~seizure FREE me~

~seizure FREE me~

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Looking back, looking forward.

Rereading this, as well as the other posts from that time period, makes my heart race. So glad we have come so far. Looking at the pictures, when all of that was going on, makes me sad. But also feel so very thankful for where we are at and how healthy he is now! I've been known to smile with tears.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

snags are no fun

So we hit a little snag switching over to the GAPS diet. I started with introducing some honey, then properly soaked white beans, and then properly soaked lentils and all was going well it seemed. So then I introduced just a little bit of cheddar cheese as well. I didn't test it first, which I should have I guess. There is a way to test foods before introducing them on the GAPS diet, but I was hoping after being on such a strict diet already for two years {the Modified Atkins for Seizures diet} that we could just switch over slowly to the GAPS with out doing the intro and testing and all that stuff. I originally wanted to start with the intro, but our schedules have been so overwhelmingly busy and I didn't want to put of starting the diet any longer so I've just jumped in with out for now. Anyways I didn't notice any thing right away and then behavioral stuff started sneaking it's way back in. And he started wetting himself again. Just little dark spots on the front of his pants like he use to. It's like he starts leaking or something. He was very embarrassed about it, and would get really upset when I would ask him if he had an accident or tell him to change his clothes. It took me a moment to put two and two together I'm afraid, I mean it was nagging at me but I was hoping, once again, that it had nothing to do with diet. Then the sensory things started again, the panicked, overwhelmed, crying stuff started all over again in large groups of noisy people. We went to a place called Jungle Playland, that has all sorts of climbing equipment, slides, etc... it's like a giant indoor awesome playground. He fell apart {in the end he did start to play, but for the first half he clung to me and cried and looked absolutely panicked}. And that's when it hit me. It's starting all over again. I almost had a panic attack myself while we were there. Just thinking, Oh my Goodness, we can not go back to that! So I took everything but the honey back out of his diet again. And you guessed it... back on the right track. It will never cease to amazing me how much diet affects us in so many more ways then we realize! I am glad that we caught it when it was mostly behavioral this time. But this really hits home that his gut is still damaged and highly reactive. I have reintroduced the white beans a bit with no reaction and I really don't feel that it was the lentils. I feel very certain that it was the dairy. He was very sensitive to dairy before his seizures even started, so I knew there was a possibility that he wouldn't tolerate it. He just really wanted to try and I let him, and now we know. Not ready for that yet, possibly not ever.  Over all the GAPS switch over has been nice. To allow him unlimited veggies and fruit has been wonderful. Not having to count carbs, beautiful! Especially now that it's summer. He is able to eat out of the garden with out my having to count out 5 blueberries, or measure 1/2 cup of strawberries and then tell him he's done. That was really hard to do before, I just hated it! But no more of that, thankfully! I still want him to eat protein/healthy fats with his fruits and veggies because I feel like it helps balance things. But I've even relaxed about that when we are just eating out of the yard and I haven't noticed a problem with it, so I think it might be mostly a left over fear from when we were on the MAS diet. On that diet I had to pair all the carbs {his were from fruit and veggies sources} with a fat.  I'd have to say the honey is by far the best change. Oh the yummy treats I can make with honey! So much better then stevia. I still use a little stevia, mostly to sweeten cold drinks, like his lemon water or ice tea, but I have been able to expand his recipes and make the most delicious things! One of them being a trail mix made with honey that when processed a bit in a food processor doubles as a breakfast cereal. Will be adding that recipe soon! :)

Sweet summer treat

Made some really yummy popsicles for Atty the other day.  They taste sort of like fudgesicles.  This recipe is not exact, it's a bit  of a guess and test thing. :) Here are the ingredients.

Creamy chocolate popsicles

coconut milk
coconut oil
nut butter {choose your favorite}
unsweetened cocoa powder

I was making six popsicles, and I just eye balled all the ingredients. I wish sometimes that I was more of an exact cook, it would make sharing recipes so much easier. :) But I actually like the freedom of throwing stuff together in the kitchen. The raisins will sweeten it up a lot so you don't need very much honey. Use mostly raisins, but taste test, you do want these sweet, the cocoa powder can make is sort of bitter if you are not careful. Start with mostly coconut milk and add to that, use only a little coconut oil, mostly nut butter to thicken. Blend it all up in a blender, including the raisins. I had a little of the mixture left over after filling the molds, and Atty had no problem finishing it off as it was. :) Pop these bad boys in the freezer until set, and enjoy!

So Good!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Almond flour pizza crust

So in my last post I mentioned the GAPS friendly pizza... so here is the recipe! :)

I unfortunately don't know the source for this recipe, someone wrote it down for me on paper awhile back and it didn't work for Atty at the time on his MAS diet, but wow am I glad I kept it!

Almond flour pizza crust

makes two med thin pizzas {12" pans}

2 cups almond flour
1/2 tsp of salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil

3/4 cup mashed white beans {that were soaked the right way and cooked prior}
3 eggs
3 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350 and line the pans with parchment paper. Mix all the dry together in a bowl and then make a well in the center. Mix the wet quickly in a blender and then add to the  dry and mix thoroughly. Will be wet, spread evenly onto the parchment using a spatula, wet if sticking {it didn't need to do this} Bake for 10-12 minutes. Then drizzle some more olive oil over the crust and spread a layer of tomato paste over the whole thing. Add a sprinkle of sea salt and what ever toppings you like. We used some veggies/black olives/pineapple/chicken and cheddar cheese. Any GAPS approved cheese would work. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

The only thing I will do different next time is I will bake the crust for a little longer, but I like crunchy thin crust pizza so it's a personal taste thing. :)

Remember that these recipes are just suggestion, I am in no way an expert on the GAPS diet and you should always research for yourself the foods that you eat. That being said, my whole family loved this pizza, well worth making!

Switching over to the GAPS diet

April 24th 2012 Atty was release from care at Children's hospital and no longer needs to be on the Modified Atkins for Seizures diet!!! Next month on the 26th he will be seizure free for two years! Amazing!!! The doctor and dietitian at Children's are really impressed with him, and someone is going to be writing paper on his case which is really awesome! Also we might be able to help in the future with a case study his neurological doctor wants to see happen, some sort of gene testing. Because apparently he has notice that kids who have the drop seizures that Atty had respond best to the diet for seizure control and he wants to know if there is a gene connection with these kids. If they found a link that would open the door to genetic testing for kids who are having no luck with medicines for seizure control. I would hope they would do genetic testing from the beginning and start with the diet, but that probably won't be the case. It would eliminate some of the wasted time trying different meds that don't work... hopefully. It was such a mixture of emotions driving home from that appointment. I cried thinking back on how far we have come. It's truly wild how fast these two years flew by! So we are now switching over the the GAPS diet full time and will do this for probably two more years and then take it from there. When I told the dietitian this she was excited and said that a different family had mentioned that diet to here and wanted to know if she could put them in contact with me. I said absolutely yes! She also wants to keep in contact so she can get more recipes from me... :) I've had the Gut and Psychology Syndrome book for some time but I recently got the GAPS Guide and the Internal Bliss cookbook and I've been experimenting with more recipes. It's like starting all over again. I have been debating starting from the introductory diet for him so he can have optimal healing but so far it hasn't worked out. It's very restrictive and intense and I wanted my husband around to help out but the weekends are always full and it's hard to make it work during the week. So I'm starting with the full GAPS diet and then I will do the introductory if needed and where ever it fits best.  We have been gradually adding in GAPS foods for the last 6 months or so. I felt more comfortable with a gradual introduction to new foods and unlimited amounts of fruits/veggies. I started with unlimited amounts of veggies and he was fine with that, then slowly started in with larger servings of fruit and just recently unlimited amounts. We also recently switched over to local honey as the sweetener. Makes everything yummier! :) We have come to find out {it seems} that our oldest boy might be sensitive to food in the rag weed family. He had been complaining of headaches for a while, close to two years. We tried chiropractic care which helped for other things but didn't seem to make the headaches go away and we also took him to get his eyes checked {they are perfectly fine}. To make a long story shorter  we made a connection to the stevia that we have been using for Atty for the last TWO years {his headaches had been going on for about the same amount of time}. It was the only sweetener Atty could have and I'd gotten in the habit of using it for the other kids as well. Especially in the lemon water that my kids have daily. So anyways I took the stevia out of his diet {as well as some other food that I found connected to the ragweed family} and his headaches pretty much went away! Wow did I feel awful for taking so long to figure that out. But no one mentioned the ragweed connection to me when they told us to use that for Atty's sweetener, in fact they didn't mention any of the side effects at all. I think because I was already so overwhelmed I started using the stevia with out researching it well {very unusual for me} and now I feel frustrated that I did that. Not everyone has reactions to it, but the people that do really suffer! So all that to say that we are now cutting stevia out of our diet and going to local raw honey. :) I was the most scared when introducing honey to him. I felt like I was holding my breath for weeks before I relaxed! I no longer keep track of the amount of honey and he's had no reaction what so ever! I really want to introduce homemade yogurt the GAPS way but I've yet to figure out how to keep it at the right temp for 24 hours. I will be posting more GAPS friendly recipes now on this blog as that is what we are focused on now.  Starting with a GAPS friendly pizza recipe that I made the other night, wow is it good! The whole family scarfed it and Atty was so excited, he hasn't had pizza in over two years after all! So far I am really loving the GAPS diet for him and I feel strongly that this diet would have been the right one for him from the very beginning, but I guess we will never know for sure... what I do know is that it's the perfect one for him now! :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

Almond flour sweet crackers

Here's a sweet cracker recipe, makes a great substitute for the good ol' Graham cracker.

3 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
2 tbsp oil
3 tbsp flax meal
40 drops stevia

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Set aside 2 large baking sheets. Cut 3 pieces of parchment paper to the size of the baking sheets.

In a large bowl combine the almond flour, salt, and spices. In a medium bowl whisk the eggs and oil then add in the flax meal and stevia. Stir the wet ingredients into the almond flour mixture until thoroughly combined.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Place 1 piece of dough between 2 sheets of pre-cut parchment paper and roll out to the edges evenly. Remove the top piece of parchment paper, cut the dough with a pizza cutter into two inch squares {or what ever size you want} and transfer the bottom piece of parchment paper with the rolled out dough onto the baking sheet. Repeat with the other piece of dough.

Bake for about 16 minutes. I cook them at the same time {separate racks one above the other in the middle of the oven} so about half way through baking I switch the baking sheets on the racks so that they both cook evenly. Let the crackers cool on the baking sheet about 30 minutes.

Valentine's day treat idea.

Holidays can be hard on a special diet. Especially when you have three kids that are not on a special diet and one that is. It's a fine balance. On the one hand I want the kids that are not on a special diet to just have fun on the holidays, splurge a little, maybe even go a little crazy. It's a holiday after all and we are so careful about what we eat for the most part. Healthy whole foods diet, very little junk food {and there is a lot of food that makes our junk list that others wouldn't consider junk} and my kids are great about it. Everyone likes to have special treats now and again though. So on holidays I like to let my kids have treats we normally don't eat. I'm fine with it. But now I have a kid that can't have anything sweetened with anything except stevia so that doesn't leave a lot of options come holiday time. I don't want him to feel left out. We've made lots of changes in the last two years, and once again my kids have been wonderful about it. No candy in bright shiny wrappers is our rule now. Because I just can't duplicate that one for Atty. So I buy bulk chocolates for the kids and dried fruit, things like that. Then Atty's freezer candy doesn't look so different and he doesn't really care about the dried fruits. It is fun to get treats in shiny wrappers though. That's why candy comes so colorfully wrapped after all, people like it. And my kids, like so many others, stare longingly at it in the store. So right before Valentine's day, while I was shopping, I saw red tin heart containers with chocolates in them and a light bulb went off for me. I quickly bought up four of them and went home and emptied one of them out. Then I made a batch of Atty's freezer candies and sprinkled some shredded coconut on top that I dyed red with food coloring. Once they had set in the freezer I put them in the heart container and stored it back in the freezer. Then on Valentine's day I was able to give all the kids a fun bright container of chocolates to celebrate. They were all very excited. So now I know to keep my eyes open for reusable holiday containers that I can empty out and put Atty's type of treats into. Helps to make him feel included.

I use a heart shaped ice cube tray for Atty's candies. I use a mixture of cashew butter, a little coconut oil, a small amount of unsweetened cocoa powder, and liquid stevia to taste. I sprinkled unsweetened shredded coconut on top that was dyed red for a little holiday fun. You can also add coconut to the mixture it's really yummy that way. I have also added finely chopped pecan to the mix as well, very yummy. Put them in the freezer until solid. They melt easy so you have to eat them up right away when you take them out of the freezer, but Atty never has a problem with that, he loves these!

Here they are all nestled into the heart shaped container. :)

Now Atty has treats just like his siblings. Such an important thing when you're a kid.
No one feels left out, made this mommy so happy!

And there you have it. Atty loved his treats {as always} although I think he was even more excited about having a tin just like everyone else. He carried it around for the rest of the day and told his dad about it when he got home. :) Some times it's the little things that matter most.