~seizure FREE me~

~seizure FREE me~

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Five years seizure free with diet alone!!!

Today is the five year mark. 
Five years Seizure Free!!! 
Yippie!!!

Atty continues to grow and thrive. He turned eight in February. He's wrapping up second grade and looking forward to the summer. We still follow the GAPS protocol, but have loosened up a bit. He now eats some rice and other non-gluten grains. We've added in potatoes, sweet potatoes, and all types of beans with no problems. He occasionally has a treat with sugar in it, but this is still very limited. We generally don't eat refined sugar as a family, sticking mainly to honey or maple syrup as sweeteners, but it's nice to have the freedom to ALL indulge in an occasional treat. For example we recently found a bubble gum at our local co-op that didn't have any soy or food coloring or other nasty things in it, but it was sweetened with sugar. We bought it, and have a wonderful time trying to blow bubbles, something my kids have never done before. I didn't regret it for a moment and plan on going back and buying more because there was no negative reaction from any of the kids and we had a blast chomping away on it. ;)  He also recently tried a bread called Happy Camper, made out of different seeds, all non-gluten, soy and dairy free. So far he hasn't had a bad reaction, so fingers crossed! :)

Just this past weekend he figured out how to ride his bike! Last year we turned his bike into a balance bike by taking off the training wheels and pedals. He struggled with it and wasn't very happy about it but he finally started learning how to balance. This year we put the pedals back on but he wasn't very motivated to learn how to ride. Over the weekend I suggested going on a family bike ride (first one ever!) and off we went. It was bliss. There is this amazing paved trail that goes on for miles and miles and miles, and I can't wait to continue to explore it with the kids. Anyway we told Atty he could push himself along with his feet, or learn how to ride his bike. After some very slow going, where Ryder and I took turns supporting and encouraging him (and practicing a bit of tough love)  he started to ride! At one point when he was getting really frustrated and had a lot of negative talk I told him he was a, "Can Do" kid and if he could overcome seizures he could do anything! I talked about how our words affect us and how he needed to tell himself he could, instead of he couldn't. Then I  traded with Ryder and rode off with the other kids. A little bit later I heard Ryder singing to Atty. He was singing a sweet song about Atty being a bike rider now. I looked over my shoulder and sure enough there was Atty just riding along like nothing. It was the best! Big ol' smile on his face! The whole rest of the time he kept at it and made sure to keep him dialog positive, even when he was struggling. I was really proud of him! This type of coordination is really hard for him and he's come a long way to be able to do it. :)

To see him jumping and running and playing makes my heart so glad.

I'm proud of this whole bunch and all they have done, changed, or given up, to help keep Atty successful and supported and thriving. 
What a team!!!

Here's to another amazing seizure free year!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Cashew nut waffles!

So we have a Christmas Tradition of waffles for breakfast. For the first couple years Atty had his type of grain free pancakes while we had waffles. Last year I stumbled upon a grain free waffle recipe! We loved it and made it again this year. I unfortunately don't know the source of this recipe or I would give credit for it. I just scribbled down the recipe, as I so often do, and now I've since forgotten where it came from. Regardless it must be shared because oh my goodness, yum! And it's really surprisingly easy!

Yield: 6 large belgain waffles
Because we have a large family and usually have a couple guest at Christmas I always triple the recipe, but I make one batch at a time.

Ingredients

3 eggs
1 cup raw cashews
1/3 cup almond milk (or any milk you prefer)
3 TBS honey or maple syrup
3 TBS coconut oil, melted
1/4 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
3 TBS coconut flour

Instructions

Preheat your waffle iron.
Combine the eggs, cashews, milk, honey, and melted coconut oil in a blender. A high-speed blender isn't necessary, although it will make the process easier. Blend until very smooth and creamy. You may need to stop the blender and push the mixture down the sides a few times to get it all to blend really well.
Add the salt, baking soda, and coconut flour, then blend again for about a minute until the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet.
If your iron requires oil, spread a little coconut oil on both sides. Pour the batter into the waffle iron so it just covers the bottom portion of the iron. (I pour a scoop into each of the four squares as I have a large waffle iron.) Be careful not to over fill it as these do rise quite a bit and will spill over.
Cook the waffles for about a minute, more or less depending on the heat of your waffle iron. If they release easily with a fork when you open the lid, they are probably done.
Repeat until the batter has been used up. Enjoy!

We like to top them with homemade berry sauce. This year we used frozen blueberries and frozen raspberries that we pick in the summer time. I just add honey to taste and simmer until the juices are a bit thicker and bubbly. You can thicken with tapioca starch, or some other starch is you are using any in your diet. I thickened berry sauce with chia seeds, which is also delicious, but you have to be okay with a tiny bit of crunch. ;) Don't really notice it in a raspberry or strawberry sauce, but it's a little more noticeable in a blueberry sauce. I also make whipped coconut cream using canned organic coconut milk. You put it in the fridge for a couple days, then skim the solid stuff off the top and whip it up with a little sugar free vanilla and honey to taste. We paired this with sausage, but be careful of the ingredients in your sausage if you are on a restricted diet. :)

The whole family enjoys these, special diet or not. It will be the only waffles we make at Christmas time now, and I might even be talked into making non-Christmas waffles. ;)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Way over due update...

Thought I should do a little update on this guy (who is now seven, soon to be eight!), it's about time. He is doing fantastic! Over four and a half years on a special diet and continues to be seizure free. No medicine required. The craziness that we went through is all a distant nightmare now. I occasionally have a fear that his seizures will suddenly start back up again, and all of this will be too good to be true. But I try not to dwell in fears. Instead I focus on the present reality that Atty is healthy and happy and whole. He is thriving, and doing well in school. He loves birds. He's super helpful and loving. He's a joy to be around. He gets to be completely him, without the frustration of seizures interrupting his reality. His seizures were so bad that they were ruining his quality of life, he was unable to function, about to have brain surgery and a g-tube. It's hard to imagine now when I look at his shiny happy face.


We are starting to branch out a bit diet wise. He eats some rice now and rice products as long as the ingredients are simple ones. We don't worry so much about starches and he eats beans and lentils (properly soaked). We've also tried other non-gluten grains like millet, quinoa, and amaranth. I might try buckwheat, sorghum and teff soon. He seems fine with these additions so far, but I make sure to focus on good fats and not too much grains and such still. It seems like when he gets too much he starts to get really whiny and we start seeing more behavior issues. It's my clue to back off. Still no corn, oats, refined sugars, dairy, gluten, and soy. We might try small amounts of non-gmo organic corn next. We probably won't be as strict about small amount of refined sugars as well. Dairy, gluten, and soy will stay out. Oats I'm on the fence about, I know you can get gluten free oats that are suppose to be safe and not cross contaminated, but I'm not sure I want to risk it. We already eat a whole foods diet as a family, with a GAPS focus so we will continue that, but we are not strict GAPS, we have found a balance that is working quite well for our family right now.

His seizures first started in January so this time of year always gets me thinking about it, and the warning signs we missed because we didn't know any better. Then in late spring I start thinking about his amazing diet and his seizures going away. :)
And now at this point the rest of the year I sort of forget there was ever even an issue. Which is nice because for a while there I had some post traumatic stress issues that I didn't think were ever going to go away! But time heals all. 

Well that and his magic diet! :)


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Rosemary Chia Bread, Grain free!

This bread is so good I just had to share!

Rosemary Chia Bread

3/4 cup creamy almond butter
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large eggs
1 tbsp raw honey
1/2 cup almond flour
4 tbsp chia seeds with 4 tbsp water, let soak for about 15 minutes
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp aluminum free baking soda
1tbsp rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease a bread pan with olive oil, dust with almond flour.

Mix the chia seeds and water together before starting anything else.

In a large bowl, mix the almond butter and olive oil together with a handheld mixer until smooth. Then blend in the eggs and honey.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. Add in the rosemary.

Mix the chia seeds into the wet mix. Then add the wet into the dry and mix well.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 40-50 minutes on the bottom rack of your oven. You can check if it's done by inserting a knife into the center of the loaf to see if it comes out clean. It is important to let is sit and cool for about an hour {if you can} in order for it to cut properly. Other wise if you rush it the bread will not come out of the pan well and will crumble more. Still taste good though. ;)

We had it last night with a homemade creamy potato leek soup, pot roast, and baby salad greens. So good! {Atty now has potato occasionally, we try to stick to the low starch ones.}

Here's a link on the benefits of Chia seeds.

Enjoy!

Monday, February 4, 2013

And now he's SIX!

Happy 6th Birthday to my amazing, jolly, creative, and inspiring boy! 


Three years ago we had just got home from the hospital after a very long stay, just it time to celebrate his birthday at home. It felt so good, but the relief didn't last long. At the time we didn't realize that darker days were still ahead. 
But now with the celebration of your sixth birthday we know that we got to leave all of that behind. For that I am so thankful! 

On your birthday this year we celebrated with some yummy magic diet food. On the menu {Atty made all the choices.} for a special birthday lunch:

Kosher hotdogs {I know, not healthy} with lettuce wraps
a fruit plate  {unlimited, yay!}
a veggie plate {unlimited, yay!}
almond flour herb crackers
avocado dip

Then for some special treats:

coconut macaroons
freezer candies {made with coconut oil, honey, unsweetened cocoa, and shredded coconut}
banana cake {made with almond flour and honey} with peanut butter frosting

He wanted Apple cider to drink, and although I wouldn't normal let him have much of that because of the high sugar content, he did have a glass, and it was thoroughly enjoyed! :)

It's so nice to not have to count carbs anymore, and to be able to have unlimited amounts of the foods allowed on his diet.

Next weekend we are going to the NW Rapture Center for some more birthday fun, for a bird lover it's a dream come true! 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Awesome grain free pancakes

Atty loves these pancakes! I think it might have been a paleo recipe, I'm not sure, I got it from a friend a while ago, so I have nothing to link it to.

Banana pancakes

3 ripe bananas
3 eggs
3 tbsp nut butter
That is the original extent of the ingredients, but I've added the following
1/8 tsp baking soda
1/8 sea salt
a sprinkling of almond or coconut flour {I know that's not very exact, ha ha! Feel free to leave it out}
cinnamon to taste

Makes about 12 little pancakes, I usually double the recipe.

Heat a griddle coated in coconut oil, medium heat. {I don't like non-stick coating but I've yet to find a griddle that doesn't have that, plus these pancakes stick really easily.} Drop by the spoonful onto the preheated griddle. Wait until browned, then flip. Drizzle a melted coconut and honey mixture over top and serve. Or a homemade berry sauce. So yummy!

Enjoy!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Muffins, muffins and more muffins!

First recipe I found in the Gluten-free almond flour cookbook by Elana Amsterdam. 

Banana Blueberry muffins

3 cups almond flour
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 tbsp oil {I use olive oil, she says to use grape seed oil}
3 large eggs
2 cups mashed very ripe bananas
1 cup frozen blueberries {I think it's important to use organic berries}

Preheat the oven to 350 and grease 12 muffin cups until well coated. {She says to use paper liners, but I never do}.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda. In a medium bowl, whisk together the  oil and eggs. Stir the wet into the dry until thoroughly combined. Stir the bananas into the batter, then fold in the blueberries. Spoon into prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in to the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes {if you can} and then serve.

I have added a little honey to this recipe before to make it a little more of a treat, but if you do add honey remember to lower the oven temp. to 325, baking time is usually the same.

I thought I'd also mention that most people who are strictly following the GAPS diet don't use baking soda, but it doesn't appear to be a problem for my son, and I can make all kinds of yummy stuff for him with it so I have made the choice to use it. As always it's up to you whether or not to do that. You could also lower the amount of baking soda used and still get good results. :)

Okay here's the second recipe...

sweet potato muffins- This is not for someone in the first two years of the GAPS diet or someone who is super sensitive, because sweet potatoes are not allowed on the GAPS diet.  But my son has been on a special diet over 2 1/2 years now, so I've made these a couple times as a special treat and he has had no negative reaction to them. I reduced the amount of sweet potato needed by using apple sauce as well.

3 cups almond flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbsp olive oil
3 large eggs
1/4-1/2 cup honey to taste
1 cup sweet potatoes
1 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cloves

Preheat the oven to 325 and grease 12 muffin cups until well coated.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, and baking soda and spices. In a medium bowl, whisk together the  oil, eggs and honey. Stir the wet into the dry until thoroughly combined. Stir the sweet potato and apple sauce into the batter. Spoon into prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in to the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes {if you can} and then serve.

Sprinkling a little more cinnamon and drizzling a tad bit of honey on top of these really turns them into a special treat.

And last but not least... 

Carrot spice muffins

2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 tbsp organic sugar free vanilla extract
2 cups grated carrots, more or less ;)

Preheat oven to 325 and grease 12 muffin cups until well coated.

In a large bowl, combine the almond flour, salt, baking soda, flax meal and cinnamon. In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, honey, eggs, and vanilla extract. Stir the wet into the dry until thoroughly combined, then fold in the carrots. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the muffin tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Let the muffins cool in the pans for 30 minutes {if you dare, ha ha!} and then serve.

My son never wants to wait the whole 30 minutes, and besides them being a tiny bit more crumbly, there really isn't a whole lot of reasons to wait. We hardly ever do. :)

You can also turn these into Cinnamon Apple muffins by replacing the grated carrots with 2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced into little tiny pieces.

Remember my recipes are just suggestions that work for our family, you have to make the choice on whether or not they are right for yours! We love these recipes around here, so I just thought I'd share. :)

Enjoy!