Susannah Cahalan wrote a memoir about her experience with an autoimmune disease – anti-NDMA-receptor encephalitis. Here is an article discussing her journey and excerpt of her book “Brain on Fire”
Great article from Boston Globe November 13, 2012
Here is a great article from the Boston Globe The PANDAS puzzle it is frightening how many similarities there are between this story and our story. Hopefully medical professionals will read this article and many others like it to realize that PANDAS is real and it is treatable!
Better Eyesight August 10, 2012
In my last post I mentioned Dr. Rodney Ford’s new book: Gluten: Zero Global, and how our health has improved since going gluten free. Well you are not going to believe this…my sons just went to the eye doctor and they no longer need to wear glasses! My middle son has been wearing glasses all the time since he was five years old – for the past eight years – and they were no joke glasses – I could not see out of his prescription.
When the optometrist told me this I was elated and ran home and did research – some researchers believe that gluten can cause inflammation in the muscles and that includes even the muscles around your eyes – so if you remove the gluten, you decrease the inflammation and correcting your eyesight. Now this might not be the case for everyone if they go gluten free or it might take longer than it did for our children. But here is more proof that we don’t need gluten in our bodies or our diets.
Gluten: Zero Global Preview August 8, 2012
Dr. Rodney Ford is releasing a book Gluten: Zero Global here is a preview of the book – you might need to register on Smashword – but it is worth it to see what he has to say about Gluten. He feels, as I do also, that everyone should stop eating gluten – the Standard American Diet (SAD) – very funny acronym by the way, is making everyone sick, it is truly a sad way to eat. The majority of processed foods contain some form of gluten. People are becoming extremely overweight, diseases that were rare are increasing steadily, people are dying at younger ages, cancer rates are increasing…the list is endless, unfortunately.
I have proof with my family that gluten is evil. We did not think we had any issues and then when my middle son got sick with PANDAS and we found out he had a high level of gluten antibodies also in his system – we all became gluten-free. Since this we have discovered that my youngest has one of the genes that is known to cause Celiac. My middle son has always been a great eater – eating tons of fruits and vegetables but we also have had bread in the house and according to the food pyramid – you should eat healthy grains and the more they pack into a loaf of bread the better! We have now been gluten-free for five months and the drastic difference in all our health is unbelievable – Both my husband and I feel more energetic, happier, no bloated or upset stomachs, we have lost weight. With the boys – they are more energetic, my middle son has a twinkle in his eye again, and my youngest has commented that his chest is not tight – he feels his asthma has gone away and we have not used an inhaler in the past 5 months. He has been battling with asthma since he was one! I truly believe these results are because we removed gluten from our diet!
I encourage everyone to read his book and go gluten-free for a healthier life and future!
Trying to go to the grocery store and read all these labels, or find the small print to understand what they mean by their large catchy, healthy looking labels is at times overwhelming. We try to get our food from local CSAs but food in our house goes faster than the once a week time we get it from the CSA with three growing boys. So I go to the local grocery store and try to decipher labels. I stand there looking over the many different labels that are just screaming “PICK ME, PICK ME!” organic sounds good, but so does cage free and then there is free range! I found this article on what all the different labels mean and which ones are better – hope this helps you as it did me!
Then there is buying meat and the occasional 1/2 gallon milk – it says on the label grass-fed or grass grazed, but in doing further research that does not necessarily mean that is all they ate – cows when fed grain will produce more milk and will get fatter and provide “more” meat – as one grocer told my husband – well if you don’t feed the cows corn then you won’t get that “nice marble look to the meat” – that’s okay by me – I prefer not to have my meat have a marbled look.
I have found two websites so far that have helped in my research of what it means to have grass fed cows. One is Eat Wild and the other is Grassland Beef – I have read and also just heard from a doctor that purely grass-fed cows have higher levels of Omega-3, they have more good fats and less bad fats, and richer in antioxidants, and as I have read from farmers that their cows are healthier when they just eat grass, and so there is no need to pump them with antibiotics – yes it produces less yield, but from the farmers side maybe not necessarily – they do not have to buy feed, or antibiotics for the cows – they just need land for them to roam. One researcher looked at all the nutrients that a grass fed cow provided and it showed high levels of omega-3 with a perfect balance of Omega-6 – if the cow just eats 1/3 of his diet on corn/grains – that balance is cut in half – omega-3 levels drop while the Omega-6 levels stay where they were – not giving us the benefit of the Omega-3s when we eat/drink as when the Omegas are balanced.
I don’t think I have it in me to become a farmer – so I will just search for one to help me provide the best kind of nutrients for my family. If you have any tips or websites to help, I would love to hear about them.
Happy label reading!
Coconut, it’s good for you! July 24, 2012
Before my son got sick, I thought we ate a well-rounded Food Pyramid diet. But then things changed and we had to rethink our way of eating. In doing so I have been researching alternatives to our dairy and found coconut! I found out that coconut is antibacterial, antiviral and antimicrobial, it is called a “functional food” because it provides added health benefits beyond it’s nutrient content. Here is a link from the Coconut Research Center listing all the benefits of coconut. I also read in Natural News that coconut oil is a great anti-aging moisturizer, helps speed up metabolism, and helps prevent fatigue! Need I say more for all us busy moms!
We are using coconut milk and coconut oil in our smoothies and for all our cooking needs – I am going to make an effort to note how healthy we are this winter as all those viruses come out when the children go back to school – and hopefully be thanking the wonderful coconut!
Gluten Free – WOW! That must be hard! July 18, 2012
This is pretty much the comment I get from someone when I say we are gluten-free. Or the other comment I get is: “I could never do that” When it comes to the wellness of your child, I think anybody could – I hope they would.
Was it hard? Yes, at first it was hard to grasp the idea that we had to become a gluten-free house and what does that actually mean to be a gluten-free house? I knew that gluten meant wheat, then I learned that it was also barley and rye, sometimes maltodextrin, but not all the time! My husband and I read numerous websites and books about what is good and what is bad. Our son was even interested in learning what he needed to look for on the labels to make sure all foods were safe. Then talking to a friend I did not even think about the toaster we had been using for how many years laden with gluten and to read the labels body lotions, shampoo, body wash, sunscreen…gluten is everywhere!
As we began our gluten-free journey and we started reading labels at the grocery store, I was appalled at what actually is in some of our foods – I think everyone should take the time to read the labels of the foods you purchase, if you can not pronounce the words on the label, do you actually want that in your body? I do not! The other thing that helped me change and do it quickly was reading The Paleo Solution by Robb Wolf, he writes about the scientific reasons why gluten is bad, what is happening in your body and what type of problems it can cause.
The other thing that helped us transition our family over to a gluten-free household is the internet! When the boys want a certain type of treat they have been missing I just Google for Gluten-free or Paleo recipes. Just this week we had Paleo Banana Bread I found the recipe at PaleOMG, it was amazing Banana Bread and so easy with a food processor. This week we have been drinking smoothies for breakfast and are trying some of the smoothie recipes from Everyday Paleo. I think when people hear “gluten-free” they think what will they eat! We are doing just fine eating items that do not have a label that we have to read, majority of the time, we are eating natural – fruits, vegetables, meats, fish…
It does take some time to get over the initial shock that food is making your child sick and the frustration of why no one mentioned it sooner! It does take some time to adjust your house to become gluten-free, but to see my child feeling so much better, laughing, playing, joking around, it was not a sacrifice to have gluten leave our house, it was an eye opening experience that gluten is bad and my thought is no one should be eating it!