Are you open to a new approach to healing and well being?

Everything is Energy - Chinese Master This is where we dip a toe into the woo part of the blog. ūüôā

If I say everything is energy, what do you think of? Sunlight, electrons, E = mc2, quantum physics, your gas and electric bill?

I now think about energy, emotions, connection, and healing.

I’ve known the lovely Tami Duncan, author of Vibrational Healing for Autism, virtually for several years and have had the pleasure of working with her as both a client and–briefly at Autism One–as a mentee. ¬†Tami is a reiki master, teacher, and healer who works with subtle energies as a healing modality.

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I have found energy healing to be helpful and supportive. I recently took a Reiki level 1 class and I pretty much LOVE it. ¬†If it’s placebo, I just don’t care. ¬†It’s just upside for me and my family. ¬†It may help to think of it as love in action. When I start the reiki my hands get warmer. I can feel the energy starting to flow. ¬†It’s remarkable.

If you’re curious and would like to learn more, particularly as it relates to children with autism, Tami has two online events coming up that I’d like to share with you:

On Wednesday, July 22, at 1 pm EST, Maria Rickert Hong, author of Almost Autism: Recovering Children from Sensory Processing Disorder, will go live with an interview she did with Tami in a webinar on Communicating with the Soul of a Child with Autism.

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Tami has also just announced a 6-week online webinar course, aptly named A Course in Healing.  It starts Tuesday, July 28.

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If you’re ready, you’ll know. ¬†If you’re still reading, in between headache-inducing eye rolls, you’re almost ready. ūüėČ I double dog dare you to learn more.

Welcome to the woo.

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Posted in alternatives, Autism, Chronic Fatigue/Fibro, Therapies | Tagged , , , , , | 9 Comments

Feeding a small crowd on a special diet

My parents made their annual summertime trek to California, this year bringing my two nieces, ages 15 and 12.5. ¬†For those keeping track, that’s 9 mouths to feed total. ¬†They’re staying in their RV and eating breakfast there, but lunches and dinners are community meals.

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What to do?

Oh, and everyone is on some sort of special diet or has food allergies. ¬†Woot! Woot! ¬†Bring it on. ¬†The girls are on a special detox diet from a functional nutritionist: no grains, no vinegar, no canola oil. Raw cheese is OK. Hmmmmm, what’s for dinner?

Some of our eats:

Breakfast for dinner

I made hash with onion, 2 packages of Applegate Farms Chicken Maple sausage, 2 cups of frozen organic chopped spinach, and red potatoes.  Eggs to order on top.

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Indian-inspired leftovers:

We had a few random pieces of chicken breast leftover from two different meals–one poached in lemon juice and water with Herbes du Provance and the other saut√©ed with tomatilla salsa. ¬†I poached one more chicken breast, cubed all the chicken, then in my second largest skillet I threw in the chicken, a jar of Trader Joe’s Masala simmer sauce, left over chana masala from our favorite Indian restaurant, a can organic pinto beans. ¬†In my largest skillet I made kale and baby spinach (6 bags of greens!) with caramelized onions. ¬†Served with leftover basmati rice. (Tip: Order extra rice when you eat out, take it home and FREEZE IT!!)

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Homemade pizza:

For the grain-free girls, we made a large cauliflower crust with this recipe.  I had three frozen pizza crusts from Mariposa bakery. Topping options were turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, and sliced black olives.  I started a salad, but never finished it. We had two little helpers who needed 100% focused supervision. Salad not a priority when boys with poor impulse control suit up with oven mitts to their elbows and run over to pull hot pizzas out of a 400 degree oven. So yeah, no salad.

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Paleo turkey burgers and salad:

I put these together last year from Once A Month Meals and had stashed them in the deepest, coldest part of my standing freezer. ¬†Plus the salad we didn’t get to the day before, with pistachios and homemade lemon vinaigrette.

Other meals I’ve got planned include:

  • Nom Nom Paleo’s keema¬†with yuca dough wrapper, green beans with Indian-style tomato sauce (Recipe to come!)
  • Rotisserie chicken,¬†sweet potato fries, and braised cabbage
  • Chicken soup (made with leftover chicken and broth made from chicken carcasses)
  • Taco salads: making my Crockpot Tomatillo Chuck Roast, pinto beans, raw cheddar cheese, sliced olives, organic mild salsa, and sliced avocado on organic baby lettuce.
  • Burgers, roasted cauliflower, and potatoes.
  • Roast turkey breast (in crockpot), turkey gravy, cauliflower mash, roasted broccoli

…plus Chipotle!!

I’ve also got a stash of frozen hamburger patties, clean turkey dogs, and Italian meatballs in the the freezer for the chilluns for whom the main meal offering just doesn’t work. There’s always fresh fruit and a vegetable of some sort: salad with organic baby greens, saut√©ed spinach and baby kale, roasted broccoli, cooked green beans, or cauliflower one of a dozen ways.

So far, so good.  No one is starving.

How do you feed a crowd on a special diet?

Posted in Getting started, Managing allergies, Meal plans | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Some gluten-free meals in France. Including BREAD!

I had absolutely zero issue with my gluten-free diet when I was traveling.  YAY!  There were two of us who were GF and two vegetarians.  I believe we were all well taken care of.

The only lump in the roux was the fellow traveller who decided half way through the trip that the gluten-free options were more appealing and I watched him intercept my GF bread one morning at the hotel (God bless you, Madame Yolande, for getting me more!) and one day at lunch he snatched my baked apple with caramel out of the waitresses hands. ¬†What’s up with that?

Otherwise, it was a worry-free and completely delicious trip.

Bon appetit!

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Restore: The gut healer we’ve been waiting for?

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The bottom line reads Save 15% with coupon code TMR15 through June 30th.

Get it at restore4life.com.

One of the buzziest, most exciting things to come out of Autism One, Restore is a carbon lignite supplement that — in a petri dish, and according to early reports, at least¬†— heals your gut lining by restoring cell-to-cell communication and recreating the tight junctions between cells.

I will interpret: THIS SHIZ WILL MOST LIKELY, IF NOT 100% DEFINITELY, HEAL YOUR LEAKY GUT.

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And let me tell you, intestinal permeability, a.k.a. leaky gut, is at the root of a lot of chronic health problems.

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This is one dose for an adult. ¬†1 tsp 3x/day is the recommended dosage, but if you or your child is sensitive, do what I’ve learned to do over the years: start low and increase slowly. ¬†It has very little taste to me, but a friend of mine swore a blue streak she thought it was so nasty. ¬†My kids take it with no problems. ¬†It tastes kind of like salty water.

Listen, if this stuff works (and it really looks like it does), we have a major game changer on our hands. ¬†I’ve been taking it 1x day for the past 3 weeks and can definitely tell my digestion is improving. ¬†I’m ordering more so I can get myself and my whole crew on the recommended 3x/daily dosing schedule. ¬†Use the code TMR15 through the end of June to save 15%.

I had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Zachary Bush, the creator of Restore, when he sat down¬†with a few Thinking Moms at the conference who weren’t able to attend his talk. ¬†He knows his stuff. ¬†He has a background as a researcher and endocrinologist from the University of Virginia. But more than that, he gets it. He has taken all the research and clinical experience and matched it with a paradigm shift.¬†IMG_7813

Initial reports from some of the TMR moms are very good.  VERY good.

But you NEED to watch Dr. Bush’s presentation¬†to understand how and why this works. Dr. Bush also addresses the very specific concerns several¬†biomed moms raised about the ingredients listed on the label that include sulphur, copper, and nickel. ¬†Basically, this is a carbon byproduct of bacterial metabolism that is extracted from ancient topsoil. ¬†The mineral components are naturally occurring, essentially inert, and are in the same tiny¬†concentrations as they would be in a sweet potato. ¬†Watch the video and all will be revealed!

Basically, you’re rebuilding the bulk of your immune system and down-regulating chronic inflammation. ¬†It blocks the activity of zonulin, which breaks up those tight junctions.

Imagine that Zurg appears only in the presence of gluten or glyphosate and the ping pong balls are Zonulin.

Here’s the URL one more time. www.restore4life.com. ¬†I make no money on this. ¬†Just sharing good news. Please let me know if you try it and what you think!

Posted in ADHD, Autism, Chronic Fatigue/Fibro, Supplements, Thinking Moms Revolution | Tagged , , , , , , , | 75 Comments

Do the work

I’ve got a blog over at Thinking Moms’ Revolution today. No Shortcuts to Autism Recovery: Do the Work

Please share and Like TMR on Facebook. I’m on Facebook too!  There’s a Like button right over there ūüĎČūüŹľ!

  

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When the mom’s away: A non-prepper’s guide to heading out of town

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I’m getting geared up for the trip of a lifetime. ¬†I’m going to the South of France on a pilgrimage of sorts. ¬†I’ll be in the company of a like-minded band of sisters (mostly…) following in the footsteps of Mary Magdalene, taking a dip in the Mediterranean, climbing a couple of small mountains, paying homage to martyrs and saints, delving the mysteries of Rennes le Chateau and not thinking about autism, seizures, vaccination policy, dishes, bowel health…etc. ¬†I’ll be thinking about food A LOT, but I’m going to be in France. ¬†Duh.

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But prepping to go away for 2 weeks is taxing my organizational skills. ¬†My husband is a master strategist (seriously, I think he planned D-Day in a previous life) and our sitter will be on hand during the days. ¬†But I still need to scaffold everything for the kids and the dog. (OMG, I’m going to miss that puppy so much!)

Food prep:

I need to lay out what to feed the wee bairns for breakfast and lunch.  The teen gets a section in the freezer given over to:

  • flax muffins
  • GF cookies and brownies
  • GF bread and bagels
  • smoothie packs (frozen kale, mango, blueberries, and strawberries)
  • prepped meatballs and marinara sauce
  • pre-formed burger patties
  • nitrate-free turkey dogs

The fridge is loaded with yogurt¬†and¬†fresh fruit and there are organic corn chips in the cupboard. He’s responsible for feeding himself.


These bento lunch boxes are BPA free and available on Amazon.

Supplements and meds:

You know those pill boxes at the pharmacy next to all the safety rails, incontinence pads, and non-slip canes? ¬†Yep. ¬†Everyone’s got two of those, pre-loaded. ¬†My son who has 2x a day meds has a case with AM and PM.

Managing on the road:

I’m going on a tour and have communicated–pretty thoroughly, I pray–my food allergies and intolerances. ¬†Rumor has it there’s a gluten-free French bakery somewhere on the trip. ¬† I’ve downloaded an app on my iPhone for translating on my allergies for those meals I find on my own. AND, I’m packing a generous assortment of dry protein shakes, a shaker bottle, and nut-based bars, like Lara bars. I may be the only person ever to leave for France scared to eat, but I’ll manage.


I’m packing some allergy meds, digestive enzymes, and a shelf-stable probiotic to help avoid GI distress on the trip.

Au revoir!

Posted in Getting started, GF Lunch Box, Managing allergies, Meal plans | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Champagne vinaigrette

 

It’s salad season!

The sample of the day at Trader Joe’s was a delicious salad with shredded carrots, pistachios, and a champagne vinaigrette. It was soooooo goooood!  I grabbed the ingredients and ran. Got home and realized I didn’t ask how to make the vinaigrette. Oops. 

This is my version and I love it!

  
Champagne Vinaigrette

1/2 c Orange Muscat champagne vinegar

1 c olive oil

1-2 Tbsp whole-grain Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

Blend all ingredients thoroughly. I took Danielle from Against All Grain’s idea of putting a blender ball in the glass jar and leaving it, so I can give it a good, emulsifying shake before use. Enjoy!

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Bits and pieces from Autism One 2015

The first videos are up!  You can watch videos of the presentations here.

How Not to Die¬†¬†by the completely badass Thinking Moms’ Revolution.


I was on a panel of Moms of Recovered Kids. ¬†I’ll put the link up as soon as it’s available.

Good gravy that light was hot and bright and it was hard focused on me. ¬†I’m pasty white, but not that blinding.

My quick take-aways:

  • Gut health, gut health, gut health.
  • Avoid GMOs, eat as much organic as possible.
  • Endocannabinoids are your friend.
  • EMFs are not your friend. They disrupt cell signaling.
  • Glyphosate is flat out your mortal enemy.
  • Contact these members of Congress and ask the to subpoena Dr. William Thompson, the CDC Whistleblower, to get all the thousands of documents he’s turned over to Rep. Posey into the public record.

 

I photo stalked a few people…I swear I was nice about it.

Andy Wakefield, the original hero/doctor crush. And if you think he’s a crackpot, you haven’t listened to him. ¬†(My friend couldn’t focus my camera!) He was very gracious about all the photo bomb stalkers. ¬†I made sure he got his coffee before I approached me. ¬†Wasn’t that considerate of me?

Me and Zen Honeycutt, founder and director of Moms Across America, anti-GMO activist, and all-around badass warrior mom. So beautiful, so eloquent, so smart. She happened to sit next to me at lunch one day, and instead of freaking out and shutting down, I thanked her for her activism and all her work on behalf of our kids’ health. We had a nice chat and exchanged contact information. She’s my kind of Thinker!


Dr Zach Bush, my new doctor crush. He took some time to meet with a few TMR moms to talk about gut health, healing the root cause of a variety of health problems, communication and connection. We all ended up crying and hugging. Group hug! ¬†And I’m really not the biggest hugger. He also answered a couple of questions that my mom emailed to me later.¬†Will he hate it if I say he’s a sweetheart? Yeah, well, too late.

Here’s the video of his talk.

The best part of AutismOne, bar none, was connecting with my TMR sisters. I love you ladies. You give me hope!!

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Food and travel, food allergies, and hospital food

I’ve been thinking a lot about how to eat in a way that won’t render me incapacitated when I travel outside my little bubble of Whole Foods and safe gluten-free and Paleo-friendly restaurants. A two-night excursion to Sacramento included a stop at Gluten- Free Specialty market and a bag packed with almond butter and GF bread. For two days I can live off salads and almond butter sandwiches.

For my upcoming trip to Chicago (Autism One, woot woot!), I’m planning on packing some protein shakes, almonds, and GF crackers. I’ve stayed at the hotel before and know I can manage with omelettes, bunkess burgers and salads.

My trip to the south of France in June is looming, but I’ve communicated all my food allergies to the tour director and I’m packing Bulletproof bars. The tour leader said they’ve got a couple of gluten-free bakeries for bread ūüėćūüėć and she’s very familiar with dealing with food allergies. If I have to live off omelettes and salads, so be it!

Apparently it’s Food Allergy Awareness week. Here’s a blog I wrote over at Thinking Moms’ Revolution: Why My Kid’s Food Allergies Are Ruining Your Party.¬†

Food allergies are increasing ¬†and we’re not looking at why. There’s a study that explains how researchers create animal models of food allergies for study by injecting aluminum hydroxide and deactivated pertussis and follow up with food proteins. THIS IS HOW THEY MAKE FOOD ALLERGIES IN MICE. The also use the toxin + pertussis model for creating encephalopathy in lab rats. Apparently, it’s a real thing.

I know my children aren’t mice, but if this is how scientists create problems in rodents so they can extrapolate their finding to humans, how is it that their model of creating the problem in the first places suddenly doesn’t work in people? ¬†Because you can be damn sure kids are getting exposed to aluminum adjuvents in close proximity to a DTaP and then maybe they get a flu shot cultured with egg proteins…

And finally, hospital food. ¬†I’m in the hospital with my middle son for a 48-hour in-unit EEG. ¬†This is the snack the nurse brought him:


Breakfast was fried French toast sticks with margarine and high-fructose corn syrup “Pancake syrup” and a scrambled egg, Cheerios, 4 packets of sugar and a low-fat milk. ¬†The American Dietetics Association needs to go back to school. (rant over)

Posted in epilepsy, Managing allergies | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Could your morning cup of coffee fight Alzheimer’s?

How do you like your coffee? This is my routine:

Do you drink your coffee Bulletproof¬ģ stylz? I do. Yes, I put butter in my mold-free coffee and it’s so good. SO. GOOD. Pour yourself a cup o’joe, have a read, and think about how that one little morning habit can help improve your brain health long term.

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the far off land of Chicago…

Last year at the AutismOne Conference I stumbled into an interesting lecture on using a supplement called trehalose to break up beta-amyloid plaques in people with Downs Syndrome and Alzheimers Disease. It was in the lecture hall closest to the the Thinking Moms’ Revolution table and I had just finished up my shift. I just popped into the first door I saw.

Huh? DS? Alzheimer’s? Am I in the right place?

Watch the video here.

Here’s a copy of the slides.

I was riveted, but not sure how it was going to apply to me or my family, but being a neuroscience geek, I sat through the whole thing, even asking questions at the mic, which I never do. I thought it might help with the post-seizure scarring that could be affecting my middle son (but that has proven to be flat-out neuronal loss, not plaque, grrrrrrr).

As the lecture went on, I realized it might be helpful to some older relatives–including my dad–who were starting to have a memory issues, poor word recall, etc. My own genetic panel seems to point me in the direction of higher risk of Alzheimer’s, not entirely surprising. More alarming for me, it looks like my past use of prescribed benzodiazepine puts me at a significantly higher risk than average. Yeah, mainstream medicine, thanks for that.

When my darling dad came out for a visit in February to celebrate our big birthdays, we were able to improve his word recall and Sudoko time in less than 2 weeks by getting him off Benadryl and onto Bulletproof¬ģ coffee with a healthy dose of MCT oil and coconut oil. If you didn’t know Benadryl increases your risk of Alzheimer’s, read more here. Recently, I was trying to think of some other things we could do for him…I remembered trehalose.

  
Trehalose:

  • a polysaccharide that’s about half as sweet as sugar
  • reportedly up-regulates phagocytosis–think Pac Man gobbling up those beta-amyloid plaques, wocka, wocka
  • promotes healthy mitochondria
  • plus, it acts as an antioxidant.

It’s currently being investigated for use to treat Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s Disease.  It’s available as a supplement (this is the one I use) and is considered GRAS (general regarded as safe) by the FDA.

So what does Bulletproof¬ģ coffee have to do with this? It’s a delicious way to get a dose of antioxidants, brain-building good fats, and, let’s face it, caffeine into your system without a big crash, and insulin rush, or a hit on your adrenals. And you can slip in 1/2 a teaspoon of trehalose powder and it won’t effect the taste AT ALL.

Enjoy!

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