Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why My Family and I will NEVER Drink Raw Milk Again

In college I was taught to avoid unpasteurized milk. 
My microbiologist dad said I shouldn't feed my family raw milk. 
The government said I shouldn't drink raw milk.

But I chose to ignore them.  And I am paying for it.

My interest in raw milk began about 2 1/2 years ago when my youngest daughter, Shiloh, was being weaned.  I had been giving her pasteurized whole milk, and she was having horrible diaper rash.  I decided to try her on raw milk, and the rash went away.  Amazing.  I kept her on raw milk for about 6 months, but then switched back to regular pasteurized milk because of the cost.

Then last August, when I made a dramatic diet change, I made the switch to raw milk for my whole family.  ALL of the 'whole foods' websites that I enjoy reading recommend raw milk.  It was a big change in our budget- spending $20-$25 on milk each week, instead of $12-15 a week, but I decided that it was worth it.

To tell you the truth, I didn't spend much time researching the risks.  I just quickly signed the form at the dairy & the health store that stated that I understood the risks of drinking the milk.

I began coming down with symptoms last Saturday evening.  It had been a very busy day.  I helped out at the Wasatch Back Ragnar from 5:45 am until 9:30 am, and then I helped the RMMS PTA with their fundraiser.  I was at the laundromat washing & drying towels until about 4 pm.  By the time I was done, I was uncharacteristically famished.  I felt like I had had run the Ragnar!  I started to have diarrhea, and went to bed at 8 pm.  At this point I figured I had caught a bug from one of my piano families.  One of the mom's, my friend Serena, had come in for part of a lesson the week before, and she was on the tail end of being sick with diarrhea for five days.  Her son had been sick, too, for seven days.

The next day was Father's Day, so I got up & got breakfast together for my husband.  I was going to go to church, but I was having stomach cramping that would come & go.  I didn't want to make anyone sick, so I decided at the last minute to stay home.  My 10-year old daughter Janessa had been having some stomach cramping, too, so I had her stay home with me.   I was tired, and my stomach was getting really sore.  I had developed a fever, and started to get a headache.  I was really glad that I had the time to just lay down, because I was really beat and didn't feel like doing anything.  I was hopeful that I would feel better by morning, so I didn't cancel my piano lessons scheduled the next day.

I woke up Monday, and didn't feel any better.  I ended up cancelling my lessons, and was in bed the entire day.  I was trying to stay hydrated, but I didn't feel like eating much because it would go straight through me and would cause cramping.  I drank some Gatorade, which definitely gave me a boost of energy, but I hated it.  Here I was drinking in all those nasty chemicals that I had been avoiding for so long.  By that night, I still didn't feel better, so once again, I cancelled my lessons for the next day.

During the night I noticed that my diarrhea had blood in it.  I GOOGLED it, and read that I should go to the doctor once you had blood in your stool.  That morning I was kind of wobbly when I would stand up, so I had Jimmy take me to the walk-in clinic at the hospital.  After questions & exam the doctor said it was probably an infection in the intestine, but they were going to do a stool sample to make sure they treated me in the right way.  I decided to do the sample while I was there, so I didn't have to bring it back later, and my urine looked red!  So I was told the doctor I thought I might have blood in my urine, too.  He took a sample of it, too.  Of course the second time I tried to pee I didn't see red, and the quick result only located a trace.  The doc said we would need to wait 2-3 days for results, but if anything changed, come right in because it could be serious. 

 Jimmy dropped me off at home and went to work, and I spent the rest of the day in bed (in between running back and forth to the bathroom.)  One of my sweet friends Kim went and got some groceries for me, and helped entertain the kids by renting the kids a Red Box, and bought them milk shakes.   It drained me to do anything.   That evening I didn't feel any better, so I called & cancelled piano for the morning.  I also texted my brother.  I was supposed to be having a family reunion up at my house that weekend, and now I wasn't so sure!  I texted Serena to cancel piano lessons, and then I told her I thought I had what she had & asked her how long it lasted.  She told me (5 & 7 days), and apologized.  I said that's just how things go, and said I was surprised we could get it from seeing for such a short time.  She reminded me that my 10-yr old had gone and played at her house the Saturday right before she got it, so that is probably the connection.  I said that made sense.  Then that night, I woke in the middle of the night and it came to me.  She's one of my friends that I talk about food with all of the time.  She probably drinks raw milk, too! 

The next morning (Wednesday) I had no change.  In fact, I tended to feel worse in the morning... more headache, and more stomach cramps.  I texted Serena and asked her which dairy she got her milk from, because there are two places around here that sell raw milk.  She said the Midway Creamery, which is where I had bought the milk I'd been using most recently!  I told her I thought the milk was the connection, not getting it air-borne.

I have some of the greatest friends in the world.  Kim made lunch for us- two different types of chicken noodle soup.  A gluten-free for me, and one with nice chewy noodles for the kids.  I had them save it, though, and eat it the next day for breakfast, because another friend, Liz Passey, gave them a ride to the free-school lunch summer program at Heber Valley Elementary.  It was so nice of her to offer.  And then yet another friend, Mary Lou, made dinner for my family.  I couldn't eat it, but they devoured theirs.  Even though I had such help, my day was worse than before.  My breathing had become a bit labored, and when I would speak my throat would kind of constrict & I would cough.   That afternoon I had a really emotional time.  I was feeling so lousy, and I was really discouraged.  Here I was, trying to live so healthily... shouldn't that count for something?  And then I'd feel guilty that I was so bummed.  And then I was stressing about my running.  I was supposed to be doing a race on the 30th, and I had trained so hard for it.  I had to take the week before off because of my heel, but it was feeling better & I was supposed to start training again on Monday.  And now it was looking hopeless.   I texted all my family members and told them the reunion was postponed until further notice, most likely August.  A bunch of downers, which led to a bunch of tears.

I calmed down, and was sitting in a recliner early that evening when I noticed that my lips were numb.  The whole day I had struggled keeping my feet warm, and it dawned on my that my feet were numb.  I went to reach for my phone and then noticed that my fingers were numb!  This was freaky.  I tried calling my mom, a nurse, to see if she had heard of this.  Couldn't get a hold of her.  Tried a few others, then decided that this was the change to watch for that the doctor had mentioned, so it was time for me to go in again.  I saw a different Dr. this time- Dr. Tullis.  I told him why I was there, and that I now thought the connection was raw milk.  He said that he had treated someone a few weeks earlier who had Campylobacter, and they got it from raw milk the Midway Creamery!  He said that even though my results weren't back, all my symptoms were the same as theirs, so he felt he should give me the same antibiotic, especially because I was getting worse.  He said I should see a big improvement, fast.

I filled the prescription, and took the pills at about 8:00pm.  I ate, too, and about 15 minutes later I had to rush to the bathroom for a b.m.  Oh great.  I was worried that I should set up camp on the toilet, if that was any indicator what the medicine would do to me.  Instead I laid down, and I could actually feel the antibiotic moving through my body!  It was slow & steady, and I could feel it calming the achiness around my gut.  It was amazing.  I woke up an hour or so later & could feel that it had opened up my sinuses, and my neck pain was easing.  I had no idea my sinuses were blocked.  I didn't sleep much the rest of the night, but it was an amazing experience, feeling everything going on and being hyper aware of it.  (I will be taking Dr. Tullis cookies!)

By the time I got up in the morning, I felt at least 60% better than the night before.  I was ecstatic!  Now to just heal.  I still hadn't heard what my lab results were, so I called the doctor to find out.  He said that it was Campylobacter, which is passed on by food.  This confirmed it- more sure it was the Midway milk!   My 7-yr old had come down with a fever & diarrhea on Tuesday night, and he was able to give her a prescription for the antibiotic without seeing her.  My husband had taken Friday off because of the reunion we were supposed to be hosting, so he decided to take the kids (minus sicky) hiking in the Unintahs for the day.  Once he got packed & left I was able to sit down for a minute and research Campylobacter.  I typed it into Google, and the first result that I looked up was from the Center for Disease Control (CDC).  I'm reading along, no problem until I get to the Are There Long Term Consequences? section. 

It says: 

Are there long-term consequences?

Most people who get campylobacteriosis recover completely within two to five days, although sometimes recovery can take up to 10 days. Rarely, Campylobacter infection results in long-term consequences. Some people develop arthritis. Others may develop a rare disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome that affects the nerves of the body beginning several weeks after the diarrheal illness. This occurs when a person's immune system is "triggered" to attack the body's own nerves resulting in paralysis that lasts several weeks and usually requires intensive care. It is estimated that approximately one in every 1,000 reported Campylobacter illnesses leads to Guillain-Barré syndrome. As many as 40% of Guillain-Barré syndrome cases in this country may be triggered by campylobacteriosis.

  What the!!!!  So the next step is researching Guillian-Barre symdrome.  Here are bits of what I found:

From WebMD:

What is Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS)?

Guillain-Barré syndrome (say "ghee-YAN bah-RAY") is a problem with your nervous system. It causes muscle weakness, loss of reflexes, and numbness or tingling in your arms, legs, face, and other parts of your body.
Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) can cause paralysis and lead to death. But most people get better and have few lasting problems.
Symptoms usually start with numbness or tingling in the fingers and toes. Over several days, muscle weakness in the legs and arms develops. After about 4 weeks, most people begin to get better.
You may need to be treated in the hospital for the first few weeks. This is because GBS can be deadly if weakness spreads to muscles that control breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure.
Call your doctor or get help right away if you think you might have GBS.

From Wikipedia:
Guillain–Barré syndrome (GBS) sometimes Landry's paralysis orGuillain–Barré-Strohl syndrome, is an acute polyneuropathy, a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. Ascending paralysis, weakness beginning in the feet and hands and migrating towards the trunk, is the most typical symptom, and some subtypes cause change in sensation or pain as well as dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. It can cause life-threatening complications, in particular if the breathing muscles are affected or if there is autonomic nervous system involvement. The disease is usually triggered by an infection.
The diagnosis is usually made by nerve conduction studies and with studies of the cerebrospinal fluid. With prompt treatment byintravenous immunoglobulins or plasmapheresis, together with supportive care, the majority will recover completely.

Needless to say, reading this FREAKED ME OUT!!!!!  Everything I was reading sounded like I needed to get to the hospital immediately, and here Jimmy was off in the Uintah's, and I was home with a sick child.  I called my friend Kim, and sobbed to her, explaining that I was maybe on my way to being temporarily paralyzed, and that I needed to get to the doctor.  I made arrangements to have Rebekah go to the my neighbor Mandy's house (who brought scrumptious over-the-top dinner tonight!)h, and Kim took me to the Dr.  I was so convinced that I would being admitted to the hospital that I took my overnight case to leave in Kim's car.  When I told the Dr. the situation and my symptoms, it completely surprised me when he said that there wasn't much we could do.  He said the treatment is expensive, and they wouldn't give it unless I got more severe.  Kim asked if there were any tests they do, and again he paused.  He said they could do a spinal tap, but then they wouldn't do anything unless it got more severe, so they would wait.  This went against everything I had read.  I was so surprised.  I mentioned trying to address things early, and he said no, we should wait.

So here I sit, still freaked out.  Unsure.  Scared I'm going to be paralyzed for a while.  Last night the numbness in my hands eased up a bit, so that made me really happy.  But I feel more numb in my eyebrows. 

I'll have to do another post on the emotions of having this happen to me.  I feel so much let down for the whole "real food" community that even recommend raw milk.  Yes, there are benefits of raw milk & I saw them.  But is it worth the gamble of my life?  my kids life?   Risking permanent disability?


Monday, April 16, 2012

Gluten/Processed Food-Free on Vacation?! How?

Last week was great.  We packed up the fam and went to the happiest place on earth, DiSnEyLaNd!

It was great, and lots of fun, but more difficult than I expected to eat the right way.  I prepared by having my friend Cindy cook up a bunch of good quality snacks for me.  She made a bunch of grain-free treats for me to take:   cowboy cookies, a honey/molasses carmel corn that tastes like cracker jacks, two types of pumpkin muffins, a cranberry/dark chocolate bar.  I took fruit I could snack on, and water.

This worked out pretty well on the trip down, plus while we were in the condo.  But there was a lot of eating out, and that was tricky.  We ate at three different buffets, which was enough to last me for a year!  I've always hated watching people go crazy eating a bunch of unhealthy food, and now it's even worse.  I was usually okay if I stuck with the salad bar, but that got old.  At Disneyland I was able to get gluten-free buns, which was good, but usually gluten free bread has a lot of sugar in it.  I found it interesting that In-N-Out Burger had a grain-free option for a hamburger where they wrapped the burger in lettuce.

I know that I ate things here and there that I reacted to, because I started to itch all over, and still am.  My gut is sore, too, like I shocked it.  I did sneak a few bites of no-no's here & there.  I had a few skittles, a few licks of a lolly pop, and even had some cheesecake at a buffet! I didn't eat the graham crust, so I thought it would be okay.  Nope.  My family has made great strides in the last 3-5 months, but this vacation was a big step back, nutritionally.  Live & learn.  I guess I'll just have to pack all of my food to everything, all the time.  It's so inconvenient, but I'm still searching for the answer!  There's got to be a way.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Sugar is Toxic- on 60-Minutes!

I received a text from one of my friends on Saturday and she said "I saw that Dr. Lustig was going to be on 60-minutes".  I had no idea what she was talking about & didn't answer her.  I thought maybe she sent the text to the wrong person.  When I saw her on Monday she mentioned it again, and I was embarrassed to say that I didn't know what she was talking about.  She's like "You know, THE Dr. Lustig!  Sugar-free?"  And it hit me!

A month or so ago I came across the BEST YouTube clip!  It was an hour & a half lecture given by Dr. Lustig, a UCSF (University of California San Francisco) pediatric endocrinologist, about how sugar is toxic.  I told my friend about it, because she is a dietitian, and I wanted her thoughts on it.  

I couldn't wait to see how the topic was presented on 60-minutes, so I looked it up online.  It is somewhat short, at 14 minutes long, and it is very well done!  Yea!  The word is being spread.  I know people don't want to hear it, but it's important & really needs to be addressed.

Watch "Is Sugar Toxic" on 60-minutes

I was excited to talk about it with my dietitian friend.  She agrees with it all.  I'm going to show it to my kids!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Exciting News

I AM SO HAPPY!  I'm starting to see the effects of healthy, whole foods eating on my kids.  They haven't completely bought into the whole thing and they'll still have treats here & there, but if we don't have crappy food here, they can't eat it, and it's making a difference.

The first thing is, my 15-yr old son has lost 15 pounds since November.  I'm thrilled.  He had a check-up with our pediatrition then, and he was very blunt in telling him he needed to stop gaining weight (he was over 200 pounds).  I have never made an issue about his weight and don't believe in "diets", but our lifestyle change with eating is working! Ha ha ha.  Diets?  Who needs diets?  Ya-hoo!  Can you tell I'm more than happy?

Tonight was another exciting discovery.  My kids' tastes are changing!  We had birthday cake & ice cream for my 2nd youngest's birthday, and most of them couldn't finish the cake.  THEY SAID IT WAS TOO SWEET!  That is seriously unheard of in this home!  That makes me so happy.  Eventually we'll phase into healthier sweets for b-days.  It feels cruel to not give them cake & ice cream... eventually they'll get used to my sweets, I'll find a great grain-free cake they'll like, & we'll transition to my way).

Last year five out of the seven of us were overweight... now I'm at a healthy weight (along w/my two youngest), my husband has lost 25 and counting, and my kids are on the right track.  I'm hopeful that our whole family can be at healthy weights over time.  I don't necessarily want my kids to lose weight... at the least I'd be happy if they can maintain their weight as they continue to grow, and then they'll grow into a healthy weight.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Hey, Mikey! He likes it!

I've been working really hard to transition my family into this new whole foods lifestyle.  I started eating different in August 2011, but was the only one.  It was hard to make their meal, and then make a different meal for myself afterwards.  My kids constantly expressed their condolences to me, for having to suffer through the way I was eating.  I tried to explain to them that I didn't feel deprived (for the most part), but they couldn't fathom that.

Then in about November, a miracle:  Jimmy (my husband) decided that he needed to make a change, and wanted to start eating the way that I was.  I have to admit that even though that made me so happy, it made me nervous about how we could afford to have our biggest eater eating all of the healthy things I was (At that point I was freaking out about how much our food budget had increased).

Then over time, I decided that I simply didn't have the time to make two meals, and decided that our kids would have to eat what we were (at least 85% of the time anyway).  They've resisted some, but the last few weeks have been very rewarding...  I'm finding recipes they LOVE that are super healthy.  Wa-hoo!

Last night we had Quick & Easy Gluten-free Mac and Cheese, and EVERYONE wanted seconds.  The sauce has raw milk, steamed cauliflower, nutritional yeast, raw cashews, lemon juice, minced garlic, and other seasonings, blended into a smooth sauce in my Vitamix blender.  I served the sauce over brown rice noodles:  Delicious!

Here's a list of some of our favorite recipes from the last few months.  (Recipes can be found by clicking the links).

1.  Crispy Almonds, Pecans, Walnuts, etc.   
2.  Chicken "zoodle" Soup
3.  Overnight Oats
4.  Quick Easy Gluten-Free Mac and Cheese
5.  Moist and Cakey Almond Flour Pancakes

Monday, March 12, 2012

Perpetual Chicken Broth

I keep thinking about doing more with nourishing bone broths again.  They sound really good to me, all the time. On the other hand, I have those feelings of being overwhelmed and put it off because it's a lot of work to make broths all the time.

I just read a post on about "Perpetual Chicken Broth" where she has chicken broth simmering in the crock pot the non-stop.  She uses one chicken a week, and continually refills the pot with water as she uses up the broth.  She's feeding fewer people, so I'm not sure if I'd be able to follow the same process serving 7.  I'm going to give it a try, though.  I just happened to start my big crock pot with some chicken broth yesterday.  We had chicken for Sunday dinner, and then I used the carcass for the broth.

They estimate the cost of the electricity for using the crockpot about $1.68 - $5.04 a week, which is a great deal when you consider how much broth you would get from this system.  She estimates that they would each get a quart of broth a day.

UPDATE:  So I did the perpetual chicken broth, but by the end of 5 days it was getting brown, like it was burnt.  I think that I didn't use enough of the broth each day to prevent that from happening.  If I do it again, I'll make sure to remove at least 2-3 quarts of broth every day to see if that doesn't happen.  Everything I made with the broth was amazing, though.  It was a good food week at our house.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Why My Family Drinks Raw Milk

Wow- It's hard to believe that it's been nearly six months since I made all these dietary changes!  I need to give it a name.  How about "The Change" ?  So, six months since The Change.   People like to talk to me about the changes I've made (well, sometimes.  As long as they're the ones bringing it up :)  But anyway, I love to talk about it. Sometimes I find that I remember what I should be doing, but I forget WHY and can't explain it.

One of the latest questions I faltered on was "Why do you drink raw milk?  What's so great about it?"  I told the story of how when I was weaning my youngest, I had switched her to regular whole, pasteurized milk from the grocery store.  She immediately started having a bad reaction, and a terrible diaper rash, like her skin was burned.  I had heard that raw milk was gentler, and bought some for her.  The rash immediately went away!  I also toyed with the idea of going to raw milk when I thought my oldest daughter might have a milk allergy.  But as for other health properties?  I decided to brush up on my raw milk info & explain why we drink raw milk.

I found an interesting article on that gets into the debate between raw & pasteurized milk.  It mentions some of the main benefits of drinking raw milk:

Studies at the Price Foundation show humans grow bigger and more dense bones when consuming raw milk. They say there is more efficient use and better absorption of vitamins and minerals, that children on raw milk don’t get anemic and that there is an improvement in children’s behavior. They also claim there is better overall growth and fewer cases of tuberculosis.
Price research showed raw milk is designed to create an immune system that uses beneficial bacteria in our intestines and that those beneficial bacteria are killed during pasteurization. Other benefits cited by raw milk users include protection against allergies, ear infections and skin rashes, and the prevention or elimination of asthma.
Fewer and fewer people can consume milk each year because of the increase of those who are lactose intolerant. Raw milk proponents say 82 percent of those who are lactose intolerant can drink raw milk.
I have to admit I do still get a little nervous that I might get some illness from raw milk.  But I feel the health benefits are worth the risk.  And I feel that my milk sources are dependable and follow proper raw milk safety practices.
So there you go.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Chiptole Super Bowl Commercial

Did you watch the Super Bowl a few weeks ago?  We didn't.  We got rid of satellite TV a few months ago, and we have old TV's that need a converter box to get TV signal for local channels.  Instead we watch things online, on Netflix, or go without.  And in this case, we went without.  We didn't go to any Superbowl parties or anything, since we don't get into watching sports on TV anyway.

I just watched a cute commercial on Pinterest, and just had to share it.  They said it was played during the Super Bowl.

Very cute!  I did miss being able to watch the commercials during the Super Bowl, but I love that I can watch them later on You Tube!  :)

Have a Great Day!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Keeping My Big Mouth Shut (?)

The last two weeks have been kind of eye opening to me.  I've been happy- like REALLY happy, and it's awesome!  I love it!  Last year at this time I wasn't happy.  For no reason, really.  My life is good, with it's normal ups and downs.  I'm very blessed.  So then looking back to last year, why wasn't I happy?

I'm very confident that my change in mood this year is because of my dietary changes.  I had a follow-up visit with my doctor last Monday and told him how happy I am. He says it is because I am no longer in adrenal fatigue.  Sweet!  I still have ups and downs for sure, but on a whole, I very happy.  Yeah!

Well, what I'm learning is that not everyone is happy for you when you're happy (GASP!).  Maybe it's worse when you share it online to strangers.  Maybe they think you're bragging or something?  I shared my happiness in  an online forum after Valentine's Day, and didn't get a positive reaction like I thought I would.  I just thought they'd be happy for me.

On Saturday I came across a lecture on youtube (HERE) that is AWESOME.  SOOOOOO good!  I LOOOOVED it.  It's by Dr. Robert Lustig, a professor of Pediatric Endocrinology at University of California San Francisco, and he talks about how sugar should be considered a poison, and should be considered addictive like drugs (alcohol, tobacco, etc).  He backs up his info by research, and it is wonderful!  (You need to listen to this if you can make the time.... it's over an hour and a half long!  I just put it on and listened while I did dishes & cleaned the kitchen).

I was so excited about it that I posted the link on facebook.  Later that evening someone wrote a post scolding me for being judgmental, telling me they'll eat their way, and I can eat my way & just leave them alone.  I was so surprised!  (Yes, I did unfriend this person.)  I was so surprised that my sharing the link would be offensive to one (some?).

After thinking through it more, I think I figured it out.  A few days earlier I shared a cartoon I thought was funny- A fat & skinny bird sitting in a parking lot with the McD's arches in the background, and the fat bird is eating a fry.  The skinny one says "You gotta start eating out of a different parking lot" (or something like that). I thought it was funny, because I never eat there anymore.  But in hindsight, I can see how that would bug someone, especially those who eat there (hmmmmm... millions served?).

So I'm a little gun shy of posting on the internet now.  These experiences will help me be a bit more cautious, and yes, hopefully less judgmental.  I'm just so excited about the changes that I've gone through, and my better mood, that I want to shout it out to the world.  I'll just be more careful how I do it now.

Have you ever been misunderstood on the internet?

Have you noticed a mental lift by which foods you eat?

Are there any books/shows/people (etc.) that have influenced your way of eating?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Finally! A YUMMY grain-free pancake!

Up to this point the only grain-free pancake I've been using is a coconut pancake, that is mostly eggs with a little bit of coconut flour mixed in.  They're not really that good.  They're flat, and they taste a bit like sandpaper.  I've tried adding a little milk & some almond flour, but not much improvement.  I've just put up with them, because I've figured they're better than no pancakes.

This morning I decided to try a recipe I found on the blog:  Moist and Cakey Almond Flour Pancakes.    They based the recipe on one they found on  Pancakes Revisited.  I mostly followed the ingredients on the first recipe, but it is helpful to look at both and see the differences.

  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups almond meal
  • 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Butter or coconut oil for frying
  1. In medium bowl mix dry ingredients. In a separate, small bowl mix wet ingredients. Pour wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Set batter aside to set up. (*in the elana's pantry recipe they recommend 15-20 minutes!)
  2. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium-low heat until hot. Once heated up add 2 tablespoons or so of batter to the pan to make each pancake. The pancakes should be no wider than 2 inches or they will not hold together well. The batter is fairly thick so you can spread it out a bit to thin out the pancakes.
  3. Cook until bubbles start to form in the pancakes and underside has browned. Flip and repeat. Serve with butter, syrup, jam, or other favorite topping.

The pancakes were AWESOME.  So good!  Definitely a keeper.  Today I made regular wheat/white pancakes for my kids, but I'm excited to try this new recipe on them next week.  I think they'll really like it.

2/20/12 UPDATE:  I made the pancakes today for my kids, and YEA!  They were a hit!  I used coconut oil instead of butter because I was out, and I had a harder time flipping them than I did with the first ones I made.  I had to wait longer for them to cook so they were firm enough to flip, but then by that time they were almost black on the one side.  They still tasted good, but they didn't look so great.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Killer Smoothie!

This morning I made the best smoothie!  The bad part is that I don't use a recipe, and I just throw things in.  I'll try best to estimate amounts.  Here are the ingredients:

frozen bananas (2)
frozen spinach (big fist full)
frozen strawberries (about 4-5)
1/4 cup canned coconut milk (full fat, of course!)
fresh pineapple- about 1-2 cups
2 cups water

Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.  SO good!  Now I'm just freezing to death.  I already get chilled from my 5A.M. run in 20 degree weather, and the cold smoothie does me in!  But it's worth it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Few Dollars Saved

I'm certainly not writing as much as I need to.  Maybe I'll start to write short daily entries and not avoid it because I'm worried about it taking too much time.  I am making some progress on saving money, though.  Here are a few ways that I've been able to save money over the last month:

WalMart price matching. 
I had heard of this, but didn't realize I could take advantage of it where I live.  Our WalMart is only a few months old, and I thought we could only price match products from the other couple of groceries in my area.  A few weeks ago I found out they'll match the prices of stores within 30 minutes of us, so that opens the door wide open to great deals!  I just go to my favorite $ saving site,, and I can print out lists of all the best deals on everything.  This is especially awesome for produce, meat, and produce, which you don't often find coupons for.

Truthfully, I'll still try and support my little-guy stores when possible.  But I have to cut costs somehow, and this is one of the way.  I saved about $40 on my last grocery visit over what I would have spent elsewhere.

Honeyville Grain
I bought some bulk blanched almond flour from Honeyville, and I LOVE IT.  It's so good. 
I bought 25 pounds, and split the order with a friend.  They were having a site-wide 20% off promotion, so we each paid about $50 for 12 1/2 pounds, or $4/pound.
In December I splurged and bought a Prime membership for  I LOVE shopping on Amazon.  I find it odd that the prices change around so much, but sometimes you can get really good deals on things.  I LOVE that I can order it from home, and then in TWO DAYS there it is on my door step.  This is such a time saver, especially since I don't have good selection where I live and what is here is usually marked up in price!.

Another thing that has helped:  I was more strict with my Dave Ramsey envelope system in January, and plan to keep doing so.  A few other projects I have in the works:  making my own laundry soap & packing my kids' school lunches!  Organization- that's the name of the game.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where's the Beef?

Today I'm looking for beef bones.  Ones to make broth with.  Grass fed beef.  Mmm..hmmm...  Expensive!

I'm looking at prices to see if this is even feasible with my family.  I know the argument that investing now in your health will prevent high costs later, but that same argument can be used for a lot of things.  Buy good quality now so you won't have to buy it again for 10 years instead of 1-2 years for cheap. 

The fact of the matter is, money is money.  If it's not there, it's not there.  I don't want to go into debt to live a healthy life.  So now, the research.  I really want to make this work. 

Know of any inexpensive pastured beef/chicken/pork, including bones?  Let me know.   I'll be searching today.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Time to Revisit GAPS. No, Really!

You know how I was so excited for my gluten-free oats to come?  Well, guess what?  Stomach pain.  It's not terrible, but enough that I know it's irritated.  I've thought about writing posts a few times this past few weeks after different foods cause me stomach pain.  The oats- dark chocolate- soy sauce (DUH- I forgot it has WHEAT in it!)- and more that I can't think of right now.

I'm glad that I can tell when food is affecting me.  My stomach is saying "enough is enough", and I really need to soothe it and let it heal.  I went back and looked at the foods that are acceptable on GAPS.  I've been on a more restricted diet long enough that it doesn't seem that overwhelming to me.   Here is a description of the foods allowed (taken from the GAPS diet website):

The best foods are eggs (if tolerated), fresh meats (not preserved), fish, shellfish, fresh vegetables and fruit, nuts and seeds, garlic and olive oil.  Apart from eating vegetables cooked, it is important to have some raw vegetables with meals, as they contain vital enzymes to assist digestion of the meats.  Fruit should be eaten on their own, not with meals, as they have a very different digestion pattern and can make the work harder for the stomach.  Fruit should be given as a snack between meals.

It is very important to have plenty of natural fats in every meal from meats, butter, ghee, coconut (if tolerated) and cold pressed olive oil.  Animal fats on meats are particularly valuable.  Fermented foods (sauerkraut, yogurt, and kefir) are also a very important part of this diet in addition to homemade meat or fish stock.  It is recommended to take a cup of warm meat or fish stock with every meal as a drink as well as soups and stews made with the meat or fish stock.  The stock, kefir and fermented vegetables will over time restore the stomach acid production, which will improve digestion.

It is best to avoid processed foods (any packet or tinned foods).  They are stripped from most nutrients that were present in the fresh ingredients used for making these foods.  They are a hard work for the digestive system and they damage the healthy gut flora balance.  On top of that they usually contain a lot of artificial chemicals, detrimental to health, like preservatives, colorants, etc.  Try to buy foods in the form that nature made them, as fresh as possible.

Notice there are NO grains listed?  Yeah, NO grains.  The last time I did it I did allow myself Buckwheat, Quinoa, and brown rice.  Nope. Not this time.  I'm planning (HOPING) to follow this strictly.  I just really hope that it won't mess up my running schedule.  I found a new running group that I'm running with on Mon/Wed/Fri, and I LOVE it.  LOVE LOVE LOVE it.  I can't even tell you.  I've been wanting to find an early A.M. running group for so long, and they're about my pace.  We do 4-5 miles each time, which is perfect.  I hope that when I get rid of all grains it doesn't mess up my energy.  I started to do the Intro to GAPS diet back in October, but gave up after a few weeks.  I got really nervous because I was losing a lot of hair.  I went to a GAPS meeting last night at a local health food store called Real Foods.  A lady named Melissa Washburn presented info about GAPS.  She and her family have being doing GAPS for 2 years!  It was great to light the fire under me again, and get me excited to try it again.  I'm still debating on doing the GAP Intro, or just starting off with the regular GAPS that is more lenient.  I think with the stomach pain when eating and the food sensitivities that I need the Intro.

Now the biggest question for myself:  Am I ready to tackle this with my family?  I  think it would benefit all of us.  I'm going to research a bit more & see if I can find others with large families and/or older kids, and see how they approached it.  It would my life easier in that I wouldn't be preparing 2 separate meals.  On the down side I'd have to win the battle with my kids, and try and help the see why it is so important.  Hmmmm.  A lot to think about.  I'm for sure going to start it for myself the first week of February.  I think Jimmy will want to do it with me, even if I don't tackle it with the kids.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Miss My Oats.

I've gone mostly wheatless when I cook for my family, so it takes more creativity in deciding what to cook for them.  Breakfast is usually rotated between oatmeal, scrambled eggs, yogurt and fruit, and coconut flour crepes.

Today was oatmeal day.  I haven't been eating oatmeal because although it doesn't have gluten, it is commonly cross-contaminated with gluten as it is processed with the same equipment as wheat.  I decided to give it a try, because it looked so good.  I was hoping that people didn't know what they were talking about & it would only affect those with celiac's, not just the gluten intolerant like me.  Result:  stomach pain.  Shoot- they were right.  I'm glad that I'm in tune enough with my body that I can tell that it's reacting to it.

As a kid I HATED oatmeal.  I liked oatmeal cookies and granola bars, but not the cereal.   It wasn't until I was in my 20's that I figured out that I actually like oatmeal, I just can't stand the mushy "instant" quick cooking oats that my mom used to serve.  Once I figured it out, I bought "old fashioned" oats, and have enjoyed eating oatmeal.  Today I've decided that enough is enough.  I'm going to give in and buy gluten-free oats.

I'm being stricter with my budget this month and trying to bring it down from the crazy amounts it got to (I'm too embarrassed to say right now... once it's under control I'll let you know how I did it :), so I searched around for the best deal.   I didn't want to spend hours at it, so in my 30 minutes of research I've decided that AMAZON is the best deal. 

First I looked to,,, and  They were all pretty similarly priced ($9-$16 for around two pounds), but then you have to add on the shipping: anywhere from $7-$16!

On Amazon, I can get the same products, but avoid shipping costs through Amazon Prime or do the subscribe & save, in which I'll save 15% on the order, plus free shipping. 

I ended up buying four bags of Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Oats with ship and save for $4.64 per 2 lb. bag. I will need to double check my local health food stores & see if they can compete in price.  I'll shop locally if they're within a dollar.  I still need to go to Azure Standard and see what their price is on gluten-free oats.  The only problem with that is they deliver monthly, I would have to go pick up the order in Utah County, and they charge a delivery fee that would make it less of a good deal.  I want my oats now, but will do some more research on it for next time.

Do you like oatmeal?
I love it now- I hated it as a kid.

Do you like to shop online? 
I LOVE it!  I live in a smaller city that doesn't have a lot of good shopping options.  I love having things dropped off at my doorstep.  Very convenient!

What is your favorite thing to buy online?
Anything and everything.

*What about you?  I'd love to get your comments.