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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.

Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Two-Ingredient DIY Magnesium Lotion

Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

My four-year old has been struggling with leg pain for over two years now. She wakes in the night just crying and crying because her legs hurt so badly.

At first we assumed it was growing pains. But as time went on we started to wonder if there was more going on. The pain was so intense. And recently it became more and more frequent, hurting in the day instead of just at night, on a daily basis.

Of course “mom brain” starts to think of the worst scenarios. I expressed my concerns to her pediatrician. I was worried her bones were weak due to malnutrition as a baby (you can read more about her story here).

So we did an x-ray of her leg. All clear! (phew!) Her bones look normal. Maybe it is “growing pains” after all (though technically nobody really knows what growing pains are…so I still started searching for root cause).Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Natural Remedy for Growing Pains

With my mama mind at ease I started looking into natural ways to combat leg pain. One of the best remedies for leg pain is topical magnesium.

Perfect! I already had a bottle of magnesium oil made. I’ve been using it myself for about six months to help boost my own magnesium levels.

There is just one problem. Magnesium oil is not fun to use. It’s kind of sticky. It makes your skin itch and sting.

I knew I’d never get my daughter to use that every day. She tried it once and ended up washing it off because she couldn’t handle the itching.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Simple DIY Magnesium Lotion

I started searching for magnesium lotion I could buy. There are some good ones out there (I love this one from The Magnesium Lotion Shop!).

If you are on the Vitamin A Detox Diet there are a lot of oils/lotions that aren’t allowed. And anything you put on your skin is instantly absorbed. So I had to be picky.

In the end I decided to make my own.

My conclusion?

This is SO easy to make. It is SO much nicer to use than magnesium oil. WHY did I not do this six months ago and spare myself the torture of using magnesium oil every day?

Side note: I just made a fresh batch of magnesium oil yesterday (you need it to make magnesium lotion). So I sprayed a little on this morning to try it. Now I’m sitting here trying to write while my stomach itches like crazy. Only lotion from now on.

Benefits of Magnesium

Who could benefit from magnesium lotion?

Everyone.

For real. Just about everyone is deficient in magnesium. And that one deficiency messes up the balance of all of the other minerals.  Imbalanced minerals can cause a host of health problems (I’ll be sharing more on that in the future as I get my NTP and HTMA training).

Magnesium may help with:

  • energy creation
  • protein formation
  • muscle movement
  • nervous system regulation
  • brain function and mood
  • blood sugar control
  • blood pressure
  • headaches
  • joint and muscle pain
  • PMS
  • digestion
  • neutralizing stomach acid
  • strong bones
  • over 600 reactions in the body! [source] [source]

These are just a few of the ways magnesium helps your body. Magnesium is pretty important!!

Take note that there are a few people that don’t tolerate magnesium supplementation, either orally or topically. So use caution when trying magnesium lotion. Here are some reasons magnesium might make you feel worse.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

How to Make Magnesium Lotion

For such a prevalent problem, you’d think the solution would be complex. Thankfully that is not the case!

Homemade magnesium lotion is so easy to make. You’ll need two basic ingredients:

  • magnesium
  • refined coconut oil

You have to start by making magnesium oil. This simply requires you to mix magnesium chloride with hot water. The longest part of the process is heating a half cup of water.

Once the magnesium oil is cool you can whip it with the coconut oil. Instant lotion!

Yes, it really is that easy.

I also like to add some essential oils to make it smell nice. But that is optional. My favorite is Young Living’s Stress Away. I like the vanilla scent. Lavender would also be good for kids. Just be careful which oils you use if you are on the VAD Diet as essential oils are very potent and easily absorbed.

Some people use bees wax to help prevent separation. I’m a fan of simple. So I don’t bother with that. The magnesium oil and coconut oil may separate a little after the lotion sits for a month or more. Simply re-whip it to combine if that is an issue.

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Two-Ingredient DIY Magnesium Lotion

A simple DIY magnesium lotion made with only two ingredients.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup magnesium chloride
  • 1 cup organic refined coconut oil
  • 5-10 drop essential oil optional

Instructions

  1. Place the magnesium chloride in a small glass bowl.

  2. Pour hot water on the magnesium and stir to dissolve.

  3. Allow to cool, and store in a glass jar or spray bottle.

  4. In a large bowl beat together the coconut oil, 1/4 cup of the magnesium oil, and essential oils on medium high until well combined, about 2 minutes.

  5. Store in a glass jar at room temperature for up to 3 months.

Recipe Notes

The magnesium oil and coconut oil may separate after a while (after a month or so). You can simply re-whip it.

Want to see how it’s done? Check out my Facebook Live where I make a fresh batch of our “Magic Lotion.”Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

What Kind of Magnesium Works Best?

There are three options when it comes to topical magnesium.

  1. Buy a pre-made oil (like this one).
  2. Magnesium chloride flakes (like these).
  3. Pharmaceutical grade magnesium chloride (like this).

All three will work, but the preferred option is the third one. It does not contain high levels of bromine like the flakes. It costs a few dollars more, but is still very affordable. One pound of the magnesium chloride will last at least a year – probably several years! Even if the whole family is using the lotion.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Why Use Refined Oil?

You may be wondering why I used refined coconut oil instead of unrefined.

Remember that your body absorbs anything you put on your skin (makeup, lotion, sunscreen, bug spray, etc.). So if you are on a particular diet you need to pay attention to what goes on your skin. If you are not able to eat it, don’t wear it.

Unrefined coconut oil is not allowed on the Vitamin A Detox Diet. It contains multiple fatty acids that contribute to Vitamin A Toxicity. You can read more about it HERE and HERE. Refining the oil removes the problematic fatty acids. Not to mention it removes the smell. So you won’t walk around smelling like a coconut all day.

How to Use Magnesium Lotion

We now know how easy it is to make magnesium lotion. Guess what? It’s even easier to use!

Simply apply as much or as little magnesium lotion as you like, wherever you like, as often as you like. You really can’t get too much. If you notice it causing loose bowels you can cut back. But generally topical magnesium does not have that effect since it is not ingested.

We prefer to apply it to our legs and/or abdomen. My oldest prefers to put it on her belly (I do too). My middle two prefer their legs. But it works no matter where you apply it.

I like to use magnesium lotion two or three times a day to make sure I’m keeping my levels steady. Your body uses it constantly throughout the day, and it gets depleted easily.

My kids always use it right before bed. It helps them settle down and sleep more soundly.Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

How Magnesium Lotion Helped My Four-Year Old

Back to my daughter’s growing pain dilemma.

Armed with a full jar of DIY magnesium lotion I started applying it to my four-year old’s legs every night before bed. The first two nights I didn’t notice a change.

But after the third night we had an unexpected surprise!

First, her leg pain was gone. And she has not complained of it once since.

In addition she has been dry overnight ever since!! Up to that point she was wearing a pull-up to bed every night. Sometimes it was soaked in the morning.

But she has now been dry every night and is in underwear to bed.

The magnesium lotion was so effective at getting her minerals in balance that she stopped having to urinate so frequently!

If you have a child that struggles with bed wetting, growing pains, overactive bladder, or constipation give magnesium lotion a try.

My kids have actually named it Magic Lotion. It really has felt like magic with such a drastic change overnight. And you better believe we never skip a night now!Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

Magnesium Lotion for Everyone

Considering the prevalence of magnesium deficiency, I think almost everyone would benefit from using magnesium lotion. It is safe for everyone, including infants and the elderly.

In fact, I just might make some for gifts this year. I wonder if it could help my dad who was recently diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I also need to convince my husband to try it. He struggles with restless legs – which is an obvious sign of magnesium deficiency.

Know anyone with osteoporosis? Magnesium lotion could help. There is such a strong relationship between magnesium and calcium.

If nothing else it can simply be used to help you relax. I think we all could use help in that department in our fast-paced, stressful world.

Do you use magnesium oil or lotion? What health benefits have you noticed? If not, are you ready to give it a try?Growing pains, restless legs, trouble sleeping, muscle stiffness? Kiss your aches and pains goodbye with this super simple two-ingredient DIY magnesium lotion.

The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

The Health Benefits of White Fruits and Vegetables

The current health mantra is “Eat the Rainbow.” But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

I used to pride myself on how many colors I could eat in a day. As a hard core perfectionist it was like a game. How many different colored vegetables could I squeeze in?

And when you try, it’s honestly not that hard. Red peppers, squash, golden zucchini, spinach, purple cabbage, red and golden beets, peas, broccoli, carrots…you get the idea. Especially now that we have access to just about any produce we want year round, eating the rainbow is easy.

Why White Fruits and Vegetables are Good for You

Unfortunately there is one “color” that often gets overlooked…white! Yes, there are many health benefits to white fruits and vegetables. Note that white refers to the flesh. So this includes foods like cucumbers, apples, zucchini, and pears.

White fruits and vegetables contain many vitamins and minerals as well as other compounds that aid in specific processes of the body. Here are just some of the delicious white fruits and vegetables and their benefits.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Cauliflower

This is definitely one of our favorite veggies. We love it roasted or served raw with dip (like this simple hummus). Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, insoles, and isothiocyanates that have been shown to inhibit the growth and spread of cancer cells, protect your heart, and strengthen bones. It contains fiber and is good for digestion. Cauliflower also helps reduce inflammation via antioxidants. The choline in cauliflower benefits your brain too. It really packs a punch!

The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are often overlooked even though they are one of the healthiest foods around! They contain beta-glucans[source], which support your immune system, help prevent cancer, regulate cholesterol and help control blood sugar. Another white food high in beta-glucans is oats. Mushrooms also contain selenium, an essential mineral.

Potatoes

White potatoes have gotten a bad rap lately. Seen as just a starchy filler, many people try to replace them with sweet potatoes and other veggies. But don’t toss your white potatoes! They are a staple of the American diet (for good reason!) and are very beneficial. White potatoes contain potassium, Vitamin B6, iron, Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese and copper. They may aid in digestion and relieving constipation. Potatoes have also been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, prevent cancer, prevent kidney stones, prevent heart disease and improve brain function. Baked potato, anyone?!

Just be sure to peel your potatoes and avoid any green spots or sprouting potatoes.

Parsnips

Parsnips are pretty much my new favorite vegetable. If you’ve never had roasted parsnips, go get some and roast them NOW. My four year old would eat an entire pan of these herself. And I don’t mind if she does! Parsnips contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, folate, thiamin, pantothenic acid, Vitamins B6, C, E, and K, fiber and anti-oxidants. All of these vitamins and minerals help boost the immune system, strengthen the heart, reduce birth defects, and promote strong bones.[source]

Rutabaga

Rutabaga is another newer vegetable for our family. And another one that is quickly becoming a personal favorite! I love rutabaga fries! My girls both devour these too. Rutabaga is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. It has a mild cabbage flavor, but also a sweetness. Their firm flesh holds up well in baking, making them a great substitute for potatoes. We love using them diced in soups and spiralized for noodles!

Rutabagas contain manganese, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iron, zinc, and vitamins C, E, K, and B.They also contain glucosinolates, which have been shown to reduce tumor growth. Rutabagas can help relieve constipation, improve bone health, and improve vision.[source] Contrary to what you might hear, rutabagas do not contain large amounts of beta carotene. They are an approved food on the Vitamin A Detox Diet.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Zucchini

You many wonder why zucchini is on the list of white vegetables. The white refers to the flesh. We peel all of our zucchini to remove the colored portion. We grow both green and golden zucchini in our garden and enjoy it for many months roasted, raw, in stir fries, in soups, in breads, in crackers, and even in cupcakes.

Zucchini contains potassium, folate, fiber, and Vitamin C. Some claim it helps relieve both asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Zucchini also aids in digestion, improves vision, and strengthens the heart.[source]

Onion

I don’t know about you, but when I’m planning meals and trying to figure out what vegetable to serve, onion most certainly doesn’t come to mind! And to be honest it’s a vegetable I don’t often use. I think it’s mostly because I hate chopping onions! But onions are super healthy, and I hope to start adding them to our diet more often.

Onions contain Vitamin C, manganese, calcium, phosphorus, iron, folate, potassium, quercitin, and sulfur. The quercitin in onions has been linked to cancer prevention. [source] Raw onions are also anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory. They are often used for treating colds, fevers, and allergies.

Garlic

Are you a fan of garlic? I don’t mind the flavor. But (confession) it’s not something I ever buy. I use lots of garlic powder in our food. But I really hate dealing with fresh garlic. I guess I need to teach my kids how to use it! This is one more white vegetable (technically an herb) to add to my list of things to start incorporating in our diet more often because the health benefits are so great.

Garlic contains phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, iodine, sulfur, chlorine, folate, thiamine, niacin, and vitamin C, A, K, and B6. [source] That’s a lot of good stuff in a tiny package! Raw garlic is known for treating colds and coughs. In addition, garlic may aid in digestion, treating acne, eliminating ear aches, and reducing the progression of some types of cancer. Can I get some garlic, please?!The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Ginger

Ginger is another item on the white vegetable list that isn’t technically a vegetable. But it is still very good for you! And one more food that I don’t typically use in my kitchen. One more thing to add to the list! This spice contains gingerol, which has powerful medicinal properties. [source]

Ginger helps ease nausea, most notably morning sickness. It also can help relieve muscle pain, lower blood sugar, and help fight infections. Add some to your next stir fry or soup!

Fennel

Here I thought I was a pretty adventurous eater when it comes to vegetables. But here is yet another one that is not a staple in our diet. We have used fennel before, but not regularly. I think it’s time we try it again. Fennel bulb contains vitamin C, fiber, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sodium, iron, magnesium, zinc, niacin, vitamin K, B-vitamins, and flavonols. [source]

Fennel may help with anemia, constipation, gas, indigestion, colic, and PMS. It is an overall digestive aid.

White Kohlrabi

Kohlrabi is similar to rutabaga. It is a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. Though it has a stronger flavor than rutabaga, almost a bit spicy. We use kohlrabi on occasion, though it is not a family favorite.

Kohlrabi contains potassium, fiber, glucosinates, antioxidants, Vitamin C, iron, folate, phosphorus, and calcium. This unique vegetable may help with anemia, digestion, blood pressure, healthy skin, and even cancer prevention via apoptosis. [source] If you are curious how to cook kohlrabi, this is a great post!The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Green Cabbage

I know, “green” cabbage isn’t technically white. But really it is mostly white. After you get through the first few layers of leaves it’s basically a white vegetable. We eat a lot of cabbage. It tastes amazing roasted. But it also works well for sauerkraut! Or you can use it in casseroles and soups. I love it in homemade coleslaw. Cabbage is so versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked.

There are quite a few varieties of cabbage, including Napa and Bok Choy. We generally stick to the traditional green cabbage both for flavor and function.

Cabbage contains manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamins C, B6, K, and E, sulfur, and choline. These nutrients make cabbage good for detoxification, reducing inflammation, cancer prevention, proper digestion, boosting the immune system, repairing skin, strengthening bones, and improving vision. [source]

Cucumber

Here we go again with the “green” vegetables. We always peel our cucumbers and just eat the white flesh. So it is on my white vegetable list. Every summer we get an overload of cucumbers from our garden. We enjoy them fresh with dip or turned into pickles.

For such a simple vegetable, cucumbers have a lot going on. They contain vitamin K, B vitamins, copper, potassium, vitamin C, manganese, fiber, an anti-inflammatory flavonol called fisetin, polyphenols called lignans (pinoresinol, lariciresinol, and secoisolariciresinol), and antioxidant flavinoids like quercetin, apigenin, luteolin, and kaempferol. Not to mention cucumbers are about 95% water. So they are great for hydration.

Cucumbers may help with brain health, reducing inflammation, cancer prevention, proper digestion and heart health. [source]The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Apple

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away. And that’s good news for my family since we have an 80-tree apple orchard! Apples are one of the easiest white fruits to add to your diet since they are so readily available year round and stay fresh for so long. Just be sure to buy organic and wash them well to avoid glyphosate and other chemicals. Even organic apples are sprayed. Here are some tips on making your own produce wash.v

Apples contain fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, manganese, copper, and polyphenols. They have been shown to aid weight loss, decrease risk of cancer, improve heart health, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, and protect your brain. [sourceHere are some more reasons to love apples.

Pear

Much like apples, pears are a delicious and nutritious fruit to add to your diet. They contain potassium, vitamin C, vitamin K, phenolic compounds, folate, dietary fiber, copper, manganese, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins.

Pears are great for hydration, reducing blood pressure, preventing birth defects, aiding digestion, promoting wound healing, improving circulation, and protecting against osteoporosis. [source]

White peach

You probably don’t think white when you hear the word peach. But white peaches are both delicious and healthy! Unlike its orange-flesh counterpart, the white peach is very low in Vitamin A. But it still contains loads of other nutrients like Vitamin C, potassium, fiber, Vitamin K, magnesium, and zinc.

Peaches can help relieve constipation, aid in hydration, promote healthy skin, improve heart health, and boost immunity.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Banana

Some say eggs are the most perfect food. I think you could make that claim about bananas! This mild-flavored pale yellow fruit can be enjoyed by everyone, from infants to the elderly. Bananas boast quite a nutritional profile. They contain fiber, potassium, Vitamin B6, magnesium, copper, and manganese.

Bananas are widely known for their potassium content. Although not the food highest in potassium, this nutrient makes bananas great for balancing electrolytes and supporting heart health. They also support kidney health.

Take note that many claims about the nutritional value of bananas is related to resistant starch. Although some say it is beneficial, I believe resistant starch is not good for you. So make sure there is no green on your banana to avoid resistant starch.The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids!

Should We “Eat the Rainbow?”

It’s obvious that there are many health benefits to white fruits and vegetables. And that wasn’t even all of them! But what about the colorful ones? Should we still eat them? Should we adhere to the “Eat the Rainbow” advice?

That depends on your health and the source of the color.

If you do a little research you’ll find that the “Eat the Rainbow” slogan has not been around for very long. It is definitely not the way our ancestors ate. It is a very modern way of living to have access to every kind of fruit and vegetable you could want year round. Not to mention having access to produce that is not native to your environment. I don’t think the British were dining on avocados in the 1600’s! So if you are a fan of traditional diets, you may want to rethink eating the rainbow.

In fact, we probably don’t need as many fruits and vegetables in our diet as we are led to believe these days at all. I absolutely include them in our diet. But I don’t go overboard either. Too many fruits and vegetables can be hard to digest. I know plant-based diets are all the rage these days. But we must remember that animal products are a necessary part of nutrition as well, containing critical nutrients we can’t get from plants. We are omnivores after all. It’s all about finding balance.

Also, if you are dealing with Vitamin A Toxicity you should avoid fruits and vegetables that get their color from carotenoids. You can learn more about Vitamin A Toxicity HERE. Note that many colored fruits (like berries, kiwi, pineapple, dates, and grapes) get their color from polyphenols, phytochemicals, and other compounds. These are also beneficial.The current health mantra is "Eat the Rainbow." But what about the not-so-colorful produce? Turns out there are many health benefits of white fruits and vegetables.

Why Are Vegetables Brightly Colored?

This may all sound a little far-fetched to you. Don’t eat lots of colors? Load up on white? Let’s look at history and some hidden details of colorful produce.

Let’s start with the humble carrot – a staple in many diets today. But if you do a little research you’ll find that carrots were not originally orange. They were white! The orange color and the carrot’s current shape and flavor were due to domestication from humans. We made them orange! Actually it seems the Dutch made them yellow and orange after years of selective breeding. Should we have done that? [source] [source]

Winter squash is another common orange vegetable that has gained popularity over time. Interestingly, what we now eat is also a domesticated plant. “Wild forms of squashes are harshly bitter to humans and other extant mammals…Wild squashes carry cucurbitacins, which can be toxic when eaten by smaller bodied mammals, including humans.”[source] “Early on, squash was only grown for seed because early squash had little flesh and a bitter taste.” [source] Again, we have taken a plant not meant for human consumption and turned it into something edible. But was it a good idea?

Take note that pretty much every healing diet eliminates the nightshade family. This includes tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes. Notice that the first three on the list are very brightly colored vegetables. They are a relatively new addition to the Western diet. Tomatoes were originally ornamental vegetables because people believed they were poisonous! Nightshades are known to cause inflammation.

Finally, we need to consider color as a warning, called aposematism. This is very common with insects and animals. “If the poisonous thing is aposematic, [the animal] won’t make the same mistake again. Monarchs happen to display their toxicity with bright colors, as do most toxic animals and any animal that tries to look toxic. If you see something really colorful and striking in nature, it’s probably chemically defended. Otherwise, its coloration would make it instant prey.” [source] So it is very likely that the same goes for plants. You can read more about aposematism and fluorescence of plants HERE.

Make White Fruits and Vegetables Count

All this to say we may need to rethink our fruit and veggie mantra these days. More (in terms of quantity) isn’t always better (my tummy could tell you that!). More (in terms of color) isn’t always in your best interest either.

Make sure you know where your fruits and vegetables get their color and whether or not it is truly what your body needs.

Our meals these days contain a lot of white fruits and vegetables. They are just as healthy as their colored counterparts. Not to mention they are good for your digestive system, heart, brain, kidneys, skin, eyes, hair, and more!

Have you considered the health benefits of white fruits and vegetables? Or have you been led to believe the more color the better?

Interested in reading more about the potential harm of loading up on brightly colored veggies? Here are some resources:

Is Vitamin A Really a Vitamin?

What Does Vitamin A Do in the Body?

Teething, Tongue Ties, Flat Spots and Growing Pains: How Vitamin A Impacts Bones and Tissues

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

White Fruits and Vegetables Intake Associated with Lower Disease Risks

“Eat the Rainbow” is a Farce and a Fraud

The “Foods of the Bible” are Overwhelmingly Low in Poison/”Vitamin A”!

Problems with Nightshades

Nightshades are Toxic

Ever struggle with gas, bloating or any other digestive upset? Ever been told to just eat more fiber only to feel worse? It may not be the fiber that's the problem. It could be that resistant starch is hurting you.

Why Resistant Starch is Bad for You

VAD Diet updateEver struggle with gas, bloating or any other digestive upset? Ever been told to just eat more fiber only to feel worse? It may not be the fiber that’s the problem. It could be that resistant starch is hurting you.Ever struggle with gas, bloating or any other digestive upset? Ever been told to just eat more fiber only to feel worse? It may not be the fiber that's the problem. It could be that resistant starch is hurting you.

“I feel like my stomach is going to burst.”

I can’t even count the number of times I’ve said that to my husband in our 15 years of marriage (poor guy). Bloating and gas have been my biggest health complaints for a LONG time.

Actually since I was very little. Though back then I didn’t know what it was. I just knew my tummy didn’t feel good. The constant pressure on my bladder that it created, making me have to use the bathroom over and over was what started my anxiety around the age of FIVE!

As you can imagine I’ve tried just about everything over the years to get rid of it. Every diet. Every supplement. Every exercise. You name it, I’ve probably tried it. Everything from prescription anti-spasmodics to anti-depressants (yes, my doctor prescribed that for my GI problems) to prescription Miralax. And of course all of the natural stuff too (after I learned about natural health).

And guess what? None of it worked.

By trial and error I did learn some of my worst offender foods. So I strictly avoided those. Which helped some. But having to avoid a bunch of foods for your whole life just to not be bloated does not seem like a solution.

Does the Vitamin A Detox Diet Help with Bloating?

As I entered my third month on the Vitamin A Detox Diet I noticed something profound…no gas or bloating. AT ALL. In fact my digestion was AH-MAZING. Better than it’s been my entire life.

That lasted about three glorious weeks. Then the bloating and gas came back. Some days just a little. Some days a LOT. Ugh. Way to burst my bubble.

But it didn’t deter me. In fact it made me want to research more. If my digestion could be that good for a few weeks…I bet it could stay that way. I just had to figure out what was going on in my gut. And that’s where resistant starch comes in.Ever struggle with gas, bloating or any other digestive upset? Ever been told to just eat more fiber only to feel worse? It may not be the fiber that's the problem. It could be that resistant starch is hurting you.

What is Resistant Starch?

Everyone was talking about resistant starch for a while, claiming it’s health benefits for the gut. In fact, if you do a search for resistant starch that’s all you see – health claims. I haven’t heard about it as much lately. And probably for a good reason. It’s not doing you any favors.

But before I dig into the why, let’s back up and talk about what resistant starch is.

As the name suggests it is starch. The unique part is that it goes through your digestive tract undigested! It is resistant to digestion. So it’s acts sort of like soluble fiber. But it isn’t the same as soluble fiber. Some call it a third type of fiber.

When resistant starch reaches your colon it feeds your bacteria. This in turn produces gas (eek!) and short-chain fatty acids. The most notable short-chain fatty acid is butyrate. You can read a little more detail about the process and the four types of resistant starch here.

Why Resistant Starch is Bad for You

So resistant starch helps your body produce butyrate. If you’ve been around the natural health world long enough that’s probably a term you’ve heard too. In a good way. Some claim it helps fight cancer, inflammation, weight gain and insulin resistance. Unfortunately that may not be true either. Surprising, right?

This study shows how resistant starch is associated with cardiovascular disease risk.

And you can read about other harmful effects of resistant starch here.

For me the biggest thing that stands out is the fermentation! Hello, gas and bloating! Who wants that? Certainly not me.

Whenever I hear a health claim I also like to look back and compare our modern thoughts with how people used to eat. If resistant starch is mostly found in pre-cooked/leftover food it makes sense that it was not consumed in large quantities. People didn’t used to have refrigerators. You cook and eat. Whatever is left you toss. They also didn’t have processed foods like chips and pasta.Ever struggle with gas, bloating or any other digestive upset? Ever been told to just eat more fiber only to feel worse? It may not be the fiber that's the problem. It could be that resistant starch is hurting you.

What Foods Contain Resistant Starch?

Are you wondering if you are eating a lot of resistant starch? It’s easy to do! Do you eat leftover rice or potatoes? Are you a fan of the cook once, eat twice method? Do you like some green on your bananas? Then you are in the high resistant starch camp.

The foods highest in resistant starch are:

  • oats (especially raw or cooked then cooled)
  • cooked and cooled rice
  • raw potatoes or cooked and cooled potatoes
  • cooked and cooled or canned beans and lentils
  • potato starch
  • corn
  • green bananas and banana flour
  • cooked and cooled grains
  • nuts (especially cashews) and seeds

As I look back on my eating habits over the past (almost) 40 years I know I’ve been eating a high resistant starch diet! It’s no secret that I am the leftover queen. I think macaroni and cheese tastes better leftover…and cold! Even as a child I would snack on cold leftovers. My salads used to consist of lettuce topped with all of my kids random leftovers from the week. In college I lived on canned beans and granola. As in HAD to have them every day.

Want to know the foods I eventually cut out of my diet by trial and error?

  • oats
  • potatoes
  • bananas
  • beans
  • corn
  • nuts
  • seeds

Notice any similarities there? Yep. I had cut out a lot of resistant starch without even knowing it! But when I started the Vitamin A Detox Diet I added them all back. I wanted to see if I could tolerate them. And I can…but only when I eat them the right way.

How to Avoid Resistant Starch

What exactly is the right way to eat the foods that could be high in resistant starch? It’s simple…but not easy. Unfortunately it requires more effort. Sorry, no cooking a big batch of oatmeal at the start of the week to reheat every morning. But it is worth it to not have all the gas and bloating!

Here are my tips for avoiding resistant starch without completely eliminating some favorite foods:

  • Only eat freshly cooked grains and potatoes (this likely eliminates potato chips).
  • Avoid granola and overnight oats. Freshly cooked rolled or steel cut oats are ok. Steel cut are better because they are not as processed.
  • Avoid leftover or canned beans and lentils. Freshly cooked are fine.
  • Only eat fully ripened bananas.
  • Avoid prebiotics like inulin.

Baked goods are ok as the resistant starch is greatly reduced in the baking. When the structure of the food is changed (puffed rice, bread, etc.), the resistant starch is broken. I think this also holds true for my homemade rice milk since the blending destroys the starch. I’m not sure about pasta. You’ll have to see how your body responds to it.

This does make you wonder if this is a factor in why some people feel better on a grain free diet. Or even on some healing diets that eliminate grains, legumes and potatoes! The resistant starch is removed.

Ultimately you have to watch your own resistant starch intake and take note of symptoms to see how much you can handle. But if you are struggling with gas and bloating, resistant starch could be the culprit. 

My Resistant Starch Intake

I’m learning more and more about my own digestive system. Along with resistant starch I had cut a lot of fiber out of my diet for many years. I need to find a middle ground. I need the fiber to help with gut motility. BUT I can’t have much resistant starch. Funny how all of the foods I figured out caused my problems years ago are the ones high in resistant starch!

I’ve been able to add most of them back in to my diet. But I have to do it the right way. I can eat beans without getting gassy…as long as they are freshly cooked. But canned beans cause problems. I’m curious to see how this impacts my nursling’s tummy as well since he often has a lot of gas.

A few months ago I started eating a low histamine diet. That excludes leftover proteins. And now low resistant starch means no leftover grains. Basically I need a diet of freshly cooked whole foods. Mind blowing, huh? But it is hard in our fast-paced world. We tend to reach for convenience. Let’s get back to natural. Let’s get back to fresh. Have your kids help cook (learn how here). Make it a family affair. Freshly cooked, whole foods as much as possible. Let’s step away from convenience and towards better health.

Do you eat a high resistant starch diet? Have you noticed any digestive problems from it?

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

Have you ever wondered what all of the vitamins and minerals do you in your body? Or if they are really that important? Or that maybe we're getting too much? What does Vitamin A do in the body? I'm sharing the details today.

What Does Vitamin A Do in the Body?

VAD Diet updateHave you ever wondered what all of the vitamins and minerals do you in your body? Or if they are really that important? Or that maybe we’re getting too much? What does Vitamin A do in the body? I’m sharing the details today.

Have you ever wondered what all of the vitamins and minerals do you in your body? Or if they are really that important? Or that maybe we're getting too much? What does Vitamin A do in the body? I'm sharing the details today.

Last week I presented the theory that Vitamin A is not really a vitamin at all. It is a toxin/poison.

Whether you are warming up to that idea or not, today I’m digging into the role of “Vitamin” A in the body. What does Vitamin A do in the body? What happens after you ingest it? And where does it go wrong?

I’ll admit, some of this stuff is a bit technical for me. It kind of makes my head hurt to read the details. But I’m going to do my best to break it down for you so you have a basic understanding. If you like the nitty gritty details make sure you read Grant Generuex’s books that I linked to in my previous post on Vitamin A. Most of the information in today’s post is what I learned from Grant’s book. But I tried to summarize it and break it down for you.

How Vitamin A is Supposed to be Handled

In a healthy (not toxic) person there is a simple cycle that the body uses to maintain balance when it comes to Vitamin A.

  1. Vitamin A is ingested.
  2. That Vitamin A is quickly transported to and stored in the liver.
  3. The stored Vitamin A is periodically called for by cells in the body when it is needed.
  4. The Vitamin A is delivered to its destination via Retinol Binding Protein (RBP).

RBP is like an envelope to deliver the retinol safely to its destination (this is a critical point). The body does not want to be exposed to retinol without RBP. Plain retinol is toxic. Also, the cells calling for retinol have receptors specifically for RBP. So the retinol goes directly where it’s needed in a nice protected package. A wonderful design.

Pretty straight forward. And harmless.

Have you ever wondered what all of the vitamins and minerals do you in your body? Or if they are really that important? Or that maybe we're getting too much? What does Vitamin A do in the body? I'm sharing the details today.

How Vitamin A is Handled in Toxic Individuals

But this simple cycle is messed up if the liver is saturated from excess Vitamin A. Now the tissue of the body is exposed to plain retinol without RBP because it is sitting around, not able to enter the liver. Instead excessive Vitamin A levels are now found in the blood serum, giving it time to combine with fat (remember it is fat-soluble). Other systems and organs try to deal with the excess vitamin A by storing it in the only safe wrapper it knows – fat. So that’s where it sits. And there is speculation that this is the cause of obesity! The body stores fat to handle excess Vitamin A.(you can read more about the connection of Vitamin A with obesity here).

So now the simple cycle above looks more like this:

  1. Vitamin A is ingested.
  2. That vitamin A is stored in adipose tissue (fat) because the liver can’t hold any more.
  3. Some of the retinol is converted to retinoic acid.
  4. Specific gene expressions (all my epigenetics fans – this is where it comes in) and immune response of the individual dictates how the body responds.
  5. This causes inflammation.
  6. Serum pH drops.
  7. Calcium is drawn from bones and teeth to compensate.

Not so simple now. The liver is swollen from excess Vitamin A (fatty liver). Organs and tissues are being exposed to retionic acid. And the body gradually breaks down little by little completely inflamed. In other words, you now have health problems like autoimmune disease. And you develop weak bones.

That is the big picture. Did you follow me?The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids!

Vitamin A at the Cell Level

There are two inflammatory responses in the body.

One helps heal. It is the body’s natural response to infection and injury. The immune system uses inflammation to protect against pathogens. In this case the inflammation is healing. You get sick…the body heats up and fights back. Wonderful.

The other is the body’s response to cell injury, damage or incorrect mutations. In this case inflammation is destroying. A damaged cell must be killed before it creates problems.

We all know that inflammation produces heat. This helps kill the pathogens/intruders. It is why you get a fever when you are sick. Your body is doing what it is supposed to do to fight and heal. And this is great when it really is a temporary invader (like infection or injury) or random cell damage. The body calls in the troops, heats up in battle and then settles down.

Inflammation and Autoimmune Disease

But that is not how it works with autoimmune disease. In this case the inflammation is chronic. But here is where current understanding goes wrong.

The inflammation itself is NOT the cause of the disease.

The inflammation is the body trying to do its job like always…but not succeeding because it is searching for phantom pathogens. So it is never-ending since it can’t actually find a pathogen. But there is no off switch. It is a search and destroy mission. And the heat applied to the retinol-containing lipids (fats) is like setting off a bunch of bombs!

The body is attacking a damage-associated molecule instead of a pathogen – your own tissue cells with the molecule. And all that heat it generates is what you know as an autoimmune flare-up.

The human body has quite a defense mechanism. It uses a lot of proteins and acids as weapons – one of which is retinoic acid. As the body produces more and more retinoic acid it creates more inflammation. As the retinoic acid destroys tissue (like skin, intestines and joints), it makes them very thin and weak (think eczema, Crohn’s and even leaky gut!). Ever heard of chemical peels for the skin? It’s retinoic acid!

After the acid attacks, the body quickly tries to make more tissue to compensate. But this time around the tissue is much thicker (sclerosis). This is how conditions like arthritis and psoriasis come about.

Where Does Retionic Acid Come From?

Obviously we don’t consume retinoic acid. So where is it coming from?

The Vitamin A we eat is retinol, retinal or its precursors carotenoids (like beta carotene). The conversion from Vitamin A to retinoic acid happens at both the cellular and molecular level. It is converted in the intestines and in other cells. Not damaged cells either. Retinol is metabolized to retinoic acid in normal cells.

I mentioned that the body knows how to transport retinol properly via RBP. Once it reaches its destination it is unwrapped and converted to retinoic acid (RA). The RA goes to the nucleus of the cell to be used for gene expression and protein generation.  The gene expression can produce cytokines. Which in turn can produce an immune response. This is all well and good when the cell actually requested some retinol. It needs the retinoic acid for a specific purpose. And the liver is able to supply sufficient retinol for all the body’s needs.

Now here is where the real problem arises. When there is unbound retinol (excess retinol just floating around not packaged by RBP) it can still enter the cell. But the cell did not request it. The extra retinol has now bypassed the cell’s regulatory system. But it still produces cytokines and potentially more inflammation.

This is what we know as autoimmune disease. But it is not “auto.” There is a reason for it. Excess Vitamin A. The body does not just randomly produce inflammation. It is responding to something. And now we know what that is!

This conversion of retinol to retinoic acid will happen much more frequently in people with an over-saturated liver.The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids! A Parent's Guide

Too Much Vitamin A

Once your liver reaches saturation, the Vitamin A will be stored in other tissues – skin, fat and intestines. And disease begins. The body’s primary defense mechanism (liver) is out of commission. So any amount of Vitamin A you consume after that will cause problems (like a bathtub overflowing with water).

A little extra keeps the inflammation going. A lot extra makes a full blow autoimmune flare, burning holes in your skin, tissues and organs.

All Autoimmune Disease is the Same

Here’s where it all comes together. All autoimmune diseases are actually the same condition – Vitamin A Toxicity. Where the inflammation happens is unique to each individual based on genetics and lifestyle/diet. When the inflammation starts and how severe it gets just depends on how long it takes your liver to become saturated. It could happen at age two or age fifty.

I hope you followed all that! You may have to re-read it a few times for it to make sense. I know I did! That is the basic idea of what happens in the body when you consume Vitamin A. In small amounts it is totally fine. And probably necessary. God didn’t create it for no reason. But we have gone WAY beyond small amounts. And now we have so many sick individuals, including young children. It should not be common for kids to have diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disease and autism. But that is the reality of our world now. It has to stop!

The numerous conditions Vitamin A Toxicity can influence is beyond the scope of this post. Again, I refer you to Grant’s books (Poisoning for Profits and Extinguishing the Fires of Hell). 

I am just scratching the surface of the Vitamin A Toxicity details in this post. But hopefully it’s enough to help you understand how Vitamin A can go wrong and make you curious enough to read more.

I hope you’ll stick around for next week’s post. The one I know everyone is waiting for…how to detox the Vitamin A and get help for your health problems! This is the key to getting your child to eat!!

Do you think Vitamin A can be the root of all disease? Does it just sound impossible?

Is Vitamin A Really a Vitamin?

VAD Diet update

What if everything you thought you knew about about nutrition was wrong? Are vegetables really good for you? Do you need loads of Vitamin D and calcium? Is Vitamin A really a vitamin? Let’s dig into these questions!

What if everything you thought you knew about about nutrition was wrong? Are vegetables really good for you? Do you need loads of Vitamin D and calcium? Is Vitamin A really a vitamin? Let's dig into these questions!

I want to start this post with an apology to all of my readers.

I’m Sorry.

I’m truly sorry if I gave you incorrect health information. Like you, I am on a learning and healing journey. And my views on what is healthy are constantly changing as I research and experiment. And I love sharing all of it with you! Thank you for joining me on this adventure!

For the last ten years I’ve been mostly following a traditional food diet. There have been modifications along the way, like grain-free, gluten-free, allergen-free, etc. But overall I have focused on nutrient-dense, whole traditional foods.

And while I still believe whole-heartedly that real food is the best, I’m no longer fully on board with a WAPF/Nourishing Traditions diet. It gets some things right. But other parts are so, so wrong.

Somehow our culture has also latched on to some of these misconceptions. And we now have a nation that is toxic. I’ll explain more in a moment. But first, please accept my apology. And prepare yourself for something crazy (at least I feel like I’m crazy just talking about it!).

Also remember that I am not a doctor. I am not giving you health advice. I am simply telling you what I’ve been researching and what my family is doing. What you do with the information is up to you.

I am going to try to be much better about listing references so you can research for yourself too.

Are There Vitamin Impostors?

I will preface this by saying that you need to have an open mind. Forget what you know about nutrition for just a moment and listen.

We’ve all been taught since grade school that we need vitamins. They are important for our health. There are water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, K, etc.). There are lots of important minerals as well (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, etc.). We get these vitamins and minerals from our food. Our bodies use them to function well. Pretty straight forward.

But what if I told you there were a couple impostors in that list?

It is well-documented that Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin. It is a hormone. [source] Yet, people are supplementing with “Vitamin” D left and right. Somehow we’ve been told that everyone is Vitamin D deficient. Here’s a little secret…you’re not! And if your Vitamin D truly is low (you can find out with a blood test), supplementing is not the solution. A low level of Vitamin D (low is below 25 ng/dL. Ideal is 25-40 ng/dL…don’t think you need sky high Vitamin D levels) is an indicator that something is not working properly in your body (often times a Vitamin C deficiency). So you need to figure out what that is and fix it. Supplementing is like putting on a band aid. It might change your symptoms, but it’s not actually fixing anything. Here is what is actually happening.

Supplementing with Vitamin D is like taking hormone replacement therapy. And people are doing it to their children!! Even infants. Vitamin D drops, cod liver oil, multi-vitamins. You don’t need it. The excess fills your liver and then gets stored in your tissues (joints, digestive tract, kidneys, skin, etc.). You wouldn’t give your baby estrogen or testosterone drops. So why give hormone D drops?

Think about DHEA. Most people consider it good for health…but that doesn’t mean we call it a vitamin!The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids!

Isn’t Vitamin D Good For Your Bones?

Wrong again. Actually quite the opposite. One of the roles of Vitamin D is to maintain calcium levels in the blood…not the bones [source]. So it does whatever it takes to maintain that balance, including drawing calcium from your bones. All that extra Vitamin D you’re taking displaces the calcium in your bones. So if you want to guarantee that you have weak bones and teeth and that you will develop osteoporosis, keep taking Vitamin D supplements. Or keep drinking tons of Vitamin D fortified milk…and see if you develop arthritis or kidney stones.

Ok, that was kind pf a tangent. I just wanted to give you an example of a common health claim that is totally bogus. This post is really not about Vitamin D. It does relate to the rest of the post, though. If you want to learn more here are some great articles.

What if everything you thought you knew about about nutrition was wrong? Are vegetables really good for you? Do you need loads of Vitamin D and calcium? Is Vitamin A really a vitamin? Let's dig into these questions!

Is Vitamin A Really a Vitamin?

Now for the real heart of the matter. Vitamin A. Is it really a vitamin?

Let me start at the beginning.

After my fourth was born I started having some odd symptoms. I was already experimenting with my diet to help my nursling feel better and nurse better. So I was very observant of how I felt and how he felt in relation to what I ate.

I started noticing the symptoms appeared when I ate desiccated liver. That was odd. I’ve always thought liver was a super food loaded with nutrients (like Vitamin A and D). Knowing that it is one of the highest sources of Vitamin A I started to wonder if you could get too much Vitamin A.

I stopped eating liver and felt a little better. Ok. Maybe I didn’t need it or I wasn’t tolerating it. No big deal.

Then I happened to see this post from Matt Stone…all about Vitamin A. Good timing I thought. It was interesting. And helped me decide to stop the desiccated liver completely. Back to my crazy life trying to figure out why my kids won’t eat.

Then I saw Dr. Garrett Smith, ND post on Facebook about how Vitamin A is toxic. I started following him a few years ago at the suggestion of my Nutritional Therapy Practicioner (NTP), but hadn’t seen any posts from him in well over a year (and you know how picky Facebook is…why would I happen to see this one?).

I watched one of his videos and thought it was interesting, but a little out there. Carrots and spinach are bad for you? Avoid egg yolks? I don’t know about that. Those are super nutritious!

I was elbow deep researching histamine intolerance and methylation. So I focused on that and figured I’d ignore the Vitamin A stuff. It just sounded a little too strange for me.

Breastfeeding Challenges

At the same time my son continued to struggle with breastfeeding. My four-year old was not doing well either. She had an eye infection, followed by a month of full body hives and then stomach aches and poor appetite. She was back to hardly eating. It was getting so bad we had her pediatrician order a bunch of blood work.

I was praying daily for wisdom. I was on a low histamine diet since many of my symptoms match histamine intolerance. But I knew that was just a temporary fix. Not a true solution (now I know how Vitamin A impacts teething, tongue ties, bones, and more!)

God Gives Wisdom if You Ask!

Over the next few weeks I saw daily posts about Vitamin A toxicity. I tried to ignore it. But God wouldn’t let me. It was on the top of my feed every time I got on Facebook. Ok, ok. I’ll listen to the information.

And that started our new journey of healing. The more I read and listened, the more it made sense.

And it explained all of my symptoms, all of my son’s symptoms and every other feeding challenge we have faced over the last ten years. Every. Single. One.

What is Vitamin A Toxicity?

So this is where I’m starting (hopefully you made it this far to get to the heart of the post!). Today I’m telling you a little bit about Vitamin A Toxicity (Hypervitaminosis A) and giving you some resources in case you want to dig in for yourself. If you want to hang back and just watch how it goes for us, that’s fine too. I’m not trying to tell you what to do. I’m just giving you the information.

And I will forewarn you…once you read about it you can’t unread it. And it could change your views on health and nutrition forever.

A quick Dr. Google search will tell you that hypervitaminosis A is a real condition[source]. You can have hypervitaminosis of any vitamin (true vitamin or substance called a vitamin) really. Yes, hypervitaminosis D is very real too! The list of symptoms hypervitamimosis A is lengthy. It includes:

  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased pressure on the brain/headaches
  • Blurry vision or other vision changes
  • Swelling of the bones
  • Bone pain
  • Poor appetite
  • Dizziness
  • Sensitivity to sunlight
  • Dry, rough skin
  • Itchy or peeling skin
  • Cracked fingernails
  • Skin cracks at the corners of the mouth
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Yellowed skin (jaundice)
  • Orange skin (carotenemia)
  • Hair loss
  • Respiratory infection
  • Confusion
  • Softening of the skull bone
  • Bulging of the soft spot on the top of an infant’s skull
  • Double vision
  • Bulging eyeballs
  • Inability to gain weight
  • Coma
  • Fluid-filled cysts
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Autism
  • ADD/ADHD
  • Picky eater/refusal to eat
  • Oily skin and hair
  • Osteoporosis
  • Eczema
  • Food intolerance/food allergy
  • Cradle cap
  • Asthma

Did you catch all that? Crazy, huh? And those aren’t even all of them.

Another search will tell you that pregnant women should not get too much Vitamin A because it can cause birth defects. I wish I had known that! Sadly I listened to the WAPF pregnancy guidelines that claims you shouldn’t worry about too much Vitamin A. Just one example of something they got SO wrong.

Where Does Vitamin A Come From?

Vitamin A is found in many common “healthy” foods today:

  • sweet potatoes
  • carrots
  • liver
  • egg yolks
  • dairy
  • brightly colored vegetables
  • pork and lard
  • avocado

Really most foods have at least a little Vitamin A. Meat and grains are probably the lowest in Vitamin A. And the body can handle a little.

The problem arises when the liver gets saturated. Which, you can see, won’t take long if you eat a healthy diet by today’s standards or from a traditional diet. The WAPF dietary guidelines for pregnancy would give a woman an overabundance of Vitamin A! Truly excessive amounts.

Initial symptoms usually impact the skin (dry skin, eczema), hair (thinning, graying), eyes (dry, red, itchy, poor vision) and bones (osteoporosis, weak bones and teeth, joint pain). But as the toxicity continues it will gradually break down other systems. The inflammation reaches the intestines (think Crohn’s, Colitis, IBS, leaky gut, food allergies), the brain (cranial pressure/migraines, ADHD, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s) and other important organs (thyroid, kidneys and heart).

Does that sound like you or anyone you know? Or everyone?The Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids! A Parent's Guide

Where “Healing” Diets Fail

And what is the solution these days? A “healing” diet like GAPS, AIP, Keto, Nemecheck. Where you load up on brightly colored fruits and veggies, bacon, lard, egg yolks, liver, sweet potatoes, unrefined coconut oil. Are you seeing the irony here?

What if our “Eat the Rainbow” mentality was actually doing more harm than good? In the plant and animal world bright colors are a sign of poison (called aposematism). Plants are brightly colored to keep animals from eating them (should we be doing the same?). Animals that are poisonous are often brightly colored (think snakes and frogs). It is a warning sign. Yet we have come to see them as the holy grail of nutrition!

You may be thinking, “But we have soil nutrient depletion and other factors now.” True. But they aren’t enough to cause such a drastic increase in health problems and autoimmune diseases and conditions like autism in recent years.

Is a Standard American Diet Less Toxic?

And what about people that don’t eat healthy? What about people on the Standard American Diet?

Well, they don’t have it much better. Somehow the government has thought they know better than we do what our bodies need. For the past fifty plus years now our foods have been fortified. All pasteurized milk must be fortified with Vitamin A and D. Most grains/flours, cereals, milk alternatives, yogurts and snack foods are fortified. We’re all told to take multi-vitamins and random supplements without any kind of testing.

Everyone worries about not getting enough vitamins and minerals. But we are bombarded with them…certain ones at least. And it’s causing so much overload and imbalance. Excessive supplementation will not fix anything. It will just make problems worse. God designed our bodies to get nutrition from food and to maintain balance. Our bodies now have to compensate for all of the over-supplementing and it is causing big problems (you can read more about the dangers of supplements HERE).

Unless you and your children somehow fall in the middle (no processed/fortified foods AND no abundance of veggies and traditional foods) you probably have Vitamin A Toxicity. That’s right. Just about everyone has it.

What About Vitamin A Deficiency?

But wait. Isn’t Vitamin A deficiency really serious? That depends on your view. IF Vitamin A is actually a vitamin and IF the established symptoms are truly from a deficiency, then yes. The problem is those could both be false assumptions.

Are you still with me? Do you think I’ve lost my mind yet?

In the 1930’s when Vitamin A, the first vitamin, was discovered, the experiments were done incorrectly. The scientists were actually loading the rats with Vitamin A instead of depriving them! They were poisoning the rats instead of inducing a deficiency.

If you look at the symptoms of Vitamin A deficiency and the symptoms of Hypervitamonosis A (listed above) you’ll notice something odd…they are the same! Whether or not that’s possible I’m not sure. Whether Vitamin A deficiency is actually a condition I don’t know. I’m not sure there have ever been any true studies to prove it. Would you actually go blind without Vitamin A? I don’t know. It would take a long time to actually get it all out of your system (could be 5+ years!). How did everyone not go blind hundreds of years ago without supplements and without orange veggies?

It turns out that Vitamin A may actually not be a vitamin at all.

Our bodies can handle some. But too much is toxic. Where that threshold lies is different for everyone and depends on the health of your liver (this is key!).

That rainbow we’ve been told to eat…could be acting more like poison if you are overloaded. (side note – the “five a day” and “eat the rainbow” campaigns were completely arbitrary recommendations).

Now What?

I don’t like to leave you hanging. I just told you that you could be poisoning your family after all! But I also don’t want to overwhelm you with information. And this could take a while to digest.

Plus I’ve got homework for you.

I’ve got more posts coming on other factors that contribute to Vitamin A Toxicity, what happens to Vitamin A in your body and what you can do about it. That’s really what we all want, right? A solution!

There is one. And I have a new book that will help guide you through it. This could be the definitive guide to solving all of your feeding challenges. I know that is a bold statement. But I truly believe it.

You can get your copy of the Vitamin A Detox Diet for Kids! HERE.

I also want you to do some reading and research of your own. And you may know just about as much as I do if you actually do all the reading. So if you just can’t wait, get started!

Engineers Are the Best Problem Solvers

All of this information started with some personal experimenting from an engineer named Grant Genereux (I truly believe engineers make some of the best doctors since our passion is finding root problems and coming up with a solution. Yes, I am an engineer too). He was diagnosed with eczema, an autoimmune condition, and told he would have it for the rest of his life and there was nothing he could do for it. 

Not an acceptable answer for an engineer.

He healed his own autoimmune condition and wrote two very detailed books about his research on Vitamin A.

They are totally free and totally worth reading every word. I could not pull myself away. If you really want to understand Vitamin A Toxicity I suggest you read his books. At the very least his second book, Poisoning For Profits. It will blow your mind.

To be fair, I also wanted to point out that often times engineers are Analytical Eaters (see my Eating Styles for more details), myself included. Analytical Eaters tend to get in food ruts and cause excesses and deficiencies. So whether or not Grant had created a severe Vitamin A Toxicity in himself I don’t know. Just an observation on my part. So he may just be one more extreme case, not the norm.

Here are his FREE books:

Poisoning For Profits

Extinguishing the Fires of Hell

I know, not everyone has the time or interest to read 400-page books on vitamins.

Here is another great blog post from Butter Nutrition about the symptoms of Vitamin A Toxicity.

So, Is Vitamin A a Toxin?

I applaud you if you made it to the end of the post. And even if you do now think I’ve gone completely mad I hope this at least got you thinking. Let it sit a while and come back to it if you need to. That’s what I had to do. And lots of praying for wisdom. But I feel this is truly where God is leading me.

Big changes are always hard. Changing your perspective on health and nutrition is very hard. But change can also be good.

As I said at the start of the post, I’m always researching, learning, and experimenting. After a year on the Vitamin A Detox Diet I’m still not fully clear on my views on Vitamin A.

I truly believe that it is toxic in certain doses (and probably lower than people think) and that a state of toxicity is quite easy to reach these days with fortification, supplements, superfoods, glyphosate, and other toxins.

I also think the health of your liver and your body’s ability to detox is of utmost importance and a key factor in the whole equation. But whether or not Vitamin A is a toxin I’m not sure.

Unfortunately most scientific studies are done in the extremes. They are either trying to prove the impacts of toxicity or deficiency. But we are supposed to live in balance. There are no studies in the balance zone. What that balance is, I’m not sure. Do we need certain amounts of Vitamin A to balance other things? Does eliminating all high Vitamin A foods create other imbalances? There is a LOT we still don’t know. Just because there are studies that show the seriousness of Vitamin A Toxicity does not mean there can’t also be a deficiency? I’m not sure a true Vitamin A Deficiency study has ever been conducted!

Bio-individuality and listening to your own body is also critical. Regardless of any scientific study or prescribed diet, you have to do what works for you and makes you feel your best.

After a year on the Vitamin A Detox Diet we are learning that we have developed some serious vitamin and mineral deficiencies and most symptoms have returned. We are adding in foods that we tolerate and finding a new balance.

Have you ever heard of Vitamin A Toxicity? Have you ever wondered about over-supplementing?

How I Gave My Daughter A New Start: Natural Remedies to Help Mouth Breathing

Does your child seem to sleep poorly or wake up grumpy? There are many causes, one of them being how your child breathes. There is natural help for mouth breathing to get a well-rested child.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Every parent does it. Every night.

Before you get in bed you check on your sleeping child.

You stand there for a minute watching them lay there so peacefully.

Unless your child is a mouth breather.

Then you see covers strewn about and a child tossing and turning. You hear snoring and snuffling.

Sleeping While Mouth Breathing Looks Anything but Peaceful

Not only does it look bad, it is bad. Mouth breathing has a big impact on health and behavior. Here are some of the effects of mouth breathing.

  • Restless sleep/change positions constantly.
  • Lack of clean oxygen to the body (that comes through the nose).
  • Bad breath and body odor.
  • Sensitive teeth/chewing problems/dental problems.
  • Adrenal fatigue/lack of sleep.
  • Sleeping problems/hard to settle down/inability to nap.
  • Lack of focus/symptoms of ADD/ADHD.
  • Hyperactivity.
  • Mood swings/tantrums/meltdowns.
  • Oral sensory processing disorder.
  • Narrow mouth/palette.

This list of symptoms should not describe any child. But it does. My daughter included. She had displayed every single symptom on this list at only seven years old.How do I stop mouth breathing in my kids? We are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion. #mouthbreathing #oralspd #kidshealth

Why do Kids Mouth Breathe?

Mouth breathing happens during the day and night and can have a variety of causes. For my daughter the root issue is environmental allergies.

Her first symptoms started at a very young age with chewing problems and sensitive teeth. She needed pureed foods until age two. But things really started to get worse around age three when she stopped napping and could no longer settle down during the day.

We played around with diet and removed gluten and anything artificial. We saw some improvement, but not enough.

How Allergies Impact Mouth Breathing

At five years old we had her tested for allergies and discovered severe dust mite and mold allergies. The allergist put her on a steroid nasal spray. Although hesitant we tried it for a while with no improvement. So we turned to more natural remedies.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Natural Treatment Options for Mouth Breathing

My daughter is now ten and breathing through her nose most of the time. It is quite amazing to see the difference in her health, mood and behavior. She has been given a new start after years of mouth breathing.

Every child is different and responds differently to treatments. But if your child is a mouth breather it is important to figure out what works for them and find a way for them to get quality oxygen and sleep. Here are the treatments we have used.

  1. Speech therapy – We saw a speech therapist for three years. It is great for calming the body, integrating reflexes and training the mouth. Being able to do exercises at home that open the nasal passage is also wonderful.
  2. Remove food allergies – Allergies to food can cause inflammation anywhere in the body, including the nose/airway. You can figure out allergies through formal testing, an elimination diet, muscle testing or trial and error. Cut the offending foods out completely while you work on healing.
  3. Clean the whole house and clear out the bedroom – Dust and mold allergies are some of the biggest offenders. Dust mites live in mattresses, pillow cases, couches and stuffed animals. Dust collects quickly on dressers, toy boxes and bookshelves. There are some simple solutions.
  • Use dust mite covers on the mattress and pillow case.
  • Change bedding weekly and wash it in hot water.
  • Remove stuffed animals from the bed.
  • Clean the floor regularly. Wood floors are ideal. If possible remove carpet.
  • Remove as much clutter from the bedroom as possible.
  • Dust regularly in the bedroom and the whole house.
  • Keep windows free of mold.
  • Diffuse essential oils – Essential oils can provide a tremendous improvement in breathing. A blend of lemon, lavender and peppermint diffused through the night is effective for clearing airways. Purification is great too.
  • Palette expansion.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

Palate Expansion for Mouth Breathing

Palate expansion has had the biggest impact on my daughter’s health. Her mouth breathing has caused her palate to gradually become narrower and narrower. We found a naturally minded dentist that focuses on expansion plus reshaping the jaw. It is not just the typical expander for a few months and then move on to braces.

There are a few different methods of expansion. We are using Biobloc Orthotropics. It is a three year process with several phases. First the mouth is widened to allow room for all of the teeth and to open the nasal passage. Then the jaw is reshaped.

My daughter is breathing through her nose more in the night and getting better quality sleep. She is using mouth exercises to practice keeping her mouth closed during the day to retrain her jaw. No more sitting with her mouth wide open!

We also use tape over her mouth at night. I know it sounds strange, but our orthodontist suggested it…and it really works! You can buy special tape already cut in strips or use a hypoallergenic medical tape. Just avoid it if your child has a cold or is really stuffy. You can read more about mouth taping here!

Instead of bad breath daily it is only an occasional problem. She is also much more efficient at eating. Instead of a meal taking an hour she can finish in about ten minutes.

Looking for more ways to figure out why your child struggles with meal times? Check out Why Won’t My Child Eat?! Mouth breathing is just one of the many culprits.

How do I stop mouth breathing in my kids? We are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.Can you Eliminate Mouth Breathing?

We have many days now of greatly improved focus and attention and with less hyperactivity. She is able to quickly get herself ready for school in the morning and stay on task at school.

Her adrenal health is gradually improving as she gets more sleep and we continue with a nutrient dense, allergen free diet. Her hair and nails are stronger. She has not had severe skin problems this winter for the first time in years.

The mouth breathing is not 100% gone, but it is drastically decreased. We are still using tape at night and doing mouth exercises during the day.

Is Your Child a Mouth Breather?

Don’t let it go untreated. It will change the shape of the face and impact overall health. Find the root problem (i.e. allergies). Then seek appropriate treatment to eliminate it.

Finally consider palate expansion to undo the structural damage, keep the nasal passage open and create a beautiful smile with enough room for all of your child’s teeth. I’m so thankful we stopped the mouth breathing in its tracks and my daughter has been given a new start. Her smile says it all.

How we are putting an end to mouth breathing through natural treatments and palette expansion.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

The Parental Stress of a Child With Feeding Challenges

As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

I spend a lot of time on the couch nursing baby number four these days. And I can only look at my phone or stare at the wall for so long. Which means I’ve gotten back into reading! It’s been great to actually have time to read again. Even if it’s usually short intervals because I get sleepy or lose focus. Postpartum sleep deprivation will do that.

Recently my husband suggested a book he bought called “Boys Should Be Boys” by Meg Meeker, MD. Sure, I thought. I’ll give it a look. After all, we do have two sons! And a pediatrician should have some good advice.

I felt encouraged that a lot of it was right in line with how we raise our children – don’t overschedule, let them have plenty of free time, let them explore outside, give them attention. Great.

All About Mom

Then I got to the chapter specifically for moms. I found a few areas to work on and more encouragement that I’m doing an ok job at this parenting thing.

And then I read one line that made me pause for a moment.

“In my medical practice, the most stressed-out mothers I have encountered are often the mothers whose sons have growth issues. If a child fails to eat well and fails to grow, a mother subconsciously feels that she has failed.”

It wasn’t until about thirty minutes later that the weight of that statement really hit me and the tears started flowing.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

After four years of watching my youngest daughter struggle with eating and being undernourished and now having another baby that struggles to eat, it was the first time I didn’t feel alone.

I’m not just the crazy mom that worries too much about her kids. If a pediatrician sees the parents of children with feeding challenges as the most stressed out, then it’s not just me!

And it’s Not Just You, Either!

To the mom who couldn’t breastfeed despite her best efforts – you are not alone.

To the parents of a child with an undiagnosed tongue tie resulting in undernourishment – you are not alone.

To the mother of a kid going through feeding therapy – you are not alone.

To the parent of a child whose diet is limited to ten foods – you are not alone.

To the parents of kids who throw tantrums at every meal – you are not alone.

To the mom who gets anxious before every checkup, fearing that your child is still not growing – you are not alone.

To the mom of a kid with food allergies – you are not alone.

To the mom that puts her life on hold to make feeding her children well a priority – you are not alone.

And to the mom whose baby screams at every feed, whose day is consumed with feeding attempts and you can hardly leave the house – YOU are not alone. I am not alone.

In her book “Cold Tangerines” Shauna Niequist describes feeding others like this:

“[F]eeding the people I love is a hands-on way of loving them. When you nourish and sustain someone, essentially, you’re saying that you want them to thrive, to be happy and healthy and able to live well.”

That is exactly how I feel about feeding my children. And it’s a challenge when there is a road block in the way.

I see other moms of little ones going out on dates or out with friends, while I’m over here wondering if I can manage a trip to the grocery store between feeding attempts. I see other families going to the beach or the zoo for the day, and I can’t go anywhere for more than an hour without a private place to breastfeed. There is no such thing as being discrete with all the bouncing, back arching and screaming going on.As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

The parental stress of a child with feeding challenges is very real, but hard to understand if you’ve never been through it. If you know a mom struggling with feeding issues give her some encouragement and maybe a helping hand. She is doing such important and demanding work!

Parental Stress

I focus a lot on health and nutrition for kids. But also for parents. It’s important for mom and dad to be healthy not only to set a good example, but also to be able to properly care for your kids.

I’ve been working on my own health for many years. And it’s always a challenge during pregnancy and breastfeeding when I am sharing nutrients and often on a limited diet for baby’s food intolerances.

But one of the biggest factors in health problems is not the food you eat but instead the amount of stress in your life.

Ask any doctor and they will tell you to reduce stress.

You can declutter your house, free up time in your schedule, simplify meals and try to get to bed earlier…but you can’t get rid of your child! The parental stress of a child with feeding challenges is a permanent fixture as long as the feeding troubles remain.

I often joke with my big kids that baby brother only wants to eat as soon as I sit down to eat. So I have to rush through every meal with a fussy baby. Eating too quickly, not chewing thoroughly and eating while stressed is a recipe for disastrous digestion. Yep, that’s me. You too? I pretty much have a constant stomach ache from the tension.

The stress impacts how I interact with my other children and my husband. If my little guy is having a bad day I am having a bad day and patience goes out the window. If my four year old refuses to eat my anxiety builds and it shows.

As parents, especially moms, we are wired with the desire to nourish and care for our children. But when your child has feeding challenges it can create a lot of parental stress that is hard to handle.

Help for Feeding Challenges

I can’t make your stress go away, but I can offer assurance that you are not alone. And encouragement that you will get through this. As kids get older the feeding gets easier. And there are things you can do right now to at least ease the problems. I outline the details in my book “Why Won’t My Child Eat?!” I have tips for breastfeeding struggles here and feeding a child with sensory processing disorder here.

I’ll leave you with this quote from Dr. Meeker.

“Mothers love through sacrifice. They act. They will surrender whatever is necessary to keep their son alive. Whether it’s intuitive or not, that is what love does.”

Caring for a child with feeding challenges is stressful. It’s hard work. And it shows your deep, deep love for your child. Some days are more challenging than others. And some days you just need a good cry. But don’t give up. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up!

I wrote this post to encourage others. But also to encourage myself as I’m right there with you dealing with multiple children with feeding challenges at the same time. It is stressful. And it’s OK to admit it. Just know you are NOT a failure!

I hope that ten years from now when I’m not struggling with very young children this post can still offer encouragement to those in the midst of the challenge. And I will still be here to help you along the journey!

What has been the most stressful part of having a child with feeding challenges for you?

Letting go of Fear: A 33 Year Journey Comes to an End

Life isn’t always what it seems. Today I’m sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

If you don’t know much about my story you may think my life looks well planned. I am happily married. I have four kids, two boys and two girls, all about three years apart. And almost ten years to the day between my oldest and youngest. Picture perfect, right?

Yes, it’s true that I am a major planner, But I can assure you that God did all the planning when it came to building my family.

As I approached Simon’s birth I realized just how monumental it was. His birth carried with it 33 years of dreams, desires and hopes…and struggles, doubts and fear. And in that one moment when he arrived a weight I’ve carried with me for so long was lifted.

Today I want to share the journey with you. Though I admit I debated about whether or not to. Do I want to relive it? Or just forget it and move on? These thoughts and emotions have been swirling around in my head for the last couple months. Hopefully I can get them written and fully let go. And maybe it will give hope to someone else. So here we go!Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

When it All Began.

It started on my fifth birthday. The only thing I wanted was a Cabbage Patch Doll. But they were sold out everywhere. Finally my mom heard a store near us had just gotten ten more. We rushed over. By the time we got there only five were left. It took me all of two seconds to pick the one I wanted. A girl with a tuft of blonde hair and a paci. I named her Caroline Rebecca.

And from that moment I knew that more than anything I wanted to be a mom.

But more specifically I knew deep down I wanted four kids – two boys, two girls. How I knew this at such a young age, I don’t know. I think it was a seed God planted in me. A seed of hope that has kept me going through a lot of struggles. No matter how hard I tried over the years to shake it (and believe me, I tried! I prayed and prayed for God to take it away.), I knew my life would not feel complete without four children.

I spent a large portion of my childhood playing with dolls. Not Barbies. Babies. I pretended to nurse them, dress them, feed them. They went wherever I went. I was playing dolls well into junior high!

The teenage Years.

Fast forward to puberty. When the fear first set in. From my first menstrual cycle at age 14 I knew something wasn’t “normal” about me. I only had a period once or twice a year. I was too scared to talk to anyone about it. I lied about it at doctor visits. I thought my body was broken…for good. And the fear that I would never have the family I dreamed of set in.

I started an obsession with health (which sort of led me to where I am now). It was an unhealthy obsession then (and would be for many years to come). I actually knew nothing about health. In my mind there was only one factor. Skinny meant healthy. So I became fat phobic – the popular dietary misinformation of the day. I could live on fruity candy and fat free ice cream and call it healthy.

This is also when my obsessive compulsive disorder began (though I wouldn’t understand it/identify it for another 15 years). My eating became so restricted. My weight dropped like crazy. I was less “normal” than ever. But I didn’t care because I was skinny.

This continued all through high school. I was underweight, scared of food and so undernourished.

Coming to a Head in College.

Then I went off to college. All of my obsessive behaviors combined with my extreme shyness created a lot of anxiety. And it was hard to make friends or let anyone get to know me.

I was playing soccer and taking honors classes. My days were so busy I hardly had time to make friends even if I wanted to.

By the grace of God there was some positive change by my junior year. My soccer career came to an end…which made it possible for me to start a relationship with the man that would one day become my husband. We were both electrical engineering majors, which allowed us to spend a lot of time together.

I had no idea at the time, but I was gradually re-feeding my body (you can read more about that in this book). My weight had gone up enough to be in a healthy range. And I was eating more nutrients (though still low fat and plenty of processed food). For the first time in my life I started having regular cycles! I finally felt normal. I got excited every month when it showed up. My body was working!!

On the flip side my OCD and digestive problems were progressively getting worse (I didn’t understand how food impacted mood at the time). And getting harder to hide.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

A BIG Mistake.

One year after graduation Justin and I got married. A few months before the wedding I made a bad decision that would impact my health for many years to come…I started birth control pills. It was just what you do when you get married. I never thought twice about it, I never questioned what negative effects they could have. Or that it might not be how God wanted me to live. Trying to be in control instead of giving that to Him.

I now understand how harmful birth control is. And will teach my daughters so they don’t make the same mistake.

At first it was great. Having everything work like clockwork. I had no idea they messed up your hormones and that the period was just a withdrawl bleed, not an actual period.

Gradually I started to feel the impact. At the start of each new pack I would get so sick I would vomit, My anxiety and OCD were out of control. I was having panic attacks.

My digestive problems continued to get worse as well. I had constant painful colon spasms, I was constantly searching for solutions, I tried all sorts of dietary changes. None of them worked. They just made my anxiety about food worse.

I finally got to the point I couldn’t handle things and started working with a psychologist, I spent the next ten years working with her,

Time For our Family.

In early 2006 my husband and I started talking about having kids. The thing I had been waiting for since I was five. I stopped taking birth control…and the long journey through infertility began. I waited six months with no sign of my cycles returning naturally. Those three years on birth control had destroyed my health both physically and mentally.

During those three years I also underwent a host of tests to help my digestive problems, But every time the doctor would tell me everything was normal. After years of searching for answers I finally self-diagnosed my problem. At 26 years old I had a rectal prolapse. I met with a colon surgeon who confirmed it and ran more tests, In September 2006 I had surgery to correct it.

I was out of work for two months. It was a long, slow recovery. Something I don’t care to ever repeat.

Treatment Begins.

My first day back at work post surgery was also the day of my first visit with the endocrinologist. We started with three rounds of clomid – which my body did not respond to. Next we moved on to IUI. It was during this process that we learned we had both male and female infertility, As each month came and went with no luck my fear of not having the family I dreamed of really surfaced. I wondered if I’d ever be a mom at all.

The endo told us our only option was IVF. He didn’t give any health suggestions, No dietary advice, Just medical procedures. So began our journey through the lonely, painful, expensive world of IVF.

Of course my body never likes to follow the norm. The doctor diagnosed me with polyfollicular ovaries – not PCOS. But I could never find any information about it. He said he rarely had patients like me.

I didn’t respond as well as hoped to the procedure because of my condition. I produced tons of eggs…but most of them were not mature enough to be useful. So after the egg retrieval I hyperstimulated, In other words all of the empty egg sacs filled with fluid, which then filled my abdominal cavity. It’s painful. It makes you feel sick. It can damage your ovaries, And it makes you unable to transfer any fertilized eggs back. We had to freeze everything and give my body time to recover.

Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!
What hyperstimulation looks like – a belly full of fluid.

We waited another month to move on. Just when it was getting too hard to hope we received great news – our first IVF transfer worked! I was pregnant. I gave birth to our first child, a daughter, in 2008.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

Let’s Try Again.

In the fall of 2009 we decided to start trying for another baby. I weaned my daughter just weeks before returning to the endocrinologist to start the next round of treatment. In other words I didn’t give my body any time to recover or restore nutrients. We did another IVF transfer. Unfortunately it didn’t work. And it used up what fertilized eggs we had frozen.

So back to square one. We started right up with a new round of IVF stimulation. It was around this time that I first learned about real food and started making dietary changes.

As before I hyperstimulated and had to recover before doing transfers. We went on to use up all of our fertilized eggs with three frozen transfers…all of which were unsuccessful. The third one was dragged out a bit, but ended up being a chemical pregnancy. I felt so broken and alone (I wrote about it here). Those fears were taking over. Would I ever have more children?

After a couple months off we started yet another round of IVF. Again I hyperstimulated. The worst it had ever been. I was so sick and had to do transfusions to help my fluids balance. But finally we got to our sixth frozen transfer. Praise the Lord it worked! I gave birth to our first son in 2011. During that pregnancy I started the GAPS diet to try to help with my digestive problems. Unfortunately it made my OCD go out of control. It also made my food sensitivities worse in the long run.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

Baby #3??

In May of 2013 we headed back to the doctor, hopeful we would at least have one more child. We still had fertilized eggs in the freezer. Just as I was starting the hormone meds we got a letter that my endo was retiring immediately due to health problems. Panic. I’m already starting a round of treatment…now what?

Thankfully we have another great endo in town that was taking on all of my old doctor’s patients. And he was able to squeeze us in yet for this cycle. This was it. We had to use up all of our freezer supply for this transfer. The two week wait was eternal. I felt all of the usual symptoms. But the hormone shots do that to you.

Finally I got the pregnancy test results – positive!!! I was so beyond happy. It worked. We would have three kids. I would have to settle for that. And we would be done with fertility treatments.

But a week later I started to bleed. I went to the doctor for an ultrasound – inconclusive. No heart beat. But it could be too early. I had my hormone levels checked – they weren’t rising. I went for a final ultrasound to confirm it was a blighted ovum.

Dreams shattered. Fears in control.

Letting God Take Control.

Now what? Justin and I both knew we couldn’t do another round of IVF. My body couldn’t handle any more. And we had already spent so much money on it.

But this was when God really changed my life. Through this heartbreak he brought so much healing. You can read all the details HERE and HERE. When I tell people our first two children were conceived via IVF and our second two were natural I always get the same comment – “Your body just started working again! It figured out how to do it.” No. NOT AT ALL. There was a LOT of work that went into the healing process. And it was HARD work. So hard. But in December of 2013 I found out I was pregnant. Our second daughter was born in 2014.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

You would think that would put an end to my fears. But it didn’t. Her first two years of life were riddled with fear. From vaccine reactions to tongue ties to so many allergies I was worried she’d starve to death. She didn’t gain any weight for a year. We could hardly leave the house. It consumed me. By God’s grace we made it through. She is now thriving.

Yet through those years of struggles with her I thought daily about having another baby. It weighed heavily on me. I didn’t know if my husband would be willing to try again. I didn’t know if my body would work again. A lot of unknowns. A lot of giving it over to God on a daily basis.

Baby #4??

I weaned my daughter in early 2017 in order to start working on my health. To my complete amazement my body started cycling on its own about six weeks later. That alone gave me hope. That had never happened before. My body was working!! Nothing was regular. But I charted my cycles. On August 14, 2107 I found out I was pregnant with our final miracle baby.

I had a deep rooted fear in the back of my mind the whole pregnancy. All of the “what-ifs” played out over and over. I had experienced enough heartbreak and witnessed others go through heartbreak. What made me think I would get a happy ending? I had waited 33 long years for this. I was so close, but not there yet.

And I felt like I didn’t deserve it. That somehow it would all be whisked away just before I got there. I was so caught up in Satan’s lies that I couldn’t see God’s love.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

I could hardly even enjoy my pregnancy during the last six weeks. Satan was working hard to make sure my fears were front and center everywhere I looked. Every song I heard. Every picture I saw. It all seemed to point to something bad happening.

But over the past couple years my focus has been “Be Fearless.” God brought me this phrase. It’s hanging in my kitchen. I see it daily. And I have to give my fears over to God daily, sometimes hourly. Living fearlessly isn’t always easy. But it is living according to God’s Word.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

On April 23, 2018 we welcomed our fourth miracle baby to the family. Precious little Simon Arie. He has completed our family and once again shown me just how real God’s love is. Everything went smoothly. He is healthy and growing well. All those fears were for nothing. There is a song on the radio often these days called “Fear is a Liar.” I love listening to it. But I often replace the word fear with Satan. They are the same. I’m done listening to Satan’s lies. I will continue to Be Fearless.

Moving On.

It’s actually been hard to write this post because at just a few weeks postpartum I’ve already left it behind. I should have started writing it while I was still pregnant! This will always be my story. But I’m so ready to move forward without this 33 year fear controlling me. 

There are still challenges ahead. We’re working through nursing/food reaction issues with this little guy (of course – that’s just the way things are for us). I’m a mom. I will always be concerned about about my kids’ health and safety. There are still traces of the OCD that I’m working through and hope to get rid of through God’s power.

But I won’t have to carry the daily burden of whether or not we’ll have more children. A weight has been lifted that I can’t even describe. It was a part of me for so long. It almost feels like I’m leaving a piece of me behind.Life isn't always what it seems. Today I'm sharing my 33 year journey through fear and infertility. Through it all God is good!

I still have one more big milestone ahead. When I eventually wean our youngest. I will close the chapter of my life where I share my body with another person. When that time comes I’ll be ready to focus on fully nourishing myself and restoring my health. But thankfully I’ve got a while. I’m not quite ready for that yet. Breastfeeding is one of my favorite things about having babies. I’m going to enjoy it as much as I can.

I never for one second take for granted these precious miracles God has entrusted to me. And although the journey was long and difficult I am thankful for all I have learned along the way. Each child has brought me so much healing. They have already given me more than I could ask for. I pray that I can be the mom they need and teach them well as they grow. Teach them how to love, how to take care of their bodies and how to live in God’s love without fear.

I am anxious to see what God has planned for the next chapter of my life as this one comes to an end. One thing I know is that I don’t have to be afraid of it.