Friday, May 28, 2010

fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun

Summer is here!

The girls found some new pets today. Tent worms and rollie pollies. They made habitats and fed them leaves and droplets of water. The also named them. Lily named her tentworm Olfa. Her rollie pollies are Dave, Ham, Pork, Beef & Chicken. In honor of the naming of backyard pets, I named the baby birds living in the nest under our deck Wynken, Blynken and Nod.

I set up the sewing machine on the porch again, and made curtains for our bedroom. The upstairs is almost completely done. The downstairs... Well, let's just say: "Out of sight; out of mind." We will get there, eventually.

Finally, we spent the afternoon at the beach with friends. That makes three times this week, plus plans for a beach party BBQ for Aevryn at her grandparents' house tomorrow.

These are the days that feel the best.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Aevryn Aevryn

Aevryn turned three today. Hmmm. I could swear it was just yesterday that I woke up on that oft-predicted by Lily Sunday, certain in the knowledge that I was having a baby that day. Then just 13.5 fabulous hours later, Aevryn was here. One of my first memories of her, is scooping her out of the water and then looking down to see if she was a boy or a girl, but her umbilical cord was in the way. She was a bit snuffly and had to work some gunk out for a few minutes, and I remember feeling so certain that she was going to be a boy that I didn't really investigate. Dave said that as soon as he saw her face, he knew she was a girl. He was also certain that she was a girl the entire time.

The last few months, whenever you'd ask her when her birthday was or how old she was turning, she'd proudly declare "I'll be May in Three." All day today when I'd remind her it was her birthday, she'd grin and say, "I May!" I'd gently inform her that she was three because it was May now. Sometime in the early afternoon she said, "Oh! Is it May today? I THREE!" Heh. I love those little lightbulb moments.

She is also learning her letters quite stealthily -- much like she did with her colors, when one day last summer she spontaneously informed me of the color of every car we walked past in the parking lot. Today, when I was decorating her cake, she exclaimed, "Mama! You wrote a B on my cake!!" Maybe a half an hour earlier, she had handed me a piece of paper that she had written Bs all over. Her other favorite letters are A, K and T.

I made her quite an experimental cake. It turned out well. It reminded me of those huge "cookie cakes" you can get, since it was chewy and sweet and thin.

Aevryn's coconut-date cake:

2C (~8oz) dried coconut, unsweetened, no preservatives
1C water (maybe coconut milk next time?) + 1/4C
20 dried dates, pitted
1/4 C palm shortening
1 1/2 tsp GF/corn-free vanilla
1 Tbsp maple syrup (didn't need it)
1/2 tsp sea salt

Soak the dried coconut in water/liquid for at least 30 minutes. The coconut will start to rehydrate.

Chop the dates well.

In a food processor or good blender, buzz the rehydrated coconut flakes + dates. While it's running add remaining water, shortening, vanilla & salt. We don't do cinnamon or cloves or nutmeg at the moment, but those would be mighty tasty here, like a "spice cake".

I poured it all into a well-greased spring form pan and baked it for 75 minutes at 325*F. Next time I might bake it for longer at a lower temp.

Frosting was 1/4C (4Tbsp) palm shortening + 1 Tbsp maple syrup, whipped together. I could have used half as much, but I was using a piping kit and needed a larger amount. If you're doing the cutting the tip off a a baggie trick, you could make just what you need to use.

It was moist and sweet and delicious. You could pick it up with your hands. I think with some tweaking, it could easily become a nut-free, grain-free "granola" bar recipe.

And it was amazing with the coconut milk ice cream: 1 can of coconut milk + 1 tbsp maple syrup + 1/2 tsp vanilla. Mix well then chill in fridge until time to pour into ice cream maker. You could also freeze half of a can into ice cubes and then blend the frozen coconut milk cubes plus the remainder of the can, chilled, in a blender, with the syrup & vanilla.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Waiting is very hard.

I went ahead and appealed the selection results for University of Stockholm, Mastersprogramme in Social Work. Dave and I feel like it's a unique opportunity that we owe it to ourselves to explore fully. Plus, I really am qualified per all the application information, except for the fact that they didn't get my transcripts (though UofM confirmed they were sent.) I waited until the last minute to make my decision and then had to rush express everything across the ocean. Now I'm obsessively tracking via Fed Ex and UPS. What was that about putting things behind me?

UPDATE: Studera shows they received documents on the 25th and 26th of May. My appeals + transcript resend needed to get there by end of day on the 27th. So far, so good.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

the weight of weight

So I worry. I am a worrier. I try to only worry about things within my sphere of control and let go of everything else, but I am by no means good at doing that. It's a life-long process and I'm working on it daily.

That said, I do worry about Lily's weight.

She was nearly 10lbs at birth and quite long as well. She grew rapidly, both in weight and height until sometime between her first and second birthday. As you would expect, her growth slowed down when she started getting more mobile. When my milk dried up in pregnancy with Aevryn, and she begrudgingly started eating more food, her weight stalled completely. She continued to grow steadily in height, however. I didn't worry about it then, though that was around the time of the beginning of the allergy adventure and the birth of Aevryn, so life was in flux. But I was aware of her health, for sure.

In the last 3 years, she has only gained around 11lbs, and recently we noticed that she has lost about 3 of those pounds. Again, she continues to grow steadily in height and is outgrowing clothing as well. Per the currently used growth charts, she's roughly 9th percentile for weight now, and 11th for height, so I guess she's at least proportional! She's strong and energetic most of the time - once you get her motivated and out of her own brain. Also, she eats like a thoroughbred race horse.

Which brings me to my other worry: she claims to be hungry quite a bit. I'm trying to help her discern if she is *hungry* like empty stomach churning or if she just feels like something to eat. I will feed her either way, of course, but if she is never truly satisfied and is experiencing gnawing hunger despite eating the same amount of food that fills *me* up in a day, then I would feel like I had true cause for alarm. Luckily, it would appear that she's just a growing girl who like to eat. Nothing wrong with that.

Just to assuage my curiosity, I entered in her food for the day into fitday, and online nutrition tracker. Her overall caloric intake was only 985 calories, however 70 of them came from (good) fat. Her nutrient intake breaks down into 64% fat (70g), 20% protein (48g), 17% carbs (45g). A good balance, in my well-researched opinion. However, seeing that amount of protein seems excessive. The RDI for protein for a girl her age is only ~25g/day. Perhaps I could experiment with giving her less protein and more fat and veggies. I realized that she and I got the same amount of protein today. Mine was the RDI for a woman of my age. That's something to think about for sure.

Egg-free Cabbage Slaw

Adapted from Dave's Grandma's recipe, which I just tried to recall on the fly...

1 head of cabbage, chopped or shredded
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1-2 tbsp maple syrup
salt to taste

combine oil, salt & syrup and pour over cabbage. salt. voila. instant yummy egg-free cole slaw.

actual review from my 5yo: "This is the best cole slaw I EVER tasted. You are the best cooker."

Saturday, May 22, 2010

On squash & seaweed

After reading more about oral allergy syndrome and pollen cross-reactivity, we decided to stop eating squash for now. Within only a few days, her rash has cleared. The skin itself is still dry and healing, but she is not itchy. Hallelujah.

After reading about Zane's mama date with Amabel, I realized Lily needed a very similar outing. Lily and I went shopping. We both greatly dislike shopping, but it was a necessary errand. We needed a few things, plus Lily needed to pick out a birthday present for Aevryn. She ended up picking out a portable mini-horse stable and giving it to A today, despite her birthday not coming until Thursday.

I realize that this wasn't a stellar date activity, but it was just she and I, and she had my undivided attention the whole 2+ hours we were gone. She was a lot more snuggly with me after. I think we're going to try to get a one-on-one session for each kid with each parent, every week. That sounds complicated, but it doesn't have to be solo trips into town. Even just a walk in the woods alone together would accomplish the same thing.

Part of the "date" included lunch out. For a number of reasons due to what time we left, which store we went to, and Lily's lack of desire to go to a different store for lunch, our selection of "safe" foods was limited. We settled on Hormel's natural roasted turkey slices, rolled in fresh basil leaves, with blackberries for desert. I noticed that one of the ingredients was carrageenan, which is a seaweed. Seaweeds are usually fairly high in glutamates, which we are avoiding, as they seem to muck with her brain chemistry. I thought we'd eaten that brand without incident before, but we've never had an official "trial" where everything else was clear first, like today. Within a few hours, she escalated to a fit in her bedroom where she told Dave that she felt like hurting herself and he needed to leave the room so she could do so. Obviously, he did not. He stayed with her and helped her settle. Then we all just had a chill afternoon & early bedtime after a family bike ride/walk around the block.

I start to feel crazy about the food thing, and then this happens. Predictable, repeatedly observed results. I'm hopeful that the K + Mag + B vits are moving some calcium around and she will be less sensitive to things like glutamates when we aren't rebalancing mineral stores.

The next thing I'm looking into - for myself and my sad teeth, primarily - is phosphorus. I've been reading Weston A. Price's work for awhile now and I think it might be the missing key for me, and possibly her.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Chebe Crackers

I did another tapioca experiment, and it turned out fabulous, but in a different way than I intended. I've been trying to perfect my chebe recipe to get a nice, soft but not gummy flat bread. I'm really close. Today I tried using a bigger pan with the same amount of dough, and the result was a super thin, crisp flat bread - aka - crackers!

I think Dave will be happily surprised to find that he gets zucchini soup with onion crackers on the side for lunch today.

Chebe Crackers

1 lg egg
1 tbsp EVOO
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
2/3 C tapioca starch
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
3 tbsp water

1. Mix egg, oil & vinegar.
2. In a separate bowl, mix tapioca, salt, soda & onion powder.
3. Mix dry into wet ingredients, a little at a time. It might be a little clumpy.
4. Add water. It will thin out tremendously.
5. Pour onto well-oiled jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with sides).
6. Bake at 375*F for 10 minutes.
7. Turn off oven. Allow it to sit in warm oven to crisp up.

It will probably break when you try to remove it from the pan, but that's okay, because you're trying to make crackers anyway. They remind me of toasted pita bread. Get yourself some raw veggies and some guacamole or hummus and you've got a great lunch.

If you wanted them sweet, you could do apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic and cinnamon instead of onion powder... Maybe mix a little vanilla extract and maple syrup into the batter. Or sprinkle some succanat over the top.

You could make texmex crackers with onion powder, garlic powder (or finely minced fresh garlic), cumin, coriander, black pepper & paprika.

You could make italian crackers with rosemary, garlic, oregano, basil & thyme. Or just rosemary. Yum.

You could make honey mustard crackers.

The possibilities stretch before you. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Pollen Cross Reactivity

(AKA Oral Allergy Syndrome)

For as long as I can remember, certain foods have tasted "tingly". I suppose in retrospect I can identify the sensation as tingly, or even itchy, but at the time I would have just said it was just the unique flavor of certain foods, for example: oranges, apples, peaches, nectarines, tomatoes, celery, cherries and especially pineapple & kiwi. Those last two I can't even get past my lips without intense itching. Though I have not been tested, I assume I have some environmental (read: pollen) allergies. Poor Dave. How often do I turn to him and say, for example, "What? You mean you DON'T get numb lips when you eat granny smith apples?" The assumptions I've made about my own life experiences being universal are constantly revealed to me. This is both amusing and humbling.

The reason I starting thinking about this again, is because I went for a run tonight. I haven't gone running on my own in quite awhile, so I was actually able to experience a real workout, without distraction or interruption. It was fabulous. I feel great and had a nice, intense run without overdoing it. However, about 15 minutes after I got home, I started wheezing. And I remembered the phenomenon of "allergy induced asthma", which I have experienced in the past. I did some online research, as I am wont to do, and I stumbled upon the connection between apparently exercise induced asthma and pollen-induced asthma.

If you are allergic to a pollen, you can have a cross-reaction to foods in that family.

If you are allergic to ragweed, you can have problems with any or all of the following: raw bananas, the gourd family (melons, squashes), chamomile, sunflower & echinacea.

If you are allergic to grasses, you can have problems with any or all of the following: oranges, melons, tomatoes, kiwi & peanuts.

If you are allergic to various tress, you can have problems with any or all of the following: apple family (apples, pears), plum family (plum, peach, nectarine, apricot, cherry), kiwi, parsley family (carrot, celery, dill, anise, cumin, coriander, caraway), potato family (potato, pepper, tomato), tree nuts, peas, peanuts, beans & sunflowers.

If you are allergic to latex, you can have problems with and or all of the following: banana, avocado, kiwi, chestnut, and per some sources, papaya, fig, potatoes & tomatoes.

Additionally, honey and honey products often cause issues depending on the pollen the bees were collecting.

It is often reported that if you experience OAS symptoms, it will usually be when the food is raw (with the exclusion of nuts, which are reactive in all states), and gets worse as they ripen. Many people are able to tolerate these foods cooked, despite major symptoms raw. Like salicylates, the allergic compounds are usually concentrated in the peel and the underlying tissue.

We've been feeding Lily a pretty steady diet of apples & squash on this elimination diet. We haven't really hit baseline with the skin, though this experiment has been useful in helping us figure out vitamin & supplement dosages and has revealed a hive-reaction to shea butter. So, I wonder if we were to swap out a different fruit for apples -- I think our options are berries & coconut -- and drop the squash to focus on the veggies we're already eating -- kale, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and perhaps lettuce -- maybe we'll see that last bit of improvement that we've been waiting for.

I'm not claiming to have all the answers. I'm not totally sold on every new theory I run across or discuss here. But I am open-minded and willing to shuffle things around and find what seems to make sense for us. Looking forward to seeing what the next week brings.

Tomorrow I will call our allergist and see if we (Lily and I) can both be scratch-tested for pollens and go from there.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


I feel a huge relief having put the Swedish grad school situation behind us. I don't think either of us was eager to return to school at the moment.

Last night, I had a dream, a dream that I just couldn't get out of. In it, I showed up to a meeting at the wrong time, underprepared. While at the meeting, our space was overtaken by another group. Then, when I pushed through the throngs of people and got outside, I was stopped short by impenetrable fog. Also, I'd realized I couldn't find Aevryn. I normally don't have such clear dreams, but I will say: message received.

I do feel completely unsettled right now. Between the complete uncertainty of the Food Situation™ and the lack of a Plan™ - beyond selling our house - I admit to feeling anxious. I'm starting to have nomadic fantasies. Sometimes, I really want to buy an RV and drive around the US for a year. Other times, I'm 100% on board with trying to arrange a year of WWOOFing in Europe. I have visions of just packing the car and driving, figuring it out on the way.

I figure, we must have *some* mobile skills we can exploit into a semi-steady paycheck. Obviously, Dave can do "computer stuff", but that's sort of vague. I could do something with etsy, I'm sure, but would it be enough to feed us?


Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday Afternoon Delight

Today we all packed up and went hiking at Sand Lakes Quiet Area. As we were hiking to our picnic spot, we were scoping out a camp site to use in the (hopefully) very near future. We found a nice little site on the other side of the lake, off the main path. I'm excited to get the whole family out camping this year. We had it on the to-do list last year, but with the whole Bo saga, it got deferred. All I have to do now, is figure out a menu. The lake is stocked with trout, so maybe we'll catch our dinner and roast it over the open campfire. Yum!

We spent the rest of the afternoon mowing the yard (Dave) or sitting on a blanket in the sun reading (Lily, Aevryn & I). I am thankful for spring weather finally.

The hives on my face are still here. They got worse, but are now calming, thankfully. I am certain, for me, that it was the shea butter. I used it on my face as a moisturizer on Thursday and makeup remover on Friday. (Dave and I got to go on a date - our second one this month - so I put a little make up on and dressed up a bit. We saw the hilarious Noises Off at the local playhouse.) As I'm dealing with hives for the first time since I was a few months pregnant with Aevryn (cashew-exposure), I am recalling the terribleness of being chronically itchy. I am also examining up close and personal what hives flaring up and slowly fading look like. I'm starting to think that Lily may have eczema on her neck and right in the folds of her elbows, but the "rash" up and down her arms that comes and goes, seemingly willy nilly is in fact chronic hives, in various states of flaring and healing.

I think, I really need to find a doctor to patch test her.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Testing, testing...

As we slog through the elimination/trial process, I once again find myself considering allergy testing. We've had mixed results with allergy testing in the past.

At the age of nearly 2, Lily had a RAST (IgE) blood test performed. It showed sensitivity to cats and mold.

At the age of 2.25, Lily had an ELISA (IgE/IgG combined) blood test performed. It showed sensitivity to dairy, garlic, turmeric, poppy seeds, pinto beans, navy beans.

At the age of 3, Lily had a repeat ELISA. It showed sensitivity to nothing. With actual ZEROS showing up. I now doubt the validity of that particular test. (I also had an ELISA done at the same time. It showed that I am mildly allergic to sesame, though we know that I have a very quick hive reaction to cashews & pistachios, that I would be surprised if it wasn't IgE mediated.)

At the age of 3, Lily had a scratch test (IgE) performed at the allergist's office. It showed sensitivity to dairy, soy, cats & mold. However, again, these are immediate response tests. She was scratched, they let it sit for 30 or so minutes, then came back and read the results. I declined steroid cream for her after the testing, and just opted for washing with soap and water. Even so, I noticed hours later that certain welts were bigger than they were at the allergist's. Delayed reaction?

At the age of 4.75, she had a stool sample tested. It showed elevated IgA anti-bodies to gluten, despite the fact that she's been gluten-free for 2.5years.

Recently, at the age of newly 5, I performed my own little delayed reaction "patch" test on her. I took local, unpasturized egg whites and painted a patch on her thigh - i.e. not a place where she typically gets reactions. That whole day she was fine. She said it didn't itch. The next day she had a splotchy red rash where the egg had been. Roughly 24hrs after exposure. It peaked around 36hrs after and then healed up quickly. Now, I know that uncooked egg whites are a "histamine releasing" food, so I wonder if it did just that? However, I also did a test on Aevryn and myself and we were completely fine - no itchy or splotchy rashes, even delayed.

This got me thinking about testing for delayed reactions. I know there is something called a patch test, and it is a test that is recognized by allopathic medicine. I think I'm going to call Lily's allergist and see if he would be able to perform that test for us. Otherwise, I might start looking for doctors or clinics downstate. Hey, we could get her checked by a peds GI at the same time. Fun!

While researching patch testing, I kept finding information on Eosinophilic Esophagitis and/or Eosinophilic Gastritis. Not that I want her to have EE or EG, but it really would explain quite a bit. Not only for her, but for me as well.

First step is patch testing if we can get it... Then we'll go from there...

Thursday, May 13, 2010


I need to learn that I can never announce positive progress in a public sphere.

We've tripped 3 of our 4 criteria. Skin is back to an itchy, scabby rash up and down her arms. She has a smattering of white pimply bumps on her arms, cheeks and chin now. It's still "mild" compared to what it can turn into, so hopefully it will clear soon. Sleep is messed up. It took her until nearly 9:30 last night to fall asleep, despite being tired. Behavior yesterday and this morning included lots of irrational threats. The only that seems to be okay is digestion, but she's kind of irregular at the moment, so it's hard to tell.

I admit that we started Shea Butter as a topical cream starting Tuesday morning. I noticed her rash about 24-36hrs after her first exposure. The ironic part is that the Shea Butter is doing wonders for the eczema, which is a separate skin issue as the rash, believe it or not. Her skin itself is smooth and soft, no cracks or irritation in the skin folds. There just now happens to be scabs and pimply bumps all over her arms. *sigh*

I also made buffalo jerky overnight on Tuesday. We ate it for lunch and snack on Wednesday. That seems a little fast for a reaction, especially since her pattern is normally 24-36hrs delayed. Also, she can tolerate pastured beef, so I would think that pastured buffalo would be even more well tolerated.

We are stopping Shea Butter (didn't put it on this morning). I won't make buffalo jerky again for awhile. We are having buffalo burgers for dinner again tonight, but they won't have been slow cooked overnight (increases amine content).

I have enough food to get us through Friday, so we'll just eat what we already have here (i.e. what we've been eating). Hopefully by Saturday we'll be ready for more food trials (I've got my eyes on some zucchini, finally). I want to power forward and get as many foods as possible into our "safe" corner as fast as we can. I am focusing on meats, fats, & veggies. After that we can leisurely investigate fruits and spices.

ETA: Update. Around 4:30 she started itching like mad in her elbows. Actual hives again. Nothing has changed - there was nothing to trigger it. We went back to bare bones food today (all I had in the house anyway). We stayed inside because it was raining. We didn't use any topical products... So, I started reading some more on the whole oxalate/K debate. There is some evidence to suggest that if you are *too* low in oxalates, your body will start producing it's own. Lily has been extremely low oxalate for a few weeks now... It's hard to say what's going on. I gave her extra Vit C at bedtime (a no-no on the LOD b/c Vit C can metabolize into oxalates...) so we'll see if that helps as an anti-histamine. We're hemming and hawing and back to thinking that we just need to trial foods of any stripe and see if we can't get some back, regardless of their food chemical affiliation... This is beyond frustrating. (It doesn't help that I have hives on my eyelids and my neck and face is crazy itchy today, too.)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Pardon me, I'm having a Delicious Dish moment here. (Yummy! Good times!)

On the whole, the elimination diet experience has been illuminating. She has resumed falling asleep easily by herself. She is mostly in control of herself emotionally during they day - to an age appropriate degree, I mean. No more threats of suicide or random violence. Lily's skin never quite reached baseline, but we know for sure that she has an emotional trigger for itching. When she gets tired, or angry, or irritated, or frustrated, or overwhelmed, she starts absent-mindedly itching. So, when she got to the point of no open scabs, no oozes, no pimply rash, we decided to start trials.

We have four criteria for whether to keep a food in or set it aside again.

  • One, skin: if it cracks, hives, rashes, bumps, bleeds or oozes, it's a fail. If it's just red, dry and generally itchy, that's just life as we know it, sadly.

  • Two, sleep: if she stops being able to fall asleep in a reasonable amount of time, or starts waking incoherent again, we'll know that something is amiss.

  • Three, behavior: if she starts issuing ultimatums or starts threatening to kill herself, fail. If she starts picking things up and chucking them across the room at the slightest provocation, fail.

  • Four, digestion: if she starts having - otherwise unexplained - pain upon urination or elimination, fail. If she starts having mucous or blood in her stool, fail.

    Per these criteria, we've introduced safflower oil and cabbage to non-immediately disastrous results. This brings our current "safe" list up to: pastured turkey, peeled golden or red delicious apples, acorn squash, maple syrup, safflower oil, palm shortening, pastured beef, sea salt, saffron, chives, cabbage, napa cabbage. Next up include: brussels sprouts and green onions!

    Stay tuned for my musings on further allergy testing for she and/or I... Writing this here to remind myself. Also, I know I never came back and posted about the Vit K debate, but honestly, I'm still not sure exactly what's going on with that, scientifically. All I know is we are doing K2 supplementation combined with LOD and things seem to be going well.
  • Saturday, May 8, 2010

    In Honor of Mother's Day

    We've all probably seen the email going around with 2nd grade answers to cute questions about their moms. I decided to ask Lily, newly 5, what she thought about those questions. I think her answers steadfastly represent her personality. My little pragmatist.

    Why are there mothers?

    So other people could be born.

    How are mothers made?

    They are born.

    What ingredients are mothers made of?

    Stuff that's in people's bodies.

    Why do you have your mom and not some other mom?

    Because I was born from you.

    What kind of little girl was your mom?

    Like me [Lily].

    What did mom need to know about dad before she married him?

    His name. (Me: Anything else? Her: No.)

    Why did your mom marry your dad?

    Because she wanted to.

    Who's the boss at your house?

    My mom and my dad.

    What's the difference between moms & dads?

    They have different privates.

    What does your mom do in her spare time?

    I don't know.... Play with me [Lily].

    What would it take to make your mom perfect?

    For me [Lily] to act really good.

    If you could change one thing about your mom, what would it be?

    That she could always play with me - that she didn't have any chores.

    Thursday, May 6, 2010

    FMI - For my information

    Our Thorne vitamins came yesterday afternoon. I have divided up the doses and thought it would be nice to have everything written out somewhere - somewhere not in a pile of papers on my counter.

    Lily's Regimen:
  • 1/3 dose Thorne's Basic Nutrients III: multi w/o iron & copper
  • 1/2 dose Thorne's Mo
  • 1/2 dose Thorne's Zinc
  • 1/4 dose Thorne's B-complex #6
  • 1 drop Thorne's K2
  • 1 drop Carlson's D3
  • 1/2 tsp Natural Calm 2x/daily (initial dose of Mag in the multi)

    This translates to:
    Vit K: 1mg
    Vit A: 5,000 IU
    Vit C: 283 mg
    Vit D3: 1000 + 333 = 1333 mg
    Vit E: 133 mg
    Thiamine: 13.3 + 10 ~ 23 mg
    Riboflavin: 3.67 + 7.15 ~ 11 mg
    Niacin: 53 + 20 = 73 mg
    Vit B6: 3.3 + 51.7 = 55 mg
    Folate: 333 + 50 = 383 mcg
    Vit B12: 150 + 25 = 175 mcg
    Biotin: 133 + 20 = 153 mcg
    Pantothenic Acid: 138 + 11 = 149 mg
    Calcium: 100 mg
    Iodine: 75 mg
    Magnesium: 95 + 87.5x2 = 270 mg
    Zinc: 5 + 15 = 20 mg
    Selenium: 67 mcg
    Manganese: 2 mg
    Chromium: 67 mg
    Molybdenum: 33 + 500 = 533 mcg
    Potassium: 30 mg
    Boron: 1 mg
    Choline Citrate: 33 + 10 = 43 mg
    Vanadium: 33 mcg

    I am considering adding Betaine & Pepsin as well: 324mg Betaine & 75mg Pepsin. Holding off on that for now.

    As for me... I am taking:

    Vit K: 5 2x/daily = 10 mg
    Vit A: 15000 IU
    Vit D: 1000 + 2000 = 3000 IU
    Vit C: 850 mg
    Vit E: 400 IU
    Thiamine: 40 + 20 = 60 mg
    Riboflavin: 11 + 14.3 ~ 25mg
    Niacin: 160 + 40 = 200 mg
    Vit B6: 10 + 103.4 ~113mg
    Folate: 1000 + 100 = 1100 mcg
    Vit B12: 450 + 50 = 500 mcg
    Biotin: 400 + 40 = 440 mcg
    Pantothenic Acid: 413 + 22.5 ~ 435mg
    Calcium: 300mg
    Iodine: 225 mcg
    Magnesium: 285 + 200 to 400 = 485 to 685 mg
    Zinc: 15 + 30 = 45 mg
    Selenium: 200 mcg
    Manganese: 6 mg
    Chromium: 200 mcg
    Molybdenum: 100 + 1000 = 1100 mcg
    Potassium: 90 mg
    Boron: 3 mg
    Choline Citrate: 100 + 40 = 140 mg
    Vanadium: 100 mcg
    Betaine: 648 mg
    Pepsin: 150 mg
  • Wednesday, May 5, 2010

    a zucchini deferred

    Today, on the day I was planning a zucchini trial (the first new food on our 10 day and counting elimination diet experiment), Lily broke out in actual hives at the play area in the mall. Okay, universe, I give up! Not really, but it sure does feel like it. It doesn't help that I gave her probiotics three days ago and again the next day, before I realized they had maltodextrin -- from corn. I had called the company when we used them before to double check. So, I learned a valuable and costly lesson about always re-read ingredients and also, I should keep a personal allergy wiki page so I can see why I stopped which supplement.

    Also, now that I've given myself time to reconsider, I think we will start with cabbage instead of zucchini and move from there. Our Mo came today, so I have a feeling that Mo supplementation coupled with our extremely LOD will increase our sulfur tolerance. The new, current plan is that we will stay lowish sals + low amines + low glutamates + LOD and start intro-ing sulfur-y foods allowed in that venn diagram overlap first. This suggests cabbage, green onions, brussels sprouts & leeks. And maaaaaaaaybe eventually eggs. Whee. Are we not having fun?!

    Sunday, May 2, 2010

    New Elimination Diet, End of Week 1, Report

    As many of you know, we've been trying to figure out which foods are helping and which are harming for quite some time now. We have dabbled here, there and everywhere trying to ferret out exactly what was going on. We've done testing and we've done elimination diets, and now, 3 years later, we still only sort of know what's good and what's bad. Or what's "safe to us" or "not safe to us", as Aevryn says.

    IgE Blood testing told us that Lily is allergic to cats & mold. IgG blood testing told us that Lily is allergic or intolerant to dairy, garlic, beans, poppyseed, and turmeric. Scratch testing (IgE) told us that Lily is allergic to cats, mold, dairy & borderline soy. Stool testing (IgA) told us that Lily makes anti-gluten antibodies still, over 2.5yrs gluten-free. So: no gluten.

    Elimination & reintroduction diets have given us glimmers of info. We have long suspected we have histamine/amine issues. She reacts quickly and noticeably to many high-histamine and histamine-releasing foods. Additionally, over the past few months, we've definitely made connections to oxalates and vitamin K issues.

    After everything (except dairy, gluten, soy, legumes & grains) started creeping back into our diet, culminating with an unintentionally super high oxalate birthday weekend, we noticed we were back in "that place". Lily's skin was red, irritated, scabby and oozy. Her ear was cracked and bleeding. She was having pain in her privates. And, worst of all, for me to bear, she was angry and out of her mind. She actually has said that she feels like killing herself or that she wishes she wasn't alive. She just turned five last week. FIVE. It completely breaks my heart.

    Clearly, there is a connection here, because when we eat "cleanly" she is a joy. She is helpful and lovely and sweet and inquisitive and bubbly and silly and just wonderful. Obviously, she has her moments, as any of us do, but overall she is positive. When we start to stray, she gets sullen and angry and downright rude & demanding. She flies off the handle and physically attacks people and things. She will have 30 solid minutes of screaming 5 year old versions of obscenities. She starts threatening and issuing ultimatums. And this goes on continuously with maybe a few short breaks of terse neutrality. And this is just the emotional side of things.

    When we eat "cleanly", her skin clears up. She isn't constantly itchy. She can SLEEP. She falls asleep easily and stays asleep. When we lose track of what we're eating, she breaks out in various rashes and itches constantly. She can take hours to fall asleep and then wake up every hour or so.

    So, after her birthday blowout, we decided to try to figure out once and for all what foods do what. We determined the best diet to clear oxalates, salicylates, (hist)amines, glutamates, and sulfur. For the past week, with only one slip up, we have been eating pastured turkey burgers & 1/2 of a peeled red delicious apples for breakfast; baked acorn squash with palm shortening & maple syrup for lunch; the other half of the apple for snack; pastured beef burgers with romaine lettuce for dinner. Think of it as a customized elimination diet.

    Well, I know it sounds crazy but it's totally working. Her skin is clear, her mood is fabulous, she's sleeping great and the feeling in the air is positive. Today was day seven. I think we are giving it two more days to get to 100% clear - the first time we will have hit baseline in over a year.

    We will systematically start to test individual foods, within individual food chemical categories. We are going to start with sals (the one we think we have a moderate tolerance of) and go from there. Hopefully, we will see not only which food chemicals affect us, but if there are individual foods yielding reactions.

    I've also ordered us a lovely iron- & copper-free multi, a B6-heavy B-complex, Molybdenum & Zinc Picolinate from Thorne. This is on top of our K, D, & mag citrate. There is betaine, probiotics & enzymes in there somewhere, but I want to trial everything slowly so we can truly see which causes yield which effects. I think we are slowly going to overcome our nutritional deficiencies, we are going to heal our wonky guts, get rid of the "mysterious parasite" and the H. pylori and we will HEAL. And soon.

    We are currently trying to find a good, local GI doc to help us with the H. pylori and the rando parasite. If anyone has any leads, please pass them on. Thanks!
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