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Category: Food allergies

Does one (or all!) of your children have food allergies? Sadly this is no longer a rare thing. More and more kids struggle with food allergies now than ever before.

I’ve been there too. Skin testing, blood work, epi-pens…the works. It can be challenging or down right scary.

But you don’t have to live in fear. And you don’t have to just accept food allergies as a life sentence. There is help!

My son went from over twenty food allergies and an epi-pen to being able to eat just about anything. Even nuts!

There are ways to heal the gut and nourish the body so your child can get back to a normal life. Food allergies have so many underlying causes. Once you figure out the root problem and treat it the body will begin to heal.

Don’t let food allergies define your life. I’m here to help you and your child heal.

Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute. Convert your favorite baked good recipes into egg-free versions with a couple little tweaks.

How to Bake Without Eggs | A Simple Gelatin Egg Substitute

Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I’ll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute. Convert your favorite baked good recipes into egg-free versions with a couple little tweaks. Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute.

Gluten-free baking can be tricky. You have to learn what flours go well together. You need to learn the correct ratios of starch to fiber. But once you get the hang of it, you can make some pretty amazing baked goods.

Until you have to eliminate eggs.

Eggs can make or break allergen-free baked goods.

Have you ever seen a recipe that uses coconut flour? It’s usually loaded with eggs.

Many wheat alternatives simply don’t have the ability to bind. And that is where eggs come in. They are the glue that holds gluten and grain-free baked goods together.

What Can Be Used Instead of Eggs in Baking

As a mom of kids with allergies, I’m thankful there are quite a few options for egg replacements in baking. These include:

  • chia seeds
  • flax seeds
  • JUST egg
  • applesauce
  • banana
  • yogurt
  • nut or seed butter
  • psyllium husk
  • gelatin

They all have their place in certain recipes. But commercial egg replacers are usually loaded with unhealthy processed vegetable oils. And sometimes you either don’t have another substitute on hand or your kids are allergic to those as well!

That’s why my go-to egg substitute is gelatin.Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute. Convert your favorite baked good recipes into egg-free versions with a couple little tweaks.

How to Replace Eggs with Gelatin

Gelatin is protein. So it is very similar to real eggs in that sense. Gelatin is also easy to have on hand at all times as it doesn’t go bad. No refrigeration needed. No fear of it going rancid.

My general rule of thumb is one to two teaspoons of gelatin replaces one egg.

Simply mix the gelatin with a small amount of cold liquid (water, milk, etc.). Then dissolve it completely with hot water and add to your batter.

It’s really that simple!Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute.

Gelatin Egg Substitute

Gelatin isn’t a straight substitute for eggs since eggs contain more than just protein. So I always compensate by adding a little extra fat (oil, butter, etc.) to my recipe when baking egg-free.

That combination of protein and fat works really well in most baked goods.

Sometimes I also add a little psyllium husk for binding. Gelatin, fat, and psyllium husk mimic the properties of an egg very well.

Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute. Convert your favorite baked good recipes into egg-free versions with a couple little tweaks.Egg-Free Baked Goods

Most baked goods require you to add the eggs at the beginning of the recipe.

The opposite is true when using a gelatin egg substitute. Adding the gelatin mixture at the end is preferred. This keeps the gelatin from gelling before baking.

Since it can be tricky to get the hang of egg-free baking, it’s best to start with a tested recipe that you can follow. Over time you’ll be able to confidently replace eggs in any of your favorite baked goods.

How to Bake Without Eggs

Here is the breakdown of baking with a gelatin egg substitute.

Gelatin Egg Substitute

Prep Time 2 minutes
Servings 1 egg

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  • 1/4 cup cold liquid (water, milk, juice, applesauce)
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 tsp. psyllium husk optional
  • 2 tsp. avocado oil, olive oil, butter, or coconut oil optional

Instructions

  1. Add the psyllium husk and oil into the batter of whatever you're making.

  2. After all other ingredients have been combined, mix the gelatin and cold water/milk/juice.

  3. Let sit 1 minute.

  4. Add the hot water to the gelatin mixture and stir to dissolve.

  5. Immediately add the gelatin mixture to the batter and mix well.

  6. Proceed with the baking instructions of your recipe.

Recipe Notes

The cold water/milk/juice should be some of the liquid already called for in the recipe to avoid too much liquid.

This replaces 1 egg.

Working around egg allergies can be tricky. In this tutorial I'll show you how to bake without eggs by using a simple gelatin egg substitute.How to Bake Egg-Free Cake

One of the most common needs for egg-free baking is cake. Yes, even kids with egg allergies want cake for their birthdays!

Thankfully gelatin eggs work really well in egg-free cake.

Some of my favorite egg-free cake and muffin recipes include:

And many others are easily adaptable using this gelatin egg substitute!

What Desserts Do Not Contain Eggs?

If you are intimidated by any kind of egg substitute, rest assured there are plenty of delicious desserts that are naturally egg-free.

What is the Best Gelatin?

When it comes to gelatin, there is really only one option in my mind. We always use Perfect Supplements gelatin.

This is the only gelatin in the world that is certified glyphosate free! That is pretty amazing.

Want to know what else is amazing? You can get 10% off Perfect Supplements gelatin or any of their other great products using the code TAKE10.

Stock up on gelatin for egg-free baking HERE.

Ready to start some delicious egg-free baking? Stay tuned! Tomorrow I have an amazing egg-free orange muffin recipe for you. My kids (and I!) devoured them.

Do you struggle with egg-free baking? What is your go-to egg replacement?

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Should You Force Feed a Picky Eater?

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track! Here is my secret weapon to get any picky eater back to fully nourished status and enjoying lots of real food again.

I am a big fan of gentle parenting. I like to let my kids make decisions, learn from their mistakes, listen to their bodies and follow their passions.

Really it is a great way to parent.

I want my kids to mature and be independent thinkers, not control their every move.

But that went out the window with my youngest daughter when she was struggling to eat anything. She couldn’t listen to her body anymore because all she heard was fear.

Food meant pain. Food meant allergic reaction after allergic reaction. And she was too little to communicate how she felt. So she simply stopped eating.

How to Feed an Under-Eater

What did I do?

I forced her to eat.

Now, before you become alarmed, let me explain what I mean by force feed.

When my daughter was at the point of being afraid to eat I had to convince her brain and her belly that food could be safe. Which meant getting a few bites down.

Sometimes that meant giving her a few tortilla chips. Sometimes that meant offering her a cookie. The actual food didn’t matter. Just getting something in her empty stomach was the key.

But sometimes there was no food that would entice her enough to take a bite. And yes, sometimes I did have to try physically pushing a little bit of food into her mouth to get past the initial fear. But she sure is good at dodging that!

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track! Here is my secret weapon to get any picky eater back to fully nourished status and enjoying lots of real food again.

Nourishing Drinks for Picky Eaters

Enter my secret weapon – nourishing drinks!

Often with picky eaters or children having allergic reactions half of the battle is the chewing process. So I skipped that and started offering delicious drinks. To my great joy my daughter started drinking them!

Want to know what happened next?

She started eating solid food again! Simply getting some safe, nourishing food in her system was enough to replenish nutrients and stimulate her appetite. And that is such a critical point.

To be clear, this did NOT happen over night. This was a long process with many setbacks like new reactions and illness. Then it was back to square one of living on nutrient-dense drinks until she was refueled enough to eat again. This has been a two year journey!

he idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Variety for Picky Eaters

One key to using drinks for nourishment is variety. We all need an assortment of vitamins and minerals every day and every week. This is especially true for kids with allergies that need to rotate food.

Picky eaters are at risk for nutritional deficiencies. In fact, these deficiencies often cause picky eating in the first place! 

So I set out to create an assortment of delicious drinks that covered a broad spectrum of nutrients to alleviate the picky eating. And I want to share it with you!

If you struggle with any of the following in your child, this book is for you!

  • picky eating
  • oral sensory processing disorder
  • allergies
  • refusal to eat certain textures
  • slow weight gain/underweight
  • won’t eat many fruits and vegetables
  • won’t eat meat
  • craves starch/carbs
  • holds food in mouth/struggles with chewing

Want to know who else it’s for? Any parents that want to boost their child’s nutrition! Yes, this book really is for everyone.

The idea of force feeding a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track!

Grab your copy HERE!

Easy Nourishment for Picky Eaters

I offer simple, nourishing drinks to help get any picky eater back on track to full health and appetite. Kids and adults alike will love these drinks that include fun flavors like apple pie a la mode and peach cobbler. The recipes in Easy Nourishment For Picky Eaters work for those with allergies. They are even safe for children as young as 6 months. Don’t let picky eating get in the way of good health. Drink your way to a well-nourished body.

Yes, there are some days that I still have to “force” my daughter to eat…just get her to take one bite and remind her that food is not scary. Her favorite way is with a “chocolate shake” loaded with healthy fats and gut-healing collagen. That is my kind of force feeding!

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track! Here is my secret weapon to get any picky eater back to fully nourished status and enjoying lots of real food again.

It can be hard to feed an undernourished child. But take heart! He can be nourished with simple, nutrient-dense drinks. The best part is he won’t even know. And hopefully you won’t have to force feed him!

Do you have a picky eater? Did you know there could be a root cause?

Boost those nutrients and watch that picky eating turn around!

The strategy to force feed a picky eater sounds cruel. But it might be just what your child needs to get back on track! Here is my secret weapon to get any picky eater back to fully nourished status and enjoying lots of real food again.

Looking for more than nourishing drinks? Check out my other book Why Won’t My Child Eat?! that has in-depth information about how to assess and deal with a picky eater.

How To Turn A Pork Roast Into Ham | Just Take A Bite

How To Turn A Pork Roast Into Ham

Are you looking for a way to serve ham without worrying about nitrates, nitrites and fillers? Make your own! You can easily turn a pork roast into ham in your crockpot.

How To Turn A Pork Roast Into Ham | Just Take A Bite

I love ham. I mean love it.

You can imagine my sadness when my daughter had a reaction to ham while she was still breastfeeding. That meant no ham for her…or me.

How To Turn A Pork Roast Into Ham | Just Take A Bite

Why You Should Avoid Ham

Pork was not the problem.

The problem is whatever is used for smoking/curing. Even something simple like beet sugar caused a reaction.

But aside from allergens, there are the added nitrates and nitrites. This is not a cut and dry issue either. Some say avoid it all. Some say just be careful of quantities, whether naturally-derived or not.

Whatever your reason, sometimes it’s a good idea to avoid cured meats, including ham.

How to Turn Pork into Ham

I avoided my beloved ham for a long time – until I decided to make my own! You can turn a pork roast into ham right in your crockpot (this is my favorite one).

No fancy tools. No strange ingredients.

Really all you need is pork, salt and a sweetener.

I used a rolled pork roast. But any cut will work.

Homemade Ham in the Crockpot

Cut some slits in the pork, put it in the crockpot and add the salt and sugar. Turn the crockpot on and you’re pretty much done.

How To Turn A Pork Roast Into Ham | Just Take A Bite

Your holiday ham really can be that simple. And you don’t have to worry about nitrates or nitrites or whether or not celery powder is better or worse.

To turn a pork roast into ham the important step is using lots of quality unrefined sea salt. Then adjust the sweetness to your liking.

If you want your ham really smokey you can also add a little liquid smoke (be sure to find one without coloring added).

Pork Loin Ham Recipe

As I write this I’m thinking about how tasty our homemade ham was. I might have eaten all of the leftovers myself. Though now I wish some had made it to the freezer so I could enjoy it again.

I guess that means I just need to make another!

Are you thinking about making a Christmas ham?

Save time and money by making it yourself this year! Just put it in the crockpot in the morning and spend your time focusing on delicious side dishes and desserts.

No crockpot? Or you’ve already filled it with something else? You can make ham in the oven too.

How To Turn A Pork Roast Into Ham | Just Take A Bite

Homemade Ham
Turn a pork roast into a delicious ham with a few simple ingredients and a crockpot.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 pork roast (cut and size of choice)
  2. 2 - 4 tsp. unrefined sea salt (adjust based on size of roast)
  3. 2 Tbsp. - 1/2 cup any combination of sweeteners (honey, maple syrup, organic cane sugar, organic brown cane sugar, molasses; adjust to taste)
Instructions
  1. Using a sharp knife cut slits in the pork roast all over.
  2. Place the pork in the crockpot.
  3. Add salt and flip the roast to make sure there is salt on all sides.
  4. Add the sweetener (start with a smaller amount and add more later if you want it sweeter).
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours, then turn to LOW for 5+ hours.
  6. Flip the roast 2 or 3 times during cooking to make sure all sides get coated with flavoring. You can also baste the roast with the juice in the crockpot, trying to get it into the slits in the meat.
  7. An hour before serving cut the roast into large chunks and coat with the juice in the crockpot.
Notes
  1. You can use a single sweetener like honey or cane sugar. Using a combination of liquid and dry sweeteners gives a good balance of flavor and creates a good "sauce."
  2. To make ham in the oven follow the same directions, baking the pork in a covered dish at 375*F for 2 hours, then turning the heat down to 325*F for 2 hours.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

It's not always easy or cheap to lead a natural lifestyle. Sometimes we still reach for convenience foods...but of higher quality. But just what is the natural flavor in your "natural" foods?

The Secret Ingredient Hiding In Your Natural Food: What Is Natural Flavor?

It’s not always easy or cheap to lead a natural lifestyle. Sometimes we still reach for convenience foods…but of higher quality. But just what is natural flavor in your “natural” foods?

It's not always easy or cheap to lead a natural lifestyle. Sometimes we still reach for convenience foods...but of higher quality. But just what is the natural flavor in your "natural" foods?

It’s been over six years now since we cut out food coloring/food dyes from our kids’ diet. As in absolutely none. No exceptions. Artificial flavor is limited to a few times a year in a treat of vanilla ice cream.

Food dyes are connected to behavior – and not in a good way! Eliminating them has made a big difference in how my children feel and behave. It is literally like a drug for my oldest. Sometimes it makes her insane. Sometimes it makes her super mellow. Either way, it’s impacting her brain and is not good.

Of course cutting out artificial ingredients naturally lends itself to a healthier, more natural lifestyle. Who doesn’t love that?!

Instead of artificially-flavored fruit snacks you buy organic gummies or even make your own homemade fruit snacks! Instead of Trix yogurt with food dyes you get organic yogurt. Instead of traditional candy you buy organic suckers made with fruit. Sounds great!

Why Eliminating Food Dyes is Not Enough

That was us…for a while. Until I noticed my daughter was exhibiting the same behavior as when she ate the foods with artificial colors and flavors.

Being the investigator that I am, I read labels, I observed her, I kept a food journal. She had already been gluten-free for a long time. And no other food seemed to be causing the problems.

The one thing that I came up with was the ingredient common to all of these “natural” foods…natural flavor.

What is Natural Flavor?

Since then I’ve been doing more research. Both experimenting with diet and reading any information I can find. I really want to know…what is natural flavor??

Not surprisingly I came across article after article that said natural flavor is basically the same thing as artificial flavor. The only real difference is the ingredient(s) it starts with. Natural flavor starts with real food. But it still undergoes various chemical processes which result in a product not much different than its artificial counterpart.

How is Natural Flavor Defined?

According to the Code of Federal Regulations, “The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors, include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants.”

Per dictionary.com enzymolysis is: “Chemical change or cleavage of a substance by enzymatic action.

So, natural flavor can come from a chemical change of bark and it’s still within the guidelines. Interesting.

It's not always easy or cheap to lead a natural lifestyle. Sometimes we still reach for convenience foods...but of higher quality. But just what is the natural flavor in your "natural" foods?

Is Natural Flavor Harmful?

According to dailyburn.com:

“Natural flavors are coming from natural sources — the original ingredient is found in nature and then purified and extracted and added back into the food.

But, that doesn’t necessarily mean the “natural flavors” in your blueberry granola bar are simply…crushed-up blueberries. Rather, they probably consist of a chemical originally found in blueberries, enhanced and added into your food in a lab.”

“Added flavoring, both natural and artificial, could contain anywhere from 50 to 100 ingredients. And all of the extra ingredients in flavors often aren’t as innocent as you’d hope they would be. The mixture will often have some solvent and preservatives — and that makes up 80 to 90 percent of the volume [of the flavoring]. In the end product, it’s a small amount, but it still has artificial ingredients.”

NaturalNews.com states:

“Regulations for the word “natural” only apply to flavors; anywhere else you find it on food packaging means absolutely nothing regarding quality. Secondly, the FDA definition of “natural flavors” and “natural flavoring” allows for the substance to be extracted from plant or animal “matter.” So when you buy something that’s organic, vegetarian, or vegan, and it has “natural flavoring,” you could be eating a pig, cow, turkey, chicken, or lamb which was shot up with growth hormones, fed GMO pesticide-laden corn and grain – probably mixed with other animals of it’s same breed, then shot up with antibiotics due to infections and diseases from living in confined quarters on slats covered in feces.

Monosodium Glutamate is a neurotoxin that can be legally hidden from you and/or be labeled “natural flavors” in the ingredients list. MSG is not a natural flavor – in fact, it can cause brain lesions, neuro-endocrine disorders, and neurodegenerative disease in humans, but you won’t hear any doctors of Western Medicine mentioning that at your next extreme migraine emergency visit. There are more than 25 names for MSG, so sometimes you find it spread out a little, just in case the manufacturer gets “checked out” by anyone other than the FDA.”

Foodbabe.com says:

“With the words “natural flavor” food chemists and companies can put whatever they want in your food that is “generally regarded as safe” including excitotoxins. Natural flavor can legally contain natural occurring “glutamate” bi-products like MSG – which are known excitotoxins. These excitotoxins are some of the chemicals that cause your taste buds to experience irresistibility when it comes to food. Excitotoxins overexcite your cells literally until they die or are damaged causing “injury” and “incapacitating” you with disease. When consumed over time, excitotoxins can cause nerve disorders resulting a myriad of diseases from stroke to Alzheimer’s to Parkinson’s. And lots of other side effects too – like obesity, migraines, fatigue and depression.”

Remember what I said about “natural flavor” acting like a brain-altering drug for my kids? It’s not so far fetched when you really do some searching. My observations were spot on.

Do Manufacturers Lie About Ingredients?

None of it sounds very appealing and certainly doesn’t put my mind at ease.

But I know you can’t trust everything you read. So I set out to do my own investigation.

I called some popular organic food companies and some conventional food companies to ask them about the ingredients in their food (I’ll be kind and won’t name names). Sadly most of them had no answer for me.

I told them I was a mom of kids with tons of allergies. I need to know a full ingredient list or I can’t give it to my kids. Simply avoiding the top eight allergens does not cut it.

These are the responses I got:

“Natural flavor is listed so we can keep the full ingredient list from our competitors. The natural flavor in X product contains apple, corn, black raspberry, cherry, cranberry, lemon, lime and strawberry. I don’t know how it’s processed, but it does contain those ingredients.”

“The natural flavor is outsourced. The ingredients for each flavor can change by the season so we can’t tell you what’s in it. It is made from fruits, vegetables and/or spices. And they can’t be modified. There are no major allergens.”

“The natural flavor comes from a natural source. I don’t have a specific list of ingredients.”

“It is a proprietary formula that I can’t tell you. It is an all natural food or something.”

“The Natural Flavors in our products will follow our same Brand Promise to be Gluten-Free and Free-From the top defined food allergens. We have only aligned ourselves with business partners and ingredient suppliers that can adhere to our strict allergen requirements.”

One website directly stated:

“All our Natural Flavors in our certified organic product are Organic Compliant Natural Flavors and conform to the regulations of both the FDA and the very strict National Organic Plan (NOP) by the USDA.These natural flavors do not contain anything we would not be proud to put in our family’s mouths.

Please note that we consider our Natural Flavors to be secret recipes so we do not reveal the contents of our Natural Flavors. We are aware that some people may not be able to eat some of our flavors because we are unable to reveal the secret recipe and we are truly sorry for this inconvenience.”

Does Anyone Know Where Natural Flavor Comes From?

Since I was getting nowhere with the food manufacturers I tried contacting some natural flavor manufacturers directly.

No surprise…I couldn’t get any response from them!

Why Natural Flavor is Dangerous for Food Allergies

As a mom of kids with allergies it concerns me greatly that I am not allowed to know what is in just about every packaged food. Even simple foods like canned tomatoes and salsa. It also concerns me that these “natural flavors” are so common that nobody questions them.

The word natural has no real standard. It can mean just about anything. Don’t let it fool you too. If you are conscious of avoiding artificial flavors and colors, you might want to add natural flavor your list.

If it is so “natural,” why don’t you just tell us what it is??

How to Avoid Natural Flavor

I’m not just a bearer of bad news. I want you to have hope! Don’t feel discouraged! You can still live a natural lifestyle. And it does NOT have to be complicated or involve convenience foods with suspicious ingredients.

You can learn to replace store-bought products with DIY options that actually work (like homemade fruit snacks and granola bars) and are easy to make. You feel better (and even look better, too). Healthy living becomes less stressful and more enjoyable.

Our family has felt so much better by making changes to the way we eat, the products we use, and how we take care of ourselves. It’s made all the difference in the world and I want the same for you.

The use of natural flavor has been my biggest “natural food” complaint for many years. It really has no place in our food. And food companies that make quality, whole foods should be more than happy to tell consumers exactly what ingredients they use.

Do you avoid natural flavor?

If you are looking for a simple way to keep your family healthy and thinking clearly, avoid natural flavor. This mystery ingredient has no place in real food.

Homemade Fruit Snacks

How to Make Homemade Fruit Snacks | Dye-Free & Allergy-Friendly!

Impress your kids and avoid strange ingredients by making homemade fruit snacks! Just a few simple and nourishing ingredients create a fun and healthy snack.

Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

One of the best decisions I made as a parent was to stop buying packaged fruit snacks. Let’s face it – they are sort of weird, food-like morsels that really are more like candy than anything.

Even the “natural” or organic versions still have some questionable ingredients. And basically zero nutrition.

Why You Should Make Your Own Fruit Snacks

My solution to this problem is always homemade.

I’ve been making homemade fruit snacks (also known as gummies) from scratch for my kids for quite some time. I get lots of requests for the recipe.

Most people are amazed at how simple it is. But beyond that, it’s amazing how healthy they are!

We used to buy organic fruit snacks once in a while as a special treat. But not anymore.Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

Homemade Fruit Snacks with Grass-fed Gelatin

These fruit snacks are filled with nourishing gelatin (use code TAKE10 for 10% off) which is great for gut healing. They are also very safe for almost any allergy. I love that I can even make a variety of flavors for my little guy that is allergic to multiple fruits (have you ever tried finding something fruit flavored at the store that does not contain banana, grape or pear? Impossible).

My kids will easily eat a whole batch in a week if I let them. So I often have to make a new batch almost weekly! I try to make different flavors like blueberry lemon, lemon lime, lemonade and cherry. I love having very healthy snacks on hand that my kids truly love. And they don’t have to feel like they are missing out.

Healthy Snacks for Toddlers

One of the things that surprised me is how much my toddler loves homemade fruit snacks. I just make them in a pan and cut them into small squares. It’s a great finger food! Bonus that I can pack them up for when we are out and about. No little puffs or melts with strange ingredients. Just fruit and gelatin.

Do your kids like fruit snacks?

Try replacing the store-bought version with a homemade version. You can make them in any shape and flavor. Let your kids choose which ones. They’ll think it’s great! And you can know they are eating something that is healthy and healing.

This post is linked to Allergy Free Wednesday.

Homemade Fruit Snacks - Dye-free healthy snacks

Homemade Fruit Snacks
A fun, fruity snack that is full of nourishing gelatin and free of allergens and artificial ingredients.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup pure juice (i.e. blueberry, cherry, lemon, lime)
  2. 3/4 cups sweetener (cane sugar, coconut sugar, honey, maple syrup)
  3. 3 -6 Tbsp. grass-fed gelatin
  4. 1/4 tsp. sea salt (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the juice, salt and sweetener in a small saucepan. Heat slightly and mix until the sugar/honey dissolves.
  2. Taste the juice and add more sweetener if necessary.
  3. Allow the juice to cool for 10 - 30 minutes.
  4. Add the gelatin to the juice while gently whisking.
  5. Let sit for one minute.
  6. Heat the juice/gelatin mixture over low heat, whisking gently until the gelatin completely dissolves.
  7. Pour the mixture into molds or a glass pan.
  8. Refrigerate until solid (about 20 minutes).
  9. Remove fruit snacks from molds or cut into squares/desired shape from a pan.
  10. Store in a container in the refrigerator.
Notes
  1. Do not use juice from concentrate/juice that you would drink plain. Use pure juice.
  2. You may need extra sweetener for some flavors like lemon and lime.
  3. You can use one type of juice or a combination - blueberry lemon, cherry lime, lemon lime, etc.
  4. Using less gelatin will make a softer gummy and they will need more time to set. More gelatin will make it firmer.
Just Take A Bite https://justtakeabite.com/
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread {dairy free, nut free, corn free}

Gluten-free pumpkin bread is easy to make and will be a hit with the whole family. Both kids and adults will love this tasty way to add pumpkin into your diet.Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Fall is time for all things pumpkin. Do you agree?

Maybe you’re not into orange veggies. Maybe you’re experimenting with a low carotenoid diet.

But if you’re like me and have grown to love pumpkin and enjoy eating it in season, then this recipe is for you!

How to Get Kids to Eat Pumpkin

My kids LOVE this bread.  It’s slightly sweet with just a hint of spice. Spread some butter on and you have the perfect snack or breakfast treat.

I always try to get some feedback from my family when I make a new recipe. According to my six year old this bread is “a bajillion times good.”  She gave it two thumbs and two toes up.

Then she told me “it tastes like it came from the store…it tastes like it’s processed!”  That may sound odd, but her definition of processed is anything that doesn’t come from our kitchen. In other words, she thought it was so good you’d never know it was gluten-free and that we didn’t buy it.

I must say that I agree with her assessment. Sadly two loaves disappeared pretty quickly. Now I have to make more.Gluten-free pumpkin bread is easy to make and will be a hit with the whole family. Both kids and adults will love this tasty way to add pumpkin into your diet.

How to Use Up Leftover Pumpkin

Do you have leftover pumpkin from making pies or leftover squash from Thanksgiving dinner? Gluten-free pumpkin bread is the perfect way to use them!Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread: Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Corn-Free

This would make a great day after Thanksgiving breakfast or accompaniment to some turkey noodle soup.

Add chocolate chips or chopped nuts to make gluten-free pumpkin bread extra special.

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Be sure to make a big batch of gluten-free pumpkin bread so you can stock your freezer. Simply cool, slice and wrap a loaf of bread. Freeze it. Then take slices out as  you need them.

This recipe makes one large loaf (9×5-in.) and one medium loaf (8×4-in.). If you don’t want to make loaves you can turn this into muffins. Simply put the batter in muffin pans and cut the baking time in half.

When to Stock Up on Pumpkin

October and November is the time of year to stock up on pumpkin. Pumpkins at the orchard are cheap and easy to roast, puree and freeze. Or this is when pumpkin at the store is the cheapest it will be all year. Fill your pantry or freezer now so you can enjoy pumpkin bread whenever you want without spending a lot.

This pumpkin bread is gluten, dairy, nut, corn and coconut free. But you’ll never know! All you get is sweet pumpkin and a hint of cinnamon. Bake a batch or two for a delicious fall treat. Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Gluten-Free Pumpkin Bread

Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 1 cup organic white rice flour
  • 1 cup organic sorghum flour or brown rice flour
  • 1/2 - 1 cup organic cane sugar or coconut sugar (adjust sweetness to liking)
  • 1 tsp. psyllium husk powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tsp. organic vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, chopped walnuts optional

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two loaf pans (one large, one medium).

  2. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, soda, cream of tartar, salt and cinnamon.

  3. Add the vanilla, pumpkin and oil. Mix.

  4. Add the eggs. Mix until well combined.

  5. Stir in chips or nuts if desired.

  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans.

  7. Bake for 50 - 60 minutes, until baked through.

  8. Allow to cool before slicing.

  9. Store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the freezer for long term storage.

Recipe Notes

  • You can sprinkle cinnamon and sugar on the batter before baking the bread for a crunchy topping.
  • You can replace the pumpkin with squash.
  • To make the batter into muffins, fill muffin cups 3/4 full with batter and bake for 30 minutes.
Are you ready to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity and get your child back to full health? I've got all of the details of the Vitamin A Detox Diet to get your started.

How to Overcome Vitamin A Toxicity: The Vitamin A Detox Diet

VAD Diet updateAre you ready to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity and get your child back in balance? I’ve got all of the details of the Vitamin A Detox Diet to get your started.

Are you ready to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity and get your child back to full health? I've got all of the details of the Vitamin A Detox Diet to get your started.

I hope you’ve been enjoying this series on Vitamin A Toxicity/Hypervitaminosis A. I also hope you haven’t been too overwhelmed with information. It’s a lot to take in. And I’m only scratching the surface!

Today we’re discussing what you’ve all been waiting for – how to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity.

It’s really quite simple.

I also wanted to note that I will be focusing on the Vitamin A Detox Diet in relation to children since that is my area of specialty. That being said, everything will be applicable to adults as well.

Finally, know that this is VERY NEW information. So new things are coming to light left and right. I will do my best to keep up with anything that changes and give you the most up-to-date information.

How Does Your Child Get Vitamin A Toxicity?

A person becomes toxic when the liver is saturated with a particular toxin and can’t handle any more. Too much toxin = toxic. Once your bathtub is full of water it will start spilling over the edges. You can’t truly drain the tub until the faucet is completely turned off.

In other words, you have to stop taking in Vitamin A (intox) in order for your body to get the built up Vitamin A out (detox). You need the Vitamin A Detox Diet.

To clarify I do NOT mean detox in the sense of a juice cleanse or starving yourself. I’m using the word detox purely to mean the act removing the toxin. Not the widely held beliefs about the methods of detox.

The idea of no more in, drain the stored amount out is pretty simple and straight forward. I’ll go into more details on how specifically in a moment.

First I want to address how we got here in the first place.

Are you ready to overcome Vitamin A Toxicity and get your child back to full health? I've got all of the details of the Vitamin A Detox Diet to get your started.

Why Are Children so Loaded with Vitamin A?

If you’re like me you’ve been trying hard to nourish your kids and make sure they are eating lots of fruits, veggies and whole foods. Maybe you add extra egg yolks to smoothies or some desiccated liver to your meatballs. Your kids take cod liver oil weekly, drink raw milk or organic whole milk, eat sweet potatoes, carrots, avocados, peppers, beets, spinach and kale. An assortment of healthy food.

How about a multi-vitamin added in for good measure? Just to “fill in the gaps.” Some whole food Vitamin C too?

Well, maybe not. Each of those things contains Vitamin A in the form of retinol, beta carotene or other carotenoids. And they add up. Quickly.

Humans did not eat this way thousands or even hundreds of years ago. Nobody ate the rainbow 1,000 years ago (I think we’ve forgotten how healthy white fruits and veggies are!). It just was not an option. There were no supermarkets with produce from around the world shipped in daily. People ate what was available.

Or maybe you’ve raised your kids on a typical diet these days of processed foods and pasteurized milk. They are all fortified with Vitamin A. Did your child ever drink formula? Fortified. In this case the government is dictating that your child needs large doses of Vitamin A on a daily basis.

How our Food and Diet Have Changed

I’m going to get technical just for a second here to explain some things on a deeper level.

Our bodies have a variety of receptors (molecule that responds to/”receives” specific substances like neurotransmitters, antigens and hormones). These substances are called ligands. Scientists have labeled one of the receptors RXR (Retinoid X Receptor). It is a poor name since this receptor can, and should, accept more than just retinoic acid.

RXR can also accept DHA (docosahexanoic acid) and phytanic acid, two types of fatty acids (there are others it accepts as well). These are actually the intended ligands for the RXR. Think of them as keys that unlock the RXR. And when they are present, they block the RXR from accepting Vitamin A.

DHA and phytanic acid should come from our food, specifically from ruminant animals. Ruminants eat grass, break down chlorophyll into DHA and phytanic acid. Then we consume them in beef fat and dairy fat. Both DHA and phytanic acid speed up the enzyme that breaks down Vitamin A in addition to blocking it from the RXR.

But this process has been interrupted. What are animals fed these days? Grains. No chlorophyll. On top of that the grains are usually covered in glyphosate. So there is much less DHA and phytanic acid to breakdown Vitamin A. And there is glyphosate that prevents the breakdown of Vitamin A (read all about the glyphosate Vitamin A connection here). A double whammy.

The popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets has also been a factor. We need red meat and animal fats from grassfed animals to get sufficient protein (to make retinol binding protein), DHA and phytanic acid. But those are missing on these restricted diets. Then add Vitamin A supplements on top of that “to prevent deficiencies.” It’s a recipe for disaster. If you know anyone that has gone on a vegan or vegetarian diet and felt great for a bit and then all of a sudden started to feel awful…this is why. They may actually be inducing an autoimmune disease!

As you can see our food supply and recommended diet has contributed greatly to this imbalance of Vitamin A. Plus the abundance of glyphosate is preventing us from detoxing Vitamin A.

How My Children Became Toxic

I’m right there with you when it comes to having children with Vitamin A Toxicity. 

When my son was two he started itching his legs like crazy until they would bleed. Eczema. I did not know it then, but eczema is actually classified as an autoimmune condition. We had him tested for allergies. Oh boy. A laundry list of foods, including dairy and nuts. Time for big diet changes.

So over the years I got creative and made everything dairy free (or tomato free when avoiding nightshades) using pumpkin or squash as a replacement. He also couldn’t have potatoes. So he always got carrots instead.

When he was five (after multiple rounds of testing and we’d had to carry an epi-pen for a year due to a severe nut allergy) he had more allergy testing. The new allergist took one look at him and noted that he had orange feet!! Carotenemia…an overload of beta carotene…Vitamin A Toxicity. I’m sure he was overloaded before that (why he had the eczema in the first place). But this took it to a whole new level.

We’ve struggled for years with him having stomach aches, up and down eating, skin issues, minor fevers, mood/behavior issues. Now we know why!

Vitamin A Toxicity in Pregnancy

When I was pregnant with my third I was being so “good” eating every nutrient dense food possible…with liver added. And a multi on top. I’m sure I was getting extremely high amounts of Vitamin A. And it’s passed to baby both in utero and in breastmilk. God designed babies to detox the Vitamin A from mom since baby’s liver is healthier. Great design. But not so nice for baby in this world we now live in.

So my daughter had a tongue tie, feeding issues and extreme vaccine reactions as an infant. She basically stopped eating. And of course I tried to get her back to health feeding her squash and liver smoothies!! She is now 4 1/2 and still struggles. She has complained of bone pain since she was old enough to verbalize how she felt. She has frequent stomach aches and a low appetite. Again, now we know why!

Thank goodness after a short time on the VAD diet and using our simple magnesium lotion her leg pain is gone, and she eats so well!

Of course I did not know anything about Vitamin A Toxicity back then. So when I became pregnant with baby #4 I ate the same way. So much nourishing food…or so I thought. Salads piled high with a rainbow of vegetables, avocado, fried eggs and desiccated liver. Washed down with a big glass of raw milk.

Now I’m dealing with the consequences again. Or should I say my son is. Feeding troubles from birth. Food reactions. Flat spot on his head. Weak bones. Horrible teething pain. Body tension and tongue restriction. All because I tried to follow current health advice.

Are We All Overloaded with Vitamin A?

But it didn’t even start there. Like most people I’ve been overloaded with Vitamin A my whole life. My parents probably were too. Maybe my grandparents were too! I was born in 1980. Processed food was what everyone ate. And all processed food, infant formula, and pasteurized milk are fortified with Vitamin A.

Then glyphosate was added to everything, making it much harder for our bodies to detox Vitamin A.

So it didn’t matter which extreme I was in – I was filling up on a toxin. And then passed that on to my children. Even my oldest. She was born before I had ever heard the term Real Food. But she still got the Vitamin A overload from me, then compounded with vaccines. And it impacted her neurologically.

All this to say, many people are overdosing on Vitamin A whether they realize it or not. Plus nobody is able to detox in our toxic world. That is a big problem. And it needs to stop.

How Do You Stop Vitamin A From Coming In?

  1. The easiest way to start the process is by eliminating all supplements containing Vitamin A or D and foods fortified with Vitamin A or D from your child’s diet. Immediately. They can be sneaky. Alternative milks and yogurts, flours, cereals, crackers. Not sure why our government thinks we are all Vitamin A deficient and we need it added to every food.
  2. The next step is removing Vitamin A foods from your child’s diet. Well, mostly. Unless you go to extremes like eating only beef and rice for the next six months you will be getting some Vitamin A. But the goal is to make that as minimal as possible. The less comes in, the faster it gets out. I will talk more about particular foods later.
  3. Then you have to look at what you put on your child’s body. Soap, shampoo, lotion. Even essential oils. If it comes from brightly colored plants (even green herbs) it has carotenoids and your skin will absorb it.
  4. Another critical aspect of your child’s food is to make sure it is organic. Glyphosate amplifies the effects of Vitamin A in the body. Try to avoid it as much as you can. This is particularly important when it comes to grains. Washing your produce well is also helpful.
  5. Finally I highly recommend doing HTMA (hair tissue mineral analysis) with a skilled practicioner to find out what supplements your child truly does need short term to get in balance and to help the detox process.

Vitamin A Detox Diet

So what exactly does the Vitamin A Detox Diet look like? And how do you get started?

That’s where my new book comes in! I have created a guide for parents to walk them through the process of detoxing their children.

The diet does not eliminate any major food groups. You can still eat meat, veggies (all these white ones are awesome!), fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, beans and fats. So in that sense it is quite easy. You definitely won’t go hungry!

But it does eliminate a lot of foods you are probably used to eating. Like most red, orange, yellow and green veggies, pork, fish (due to contamination), dairy, egg yolks, olive oil, lard and unrefined coconut oil. In that sense it’s a big change from the traditional food diet we are used to. It’s hard to make that mental shift. And it can be hard in social settings.

My book has a long list of recipes and sample menus to help get you going. And it has the approved food list.

One critical aspect of the VAD Diet is protein. Your child must get adequate protein. Remember that Retinol Binding Protein we discussed in an earlier post? It is the only way to safely transport Vitamin A out of the liver. And it is a protein…so you need protein to make it. There are many sources of protein, but meat from ruminant animals is an essential one of the VAD Diet (read why here).

Getting Started on the Vitamin A Detox Diet

If you want to jump in now, a general rule is that if it’s colored it’s out and if it’s white it’s OK. This does not apply to all fruits as many get their color from substances other than beta carotene. But some do, like peaches and nectarines. Most grains are OK and most meat is OK (except pork). There are also some foods that don’t contain Vitamin A but do impact the body’s use of Vitamin A, like certain nuts and fats. So it is important to get the full diet.

The Vitamin A Detox Diet is generally a very short process for kids. I’d say a few weeks to a month or two is all that is needed.

Kid-Friendly Vitamin A Detox Diet Foods

I’ll keep sharing some new Vitamin A Detox Diet recipes.

My four-year old has been the easiest to feed on the VAD Diet. She asks for my food all the time.

Some of our favorites right now are:

  • roasted parsnips
  • rutabaga fries
  • crinkle cut homemade french fries (yes, you can eat white potatoes!)
  • peeled cucumbers or rice crackers dipped in homemade hummus
  • rice and beans
  • baked or roasted chicken dipped in honey
  • roasted cauliflower
  • roasted green cabbage
  • gluten-free banana bread topped with sunbutter or butter
  • fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, bananas, pears, apples, cherries, white peaches)
  • grassfed beef meatballs

Those are just a few ideas. I’ve got a lot more in my book.

Are you ready to help your child get back to full health? Are you ready for the Vitamin A Detox Diet? Got any questions for me?

Curious if the diet works? Check out my 6 month update here:

6 month Vitamin A Detox Diet update

Or my 9 month update here:

9 month Vitamin A Detox Diet update

And don’t forget to follow me on Facebook where I’m continually sharing the latest info and our progress.

Summer preservation just got a little easier. This pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam is the perfect way to use fresh strawberries. Just FOUR real food ingredients!

Pectin-Free Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Summer preservation just got a little easier. This pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam is the perfect way to use fresh strawberries. Just FOUR real food ingredients!Summer preservation just got a little easier. This pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam is the perfect way to use fresh strawberries. Just FOUR real food ingredients!

You know summer has arrived in Michigan when strawberries are in season. It’s an exciting time of year! But at the same time it means preservation season has also begun.

For me this lasts from June to November. Literally half of the year I am preserving food for the other half of the year! It’s a lot of work, but so worth all of the effort.

How to Preserve Strawberries

I’m always so thankful that we kick off preservation with fruit like strawberries. I can ease into it instead of jumping right into the labor intensive canning. Fresh strawberries are so easy to work with. Simply wash, hull and freeze. We usually freeze at least four gallons of strawberries to use all winter in yogurt, smoothies, and muffins.

While the strawberries are still fresh I like to make a lot of strawberry jam. It has recently become my preschooler’s favorite food. Our homemade gluten free bread toasted with butter and strawberry jam. No other flavor. Only strawberry.

Summer preservation just got a little easier. This pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam is the perfect way to use fresh strawberries. Just FOUR real food ingredients!

How to Make Pectin-Free Strawberry Freezer Jam

There are so many ways to use strawberries when they are fresh. There are even plenty of ways to use them once they are frozen. But one of the best ways to use them, fresh or frozen, is by making strawberry jam!

I’ll confess. I’ve never been that great at making jam.

I followed recipes exactly. I bought various types of pectin. It just never seemed to turn out well. I think my husband was starting to wonder if I would ever make jam that wasn’t like liquid or totally solid.

So I created my own recipe for pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam. And it is amazing!

I love this recipe because you don’t need pectin (the debate is still out on whether or not pectin is really that great for you). Instead it uses grass-fed gelatin (Use the code TAKE10 to get 10% off gelatin HERE).Summer preservation just got a little easier. This pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam is the perfect way to use fresh strawberries. Just FOUR real food ingredients!

How to Stock Your Freezer with Jam

This pectin-free strawberry freezer jam recipe makes about five half-pints of jam.  Since it only takes about fifteen minutes to make you can easily cook several batches in one day while you have fresh strawberries.

Pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam is great on toast. But  you can also spread it on pancakes, mix it into yogurt, or even use it as an ice cream topping! My kids like to eat it by the spoonful.  It’s that good.

Since creating this strawberry jam recipe I have upped my game in jam and jelly making! We now enjoy homemade pectin-free concord grape jelly, 5 minute peach jam, and red plum raspberry jelly! They are all pectin free!

Whether you still have fresh strawberries available or you already have your stash in the freezer, try making pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam.

You’ll have a little taste of summer ready in your freezer all year long.Summer preservation just got a little easier. This pectin-free easy strawberry freezer jam is the perfect way to use fresh strawberries. Just FOUR real food ingredients!

Pectin-Free Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Simple strawberry freezer jam with only four ingredients and no pectin.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Author Mary | Just Take A Bite

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup organic lemon juice
  • 3 1/2 tsp. grass-fed gelatin
  • 3/4 cups organic cane sugar or coconut sugar or honey
  • 5 cups strawberries, washed, hulled and roughly chopped fresh or frozen

Instructions

  1. In a medium sauce pan combine the lemon juice and gelatin. Let sit 2 minutes

  2. Add the sweetener and strawberries.

  3. Cook over medium heat, stirring and mashing berries with a potato masher, for about 10 minutes.

  4. Pour the jam into half-pint jars.

  5. Chill jam in the refrigerator until set.

  6. Use the jam fresh or freeze until ready to use.

Recipe Notes

  • This makes about five half-pints.
  • If using frozen berries, thaw them at least partially before making the jam

 

Living dairy free isn't always easy. But it can certainly be delicious! This simple dairy free cheese sauce is perfect on nachos, pizza or mac 'n' cheese!

Simple Dairy-Free Cheese Sauce Recipe

Living dairy free isn’t always easy. But it can certainly be delicious! This simple dairy free cheese sauce is perfect on nachos, pizza or mac ‘n’ cheese!Living dairy free isn't always easy. But it can certainly be delicious! This simple dairy free cheese sauce is perfect on nachos, pizza or mac 'n' cheese!

Although we’ve been on a trial and error food journey for many years I think we have come to a first. For the first time all four kids and myself are dairy-free at the same time.

In some ways it’s a pain. I mean, how easy is it to grab some yogurt for breakfast or a slice of cheese for a snack?

But at the same time it’s been nice to have us all eating the same food! No making multiple versions of everything.

Dairy-Free Alternatives

With five out of six family members dairy-free I knew I’d have to get creative in the kitchen again. Eliminating all dairy impacts a lot of your meal options. And I’m not a fan of most store-bought dairy alternatives. They are loaded with synthetic vitamins (especially A and D!). Not to mention they often contain unhealthy oils, gums and stabilizers. No thanks.Living dairy free isn't always easy. But it can certainly be delicious! This simple dairy free cheese sauce is perfect on nachos, pizza or mac 'n' cheese! #dairyfree #glutenfree #allergenfree

Being someone that never shies away from a kitchen challenge I set to work recreating the basics. I started with rice milk since my oldest son has been drinking it for years. But until this point I had been buying it.

That led to experimenting with rice milk yogurt. And before I knew it I was making dairy-free cheese sauce!

Dairy-Free Substitute for Cheese

This recipe was sort of accidental. But that seems to be how the best ones are created! We were having a baked potato bar for dinner. I wanted to have broccoli and cheese sauce with it.

The sauce turned out so well that we tried it again with nachos. And again on pizza. And again in mac ‘n’ cheese. And again in omelettes.

In other words, my kids have gone crazy for it! I love it too. I think we’ve made it multiple times a week ever since I created the recipe!

The best part is that it’s so easy to make. My ten-year-old made it by herself the other day when the kids made me nachos for my birthday. You can see how hard they worked HERE.


My kid have been learning to cook for a few years now through the Kids Cook Real Food online cooking class. It’s one of the best investments I’ve made, both of my time and my money. Check it out here.


Living dairy free isn't always easy. But it can certainly be delicious! This simple dairy free cheese sauce is perfect on nachos, pizza or mac 'n' cheese! #dairyfree #glutenfree #allergenfreeEasy Protein on a Dairy-Free Diet

This dairy-free cheese sauce only has a few simple ingredients. Which always makes me happy. They include:

  • Organic rice flour
  • Water
  • Avocado oil or MCT oil
  • Salt
  • Organic cane sugar
  • Turmeric
  • Grassfed collagen

One of the star ingredients is grassfed collagen.

Collagen adds a bit of healthy protein to the cheese sauce. Not to mention collagen may improve your skin, hair and bone health (learn more here).

I always buy my collagen from Perfect Supplements. It is non-GMO and glyphosate free! Not to mention Perfect Supplements has the best deals.


Use the code TAKE10 to get 10% off your entire Perfect Supplements order.

Here’s a little secret. I always stock up when I buy collagen because I use it in SO MANY things every day.

If you buy three Perfect Supplements products you can get 25% off PLUS the extra 10%. That’s 35% off. And if you really want to stock up, you can get 30% off when you buy six…PLUS the 10% off. That’s 40% off!!

Perfect Supplements Sale


Living dairy free isn't always easy. But it can certainly be delicious! This simple dairy free cheese sauce is perfect on nachos, pizza or mac 'n' cheese! #dairyfree #glutenfree #allergenfreeSimple Dairy Substitutes

I’ve had readers asking me for weeks about the dairy-free cheese sauce recipe. And I’ve got it for you today! But I went a step farther and actually have TEN dairy-free recipes for you! An entire dairy substitute recipe book. For free.

The book includes recipes for a variety of dairy-free milks, yogurt, cheese (both sauce and sliced), ice cream and pudding. All of the recipes are kid approved.Living dairy free isn't always easy. But it can certainly be delicious! This simple dairy free cheese sauce is perfect on nachos, pizza or mac 'n' cheese! #dairyfree #glutenfree #allergenfree

The recipes are easy to make, gluten, egg and dairy-free, and don’t contain strange ingredients. Quite a few of the recipes include either collagen or gelatin, so make sure you grab yours HERE (use the code TAKE10).

Are you ready for some dairy-free goodness? Download your copy of 10 Simple Dairy Substitutes below.

Have you been missing some of your favorite foods on a dairy-free diet? You don’t have to suffer any longer! Grab my 10 Simple Dairy Substitutes ebook today and get cooking! Then come back and let me know how you like the cheese sauce!!

What form of dairy do you miss the most on a dairy-free diet?Living dairy free isn't always easy. But it can certainly be delicious! This simple dairy free cheese sauce is perfect on nachos, pizza or mac 'n' cheese! #dairyfree #glutenfree #allergenfree

Is Gluten Really the Problem? How Glyphosate Impacts Vitamin A Toxicity

VAD Diet update

I have good news for my gluten free readers…you probably are not actually gluten intolerant! Even if you have celiac disease there is hope. Is gluten really the problem? Nope! Glyphosate impacts Vitamin A Toxicity significantly, causing the gluten-related problems.

I have good news for my gluten free readers...you probably are not actually gluten intolerant! Even if you have Celiac Disease there is hope. Is gluten really the problem? Nope! Glyphosate impacts Vitamin A Toxicity significantly, causing the gluten-related problems.

What if I told you gluten was not a problem…for anyone? Would you think I’m crazy? Probably.

Gluten is somewhat of an evil word these days. It gets blamed for just about every health problem and disease.

There are lots of scientific studies that link gluten to specific conditions and to the health of the gut. Some say that all grains are evil and that it’s more than just the gluten.

I don’t believe them.

I know. A bold statement. Remember, it’s coming from someone that has been on a gluten free diet for six years. All of my kids are gluten free as well. I even wrote a whole post about why we are eating gluten-free. So I’ve been on the gluten free bandwagon for a long time. And I’m not jumping off just yet.

But that could change. I’m hoping to get back to making traditional sourdough bread (with gluten-containing grains) soon. For my whole family.

Turns out the scientists could be looking at the wrong details.

Whether mistakenly or on purpose I’m not sure.

When they study the impact of gluten on the gut and autoimmune disease they see a correlation. And for good reason. But it’s not the gluten itself.

So what is the problem?

Glyphosate. And Vitamin A.The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids!

What is Glyphosate?

According to the EPA: “Glyphosate is a widely used herbicide that controls broadleaf weeds and grasses.”

It has been used as a pesticide since the 1970’s in products such as Roundup®. It is sprayed on many crops such as fruits, vegetables and almost all non-organic grains.

Although the EPA claims that it “has a low toxicity for humans,” recent events have proven otherwise. In August, 2018 a school groundskeeper was awarded $289 million in a court case against Monsanto (the maker of Roundup®) because the herbicide caused him terminal cancer. [source]

He’s not the only one. There are actually thousands of people suing Monsanto, claiming the herbicide gave them cancer.

In March of 2015 the WHO declared glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic to humans.” [source] The EWG agreed with this claim.

Glyphosate is classified as likely carcinogenic (and many would argue that it most certainly is). And yet it is sprayed on a large portion of the world’s food supply. Anybody else see a problem with that?I have good news for my gluten free readers...you probably are not actually gluten intolerant! Even if you have Celiac Disease there is hope. Is gluten really the problem? Nope! Glyphosate impacts Vitamin A Toxicity significantly, causing the gluten-related problems.

How Glyphosate and Gluten are Related

A lot of commercially grown wheat is currently sprayed with glyphosate just before harvest. The glyphosate does not help in growing the wheat. It simply speeds the drying process before harvest, desiccation. A toxin is sprayed on your food to get it to the supermarket a few days sooner. Sounds like a good idea, right?

Glyphosate is also widely used on oats. Although oats are gluten free, many people with some type of gluten intolerance have trouble with oats. Many have speculated cross-contamination from wheat since they are often grown in nearby fields. But it could actually be the glyphosate.

I want to briefly add in here that the use of glyphosate generally implies a food is genetically modified (learn more about GMOs here). The modification is made so the plant can tolerate the glyphosate. So the two go hand-in-hand. They are NOT the same thing. But they often go together. I am not a supporter of genetically modified crops either. I don’t think God intended for us to mix DNA between plants and even between species.

Glyphosate and Celiac

Here is an entire interview with Dr. Stephanie Seneff about the relationship between glyphosate and celiac disease. And here is some great information from the interview:

The use of glyphosate on wheat crops has risen in tandem with the rise in Celiac disease. In fact, it correlates to a greater degree than glyphosate usage on corn and soy. According to Dr. Seneff, desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest came in vogue about 15 years ago. Interestingly enough, when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical like glyphosate, it actually releases more seeds. “It ‘goes to seed’ as it dies,” Dr. Seneff explains. “At its last gasp, it releases the seed.”This results in slightly greater yield, and the glyphosate also kills rye grass, a major weed problem for wheat growers that is resistant to many other herbicides. What they’re not taking into consideration is the fact that rye grass helps rebalance the soil, and from that perspective is a beneficial plant.So, most of the non-organic wheat supply is now contaminated with glyphosate. A large percentage of processed foods are made from wheat, and this helps explain the explosion of Celiac Disease and other gut dysfunction.What happens is that the villi in your gut get destroyed by the glyphosate, which reduces your ability to absorb vitamins and minerals. Also, wheat contains gliadin, which is difficult to break down. Normally, a reaction takes place that builds connections between different proteins in the wheat.But glyphosate gets right in the middle of that process too, resulting in wheat that is highly indigestible. Dr. Seneff and her co-researcher Dr. Anthony Samsel believe the glyphosate may attach to the gliadin as a consequence of a chemical reaction. The end result is that your body develops an immune reaction.

According to this study, “Fish exposed to glyphosate develop digestive problems that are reminiscent of celiac disease. Celiac disease is associated with imbalances in gut bacteria that can be fully explained by the known effects of glyphosate on gut bacteria. Characteristics of celiac disease point to impairment in many cytochrome P450 enzymes, which are involved with detoxifying environmental toxins, activating vitamin D3, catabolizing vitamin A, and maintaining bile acid production and sulfate supplies to the gut. Glyphosate is known to inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes. Deficiencies in iron, cobalt, molybdenum, copper and other rare metals associated with celiac disease can be attributed to glyphosate’s strong ability to chelate these elements. Deficiencies in tryptophan, tyrosine, methionine and selenomethionine associated with celiac disease match glyphosate’s known depletion of these amino acids.”

How Glyphosate Impacts Vitamin A Toxicity

So what does this have to do with hypervitaminosis A? I want you to really listen here. Because this is one of the biggest factors in your health problems and your ability to detox Vitamin A.

Glyphosate slows/stops the natural breakdown of Poison/”Vitamin A.

Let’s put the puzzle pieces together here. Glyphosate is on wheat. Glyphosate stops your body from detoxing Vitamin A. Eating wheat causes worse Vitamin A toxicity and then prevents your body from getting rid of Vitamin A.

So eating wheat is actually giving you symptoms of Vitamin A Toxicity. What appears to be a reaction to gluten is actually poisoning from Vitamin A.

The fun doesn’t stop there. “Glyphosate chelates…minerals. It forms a cage around them, such that the bacteria can’t get at them even, so the gut bacteria become deficient, and then they die because they can’t get these critical nutrients. Because glyphosate is caged.” [source]

Glyphosate also impacts methylation. This topic has been popular in the natural health world in the last few years. Knowing if you are an over or under methylator can tell you a lot about your health. It also closely related to genetic expression. But your health problems are not the fault of your genes. Glyphosate actually can increase and decrease methylation in different areas of the body in different people.

Some say glyphosate is the main culprit in our autism epidemic. Since glyphosate is so prevalent in our food and water supply and it is even in vaccines, this is very plausible. Which would mean that detoxing from glyphosate could reverse autism. This could also be why a gluten free diet seems to help many kids both on the spectrum and with other neurological disorders like ADD/AHDH. You can read more about the glyphosate-autism connection here.

Sadly glyphosate and it’s relation to Vitamin A toxicity is even linked to birth defects. I’ll dig deeper into this issue in a future post.

I have good news for my gluten free readers...you probably are not actually gluten intolerant! Even if you have Celiac Disease there is hope. Is gluten really the problem? Nope! Glyphosate impacts Vitamin A Toxicity significantly, causing the gluten-related problems.

Is There A Solution?

It’s pretty obvious that the prevalence of glyphosate in our food supply and our environment is a problem. So is there a solution? Yes and no.

One way to try to avoid glyphosate is by buying organic wheat (and all other grains). Unfortunately glyphosate has been so widely used that it is now unavoidable. The wind carries it from the wheat fields to other fields (even organic ones). Glyphosate is in our water supply. Even rain water now tests positive for glyphosate. So it rains glyphosate on organic crops. You really can’t get completely away from it.

As a probable carcinogen, even small amounts in your food can have a big impact on your health. And we all get at least small amounts.

Some people that are gluten intolerant switch to einkorn, an ancient variety of wheat. While this may help remove the glyphosate factor, it is not a great solution. Einkorn actually is higher in Vitamin A than other varieties of wheat. Most grains do not have any Vitamin A. So if you are already toxic, einkorn will just compound the problem. If you are not dealing with hypervitaminosis A, then einkorn may be a suitable solution.

Almost everyone dealing with Vitamin A toxicity and gluten problems should take Vitamin C. This is protective against retinoic acid and helps the liver detox. It also decreases glyphosate toxicity. 

Activated charcoal help detox the body by absorbing toxins.

Only drink filtered water. Especially if you have well water. If it is not filtered it will be full of glyphosate. You can have your water tested to check the levels. A whole house water filter is ideal. But at the very least filter all drinking water. Some good options are Berkey water systems (find them here) and reverse osmosis.

Finally, eating all organic food will go a long way in limiting your exposure to glyphosate. This is especially true for grains. And this may be the real reason that many people feel better on a grain free diet. It’s not the grains, it’s the glyphosate!

Do Other Substances Impact Vitamin A Detox?

Glyphosate is not the only culprit hindering your body’s ability to handle Vitamin A. Many commonly used drugs have a similar impact.

Birth control pills actually raise Vitamin A levels in the body.

I know this holds true for me (and many other women I’ve talked to) that some of my biggest health problems started when I took birth control. There have been a lot of factors in my health journey over the years (lots of antibiotics as a child, processed food, vaccines, etc.). But if I could go back and just change one thing I would tell myself not to take birth control. It led to infertility, weight gain, OCD, anxiety to the point of panic attacks, thyroid problems…the list goes on. And guess what? Those are all complications from Vitamin A Toxicity. 

Even everyday pain medications like Tylenol and Ibuprofen can have a significant impact on your health if you are dealing with hypervitaminosis A.  Pain medications can damage the liver. And if Vitamin A Toxicity is rooted in the liver, then any extra damage will just compound the problem.

I have witnessed the pain medication reaction first-hand in my two youngest children. Both when my 4 year old was an infant and just last week with my 8 month old – the use of Ibuprofen had a huge impact. I am not a fan of OTC medications. I use them only when absolutely necessary. My son’s fever got VERY high one night. So I gave him Ibuprofen. For the next few days his nervous system was on high alert. He couldn’t eat well or sleep well. He wouldn’t let me set him down. He got spots on his belly. Every time he tried to nurse his whole body would jerk, like he was having spasms. Even just my hand on his spine would cause him to jerk.

It reminded me of his big sister as a child. Then I remembered it happened to her after her tongue tie revision…and giving her pain medication. Not surprisingly they are my two most Vitamin A toxic kids. So every little thing that compounds the problem is obvious.

The Glyphosate-Gluten-Vitamin A Conclusion

I know that was a lot to take in. Vitamin A Toxicity is not a stand-alone issue. It is impacted by many other factors in our modern society – how we eat, live and medicate. Glyphosate interferes with the detoxification of Vitamin A, leading to gluten intolerance symptoms (Vitamin A Toxicity). Some say glyphosate is actually THE foundational problem. Vitamin A toxicity then piggybacks on that. This is a very complex issue. But one that NEEDS to be addressed.

Again I feel like I am just barely scratching the surface of a monumental issue. But that is my intent. I want to create awareness. Then your job is to keep digging. I have some great links in the post. I strongly encourage you to read each one.

I also want to encourage you to start taking steps TODAY to protect you and your family (see the section on solutions). We speak with our dollars. Do not support GMO products that use Glyphosate. Buy organic and local whenever possible. Or grow your own! Talk to your government officials. Tell your friends.

My next step is to talk to the farmers that plant wheat, corn, soybeans and oats right next to our yard! We are already dealing with Vitamin A Toxicity. I don’t want an abundance of glyphosate in our water supply to compound the issue.

Once we are through the Vitamin A detox I plan to add traditional sourdough back into our diets (using organic wheat of course!). My kids and I are very excited!

Do your kids struggle with gluten intolerance or celiac disease? How will you try to eliminate exposure to glyphosate and Vitamin A?

Want to read more? Here are some other posts linking glyphosate to gluten intolerance:

Your Gluten Problem May Actually be a Glyphosate Problem

Glyphosate and Gluten Sensitivity Series

Is Roundup the Cause of ‘Gluten Intolerance’?.

Does the chemical glyphosate (Roundup) mimic gluten sensitivity?

You are not gluten intolerant, you are glyphosate intolerant