Friday, September 23, 2011

A season for everything

I am closing up this blog. It has been forever since I've written anything anyway and mostly because coming back to this blog feels like a life long past.

I do enjoy the process of writing and keeping memories so I will be starting a new blog at

At this new blog I hope to share more of the daily mundane but incredible moments that I embrace and hope to remember.

Thanks for being along for the ride in this season.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Banana Bread

I actually made this recipe up myself. That is an unheard of feat for me. When I was in high school I was making a batch of brownies from a box and after I read "mix by hand" I actually stuck my hand in the batter and stirred it around.

That is my cooking background.

Yes, I've come a long way.

This recipe calls from 1 tsp of honey but I think it would be fine without it as long as your bananas are very, very ripe. It is made without eggs.

Banana Bread
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/4 cup coconut flour
5 very ripe bananas
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup coconut oil (soft) or ghee (soft)
1 tsp. cinnamon

whisk all dry ingredients together
blend all wet ingredients together
blend dry ingredients into wet
Pour into loaf pan greased with ghee or coconut oil
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes
then turn down to 300 and cook until mostly firm in the middle (it never firms up completely)

Almond Crackers

I realized today that many of the recipes we use as staples in our house are not listed on my blog. This one we could not live without. We could also not live without Katie Kemper who makes us a huge batch every month that we keep in the freezer. Thank you Katie!!!!!

Almond Crackers
from Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride's GAPS book

2 Tbsp of butter (or ghee, coconut oil or lard)
2 cups ground nuts (almonds, hazels, walnuts, etc) (we use Trader Joe's Almond Meal)
2-3 Tbsp of water

You can improvise by adding to this mixture herbs, cinnamon, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, salt, grated cheddar cheese (if tolerated) or peanut butter.

Mix the ingredients well. Roll out thinly on a board, sprinkled with some ground nuts. Cut into squares or any other shapes. Sprinkle some coarse salt, poppy seeds, caraway seeds or coriander seeds on top.

Bake in the oven on well-greased baking paper at 300F for 10-15 min.

These have a hard time staying together but do a little better if you keep them in the freezer.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Carrot Latkes

Snow day today!!!! I LOVE snow days. I love waking up and telling Tyler he can stay home from school. I love the laziness of a day that is also magical. I took advantage of the extra time and made some carrot latkes for breakfast this morning. They really don't take that much time and they're very worth it. They have the taste of hashbrowns with a touch of sweetness from the carrots.

Carrot Scallion Latkes
3 cups shredded carrots
3 scallions, finely chopped (I've also done 1/2 medium onion)
3 eggs, whisked
1-2 teaspoon celtic sea salt
½ teaspoon coconut flour
olive oil or bacon fat for frying
In a large bowl combine carrots, scallions and eggs
Stir salt and coconut flour into carrot mixture
In a large skillet heat oil
Scoop large tablespoonfuls of batter onto skillet
Fry patties on each side over medium heat until browned and crispy
Transfer latkes to a paper towel lined plate
Repeat process until all of the batter is used up

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pumpkin Muffins with Streusel Topping

I know I am horrible at keeping up with this blog. It still works as a great place for organizing my stuff. So at least its working for me :-).

I've actually created some of my own recipes lately. Which is pretty amazing if you knew me. This is one I just made adaptations to a few recipes from other blogs. I served it last night to friends and, except for the fact that I over cooked them, they were a hit. This is a great treat for any one on or off GAPS. By using almond flour instead of traditional flour this treat is full of protein instead of just adding to our already starch filled diet.

The main idea is from Elana's pantry and the struesel topping comes from the Nourishing Gourmet. I'm sure this could easily be adapted to muffins.

Pumpkin Bars
1 cup pumpkin (acorn, butternut or other squash) puree
½-1 cup honey
4 eggs
2 cup blanched almond flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cloves

Streusel Topping
3 tablespoons of arrowroot powder, (not GAPS legal)
3 tablespoons of coconut crystals
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
dash of salt
3 tablespoons of cold coconut oil
1/3 cup of chopped walnuts
  1. In a food processor, combine pumpkin, honey and eggs and pulse for 2 minutes
  2. Pulse dry ingredients into wet for a full minute, until well combined
  3. Pour batter into a greased 8 X 8 (greased with ghee or coconut oil)
  4. Mix together first four Streusel ingredients. Then cut in coconut oil with a fork until small clumps are formed. Then stir in chopped walnuts.
  5. Pour topping on top of bars
  6. Bake at 350° for 30-35 minutes

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Being instead of doing

So the visit this week with the specialist was not what I expected. It reminded me why we decided to stop going down the traditional medical road. What the doctor said was, in a sense, what I wanted to hear...I do not need to worry about Grayson's diarrhea, I don't need to worry about his huge bloated belly, I don't need to worry about undigested food in his BMs, and I should feed him everything. The problem is he said this without putting a hand on Grayson, not looking at him for more than 2 seconds, not letting me finish a sentence, not reading Gray's medical history, and telling me that he will have Irritable Bowel Syndrome his whole life. He rolled his eyes at the idea of an imbalance in the gut flora theory. He said that what we eat makes no difference in our digestive system. He said I myself do not have lactose intolerance because I am of German heritage. There were many gross generalizations made and seemingly unfounded conclusions.

But I don't want to discount that he is a well respected doctor and at 78 years old, has to have much wisdom. He said that Gray does not have any of "their diseases." I believe that, and I'm thankful we went to see him to hear that and I can now remove that nagging thought in the back of my head that he has some chromosomal disorder going on. Going through Gray's medical history was helpful for me to realize how many things have improved.

He doesn't have a disease but is he in optimal health? I don't know. When you go out of the traditional medical model there is much talk about optimal health. That is the driving force behind most diet and nutrition gurus. There is even a sense that if you do everything right (i.e. perfect diet, correct supplements, all toxic avoidance) you can have perfect health. It can be a crazy trap for someone like me who wants to do everything right. I have had to step back many times and remind myself that we are in a fallen world. Things in this world are broken. Many things are beautiful but nothing is perfect. We have the promise that God will restore the world and our bodies back to perfection. But its a promise of things to come, not what we will experience on this earth.

My kids are not perfect. I can not make them perfect. I can not be the perfect mother. There is a not a perfect discipline tactic that if I follow perfectly will produce well behaved children. There is a not a perfect set of activities that if I complete in a week will make my children smart. There is not a perfect way to teach my children about the Bible or memorize versus that will ensure they feel loved by God and love others. AND...there is not a perfect diet or program or medicine that will ensure my children never get sick or never experience pain.

When I got home from the doctor's visit, I had a wonderful talk with Brian. It was mostly about the things I've just been talking about. I realize there is a part of my heart that is seeking to control things I can't control because it gives me a sense of security. But it is a false sense of security. I am going to drive myself crazy and I'm going to miss out on enjoying these years with my kids if I try to find my security in "fixing" them.

Yet, I am their mom, and I can't ignore issues if they are there. Balance. That is what I am trying to find. How to move forward when I think I need to to care for them, while at the same time resting in knowing that they are more than cared for by God.

Being instead of doing.

I don't have a master plan for where to go from here and I like that. We are already at the stage in our diet when we can start to add in some more foods so we'll slowly start to work our way into more and more variety. For the most part, my kids are doing great and I am going to choose to focus on their awesomeness. I am going to drink more water during the day...not because I am "supposed to" but because it is relaxing and it makes me slow down. I am going to sit still more. I am going to try to find a hobby. I am going to delete all 1200 unread emails in my inbox and not worry about trying to get to them all. I am going to try to think about just today. I am going to be a mom to my babies. I am going to enjoy my husband. I am going to rest.

We have a God who offers to take our burdens, I might as well take advantage of that.

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is thy faithfulness" Lamentations 3:22-23

Monday, October 18, 2010

On the Road Again

I take Grayson to see a specialist tomorrow at the Diagnostic Clinic at Children's Hospital. It was recommended that we take Gray to see this "jack of all trades" about a year and half ago by our ENT and then confirmed by the GI specialist. The collective reasoning was to see if there was an underlining diagnosis that would explain all the many health problems he has, something like a chromosomal thing.

At the time, Brian and I decided not to take him. We had just finished 6 months of various exams and tests that were hard on Gray (and me) and very expensive. All coming out normal. At the time, we did not feel we were getting anywhere on the traditional medical road so that was when we decided to put all our efforts into nutrition and diet changes.

We have been on the GAPS protocol for a year now (I plan to write a post on reflections of this year soon). Grayson has greatly improved but still experiences many of the same symptoms that we have no explanation for. A few weeks ago, he started a new (probably unrelated) symptom of frequent urination. REALLY frequent! Our doctor decided to test him for diabetes. After a very, very long week of waiting for test results, we found out the tests came back negative.

I'm so thankful for those results and I'm not too worried about the high amounts of urination. I do wonder about God's sense of humor sometimes. I have said for a while now that the majority of my work and chaos of daily life revolves mostly around bodily fluids and that my life would seem much calmer if everyone could keep their fluids inside their body or in the appropriate waste receptacle. At the season of my life when I think I might be able to potty train my youngest and burn the diaper champ, we now are buying more (bigger) diapers and the bodily fluids have increased! Ha, ha...

The week of not knowing was very difficult. I just hate not knowing what is wrong with my babies! I pray a lot for wisdom and guidance. Everyone has an idea, a pill, a method, a test, a treatment. There are so many options, all of which are expensive and may lead you to a dead end. We've been on so many roads and I'm not sure sometimes if we've even moved from where we've started. How do I know when to try a new road, to persevere down the one we're on, or if I'm even following all the directions?

All of this to say: I'm going down this medical road...again...for a while. I'm sure this doc will order many tests, which, because of our sucky insurance, will cost us greatly and may not give us any answers. He may diagnose him with something that makes no difference to his treatment or how we love him. He may also provide a piece to the puzzle. He may be able to tell me one small instruction. I've decided either way, its worth a journey down this road.

What I feel like God has pressed on my heart this past two weeks is that it is good and right and part of how he made me to fight for my kids. I feel crazy sometimes, and sometimes I am. But other times I am deeply in love with a God who is deeply in love with me and my kids. And when I remember how deeply he loves them I remember that if I never have answers I can still find rest while continuing on the road.

Here is a summary of Grayson's road that I had to type up for the specialist appointment tomorrow:


  • low body temperature, taken to special care nursery in warmer, temperature did not change, taken to PICU temp raised (all lasting about 12-16 hours, formula given in PICU)
  • cried the most of the hospital stay. Difficulty sleeping even when held. Difficulty nursing
  • Nursing at home, continued to have sleeping difficulties. Cried at all times of day and at all times of being awake. Could not sleep for more than 10-15 minutes without waking up with a piercing cry and body wincing. Appeared to be in pain most of the time.


  • Started Prevacid, made little change in temperament
  • Eliminated Dairy in mothers diet which helped some
  • Mom did a elimination diet (Dr. Sears) for 2 weeks
  • Challenged dairy with noticeable negative reaction
  • Colic type behavior continued until 4 months then much better
  • Continued to have reflux “burps” with the sound of food coming up and going back down, frequent hiccups
  • Soy and Dairy avoided by mom
  • Ear infections started around 4 months and were continuous (around 6 in 4 months)
  • High amounts of drooling
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Developmental milestones met WNL with noted Hypotonia

December -January 08 (9 months)

  • Tube surgery after multiple ear infections
  • Mother became pregnant which eliminated breast milk
  • Started on predigested dairy formula…eczema, increase in reflux burps and diarrhea started
  • Switched to soy formula and seemed to do great with formed bowel movements
  • Continued to have large amounts of drool, open mouth breathing and gagging with solid food (not initial pureed food but later chewable foods)

March 08 (11 months)

  • Frequent diarrhea returns (10-12 large, loose or mushy stools a day with a very foul odor) Stools often not held by the diaper due to consistency and/or volume. Food particles and mucus in stool
  • Continued to have multiple ear infections after tube surgery
  • Frequent illnesses
  • Continued high amounts of drool and open mouth breathing

June 08 (14 months)

  • Fitted by Physical Therapist at St. John’s hospital for orthodics due to hypotonia and late stage walking
  • Switched to rice milk at a year
  • IgA blood and skin testing done at SL Children’s Hospital-negative results
  • Celiac blood test-negative
  • IgG blood testing with following results:
    • 3+ reaction to garlic
    • 2+ reaction to peanut
    • 2+ reaction to soy
    • 1+ reaction to rice
    • Very Low reaction to almond, cane sugar, cow’s milk, goat’s milk, lentil, pineapple, tuna, beef, cheddar cheese, egg white, grape, oat, sweet potato, turkey, buckwheat, cod, egg yolk, grapefruit, orange, sesame, zucchini, cabbage, cottage cheese, gluten, lamb, pea, string bean
  • Attempted cow’s milk with strong negative reaction (intense stomach pains and listlessness).
  • Stools remain same (10-12 large, loose, food and mucous), reflux burps continue, drooling continues, gagging with food continues, eczema continues

August 08 (16 months)

  • Dietician consultation. Barb Lindeman advises to stay away from 3+ and 2+ foods but not to try to avoid 1+ or Very Low reaction foods. Increase fat, Carbohydrates, Vitamin D, and calcium
  • Gastroenterologist visit. Dr. Elizabeth Utterson orders Upper GI and small bowel follow through—done at SLCH—results normal
  • Start probiotic
  • Reflux burps improve
  • Diarrhea decreases in frequency 2-4/day. Not as loose.

December 08

  • Digestive Stool Analysis done-increased cholesterol in stool, no Lactobacilli noted

January 09

  • Soft Neck Tissue Xray at St. John’s notes adenoid enlargement

March 09

  • Adenoid and Tonsils removed
  • Drooling and open mouth breathing improve
  • Stools continue at 2-3/day large, mushy, food and mucous in stool
  • Continues to need orthodics due to hypotonia
  • Congestion continues
  • Eczema continues

September 09

  • Begin strict diet with elimination of sugar, grains, dairy, soy. Diet high in meats, vegetables and good fats.
  • Increase EFAs and add cultured vegetables and digestive enzymes
  • Skin turns orange in color for months
  • Catches a virus that caused vomiting and resulting dehydration-hospitalized for 3 days because he continued to be listless and often unresponsive. White blood cell count high enough to cause concern. Discharged when his count lowered and he would eat a couple bites of food.

April 10

  • Stools start to improve. Move to 1-2/day. Begin to see some formed stool with intermittent soft/mushy and intermittent diarrhea. Continue to see undigested food and mucous. Stool floats and is oily and dark in color.
  • Eczema eliminated

May 10

  • Anitbiotic started due to ear infection
  • Stools improve greatly. Start to see formed stools the majority of the time.

October 10

  • Begin urinating with high frequency (4-8 times an hour) with increase in thirst
  • Blood test for diabetes-negative
  • Stool continues to be soft, mush with intermittent formed stools. Undigested food continues to be seen in stool at much lesser degree and not as often. Mucous noted occasionally when stool is looser and more foul smelling. Occasionally looses stool when passing gas or throughout the day.
  • Distended belly gets larger through the day.
  • Has a large appetite and can be insatiable even after large amounts of nutrient dense food.