Friday, April 24, 2015

Allergies Have Changed Family Mealtime

Do you remember childhood mealtime? Everybody ate exactly the same thing and you had to eat it (or eat some of it) whether you liked it or not? Oh, boy, I remember having to eat a small amount of beets (makes me sick to my stomach thinking about it) and sauerkraut (I finally uncontrollably gagged when I was in high school and my mom let me off the hook after that) and who knows what else. I didn't have to eat it all, but I had to have at least a couple of bites of everything being served.

My, how things have changed, haven't they? With food allergies and sensitivities becoming so commonplace, it's no longer the same situation.

I've been dairy-free for sometime, but that doesn't mean our meals are always dairy-free. Casseroles, including lasagna? One with cheese and a smaller dairy-free one gets made. Quesedillas? Ditto. Macaroni and cheese? I'll just have the macaroni. Pizza? Have to make a cheeseless or Daiya one for me, or if we're ordering out, it can only be ordered from certain places and I pretty much need my own individual one because they aren't usually very good at keeping half the pizza cheeseless. There's a stir fry recipe my husband makes with cream of chicken soup; I need to get a portion pulled out for me before he puts the sauce in the veggies. Or the tortellini sauce he makes: a mix of Italian sauce and cream of mushroom. Again, I get served first and what's left is all mixed in with the dairy.

Now my daughter is gluten-free. Not celiac, but definitely sensitive to at least wheat, but looking up things online, it's more consistent with gluten sensitivity than just wheat sensitivity. I'm finding I feel better gluten-free, so I'm almost not eating any at all. So, it adds another wrench to the everybody-eats-the-same-supper. Spaghetti? Well, my husband and son aren't prepared to eat gluten-free (and, to be honest, it's much cheaper for them NOT to), so a batch of wheat pasta is made and a smaller batch of gluten-free for her and me. Taco night? Have to make sure to have more hard corn tortilla shells or have wheat flour tortillas and gluten-free tortillas. Casserole? Haven't gotten there yet. Am I really going to make 3 different ones? My daughter isn't dairy-free and isn't at all interested in trying the Daiya (they all say it smells weird). I suppose I'll make a "regular" one and then a gluten-free cheeseless one that we can each add on cheese as desired. Or maybe put a divider in a baking pan with gluten-free on both sides and each our own desired cheese. Bread? Do I dare use up some of our bread flour in delicious bread that my daughter can't eat? Or that will tempt her to eat and then she'll be ill afterwards?

Allergies have definitely changed mealtime from the way it was when I was a kid! What about you?

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Has Your Eye Colour Changed?

I'm sitting here watching the film Food Matters (fantastic movie, by the way! I should do a proper review) and Charlotte Gerson of the Gerson Institute is in it. She has a light German accent and these blue eyes, both of which bring me back to my childhood and time with my Grandpa. This had me thinking of my own eyes. I was born with blue eyes. They remained blue until sometime in early elementary school. Mixing those blue eyes, thoughts of my grandfather's eyes and mine and all of this information about food and its effect on us, I was reminded of people's eye colour supposedly changing after eating a raw food diet for a while. A quick search online confirmed that I wasn't remembering incorrectly: there are people whose eye colour has changed from going raw. One of the articles mentioned about the eye colour being affected by toxins and such stuck in our liver or colon. My diet has not been anything close to optimal my entire life. It started on formula, then I lived on prepackaged and canned foods my entire childhood with few fresh fruits and vegetables, lots of dairy products which I'm allergic/sensitive to, lots of sugary foods. Having watched Supercharge Me yesterday and now Food Matters today, I do wonder what's stored in my liver and colon--and now wondering if this has affected my eye colour.


My eyes now are typically a kind of greenish blue, not like any of the colours in that chart. But they were blue enough, plus I was blonde enough, when I was about to turn 6 that my mom was stopped in a shopping mall by a woman for the local German language program who said, "That child must be German!" But they've been this kind of greenish colour for many years. I'm starting to now wonder: Are my eyes their natural colour or did they become more green due to diet?

I've looked up online when a baby's eyes normally change if they are going to change. One site said that babies eyes will change by the time they are 9 months. Another site said usually by 9, but you might still see some change up until 12 months, or rarely, up until age 6.

So... What's going on with me? Unless my information about myself is incorrect, my eyes became green after age 6. My mother was surprised to see how green my eyes were in high school; they're actually not that green anymore. But this is the mother who didn't notice my eyebrow scar until junior high--a scar I got before turning 5. Then there's my daughter, who we've in the past couple of weeks come to realize she is definitely gluten-sensitive and needs to get that out of her system and has likely been gluten-sensitive since her early years. I wonder about her eye colour: she has an unusual amber/hazel colour, nothing from either side of the family. Is this amber her natural colour or is it the result of things in her system that are blocked, possibly due to years of damage from consuming gluten?

I want to see what photos I can find of my younger years and see what I can tell about my eye colour and have a look at my daughter's pictures and when her eye colour started changing. And while I do that, I will be increasing as I can my consumption of raw fruits and vegetables and encourage her to do the same.

What about you? Are your eyes the same colour as when you were a child? Or have you changed your diet and noticed a change in eye colour as a result? I would love to hear more!

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

That Time of Year--Allergies

It's that time of year: seasonal allergies time.

The change of seasons is gross here:everything is dead and brown and dirty, not to mention garbage everywhere, and no pretty white snow to cover it all.

Add to that insane winds the past weekend left me sneezing and stuffed up and sinuses super unhappy.

So, my diffuser has been running a lot. Mainly lavender and whatever else I feel in the mood for. Lavender is calming to both mind and body, so it's one I choose for when allergies are getting to me and will diffuse it or even apply it topically. I also ended up applying RC on my chest.

What do you use for your seasonal allergies?

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Awesome Gluten-Free Cookbook

I have talked about this cookbook before, but I'm going to talk about it again:

I bought it sometime ago when my daughter was eating gluten-free, or trying to and made a few recipes and they turned out really well. Then she stopped going gluten-free and things started acting up enough that she decided she would try to go gluten-free again, or at least mostly gluten-free. She ended up being very sick (not from gluten) this past Monday and only at a little and that was when she decided she wanted to try mostly gluten-free, then Tuesday, only ate a small supper of gluten-free pasta and sauce. She ended up unintentionally falling asleep on the couch for the night, but I was next to her for a while and I realized her stomach wasn't gurgling like it had been daily for months. I mentioned it to her the next morning and she nodded and said that her stomach was flat again for the first time in a very long time. That convinced her to not just try to be gluten-free most of the time, but she's been gluten-free since.

But that has meant that she's finding it hard to find things to eat in the house. It's very convenient to grab this or that that has gluten in it or make this or that for lunch that has gluten in it (we make our own individual lunches). So, I've been doing what I can to help. Yesterday, I made the waffles recipe from Cooking for Your Gluten-Free Teen and today, the macaroni and cheese. The waffles recipe was easily made dairy-free, so I was able to taste it, too. They weren't half bad. You add strawberries, powdered sugar and syrup (she added strawberries and whipped cream), you wouldn't even know they were gluten-free. I did not make the dairy-free version for the macaroni and cheese, but I asked her how it was and she said she liked it.

And to add that in here: Many or all of the recipes actually have dairy alternatives listed, so you can make things that are both gluten-free and dairy-free.

While the cookbook says it's cooking for your teen, these are really just basic things a lot of kids and adults like. The recipes are fairly simple and so far, there isn't a single one we've made that we didn't like.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Why You Should Try Organic Carrots

For many years, we would buy the regular carrots at the grocery store, take forever to eat them, sometimes having to throw some out because they'd gone all gross. It wasn't that we didn't like carrots; we got all gaga over my in-laws' garden carrots.

A year or so ago, I ended up purchasing a bag of organic carrots. I can't remember why, if it was because there weren't any regular carrots or if the regular carrots looked rather pathetic. Or maybe it was just because I wanted to see if there was a difference. If it was for this last reason, they proved to be different. After that, I mainly purchased organic carrots. If there weren't any, then I'd sometimes go for the non-organic and end up regretting it. There was that much of a difference.

What kind of difference? Mainly, it seems that most of the organic brands I've tried simply have fresher, tastier carrots than what's typically available at the supermarket. Even compared to some carrots I've purchased at the farmer's market. My theory is that because they aren't treated with pesticides, they are not only picked earlier to ensure their "health", but they are put through to market faster, so they get to the consumer fresher and tastier than regular carrots.

We go through a lot more carrots now, which means we're paying more because they're organic and because we're eating more of them. But we're also grabbing a carrot, rinsing it off (they are so fresh most of the time, you don't even have to peel them), and eating it as a snack more often instead of some junk or quick grain product. And to know we are consuming unnecessary pesticides by choosing organic instead is nice. One word of advice: Don't cut them ahead of time for the week. They don't retain their freshness that way at all and after a day or so, it's almost like eating a regular carrot.

Why don't you try and see for yourself? Then let us know what your experience is! Maybe you have fresher regular carrots where you live compared to us, but maybe you don't and you don't know what you are missing out on.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Can You Help Out This Family?

Every now and then, I will post opportunities on this blog for others to help people out.

This time, the people involved are a personal friend and her family, including this cutie:

They are in a sticky situation and the GoFundMe details don't even share it all. They have 5 kids at home, my friend is disabled, their rental is not in great shape (but with 5 kids, their options are limited), and then the added serious issue discussed on the GoFundMe page. They have a serious ASAP.  And not just move, but to get settled somewhere far from where they are now, where they will be financially okay, which means moving to the other side of the country where the cost of living is much cheaper.

You can help. Every dollar counts. If you can only donate $1, it will help. If you can do $5 or even $10, don't think, "Oh, it's not much, it's not going to make a difference." If 1000 people visit the page and donate $5 each, that's $5000 to help my friend and her family. If everybody donates at least $10, then $10 000. Every dollar makes a difference.

Please visit their GoFundMe page , share their page on Facebook, Twitter, your own blog, anywhere where people might see and can help.

And remember: Any amount you can give will make a difference.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

My New Website!

I have taken the plunge and signed up for the Young Living Independent Distributor website:

It's just a very basic website and it might only give the Canadian products list, unfortunately. I have some exploring still to do with it. If you are in the United States or anywhere else, you can access your full product line by selecting your country (or nearest country) at Please be sure to use 1772120, my distributor number, on orders or for signing up for the wholesale membership.

Just a quick note here: Why would you want to sign up? Well, for example, the diffuser I recently purchased comes with one of the starter kits (in Canada) and signing up with the starter kit is cheaper, by almost $30, than the diffuser by itself, even though the starter kit also comes with product samples that would cost you more to purchase if you were purchasing individually. Wholesale members get 24% off most items. That's a pretty nice deal. And there's none of this having to purchase x-amount every month or every quarter to maintain your status. You only need 50 PV during an entire year--which, depending on what you order (each item has its own PV value), might come to about $60-$75CDN. For an entire year.

If you have any questions, do ask in the comments section!

Signs of Gluten Intolerance

After yesterday's post about my daughter's possible wheat overload, I tried to find out more information on wheat sensitivity. Gluten sensitivity kept coming up, but given her blood test did not show an issue with gluten, I thought that meant she wasn't gluten sensitive.

Turns out I might have been wrong.

According to NaturalNews, the blood tests they typically do don't test for all gluten sensitivity.

So, now I have myself questioning again if my daughter is, indeed, gluten sensitive. And how much damage it has done to her potentially over the years. Looking at Hypothyroid Mom's site and her list of 12 shocking symptoms, let me consider them here, I can say she has suffered from 7 out of the 12. That's a lot. One that's not in there that deals with youth is delayed growth, another symptom of hers, even though teeth all came in at the "normal" time.

Here's another list, almost identical, but I thought I would share it. What caught my eye was the "chicken skin" on the back of the arms: my daughter has this, but so does my son and so do I!

1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and even constipation. I see the constipation particularly in children after eating gluten.
2. Keratosis Pilaris, (also known as 'chicken skin' on the back of your arms). This tends be as a result of a fatty acid deficiency and vitamin A deficiency secondary to fat-malabsorption caused by gluten damaging the gut.
3. Fatigue, brain fog or feeling tired after eating a meal that contains gluten.
4. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis.
5. Neurologic symptoms such as dizziness or feeling of being off balance.
6. Hormone imbalances such as PMS, PCOS or unexplained infertility.
7. Migraine headaches.
8. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia. These diagnoses simply indicate your conventional doctor cannot pin point the cause of your fatigue or pain.
9. Inflammation, swelling or pain in your joints such as fingers, knees or hips.
10. Mood issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings and ADD.

I think it's time to seriously consider making my home as gluten-free as possible and if others won't willingly switch over, make certain changes slowly (like mixing in gluten-free pasta with regular pasta) so they won't even know.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Gurgle, gurgle

My daughter has been having a VERY gurgly stomach now for at least a  couple of months. I'm not sure I've ever heard it be as bad as it has been lately.

I suspect her body may be overloaded on wheat again. But she's 17, has always brought it up in the past when she's wanted to try wheat-free, and has never gone for my suggesting it, so I'm going to let it go and let her decide if she wants to try wheat-free again. And I say wheat-free because she has been tested twice for a reaction to gluten and both times it was fine. That said, about the only gluten she eats is wheat, so perhaps I should just say, "Gluten-free."

Of course, it's hard for us to go wheat-free. Once we're in it, it's not so bad, or wasn't. Now she's working at a pizzeria, often eating there before her shift starts or once it's done. There is a gluten-free crust available, but she hasn't tried it, and sometimes there is just free pizza to be eaten, too, due to messed up orders or people not even showing up to pick up their order. And without knowing for sure that going wheat-free will help, can you blame her for not being open to cutting it out just yet?

It might be time for Mamma to aim for a wheat-free week in terms of what she is serving others. Even if it doesn't eliminate her wheat consumption entirely, at least it'll ease up a bit on the burden to her body.