a handle on it and not rub my throat with my tongue(how's that for a word picture?), it helps it not to get worse.  Sort of a mind over matter thing.   If I give in to the urge, it gets much worse and spreads to my ears itching and more copious drainage. Grrr.

I am going in tomorrow for some muscle testing/treatment. I had originally made the appt to see if there could be something done about this weird feeling in my throat that I think is due to reflux/acid from the pregnancy and possibly a response to my toothpaste or our water.... Guess we'll see what we can find out about the pollen, too, although I have no idea how I can successfully avoid it when the air is practically saturated with it.

I have a feeling that whatever the pollen is that I'm reacting to, is something I've had problems with my whole life. Something, like the tomato problems I still have(though they are now very minor), I will likely deal with my whole life to some degree.

In the meantime, I took a Claritin this morning to hopefully take the edge off.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

How the Chickens are Doing....and an Announcement

Well, we have returned from the trip to Colorado for my grandmother's funeral.

The new chicken pen/tractor thing worked out ok for the attacking rooster problem, but I still prefer to have them out in the big pen/coop where they can run around more and eat more bugs/vegetation/scraps and they don't make a mess of their water.

We shall see what happens with it. So far, I have declared dh to be the chicken caretaker because....

I am pregnant! I decided that my stomach cannot handle concentrated chicken poo smell at this time.

I don't know whether this pregnancy will be any different than my other 3 pregnancies, what with the allergies being treated and all.  I have not gone to the doc yet, but plan to bring up my prior allergy experiences.  Although I have done well with most things for months now, I really hesitate to get pumped up full of corny junk from the IV's (all but the pure saline contain corn). The last birth I did naturally, so I (think) I am going to try going that route again.....(although the epidural is sooooo tempting!). The natural route will minimize exposure to corn, that is for sure.

And no, I really am not entertaining home birth as an option, and there are no birthing centers near enough to do me any good.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Small Backyard Chicken Pen

We have a mean rooster. The kids named him, but I'm not sure I should post his name on here. The kids don't get why I don't want them to tell the people at church what the rooster's name is.....but awhile back some other kids from church were visiting with their families and THEIR kids came up with the same name! (At least it's not just MY kids....I find some comfort there).

The what a mean rooster might do to one's finger if you were to stick it at him. Starts with a P. Ends with -er.  Got it? ;)

So anyway, if we are ever going to leave for a few days, we need to have someone come take care of our animals. No one wants to run away from the rooster(as my SIL did when dh told her a few years ago a different rooster wouldn't bother her--ornery!). No one on Craigslist wants the lovely heirloom breed Delaware rooster. We really don't want to kill him and eat him until we get another (nice) Delaware rooster. So we're stuck with him.

My husband gathered some scrap wood and fencing and such he had collected and got busy building. I got to do the honors of painting. :)

Here is what he came up with:

I am trying that water bottle to see if the rooster can figure it out. So far he is just pecking at it ever so often. It said it was for birds as well as rabbits and such.....I know there are nipple-type waterers available for poultry but haven't seen any IRL yet to see how much they cost. He also has that pan of water in the corner, but I'd like to take it out and give him a bit more room.

I've got a chick feeder in there that is serving the purpose...unless it rains.  I am certainly open to suggestions there too.  I would prefer to have something fairly waterproof that I can fill from the outside and that won't necessitate my opening the door of the pen every day to fill.

Here is a look at the inside, the best I could get. There are a few boards there for roosts, and a door on the far end to collect eggs. I have since put the hens in but they've yet to figure out to lay their eggs in the right place. (bummer)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Still hanging in there

I apologize, once again, for not posting more often.  In a way, that is a good thing since things have been going well for me allergy-wise. I rarely have a reaction now.  The last time I remember having any type of reaction was after my last post in the late spring when the farmers were fertilizing/using pesticides in the fields. I am not sure which it was, as I was exposed at my house(surrounded quite literally by corn and soy fields) and in town at and in Meijer(gotta love all the junk out in the main aisles in the springtime!

That reaction consisted of intense brain fog and inability to concentrate and some body aches and stiffness. I did take Benadryl when I realized what was going on, closed all my windows and doors and became a hermit for the day. By the next day, I was better. Whew!

I still have not gone back in to get tested/treated for pesticides/herbicides/fertilizers. I guess because it's not bothering me anymore and I've been too busy to schedule an appointment.

What has previously been my most horrible time of year is soon to come---Ragweed season in August. I wait, in trepidation, to see what is going to happen and how my body will respond this year.

I am under quite a bit of stress these last weeks as I am losing my grandmother to ovarian cancer quite soon.  So, this might effect how my body responds to previous allergens.  We shall see.....the Lord will carry me through, come what may. I pray He will have mercy on my grandma and draw her to His loving arms soon. <3

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Welcome to my new readers!

It looks like I may have a few more readers in the next few days.

If you are interested in my story from the beginning, please start from the beginning of my blog. :)

It took me awhile to finally write my story and to post it--I was spending so much time avoiding everything and finding what I COULD eat and do that I had very little time to write. It was only after my treatments with AAT and then BioAllergenix(BioVeda) that I had true relief and could finally type it all out to share with others.

I hope and pray that in sharing my experiences, others will be helped and will experience the positive life-changing experience that I have had(been having). It is just phenomenal.

I just said to someone the other day, in giving them my story, that even if the treatments only last a few years and I then need more treatments, it is still worth it. It is worth the dollars I paid to have the time I have had so far with the greatly improved quality of life.

Some may say "Wow, I bet you are glad you can go back to eating like you used to!". My response is to say that I have been forever changed by this allergy experience. I am thankful to have gone through it, because without it I may not have ever researched what we eat like I did during that time  and continue to do even now. It is quite an eye-opener when you realize how much of our food is highly processed or contains highly processed ingredients--even though to the naked eye it looks fine. (ever try avoiding corn or soy?) I also have learned about Genetically Modified foods and how they have permeated our food.

Genetically Modified foods are my bandwagon issue right now. I have a sneaking suspicion that the GM foods are messing with our bodies(and our children's bodies) because our immune systems just don't know how to handle the mutated food. So far, perhaps only the immune compromised/weaker of our people are being effected...the children and those prone to allergies and sensitivities.   What's going to happen next? I don't I try to avoid GM in myself and my kids, though I know it's nearly impossible in today's culture.  It just floors me that a company can continue pushing this technology, even knowing the deaths it is causing and the harm it is causing to the environment and how it is limiting our future food supply. I think it's all about Money and Power.... *sigh*

So, No, I don't want to go back to how I used to eat, because my eyes have been opened to what is in and on our food and I don't want that for our family.   I still read labels because I want to be informed. But now I can get away with the occasional potluck where I don't know what everything has in it, where before I would have had to avoid everything on the potluck table and bring my own foods and hope the smells of the foods on the table, or someone's perfume or the fabric softener on their clothes didn't set off my allergies.  I have much more freedom these days.

So, here's to my readers. I hope you find my blog informative and that in sharing my experiences I can in turn help you to better your life.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

BioAllergenix/BioVeda and How I'm Doing

I am doing pretty well. I had a few weeks  that I would have off-and-on environmental flareups, but they were few and far between and nowhere near as bad as in previous years. Even last year, as I was beginning treatments,  it was a near-constant battle.

I recently tried a radish from our garden and seemed to do fine with it. Awhile later I had like 4 more and soon after I developed an itchy throat. So, guess I will call and make an appointment one of these days for a little "fine-tuning".  I did pick up and carry our outdoor cat in between eating the radishes and the itchy throat(all happened within 5 minutes) so it may have been something on the cat that got me.  (Cats tested fine last time I was in)

At any rate, it was a short-lived reaction. I'll take it. :)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Farm Update

We've been busy with stuff around the farm. I finally got the rest of the main garden planted this morning. We usually plant on Mother's Day or shortly thereafter, but due to late frost we were about a week late. Then, on Saturday, when I was finally planting the garden, it decided to rain......I had to wait until today to finish the planting.

I must say that this year our soil is the best it has ever been! My hubby was amazed at the ease in tilling and how fluffy it is this year! I think the grass clippings, leaves, ashes from our outdoor wood furnace, and chicken manure are really making a difference! It is now Soil, not just Dirt. When I compare the soil in our garden to the soil in our field(that we are renting out still and is still farmed with GMO corn/soy---we're trying to work up to not needing to do that) the difference is phenomenal.

This year, we went minimal on buying seeds and are mostly using up our stuff from last year/s.
We are growing in the main garden:
~Yellow tomatoes
~Red Italian tomatoes
~Thai tomatoes of some sort(these and previous tomatoes were generously given to me by a friend)

~Chocolate Cherry Tomatoes - I did buy seed for these this year-couldn't resist!
~Beefsteak-from my Boyscout son
~Some sort of Mountain tomato-from my sis-in-law

~Banana Peppers(purchased-these are the only ones hubby will tolerate other than jalapenos, which no one else will eat)
~Rainbow peppers(we'll see how the seed germinates)

~Rainbow Chard
~Vulcan Chard
~Monstreaux Spinach--different family than regular spinach and very heat tolerant/slow to bold
~Baby Romaine
~Organic Buttercrunch

~Waltham Butternut Squash
~Royalty Purple Bush Beans
~Early Wonder Beets
~Cherokee Bush Beans(yellow)
~Those beets that look like a target--alternating red and white
~Bush Cucumbers and some pickling ones that, again, are supposed to tolerate heat and be prolific-not much luck with those last year but we'll give it another go
~Golden Zucchini
~an Italian zucchini
~Yellow Crookneck squash

And of course the usual sunflowers, nasturtiums and marigolds strewn throughout. And soon to be transplanted borage around the tomatoes.

After the rain ALL DAY yesterday, there is water still standing in part of the garden. Thankfully I had already mulched pretty heavily over the part I needed to get into this morning. I didn't get all muddy tip-toeing along the row planting greens. :)

Oh, and on my Overwintering Box Experiment. It's kind of overgrown.
I have discovered that overwintered Kale and Chard bolt very easily. I have decided to let them do their thing, especially after seeing a few bees loving them, and I will harvest the seed for planting this fall or next spring.
I had transplanted some teensy carrots into the box last fall, and those are also focusing on greenery/seed production. Today I pulled those out of there to give the peas more room. I smelled the sweet carroty smell from the carrot greens as I carried them over and gave them to the chickens to enjoy. The chickens have been confined to their chicken run since the rooster has decided he needs to attack everyone when they are free-ranging and also because I don't want them eating every seed I have planted/kicking up the seedlings.

I had a volunteer lettuce in there that I harvested today and that we will have with dinner tonite.

And some French Breakfast Radishes that I planted next to the box with some onions a few weeks ago:

To finish up, one last picture of today's "Bounty", including the eggs so far today.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Springtime Preparations

My nearly 5 year old and I planted peas all over the place on Monday. I decided to let the herb garden recuperate this year and just do a bunch of peas in there to help enrich the soil, maybe a few flowers, and put chicken manure over it all.

Yesterday(Tuesday), the weather was bordering on warm/cool and I decided to start cleaning the chicken coop before it got too warm(who wants to clean the coop in hot muggy weather? not me!). I put a wheelbarrow full plus a 5 gallon bucket's worth on the herb garden. I still have a few places that could use more.

Now that I think of it, I think I will put some onion sets out there in the herb garden with the peas...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

O Candida! Drat.

I have been having various oral reactions to foods, and wrote them down to keep record of them.  I brought in the food list and a bag of things to test and they ALL came out ok....well, with the exception of my beloved Reduced-Fat Cheezits--the one highly processed junk food that I still gravitate towards(tsk-tsk). (I'm working on finding an acceptable substitute for myself...)

I won't bore you with all the details of what I brought in. The doc and I sat there looking at my food journal and she suggested it might be Candida.

I tell ya, I am in denial.  I don't WANT to have Candida! No! I thought I treated this before(lots of times)!

So, I finally let her test me.  Sure enough, the arm went halfway to the floor. Total bummer. I guess this might be why the backs of my legs itch lately? 

I decided to go ahead and get treated for it today.  And to revamp our diet a bit, maybe do a detox as well for myself.  I know my daughter craves sweets like crazy...totally wouldn't be surprised if she has the Yeasty Beast as well in a bad way...

So, I need to avoid anything fermented(including cheese,  my kefir and tea--did you know that tea is fermented? and vinegar), sugars, starches(read: grains, potatoes, that sort of thing), all fruits, and uncooked veggies.

I can eat: meat, eggs and well-cooked veggies. And I will be drinking lots of water.


And no, I didn't get treated for the Cheez-its. Maybe another day.  Or maybe I should give up on them altogether and try out those recipes I spied awhile back for homemade ones.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Neutral Treatment in BioAllergenix/BioVeda

Last week I had an appointment during which I planned on getting tested/treated for the molds in my house. I made prior arrangements to spend the remaining part of the day after the appointment and that night at my sister-in-law's house, since I would have to avoid our home until the next day after treatment.

2 days(48 hours+) prior to my appointment, I set out bowls of distilled water and cotton balls in various suspect rooms of my house. I brought these (Pyrex Storage 14-Piece Round Set, Clear with Blue Lids-how handy they are with the well-fitting lids!) and was muscle-tested while holding the cotton balls from each of the various bowls.

The kitchen and our bedroom were fine, but the basement, bathroom, and north living room were the ones that were my problem-causers.

I also brought in some baby powder that I suspected to be causing me trouble(ingredients: talc, fragrance) and tested weak to that as well.

For my treatment, I took one cotton ball from each of the problem rooms and held them in my hand, being sure to touch them with my fingertips. For kicks, I also sprinkled some of the baby powder on the cotton balls.

I held the cotton balls in my left  hand, extended my right hand as if I were having the testing done with the BioAllergenix system, and then was treated with the Bax3000 as usual.
I thoroughly washed my hands immediately after treatment.
I then avoided going home until the next day.

Results: I no longer experience the throat/eye itchiness when in those rooms as I did before. I also no longer smell the baby powder in the morning when it is used downstairs(while I am still upstairs) as I used to be able to do before.

I really think that when I am hypersensitive to the smells that no one else seems to notice, it really is a sign that my body is reacting to it. Crazy.

UPDATE: I had left my mold cultures at the office to be retested for them later. I went in a week after my first appointment and did not have a weak response to any of them, even though there was actually visible mold growing in the basement one(ick!).

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Favorite Oatmeal Cookie Recipe

It's yet another rainy and cool spring day. Who wants to go out in that, right? I'm waiting for a sunny, or at least a NOT windy day to go out and plant my spinach and peas and onion sets...

Until that day, I decided to make a batch of my favorite oatmeal cookies. It's adapted from the recipe on the box of Meijer Naturals Old Fashioned Oats.

My Favorite Oatmeal Cookies:

1 cup Nutiva Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 54-Ounce Jar
1 cup sugar(I often skimp on the sugar--about 3/4 cup)
1 cup brown sugar

2 eggs(from our own chickens in this case!)
1 teaspoon Vanilla ExtractSimply Organic Vanilla Extract - 4 oz,(Frontier)

1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon sea salt

3 cups Old Fashioned Oats(I use Meijer Naturals store brand)

1 cup chopped walnuts, optional(this time I used raw pumpkin seeds)
1 cup raisins, optional (I substituted Ocean Spray Craisins Sweetened Dried Cranberries - 48 oz (3 Pounds))
I also had a handful or two of Enjoy Life Foods Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips 10 Oz (love these because they are very simple and contain no soy or milk)

Preheat oven to 350*. Grease or spray cookie sheets.
Beat coconut oil and sugars until creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla, mixing well.

Combine flour, baking soda and salt and add to sugar mixture; mix well.  Stir in oats, nuts, and whatever other extras you want to add.

Roll into balls or use a melon baller and place about 2" apart on greased cookie sheet. Press down a bit with a fork and bake 10 minutes.  That's my youngest there, helping. :)

Let cool a bit on the pan(but not completely) before removing from pan to rack to cool. 

Makes 4-5 dozen, depending on size of cookies.

I love to have these with a hot cup of tea with honey.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How to find Allergen-Free Recipes for Your Own Needs

The last few weeks have been fairly stressful for our family, but all is now under control. Thanks be to the Lord for His guidance and care!

My hubby is undergoing some dietary changes, and I am once again changing the family's diet. Where once it was me avoiding the nightshades, now my husband needs to be avoiding them. Unfortunately, he is not real into eating like I was back when I was avoiding them(lots of squash, sweet potatoes, that sort of thing). So, I am back to looking for recipes and ideas. He is also avoiding other acidic foods such as coffee and chocolate, as well as peppermint.

I was getting frustrated with the general recipe sites because it seemed like most recipes had something essential that I now shouldn't be using. It was about impossible to exclude everything(like with the "spicy" spices my hubby is supposed to avoid).

This morning I remembered the site Cooking Allergy Free. On this site, once you sign up(it's free!) you can go to Edit My Allergies and click on the foods you/your family are avoiding. Once you have your allergies selected, then you can go about looking up recipes and more easily find ones that will work for you. When you do a search, it prioritizes the recipes from ones most likely to fit your needs, down to ones with foods you need to avoid, and it lets you know when a recipe contains a questionable ingredient.

So, if you are tired of the same ol' menu or just looking for some new ideas, go check it out! There is also a discussion board and other helpful information on the site.

I am using Cooking Allergy Free to find recipes to accommodate my husband's needs, as well as the needs of 2 of my kids that are avoiding Dairy.

It's making it a lot easier to figure out what's for dinner in the next week or two.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

New treatment options with BioAllergenix/BioVeda

It's been awhile since I have gone in, with myself and the kids passing colds and flu around. But, I finally made it in today!

I have been fighting chest congestion for nearly 2 weeks now. It was not preceded by any cold-type illness at all, but with muscle testing, the doc was able to determine it is viral.

I got to do one of the new scans, that covers bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungus. I had the last three come up as Trace Response and was treated for those. So for the rest of the day I am avoiding fungus-laden and fungus-promoting foods such as cheeses, mushrooms, grains, vinegar and excess sugar. Looks like meats and veggies and fruit for me today! :)

As you may have already read, BioAllergenix has a ton of things to be tested for and for which you can be treated. If for some reason you are allergic to something not in their computer system, your doctor can send a sample to them to have them put it into the computer and then you can be treated.

My doc went to a conference recently, and told me that they have come up with what they call Neutral Frequency(? might not have the name right). With this frequency, they can treat people for something they are holding in their hand. For me, one thing that still bothers me is yellow and orange bell peppers. They are not in the system, but I can bring some in next time and be treated for them.

Another thing that this new technology is good for is if you are allergic to something in your home. Something such as one of the thousands of species of mold, for instance. One can put a glass full of cotton balls and water in their house to sit a few days and then bring that in to their appointment and be treated for things that are in the air(and growing on the cotton balls/in the water). Of course, you would have to stay elsewhere and avoid your home for the allotted time. Another option would be to take some of what is in your vacuum cleaner and be treated for that.

BioAveda is also working on an extension of this, a little pad connected to the computer to put the allergenic substance on while you are being treated.

Here's to better health!

Friday, January 15, 2010

A Butterfly in Winter

I am in awe of the small wonders we are surrounded with but often never notice in our busy day-to-day lives.

This morning, while throwing a few pieces of wood into our outdoor wood furnace, something caught my eye. There was a little butterfly sitting on one of the logs! Quite unusual for the middle of January!

It brought to mind how the Lord carries us through even the wintry times in our lives...we must try and see the sunshine where we are at now(which is what I think this butterfly was doing on this slightly warmer day!) and endure because spring WILL be coming!

He WILL carry us through!

"Weeping may endure for a night; but joy cometh in the morning" Psalm 30:5

Monday, January 11, 2010

Baking Soda to treat Food Allergies?

I recently read on the Avoiding Corn Forum on Delphi about someone's positive experience with using a product called Tri-Salts to minimize and/or shorten allergic reactions to foods. Apparently this works because during an allergic reaction, the body's pH becomes more acid. The ingredients in the Tri-Salts alkalinize the body.

I do still have some reactions to *something* (usually in processed foods). The reaction lately is to have severely chapped/sore/burning lips soon after I have consumed *whatever it is*. This happened on Friday night at dinnertime. Soon after eating, I started having the chapped sensation and was dreading facing the next 3 days of horribly chapped lips that absolutely nothing would help. I then remembered the thread on Tri-Salts and that there was a recipe, but all I could remember was it was a small amount of baking soda and something else.

I got a box of baking soda and used a bit more than 1/8 teaspoon in about a half cup of water and drank that. Within half an hour, the soreness and burning was GONE! The next morning, my lips peeled like crazy after getting out of the shower(this usually happens on day 3 or so). After some light exfoliation with a rough towel, my lips were fine!

Scroll down on to find helpful advice in regards to food allergies, as well as a recipe to make a homemade version of Tri-Salts, containing baking soda and salt.

Praise God for a simple remedy!

Your mileage may vary. I certainly wouldn't rely on this for an anaphlactic reaction. But it couldn't hurt to try it for any other reaction when you know you/your allergic child have been exposed.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Fruity Minty-Lime Popsicles, OR, an Easy Way to Add Vitamin C to your diet

Not being satisfied with the selection of popsicles in the grocer's freezer(or the price of the 'healthy' ones), I searched and searched for a recipe to make popsicles comparable to the commercial ones, yet free of preservatives, colorings, and other additives.

I was blessed last winter to come across a PBS cooking show where they were making foods from Mexico, and this recipe was featured.

Here is how I do it:

Fruity Minty-Lime Popsicles

In food processor, combine and pulse until finely chopped:
3/4 cup sugar
(I use cane sugar in order to avoid GMO Beet sugar)
2 Tablespoons coarsely chopped mint leaves
(I have been using dried peppermint from my herb garden)

Pour sugar mixture into bowl.
Add and stir until thoroughly combined and sugar is dissolved:

2/3 cup lime juice
(I use Santa Cruz Organic Lime Juice)
2 cups sparkling water

In prepared popsicle molds(or other suitable containers), place pieces of frozen fruit. We use frozen pineapple, blueberries, and strawberries(my favorite).

Fill with lime mixture to about 1/4 inch from top. Insert popsicle stick/lid and put in freezer to freeze for a few hours until firm.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Hummus, OR, How to add immune-boosting raw garlic to your diet

Having just (hopefully) gotten over the flu making its rounds through our family one by one, I am again looking at ways to boost our immune systems.

Raw garlic is a good immune booster, but not many people can stomach the thought of simply eating the cloves every day. Especially not the kids.

Here is one solution and one of my sneaky tricks to getting the kids to eat it: Hummus!

A few years ago I found an easy recipe on the back of my McCormick bottle of ground cumin. I tried it because it had pantry staples and not a bunch of stuff I don't tend to have around(like tamari).

Here is my version:

Easy Hummus:

In a food processor, combine:

1 (15 oz) can of chickpeas(garbanzo beans), drained with 1/4 cup of liquid reserved
3(yes, 3) garlic cloves (original recipe calls for 1)
1TB lemon juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper or cayenne
1/4 teaspoon salt

Puree until smooth or the consistency that you desire.

Serve with cut up veggies, organic or otherwise non-GMO corn chips, or whatever your heart desires.

Be warned: You WILL have garlic breath! So make sure everyone has some! ;-)