Friday, January 22, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookies -egg, grain, soy, dairy, gluten free

Raisin Pecan Cookies - gluten, egg, mostly everything free

2 1/2 c blanched almond flour
1/4t salt
1/4t baking soda
1/2c grapeseed oil
1/2c agave
1T vanilla extract
1c pecan pieces
1c raisins
1c choc chips

1. Mix dry ingredients in medium bowl
2. Mix wet ingredients in smaller bowl
3. Mix wet into dry
4. put 1 inch balls onto parchment paper lined baking sheets
5. flatten cookie with palm
4. bake at 350 7-10 minutes

Monday, November 02, 2009

Moving Time

Last week I lost my hope and was in a crisis of faith. We so often treat God like a genie and he is always faithful and gives us what we need. I really believed he'd work miracles and make things work, but he wasn't, that I could see. I've never been in such a dark place spiritually as I was last week and last month even, but, God kept whispering through his people and in that still small voice that he had this one. I lost the ability to even hear him last week. Salvation is the gift, other than that, I can not hope for more. I was stripped of all other understanding.

He set divine appointments, running into a dear friend in the Costco parking lot, where she prayed for me, that was about a month ago. He continued blessing me one little thing at a time to show me he was still there, but I was buying the lies of the enemy, that God cared only about my salvation, other than that, he wasn't involved in my life. I can see now God wanted me to see Him when he revealed his plan, because it is not a plan I would have chosen without putting up a big stink, feeling angry and on and on. I had to go down a path to see where I belonged without God, and I can recognize his fingerprints in the plan he revealed and is bringing us on now. I now embrace and am excited for our new simpler life. I will shed extra belongings I don't need, I embrace a lower stress lifestyle, and he's giving me a bigger kitchen, with my lifestyle that's pretty huge!

My friend Amy was sharing about Jesus and his eternal perspective, how that was at the forefront of his speech and mind, and yet, for our benefit, because we are so limited and need to see help now where we are at, he blesses us, heals us, restores us. Still for the purpose of our eternal salvation, and for that of those around us. Thank you God!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Utimate Barter

While sitting under the shade waiting for the tow truck to arrive and let me back into my car this afternoon, I rested my head in my hands spent a quiet moment to listen and be available to hear God. The idea came almost instantly as I quieted my spirit. Thinking about services people pay for, massage, nutrition counseling, training of any kind. So many people are struggling financially right now, and so many are working to better their life but cannot afford to do all they wish they could for their families or themselves.

The idea of having chickens who lay eggs every day is so appealing to me. We've had a garden overflowing with abundance this summer and gave away delicious, pesticide free food. The kids wanted to sell it. We had so much at times we could have been a vendor at the farmers market! Selling things is not my strong suit. Not motivated to ask people for their money. I'd rather give it away. Do I think it's worth good money, sure!

Everyone has something or can do something someone else needs. Would you clean my house for fresh organic eggs? For fresh garden produce? Avocados? Grain free muffins? Nut bars? grain free crackers? Creamy nut dressings? Photo's taken at your party? Your digital photo's cleaned up and put to music on slideshow?

Assign the current market value to your good or service, we get together with our goods and exchange away. To keep overhead from being a nightmare, everyone negotiates their own trades, including the 3 way trades for now.

Something to think about ay. We all need more than $ can provide, and can provide things to each other like sewing, meal prep, waxing. Pretty limitless really!

Keep posted for more info.

God is so good! I've been praying, begging asking, "What comes next? We can't make this work as is anymore". My heart swells with gratitude and hope for what is unfolding in our lives. My prayer is that my life would be a faith building testimony, building others up around our family, not because of how good we are, cause we aren't, but because of God's grace and love and power. That He be glorified in and through us.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Modified Elimination Diet

What is this Modified Elimination Diet referred to you ask? Similar to other allergy elimination diets it adds gluten. There may be more differences than that, but I haven't done the standard one.

I still follow the elimination diet, with my gut, there was too much damage to go back to foods. Also found that there were foods on the allowed list my body didn't tolerate like tomatos, then became sensative to foods I leaned more heavily on than normal. Create your own list, listen to your body. Each person metabolizes things differently.

My list is a living list, it changes. Enjoyed coconut products so much, various forms, that I no longer can enjoy them:( Learning as I go. Some foods I can have occasionally, like avocados. Have them too many days in a row, then I become sensitive to them. I am loosely following a rotation diet for some items, giving my body 3+ days between eating them. Recently heard SAM-e may help metabolize sulphur better and allow garlic and onions back into my life. Sure would love that! Will advise if I try it.

When I went gluten free, the only spice I used overused was garlic. Having read that many spices contain gluten and aren't labeled.

Where to start. I have a sheet laid out by food groups with Allowed and Avoid columns. That won't work here. If this makes your head spin, mine does too! Photographing and journaling about the foods we do eat is therapeutic and fun. I get recipes online usually. Ideas, places to step off from. Most every recipe I encounter needs to be modified some how. Check out my photos on face book for comments and recipes.


ALLOWED(means we can eat it):

Chicken, Turkey, Lamb, fish, unprocessed cold cuts/sausage,

-All veggies (preferably fresh), all beans (except soy)

-All Fruits (except for citrus and strawberries)

-Cold pressed unrefined oils, olive oil, coconut oil, clarified butter(ghee), flax, sesame, pumpkin seeds, nut butters, almonds, macadamia, pecans, salt, pepper and spices.

-Milk substitutes such as rice and nut milks, coconut milk(no additives)

-Water, caffeine-free herbal teas(non-citrus)

-Breads/cereal/pasta - Any made of rice, quinoa, amaranth, millet, potato flour, tapioca starch, buckwheat, gluten free flour based products, tapioca bread, gluten free bread, gluten free waffles, rice pasta

-Sweeteners - Stevia, agave nectar, fruit sweetened.

AVOID (means no eating)

-Beef, shellfish, tofu, tempeh, soy protein isolate(found in protein drinks and food bars)

-Creamed vegetables or vegetables with sauces and soy products, corn

-Citrus, strawberries, dried fruit containing sulfur preservatives

-Margarine, shortening, butter, refined oils, all types of vinegar,( includes most condiments and salad dressings), soy sauce

- All Dairy products from any animal -Milk, cheese, butter, ice cream, yogurt, cream, non-dairy creamer, soy milk

- Milk, coffee, decaf coffee, tea, citrus, alcohol, soda pop

- sugar, chocolate, honey, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, maple syrup

-All corn products, including corn starch

-ALL PRODUCTS MADE WITH GLUTEN - products made with wheat, oats, spelt, kamut, rye, barley


Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Gluten intolerance is a spectrum disorder, rather than Celiacs Disease or nothing (The Gluten Effect). Celiac disease is a typical complex inflammatory disorder(Nature Reviews. Immunology Vol. 2, Sept. 2002, 647-55). This means anything that gets inflamed, intestinal lining, joints...

As Dr Rick of HealthNow often says, a symptom means your body has malfunctioned; pain, and discomfort are common, NOT normal. Healthy bodies adapt to life's stressors feeling free of pain and filled with energy.

  • 70% of our immune cells are in our intestines! This means, healthy gut, healthy body. Unhealthy gut, unhealthy body.(The Gluten Effect, Drs. Vikki and Richard Peterson D.C., C.C.N)
  • 50% of IBS sufferers have gluten intolerance(The Gluten Effect, Drs. Vikki and Richard Peterson D.C., C.C.N)
  • 10% more autoimmune diseases in celiacs than rest of the US population(CMLS, Cell. Mol Life Sci. 62 (2005) 791-799
  • High levels of anxiety were common in the untreated celiac patinets 11/15 (73%) (AM J Med, March 1, 2004, 312-7)
  • Depression was more common in untreated celiac patients 10/15 (67%) (AM J Med, March 1, 2004, 312-7)
  • In 132 participants all clinically diagnosed with ADHD, after at least 6 months of a gluten-free diet, all patients or their parents reported a significant improvement in their behavior and functioning compared to the immediate period before diagnosis and dietetic treatment. (Journal of Attention Disorders, March 2006, 1-5)
  • Mortality Risks for cardiovascular diseases was 60% increased in CD (ARCH INTERN MED/VOL. 163, JULY 14, 2003

Read The Gluten Effect if you like statistics and medical documentation, obviously I do. A heavily documented book with medical research from both the United States and Europe. Written in plain English and divided into sections so you read what applies to you.

Our bodies are regenerative by nature. Thanks God! Just as a scraped knee clots, scabs, scars and lightens over time, or keloids for many darker skinned folks like my hubby. So our insides work much the same way. If you used a lotion and got a rash, you'd see it right away and probably stop using that lotion, but, when we eat something our body doesn't react well with, we don't see the rash. We often ignore the signals our bodies give us, cover them up, antacids(I ate them constantly), Advil, or stronger. Diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune disorders, cancers, you name it, that's where our bodies go when they've been taxed beyond what they can handle.

Some of us are the canaries of society. My story is classic, in retro spect. When I was 23 I had a grand mal seizure, the next year I gained 60 pounds(explanation in future post)! Years of candida, didn't realize it at the time. When I was 26 or 27 I became lactose intolerant. The tips of the villi in the small intestine have the enzymes sucrase and lactase, for handling sugars and lactose. In my late 20's early 30's I began to have intolerance to fruits. Melons made my throat itch, ripe bananas and walnuts made my mouth itch. Tomatoes were suspect, but I didn't listen, I could tolerate the side effect from them. Another seizure when pregnant in 1999. Been on medication ever since:( Seizures started to be petite partials, the small ones while conscious. The more seizures you have, leads to more seizures. Gluten intolerance can be responsible for seizures. My seizures have been hormone related, and my hormones have been totally off. It's a miracle that I have 3 healthy boys!

Having a tumor really makes you look at priorities and life differently. Thinking of my children growing up without me, disturbing to say the least. I had a rare auto-immune disease, Castlemans. "Autoimmune disorders occur 10 times more commonly in Celiac Disease than in the general population."(CMLS, Cell. Mol. Life Sci. 62 (2005) 791-799)

My dad had diabetes, lupus(autoimmune disease), arthritis, kidney failure(diabetes complication), dialisis, then early death, 67. To my horror, I was headed down the same path, even though I ate whole grains, drank water, ate fruits and veggies, sprinkled my foods with ground flax seeds,well, along with my unhealthy indulgences. It wasn't until 4 months after my 3 year old son had health problems and was taken off gluten, that I finally went gluten free myself.

After my thorocotomy(open chest surgery from under the arm), I experienced a painful and lengthy recovery. Again, in retrospect I can see it was due to my inflammation being out of control. Once I went gluten free, some areas of pain from the surgery, I thought, turned out to be my intestinal pain. The proximity caused the confusion. Did I have stomach aches for years and not know it? No. I had stabbing abdominal pains that began after my surgery, trauma to the body. Trauma's are often triggers for advancing gluten intolerance and ultimately celiacs disease. While I stopped my gluten consumption before I hit critical mass, many people begin to suffer symptoms as they age and like me with my joint inflammation, accept this as the process of aging. It used to hurt to take a deep breath, after my surgery, up until recently, since going gluten free.

Going gluten free is not the end all be all, but it is a significant source of strain and stress on the body for some. While we cannot control all the stresses in our lives, we most certainly can control what goes into our bodies. Making a temporary diet change with the modified elimination diet is a great way to get started. Often people find a food sensitivity they didn't know about, which aleviates many symptoms. 1 week, it's worth trying. At the end of a week you begin reintroducing one food at a time, waiting 2 days back off of it, then, if no symptoms, add it back to your diet. This is not a 'diet', I've got to loose weight, I must not eat this or else. You may lose weight as you get off things your body doesn't do well with, especially gluten, but the focus is on being healthy.

This has been an intensely spiritual journey for me. Obeying God, his still small voice. I've heard the definition of stress=the difference between your values and how you actually live. My diet may be restricted for a time, but, the freedom I have from obeying my addiction is so amazing. Still in the beginning of this journey myself, many years of damage being healed, inside and out. The 100 point reduction in cholesterol, the increase in my thyroid function, some weight loss. It takes 6months to 2 years to heal your body after years of abuse. Pretty amazing huh?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Better Than A Thousand Words

Mesquite Flour/Meal made from the pods of the mesquite tree. Below is the muffin experiment. Cutting tapioca, adding mesquite. Pudding like texture in the middle. Never quite cooked, but with almond extract, my kids thought it was a repeat! Dark almost chocolate taste.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Gluten and Your Health

Since becoming gluten free in February my cholesterol has dropped over 100 points! My Thyroid T4 test has raised 2 points, after 4 years of being at 9 (the scale is 9-24). How can this be?

What is gluten? A protein found in wheat, barley and rye, (more comprehensive list). Gliadin is the substance in gluten that induces inflammation in individuals who are sensitive to it. Gluten sensitivity is a food trigger auto-immune/anti-body response, not a food allergy. IGG vs. IGE(histamine trigger)

Possible symptoms and conditions of gluten sensitivity

• Craving for wheat or inability to stop eating wheat
• Allergies, asthma
• Sinus congestion, post-nasal drip
• Joint and muscle aches
• Diarrhea and/or constipation
• Gas, bloating, abdominal pain
• Psoriasis, eczema or unexplained rash
• Depression, anxiety or mood-swings
• Hyperactivity
• Neurological disorders
• Unexplained chronic fatigue
• Frequent canker sores
• Iron-deficiency anemia
• Osteoporosis, dental enamel defects
• Short stature
• Ear-aches
• Headaches
• Gallbladder dysfunction/stones
• Kidney stones
• Cerebral and cerebellar atrophy (affects coordination)
• Delayed puberty
• Early menopause
• Febrile seizures
• Intestinal cancers
• Obesity
• Pica
• Single generalized seizures

(The above list is a partial list compiled from Dangerous Grains by James Braly, M.D., and Ron Hoggan, M.A. and The Gluten Effect, by Drs. Vikki & Richard Petersen, D.C., C.C.N.)

What happens in your intestines when you’re gluten sensitive and eating gluten?

Healthy Villi with proper absorbtion
There are microscopic finger-like villi along the walls of your intestines. The purpose of the villi is to absorb the food you’ve eaten and make it available to your body to use. The villi, the site of first contact, become red and inflamed from the attack of auto-immune cells, sent out to attack the gluten molecule, when the gluten sensitive person eats gluten. Unhealthy Villi have totally atrophied, wasted
The tips of the villi produce many enzymes including lactase (used to digest lactose), sucrose (used to digest sugars), and EFA (to process essential fatty acids). Starting with the tips of the villi, they begin to atrophy, disappear, leaving you lactose intolerant, dealing badly with sugars (hypoglycemia, yeast infections), and with dry skin.

70% of the human bodies immune cells are located in the small intestine. Wow! No wonder it affects the overall health and immune system of your entire body. 1% of the American population has Celiacs Disease, which is high, but, 40% of the American population is gluten intolerant. (The Gluten Effect by Drs. Vikki and Richard Peterson D.C., C.C.N.)

Cross reactivity/Cell mimicry happens because the gluten antibody looks similar to say a Thyroid cell. The gluten antibody then begins to attack the thyroid, causing hypo thyroid or Hashimoto’s. The thyroid then gets thyroid antibodies created; now the thyroid has no chance. The good news; when you stop eating gluten, the process does cease and desist. If you haven’t gone hypo thyroid yet, your numbers can creep back to normal as your body heals. My free T4 (thyroid test) has been sitting on the lowest number in the normal range, 9, for several years. The normal range is 9-24. After 4 months of a gluten free diet my T4 has risen to 11! My mom and grandmother both had hypothyroid. Once you go hypothyroid, at this point in science, you are on medication for the rest of your life.

Cell mimicry can happen to any system in your body. Gluten/gliadin antibodies are all over the gluten sensitive body, wreaking havoc in the system that is your weakest link. This is one of the reasons gluten intolerance is hard to diagnose when more typical symptoms do not present.

Adrenal Exhaustion

The adrenal system is responsible for handling all stresses on the body. Car accident, job, marriage, food sensitivities, gluten sensitivity are all processed the same way by the adrenals. Stress hits, Cortisol (stress hormone) is released. When stress is ongoing, so is the release of cortisol. Along with calming down your system after release of adrenaline, it can give symptoms of anxiety or lack of well being, as well as redistributing fat throughout the body, slowing down the metabolism. This often results in more fat deposits in the belly.

See the relationship between adrenaline and cortisol.

The hormones produced by the adrenal glands (DHEA, pregnenelone and cortisol) are important for many normal functions in the body. When the adrenals are exhausted due to stress, many seemingly unrelated symptoms can arise because the adrenal hormones are not produced at proper levels. The following is a list of some of the major effects that occur in the body with adrenal exhaustion. A person with adrenal exhaustion may have symptoms in one or more of these areas.

  • Fatigue
  • Immune System Weakness
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Sugar cravings
  • Weight gain
  • Thyroid problems
  • Depression/ Mood swings
  • Hormone imbalance
(The Gluten Effect, by Drs. Vikki & Richard Petersen, D.C., C.C.N.)

Recommended reading:

The Gluten Effect, by Drs. Vikki & Richard Petersen, D.C., C.C.N.)

Dangerous Grains by James Braly, M.D., and Ron Hoggan, M.A.

Gluten-Free Bible by Jax Peters Lowell

The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook by Marjorie Hurt Jones, R.N.