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When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

What Grade Would You Give Your Food? I give mine a B!

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That’s why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

I like to be a good steward with my finances. I look for the best deals when I shop for food and health and beauty products. But that’s not the only factor to consider.

Quality Matters

I could buy a grocery cart full of really cheap food…and pay for it with my health. Instead I look for the best quality that fits within my budget.

My decisions about what to feed my family and what to use on our bodies and in our home are not just about organic vs. non-organic. They go deeper. I love to support companies that are using their business as a force for good. That means they are having a positive impact socially and environmentally.

If you’re like me you don’t have time to research every company to see how they do business.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Do They Make the Grade?

That’s why it’s so nice to have the B Corp certification. You can simply look at the product package to see if you are supporting a quality company.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Certified B Corps meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.

Who’s in this great group? There are many B Corp certified companies (you can find a list here). I recently got the chance to try a few. They include:

  • Stonyfield Yogurt (we LOVE their whole milk grass-fed yogurt)
  • Pukka (tulsi tea is great for women)
  • Preserve (all of my kids wanted this toothbrush…but I told them mama gets it)
  • Purely Elizabeth (granola is one of my absolute favorite foods…this one is amazing)
  • King Arthur (as an avid gluten free baker this gluten free blend comes in handy)
  • Method (the kitchen is where I spend most of my day…which means my kids do too…and we have plenty of opportunties to wash hands!)
  • Pete and Gerry’s (I could eat eggs every single day. They are a nutrient powerhouse. But for me quality is so important when it comes to eggs since we use a lot of raw yolks.)

When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.
I’ve been a fan of Stonyfield for many years (and my kids sure love trying all their products!! They fought over our yogurt). I love knowing we are getting organic dairy.

Some of these companies are new to me. It’s always fun to be introduced to new companies and products that are high quality and making the world a better place.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

My Favorite

Of all the products my favorite was the Pukka tulsi tea. I’m working hard right now to balance my hormones and supercharge my diet to replenish nutrients after breastfeeding for 2 1/2 years (!!). Just days before receiving this package a friend suggested trying tulsi tea. You can imagine my great delight to find some on my doorstep!!

I’ve been combining the Pukka tulsi tea with a few other herbs like hibiscus, red raspberry leaf and nettles to really give myself a boost and support my hormones. This tea gets both an A+ and a B from me!When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

Are you using your dollars to support companies that meet a high standard in addition to delivering quality food? It is important not only for our bodies but also for our children’s futures.

The next time you go shopping make sure your food makes the grade. Make sure it scores a B!

Want to learn more? Find out about B Corp certification here.When it comes to our food, quality matters! That's why I support B Corp certified products like Stonyfield Yogurt and many more.

I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

I’m Slowing Down…

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

I’m slowing down.

Whether I want to or not. I am. My mind is. My body is.

Here’s the problem.

Life is not.

In fact life is going in the complete opposite direction.

I have three very active children that seem to keep growing…don’t they know they’re supposed to stay little forever?

With those growing kids come more and more activities like soccer, t-ball, piano, church activities, time with friends, etc. As each child starts the activities multiply.

Full Time Work.

Then there is work. I work from home. I started my blog shortly after my oldest was born as a hobby. But it has grown into more than just a hobby. I have to work on it daily. And it’s a LOT of work. But now instead of just my own blog I help with someone else’s blog and write for several other blogs and magazines. Those hours add up very quickly. And none of them include child care.

I also started home schooling this year. Which I absolutely love and can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. But it does take work. I have to be more organized and I don’t have as much free time during the week.

Did I mention we are moving to a 10 acre farm by the end of the year? That means we’re in the process of packing and cleaning right now. Soon we’ll be selling our house and then doing the big move…during the holidays. Yeah, it’ll be busy.

No Big Deal?

This all sounds like normal stuff. Most people can handle it.

But I’m struggling.

It’s not something I like to admit. But I am.

I am the kind of person that likes to say yes to everything and everyone. I also don’t like to ask for help. Those two traits don’t go so well together.

I also don’t have any help aside from my husband. We don’t have close family in town. If life is feeling crazy and hectic I just have to deal with it. I can’t call Grandma to take the kids for a few hours so I can catch my breath. Instead I get a few minutes of nap time to scroll through Facebook or Pinterest before jumping back in.

What Happened?

The thing is I used to be able to handle more busyness. So what happened?

I didn’t listen to my body.

I wasn’t honest about my struggles. I never accepted help. I never asked for help. Not even from my husband!

I’ve had a lot of really big stressors in my life over the last fifteen years. Bigger than I realized. And they took a toll. Major colon surgery. Years of infertility and treatments. Years of anxiety and obsessive compulsive disorder and working with a psychologist.

I thought I was over a lot of the major stuff after that. So I didn’t even realize until just now how stressful the last three years have been.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Three Years Of Worry.

In mid 2013 I went through my last (7th!!) round of IVF…which ended in a miscarriage. The miscarriage lasted over a month. And my adrenals and thyroid went haywire. My whole body was swelling. I was gaining weight every week. Things were out of whack. I was trying hard to make huge lifestyle changes.

And just when I was making some progress I got pregnant with my miracle baby…the thing I had been working towards.

I was so happy, and the pregnancy went smoothly.

But it caused me a lot of anxiety. I worried about the health of the baby every day. But I just dealt with it. As I did my adrenals continued to suffer.

Wait, It Gets Worse?

After my daughter was born things were good for a bit. Then she had multiple severe vaccine reactions. And I spent the next year and a half fighting for her life. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alone than I did during that time. I worried about her and cried about it almost daily.

Her malnutrition and fighting to keep her nourished through nursing impacted me so much that even now, at 2 years old, every time I nurse her I have heart palpitations. Even though she only nurses a couple times a day and is a great eater. It’s my body’s natural response…worrying she won’t get enough.

To add to the stress of the last three years we’ve dealt with health issues for my other two children. It started as allergies and general gut health and has now turned into neurological issues.

As I’m typing this I’m still trying to unwind from a morning of my five year old constantly screaming at me and responding to everything I say with an extreme negative. Sometimes to the point where he shuts himself in the closet and screams over and over that he wants to kill himself.

It’s exhausting, disheartening and just overwhelming at times. All I can do is keep praying.

Allergies.

It is also a lot of work to cook for my family. With so many varying allergies I always have to cook multiple meals and make just about everything from scratch…even if I don’t have time.

There is no such thing as ordering pizza or going out to eat when I just don’t have the energy. Or even pouring a bowl of cereal when I can’t even think about breakfast.

It is a huge responsibility on my shoulders. If I don’t do it my kids can’t eat.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Waiting For Our Dream.

Over the last year we have had some huge ups and downs in our house search too. We have had multiple offers accepted but then things not work out for one reason or another. It’s been very emotional and at times has felt very similar to our infertility journey. We are praying this house is really the one and we can move past this by year’s end.

Deeper Thoughts.

When I was growing up my mom dealt with anxiety and depression. At about the same age as I am right now she had a nervous breakdown and was in in-patient care at a mental health facility and was on lots of medication. We got to visit her once in a while and had to have my grandparents help take care of us. I was in third grade. My little brother was in kindergarten. Right now my daughter is in third grade and my son is in kindergarten. Yeah, it really makes me think about how things could go if something doesn’t change. I don’t want that to happen to my kids.

I’ve also always thought I’d have four kids (just like my family growing up…girl, boy, girl, boy. Right now we’ve got girl, boy, girl). From the time I was five all I wanted to do was be a mom…and have four kids. There were times during my infertility journey I wondered if I’d ever be a mom at all. But I still held on to that dream of having four kids.

Now here I am with three kids…and the desire is still there, stronger than ever. But I also know my body is not healthy enough right now for another baby. And I’m not getting any younger. And life isn’t getting any easier. It weighs heavily on my mind almost daily. Though I try my best to remember that God’s plans and timing are perfect. We’ll see what the future holds.

Taking Its Toll.

Through the last few years of pregnancy and breastfeeding and stress my body has become extremely depleted. Which really doesn’t do good things for you, trust me.

Over the last few months I’ve started having more and more heart palpitations (which freak me out). I have started to gain weight in my abdomen over the last nine months (something I’ve never dealt with).

I thought maybe my thyroid was getting worse. I had my levels checked…perfect. I still tried increasing my medication just to be sure. No luck. If anything it made me feel worse.

So I did a 24 hour saliva cortisol test. It’s really not bad. My levels are in the normal range most of the day. But I think they are working very hard to stay there.

My adrenals are really being taxed on a daily basis.

Adrenal Health.

So I’ve been doing some research on adrenals. A few of the things that always come up:

  1. Get more sleep and go to bed by 10 pm.
  2. Don’t skip breakfast and eat a good balance of protein and carbs.
  3. Reduce stress.

I always thought sleep was my biggest problem.

But I don’t really think it is. I go to bed at 10 every night. I have for many years. I’m not a night owl. And although I am an early riser I get about 7 hours of sleep a night. So I could improve, but it’s not horrible.

I never skip breakfast. I am ready to eat the minute I get out of bed. I’ve been that way for many, many years. And I eat a big breakfast.

I also don’t skimp on calories throughout the day. So I’m not restricting in any way when it comes to quantity…a huge bonus for adrenal health and your metabolism.

Oddly enough the things that are a hindrance to most people are the things I’ve been doing right for years.

Sleep and morning routines are great. It’s the rest of the day I have to figure out.

It comes down to two things – stress and a limited diet (due to a nursing toddler with allergies).

So…

So now what? I can’t just stop life. Can I?

Well, not exactly. But I can make some changes.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

My body is getting older and slowing down. Life is getting busier. I’m ready to switch that around.

So I’m making a few goals for myself. And if I share them with you it will help me stick to them.

Maybe you want to join me?

These are goals for my myself as an individual and for my family.

  1. Lay down during the day for 5 – 15 minutes. Resting isn’t always enough. Physically laying down can really help recharge your body.
  2. Eat a snack in the afternoon to help with blood sugar regulation (I can’t wait to learn more about this in the Fix Your Blood Sugar course!!)
  3. Eat less before bed to give my body time to rest and truly recharge at night instead of working on digestion.
  4. Change my exercise routine. Try more T-Tapp and yoga and do less cardio.
  5. Sleep in on the weekends (this is a HARD one for me…but I am really going to try)
  6. Take time off from work (another really hard one…I love sharing my stories and my food with you…but it’s a lot of work…I may be MIA here and there over the next few months/years…it’s because I’m heeding my own advice). Keep the weekends more open for family time.
  7. Use our move to get the house organized and more functional for us so we spend less time with chaos and cleaning.
  8. Start using some hormone-supporting essential oils (still researching these a bit).
  9. Start the big kids on some herbs that help with calming their nervous system and a cleanse to get rid of parasites.
  10. Continue to have my oldest work with the functional neurologist to also improve the nervous system. And possibly have my son start as well.
  11. Take time for my marriage and connecting with my husband (it’s been over 2 years since we’ve been on a date due to the above situations…I think it’s about time!!)
  12. When my toddler is done nursing I can add a few more to this list – hormone level testing and another hair tissue mineral analysis to see where I’m at. Then go from there with flooding my body with the nutrients it needs.
  13. Read as many of the books and take as many of the courses in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle as I can. After I download them I’ve got them for life. So I can take my time. But for once I am going to make the time. There is just such a wealth of knowledge contained in the bundle. It may take me a few years to get through it all. But I really hope to. I’m starting with the Perfect Periods course and the Heal Your Gut Summit. Then I think I’ll switch over to some of the books on kids’ health. Maybe I’ll even include it in our home school curriculum and read it with my kids!!

Life Is Still Crazy.

I know the next two months are still going to be pretty stressful with moving. But I know that up front and am going to take measures to deal with it as best as I can.

I also know that there is much more to the root issue than adrenals. I’ve got to work on hormone balancing and overall gut health.

Sometimes you tell yourself to just keep going. But sometimes you can't. I can't. I'm slowing down. It's time to listen to my body and take action.

Then once we get settled I’m ready to start a new lifestyle.

One that includes home schooling all of my kids, starting a farm and watching them learn about raising animals, getting away from the busy pace of life and just slowing down. Having that goal in mind keeps me going.

If I can remember I hope to do an update on this in a year. I love to look back and see how much has changed. See where God has led me and how He has directed my path.

God’s Plans.

Even this post was not one I had planned to write at all. I just sat down in front of the computer and started typing. Really. I wanted to share a piece of me with you today. And that is one last goal. To do more of that moving forward.

At the start of this year God really laid it on my heart that this would be a year of huge change. I had no idea what. But I knew stuff was coming. He also told me to be fearless. And I am trying my hardest (though it is REALLY hard for this natural worrier). So far He has been true his intentions. If you had told me at the start of the year I’d be nursing a healthy toddler, home schooling my oldest and getting ready to move to a 10 acre farm I would have said you were crazy. But God is good.

I feel more changes still to come.

Including even more change in focus in my writing. I’m not even sure what that means. But I trust God does. And He’ll guide me.

Do you have any goals you’d like to share? Did any of this resonate with you? I’d love to hear about it!!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Does a Negative Allergy Test Put You In The Clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Allergy tests are great for pinpointing food reactions. All three of my kids have had multiple rounds of testing done.

Sometimes the test confirms a suspicion I have about a trigger food. Sometimes it helps me figure out a random allergy that I never would have guessed.

Not Always Accurate

But allergy tests are not 100% accurate. An IgE skin prick allergy test only checks for a reaction to the protein in the food. You could have a strong reaction to the sugar in a food (lactose intolerance is a great example) and test negative for an allergy.

An IgE blood test is even less accurate. It checks for antibodies in the blood to a specific food. It can help confirm a diagnosis after a skin prick test is positive. But it is not a very good diagnostic alone.

Food Sensitivities

IgG blood tests are a bit controversial. Some say they are great for detecting food “sensitivities”…actually called latent allergies. Others say this test can give different results every time. You could draw blood three times in the same day and get varying results.

I have done an IgG blood test for myself before. I had mixed feelings about its accuracy. So I’ve never done it for my kids.

All this to say that allergy tests absolutely have their place. And they are quite helpful for diagnosing allergies that range anywhere from mild to severe and life-threatening.

But just because an allergy test is negative does not mean you can throw caution to the wind and eat whatever you want.

My Son

My son has been dealing with various degrees of allergies for many years. It started from birth with some reflux. Then at age two he developed bad eczema on his legs. Thus started our journey with allergy testing and food elimination.

Every time he is tested a slew of foods shows up. We cut them out, work on healing for a while and retest. 

But every time this has happened things have gotten a little more challenging. For example, rice showed up on his first allergy test. We cut it out. Six months later when he was retested the rice allergy was gone. Yet three years later he still can not eat rice without noticeable reactions.

Making Progress

In spite of some foods still causing problems we were making progress narrowing his list of reactive foods. Then in early 2016 after the onset of stomach aches and an inability to eat much he was retested.

To our shock he had a back full of welts. We were given a prescription for an epi-pen. And he was diagnosed with potentially anaphylactic allergies to nuts, dairy and a few other foods.

Wait, what happened over the last year that made his allergies go from mild and healing to life threatening??

Even though we didn’t have an answer to that question we moved forward, removing the necessary foods, always carrying an epi-pen, doing our best to keep him safe.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Not Fixxed

He had some reprieve for a bit. We were so happy to see him get an appetite back and really start growing.

But before too long he started having a lot of stomach aches again. Gradually they started to become more frequent. They prevented him from sleeping. They stopped him from eating well.

More Testing

It was back to the drawing board. We started by going to the pediatrician. We did a CBC and metabolic panel. We did urine and stool tests. All normal.

So it was back to the allergist for another round of testing, fearing another laundry list of foods to avoid.

And we got a huge shock!

Every single skin prick was negative. Not even a tiny bit of reaction. So we did the blood test. Again, all negative.

Nuts, dairy, wheat…everything…negative.

Food reactions are common and sometimes hard to pinpoint. Allergy testing can be helpful. But what happens if you get a negative allergy test? Does it put you in the clear?

Although it was good news I was more confused than ever! The allergist (a new one) said his old test was likely inaccurate because foods were tested at the same time as airborne/environmental allergies.

Now what?

Do I just throw out his allergy list and let him eat whatever he wants? Do I trust the tests?

My husband and I both see glaring evidence of food reactions.

Digging Deeper

Well, I did what I do best. I observed, experimented and researched.

The thing is food reactions are a sign of a deeper issue.

Just because an allergy test is negative does NOT mean you can eat a particular food.

This is something I am very passionate about and believe so many parents could benefit from.

Behavior, digestion, skin, emotions…they are all impacted by the food you eat. Even healthy, nourishing food can create a negative reaction.

Case in point – my whole family (you can read more about it in my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!).

Experimenting

We gradually let my son try a few foods he’d been avoiding. His stomach aches increased in frequency. His mood declined. He started wetting the bed. He developed bad breath.

Then we let him try some goat’s milk. Wow.

The result was horrific meltdowns, almost as if he was a psychiatric patient. Anything and everything caused him to scream, cry, hit himself and berate himself. It’s a parent’s nightmare.

No amount of comforting him and trying to talk through his feelings helped. If his big sister wouldn’t play with him – meltdown. If I told him I was reading a book his little sister picked out before the book he picked out – meltdown. If he wasn’t crazy about some of the food on his plate – meltdown.

This list could go on and on.

After some charcoal and a few days off of dairy he returned to a more stable state.

Sadly it’s not just dairy that does this to him. There are quite a few foods, all with varying degrees of reactions.

I could also go through our entire family listing foods and reactions. Yet we all test negative for food allergies.

So now what?

What do you do if allergy tests are negative but food reactions are present?

You get help from others who have been there. You find doctors and practitioners who are willing to dig deeper and find a cure instead of simply avoiding certain foods.

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

Healthy Kids

In my book I teach you how to observe your child and not just accept the poor behavior. Find a root cause and fix it. Say goodbye to picky eating and temper tantrums.

Beyond Allergy Testing

If allergy testing isn’t giving you answers, here are some other conditions to consider.

  1. Overall gut dysfunction/leaky gut.
  2. Parasites – they are more common than you think. They tend to really act up around a full moon, so if your child is worse during that time it is something to consider.
  3. Slow metabolism.
  4. Thyroid disorders.
  5. Lack of sleep
  6. Mineral imbalance/nutritional deficiency

And here are some potential treatments.

  1. GAPS diet (Gut And Psychology Syndrome)
  2. Parasite cleanse
  3. Probiotics
  4. Digestive Enzymes
  5. Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis

 

You can also treat food reactions from a more neurological and physical perspective. This includes:

  1. Functional neurology
  2. Chiropractic care
  3. Craniosacral therapy
  4. Osteopathic manipulation therapy
  5. Energy healing
  6. Muscle response testing

Baby Steps

I don’t have all of the answers for you. We are still in the trenches with my son’s reactions, trying to find the correct path forward. 

I know we will keep digging until we find the problem and the solution. We will restore my son to full health. We will find health for our whole family!

A negative allergy test does not give you free reign on food.

You have to dig a little deeper. It’s more work, but so worth it! In the end you will be able to eat more of the nutritious food your body needs.

Have you or your children been tested for allergies? Was it helpful or confusing?

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Teach Your Kids About Nutrition To Banish Picky Eating

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don’t just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

I’ve had my kids in the kitchen with me since my oldest was a baby. It has been such a blessing for for all of us!

I love the special time together. I love teaching them life skills. But one thing that has really amazed me is how much of what I teach impacts their willingness to eat nourishing foods.

I can tell my five year old, “Eat your spinach. It’s good for you.” Or I can say, “Try your spinach. It will help you run really fast and help your muscles grow big and strong.”

I bet you can guess which method works better. For what it’s worth, my son is not a fan of spinach. But we’re getting there. And every time he has to try it the information about its health benefits gets reinforced!

A New Resource On Nutrition

Needless to say my kids already know quite a bit about nourishing food. It’s a way of life for us. I talk to them about the importance of eating real food all the time.

So I was very excited when I had the opportunity to read Kathryn Kemp Guylay’s book Give It  A Go, Eat A Rainbow. She and her son wrote and illustrated the book together! How awesome is that?

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

The pages are filled with bright colors, beautiful produce and a wealth of information on the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables. It was even educational for me!

Now when I make a smoothie and add squash and spinach, instead of trying to hide that fact I excitedly tell my kids, “We have orange and green in here!” I then add cherries and blueberries and tell them, “We have FOUR different colors in one smoothie. What a nutritional punch to start the day.” They really do get excited.

Kathryn and her son share a cute story about finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of fruits and vegetables. Plus there are questions for kids to answer to reinforce what they learn.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Kids Are Smart

As a mom of three I have learned a very important lesson. Kids are smart! Much smarter than we give them credit for. There is no need to dumb down nutrition. Give It A Go, Eat A Rainbow gives sound nutritional facts that kids can understand.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

Teach your kids about nutrition at a young age to help ensure a lifetime of good health. While they are young mom and dad get to make food choices. But as they grow they take over the decision making. Equipping them with knowledge will go a long way.

Do you struggle to get your kids to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables?

I highly recommend reading Give It A Go, Eat A Rainbow with them. You might be surprised with how much they understand and the great choices they make.

Want your kids to eat a rainbow of fruits and vegetables? Don't just tell them real food is healthy. Instead teach your kids about nutrition!

If you’re still struggling with picky eaters after teaching your kids about nutrition check out my book Why Won’t My Child Eat?!. There could be a deeper issue.

I was compensated for my time to review this book; however I was not paid to write a positive review. All opinions are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

The REAL Reason I’m Teaching My Kids To Cook

Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I’m teaching my kids to cook. Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

 

“It’s a good thing I like to cook.”

I made that comment to my husband earlier this week. And I really meant it.

With all of the varying allergies in our house cooking is a full time job. I’m not joking. I spend half of my day in the kitchen.

It’s a rare treat if I can come up with a meal the whole family can eat. There is no such thing as convenience food (unless you mean a box of raisins.). Eating out? That’s a thing people do?

Even as we look ahead to visiting family this summer I have to do the meal planning. I don’t get a break whether I’m home or traveling.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Nobody else can cook for my family.

There is no substitute for me. Even my husband doesn’t know how to cook.

It doesn’t matter if I’m sick.

It doesn’t matter if I’m tired.

If I don’t cook, my kids don’t eat.

I happily accept the challenge of keeping my kids well fed and healthy. It is actually my passion.

The REAL Reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not to get me off the hook!

Everyone deserves a break.

But let’s be honest. Everyone needs a break sometimes. If you don’t get one, that passion fades a little. The joy of cooking isn’t quite the same when your food is reduced to a handful of safe options. And I don’t have ten hours a day to cook.

Have you tried cooking when you can’t let one person’s food touch another’s food? You must use a new knife for everything you cut. Did I stick that spoon in this pot or that one? Better get a clean one just to be safe. What rotation day are we on? Better check so we know what your snack options are. Does this measuring cup have latex? Gotta wash my hands after I add the flour to the bowl (or buy new measuring cups). Everyone must wash up as soon as they are done eating so you don’t get an allergen on anything.

Nothing is easy.

Easy meals like sandwiches are a big undertaking. It requires me to make my own lunch meat and bake a minimum of two kinds of bread. Pizza…three separate crusts, two kinds of sauce, different toppings, some with and some without cheese, bake on separate pans, use different pizza cutters. Not so easy.

Cooking and eating at my house is like a very delicate juggling act. Fun in some ways. Not as fun in others. And one little slip up and it comes tumbling down.

Cooking is a learned skill.

When I got married I really had no idea how to cook. I had a handful of things I could make. But not very well. And most of them involved packaged foods.

Over the years I have taught myself to cook. I have learned to be creative in the kitchen with evolving food restrictions and new diets. I always gladly accept each new challenge. I’m thankful I get to share my journey and my creations with you!

The REAL Reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not to get me off the hook!

I want some replacements.

But my kids won’t be little forever. I won’t be in control of what they eat when they grow up. I can’t make choices for them when they are not home.

I want to empower my kids to take control of their own health and understand how to eat well in spite of their allergies. I want to share my passion for real food with my children.

Yes, we are working on and hopeful for healing. It would be wonderful if someday we can all eat the same food and a much larger variety of food. But that is not guaranteed.

What I can for sure give my kids is the knowledge and ability to cook and care for themselves.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Here’s the plan!

That’s where the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse comes in. We started it back in January. But I’ll be honest – life was crazy busy. We only did it sporadically.

When we did do the course my kids LOVED it. And they learned so much. Now they are always begging me to help in the kitchen.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for summer so we can dive back in and really get cooking.

The real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook - and it's not so I can take it easy.

Sound good? Go check out The Kids Cook Real Food eCourse!

You can do beginner, intermediate or advanced or get all access if you have kids of all ages and skill levels. There is something for everyone. Do it at your own pace and watch the videos whenever it fits in your schedule.Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Lofty goals.

My first goal for this summer is to have my eight year old be able to make an entire meal by herself, start to finish. Then in a pinch I know I could rely on her to make a meal. That may sound like an ambitious goal if your kids don’t normally cook. But she’s been cooking with me since she was nine months old. She loves helping in the kitchen. Now it’s time to let her really take responsibility.
Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.
Even my toddler can get in on the action now. I’m excited to let her practice cutting banana slices for herself and spreading lard on her bread.

Who knows, maybe I’ll even convince my husband to tune in to some of the classes and learn a few cooking skills too.

I love cooking in spite of our challenges. But I don’t want my kids to depend on me forever (well, I do, actually…can I keep them this small?). Sadly they do have to grow up.

I could say I’m teaching my kids to cook so I’m off the hook. But really that’s not it. I want them to be safe. I want them to stay healthy even if a situation comes up where I can’t be around to cook a meal. I want my children to be able to visit Grandpa and Grandma and tell them what they can eat.

How about you? Are you ready to give your kids skills for life?

Click here to register for the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse

It’s an investment in your kids’ future.

The real reason I’m teaching my kids to cook is to empower them and keep them safe and healthy. What is your motive for teaching your kids to cook?Getting my kids in the kitchen has been one of my favorite things to do since before my oldest could even walk. But fun and games aside, this is the real reason I'm teaching my kids to cook.

Need more info about picky eating and allergies? Check out my books!

Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters

Why Won't My Child Eat?!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

A Simple Cure For Picky Eaters | Just Take A Bite

A Simple Cure For Picky Eaters

Sometimes picky eating is a much deeper problem than it seems. But sometimes it’s not. Here is a simple cure for picky eaters…that aren’t really that picky.

A Simple Cure For Picky Eaters | Just Take A Bite

I wouldn’t call any of my kids picky eaters.

Wait a minute. Isn’t this whole site devoted to feeding children that struggle with eating? Yep! And I learned it all from my kids.

But none of them is picky.

To me a picky eater is a child that is truly just wanting to have some control and make his own decisions about his food.

A picky eater is not a child whose diet is limited to noodles and crackers. That is a much deeper problem related to the child’s health (be on the lookout for my book on how to deal with that soon!!)

My kids all have other root causes for their eating issues. When they are feeling good they are all wonderful eaters.

Today I’m talking about the kind of picky eating that is more a battle of wills than taste buds.

If your child is a picky eater there is a simple cure. Teach your child to cook!

I can’t tell you how many times my kids have practically inhaled a meal because they helped prepare it. They feel such a sense of accomplishment.

Great idea! But how exactly do I teach my kids to cook?

Katie at Kitchen Stewardship has put together an amazing course for both parents and children to teach kids of all ages to cook.

My kids and I have been previewing the course over the last couple months. Not only are my kids absolutely loving it and learning a lot, I’m learning too!

I’m learning basic skills I was never taught as a child. I’m learning how to teach my children and how to work with them in the kitchen.

So far my kids’ favorite part has been using knives (of course). You can preview the knife skills for free right now.

But there is SO much more to learn. My four year old is already starting to crack eggs. My seven year old is very anxious to try making a detailed recipe on her own. She actually made today’s breakfast (she even planned it) of strawberry parfaits.

Kids Cook Real Food is a way to get the whole family on board with healthier eating and put that picky eating to rest. Who knows, you may have a budding chef on your hands!

The course is open for enrollment this week.

Check out the free videos and get ready to end the picky eating by teaching your child to cook. It is a skill that will benefit both you and your kids for life.

Does your child have strong opinions about what she will or won’t eat?

A Simple Cure For Picky Eaters | Just Take A Bite

There really is a simple cure for picky eaters. Get them in the kitchen! If that doesn’t work. Come back and see me when my book is ready and we’ll talk more!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work?

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work? I’m sharing my story about HTMA and whether or not it worked for me.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

As a continuation of health updates and yesterday’s post on why I stopped eating gluten free, I’m talking about my experience with hair tissue mineral analysis (HTMA).

This is actually my second HTMA. I did my first with my local NP a few years ago. But this post is about my most recent HTMA.

I had intended to write about it much sooner since I did my HTMA in May! But I really didn’t have anything to write about for a long time. This has been such a slow process for me. And discouraging at times when I hear of other people that see improvement in a matter of weeks.

Here we are six months later…and not a whole lot has changed.

What is HTMA?

But before I get into the details of my story I just wanted to quickly mention what HTMA is.

According to Dr. Wilson,

“Hair tissue mineral analysis…is a soft tissue mineral biopsy that uses hair as the sampling tissue.

The test measures the levels of 20 or more minerals in the hair with an accuracy of plus or minus about 3%.  This is about the same level of accuracy as most blood tests, or a little better.”

“Minerals are sometimes called the ‘sparkplugs’ of the body.  They are needed for millions of enzymes as co-factors, facilitators, inhibitors and as part of the enzymes themselves.  As a result, they have a great deal to do with the health of our bodies.  By analyzing mineral imbalances in the body, one can learn a lot about the causes and correction of hundreds of common physical and mental health conditions.

A specific class of minerals, the toxic metals, are also extremely important today due to a nutritionally depleted food supply and the presence of environmental toxicity almost everywhere on planet earth.  Studying toxic metals is thus very important today to monitor their spread and learn about their many damaging effects upon the bodies of human beings, animals, plants and other organisms.

Even more can be learned about human and animal health by studying the ratios of the major minerals in the body.  This is a more complex area, but a very important and fruitful one.  Finally, by studying more complex patterns of minerals in the body, one can learn even more about human health and disease.”

Basically HTMA gives a window into your body, your mineral levels and how they all interact with each other. This information can help you supplement (without guessing) to get things in balance.

My results.

I did my HTMA in May with Lydia from Divine Health From the Inside Out. I was not the least bit surprised when the results came back that nothing was in the normal/ideal range for me.Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work? | Just Take A Bite

Just about everything was low…except the two things I thought would be low. Calcium and magnesium were high!

Having all of these lows and highs creates major imbalances and my mineral ratios were way off.

I got a whole write up and game plan to address these imbalances. Great! I’m on my way to better health.

But things are never that easy for me.

Have I mentioned before how abnormal my body is? I never follow the norm or what is “supposed” to work (i.e tolerating gluten and corn but not rice or quinoa).

My dilemma.

I wanted to get my vitamin and mineral levels up because I am breastfeeding. But my daughter’s allergies made that more of a challenge than I had hoped. It’s a double problem…I’m deficient partly because of her…and I can’t do anything about it because of her. When I want to do something about it FOR her!

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

All of this was happening at the same time my daughter had just developed a new round of allergies and wouldn’t eat and it seemed like I was cutting things out left and right. My poor baby was literally starving.

(It’s actually hard for me to even look at this picture because I know she was so hungry and in pain. This was about our lowest point.)

I couldn’t tell what was bothering her. And adding supplements on top of that did not help.

I started a special multivitamin…only to realize it had Vitamin A PALMitate. Not so great for a baby with a palm allergy. She was screaming in pain after I took that.

I started a new hcl supplement to help digestion. Again, major issues. I stopped taking them and after more research discovered the betaine comes from beets. My daughter can’t handle any kind of root.

I was supposed to take a vitamin A supplement but never even got started because it too was from palm.

I started a new probiotic and had severe die off reactions and had to take a break and start MUCH slower on the dose.

Basically nothing was working. I couldn’t take any of the supplements. Plus I just didn’t have the time or energy to focus on myself when my daughter was in such rough shape. She was barely eating and I had to put all of my time and energy into her health. And I couldn’t risk trying anything else new.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

A new start.

Here I am, six months later. I’m no longer in a daze from being up all night with an infant and under constant stress and worry about a baby that is undernourished and unhealthy.

It is finally time to give my own health some attention.

I have gone over my HTMA game plan quite a few times. Most recently I made my own chart of how all of the different minerals and ratios relate and what health issues they contribute to.

What I learned.

Here are some of the things I’ve learned both from Lydia and from my own research.

  1. I am a slow oxidizer. This means my body requires a lot more oxygen and energy to digest food. Basically I have a slow metabolism. So I need roughly 60% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 15% fat in my diet. This is HARD for me since I love healthy fats and know just how beneficial they are. Not to mention I think breastfeeding moms need plenty of fat.
  2. It doesn’t matter how healthy a food is – if you can’t digest it, it doesn’t do you any good. For a slow oxidizer like me this relates to fats and protein. Both are full of vitamins and minerals. But they are so hard for me to digest. Until I improve digestion I need to keep my intake of both on the lower side.
  3. The first step in my healing journey is to improve digestion through betaine + hcl and probiotics. I have started the probiotics. I need to find a betaine supplement not made from roots.
  4. With such a high tissue calcium level I can’t take any vitamin D. That means NO cod liver oil! Instead I need to really increase vitamin A to assist this. And since most vitamin A supplements are from palm that means I need to eat more liver!
  5. I also need to get sodium, potassium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, chromium, phosphorus and selenium levels up. This would be so much easier if I could eat any food I wanted.

What I didn’t like.

Here are a few things that I didn’t completely agree with.

  1. One size fits all diets don’t usually work for me. While the slow oxidizer diet is pretty broad, it still is too restrictive for my current required diet. I wish I could eat according to the suggested diet. But for now I have to do the best I can with the options I have. Which includes eating gluten.
  2. The diet recommends a little too much water and fiber in my opinion. For someone with a slow metabolism (i.e. a slow oxidizer) water intake should be quite low. And any liquids should be salted. Also, my body can’t handle much fiber at all. I can’t do any kind of whole nut/seed/grain. The bran must be removed or I am in a lot of pain. Yes, we do need some fiber. But I don’t think we need large quantities. It can aggravate an already inflamed digestive tract.
  3. Although slow oxidizers need a lot of carbohydrates, the diet suggests mostly low starch carbohydrates. I need a lot of starch in my diet else my body temperature will plummet and I’ll have no energy. That is why I need plenty of grains in my diet. Along the same lines the diet says that if you feel  hungry after a meal you ate too much starch. That seems kind of silly to me. If you are hungry after a meal it means you need more food! It doesn’t mean you ate too much. I almost always keep munching while I’m cleaning up dinner. And I don’t gain an ounce. I just needed more food. I actually tried cutting back on starch a few days ago to see how it would go. I could barely walk up the stairs to put my kids to bed in the evening because I had no energy. It felt like I was climbing a mountain and my legs couldn’t go any farther. I’m not a fan of the low starch idea.

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

The verdict.

If you are looking to improve your health, I definitely recommend trying HTMA. It will give you a good picture of what is going on in your body and where you are lacking.

Here are a few tips that just about everyone can use to improve vitamin and mineral levels and digestion.

  1. Chew each bite of food very thoroughly, at least 15 – 20 times, before swallowing.
  2. Eat in a relaxed environment. Sit down and take your time. Sitting on the floor to eat can help.
  3. These are easy sources of lots of vitamins and minerals. Include the ones you tolerate in your diet weekly.

My take away.

So here I am with pretty much the same health status I had six months ago when I did my HTMA. Does that mean it didn’t work? No. I just couldn’t do much to change my health.

I know I haven’t made much progress due to dietary and supplemental restrictions. But I’m doing what I can. I am trying to move forward right now by increasing my liver consumption to get more vitamin A. I continue to increase my probiotic dose. I take molasses daily for potassium. I use Natural Calm for magnesium. I try to eat plenty of vegetables and carbohydrates.

I know I could use more sleep. Hopefully that will improve as my little one gets older.

I would love to do a retest at some point. I would also love to get all of my family members tested. I’m sure my kids have some imbalances.

It is nice to finally focus on my health now that my daughter’s allergies are under control and she is thriving.

All of the information I’ve been given makes more sense now that I’m not in a fog from an infant and constant stress. So I can start making progress with healing.

I’ll end the way I started.

Does hair tissue mineral analysis really work?

Absolutely!

Does it mean you’ll be feeling great in a few weeks?

Probably not. Especially if you are like me and have multiple set backs.

But it is definitely worth it to assess your health!

Have you ever done HTMA?

I’d love to hear your story!

Does Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis Really Work | Just Take A Bite

(My heart overflows with joy and gratitude looking at this picture of my happy, healthy, little fighter. She is a true gift and a miracle.)

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Why I Stopped Eating Gluten Free | Just Take A Bite

Why I Stopped Eating Gluten Free

Are you eating gluten free? Or have you wondered if you should? Today I’m at Kitchen Stewardship sharing my story about why I was eating gluten free…and then stopped. And why I’m thankful for wheat!

Why I Stopped Eating Gluten Free | Just Take A Bite

Some people think eating gluten free is a fad. Some say you only need to avoid gluten if you have an allergy.

At the opposite end of the spectrum are the people that think all grains should be avoided by everyone for good health and for autoimmune conditions. The word “wheat” makes them cringe. I ate that way for a while on GAPS but found out the hard way it wasn’t for me.

Then there are those in the middle that are eating gluten free due to celiac disease, hypothyroidism, allergies, digestive impairment and a host of other health ailments. Or simply to try to feel better.

Me? I fall in the middle.

How it all started.

I started eating gluten free when I was struggling with infertility and hypothyroidism.

All of my kids have allergies. So I cut out gluten as part of our effort to heal their bodies. We have all been eating gluten free for quite a few years now.

This decision has had a big impact on my children’s behavior and ability to focus. Once or twice a year I give them a small amount of gluten to see how their bodies are doing. So far they still react very strongly. My son literally goes crazy. My daughter seems like she is in another world.

I truly love gluten free living and enjoy cooking and baking gluten free foods. I’ve got tons of gluten free recipes here.

Why I Stopped Eating Gluten Free | Just Take A Bite I used to eat gluten free...but now I don't. Wheat has literally been a life saver for me and my daughter.

What went wrong.

Then along came baby number three last year. And things got a little crazy.

Head over to Kitchen Stewardship where I’m sharing what happened that led me back to eating gluten and why I’m very thankful for wheat. It truly has been a life saver.

 

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

Stuffy Noses, Tangled Hair and Allergies: A Natural Remedies Review

When the cold or flu hits, when allergies flare or when kids can’t settle down don’t reach for a pill. Instead try some simple natural remedies.

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

When it comes to natural remedies I am definitely a novice.

I know food backwards and forwards. But herbs, oils and spices? Salves and tinctures? Come again?

Keep it simple.

You can imagine my delight when I flipped through Natural Remedies for Kids and saw just how easy it is to make so many natural treatments at home!

And I really do mean easy. Because if they weren’t I would have just put the book back down.

Natural Remedies is so easy to follow and find what you need. The advice is practical and straight forward.

Easy tips.

There are common sense tips like braiding long hair to keep it from getting tangled at night. Yes, I used that one immediately on my daughter! Then there is no need for any detangler (though if you need one there is a recipe for it).

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

Allergy treatments.

I have talked a lot about my daughter’s environmental allergies and struggles with clogged sinuses. Natural Remedies has an easy recipe for allergy syrup that is on my to-do list.

In the mean time we’re trying nettle tea. I had no idea it was so good for allergies.

There is really some kind of remedy for just about every common concern. It includes respiratory ailments, colds, flu, skin and hair issues, bumps and bruises and even emotional problems (like hyperactivity and anxiety).

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

Start small.

I am slowly building my supply for my natural medicine cabinet, starting with some of the more common and cheaper ingredients (like turmeric and nettle leaf). I will gradually add on as I become more familiar with and more comfortable with natural remedies.

One of the things that I love so much about finally going down this path (aside from the fact that it was one of my goals for this year that had been going by the wayside) is that I can make things that are safe for my youngest. Pretty much all OTC medications (both conventional and natural/homeopathic) contain some form of palm or coconut.

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

Save money.

You can still get Natural Remedies for Kids at a discount price right now. I’d snatch it up! This will be my go-to resource this winter.

And if you have a child like mine that is a sponge and loves to read anything and everything let them take a look and learn right along with you!

Natural Remedies for Kids is a resource that will benefit the entire family and help promote a natural lifestyle and overall health. If you are new to natural remedies or just looking to expand your knowledge this book is for you.

Natural Remedies Review | Just Take A Bite

I have been compensated for my time commitment to review this product. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for  you.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Allergies: Avoiding Is NOT Healing {10 Tips Plus An Update!}

Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

*As with all of my posts, this should not be taken as medical advice.  I am not a doctor.  I am just a mom that has a lot of experience and has done a lot of research.  Every person is different and responds differently to diet and supplements.  Not all allergies can/will be healed or prevented even on the healthiest diet.  But I hope many can make steps in a positive direction with some simple changes.*

Allergies.  Whether food or environmental they are not fun.  But an allergy diagnosis is also not a life sentence.  There are things you can do to heal rather than simply avoid allergens.

Today I’m talking about food allergies and some of the mistakes so many people make when dealing with them.  I know so many families that deal with food allergies.  But I never hear much talk about trying to get rid of them.  They just suffer with them.

How do I know about the mistakes so many people make?  I’ve been there.  I’ve made them…with both myself and my children.

Where do allergies come from?  There is no single answer.  Often times allergies are passed down through generations.  According to my allergist they usually come from the father.  So it makes sense that since my husband and my father-in-law have allergies my children do too.  Keep in mind it’s not necessarily the same allergy that gets passed down.  My husband and my daughter have environmental allergies, but my son has food allergies.  It is still TBD if he has environmental allergies as well, but the allergist said it looks like he does.

Allergies can also be a result of the mother’s health and diet both before and during pregnancy.  If you ate a lot of peanut butter while pregnant it can increase your child’s chance of having a nut allergy.  Though some say the opposite is true.  If you had an unhealthy gut during pregnancy your child might as well.

Also, if you have a c-section your child does not pick up your good gut bacteria from the birth canal and usually gets some antibiotics in his or her system.  We deal with this situation as well.  My gut health was definitely not where it should be during pregnancy.  I also had c-sections for all of my children.  That being said I was on a REAL food diet when pregnant and breastfeeding my son.  He still developed allergies.

Note that the health of the mother can have an impact not only on her own children, but on her grandchildren and great grandchildren!  It can be passed down through generations.  Just as it can take several generations to make a significant impact for the better.  So while my diet won’t totally keep my own children from health problems.  My changes plus the changes my own children make will likely have a positive impact on future generations.

These are just a few of the many possible sources of allergies.  And most people have multiple factors that play a role.

Regardless of the source, allergies are a big pain.  My son was diagnosed last year with quite a few food allergies.  The worst being dairy.  We are thankful he never had any life threatening reactions (we don’t even own an epi-pen).  But it was still not pleasant to see him suffer.  He had hives, eczema, digestive issues and behavioral issues.Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

After our first visit with the allergist we had about three foods to strictly avoid and about ten foods to not eat very often.  We tried that method for a while.  The result?  After six months he had new food allergies.  This seems to happen to many people.  The allergies aren’t too bad so you just limit the offending foods.  But it doesn’t work.  Then you cut them out completely.  That helps.  But it still doesn’t solve the problem.

What now?  Here are the things I’ve learned about allergies that I hope will help you as well.

1. Avoiding does NOT heal allergies.

This is probably the most important thing to understand.  Avoiding the problem foods will definitely help ease symptoms and reactions.  This is an important first step.  But it doesn’t actually get to the root of the problem.  Allergies are an autoimmune problem.  You have to heal the gut and the autoimmune system to actually get rid of the allergies.  Else they are almost always going to be with you for life.Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

2. Work on the gut.

The gut is the source of the problem.  You need a healthy gut full of good bacteria.  How do you get that?

There are many healing diets you can try like GAPS, SCD and AIP.  They tend to be quite restrictive and not individualized.
I prefer to follow some of the healing principles of these diets while adjusting for individual needs.  So here are the main things that I think are helpful to everyone that needs healing, even if you don’t follow a specific diet.

*Bone broth – try to consume this every day if possible.  It is so nourishing and healing.  Even if you do nothing else, consuming real broth will greatly improve your health and your immune system.  It is also a great source of calcium and other vitamins and minerals that are often missing on a restricted diet.

*Probiotics – find a good quality probiotic to take daily and rotate brands periodically to get different strains of bacteria.  You can also add fermented food to your diet to obtain a variety of good bacteria.

*Gelatin – this is the main component in broth.  It is also very healing and very easy pure protien to digest.  You can add it to just about anything.  So it’s very easy to give it to children.  My kids love homemade fruit snacks.  Plus I add collagen to drinks and smoothies.  It does not gel and has no flavor.

*Avoid gluten – even if you are not allergic to wheat it is problematic for most people.  I don’t think eating grain free is necessary for everyone (though some do benefit from it while healing).  But stick to gluten free grains.

Homeopathy and parasite cleansing can also help to heal allergies.

3. Rotate foods and eat a variety to prevent creating more allergies.

One of the biggest pitfalls when dealing with allergies is eating the same foods over and over.  This is the one I struggled with the most.  I had no idea that eating the same food day after day can actually cause problems.  But it does.

I need to clarify here – if you are a healthy individual with no gut or autoimmune issues food rotation is not necessary (though still good for you).  But if your immune system is already compromised and attacking your body then eating the same foods every day will create new problems.

When I was in college I ate granola and apples pretty much every single day.  Now two of my biggest problem foods are oats and apples.  I honestly don’t know if I’ll ever be able to eat them again without digestive distress.

The same thing happened with my son.  While his body was still at a low point we were struggling with what to feed him.  If we found something he would eat willingly we tended to give it to him quite often.  That is how he added new allergies to his list, like peas and avocados.

The more you give your child the same food day after day the more allergies they will develop.  Although it can be tough to find anything to feed them some days you have to try.

A common allergy protocol will include a rotational diet.  I’ve been on one myself before.  The general idea is that you rotate foods on a four day schedule.  So if you eat an apple one day you can’t have one again for four days.  If you eat dairy one day you can’t have it again for four days.  It is challenging to eat this way, but it can really help with healing and prevention.

I have found that we don’t need to do strict four day rotation for every type of food.  But I do make sure to get variety in our diet.  If I serve broccoli for dinner one night I won’t serve it again for quite a few days.  I try to serve a variety of fruits, meats, vegetables and grains throughout the week.  I don’t worry too much about rotating what types of fat we use.  But the rest I try to make sure we get variety and rotate things.

I urge you to make this a priority.  I see way too many kids gradually get worse because they eat the same foods all the time.  The diet gets more and more restricted as new allergies arise.Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

 4. Avoid processed foods.  Make the diet as nutrient dense as possible.

Another important part of healing is making sure the diet is as nutrient dense as possible.  That means avoiding all processed foods and loading up on the good stuff.

The good stuff includes broth, grass-fed meats (especially cuts on the bone, with fat, including beef, pork and poultry), pastured eggs, organic fruits and vegetables and healthy fats (real butter, coconut oil, lard, tallow, avocado and extra virgin olive oil).

It is critical to avoid vegetable oils like canola, safflower, corn and sunflower.  These are found in just about every packaged food.  Even things like cereal should be cut from the diet.  It has no nutritional value and can actually do more harm than good.  It may be easy, but it will hurt your efforts in the long run.

Healthy food does not have to be complicated.  Snack on a piece of fresh fruit.  Cook a vegetable in butter or coconut oil.  Serve raw veggies with homemade sour cream dip.  Eat leftover roast chicken for some energy.  Keep it simple, but real.

 5. Be strict about avoidance.

 This is another component of healing that I did not understand at first.  The allergist told us we could give my son some of his problem foods in limited amounts since they didn’t show a strong reaction.

So that is what I did.  I really was good about only giving these foods once in a while.  But it wasn’t enough.  And those allergies actually got worse at my son’s six month check up.

Even if a food shows only a small reaction it’s still attacking the immune system every time you eat it.  And it does not give the body time to settle and heal.  It’s like having a cut.  If you leave it alone completely it will eventually heal.  But if every day you pick at it just a tiny bit it’s going to stay irritated and inflamed and maybe even get worse.

If you or your child has any degree of allergy, avoid it.  Once the body has gone through some healing then you can gradually add foods back.  But when the body is inflamed and very sensitive even small amounts of allergens will cause big problems.

It takes a while for allergens to fully clear from the body.  So if you are periodically having small amounts of a problem food you never fully clear it out.  Foods like dairy and gluten can stay in the system for as long as 6-8 weeks!  You have to give the body time to fully rest.

6. Detox methods can be very helpful.

When the gut is healing detox is often an important part of the process.  As you add the good bacteria and nutrients to your body the bad stuff will have to get out.

I am no expert on detox.  I struggle with it myself.  But I do know that one of the easiest ways to gently detox is with epsom baths.  Simply add epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for twenty minutes.  This even works well for kids and is very relaxing.

Another simple way to detox is by drinking lemon water.  You can add a couple drops of lemon essential oil to your water or even some real lemon juice.

Detoxing will help speed up the healing process. Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

7. Diet at a young age is very critical.

It is very important to observe your child for any allergy symptoms from birth.  From day one my little one had green bowel movements (and a LOT of them in a day), a red bottom and even blood in her stools.

She had little red bumps all over her face.  Most people just ignore this and say it’s “baby acne” and don’t give it another thought.  But the skin is a great indicator of what is going on inside.

Once I cut dairy and wheat 100% out of my diet she was such a happy baby.  No more twenty dirty diapers a day.  Normal looking bowel movements.  And clear skin.

Does this mean that my baby has allergies?  Not necessarily.  But I’m not taking any chances.  I’m going to let her body rest and heal to help prevent problems down the road.

Even when my little one starts solids I will be very careful about what she eats.  Keeping children grain and sugar free until they are at least one year of age is very important.  They do not have the enzymes to digest grains.  And sugar is just not necessary or healthy for them.

Stick to whole foods like fruits and vegetables, bone broth, grass-fed meats and pastured eggs.  Don’t forget to give them plenty of healthy fat like butter, coconut oil and sour cream.  It is so important for their brains, hormones and overall well-being.

By avoiding foods they react to and filling their bodies with nutrient-dense foods you can minimize long term health problems.  This is also helpful for healing allergies at a young age if they do arise.  It does not guarantee your child will not develop allergies.  But it will give them a good foundation for improving health.

I was on the GAPS diet myself when pregnant and breastfeeding my son.  He had a very nutrient dense diet.  He still developed allergies.   But he had a solid foundation of health that really helped on our journey.

8. Find ways to relax.  Stress will only make things worse.

If there is one thing I understand very well it’s how stress and anxiety impact your body.  I am the queen of worry.  Worrying about health and diet is at the top of my list.

Stress will actually weaken your immune system and cause problems of its own.  If you are in the process of healing worry can really sabotage your efforts.

I find that often it is the parents that worry about the children with allergies.  It’s natural.  But it is so important not to let it show!  Kids pick up on your fears very quickly and mimic your behavior.

If I make a big fuss over what my kids can and can’t eat when we are around others then they get uptight about it.  If I act like it’s no big deal and don’t get emotional about it they think nothing of their restrictions and don’t worry about possible reactions.

Allowing your child to be a child and not worry about their allergies is one of the best things you can do for them.  You need to let them know the importance of the situation, but they don’t need to worry.

Whether it’s you, your child or both that worries, find ways to relax.  A detox bath can help.  Also any enjoyable activities like reading, exercising or being with friends.

I have to also mention here that proper rest is critical as well.  Your body does most of its repair work while you sleep.  If you don’t get enough rest your body will gradually get more and more run down.  You’ll see signs of it in your skin, your mood, your digestion, everything.  So making sure you and your child get enough sleep is very important.

 9. Picky eating is often a symptom of allergies.

I have written quite a bit about picky eating since we have struggled with it with both of my big kids.  For my oldest it was related to oral sensory issues.  But for my son it was tied to his allergies.

When he was very young he was a great eater.  Anything I put in front of him he would devour.  He didn’t even want sweets.  He loved all vegetables and meats.  Around the age of two he started to eat less and less.  It became a struggle to get him to eat good food.  That is also when his allergies surfaced.

For a while we had a battle at every meal.  Just putting one bite of a vegetable on his plate sent him running and crying from the table.

This is very common in children with allergies.  It’s not because they are being strong willed.  It is because their bodies are run down and food actually doesn’t taste good to them.  The bad bacteria wants sugar and starch.  That is what they crave.

But don’t give up.  Keep trying.  Give them a variety of foods.  Start with just a vegetable on their plates when they are really hungry.  Even if they only get one bite down give them praise.

As the body heals their appetite will increase and their tolerance of a variety foods will increase as well.  I am amazed almost daily lately at what my son will eat without hesitation now that we’ve been working on healing for a while.Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

10. Even if an allergy does not show up on a test there can still be a reaction happening.

This last point is a tricky one.  You have to be very observant of how you or your child responds to foods.

Originally my son was diagnosed with an allergy to peas.  But by his six month check up it went away.  We were so excited.  So we let him have peas again.

It took us months to figure out that peas were still bothering him.  He may not have a true allergy to them anymore, but his body was still reacting to them.  It took a lot of trial and error to figure it out.  But once the peas were out of his system he was finally free of his digestive problems.

Even if an allergy seems to clear be sure to add the food back in very gradually (start with once a week) and observe any reactions.  There can still be an allergy or a sensitivity even if a test does not show it.

We have observed a similar situation with our oldest.  She does not have any food allergies.  But she definitely reacts to gluten.  Once she went gluten free we saw big improvements in her overall health, growth and behavior.

Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

This is my top ten list of ways to work on healing allergies and prevent them from getting worse. 

Simply avoiding allergens may relive symptoms.  But it will not take away allergies.  Start taking steps now to heal instead of simply avoiding.  These steps do not guarantee healing.  But in most cases they will at least provide an improvement.Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

And now for the update:

Over the last year we have experimented with my son.  We’ve had times where he was symptom free.  We’ve had times where we couldn’t figure out what was bothering him.  He has gotten rid of some allergies and has acquired others.  But we have been working hard to heal his body with probiotics, broth, gelatin, rotation and avoidance.

It is amazing to see the progress he is making.  About six months ago his diet was very limited.  I struggled to find more than one vegetable he could/would eat.  He loved avocados (not really even a vegetable, but it was all he would eat), so I gave them to him a lot.  And of course that led to an avocado allergy.  When we would put one tiny piece of cooked carrot on his plate he would run from the table crying and wouldn’t come back until it was gone.  If I managed to get him to put a sliver of raw carrot in his mouth he would spit it out instantly.  If we got squash in his mouth he would gag and spit it out.  It was that bad.

Fast forward a bit.  Two weeks ago he ate an entire RAW carrot in his lunch…with no problems.  When he was helping me prepare cauliflower for dinner he grabbed a piece (again, raw) of his own accord and happily munched on it.  Another day he had a plate full of food for lunch, including a vegetable.  He asked me if he could also have a dish of plain salsa to eat.  My son that screamed at the sight of vegetables six months ago asked for extra without me even mentioning it.  We used to have to force him to try one bite of a vegetable.  Now he’s asking for more.  The other day I made pizza for dinner.  My son finished the squash on his plate before his pizza.  He has even told me he loves crunchy carrots now.  It’s pretty amazing.

He also used to have eczema all over his legs.  He would scratch it until he was bleeding.  Now his legs are totally clear.

His other major symptoms were loose bowels and frequent urination.  They both subsided once we finally got all of his allergens out of his system.

In addition to the eating improvement and clearing of symptoms my son is definitely making great progress in his development!  He has grown about 1 1/2 inches in the last six months.  He is fully potty trained now.  And he is finally showing interest in learning letters, writing, coloring, etc.  He is also making great strides in his speech with just a few visits to the speech therapist.  Now that his body is working better he is just taking off in all areas of development.

Last week my son had his one year check up since being diagnosed with food allergies.  I was hopeful and nervous.

I am happy to say that we have healed my son of all but two food allergies!!  He even got rid of his dairy allergy!!!!  It is truly amazing.

The only allergies left are to banana and corn.  Corn is actually a new allergy.  I’ve been suspicious of that one for a while since he eats a lot of corn when he can’t have wheat or rice.  And as I said above if you give a lot of one food when the body is in the healing process that is when new allergies pop up.

So we’ll keep bananas out as before and get rid of corn.  I can live with that!Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Now we begin the process of gradually adding foods back and seeing how he tolerates them.  Of course we are starting with dairy.  My son is so excited.  And I’m hoping he tolerates it well.   It will take a while to fully introduce dairy.  Since he has not had one bite of it for a year his body will have to relearn how to digest lactose.

So far we have given him very small amounts of plain, whole milk yogurt per the allergist recommendation and a tiny bit of butter.  From there we will follow the GAPS protocol for introducing dairy and see how it goes.  I’m hoping he can tolerate all dairy at some point.  But for now I’ll be happy if he can at least handle raw dairy.

Once we get through dairy we’ll gradually add the other foods – beans, peas, grapes, pears, avocado, tuna, rice and nuts.  We’ll probably do peas and avocados last since even just a few months ago those were bothering him.  We also get to try turkey finally this Thanksgiving.  Last year he could not eat turkey.  But I don’t think I’ve served any turkey since his allergy cleared at his six month check up.

Even though he does not have a wheat allergy we will continue to eat gluten free.  It is especially important as his body has more healing to do.

Of course as we start this process of reintroducing foods I will continue to give him healing foods and continue the process of getting his body to full health.Allergies - Avoiding is NOT Healing || Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It is truly amazing to me the power of real, nutrient dense food.  It is also beyond my wildest dreams that God would allow us to have two stories of healing in one year.  My blog is focused on dealing with infertility and allergies.  This year we welcomed our third child, conceived naturally.  And now we’re on our way to being a food allergy free house!  God is good!  Real food heals!

 Do you or your children struggle with food allergies?  Start taking steps now to heal.  It can be a long process, but it’s worth the effort.

If you suspect your child may have food allergies I strongly urge you to get them tested.  It is a simple process and then you can end the guessing game.  Typical symptoms can be eczema, hives, loose bowels, constipation, frequent urination, delayed development, picky eating that is not just a short phase and behavioral problems (like tantrums and hyperactivity).  For symptoms such as throat swelling seek immediate help.

If you made it to the end of this post I commend you.  It was a long one!  But the information is so important.  I have learned so much in the last few years about dealing with allergies.  I hope you can use some of this information for yourself or your children.  Please pass it along to anyone you know dealing with food allergies.  Real food can heal.

Do you have a story of healing?  I’d love to hear it!!  Do you have more questions?  Ask away.

This is a great starting point for dealing with allergies.  If you’d like to read more here are some other great articles:

Why I Stopped Eating Eggs | Simply Healthy Home

Best First Foods For Babies | Mix Wellness

Feeding Nourished Babies | Raising Generation Nourished

Do You Have the Guts to do the GAPS Diet? | Holistic Squid

Three Surprising Ways To Heal Food Allergies | Weed ‘Em and Reap

A Surprising Natural Food Allergy Remedy | Whole New Mom

What Causes Food Allergies | Nourishing Days

 

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In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.